Carnegie Mellon University

Self-Designed Biomedical Engineering (SBME) Track 


The SBME track is aimed at helping highly motivated students who have a strong sense of career direction that falls beyond the scope of regular Biomedical Engineering tracks.  Students are allowed to design the "track" portion of the curriculum in consultation with the faculty.  Example themes include medical robotics, embedded medical systems, or computational biomedical engineering.


In addition to the Biomedical Engineering core requirements, students must take three elective courses of at least 9 units each. These elective courses must form a coherent theme that is relevant to biomedical engineering. In addition, at least one of the elective courses must be judged by the Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Affairs Committee to have substantial biological or medical content.

If undergraduate research is part of the SBME track, the research project must be on a BME topic that is aligned to the track, supervised or co-supervised by a BME faculty member, and conducted for 9 or more units of credit. 

Petition Procedure

  1. Students wishing to pursue a self-designed track should first consult with Kristin Kropf (Undergraduate Program and Alumni Relations Coordinator).
  2. A SBME track proposal must be submitted electronically to Kristin Kropf at least three weeks prior to Pre-Registration during the spring of the sophomore year. The proposal must include:
    • The three courses of the designed track, including catalog descriptions and when these courses are expected to be taken.
    • A justification of how these courses form a coherent theme relevant to biomedical engineering.
    • Two alternative courses that may substitute for one of the proposed courses, in case the original course is not available.
  3. Once approved, the student must sign an agreement listing the theme and the three courses comprising the SBME track.
  4. In the event that issues beyond the student's control, such as course scheduling or cancellation, prevent the student from completing the approved course plan, the student may petition the Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Affairs Committee to
  • Substitute a course with another course that fits the approved theme, OR
  • Complete one of the regular tracks (all classes)
Revised (03/16/2023)