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There are additional considerations and questions that typically arise when considering a joint academic program. To assist with organizing information across both universities, we have compiled a list of all frequently asked questions about our joint program, including questions that arise from both prospective and current students.

If you do not see information for your question below, please reach out to one of our contacts at the bottom of this page, or refer to our Curriculum and Advising page for department advising contact information.


Undergraduate Admission and Program


Is the Joint BME program accredited?

The joint undergraduate program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Is there a special admissions process into your program?

Yes. Starting with incoming students in fall 2016, all students need to be admitted to our program in order to graduate with a degree in Biomedical and Health Sciences Engineering. More information is available at the following link: Undergraduate and Transfer Student Admissions.

What does it mean to be a part of a joint academic program?

Once a student has been admitted to the program (see above), you are a student at both UNC and NC State with access to all facilities at both campuses. We offer a complete curriculum on each campus so that students do not have to travel to the other university in order to complete their curriculum.  However, students have the ability to take advantage of resources on either campus should they need to for their own unique academic needs.

How big is the Joint BME program?

Relative to other engineering programs, biomedical engineering has about 160 students per year, which allows for smaller class sizes and more interaction with professors. Our students tend to develop long-lasting relationships with other students in their courses and, at times, start new entrepreneurship endeavors through their connections. Our courses strongly encourage group work and collaboration, which provides a foundation and network for our students’ future careers.

Will I have any time for other activities or to be involved in athletics?

Yes. Our students are involved in many other activities, from varsity athletics to a variety of student clubs.

What are the laptop requirements for students in the program?

There are no official laptop requirements for our undergraduate program. Any newer laptop should do the trick! Students use a program called Matlab in their BME courses, so you can use the Matlab system requirements as a guideline.





Will I have to travel between campuses?

No, travel is not required between the two campuses in order to complete a bachelor’s degree within Joint BME. However, a student may choose to take courses or use resources on either campus as part of their own unique academic plan. To facilitate transportation between the two campuses, a free shuttle bus travels between the two campuses when classes are in session.

Can I park on the partner campus?

If you have parking on your home campus, you can get a reciprocal parking pass on the partner campus at no additional charge. To get the pass, take your student ID for the partner campus and proof that you are currently paying for parking on your home campus to the partner campus parking office. Let them know you are part of the joint program. If you do not have parking on your home campus, UNC students can purchase parking at NC State directly. NC State students should purchase NC State parking in order to get reciprocal parking at UNC.




Is it possible to major in biomedical engineering while academically preparing for medical school or another health profession?

Yes. Keep in mind that in addition to your BME course load, you may have additional courses to complete outside of our program requirements to meet the prerequisites for your intended health profession. The Health Professions Advising Office at UNC can help guide you in any additional course decisions you may need so that you can reach your academic and career goals.

Can I study abroad while in the Joint BME program?

Yes. Some students study abroad at a technical university to take engineering courses, while others decide to study abroad at a liberal arts university to fulfill their general education requirements. Students may instead choose to coordinate their experience abroad over a summer session. You should work closely with the study abroad office and your advisor to plan your curriculum.

Can I get a minor or second major?

Yes, it is possible. Each student’s situation is unique and different, as each person comes into the program with varying transfer credits and future needs to reach their goals. It is best to work with your advisors early in your enrollment to ensure you will meet your degree major and minor requirements by your desired graduation date. The UNC Advising team at the College of Arts and Sciences has major and minor information online, including worksheets and resources to help determine your requirements. For students enrolled at NC State, the Division of Academic and Student Affairs provides information about major and minor requirements.

Can I complete a double major on the partner campus?

Your admission to the partner campus is for the BME major only. To complete another major, you’ll need to apply and be admitted to that university and change your home campus.

Can I complete a minor or certificate on the partner campus?

Yes, if the following requirements are met:

  • A minor or certificate of the same name is not offered on your home campus.
  • You are admitted to the minor or certificate by the requirements determined by the department or organization administering the minor or certificate.
  • You complete the requirements for earning the minor or certificate as determined by the department or organization. The organization administering the minor or certificate is not obligated to accept course equivalencies, transfers or substitutions accepted by the BME program.
  • You complete the requirements for the minors and/or certificates prior to or concurrent with the completion of degree requirements.

Can I take courses at another university?

For students enrolled through UNC, you must have the class pre-approved by a College of Arts and Sciences advisor to guarantee that you will receive credit. Transfer credit information from Undergraduate Admissions at UNC can assist with determining course equivalency. Undergraduate Admissions at NC State also provides transfer credit information to incoming NC State-enrolled students. Other courses should be approved by the department that offers the course (i.e., the math department will approve equivalent math courses).


Research and Student Opportunities


Are there opportunities for research experiences for undergraduates?

We strongly encourage students to get involved in research. Award-winning faculty in the department are conducting some of the world’s leading research in the fields of Biomedical ImagingPharmacoengineering, Rehabilitation Engineering, Regenerative Medicine and Biomedical Microdevices

There are many faculty in other departments who have BME undergraduate students working in their research labs. This includes faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill in Applied Physical Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science and Physics, as well as faculty throughout the School of Dentistry, Nursing, Medicine and Public Health.

Are there entrepreneurship or industry opportunities within the department?

The department is deeply committed to supporting our students with the requisite skills needed to excel in industry, as well as succeed in entrepreneurial, startup and research and development cultures. Each student participates in a Student Design project (usually during their senior year) where they learn the process of designing and solving an unmet medical need.

Some students within Student Design will go on to compete for department i4 Competition funding, as well as NC State VenturePack Challenge funding (formally known as NC State eGames) to help expand their design projects.

Are there department clubs or other ways to get involved in the department?

Our students can serve the department through Student Ambassadorship, which is available to undergraduates to apply starting in their junior year. Student Ambassadors assist the department with Open Houses and departmental tours and provide support during other department events.

Additionally, some of our undergraduates may be called to serve on certain department committees, depending on the needs of the department. Students serving on these committees provide representation for undergraduates and share invaluable information and insight into the department.

Lastly, there are student organizations at both universities that reinforce biomedical engineering concepts and in which many of our students participate:

  • Carolina Adapts Toys for Children (Catch UNC) is a student organization that focuses on adapting toys for children with disabilities to accommodate accessibility issues with standard toy design.
  • The Helping Hand Project at NC State was founded by a Joint BME student alum. The Helping Hand Project uses 3D printing and innovative design solutions to provide recreational prosthetic devices to people with upper limb differences while providing a supportive community.
  • The Helping Hand Project also has a chapter at UNC and at other campuses across North Carolina. They also support the central mission of the organization, providing free recreational prosthetic devices that are designed with children in mind.


Director of Undergraduate Studies
Dr. Lianne Cartee
(919) 515-6726

Assoc. Director of Undergraduate Studies
Dr. Naji Husseini
(919) 966-1176

Primary UNC Student Services Contact
Theresa Jones
(919) 966-1176

NC State Student Services Coordinator
Kari Williams