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New bachelor's degree

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Friday, November 4, 2011

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Media Contact: Herb Booth, Office:817-272-7075, Cell:214-546-1082, hbooth@uta.edu

The University of Texas at Arlington has received approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to begin offering a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering.

Jean-Pierre Bardet, the new UT Arlington College of Engineering dean, said the program is important for UT Arlington, the region and the nation.

“Biomedical engineering is all about helping people,” he said. “It’s important for engineering to respond to the needs of the medical profession and people. It’s all about getting people healthier and improving their quality of life.”

UT Arlington Provost Ron Elsenbaumer said this approval expands the University’s reach.

“We’re casting a wider net for students interested in this discipline,” Elsenbaumer said.

UT Arlington has had a graduate bioengineering program for nearly 38 years, one of the longest running graduate programs of its kind.

Khosrow Behbehani, chairman of the bioengineering department, said he and others in the College have received numerous calls about whether UT Arlington offers a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering.

“We knew there was demand,” Behbehani said. “Recruiters also had been consistently asked whether UT Arlington had an undergrad bioengineering program when they went out to talk to high school students at college nights and other events.”

The official start date for offering the bachelor’s degree is undecided.

“We want to make sure we have everything ready to go first,” Behbehani said.

He said the department has about two years before entering freshmen start needing specialized classes for the new undergraduate degree. Until then, they could take other required courses. He said UT Arlington committees, The University of Texas System and the Coordinating Board have approved the undergraduate curriculum.

Behbehani said three goals were important in meeting curriculum needs for bioengineering undergraduate students. Those were: ensuring the coursework prepared them for a successful career in bioengineering and met the national accreditation standards; ensuring graduate school and medical school requirements were met since many of the students would seek one of those advanced degrees; and providing specialization in one of the two highly important and modern areas of biomedical engineering – medical imaging and biomaterials/tissue engineering.

“We wanted to make sure these undergraduate students could have both breadth and depth in their knowledge of bioengineering,” Behbehani said. “We have well-established research and faculty in both of those specializations.”

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of 33,421 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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