New Bioengineering Degree to Fill Void
A new generation of bioengineers will soon be filling UT Arlington classrooms. Starting this fall, the University will offer a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering. “It’s important for engineering to respond to the needs of the medical profession and people,” says Jean-Pierre Bardet, who began as College of Engineering dean in January. “Biomedical engineering is all about getting people healthier and improving their quality of life.”
UT Arlington has had a graduate bioengineering program for nearly 38 years, making it one of the longest running of its kind in the country. Over the years, the College of Engineering has received inquiries about an undergraduate equivalent. “Recruiters also were consistently asked about the program when they went out to talk to high school students at college nights and other events,” says Khosrow Behbehani, chair of the Bioengineering Department. UT Arlington committees, The University of Texas System, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board all approved the undergraduate curriculum in 2011.
Dr. Behbehani says they had three goals: ensure that the coursework prepared students for a career in bioengineering and met national accreditation standards; ensure that graduate school and medical school requirements were met, since many of the students will seek one of those advanced degrees; and provide specialization in the two crucial bioengineering subsets of medical imaging and biomaterials/tissue engineering. “We have well-established research and faculty in both of those specializations,” Behbehani says. “Overall, we wanted to make sure these undergraduate students could have both breadth and depth in their knowledge of bioengineering.”