New York state has given the official go-ahead to the University at Buffalo to offer a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering.
UB announced Wednesday that it has received approval for the program from the state Department of Education. The approval means UB can now actively advertise the degree and recruit students and faculty to the program.
The new department links UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and its School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The John R. Oishei Foundation provided $2 million in grant monies. The university is raising $1 million on its own and will receive another $1 million from the foundation upon doing so.
"The biomedical engineering program formalizes an existing synergy between our engineering and medical school faculty for the benefit of our students," UB Provost Satish Tripathi said in a release. "The undergraduate program in biomedical engineering is an opportunity for our current and future students to earn a degree in a dynamic 21st century field."
The university said it plans to submit applications to create master's and doctoral biomedical engineering programs in the future.
Alexander Cartwright is chair of the new biomedical engineering program. He is also chair of the UB Department of Electrical Engineering. So far, the department has 14 full-time faculty members and the university expects to hire four new full-time faculty in the next two years. Existing faculty have dual appointments in biomedical engineering and other departments, such as medicine or electrical engineering.
A single course in biomedical engineering was offered last fall. Another two courses were expected to be offered this spring. UB said the first group of biomedical engineering majors will graduate in 2012.
Biomedical engineering students enroll in the general engineering courses for first two years before taking specialized courses during their junior and senior years.