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BS Biomedical Computation

Biomedical Computation Major

Computational methods and tools are key drivers of advances in biology and medicine in the 21st century. The Biomedical Computation major is an Interdepartmental Program (IDP) housed in the School of Engineering that brings together faculty, courses, and research from the School of Engineering, School of Humanities and Sciences, and School of Medicine to engage students at the cutting edge of this interface between computer science, biology, and medicine.

What is biomedical computation?

The analysis of biomedical data, the construction of computational models for biological and chemical entities and systems, and the design and implementation of computer systems that help biologists and physicians create and administer treatments to patients all rely on an interdisciplinary understanding of the computational and biomedical sciences.

Foundations

All BMC students take foundational courses in the component disciplines of biomedical computation including but not limited to Math, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, Engineering, and Technology. Most of these courses will be taken during freshman and sophomore year. 

BMC Tracks

For the upper division courses in the major, a student must choose between one of these four tracks for BMC:

  • Informatics
  • Simulation
  • Cellular/Molecular
  • Organs/Organ Systems

The Informatics and Simulation tracks place a greater emphasis on the computational aspects of the discipline, while the Cellular/Molecular and Organs/Organ Systems tracks provide more depth in biology.

Each of the tracks consists of a core of two to five courses. These are courses that provide students the core knowledge related to their in-depth area of study. The tracks also have elective requirements, to ensure students gain breadth in upper division courses. For each track, the core and electives together total about nine to ten courses.

Capstone

The BMC Capstone class gives students the chance to take a rigorous course that thoroughly integrates various aspects of biology and computation. This course is typically taken during junior or senior year. 

Research

Every BMC student must complete 6 units of directed research under a faculty member. This requirement of research is fairly unique to BMC among majors at Stanford. It allows our students to work on cutting-edge projects as a part of their undergraduate curriculum. This research typically occurs during the junior or senior year and may be undertaken with faculty members from any school at Stanford. The main requirement is that the student does actual, hands-on biomedical computation as a part of the research project. The student must get approval from the BMC Program Directors before undertaking his or her research project.

WIM

The Writing in the Major requirement gives students an opportunity to learn to effectively communicate ideas in their fields of study. In BMC, students may fulfill the WIM requirement by writing a ~15-page technical report concurrently with performing the research for the research requirement or students who wish to satisfy their WIM requirement independently of their research work may enroll in CS272, the Biomedical Informatics project course.

If you are a current undergraduate student with questions about declaring BMC as your major, please refer to our BioE Intranet