What would happen if you took a nationally-ranked hospital system and school of medicine and combined it with one of the finest engineering programs in the nation? You would get the UNC/North Carolina State University Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, a unique partnership between the two universities that gives students access to a wealth of resources across both campuses.
“Biomedical Engineering is a wonderful program that has been at UNC for a long time,” said Sandy Henriquez, student services specialist for the department. “Basically if you look at any discipline in engineering — mechanical, civil, electrical — it is any of those applied to the body and medical applications.”
While the BME program has existed for many years, the partnership with NC State started in 2003 and the undergraduate degree was just accredited last year. Now students who are entered into the program will be counted as students of both UNC and NC State and will graduate with a degree from both universities.
“Students get IDs at the NC State campus, and like how students here have a PID, they get the NC State equivalent,” Henriquez said. “They can take classes at NC State if they want. Some of the specialized electives for Biomedical Engineering, because of our specialty and our faculty, are only offered at UNC or only offered at NC State.”
Even though some classes may only be offered at NC State, students will not be required to go to classes in Raleigh, Henriquez said. The curriculum and required courses are the same at both universities. This gives options for students that missed a chance to take a class only offered one semester on one campus by attending it on the other campus.