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Area of Impact: Health and Medicine

Interested in lowering the cost and improving the quality of healthcare? Pursuing technological innovations that invent the future of medicine? Or in health informatics that protect patient data, streamline the healthcare experience, track patterns in diagnosis, or offer decision support to both doctors and patients?

Explore your passions and the academic and career pathways available to you.

Plan your courses   Related majors   Get involved   Study abroad   Join a capstone   Do research  

Choose meaningful general education courses

You can fulfill your general education requirements while building the context and creativity you'll need to engineer solutions to meaningful problems. Keep in mind that in your first year, you may want to start out in 100 or 200 level classes and build towards upper-division coursework throughout your time at the UW.

For example:

  • ANTH 303: Technologies of Health (I&S or VLPA)
  • PHIL 242: Introduction to Medical Ethics (I&S or VLPA)
  • ANTH 474: Social Difference and Medical Knowledge (I&S and DIV)
  • BIOL 380: Biomedical Advances and Society (I&S)
  • ANTH 215: Intro to Medical Anthropology and Global Health (I&S and DIV)
  • ANTH 308: Anthropology of Gender, Women’s Health, and Reproduction (I&S and DIV)
  • B E 220: Cities, Health and Well-Being (I&S)
  • B H 456: Social Justice and Health (I&S)

General education requirements

As a UW student, you are required to take general education courses. As an engineering student, this typically consists of:

  • 10 credits of Visual, Literary, & Performing Arts (VLPA)
  • 10 credits of Individuals & Societies (I&S)
  • 4 credits of VLPA or I&S
  • 3 credits of Diversity (DIV)

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Aeronautics and Astronautics

Aeronautics and Astronautics Historically more constrained

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Bioengineering Historically more constrained

Bioresource Science Engineering

Bioresource Science Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering

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Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineering

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Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineering

Human Centered Design & Engineering

Human Centered Design & Engineering Historically more constrained

Industrial Engineering

Industrial Engineering

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Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Historically more constrained

Get involved!

Join a student organization that is working in this area of impact. You’ll make friends who have similar interests while building skills working on your passions!

Study abroad opportunities

Here are some examples of study abroad programs related to health and medicine that could deepen your understanding of the way engineering can impact the lives of people around the world.

Many study abroad programs include engineering classes, participation in research or internships. See UW Engineering's Study Abroad page to learn more and start the planning process.

Capstone design courses in health and medicine

In your senior year, you will participate in a capstone design experience that serves as a culmination of your engineering study. Past capstone projects in health and medicine have included:

  • Industrial & systems engineering students worked with Seattle Children's Hospital & UW Medicine on projects to improve workflow, decision-making, optimize resource use and reduce costs.
  • Mechanical engineering students design medical training devices for practitioners learning how to place IVs.
  • Chemical engineering students use their knowledge of transport phenomena, cost analysis, and scale to develop and commercialize medication taste-masking technology and solar-powered oxygen concentrators for underserved communities.
  • Bioengineering projects tackle human-health problems in a wide-ranging capacity.

Learn more: See Industry Capstone Projects (2018-2019) and a list of department-based capstone projects.

Engineering in Health

The Engineering in Health sequence is a 3-quarter design sequence focusing on developing engineering solutions to pressing challenges in medicine. Students across the engineering disciplines work with doctors and engineering faculty to understand the clinical need as well as design, fabricate and test a working prototype device.

Join a research team

Every UW Engineering department offers undergraduate research opportunities. To get started:

Specifically, these research programs are relevant for students interested in health & medicine: