Area of Impact: Heath 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   Get involved   Study abroad   Join a capstone   Do research  

Plan your courses

The College of Engineering offers 12 majors; each can offer a unique lens. These sample schedules show how you might prepare to request placement in multiple majors that connect to the health and medicine area of impact.

On to medical or other health professional school?

Graduate study in a pre-health professional school requires planning and a big commitment of time and energy. UW has an excellent pre-health coaching office to assist you.

Sample 1: Starting with Math 124

----- First-year ------
Autumn Qtr Winter Qtr Spring Qtr
MATH 124 (5 cr)
CHEM 142 (5 cr)
English Comp (5 cr)
MATH 125 (5 cr)
CHEM 152 (5 cr)
ENGR 115: Engineering Health (3 cr)
MATH 126 (5 cr)
CHEM 162 (5 cr)
PHYS 121 (5 cr)
   July 1 P1 deadline
Requirements met for:
BioE, BSE, ChemE, CivE, EnvE, ISE, ME, MSE
----- Second-year ------
Autumn Qtr Winter Qtr Spring Qtr
PHYS 122 (5 cr)
MATH 307 or 308 (3 cr)
CHEM 237 or BIO 180 or Engineering Fundamental (4-5 cr)
PHYS 123 (5 cr)
MATH 307 or 308 (3 cr)
CHEM 238 or BIO 200 or Engineering Fundamental (4-5 cr)
   January 15 P2 deadline
Requirements met for:
A&A, BioE, BSE, ChemE, CivE, ECE, EnvE, ISE, ME, MSE

Sample 2: Accelerated, challenging schedule

If you have college credit (AP/IB/Running Start/A-level) for Math 124 and 125, consider an accelerated and challenging course schedule as shown in Sample 2.

You are strongly encouraged to review the math department's registration and placement information to determine the appropriate place for you to start in math at the UW. Just because you have credit, don't assume you are ready for the next course at the UW.

----- First-year ------
Autumn Qtr Winter Qtr Spring Qtr
MATH 126 (3 cr)
CHEM 143 (6 cr)
English Comp (5 cr)
MATH 307 (3 cr)
CHEM 153 (6 cr)
ENGR 115: Engineering Health (3 cr)
CSE 142 (4 cr)
PHYS 121 (5 cr)
General Education (2-5 cr)
   January 15 P2 deadline
Requirements met for:
BioE, BSE, ChemE, CivE, EnvE, ISE, ME, MSE
----- Second-year ------
Autumn Qtr January 15 P2 deadline  
STATS (5 cr)
PHYS 122 (5 cr)
CSE 143 (5 cr)
MATH 308 (3 cr)
PHYS 123 (5 cr)
CHEM 237 or BIO 180 or Engineering Fundamentals (4-5 cr)
   January 15 P2 deadline
Requirements met for:
All engineering majors

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)
  • HSERV 246 Using Economics to Solve Today’s Healthcare Problems (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)

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: