July 17, 2017
West Chester University is taking its expertise in the health and life sciences, including pharmaceutical product development, to an historic level with a new bachelor of science in biomedical engineering, a field that marries the principles of biology with the tools of engineering. The program, approved at the July meeting of the State System’s Board of Governors, is WCU’s first engineering degree.
With its plethora of pharmaceutical, bio-science, and health-related companies and its renown as one of the most important biosciences clusters in the nation, the greater Philadelphia region is a prime location for this program. In addition, the Commonwealth ranks fifth nationally in total employment of biomedical engineers, which is one of the fastest growing fields in engineering. Related employment is projected to increase 23 percent nationally between 2014 and 2024 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015), which represents an increase of 5,100 new jobs. This degree is another way the University meets the needs of the Commonwealth.
Biomedical engineering has emerged as a professional discipline largely in response to the increasing dependence of modern health care on complex diagnostic, screening, monitoring, prosthetics, surgical instrumentation, and biotechnology. Within this context, the program will offer tracks in biosystems, bioinstrumentation, and imaging; biomolecular and biochemical; biomechanics; and biomaterials and tissues.
All of the required core classes will be offered through the department of Physics and Engineering in the College of the Sciences and Mathematics. Students can take courses in a number of other departments, including biology, chemistry, and mathematics, to meet cognate requirements.
With the recent approval to construct a new Sciences and Engineering building (attached to the Commons project), the University’s biomedical engineering faculty and students will have a state-of-the-art environment in which to teach, learn, and innovate. The program will begin in fall 2019.