Undergraduate Research

Students are encouraged to become involved in bioengineering research with faculty. Currently, about 2/3 of UCSD Bioengineering undergraduates participate in research before they graduate. The Bioengineering Faculty are internationally renowned in forefront research in a variety of areas, and undergraduates are invited to seek out faculty to participate in these research efforts.


Senior Design Project


Students in Bioengineering also become involved in closely-mentored activities by faculty through the required Senior Design Project.

The Senior Design Project serves as a capstone experience and a highlight of these undergraduate majors. While the projects do not directly develop new scientific knowledge, they often develop enabling technologies to facilitate cutting-edge research.


BENG 99 & BENG 199 Courses


Under the guidance of a bioengineering faculty member, lower and upper division level bioengineering students have opportunities to participate in independent study and research.

Lower division bioengineering students undertaking research projects with faculty may enroll in BENG 99 which is similar to BENG 199, except that less background in the curriculum is needed. Upper division bioengineering students may take BENG 199, Independent Study for Undergraduates. These courses are taken as electives on a P/NP basis and can be repeated (up to three times).

BENG 199 courses may be used to satisfy the technical elective requirement for any of the four Bioengineering majors. Students must complete 2 quarters of BENG 199 (4 units each for a total of 8 units) with the same faculty advisor. The faculty advisor must be within the department of Bioengineering. To enroll in BENG 199, please submit a Special Studies EASy request

To complete BENG 199 research credit during summer, please contact the Student Affairs Office for additional information.


Research Positions


Many UCSD Bioengineering undergraduates are interested in taking part in research at UCSD. Undergraduates are encouraged to seek out a research position.

The following steps are provided to help undergraduates become involved in research:

  • Find out about the research being conducted in various labs.
    • Good sources of information about ongoing research are  introductory courses (e.g., BENG 1 and BENG 87), laboratory web sites accessible from the Department of Bioengineering website (e.g., www.be.ucsd.edu/graduate-research), and papers from the laboratories (accessible from PubMed and other electronic literature databases).
  • Identify research of interest and read a few papers about the subject!!
  • Apply to the lab.
    • After identifying a lab of interest, the next step is to apply to the lab.
    • Those interested in research positions should send their resume and a brief cover letter in an electronic mail message to the faculty member in whose lab they are interested.


Summer & Off-Campus Research


There are many opportunities for summer and off-campus research in California and other states. The UC San Diego career service website contains a very comprehensive and up-to-date listing of summer research opportunities which can be viewed on-line.

For UC San Diego summer research opportunities, visit Summer Research Program (SRP) website,

The Department of Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego is pleased to announce a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) program in Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering and Drug Delivery.


Students may also be introduced to research through programs sponsored by the UCSD Office of Academic Enrichment. This office coordinates the Faculty Mentor Program; California Alliance for Minority Participation in Science, Engineering and Mathematics Program (CAMP); Health and Medical Professionals Preparation Program (HMP3); Mc Nair Program; Summer Research Program; UCSD Undergraduate Research Conference, and Graduate School Application Award.