Courses and Planning

Please see the BMED Curriculum sheet for course degree requirements and use the BMED Flow Chart as a guide for planning classes. Curriculum Sheets and Flowcharts can be found at the Registrar’s Office website. The BMED Technical/Support Elective form should be filled out with as much information as possible before visiting your advisor.  Please refer to the BMED courses offered for more information.  For specific Biomedical Engineering course information, contact your Advisor.

Courses Offered

Use the below link to see when a course is typically offered. 

Term Typically Offered – Office of the Registrar – Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Please use Schedule Builder and Degree Planner for current classes. 


Technical Electives are no longer being accepted in the Biomedical Engineering Department, effective Winter 2015. All courses on the below lists are pre-approved and will be automatically counted toward your degree as Major or Support Electives via your Degree Progress Report. If you attempt to use a course not on these lists for a Major or Support Technical Elective, you must submit a Substitution Form in the CENG Advising Center (40-114).

For 4+1 applicants: you are still required to submit a Technical Elective form with your application. Please see your advisor or the CENG Advising center for assistance.

For those wishing to consider a focus on Bioinstrumentation, the following should be considered:

Technical Electives (14 Units)

* BMED 355 Electrical Engineering Concepts for Biomedical Engineering Students (4)

EE 302/EE 342 Classic Controls(4)

EE 328/EE 368

* BMED 445 Biopotential Instrumentation Lab Course

BMED 555 Neural Modeling and Simulation Support Electives (16 Units)

CHEM 441 

* EE 228 Continuous-Time Signals and Systems

* MATH 344 Linear Analysis II

PHYS 212 Modern Physics II

PHYS 206 Instrumentation in Experimental Physics

PHYS 340 Quantum Physics Laboratory I

PHYS 256 Electrical Measurements Laboratory

math/bio/chem/zoo courses

Notes: * indicates required

For those interested in a materials focus, consider the following courses:

Tech Electives (choose 14 units)

*MATE 425 – Corrosion Engineering (Required)

IME 326 Engineering Test Design and Analysis (Recommended but not required)

MATE 401 – Materials Characterization

MATE 446/CHEM446 – Surface Chemistry of Materials

MATE 440, MATE445 Welding Metallurgy and Joining of Advanced Materials

MATE 450 Failure Analysis BMED 530 Biomaterials (4)

MATE 310 – Noncrystalline Material Systems

MATE 350 – Structural Materials Systems

Support Electives (choose 16 units):

CE 207 – Strength of Materials II (3)

*Stat 312 – Statistical Methods for Engineers (4)

MATE 222 – Materials Selection for the Life Cycle (4)

Choose bio/chem/math courses

For help with planning your degree, registering for classes, and accessing student records visit the Office of the Registrar website

Registrar forms can be found at: Office of the Registrar Forms – Office of the Registrar – Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

What is a permission number?

Permission numbers are special “codes” departments or class instructors may choose to issue so you can enroll in the class that the system may be preventing you from enrolling in on your own.

Why do I need a permission number?

Permission numbers are needed to do the following:

  • add a class during the last 4 days of the add/drop period, check the Student Planning Calendar for specific dates
  • override the prerequisite(s) of a course
  • enroll in a full class with or without a waitlist
  • enroll in a class without enrolling into its component (e.g., lab, activity, corequisite etc.)

How do I get a permission number?

You can request a course waiver or  permission number from the BMED Department via Adobe Sign at: Administrative Tools under the Permission Numbers tab. When your request has been reviewed, you will receive an email in your Cal Poly email account. Download the completed form to locate the requested permission number.

If you have additional questions, please contact the instructor of the course. Faculty and Staff – Biomedical Engineering (

When reaching out about a permission number, be clear in what you are looking for and include the following information:

It is important to declare your concentration as soon as possible (preferably at the beginning/middle of your second year). This will ensure your Degree Progress Report and Academic Progress Level is up to date for registration.  Please note: a change of concentration will appear on your transcript, so it is important you are confident with your decision.  For more information and to discuss your concentration options, please see your faculty advisor.

In order to declare your concentration, follow the procedure below:

    • Email from your Cal Poly email address
    • Use the subject line: Student Last Name/Concentration Name
    • Include in the email body:
      • Student Name:
      • EMPL ID:
      • Major: Biomedical Engineering
      • Catalog Year: Concentrations are only available on 15-17 catalog. Note: Students following the 13-15 or previous catalogs should refer to the catalog for selection of technical and support electives.
      • Concentration: Bioinstrumentation, Mechanical Design or General Curriculum

To substitute either a technical elective or support elective, you will need to complete a Petition for Major or Support Course Substitution/Exception E-Form and it will be routed to the appropriate signatures for consideration.

Requests for course substitutions must be received and approved prior to enrolling in the course.

Graduate Student Forms and Guidance:  For Guidance through the Steps to Graduation and to find the required forms refer to the Graduate Education website

More information on the BMED Graduate Program.

Note: A co-op experience will not earn academic credit toward an undergraduate or graduate degree in the BMED Department.  

Sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate students in good academic standing (minimum 2.5 GPA) may apply for a co-op. Students on academic probation are not eligible. Students must return at least one quarter following the co-op assignment, must comply with company policies and procedures, and follow through to completion any assigned projects. A co-op is not available to students who have graduated. 

Phase I: Career Services

Career Services can help you explore career options, prepare for your internship/job search, connect with employers, and more!  Please visit Career Services for information on the services and resources they provide.

The Career Services staff is responsible for co-op recruitment, which includes working with employers, creating co-op opportunities, and listing positions through MustangJOBS.  They will work with students, advising them on the value and benefits of co-op participation and assist them with the job search process.

A student may be recruited by Career Services, or introduced through a corporate partner or faculty advisor. 

There are two options for managing the time that they will not be on the campus:

    • Request a Leave of Absence: maintains continuous enrollment; no tuition, but may impact financial aid, OR
    • Enroll in ENGR 493/94/95: maintains continuous enrollment; pay tuition and maintain eligibility for financial aid. 

Phase II:  Department

Once a student secures a position, they should contact the department office. The student is responsible for submitting all related co-op forms.

    • Students must fill in the Co-Op Work Information form and get a signature from the department chair before they leave for the co-op experience. 
    • A Leave of Absence form must be submitted to the Registrar by the add/drop date of the term the leave begins. (i.e. student must turn in their form by the add/drop deadline for Winter Qtr. if they will be away Winter Qtr.). Students should consider the effect a leave may have on their loan status, as lenders may count the leave period as part of the total grace period. Students who receive loan disbursements directly may be require to repay portions of their loan. Cal Poly provides enrollment status to the National Loan Clearing House. For questions regarding loan status, please contact the Cal Poly Student Financial Services Office. 
    • Enroll in ENGR 493 (2 units), 494 (6 units), or 495 (12 units) for quarters the student is working at the co-op (Fall, Winter, Spring, but not Summer); note that these courses are CR/NC and do not earn academic credit toward a degree. 

Phase III: Return to Cal Poly

Upon return, students must complete a Student Evaluation Form and submit it to the department office before grades for ENGR 493/4/5 are assigned. 

Academic Leave of Absence Explained

Students on authorized Leaves of Absence are considered in continuous attendance for the purpose of returning to the same curriculum in effect when the leave began. They are not required to apply for readmission or pay an application fee, provided they return to the same major and by the approved returning term. Not enrolling in the approved term requires reapplication for admission, payment of the application fee, and potentially new curriculum requirements. 

Students must be eligible to enroll in the term the leave begins. Two leaves with a maximum of eight (8) quarters combined are available to each students and cannot be extended beyond the limit. Summer quarters are included when calculating the length of a leave. 

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