Frequently Asked Questions

For current students:

How does the GEP work?

Students who entered the university in the fall of 2009 or later must meet the requirements of the General Education Program (GEP)to graduate. The GEP form shows you how to select your general education attached form to choose your humanities courses. It's menu style. There are blanks on the page. You choose a course to fill in each blank. Read the fine print, for example, when courses for a category must come from two different disciplines.

Ideally, the GK and USD blanks are not different courses from the blanks above. Choose at least one course to fill one of the blanks above that has USD beside it and at least one that has GK beside it.

The most update list of courses that will fill the GEP can be found at: .

How does the GER work?

Students who entered the university in prior to the fall of 2009 must meet the general education requirements (GER)to graduate. The GER webpage shows you how to select your general education courses.

The course selection is menu style. There are blanks on the first page. You choose a course from the appropriate category on the following pages to fill in each blank.

Of the courses you choose to fill in the blanks, one should meet the foreign culture co-requisite. These courses are indicated by an asterisk. Ideally, the foreign culture co-requisite is not an additional course. It is filled by one of the courses that filled the top 7 slots as long as that course meets the co-requisite as indicated by an asterisk.

The approved Humanities courses for COE can be found at:

If the course has a * next to it, it will also satisfy the non-English speaking culture co-requisite.

What is the difference between PY205 M and N

N is for Newtonian (we call it normal). It's traditional physics. If you had physics in high school, this is the type you had. As an example problem, you would calculate the trajectory of a cannonball.

M is for matter and interaction. It's a new teaching method. The laws of physics are the laws of physics, but this class teaches them from a molecular physics viewpoint. They use modern teaching techniques, and computer simulations written in the Python language.

Assessment statistics show that students in M tend to make marginally better grades than students in N, but students who took N tend to make marginally better grades in statics and dynamics since they follow more of the traditional physics approach.

The only highly significant thing the assessment statistics have shown is that you shouldn't switch styles from PY205 to PY208. If you start with M, it's probably best to stick with M, and the same if true for N.

BME will accept either form M or N.

I want to change my major into a major other than engineering:

To change your major, you’ll need to be admitted to the College of your new major. Once you have been admitted to the new college, they will assign you an advisor. You should contact your new advisor to guarantee that you’re registered for the best courses for your new major.

The link below gives more detailed instructions.

If you are undecided about a new major or curretly don’t meet the requirements for your new college, Academic Advising Services is the best place to go for advising. BME advisors cannot advise you for a major other than BME.

I want to change my major to another engineering major. What should I do?

If you are currently unmatriculated and do not meet the matriculation requirements for your new major, please send your major change request to Dr. Mary Clare Robbins ( Be sure to include your student id number. If you are currently matriculated or qualify for matriculation, please use the matriculation website to matriculate into your new engineering major.

When does my course registration begin?

In your Pack Portal, you should see your enrollment appointment. Your enrollment appointment is the earliest date and time that you can register for courses for the next semester. If you create a wish list, the registration system will automatically try to register you for the courses on your wish list at the time of your enrollment appointment. You should check to see that you were enrolled in all the courses on your wish list and make changes as needed.

Can I take required courses at another institution?

Please have a look at the transfer website. You can use it to find courses at other institutions that will transfer to NCSU as the courses you need to take.

If the class is listed as an equivalent on the transfer website to the NCSU course you need, it will transfer without a problem.

Courses transferred from another institution will transfer as CR (credit) if you make a C or better. They will not count toward your GPA. If you make less than a C, you can't transfer the course.

If the course you would like to transfer is not listed on the transfer website, you will need to take the course syllabus to the NCSU department that would offer the course to have it evaluated for transfer. For example, if you wanted to transfer a history course, you would take the syllabus to the history department.

Can I take classes that count toward a graduate degree while I’m still an undergraduate?

You can count 6 credit hours of graduate classes taken as an undergraduate toward a graduate degree at NCSU as long as those classes don't count toward your undergraduate degree. Graduate credits typically do not transfer to other universities. As an undergraduate, you'll need to receive permission from the instructor of the graduate course to be admitted to a graduate level course.

Can you get me into a closed class?

There are a few tactics that you might be able to use. Get on a wait list if there is one. Find out when tuition is due. On the day after tuition is due, all students who haven't paid tuition are dropped from their classes. There may be openings in classes then. Many students change their schedules during the first week of class, so check often for the class you want during the first week. You may also plan to attend the class you want to add on the first day. Dress nicely and sit at the front. After class, approach the teacher, explain your situation, and see if the teacher will admit you to the class.

Can you get me into a class for which I don’t meet the pre-requisites?

If the class is a course that is required as part of the BME curriculum or is one of your BME electives, send Dr. Cartee (lacartee@NC the following information.

  • Your student id number
  • The class number and section number of an open class to which you need to be added
  • The 4 or 5 digit class number that corresponds to that class

If the class it not part of the BME curriculum, you'll need the permission of the department that offers the class. You should contact the course instructor or coordinator of advising listed on the website below for the department that offers the class to see if he/she can help.

I didn’t get into BME, but I want to continue and try again next year. What should I do?

There is no guarantee that there will be openings for the junior class. We have admitted that class. If there are admitted students who change their major, we will accept applications to fill those slots. While there is no guarantee of an opening, we have had openings the past few years. Students who are reapplying and transfer students can compete for those positions. Applicants who apply to enter the program as juniors must have all of the pre-reqs for the junior level courses. Those pre-reqs are an equivalent to BME 201 as discussed below, BIO183, ECE331 and MA242 and a 2.9 minimum GPA.

You may also choose to apply to the sophomore class to which at least 55 students will be admitted. In that case, be sure that you have NOT completed all of the pre-reqs listed above. If you have completed the pre-reqs, you will automatically be considered for admission to the junior class.

Be realistic about the 2.9 GPA requirement. Map out the courses you plan to take and your anticipated grades and calculate your projected GPA. If you didn’t make a 2.9 your first year, then it probably isn’t realistic to expect that you will make straight A’s from this point forward. GPA is calculated by:

Sum of all courses(credit hours * grade points) / total credit hours taken

If you use a grade exclusion, you can eliminate that class from the calculations. The grade points are 4.3 for A+, 4.0 for A, 3.7 for A-, 3.3 for B+, 3.0 for B, 2.7 for B-, 2.3 for C+, 2.0 for C, 1.7 for C-, 1.3 for C+, 1.0 for D, 0.7 for D-, 0 for F. S/U courses and TR courses don’t factor into the GPA.

Because we have to limit the number of students in BME classes, unmatriculated students are not allowed to take BME classes (with the exception of BME 252 – see below). If you are currently enrolled in BME 201 and BME 204, you’ll be dropped from those classes. Those should be your only two BME classes.

For unmatriculated students, the following course substitutions will be permitted. By taking the courses below in place of the required sophomore level BME courses, it is possible to stay on track with the BME curriculum.

BME 201: For students who have not matriculated into BME, we will accept MA 116, CSC 112, CSC 114 or CSC 116 as a replacement for BME 201. Matlab is the computer language taught in BME 201 that we use in our upper level courses. MA 116 teaches Matlab, so it’s probably the best choice. CSC 112 teaches Fortran, CSC 114 teaches C++, and CSC 116 teaches Java. C++ is very close to Matlab, but it is offered online only. We will accept one of the CSC classes provided you agree to teach yourself Matlab. Teaching yourself Matlab isn’t as difficult as it sounds. All computer languages are very similar. Key words and punctuation may change, but the basic principles of programming are always the same.

BME 203: Unmatriculated students can substitute MSE 200 or MSE 201 for BME 203. The subject matter for those classes is very closely related.

BME 210: BME 210 is a 4 credit hour circuits course with a lab. Unmatriculated students can replace the 3 lecture credits with ECE 331 and the one lab credit with BME 312 taken after matriculation.

BME 252: BME 252 is a one credit hour online class. Unmatriculated students may take this class, but you will need to send a request to Dr. Cartee to be added. Please include your student ID number with your request.

BME 204: There is no course substitution for BME 204, but it can be delayed until the junior year.

For future students:

What is the deal with NCSU and UNC joint program?

The BME department is joint between NCSU and UNC. The faculty members are all faculty at both Universities. The graduate programs are also joint, and the graduate students have student IDs for both universities. The undergraduate programs are not joint. At NCSU we offer an accredited BS in BME. This program is run by our department.

UNC offers a degree in Applied Science. It is not an engineering degree, and it is not accredited. Having said that, students in the program get a good education and, if they plan to go to medical school or graduate school, accreditation may not be important. The degree is not controlled by our department, however. It is controlled by the Curriculum in Applied Science and Engineering at UNC. The program has ties to our department in that students in the Applied Science program are allowed to take upper level electives from faculty in our biomedical engineering department and some of our faculty members have half-time appointments in the applied science program.

How do I transfer to BME?

Transferring to BME at NCSU is a 2 step process. First, you must be admitted to the College of Engineering. Second, you must be admitted to Biomedical Engineering. The BME department at NCSU is new, established in 2004. We offer a fully accredited BS in BME. Since we are new, we have limited faculty. In order to provide the quality of education that we like to guarantee our students, we need to limit our enrollment. Currently, we’re accepting 60 students a year. This is why the 2nd admissions process is necessary.

Step one is to be admitted to the College of Engineering. Requirements to transfer into the College of Engineering are found here.

To find courses are your institution that are equivalent to the required courses to transfer, use the transfer website.

A minimum 3.5 GPA is required to apply to BME as a transfer student. Because you often won’t receive a decision on your college admission until after BME has completed its admissions process, you should go ahead and apply to BME. Applications are due on the last day of classes (not finals) of the spring semester. Decisions are made one or two weeks after the end of the 1st summer session. Lesley Hubbard (lhhubbar@NC can send you an application. If you are admitted to BME before being admitted to the college, your application will be conditional upon your acceptance to the College of Engineering.

Can I be admitted into the rising junior class?

Typically, admissions are made to the rising sophomore class. We will consider applications to the rising junior class. If students admitted to that class as sophomores change majors or otherwise leave the program, we will replace those students with qualified rising juniors. We can’t guarantee that there will be openings in the junior class, but typically there are some slots available. To be admitted into the rising junior class, you must meet all the pre-requisites for the junior levels courses. Those include a computer programming course, an electrical circuits course, biology, and Calculus 3.

Computer programming course: Our students take BME 201. Students in BME 201 learn to program in Matlab. We will accept other programming courses in place of BME 201. The best choice of classes would be a Matlab programming class, but we will accept courses equivalent to CSC 112, CSC 114, CSC 116, provided that you agree to teach yourself Matlab. Students in our junior and senior level courses are required to program in Matlab. Teaching yourself Matlab is not as difficult as it might sound. Once you learn one programming language, other programming languages tend to follow the same format. If you can’t take a Matlab programming course, the 2nd best choice would be a programming course in C++. The next best choice would be a programming course in Fortran. It will be easiest to teach yourself Matlab if you have learned to program in one of these two computer languages.

Electrical circuits:  You should take an equivalent to ECE 331.

Biology:  You should take an equivalent to BIO 183.

Calculus 3:  You should take an equivalent to MA 242.

Course equivalencies can be found at the website.

Please note that if you meet the pre-requisites for the junior class, you will only be considered for admission to the junior class.

Can I visit? 

The College of Engineering offers information sessions at 1:30 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. More information can be found at http://www.engr.NC

The university also conducts general admissions information sessions. More information can be found at http://admissions.NC BME is not able to offer individual tours to visiting students. We typically schedule monthly information sessions. Please contact Lesley Hubbard (lhhubbar@NC for a schedule.