Skip to main content

BE Advised

The place to go for undergraduate advising in biological engineering

Focus Areas

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

These focus areas are part of the new curriculum starting with Fall 2015:

Click for the full list of focus area courses if taken Fall 2018 or later (with links and notes).

Click for the full list of focus area courses if taken Spring 2018 or earlier.


  • Current policy is that focus area courses and major approved technical electives must be taken for letter grade if a letter grade exists for some form of the course.
  • Up to 4 credits in the focus area category may be replaced by graded engineering credits in undergraduate research, project team, teaching assistantship, or independent study.
  • Substitutions for focus area courses may NOT be petitioned by individual students, except students studying away from Cornell during the junior or senior years (domestic or international study abroad, or leave of absence).
  • Students may petition for a NEW or SUBSTANTIALLY REVISED course to be added to BE’s list of focus area courses.  Eligible courses must be offered or cross-listed by a Cornell engineering department, must consist principally of technical content, must have a course number between 3000 and 7000, must fit within one of the existing focus area categories, must be offered for a letter grade or with a letter grade option, and must be offered at least biennially. Seminar courses and courses satisfying the liberal studies distribution are not eligible for consideration. We strongly discourage petitions for one-off courses, courses offered under a provisional or experimental course number, and courses requiring more than one prerequisite outside the normal BE program. Each petition must be accompanied by a course description, a syllabus, and a brief statement from the instructor that the course will be taught on a regular basis and that BE’s are welcome to take it. Additions must be approved by both the BE Committee on Academic Programs and by the BE faculty after discussion at a faculty meeting, so petitioners are advised to build in at least 2 months lead time.
Skip to toolbar