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BA in Gen.Biology- Any hope for pursuing Bioengineering?


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Hello, internet! :) I graduated with a BA in general biology from a liberal arts college (Carleton) and have spent the subsequent year doing research in regenerative medicine at the FDA. This experience, as well as years of undergrad research, have forced me to acknowledge that the research questions I am most interested in working on would require an MS or PhD in bioengineering (more specifically, tissue engineering). Unfortunately, the math and physics requirements for my undergrad major were minimal (I stopped at Calc I and intro physics) and I am sure that I need to take a lot of undergrad classes to be eligible for any bioengineering programs. Also, I have a history of being proficient-- but not "a natural"-- at math.


Is this an impossible dream? Does anyone have ideas about how to go about this without spending a fortune?


My current ideas are: 1) Enroll at a university that will offer a second bachelor's degree, 2) Enroll at a university that will let me take all of the bioengineering requirements without pursuing a degree, 3) Find a more realistic goal.


Any scrap of advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Edited by krandrykov
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Have you considered taking some math classes at the local community college? I imagine you could easily take Calc II, III, Linear Algebra, Diff Eqns, or Prob/Stat at a community college without spending TOO much money. Does your current job have any educational assistance? 


While a lot of people that apply to BioE/BME PhD programs come from an engineering background, there are certainly plenty of people that come from bio/biochem/pure science backgrounds. Tissue engineering isn't (to the best of my knowledge) as math or CS heavy as medical imaging, or computational biology, and therefore I don't think lack of math/physics will hold you back. Provided of course that you have ample coursework in biology and ample research experience. In my experience, GPA + research trump most other factors. It seems you have good research experience working at the FDA. Any publications? 


I would look into taking community college math courses to meet the bare minimum requirements (vary by school) and then look at applying to either MS (usually unfunded) or directly to PhD programs if you have enough research experience/publications. If you want, you can even continue working at the FDA and do a MS on the side part-time. That way you keep getting research experience, the job can also help finance the MS, and the MS will help you gain some grounding in BioE. Then apply to PhD.


In summary, don't give up on your goals and dreams; you don't really need a lot of formal classes in undergrad to prepare you to do tissue engineering, especially coming from an undergrad in Biology. Best wishes! :) 

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