Biomedical engineering uses electrical engineering and scientific principles such as electromagnetic waves, electronics, engineering materials, signal processing, computing and display devices, quantitative analysis, communication systems and image analysis to solve problems in biotechnology and medicine. The possibilities are almost endless in this fast-growing field in which technology is used to design and build new components and systems for biomedical applications.

Biological signals, such as those from the heart and brain, are routinely used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Computer tools are used to collect and analyze data, such as gene sequence databases, that contain millions of entries. Mechanical elements, sensors, actuators and electronics make medical devices work and could even be used to deliver drugs inside the human body. Advances in medical imaging techniques such as MRI and PET scans lead to the early diagnosis of disease and increase the effectiveness of treatment and prevention. Medical informatics, telemedicine and electronic health records help improve the delivery of health care.

The Carleton Advantage

Carleton University’s Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree program in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering offers:

  • a progressive co-operative education option;
  • strong emphasis on biomedical informatics, biosignal processing, IT in biomedicine, medical instrumentation and assistive devices, and microtechnology for sensors and MEMS; and
  • excellent scholarships for high-standing students.

Our Laboratory and Research Facilities

At Carleton, you will benefit from:

Your Co-op Opportunities

As a student in the Biomedical and Electrical Engineering program you will have the opportunity to apply to the Co-operative Education Program. Co-op integrates degree-related, paid work terms into your degree program. A minimum of four work terms are required to obtain the Co-op designation on your degree.

Our program is closely associated with the biotechnology and high technology industry in Ottawa and other regions, giving students valuable work experience and contacts that will benefit them in the future.

The pattern of work and study terms for the co-op option is shown in the following table.

Calendar Year Fall Winter Summer
1 study term 1 study term 2
2 study term 3 study term 4 work term
3 study term 5 work term work term
4 work term study term 6 work term
5 study term 7 study term 8

Learn more about our featured co-op employers. 

Choosing the Right Program

The BEng program in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering is fully accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board. The program is also designed to meet the prerequisite courses required by many medical schools in North America.

First year begins with a common core of fundamentals in engineering, mathematics and science. Second year offers introductory courses in electronic circuit design, numerical analysis and programming. Third-year courses provide specialization in digital and analog circuit design, semiconductor device physics, electromagnetics and bioelectrical and biomedical systems. Senior fourth-year courses allow for advanced study in biomedical engineering—including signal processing and medical instrumentation—as well as opportunities to apply your knowledge to the medical and health-care fields.

Course Structure

The courses of a typical Biomedical and Electrical program are shown below.

Study Term 1 Study Term 2
Calculus for Engineering Students
[MATH 1004]
Linear Algebra for Engineering Students
[MATH 1104]
General Chemistry I
[CHEM 1001]
General Chemistry II
[CHEM 1002]
Computation and Programming
[ECOR 1041]
Introductory Electromagnetism and Wave Motion [PHYS 1004]
[ECOR 1043]
[ECOR 1045]
Data Management
[ECOR 1042]
Visual Communication
[ECOR 1047]
[ECOR 1044]
[ECOR 1046]
Introduction to Engineering Disciplines I
[ECOR 1055]
[ECOR 1048]
Engineering Profession
[ECOR 1057]
Introduction to Engineering Disciplines II
[ECOR 1056]
Complementary Studies Elective
Study Term 3 Study Term 4
Differential Equations and Infinite Series for Engineering Students [MATH 1005] Multivariable Calculus for Engineering Students [MATH 2004]
Circuits & Signals
[ELEC 2501]
Electronics I
[ELEC 2507]
Foundations of Imperative Programming [SYSC 2006] Switching Circuits
[ELEC 2607]
Design and Analysis of Engineering Experiments [ECOR 2050] Probability, Statistics, & Random Processes [SYSC 2510]
Foundations of Biology I
[BIOL 1103]
Communication Skills for Engineering Students [CCDP 2100]
Study Term 5 Study Term 6
Basic EM & Power Engineering
[ELEC 3105]
Digital Electronics
[ELEC 3500]
Computer Organization
[SYSC 3006]
Electromagnetic Waves
[ELEC 3909]
Bioelectrical Systems
[SYSC 3203]
Communication Theory
[SYSC 3501]
Biomedical Systems, Modeling & Control [SYSC 3610] Ethics, Research Methods, & Standards for Biomedical Engineering [SYSC 4201]
Science Elective Engineering Economics
[ECOR 3800]
Engineering Portfolio
[ECOR 2995]
Engineering Elective
Study Term 7 Study Term 8
Engineering Project
[SYSC 4907]
Microprocessor Systems
[ELEC 4601]
Professional Practice
[ECOR 4995]
Bioinstrumentation & Signals
[SYSC 4203]
Engineering Elective
Digital Signal Processing
[SYSC 4405]
Engineering Elective
Science Elective Engineering Elective
Complementary Studies Elective

Note: As study terms and courses offered may vary, please refer to the Carleton University Undergraduate Calendar for specific program requirements.

Your Future Opportunities

As a graduate of this program, you could find employment in health-care establishments and medical facilities, working with computers, medical equipment or medical devices. You could enjoy rewarding work in developing health care technologies such as electronic implants, safer medical instrumentation and devices, or superior data management and diagnostic systems. You will also be well prepared for continued studies at the graduate level or in medicine.

Alumni Feature

“I realized I had the adaptation skills thanks to my time at Carleton.”

–  Daphne Ong (BEng/12, MASc/15), Quality Specialist at Lightspeed Commerce, breaking ground for women in STEM

Admission Requirements

For admission to the Biomedical and Electrical Engineering program, you must have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, including a minimum of six 4U/M courses.

Your six courses must include four prerequisite courses:

  • Advanced Functions
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • One of the following:
    • Calculus and Vectors (strongly recommended for applicants to all engineering programs)
    • Biology
    • Earth and Space Science

Although it is not an admission requirement, at least one 4U course in either English or French is recommended. Equivalent courses may be substituted at the appropriate 4U level.

Since the number of qualified applicants may be greater than the number of available spaces, cut-off averages and required marks may vary.


If you are from outside Ontario, or outside Canada, please visit Carleton’s Undergraduate Admissions website for details on your specific program’s requirements.

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