- Burnett School College of Medicine Faculty News
As medicine incorporates greater use of technology – in areas like tissue engineering and 3D printing – UCF will begin this fall a double-degree program in engineering and biomedical sciences that that will prepare outstanding, technically-versed candidates for medical school.
The new Medicine-Engineering Double Degree (MEDD) program is a partnership between the Colleges of Engineering & Computer Science and Medicine. It will allow undergraduates to earn two baccalaureate degrees – one in mechanical engineering or any other engineering discipline UCF offers – and one in biomedical sciences. 2017 freshman applicants to UCF’s Burnett Honors College will be candidates for the inaugural cohort for the MEDD program and will also complete the University Honors Program and Honors in the Major through The Burnett Honors College.
The required courses for the two degrees total 163 credit hours, so advisors suggest that freshman applicants be in a position to use Advance Placement course credits in subjects such as calculus, biology, chemistry, physics, and general education courses to significantly reduce the total credit hours to be taken. In addition, several elective requirements for the biomedical sciences degree will be satisfied by engineering courses and several pre-medical courses will serve as engineering electives.
Dr. Charles Reilly, who leads the College of Engineering and Computer Science’s Academic Affairs Office, said the new program came about as leaders of both colleges saw increasing synergies between medicine and engineering. “The field of medicine is becoming increasingly technical,” he said. “We’re talking about robotic surgical techniques, developing new materials for synthetic tissues. All of these have an interface between medicine and engineering. We want to create a double degree that will help us train the best of the best for med school admission.
Dr. Reilly is leading the new program’s admissions process with Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences faculty member, Dr. William Self, an infectious disease specialist. Dr. Self said the new engineering-medicine partnership is novel because most universities push students to seek one or the other major. “Ten to 15 years ago, this was not practical. But we have come to understand that engineers approach medicine differently,” he said. “This double degree allows us go beyond having doctors and engineers collaborating and trains physicians who have a unique blend of education and an increased depth of understanding.”
Freshman applicants to the Burnett Honors College should apply to the MEDD Program no later than January 15, 2017. Fourth-year MEDD students who are on track to complete the program in four years and who have achieved a Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) score at or above the 70th percentile will be guaranteed an admissions interview at the College of Medicine.