BioE98 -- Breaking Down BioE

We are no longer accepting applications for Fall 2020! Please check back in the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester.

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In accordance with BioEHS’s mission “to encourage advancement and quality of Bioengineering education,” Breaking Down BioE (BDB) was started with the goal of sharing BioEHS’s resources with the broader Berkeley BioE community. The ultimate goal of the course is to help students develop a more intimate understanding of what bioengineering actually is, and foster the skills and confidence necessary to succeed in an area of the field.


As Professor Terry Johnson notes, the BioE curriculum is not intended to train you in solving problems that have been solved before, but rather new, unexplored ones. A key part of this training lies in looking “for people whose careers you would like to have, . . . consider[ing] their skills and qualifications, . . . [and] thinking about how you can acquire [them].” 

But how can you find those people you want to emulate? How can you identify what new, unexplored problems you want to tackle? And, most importantly, what concentrations and electives on campus help you acquire the skills you need to solve those problems? 

Breaking down BioE helps answer all these questions using a speaker series, analytical group discussions interleaved with journal clubs, and a skill development series. 

We help you identify your particular BioE subfield of interest and the concentration that will help you acquire the skills needed to excel in that arena. We enhance course and career planning by helping you not only select judicious electives, but also develop your repertoire of professional and academic skills—with access to advice and guidance from our course instructor, Professor Dorian Liepmann, and BioEHS alumni/upperclassmen. By relating the classes in your concentration to your goals, our class also heightens your engagement with on-campus classes. 


Here's what previous students had to say about BDB!

“I learned so much through the diverse speaker set and journal club project through industry advice, the do's and don'ts of research, and overall presentation skills on detailed scientific topics which is something I'd never done before.”

“When I was looking for research, the people I met through this DeCal helped me through the process. Now, I’m extremely thankful to learn from a great grad student, and I’m excited to work on a project that I am truly passionate about.”

“As a freshman, it was difficult to find my place in the BioE Community, overwhelmed by the number of resources, people ,extracurricular opportunities, but having a tight-knit community through the DeCal was helpful in making the first semester transition easier.”

“I'm so glad I took a chance on this DeCal because the sheer amount of love, effort, and support that went into creating it truly translated to success and growth for the students.”