As medicine incorporates greater use of technology – in areas such as tissue engineering and 3-D printing – UCF will begin a double-degree program in engineering and biomedical sciences in Fall 2017 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.
The demanding program will require 163 credit hours to earn the two degrees. The program is recommended for students who have at least 15 Advanced Placement credit hours coming into UCF in the areas of math and science. The first eligible students for the program will be those first-year students who gain acceptance into The Burnett Honors College for 2017. MEDD students also will complete the University Honors Program and the Honors in the Major program at The Burnett Honors College.
“The field of medicine is becoming increasingly technical,” said Charles Reilly, who leads the College of Engineering & Computer Science’s Academic Affairs Office and is one of the program’s co-designers. “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.”
Reilly is leading the new program’s admissions process with Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences faculty member William Self, an infectious-disease specialist. 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 to go beyond having doctors and engineers collaborating and trains physicians who have a unique blend of education and an increased depth of understanding.”
First-year applicants to The Burnett Honors College should apply to the MEDD Program no later than Jan. 15. Fourth-year MEDD students who are on track to complete the program in four years and who achieve a Medical College Admission Test score at or above the 70th percentile will be guaranteed an admissions interview at the UCF College of Medicine.