Neural engineering is a rapidly growing discipline in which engineering principles are applied to the design of technologies to understand, repair, and enhance the function of the nervous system. The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Neural Engineering (NE) seeks to provide a rigorous and focused training at the intersection of neuroscience and engineering fundamentals. Graduates of the program will contribute, in a variety of ways, to efforts that seek to improve human health. For example, recent advances in neural engineering have restored mobility to individuals with paralysis, relieved symptoms of movement disorders, reduced chronic pain, restored the sense of hearing, and enabled noninvasive monitoring of electrical signals from individual neurons in the living brain.
- New for Fall 2023! Join the inaugural NE class and become a part of history. Transfers open 2025.
- Industries that develop technologies directly related to neural engineering are rapidly growing. These technologies include neurological devices, brain-computer interfaces, neurological disease treatments, and brain imaging technologies.
- A major factor in the anticipated growth of this field is the increasing population of geriatric patients and the higher frequency of procedures that are minimally invasive.
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What You'll Study
The Neural Engineering degree program is unique in offering attributes not available together in any other degree program in the nation, including: 1) an introduction to and an immersion in fundamentals of neuroscience, 2) integrated skill development in electrical and imaging systems, molecular and cellular engineering, biological interfacing, and computational data sciences, and 3) coursework framed around the application of design principles to solve modern problems in basic and translational neuroscience.
NE students will be uniquely trained in both neurosciences and quantitative sciences. They will become skilled in the design and advancement of electrical and bio-interfacial devices, including brain-computer interfaces, neuroimaging systems, and neurostimulation devices. They will also be competent in analytical and computational approaches necessary for their function and use and will possess a detailed mechanistic understanding of the molecular and cellular technologies used to modulate nervous system function.
Minor in Computer Science
The CS Minor is offered for students seeking significant knowledge of digital computing without the more complete treatment of a major in computer science. This minor may be taken by any student except majors in the Computer Science degree programs and in Computer Engineering.
NE graduates will be well positioned to pursue professional degree programs in medicine and graduate studies in the life and behavioral sciences, as well as diverse engineering disciplines. Graduates from this program will be equally prepared to enter industry as engineers, particularly in healthcare sectors to immediately impact the nascent fields of neural prosthetics and rehabilitative and assistive robotics, and to work in research and development as well as clinical implementation.
Primary employers in the state include the numerous large healthcare companies in the Chicago area that develop products related to clinical neurological diseases (e.g., Abbott, AbbVie, Baxter) as well as smaller companies developing more specialized products (e.g., Icometrix, Emalex Biosciences, Seurat Therapeutics, AveXis). More broadly in the Midwest, companies include Medtronic, Siemens, and Stryker. Students will also have employment opportunities as research scientists and engineers in both academic and medical labs, and working as clinical engineers in neurological and psychiatric practices. Students will further be prepared for larger industry positions across healthcare, including life sciences, biotechnology, and pharmaceutics.