Bioengineering Senior Capstone Design


Bioengineering Senior Capstone Design is an intense, open-ended, team-based design experience—spanning Fall and Winter quarters—in which students learn by applying the biodesign innovation process for health technology innovation.

Bioengineering Senior Capstone Design

During Fall quarter, student teams research and specify an unmet healthcare need; invent a technology-based solution to the need; create a feasibility test plan; and begin prototyping and performing experiments.

During Winter quarter, teams build and refine solutions iteratively according to self-defined project plan milestones, working toward a works-like prototype with proof-of-concept data and potential for preclinical and/or clinical testing.

We encourage students to pursue external funding to help advance their projects beyond the course. Past project teams have continued via independent study during Spring quarter, and have been competitive for awards from national collegiate engineering challenges and for translational research grant funding.

The Stanford Biodesign community of experts supports the student teams through clinical and technical mentorship and guest lectures on topics from stakeholder and market analysis to legal, regulatory, and commercialization.

High-performing teams are given the option to continue working on their projects beyond the end of the course through the “Biodesign NEXT" extension funding program. Learn more about Biodesign NEXT.

Course title
Bioengineering Senior Capstone Design
Course number(s) Quarter(s)
Schedule Units
(lecture/class time)
(lab/team activities)
Eligible students
Bioengineering seniors
Enrollment information
No application required; enroll through Axess
Learning goals
  • Create quantitative specifications for a healthcare need.
  • Conceive of and rank concepts that can best meet the need specifications.
  • Identify and address project knowledge gaps—including project technical risks and required skills—that are barriers to building and assessing a feasibility prototype.
  • Outline and describe next steps in the translation and commercialization process, including preclinical testing, intellectual property, and regulatory pathways.
  • Clearly communicate/present a project overview, including the need, approach, technical feasibility, and business plan.
  • Function effectively as a member of a technical project team.