Biodesign Fundamentals


Biodesign Fundamentals is a one-quarter, project-based course that introduces undergraduate students to the biodesign innovation process and exposes them to key issues and trends affecting the health technology field. This course is taught virtually by faculty instructors and a team of student peer mentors from the Stanford Student Biodesign group.

Throughout the quarter, course faculty and guest speakers from the health technology field share perspectives and examples that illustrate critical steps in the biodesign innovation process. Topics covered in class include disease research, competitive landscaping, stakeholder and market analysis, brainstorming, intellectual property, regulatory affairs, and funding approaches.

In parallel, students form multidisciplinary teams, investigate and validate an unmet clinical needs, identify gaps and opportunities in the need area, ideate and systematically select a lead concept to address the need, and determine its feasibility through prototyping and proof of concept testing. Hands-on coaching is provided to help students learn and apply the biodesign innovation process to their projects.

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.

The next offering of the course is in spring 2024. Apply now!

Course title
Biodesign Fundamentals
Course number(s) Quarter(s)
Schedule Units
3:00-4:20 pm
Eligible students
Undergraduate, although students at any level may participate
Enrollment information
By  application (Applications are due Sunday, March 3th, 2024 at 11:59 PM PST)
Learning goals
  • Gain exposure to the biodesign innovation process as a framework for identifying important unmet health needs, inventing meaningful technologies to address them, and then devising effective strategies to implement those solutions in a target market.
  • Learn to perform multi-faceted, comprehensive research on a need area, including understanding medical literature and technical reviews.
  • Practice communicating complex concepts via written and oral presentations to technical/non-technical and medical/non-medical audiences.
  • Get experience working on  multidisciplinary teams and working collaboratively to ensure the team’s success.
  • Interact with role models and industry experts who can help guide students in career paths related to health technology innovation.

What the Students Are Saying…

“It was a great chance to be exposed to new ideas and the process of developing a device. Highly recommend to those with little or no experience in this field.”

“This is a course that teaches you a LOT about the soft skills and business side of engineering and the medtech that most other classes here at Stanford don't teach. Great class!”