Biomedical Engineering Schools, Colleges and Universities in the U.S.

Biomedical engineering (BME) programs integrate engineering and medical principles to improve healthcare treatment and diagnosis. Much of the work in BME involves research and development. Undergraduate and graduate programs in BME are highly interdisciplinary and customizable to a student's interests.

How to Select a BME School

Students can find biomedical engineering programs at 4-year colleges and universities.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Career goals and accreditation
  • Internship opportunities
  • Joint degree program options

Career Goals and Accreditation

When considering a BME program, learners may want to consider their career goals. Many biomedical engineers complete graduate study in either a master's or a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) program; however, bachelor's degree programs are available. Graduate programs can lead to careers in product development or research in academia or government laboratories; however, bachelor's degree programs prepare students for entry-level careers in private or public industry. When looking for a program, students should consider programs accredited by the ABET, which is the leading accreditation organization for engineering, technology and applied science programs.

Internship Opportunities

In selecting a program, students may want to consider internship offerings in a specific area of interest, such as manufacturing, regulatory affairs, product development, operations or marketing. Internships allow students to make professional contacts, so it is important that students complete internships in the area they want to work in after graduation. Additionally, some programs train students through real-world project work and clinical rotations; such hands-on experience may better prepare students for employment.

Joint Degree Program Options

Students may want to consider the structure of the program. Programs are available that combine engineering studies with business studies in a joint M.S./M.B.A. program. These programs may be appealing to students who want to learn how to market new engineering ideas. Completing medical training alongside research training in an M.D./Ph.D. program may lead to increased research and employment options after graduation.

BME Program Overviews

Bachelor of Science in BME

Students learn to apply math, science and engineering principles to analyze and interpret modern problems in engineering tools. In addition to general education, students examine:

  • Biomaterials
  • Bioinstrumentation
  • Bioimaging
  • Systems analysis
  • Engineering biology

In addition to courses, students typically complete a capstone design project.

Master of Science (M.S.) in BME

Students focus on interdisciplinary training in biology, medicine and engineering, and some programs include options for business classes. Programs typically include thesis and non-thesis tracks. A bachelor's degree with adequate preparation in quantitative skills, the sciences and engineering is required for entry. Master's degree students take courses such as:

  • Biomaterials
  • Artificial organs
  • Tissue engineering

Ph.D. in BME

The first two years of the 72-credit Ph.D. program included advanced coursework in biology, medicine, physics and engineering. A qualifying exam is required before advancing to candidate-status and conducting research for a dissertation. Students can enter a Ph.D. program with either a bachelor's or master's degree; course requirements are adjusted depending on a student's preparation. Some of the courses doctoral students might take include:

  • Biomechanics
  • Electrophysiology
  • Cell mechanics

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