Several schools offer online master's degree programs in biomedical engineering. Individuals who already hold an undergraduate engineering degree, are working professionally as engineers and are interested in their discipline's medical applications are good candidates for these distance learning programs. Enrollment often requires students to have high a GPA and GRE scores.
These programs usually require 2 to 3 years of study. Some programs allow students to complete all requirements online, taking courses at their convenience, within set guidelines. Other programs are a mix of online and on-campus work. Students communicate with instructors and classmates through e-mail, chat rooms and online forums, even using these methods to collaborate on group projects.
In an online master's degree program in biomedical engineering, students get a basis for their work through courses in human physiology, the role of bioengineering and materials engineering. They often are able to select elective courses that suit their areas of interest. These electives may include design and data analysis, regression models and their use, and mathematical statistics.
Master's Degree in Biomedical Engineering
An online master's degree program in biomedical engineering combines concepts from biology, engineering and medicine to prepare science-oriented scholars to create better medical devices and treatments. Courses touch on data collection, statistical analysis, mathematical modeling and the practical challenges of studying, designing and manipulating artificial and natural materials. Students also learn to navigate the regulatory environment surrounding biomedical engineering. Applicants to a master's degree program need an accredited bachelor's degree in either one of the hard sciences, math or engineering. They must have previously achieved at least a 3.0 GPA, and satisfactory GRE scores are required prior to graduate school enrollment.
Program Information and Requirements
Hybrid programs with on-campus classroom components are also available, but in many cases, courses in a master's degree program for biomedical engineering may be completed entirely online. All lectures, readings, assignments and other materials are distributed through the school's website and may be accessed at a student's convenience. Classes may be taken in any order, but must be completed by set deadlines. Communication with instructors and fellow students is handled via discussion forums, online chat and e-mail. A master's degree is typically earned in 2-3 years.
Students need a personal computer with basic productivity software to participate in an online program. Although a dial-up connection is adequate, most schools recommend a DSL or cable connection for high-speed access to the Internet.
An online master's degree program generally consists of a group of required core courses and elective courses. Elective courses may supply more in-depth coverage of a particular topic in biomedical engineering, or broader coverage of useful topics related to bioengineering.
This class examines the design of biosensor devices and explores their performance characteristics. Coursework emphasizes applications in biosecurity, food safety and environmental remediation.
Students learn concepts in biomaterial design and synthesis as they consider practical uses for engineered materials in the body. Main themes include materials science and the integration of engineering and biology.
This course examines existing and experimental methods of engineering mammalian tissue, with the intent of restoring damaged organs and improving their function. Featured topics are cell transplantation, in-vivo regeneration and drug delivery.
Lessons explain the FDA approval processes for biomedical devices. Subject areas include 501K regulations, PMA requirements and standards for Class I, Class II and Class III devices.
An online master's degree in biomedical engineering qualifies graduates to supervise research in a pharmaceutical company lab or government research lab. Hospitals, non-profit organizations, foundations and universities also employ biomedical engineers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 23% increase in employment of biomedical engineers over the years 2014-2024, a significantly higher rate of growth than for other occupational categories. This shift will be driven by demand for improved medical care and a rapidly expanding knowledge base about how to manipulate biological systems for better health care outcomes. Also according to the BLS, the median salary of biomedical engineers was $86,220 as of May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Biomedical engineers who want to become research team leaders, lab directors or college-level professors should consider earning a doctoral degree. As of June 2010, doctorate programs for biomedical engineering are not offered online.
Engineer students or professionals who are interested in the applications of their field in medicine may pursue an online master's degree in biomedical engineering. This training prepares aspiring biomedical engineers by providing students with courses in biomaterials, tissue engineering and other related topics.