Online master's degree programs in biomedical engineering are commonly available as 2 different degree programs, a Master of Engineering or a Master of Science. These programs prepare students for similar careers in the field, but differ slightly in their requirements and available specializations. Compare and contrast these degree programs below.
Online Master of Engineering vs. Online Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering
Online Master of Engineering
Online students can pursue a Master of Engineering (ME) with a specialization in biomedical engineering or a Master of Engineering (MEng) in Bioengineering. These online programs may range from about 30 to 32 credits and may be completed in as little as 5 semesters. Students typically do not need to complete a thesis, but may be able to further specialize their studies in areas such as materials, biomechanics, tissue, bioinstrumentation or computational genomics. These programs may include seminars, applied consulting projects and/or allow students to choose from a wide range of coursework topics in areas like bioengineering, materials engineering, instrumentation, design and biological physics. Many students in these programs are already working professionals, but graduates may work as biomedical engineers in a wide range of healthcare-related areas, such as drug delivery, biomaterials, nanotechnology, prosthesis and more.
Online Master of Science
Online Master of Science (MS) degree programs are available in biomedical engineering and applied biomedical engineering. These degree programs usually require around 10 courses or about 30 credits and may offer additional areas of concentration, like wireless health, translational health technology, translational tissue engineering, imaging or instrumentation. Although rare, some applied biomedical engineering programs may require on-campus lab and clinical work on a couple weekends during the program for hands-on learning and some MS programs may allow online students to work in teams of on-campus students to complete projects and presentations. These degree programs also allow students to choose from a range of courses, but students usually take core engineering subjects, courses in their specialization and electives and typically are not required to complete a thesis. Graduates of these degree programs are also qualified to work as biomedical engineers and some graduates may pursue careers in research or education.
Common Entrance Requirements
Students applying to online master's degree programs in biomedical engineering typically need to have a bachelor's degree and at least a 3.0 GPA. Many of these degree programs also require prerequisite coursework in areas such as calculus, molecular biology, chemistry, physics and differential equations. Most of these programs do not require students to take the GRE, but may encourage students to submit their scores if they have them. Common application materials for these online degree programs may include transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement/statement of purpose and a resume or CV. The personal statement or statement of purpose not only demonstrates a student's communication abilities, but also usually describes a student's background, strengths, educational goals, research interests and/or interest in the program.
Students can earn an ME, MEng or MS in Biomedical Engineering online and usually do not need to complete a thesis. These programs may include hands-on learning opportunities and prepare students for careers in biomedical engineering, research and education.