Medical Engineering Schools and Universities in the U.S.

Medical engineering programs, which are more commonly known as biomedical engineering programs, provide training on how to develop medical devices such as prosthetic arms and artificial organs. Read on to find more information on selecting a biomedical engineering school.

Most biomedical engineering programs result in a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree. Explore some schools that offer these programs, and see examples of selection criteria for programs.

Top Biomedical Engineering Schools

The following 4-year schools offer biomedical engineering programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $48,710
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $12,204 (In-state) $32,396 (Out-of-state)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $46,704
University of California-San Diego La Jolla, CA 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $13,530 (In-state) $38,238 (Out-of-state)
Stanford University Stanford, CA 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $46,320
Duke University Durham, NC 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $49,241
University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $13,431 (In-state) $38,139 (Out-of-state)
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $49,536
Boston University Boston, MA 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $48,436
Northwestern University Evanston, IL 4-year, private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $49,047

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

University Selection Criteria

Students searching for a biomedical engineering program should consider the following:

  • Prospective graduate students should look for schools that have biomedical engineering faculty members with whom they share research interests, as they may act as thesis or dissertation advisors.
  • Undergraduates who hope to enroll in a research-based graduate program when they finish may look for schools that facilitate undergraduate research opportunities.
  • Undergraduates may want to find out about study abroad options for biomedical engineering majors, which can expand students' communication skills and help prepare them for work in a global marketplace.
  • Students who are looking at schools that do not offer a specific degree in biomedical engineering may try to find one that offers biomedical engineering as a specialty within a mechanical or electrical engineering program.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science (BS) programs in biomedical engineering are highly interdisciplinary. They begin by introducing students to the foundational topics in the field, including molecular biology, linear systems, thermodynamics, physics and physiology. From there, students can focus on a particular subfield of biomedical engineering such as tissue engineering, biomaterials, systems engineering, computational biology, biomechanics or image processing. Some programs culminate in a final capstone project.

Master's Degree Programs

At the master's degree level, prospective graduate students can choose between a Master of Science (MS) in Biomedical Engineering and a professional Master of Engineering (MEng) with a focus in biomedical engineering. MS programs are usually research-based, requiring students to take complete a final thesis prior to graduation, although a few non-thesis MS options are also available. Thesis programs take two years to complete. After finishing an MS program, graduates are prepared to get a job in the field or continue their education in a doctoral program.

In contrast, MEng programs are designed specifically for students who want to go into the industry when they finish. Programs usually take 1.5 to 2 years to complete, and they combine advanced biomedical engineering classes with business coursework. An internship in the field may also be required.

Doctoral Degree Programs

Students who are interested in graduate-level biomedical engineering research can enroll in a PhD program. In these programs, graduate students take high-level coursework and work under the supervision of a faculty member to conduct research that ultimately leads to a publishable dissertation. They may also get experience teaching undergraduate courses in the field. The average completion time for these programs is six years; graduates usually go on to jobs as university professors or researchers in industry or government.

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs in biomedical engineering are available at public and private institutions. Students considering these programs may wish to further investigate faculty research interests, as well as study abroad opportunities within programs.

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