Bioengineering/biomedical engineering is the utilization of engineering principles within the context of medicine and biology. Students who have an interest in medicine tend to choose Biomedical and Bioengineering as opposed to the other concentrations.
Popular careers and next steps for this undergraduate major include: Medical and dental school; graduate school focusing on engineering, law, business, or science; consulting; biotechnology; pharmaceutical/medical device companies; government regulatory companies; medical research.
Here are our top 10 Biomedical and Bioengineering schools:
- Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins has an incredibly strong undergraduate program in biomedical engineering. It stands out for its access to equipment in the Johns Hopkins Medical School. Johns Hopkins is a research-heavy institution where students have access to some of the most esteemed engineering and clinical faculty. 129 credits are required to achieve a Bachelor of Science. Students take 3-35 credits in each of the following areas: basic sciences, mathematics, humanities and social sciences, biomedical core knowledge, design, computer programming, general electives, and a student’s chosen focus area.
Harvard’s undergraduate program in Biomedical Engineering is a top program within the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. With an emphasis on the basics of chemical and biological, students learn about life systems on every level, from subcellular to whole organism. The program emphasizes the importance of engaging students in the engineering design process. This process is a critical aspect of engineering that requires students to synthesize data and information to create a working system that contributes to the field. To earn an A.B. in Biomedical Engineering students must take 2-4 courses in mathematics, 1 course in statistics, 2 in physics, 3 in life sciences/chemistry, and 5 courses in biomedical engineering in addition to completing an independent project their senior year.
The program at Duke has an emphasis on your career and helping guide you to the specific area of the field in which you will thrive professionally. Duke’s undergraduate program in biomedical engineering strongly encourages all students to participate in research and get hands-on experience in the field to create their own conclusions early on. Duke’s elective course sequences within the Biomedical Engineering program are a unique offering--you can become an expert in biomedical imaging and instrumentation, biomechanics, electrobiology, or biomolecular and tissue engineering. We rank this program at #3 in the country for highest median starting salary for biomedical engineers and is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (ABET).
MIT is an academically rigorous, research-focused institution that is at the forefront of this field. A central goal of the “BE” program is to “define, establish, and lead the emerging discipline” by encouraging its students to use their resources to create deliverable methods that have a widespread impact on the field. In order to complete your Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering, you must take 17 units that qualify as General Institute Requirement courses and 180-183 units within your major. Within the department, you are required to take least two subjects in the major designated as communication-intensive.
- Georgia Institute of Technology
While other programs emphasize the connection of Biomedical Engineering to the sciences, the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering has a strong emphasis on research--70% of their undergraduates conduct independent research. Described as the “liberal arts of science and technology,” the program spans a great deal of content and teaches its students to think in an interdisciplinary way about the field of biomedical engineering. The program offers an informal Pre-Health track with advising for those who know that they want to go into healthcare. The program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (ABET).
The Bioengineering program, housed within the Jacobs School of Engineering, has a strong emphasis on technological innovation and the importance of mentorship in the field. Program outcomes reach beyond the ability to apply your knowledge to solve problems and extend to the importance of understanding contemporary issues, and professional and ethical responsibility. All students, regardless of whether they choose the biotechnology-focused program or the standard bioengineering program are required to complete a Technical Elective consisting of 8 units, 4-6 of which must have engineering as a central focus.
The Bioengineering program within Stanford’s Schools of Engineering & Medicine requires an intensive passion for problem solving. You will earn your Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and all “BioE” students are required to take three courses in engineering fundamentals which include an introductory bioengineering course and a computer programming class. Stanford offers students the option to pursue a co-terminal degree, which allows students to work towards their Masters while completing their Bachelor’s degree. Students must complete 180 units for the bachelor’s degree plus 45 unduplicated units for the master’s degree.
- UC Berkeley
The Bioengineering department at the University of California, Berkeley, is a competitive program that emphasizes a strong foundation in engineering and the biological sciences. The program was recently restructured in 2007 to incorporate more opportunities for student exposure to the complexities and diversity of the subjects within bioengineering. UC Berkeley offers a unique course for seniors called Capstone Design Course, where students collaborate with physicians at UCSF, Stanford, and UC Davis modeling as “clients” to create medical device solutions over the course of 15 weeks.
- University of Michigan--Ann Arbor
The biomedical engineering undergraduate program at University of Michigan has a strong partnership with the medical center. The practical uses of the degree are emphasized by promoting interactions between physicians and BME students during their undergraduate studies. Students come out having produced real solutions to actual problems voiced by physicians and become highly involved in the interaction between science, engineering, and medical needs. The program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (ABET).
- University of Pennsylvania
The bioengineering program at University of Pennsylvania is unique because you can pursue either a Bachelor of Science in Engineering for Bioengineering OR a Bachelor of Applied Science for Biomedical Science. The BSE option is a more traditional engineering degree for students who are interested in going into professional engineering, whereas the BAS option is less rigid and gives students more options to pursue dual degrees. Students who pursue the BAS more often go into the fields of medicine, business, and law. This offering, combined with notoriously small classes, make for a nurturing, smaller program and is great for students who want that type of environment.
Bioengineering and biomedical engineering lead to many different careers, and we know it can seem overwhelming to sort through and decide. It’s also hard to decide which programs to apply to. The good news is: you don’t need to decide now what your career is going to be. If you want to run some ideas by us, ask a question, or brainstorm some ideas for your application, just drop us a line via email or hop on the phone.