Biomedical Engineering Degrees

What is a Biomedical Engineer?

A relatively new discipline, biomedical engineering involves research and development that combine medical and biological sciences for the advancement of all healthcare disciplines. It is a growing and evolving career field and according to CNNMoney.com, is the #1 Best Job for 2012 in America.

Some biomedically-engineered phenomena include regenerative tissue growth, pharmaceuticals, high-tech prostheses, diagnostic imaging equipment, and micro-implants. Biomedical engineering includes an increasing subset of specialties. Some of those specialties include:

Tissue Engineering

Organ transplants made from patients' own tissue, offer a quality of life not possible with donor organs. This field has produced solid jawbones and tracheas from human stem cells. Artificial bladders have been developed and successfully transplanted into humans.

Genetic Engineering

Manipulates an organism's genes on a molecular level. Some applications include improved crops, synthetic insulin, and the production of mice more suitable for cancer research.

Neural Engineering

Centers on the repair of neural systems—those pathways that tell our muscles when to move. All paralysis victims have an interest in this science on some level.

Pharmaceutical Engineering

Falls into both biomedical and chemical engineering categories. While some pharmaceuticals have upfront need of biological agents, even the development of chemical drugs requires BME knowledge.

Medical Devices

Cover all health care products not developed primarily through chemical means. They aid in disease diagnoses, cures, treatment, and prevention. Examples include prostheses, pacemakers, life-sustaining machines, artificial organs, and non-organic implants.

Medical Imaging

Equipment essential to diagnoses typically accounts for hospitals' most complex tools. Radiological techniques through ultrasound, magnetism, and UV, are among medical/biomedical imaging equipment achievements.

Bionics

Bionic limbs give functionality to amputees, and their development has also led to improved electronic transmission that affects much of the world.

Clinical Engineering

Practicing in clinical settings, these engineers train and supervise biomedical equipment technicians, work with governmental regulators, and consult with hospital staff. They are closely connected with medical device producers and end users.Regulatory Issues require routine consultation with specialized attorneys. Equipment safety and efficiency are the foremost objectives, and the Food and Drug Administration has jurisdiction over many biomedically-engineered products.

Biomedical Engineering Schools

What Types of Biomedical Engineering Degrees Exist?

As with most technical careers, biomedical engineering degrees begin with a B.S. Once the B.S. and any school-specific post-graduate prerequisites are completed, you can apply to a post-graduate program and work toward a master's and eventually a doctorate degree.

What are the Prerequisites for a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering? What Kinds of Classes Do I Take?

Following is a list of typical coursework for a basic 4-year degree provided by Georgia Tech University:

First Year

  • Calculus
  • Chemical Principles
  • English Composition
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Humanities
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physics

Second Year

  • Calculus
  • Systems Physiology
  • Statics
  • Computing for Engineers
  • History/Government
  • Differential Equations
  • Conservation Principles
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomechanics
  • Social Science Elective

Third Year

  • Statistics & Applications
  • Physiology of Cellular and Molecular Systems
  • Quantitative Engineering Physiology Lab
  • Biotransport
  • Physics
  • Wellness
  • Principles & Applications of Engineering Materials
  • Biomedical Systems & Modeling
  • Quantitative Engineering Physiology Lab
  • Social Science
  • Breadth Electives

Fourth Year

  • Capstone Design
  • Humanities
  • Depth Electives
  • Breadth Electives
  • Social Science

How Long Does it Take to Get a Biomedical Engineering Degree?

Standard B.S. degree courses take about 4 years, but there are degrees with emphasis on many specialties, a number of which are covered in the first section.

Can I Get a Masters of Biomedical Engineering?

Master's degrees in biomedical engineering are encouraged, and generally require five more quarters of study, but options are becoming available. Colorado State University (CSU) and Duke University, for example, offer cutting-edge approaches to dual-degree coursework.

CSU's dual-degree biomedical engineering bachelor's program coursework focuses on improving health, fighting disease, and aiding those with disabilities. The master's strengthens experience in the sciences, and animal and human medicine. Earning two degrees in 5 years is an excellent beginning to a successful career as a biomedical engineer.

Duke's BME combines hands-on experience with interdisciplinary research in the detection and treatment of human disease. Many undergraduates are involved in independent-study research.
After earning their 4-year B.S., most students earn a master's in less than 2 years and a Ph.D. in less than six.

Georgia Tech's Master of Biomedical Innovation and Development (BioID) is another example of collaborative instruction between biomedical technology and hands-on experience.
This degree addresses a gap in current education—the “bench-to-bedside” progression that takes products from research to patients.

Can I Get a Biomedical Engineering Degree through Online Study?

A full biomedical engineering education is not feasible without laboratory and fieldwork. However, there are some online options. Colorado State offers several online courses toward the biomedical engineering degree.

What are Some of the Jobs You Can Get with a Biomedical Engineering Degree?

Biomedical engineers design prosthetic limbs, artificial organs, and regenerate tissue. They create drugs and pharmaceuticals, collect and analyze biological data, and design life-saving equipment. They work with universities, hospitals, labs, government, industry, and regulatory agencies.

They work with doctors and patients seeking solutions to physical as well as physiological problems. It is important to incorporate into their own specialties any changes in related fields, so engineers scramble to stay abreast as technology rapidly evolves.

Universities teaching advanced levels of biomedical engineering commonly offer post-doctorate and research career opportunities. For example here is a list of research opportunities available through Florida A&M University:

  • Tissue Engineering for Bone and Cartilage Replacement
  • Advanced Polymeric Materials Characterization and Rheology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Cells, Tissues, and Organisms
  • Plasma Reaction Engineering for Pollution Control and Disinfection
  • Biomass Conversion to Energy by Enzymatic/Catalytic/Thermal/Plasma Methods
  • Advanced Computational Methods in Materials, Catalysis, and Transport
  • Solid State Materials Synthesis and Characterization

How Much Does a Biomedical Engineer Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary earned by a biomedical engineer was $81,450.

PayScale.com lists the median pay at $79,500, while the top of the salary range is at $124,000. Median pay is for 5-7 years experience in the field. Top pay comes with the 90th percentile.

Professional Organizations for Biomedical Engineers

There are many professional organizations and associations with networking and resource opportunities for biomedical professionals.
http://dir.yahoo.com/science/engineering/biomedical_engineering/organiza...

Explore Engineering Degree ProgramsSearch Programs

Ads By Google