If you can't decide whether you want to work in engineering or health care, there's good news—you can do both with a degree in biomedical engineering. This is one of the most versatile and fastest-growing engineering fields. One Arkansas school, the University of Arkansas, has Bachelor's-level and Master's-level programs in this field. The average cost of tuition in Arkansas is $5,900 per semester, allowing you to earn your degree at a very affordable price. The average class size in Arkansas is 19 students; this is the perfect blend between a small class that offers one-on-one interaction and a large class that presents multiple viewpoints.
You have a lot to learn in order to work as a biomedical engineer. Not only must you have a thorough understanding of how the human body works, you must understand how to apply engineering principles to the functions of the body. To reach these goals, you have to earn at least a Bachelor's degree. You can plan on spending four years in school to earn 120 credits in engineering and general education classes.
To meet the rigorous demands of this degree, you have to follow your school's curriculum of carefully-selected engineering courses. Some of the classes you may take include Quantitative Physiology, Biotechnology, Biomaterials, and Transport in Biological Systems.
In order to learn more quickly and effectively, you may want to work with other biomedical engineering students. The University of Arkansas facilitates this with its Biomedical Engineering Society. If you join, you can be the first to read new research, network with possible internship sites, and learn more about the field.
As you plan out each semester of courses, it's important to set aside enough time for lab work. Each semester, you'll learn how to work with engineering materials in different ways, and you'll need to spend 10 hours or more per week practicing.
Finding out your tuition rate at the University of Arkansas is as easy as determining your residency status. Tuition for a full-time Arkansas resident is approximately $3,200 per semester. Full-time non-resident students can expect to pay just over $8,800 per semester.
As soon as you are excepted into an engineering program, you can begin applying for engineering scholarships. There are scholarships offered by your school, by state organizations, and by nationwide engineering companies. On a statewide level, you can apply for scholarships awarded by the American Council of Engineering Companies in Arkansas. The Whitaker International Program awards scholarships to engineering students all over the country. They also award funds to students who study abroad.
After you graduate with your degree in biomedical engineering, the next step is getting your engineering license from the Arkansas State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors. After submitting an application and paying the $75 application fee, you can sit for and pass your Professional Engineer exam. Once you have finished this step, you can officially be licensed as an engineer.
One of the best moves you can make in your career is joining the Arkansas Society of Professional Engineers. Membership gives you access to educational events, legislative updates, and networking opportunities. Staying on top of changes and new technology in this field is the key to staying employable and being an asset to your employer.