If you want to work in one of the most versatile and rapidly-growing engineering fields, you can start by getting a career in biomedical engineering. This degree is unique because it requires an intensive understanding of engineering and human biology. In total, there are eight schools in Massachusetts that offer biomedical engineering programs. All eight schools have Bachelor’s-level programs and seven schools also have Master’s-level programs. Tuition rates differ quite a bit between public and private schools, but the overall average cost of tuition is $16,600 per year. Massachusetts boasts an average class size of 13 students.
To work as a successful biomedical engineer, you need to have a strong understanding of how the body’s processes work and how engineering can help the body work more efficiently. You can tackle these learning goals with a four-year Bachelor’s degree, which is comprised of 120 credits.
Since biomedical engineering is such an in-depth and multifaceted field, you need to take courses in many different areas to be successful. Some of the courses you may be expected to take include Biomaterials, Biosystems Simulation & Control, Biology & Biotechnology, and Quantitative Physiology.
There are a number of ways you may be expected to show what you know. Research is a big part of the field, so you may be expected to get a strong understanding of how to read and interpret research in the field. You may even get the chance to conduct your own research!
Some schools also require a comprehensive project at the end of your degree. At Harvard University, for example, you are expected to produce a long written report or a hands-on project. Northeastern University’s Bachelor in Bioengineering degree also has a two-semester capstone project where students use the skills they developed throughout the program to solve real-world challenges.
Tuition rates vary throughout Massachusetts. In general, public schools have lower tuition rates than private schools. You may want to meet with a financial aid advisor at each school you apply to in order to figure out how much you are responsible for paying. Quinsigamond Community College is one of the most affordable schools in the state. Tuition is $181 per credit for residents and $387 per credit for non-residents. Harvard University is possibly the most expensive school in the state; it costs $38,891 per year.
There are lots of engineering scholarships in Massachusetts, but funds tend to be limited. It’s good to apply as early as possible to be considered. The University of Massachusetts Amherst awards a variety of named scholarships to accepted engineering students every academic year. You can also apply for scholarships through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The final step you must take before working as a biomedical engineer in Massachusetts is getting your license from the Board of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors. You have to pay a $150 application fee and wait for the next Professional Engineer test date to roll around. Once you pass the Professional Engineer exam, you can become licensed as a Professional Engineer in Massachusetts.
There are many benefits to joining local advocacy groups like the Massachusetts Society of Professional Engineers. This group offers regularly-updated job postings, access to networking events, and exclusive access to continuing education opportunities. Taking advantage of all of these membership benefits can help you stay on top of changes in your field.