Best Biomedical Engineering Schools

Updated on January 4, 2024

Biomedical engineering is a rapidly growing field that applies engineering principles to healthcare and medicine. It covers areas like bioinstrumentation, biomaterials, biomechanics, medical imaging, and artificial organs. For students interested in this interdisciplinary field, choosing the right biomedical engineering program is crucial. Here are 10 of the top biomedical engineering schools in the U.S.

Johns Hopkins University

Location: Baltimore, MD

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 11%

Avg SAT Score: 1520

Tuition: $55,350 per year

Website: https://bme.jhu.edu/

Johns Hopkins BME department offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in areas like cell and tissue engineering, bioinformatics, and medical robotics. It has excellent research facilities and hospitals on campus for hands-on learning. The school is well-known for its focus on translational research and collaborations with the medical school.

Stanford University

Location: Stanford, CA

Rating: 10/10

Acceptance Rate: 4%

Avg SAT Score: 1540

Tuition: $57,699 per year

Website: https://bme.stanford.edu/

Stanford’s BME program provides a solid engineering foundation combined with the application of engineering to medicine and biology. Research areas include biomechanics, biomedical computation, and molecular, cellular and tissue engineering. The program emphasizes entrepreneurship with courses on biodesign and opportunities to work with clinicians and industry partners.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Location: Cambridge, MA

Rating: 10/10

Acceptance Rate: 7%

Avg SAT Score: 1540

Tuition: $55,892 per year

Website: https://be.mit.edu/

MIT offers top BME research opportunities in medical imaging, systems biology, tissue engineering, and biosensing. Hands-on lab courses allow students to acquire strong practical skills. The program has excellent industry connections in the Boston/Cambridge area for internships and jobs. MIT also provides chances to collaborate with Harvard Medical School.

University of California, Berkeley

Location: Berkeley, CA

Rating: 9.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 16%

Avg SAT Score: 1425

Tuition: $44,682 per year (in-state), $64,356 per year (out-of-state)

Website: https://bme.berkeley.edu/

Berkeley’s BME program allows students to focus on areas like bioimaging, computational biology, microfluidics, etc. Research opportunities are available through various engineering and medical school labs. The school has a flagship bioengineering department with strong industry ties for cooperative education and job prospects after graduation.

Duke University

Location: Durham, NC

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 9%

Avg SAT Score: 1510

Tuition: $60,964 per year

Website: https://bme.duke.edu/

Duke BME focuses on translation of lab research into solutions for clinical problems. Research strengths include cardiopulmonary engineering, cell and tissue engineering, medical physics, and orthopaedics. The program provides ample opportunities to interact with medical school faculty and participate in cutting edge research in BME.

University of Pennsylvania

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Rating: 9.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 8%

Avg SAT Score: 1520

Tuition: $63,066 per year

Website: https://be.seas.upenn.edu/

UPenn’s bioengineering program excels in areas like biomechanics, biophysics, biomanufacturing, and bioinformatics. Undergraduates can conduct research at facilities like the Translational Tissue Engineering Center. The school also offers excellent pre-med support if students want to later pursue an MD.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Location: Atlanta, GA

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 21%

Avg SAT Score: 1500

Tuition: $33,794 per year (in-state), $49,954 per year (out-of-state)

Website: http://bme.gatech.edu/bme/

Georgia Tech has the largest BME department in the country with diverse course offerings and research areas. It excels in biomechanics, bioinstrumentation, bioinformatics, and medical robotics. Undergraduates can collaborate with researchers at places like the Emory School of Medicine located close to campus.

Columbia University

Location: New York, NY

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 6%

Avg SAT Score: 1560

Tuition: $64,961 per year

Website: https://bme.columbia.edu/

The BME department at Columbia University offers a direct MD option for exceptional students interested in med school. Research strengths include neurological and cardiovascular engineering. Students benefit from Columbia’s close ties with the New York medical community for clinical exposure, research, and future jobs.

University of Texas at Austin

Location: Austin, TX

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 32%

Avg SAT Score: 1325

Tuition: $37,580 per year (in-state), $65,860 per year (out-of-state)

Website: https://www.bme.utexas.edu/

UT Austin BME focuses on areas like regenerative medicine, biomedical optics, and drug delivery. Undergraduate students get hands-on research experience and learn about commercializing technology. Austin also has a vibrant medical devices industry that provides abundant internships and jobs.

University of Michigan

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 23%

Avg SAT Score: 1465

Tuition: $49,350 per year (in-state), $67,659 per year (out-of-state)

Website: https://bme.umich.edu/

Michigan’s BME program excels in microfluidics, cell and tissue engineering, medical devices, etc. Students have access to world-class research hospitals and labs on campus. They can also minor in areas like computer science or data science to complement their engineering degree.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What classes will I take in a biomedical engineering program?

You will typically take physics, calculus, biology, chemistry, engineering design, biomechanics, biomaterials, bioinstrumentation and a variety of additional engineering courses applied to medicine based on your specialization. Programs blend engineering, medicine and the life sciences.

Do I need to go to medical school after a BME bachelor’s?

No, around half of biomedical engineering grads go directly into industry jobs like medical device development. However, those interested in clinical practice may pursue additional degrees like an MD, nursing degree or physician assistant program.

What can I do with a bachelor’s in biomedical engineering?

A B.S. in BME can lead to careers like a biomedical equipment engineer, quality assurance specialist, research assistant, consultant, and other roles. The degree provides diverse job opportunities in healthcare, manufacturing, government, etc.

Should I get a BME master’s or PhD?

Higher degrees are required for students interested in research or academia versus industry. A PhD trains you for independent research whereas a master’s provides advanced technical skills suited for jobs in R&D, engineering management, etc.

What is a good BME bachelor’s to PhD timeline?

The usual timeline is 4 years for a bachelor’s degree, followed by 4-6 years for a PhD program depending on the school and research area. Some institutions also offer direct BS to PhD tracks lasting around 6-8 years in total.

Which is better – biomechanical or bioelectrical engineering?

Both are strong fields with good prospects. Biomechanical focuses on mechanics of the body whereas bioelectrical deals with electrical signals and technology. Pick an area aligning with your interests in physics, circuits, anatomy, medicine, etc.

Is biomedical engineering worth it?

Yes, BME is among the fastest growing engineering fields with high pay, research impact and job satisfaction. The degree seamlessly marries technology with human health and is great for those wanting to help people through engineering.

Can I practice medicine with a BME degree?

You cannot prescribe treatment or directly see patients with just a BME bachelor’s or master’s. To practice clinical medicine, additional degrees are required like an MD or nursing degree with technical engineering knowledge integrated.

How competitive are BME graduate programs?

A graduate degree is necessary for high level biomedical engineering jobs in healthcare and technology companies. Admissions are fairly competitive, so focus on getting strong grades, test scores, research experience, etc.

What engineering major is best for pre-med?

Along with BME, other popular tracks are bioengineering, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering. Choose an area blending your interests in engineering and medicine. Getting hands-on research experience is critical.

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