When you think of the so-called “helping professions” biomedical engineering may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But Biomedical Engineers make a significant and direct impact on our lives.
As a Biomedical Engineer, you will learn to take engineering concepts and translate them into products and protocols that directly improve patient care and quality of life.
Biomedical Engineers provide the tools doctors and other medical practitioners need. Fusing healthcare and engineering, Biomedical Engineering is a fundamentally practical degree. It is also, by its nature, collaborative and interdisciplinary. So if you like working in teams to create practical solutions to medical problems, you may have found your dream job.
What kind of Biomedical Engineering degree should you get?
As you peruse the ranking, you’ll notice that it includes both Master of Science and Master of Engineering programs. Which to choose?
M.S. programs tend to have more of a research emphasis and can prepare you equally for further academic work or a career in Biomedical Engineering.
M.Eng. degrees, in contrast, tend to be terminal degrees for professionals—there is less focus on research and do not typically lead to further academic study.
You’ll also need to decide if you want to complete your Biomedical Engineering degree in an online or on-campus setting. Both offer unique opportunities, but not everyone has the ability to uproot their lives and move away for a graduate program. Luckily, online programs are now equal in status and quality to their campus-based counterparts, and you’ll come away with the same degree.
If you’re interested, check out our list of the Best Online Colleges and Universities.
How much money do people make with a Biomedical Engineering degree?
Biomedical Engineering is a rapidly expanding field with a wealth of opportunities for career advancement. The field blends two areas—healthcare and engineering— that are showing strong signs of growth for the foreseeable future.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics currently puts the median salary of Biomedical Engineers at a healthy $85,620 per year. Of course, as with all science and engineering-based careers, both opportunities and salaries expand with education and experience. And many employers are only interested in applicants with advanced degrees, so getting a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering makes a lot of financial sense.
What can you do with a degree in Biomedical Engineering?
With a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering you’ll become a medical problem solver. Working at the intersection of technology and medicine, you’ll collaborate with physicians and scientists to create medical systems and devices. Some of these projects might include:
- Designing new systems for conducting medical tests and recording medical information.
- Designing medical instruments, prosthetic limbs, or artificial organs.
- Studying the principles behind new tissue growth and translating your knowledge for clinical usage.
- Developing new drug delivery mechanisms, like nanoscale drug delivery.
And there are many places that Biomedical Engineers find work—manufacturing, universities, hospitals, research facilities, educational and medical institutions, teaching, and government regulatory agencies.
What are the requirements for a degree in Biomedical Engineering?
Not surprisingly, there are few graduate-level Biomedical Engineering programs that do not require an undergraduate degree in the sciences for admission. There are some programs that will accept job experience in the technology field in lieu of a science or technology degree, but you will need to complete several prerequisite courses before beginning the degree program.
In addition, you’ll need good GRE scores for admission to most programs and a strong undergraduate GPA. And having a degree from an ABET-accredited program never hurts.
What are the best Biomedical Engineering degrees?
Finding the best online program can be like searching for a needle in a haystack, but at College Choice we’ve done the work for you. Below you’ll find the 10 best online Master’s in Biomedical Engineering programs, laid out for you in an easy-to-read ranking. Our methodology takes into account the academic trifecta: institutional reputation, return on investment, and student satisfaction.
We scour the internet for essential criteria like reputation scores, tuition costs, early career earnings, and peer assessments to come up with a composite score that reflects academic excellence and the return on your tuition dollar.
We hope this ranking will help you find a Biomedical Engineering program that’s right for you.
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $22,973
It’s never surprising to see Columbia University at the top of a ranking — the school, which is located in New York, is a private ivy league research university that sits in the upper echelon of national universities. Among Columbia’s top-ranking graduate schools, Columbia Engineering is a revered institution, offering some of the best Biomedical Engineering programs in the country.
Columbia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science offers an online Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering degree that fuses insights from engineers, physicians and scientists. As a student, you’ll learn to apply engineering and applied science to problems in biology and medicine, as well as living systems and their behavior. The program is student-centered and taught by world-class faculty. Courses include:
- Computational Neuroscience
- Quantitative Physiology
- Solid Biomechanics
Columbia’s online M.S. in Biomedical Engineering is a 30-credit program comprised of core courses as well as free electives that allow you to tailor your degree to your own professional goals. On graduation, you’ll be ready to use your expertise to solve some of the world’s most pressing current and future challenges. You’ll need an undergraduate degree in a related field for admission to the program as well as good GRE scores.
University of Southern California
College Choice Score: 97.67
Average Net Price: $32,932
Located in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California distinguishes itself as the oldest private research university in California. Historically, the school has educated a large percentage of the region’s business and professional leaders—and the top-ranked Viterbi School of Engineering offers some of the best online graduate engineering programs in the country (U.S. News and World Report).
USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering offers a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering which provides students with a broad-based foundation that links physiology with engineering science. Intended for students with an undergraduate degree in engineering, math, or science, graduates of the program will be equally prepared to enter interdisciplinary careers in medical technology or pursue further graduate studies. Courses include:
- Advanced Topics in Biomedical Systems
- Physiological Control Systems
- Signal and Systems Analysis
USC’s online M.S. in Biomedical Engineering is a 28-credit program that is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study. As a student, you’ll have the option of completing the program either with or without a thesis, and you can further tailor your degree through the 13 credits of electives. Also, if you’re interested in a career in biomedical imaging, USC offers an online M.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Medical Imaging and Imaging Informatics.
Johns Hopkins University
College Choice Score: 95.73
Average Net Price: $28,334
One of the jewels of Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins University is a top-ranked, private research university and a founding member of the elite American Association of Universities. Johns Hopkins is best known for its prestigious graduate schools, and their School of Engineering is home to the top-ranked Biomedical Engineering program in the country (U.S. News and World Report).
Johns Hopkins’ Whiting School of Engineering offers an online Master of Science in Applied Biomedical Engineering for practicing scientists. This is an applied rather than a theoretically-based program intended to prepare you for a career in biomedical engineering (rather than an academic career). Students receive real-world knowledge from notable professionals in the field and choose from three tracks:
- Translational Tissue Engineering
Johns Hopkins’ online M.S. in Applied Biomedical Engineering is a 30- credit program comprised of five core courses and five electives. Students can choose to study part-time or full-time (with up to five years to complete the coursework). You can choose to complete all courses online or in a hybrid format—but all students must be prepared to take part in two weekends of intensive lab, design, and clinical work at the Johns Hopkins University campus in Baltimore.
Case Western Reserve University
College Choice Score: 95.26
Average Net Price: $33,124
Located in Cleveland, Ohio, Case Western Reserve University is a medium-sized private university that ranks among the top 50 national universities in the country. Known for its world-class research, the school is also home to a top-ranked School of Engineering which offers Bioengineering programs that rank among the best in the country.
Case School of Engineering offers an online Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering that provides breadth in biomedical engineering and biomedical sciences with depth in an engineering specialty. With the goal of preparing students to advance research in biomedical engineering, the program equips students for careers in industry, academia, health-care, and government. Courses include:
- Cellular and Molecular Physiology
- Quantitative Analysis of Physiological Systems
- Applied Engineering Statistics
Case Western Reserve’s online M.S. in Biomedical Engineering is a 27-credit program comprised of four sets of required courses. Students can complete the program in two years by taking two courses per 14-week semester. You’ll learn from faculty who are experts in neural engineering, imaging, prosthetics, biomaterials and tissue engineering. And all online courses deliver the same content as on-site courses with best practices for effective online pedagogy.
University of Washington
College Choice Score: 95.02
Average Net Price: $10,068
Located in Seattle, Washington, the University of Washington is a public research university that ranks among the top public schools in the US. UW’s top-ranked College of Engineering offers a broad array of highly regarded programs— including Biomedical Engineering programs that rank in the top ten nationally— and is renowned for its world-class faculty.
UW’s College of Engineering offers an online Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Bioengineering which will give you an edge in your current job or provide training for a new career in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical industry. UW’s program gives those who work in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry the chance to explore the areas of molecular and cellular biology, drug discovery and design, pharmaceutics and translational pharmaceutics. Students choose from two tracks:
- Drug Discovery
- Translational Pharmaceutics
UW’s online Master’s of Pharmaceutical Bioengineering degree is a 38-credit program comprised of 16 credits of core coursework in Basic Bioscience, three courses in the chosen track, and two seminars. This is a non-thesis program, and students can finish all coursework in two years of full-time study. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant science, but do have two years of work experience in a related industry you can still qualify for admission (though you will have to complete prerequisite courses before beginning).
College Choice Score: 94.95
Average Net Price: $17,797
Situated in the foothills of South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Clemson University is a large public research university that ranks among the top 100 national universities in the country. The school stresses interdisciplinary learning and offers highly-ranked graduate programs. Their Department of Bioengineering is one of the oldest in the world and is widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of biomaterials science and engineering.
Clemson University’s Department of Bioengineering offers an online Master of Engineering in Bioengineering which equips practicing engineers with the expertise to contribute to the technical workforce. This is a practice-focused program with emphasis on the application of engineering knowledge. If you’re looking for a program that will prepare you for an industrial career in the field of medical technology, this could be a good fit. Courses include:
- Industrial Bioengineering
- Medical Device Commercialization
- Biomedical Engineering Product Translation
Clemson’s M.Eng. In Bioengineering is a 30-credit program which can be completed in one year of full-time study. The program leaves students a lot of room to tailor their degree to their own interests. All students take four core classes and complete an internship, but 16 credits of the program are technical elective courses. If you are looking for a research-oriented program and can spend some time (one semester) on campus, Clemson also offers an M.S. in Bioengineering.
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
College Choice Score: 90.23
Average Net Price: $15,614
The oldest campus of Rutgers University, Rutgers-New Brunswick is a public research university that ranks among the top 75 national universities in the country (U.S. News and World Report). The school has a history extending back to the colonial period, but today offers cutting-edge graduate programs which include high-ranking Biomedical Engineering programs.
Rutgers School of Engineering offers an online Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering which provides broad training in quantitative Biomedical Engineering with a focus on professional development. The program explores areas like tissue engineering, biomaterials, and drug delivery. And students have the opportunity for one-on-one independent study with Rutgers’ world class faculty. Students study six areas of BME including:
- Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
- Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Engineering
- Molecular, Cellular, and Noanosystems Engineering
Rutgers’ M.Eng. in Biomedical Engineering is a non-thesis terminal degree program which is not intended to lead to a PhD program. Classes are delivered 100% online, and students can study part-time or full-time throughout the year. Class sizes are kept small to facilitate interaction between faculty and peers—and all students are assigned a coach to help you through each step of the educational process.
Arizona State University
College Choice Score: 83.14
Average Net Price: $12,876
Located on five campuses throughout Phoenix, Arizona, Arizona State University is a public research university and one of the largest, by enrollment, in the country. The nationally-ranked university has invested heavily in their online programs with the result that they often appear at the top of national rankings. And their Biomedical Engineering program ranks in the top 50 nationally (U.S. News and World Report).
Arizona State University offers a Master of Science in Biomedical Diagnostics through a partnership between the International School of Medical Biodiagnostics and ASU’s academic partner Dublin CIty University. This is a professional degree program which covers the technology, science, business, and application of diagnostics. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of the influence of diagnostics on every facet of the healthcare industry. Courses include:
- Introduction to Biomedical Informatics
- Health Economics, Policy, and Payment Models
- Principles of Diagnostic Technology
ASU’s online M.S. in Biomedical Diagnostics is a 30-credit program comprised of 13 credits of core coursework, 12 credits of electives, as well as a research component, and a culminating experience. Classes are taught 100% online in accelerated 7.5-week classes (which helps students progress more quickly through the material). As a graduate of ASU’s program, you’ll be prepared to work with top biomedical companies in management positions that will transform healthcare.
University of Maryland-College Park
College Choice Score: 81.96
Average Net Price: $15,757
Located in College Park, Maryland, the University of Maryland-College Park is a public research university and the flagship of the University System of Maryland. The school consistently sits among the top 100 universities in national rankings and has been listed as one of the “public ivies” for their high-quality graduate schools. UMD’s Bioengineering program ranks at #36 nationally.
UMD’s Clark School of Engineering offers a Master of Engineering in Bioengineering that integrates principles of engineering and biological systems to develop technologies to improve human health. This is a professionally focused program (rather than research-focused). If you’re interested in the intersection of engineering, biology, and medicine, this program may be a good fit for you. Courses include:
- Biomolecular and Cellular Rate Processes
- Cellular and Tissue Biomechanics
- Physiological Evaluation of Bioengineering Designs
UMD’s online M. Eng. in Bioengineering is a 30-credit program comprised of ten courses, six of which are core courses, and four electives. Students can study either part-time or full-time and all courses are available online.There is no thesis requirement. This is a flexible, course-based program designed to advance technical knowledge and career opportunities for working professionals.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
College Choice Score: 80.36
Average Net Price: $40,666
Located in Worcester, Massachusetts, Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a close-knit private research university and one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. The school ranks highly among national universities and stresses a collaborative, project-based style of education. WPI’s Biomedical Engineering program ranks at #56 nationally (U.S. News and World Report).
WPI’s Biomedical Engineering Department offers an online Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering that will equip you with the tools to make advances in healthcare. This is a broad based professional curriculum that gives students both deeper technical knowledge and skills for leadership and innovation in the industry. Students work alongside faculty to learn cutting-edge approaches in areas like tissue engineering, biomedical instrumentation, and biofluids. And you can customize your own concentration. Possibilities include:
- Biomaterials and Biofabrication
- Entrepreneurship and Innovation
WPI’s M.Eng. in Biomedical Engineering is a highly customizable, 33-credit program which is entirely course-based. There is no thesis component—though there may be the possibility of a small, independent research project. And to make courses manageable for working students, most courses are delivered asynchronously, so you can access them on your own time. WPI integrates the latest technologies in web, videoconferencing, digital recordings, simulations, virtual chat, and discussion boards to provide a rich, immersive learning experience.