Master's in Biomedical Engineering Programs Guide

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Looking for a degree that combines the best of science and technology? Pursuing a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering (also known as bioengineering) may be just the right fit!

Biomedical engineers are true masters of science and design; they work diligently to solve the problems of the future. Biomedical engineers work to apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products. Things like artificial organs, prostheses, medical information systems, and health management are, for the most part, all thought up by those with backgrounds in biomedical engineering.

From manufacturing, orthopedics and pharmaceuticals, to medical imaging and biosensors, there is no shortage of opportunities for those with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the biomedical engineering field will grow 27 percent in the next decade – one of the fastest rates of any other occupation!

Not to mention the annual median salary for biomedical engineers is $87,000. Not a bad chunk of change for those looking to change the world! Just five years ago, CNN Money ranked Biomedical Engineer as the #1 job in the United States; and the prospects are still looking good. Not only do these engineers make great money, they get to be creative and innovative as they work in universities, hospitals, labs, etc.

Some popular companies that hire biomedical engineers include:

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Forbes ranked biomedical engineering as the #1 major that is most worth a student’s tuition. However, with modern technology and our growing society, it can be difficult to stay on top of the latest advantages. Biomedical engineers always need to be not just one or two, but 10 steps ahead of the game at all times. It’s an extraordinary field of work to pursue, but it’s also extremely complex.

It’s important to be passionate about this field; if the human body doesn’t interest you, biomedical engineering is not your calling. But, if you dream of bringing science fiction to life by growing human organs in a lab, a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering may suit you perfectly.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the highest-paying biomedical engineering jobs are located in California; specifically in the metropolitan areas of San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Rosa. Other high-paying markets include Richmond, V.A., Austin, T.X., Durham, N.C., and Columbus, O.H.

Job opportunities are expected to expand dramatically as an entirely new class of products, instrumentation, and implants come to light. The impact to human health will be extraordinary as biomedical engineers continue to solve the toughest problems of the 21st century.

What Are the Best Colleges for a Masters in Biomedical Engineering?

The field of biomedical engineering is fairly new as technology continues to rapidly change and grow. The future of the industry can only expand and reach new heights from this point. We've ranked the best master's degrees in the fields by looking student satisfaction, return on investment, and institutional excellence, with data from U.S. News and World Report, Payscale, IPEDS, and college websites. Start your journey to helping others by problem solving in medicine and healthcare with one of the 50 Master’s degrees below!


See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Cornell University

    Ithaca , NY




    Located in Ithaca, NY, this Ivy League research university was founded in 1865 and its graduate school now offers nearly 100 fields of study. The engineering school at Cornell University is consistently ranked among the top in the country and graduate students focus on practice-based study. Cornell may be the perfect choice for you; the school offers both Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Master of Science (M.S.) programs in biomedical engineering.

    Program Features

    For those looking to pursue a Ph.D., there is no need to apply to the Master’s program at Cornell first since an M.S. degree is not a requirement. Research within the Graduate Field of Biomedical Engineering is organized into six primary focus areas:

    • Biomechanics and mechanobiology
    • Biomedical imaging & instrumentation
    • Drug delivery & nanomedicine
    • Molecular & cellular engineering
    • Systems & synthetic biology
    • Tissue engineering & biomaterials

    Students can expect to gain extraordinary knowledge by working closely with biological and clinical scientists as well as with engineers.


    All Ph.D. students are fully funded (tuition, stipend, and health insurance) and will spend a minimum of one semester serving as a teaching assistant. Graduates of this program can expect careers in a wide range of settings, including: universities, corporations, nonprofits, and government organizations.

  2. Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

    Atlanta, GA




    Founded in 1885, the Georgia Institute of Technology is a leading research university located in Atlanta, GA. With six colleges, the most popular degrees among students include Engineering, Business/Marketing, Computer and Information Sciences. The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech is very highly respected. In fact, the Department is No. 3 in U.S. News & World Report’s latest ranking of the nation’s top graduate biomedical engineering programs.

    Program Features

    The Georgia Tech Master of Biomedical Innovation and Development (BioID) is an intensive one-year professional master’s program. Prospective students should note the following: There are no evening or distance-learning options for this degree. The degree is to be completed in three sequential semesters over 12 months. Students may also pursue a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering where technical areas range from healthcare informatics to biomedical imaging and optics.


    The Wallace H. Coulter Department is a partnership between Emory University’s School of Medicine and Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering, giving students the best of two extraordinary universities. It’s also the largest BME department in the country! If you’re looking to pursue a career in Biomedical Product Development (like medical devices), this is the program for you.

  3. Brown University

    Providence, RI




    One of the eight Ivy League schools, Brown is located in Providence, RI, and was founded in 1764. With 51 doctoral programs and 28 master’s programs, the university is home to students from all 50 states and more than 115 countries. The biomedical engineering program at Brown attracts many, and is consistently ranked one of the top programs of its kind in the country.

    Program Features

    The Graduate Program in Biomedical Engineering at Brown is a joint venture by the Division of Biology and Medicine and the School of Engineering. Graduate students will take engineering, biology, and medical school courses. They will also gain valuable clinical experience at nearby teaching hospitals associated with Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School. The program features

    Three main research areas:

    • Mechanobiology
    • Regenerative Engineering
    • Neuroengineering

    The department also offers a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering which requires 3 years of full-time study.

    The Master’s program can be completed full-time or part-time. There is an additional 5-year baccalaureate/master’s option that is only open to current Brown students.


    Faculty at Brown are intelligent and passionate; recently Assistant Professor of Engineering, Ian Wong, was selected as a 2017 Emerging Investigator by Biomaterials Science. Graduates of the BME program can expect to pursue rewarding careers in industry, academia or government.

  4. George Washington University

    Washington, DC




    A private research university located in Washington, D.C., GW is made up of 10 schools and colleges. With students from all 50 states and over 130 countries, this university is consistently ranked among the top in the nation. Though it’s just over 3 years old, The GW Department of Biomedical Engineering is already making quite the name for itself.

    Program Features

    If you’re looking to earn a biomedical engineering degree at a school with top-notch facilities in the center of the nation’s capital, look no further than GW. Offering both a MS and a Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering, the school includes several areas of research:

    • Biomedical signal processing and signal analysis
    • Biosensors
    • Cancer detection and therapy
    • Disease and pathogen detection
    • Drug delivery
    • Electrophysiology (cardiac and neural)
    • And many more!

    Students have access to labs and facilities of GW’s new Science and Engineering Hall, which just opened in January 2015.


    Students can complete internships and research experiences at places like the NIH, NASA and the FDA. Graduates of this program will be able to apply engineering principles to problems in medicine and biology, to understand and model multiple attributes of living systems, and to synthesize biomedical systems and devices.

  5. Duke University

    Durham, NC




    A private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is currently ranked No. 8 in the 2017 edition of US News’ Best Colleges. Made up of 10 schools and colleges, Duke is home to over 6,000 graduate and professional students. Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering is one of the most popular; the biomedical engineering department received $27M in new research awards in 2016 alone!

    Program Features

    BME is the second largest graduate program at Duke, yet offers students a close-knit community and plenty of hands-on experience. Students can pursue a Master of Science (MS) or Master of Engineering (MEng) in Biomedical Engineering:

    • The BME MS is geared toward those with interests in research or technology development in academia, industry, or government.
    • The BME MEng is geared toward those looking to go into product design, product development, and innovation in industry.

    Each program lasts 1.5 – 2 years, while the Doctor of Philosophy in BME takes students an average of 6 years to complete.


    Duke also offers a Doctor of Medicine-Master of Engineering Dual Degree (MD-MEng). This five-year program is designed for MD candidates within Duke’s School of Medicine who have strong interests in health care, engineering, and innovation and entrepreneurship.

  6. Rice University

    Houston, TX




    Research-oriented and home to Sammy the Owl, Rice University is currently ranked No. 15 in the 2017 edition of US News’ Best Colleges. This private research university founded in 1912 is based in the nation’s fourth largest city: Houston, Texas. Rice is a leader in many degree areas, but their engineering department is especially excellent; in fact, it’s ranked No. 9 in the nation.

    Program Features

    The Rice University Department of Bioengineering offers the following programs:

    • Master of Bioengineering (M.B.E.) degree
    • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree
    • Joint M.D./Ph.D. through the Dept. of Bioengineering and Baylor College of Medi­cine

    The M.B.E. is a non-thesis degree that has two tracks. The Global Medical Innovation (GMI) track is for those looking to pursue a career in the global medical technology industry, while the Applied Bioengineering track is designed as a flexible degree for those pursuing careers in research, medicine or related fields.


    Faculty research interests include: biomaterials and drug delivery, biomedical imaging and diagnostics, cellular and biomolecular engineering, and more. Needless to say, students will have passionate, knowledgeable leaders to learn from, and work with. Alumni of the program are now working in medical device and biotechnology companies, patent law, and medicine.

  7. Johns Hopkins University

    Baltimore, MD




    Founded in 1876, this private research university in Baltimore, Maryland gets its name from American entrepreneur and philanthropist, Johns Hopkins. The university currently ranks No. 10 overall among national universities in U.S. News & World’s 2017 “Best Colleges” report. Hopkins’ graduate programs include the top-ranked Whiting School of Engineering and School of Medicine; both house the school’s Biomedical Engineering program.

    Program Features

    The Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Institute combines the best of biology, medicine and engineering. With state-of-the-art laboratories, sophisticated equipment, and extraordinary faculty, Johns Hopkins is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a BME degree. The department offers the following degrees:

    • Master’s of Science and Engineering (MSE) – course-based or thesis-based
    • Master of Science Bioengineering Innovation & Design (MSE CBID)
    • BME PhD program
    • Combined MD PhD program

    The MSE program prepares students to pursue careers in research and development, or as a step toward PhD or MD / PhD education.


    The BME dept. at Johns Hopkins was founded in 1962 and is the largest pre-clinical department at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. It’s also the #1 ranked biomedical engineering program in the U.S according to U.S. News & World Report.

  8. Colorado State University-Fort Collins

    Fort Collins, CO




    Located in Fort Collins, CO, this public research university is home to eight colleges and offers over 175 degree options. CSU graduate students can pursue programs in the schools of business, engineering and education. The renowned Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering is innovative and is home to one of the best Biomedical Engineering schools.

    Program Features

    With over 40 state-of-the-art biomedical engineering research labs, students in CSU’s School of Biomedical Engineering can pursue one of the following degrees:

    • Master of Engineering (coursework-only program)
    • Master of Engineering Online
    • Master of Science (research-based degree)
    • Ph.D. in Bioengineering

    The M.S. is often pursued by students who wish to do research in the industry or those who want to complete a Ph.D. If you’re looking for a flexible degree without sacrificing quality, the M.E. Online program offers students equal opportunities to view the same on-campus lectures and interact with leading faculty members.


    Officially established in 2000, SBME focuses on three primary areas of research: regenerative and rehabilitative medicine, imaging and diagnostics, and medical devices and therapeutics. Faculty from four colleges (Engineering, Health and Human Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences) are eligible to become members of the SBME. So students have the best of all departments, making for a diversified, quality education!

  9. Carnegie Mellon University

    Pittsburgh, PA




    Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university that was founded in 1900 by American industrialist Andrew Carnegie. The school constantly ranks high overall, but particularly in areas of math, science and engineering. Carnegie Mellon’s Biomedical Engineering department is especially noteworthy, providing students with a one-of-a-kind education.

    Program Features

    If you’re looking to earn a degree in the field of biomedical engineering, Carnegie Mellon offers a program worth applying to. The M.S. in Biomedical Engineering can be completed through a Research-Option or a Practicum-Option. The research option typically takes 21 months of full-time residence to complete, while the practicum option takes 16 months. For those looking to combine their studies, the school offers a couple of interesting dual programs:

    • Dual M.S. in Biomedical Engineering and Engineering & Technology Innovation Management (E&TIM)
    • Dual M.S. in Biomedical Engineering and Technology Ventures

    Ph.D. and research M.S. students are forbidden by the Department to seek employment while pursuing full-time studies. All students are expected to devote 100% to their degrees.


    BME graduate students are a talented bunch. Recently, two BME MS students won the HP and Intel Life in Space Design Challenge. Also, a BME PhD student won this year’s CMU 3-Minute Thesis Championship, an internationally recognized competition. There are plenty of opportunities for research, growth and innovation at CMU!

  10. Lawrence Technological University

    Southfield, MI




    Located in Southfield, Michigan, Lawrence Technological University is a private university that was founded in 1932. While the campus is small, the learning opportunities are big at LTU. With over 100 degree programs offered, LTU is all about combining theory with practice– solving tomorrow’s problems with today’s abstract ideas. Many choose LTU’s College of Engineering to generate these ideas to build a better tomorrow.

    Program Features

    The Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering at LTU brings together engineering tools and problem solving to advance life science discoveries in:

    • Biology
    • Biochemistry
    • Physiology
    • Psychology

    Students are taught how to create new procedures and technologies that prevent, diagnose, and treat clinical diseases. MS students will also have the option to complete either a design project or a master’s research thesis. No matter what you choose, there is still a 30-credit-hour requirement.


    Several programs at LTU have been rated among the Best Value Small College programs, including a No. 10 ranking for biomedical engineering. It’s no wonder the school is ranked among the top; creativity is embraced and rewarded here. In fact, a BME assistant professor was recently awarded two grants – one to explore touch-sensitive feedback in robots, and another to expand entrepreneurial education in biotech!

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