Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina
Biomedical engineering is a growing field that exists at the intersection of medicine and engineering. That means students who choose to tackle this demanding career will have the opportunity to not just change their own lives, but potentially save many and advance life-saving and quality of life-improving techniques throughout the span of their working and researching lives.
Whether a working professional wants to advance his or her education without uprooting an existing family or career, or someone lives in a remote location without access to a quality university program, online biomedical engineering programs can help. These programs let students pursue a graduate degree or postgraduate certificate in biomedical engineering on their own timeline, with online courses and distance learning projects and assessments.
Some of the top university programs in the country have just recently begun offering these types of distance learning opportunities which means that even more should be in the pipeline down the road. Imagine being able to earn a master’s of engineering degree from Columbia University in the City of New York, while you are actually on top of a mountain in Colorado or on a military base in Germany. It is possible with these programs.
IS AN ONLINE BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING PROGRAM FOR ME?
While the field of biomedical engineering may seem like it is not conducive to online learning, the schools work hard to ensure that online learners get the same education that students on campus do. In fact, some programs even offer a live course option where online students actually “attend” live courses via online streaming video.
In addition to coursework, students have access to professors via email and during office hours and most programs feature student forums where online learners can interact with their classmates, ask questions, get feedback, and work on group projects. These interactive capabilities make it possible for schools to offer online degrees in biomedical engineering without sacrificing any educational quality.
The option to study biomechanical engineering in an online setting is ideal for those who want to pursue this exciting and in-demand field but do not necessarily have the time or resources to commit to an on-campus program. Online education is a popular choice for working parents who need to spend more time at home as well as active or reserve military members who are unable to live in the same place for an extended period of time.
LIST OF ONLINE BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING DEGREE PROGRAMS
FILTER BY STATE : ALL California Illinois New Jersey New York Ohio DEGREE : ALL Undergrad Graduate
|University of Southern California||Los Angeles||CA||www.usc.edu||160|
|Case Western Reserve University||Cleveland||OH||www.case.edu||151|
|Rutgers University-New Brunswick||New Brunswick||NJ||newbrunswick.rutgers.edu||139|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||Champaign||IL||www.illinois.edu||115|
|Columbia University in the City of New York||New York||NY||www.columbia.edu||106|
ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS FOR ONLINE BIOMEDICAL
ENGINEERING PROGRAMS (WHAT TO EXPECT)
Gaining admissions to a reputable online biomedical engineering program does require a fairly extensive application process. While the specific demands of any program will vary, there are a few steps that are common across most schools.
Applicants will need to complete and submit an online application, along with an application fee in most cases. Applications for these types of programs are generally accepted for set semesters, usually Fall and Spring. Deadlines for admission in fall tend to be at the end of Spring (e.g., June 1) while applications for Spring should be completed towards the end of fall (e.g. December 1). Some schools do allow for Summer semester admission. In addition, there are programs that utilize rolling admissions, meaning you can apply at any time, and should you be accepted, you will be eligible to start classes whenever the next semester begins.
Biomedical engineering applicants must have demonstrated proficiency in a number of areas during their undergraduate career with the majority of programs demanding applicants have a minimum 3.0 GPA prior to applying. Students must submit official transcripts from their undergraduate programs. Many also have course requirements for calculus and life sciences courses, as well as current GRE scores. Applicants who earned their undergraduate degree from a school in a country where English is not the official spoken language will likely also have to submit the results of the TOEFL or IELTS exam.
BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING PROGRAM ACCREDITATION
The most prevalent accreditation for engineering programs comes from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), which provides accreditation evaluations for programs focused on applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology at the associate, bachelor, and master’s degree levels. ABET is nationally recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
State or federal licensing requirements are uncommon for biomedical engineers, although a Professional Engineer (PE) license is available to those that earn an undergraduate degree from an ABET-accredited institution. In the US, it is rare for biomedical engineers to be required to sit for a licensing exam. However, because licensing is governed on a state by state basis, those looking to go into the profession should be sure to confirm their status with their state of residence prior to employment.
BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING CURRICULUM & SPECIALIZATIONS
For online graduate studies in biomedical engineering, the exact courses will vary, but commonalities exist across different program curriculums. Common core courses for ME students include:
- Quantitative physiology
- Solid biomechanics
- Applied mathematics
- Theoretical neuroscience
- Materials engineering
In terms of specialization, not all programs offer a specialization beyond biomedical engineering itself, but some do. Common specializations may include:
- Translational tissue engineering
In those programs where specialization is offered, it is an integrated part of the program and does not require additional course hours or semesters to complete.
For those students who choose to pursue a certificate rather than a full master’s of engineering at this time, the course requirements are similar but more limited. For instance, whereas an ME student may be required to take ten courses, as is the case at Johns Hopkins University, a certificate student will take only six courses. The courses will be focused directly on biomechanical engineering fundamentals and advanced concepts, with not as much breadth of study as a full master’s degree program.
HIGHLY REGARDED ONLINE BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING PROGRAMS
A number of highly regarded universities offer online biomedical engineering programs. While this is not a complete list, these are some of the top options for students interested in pursuing an online graduate degree or postgraduate certificate in biomedical engineering.1CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY 2COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY 3PURDUE UNIVERSITY 4COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 5JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
1CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY
The biomedical engineering program at Case Western Reserve University was founded in 1968, making it a true pioneer in the field. Research is a key part of the program’s success and the school’s close affiliation with facilities such as the Cleveland Clinic, the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, and the University Hospitals Case Medical Center offer tremendous employment opportunities to graduates of the program.
It offers an online master of science (MS) in biomedical engineering with a specialization in translational health technology. This specialization offers a blend of knowledge in marketing, bioengineering, entrepreneurship, ethics, experimental design, and bioregulatory affairs. The program is ideal for students who have an undergraduate degree in engineering.
Application requirements include a completed online application, two letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, unofficial GRE scores, unofficial transcripts, and TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants.
Made up of 27 credit-hours, the program includes courses such as translational BME orientation, engineering entrepreneurship, experimental design for biosciences, clinical ethics, clinical information system, models of the healthcare system, biodesign, and bio-regulatory affairs.
Graduates of this program have secured jobs at leading organizations such as GE Healthcare, Steris, Cleveland Clinic, NASA, Invacare, HealthTechnology startups, and Siemens. Also, it is important to note that apart from this specialization, Case Western Reserve University also offers an online master of science in biomedical engineering with a specialization in wireless health.
- Location: Cleveland, Ohio
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
- Expected Time to Completion: 11 months
- Estimated Tuition: $1,939 to $1,997 per credit-hour
2COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
Colorado State University, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, offers an online master of engineering (ME) in biomedical engineering. The CSU program is closely associated with the School of Veterinary Medicine, meaning that students will not only learn biomedical sciences as applicable to humans but also as it applies to animals. Specifically tailored for working professionals, this program helps them learn more about material issues in mechanical design, concepts in data and design analysis, and function and structure of biomaterials.
For admission to this program, students must have a BS in engineering, life sciences, or natural sciences from a regionally accredited institution; a grade point average of 3.0 or higher; and proof of coursework completion (calculus, physics, etc.), among other requirements.
This 30-credit-hour program involves courses such as bioengineering, quantitative systems physiology, biological physics, materials engineering, biomedical signal processing, regression models and applications, generalized regression models, and biofluid mechanics.
Graduates of this program can pursue careers in a wide range of industries, such as biological product manufacturing, pharmaceutical preparation manufacturing, analytical lab instruments manufacturing, surgical and medical instrument manufacturing, and irradiation apparatus manufacturing, among others.
- Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
- Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
- Expected Time to Completion: Two years
- Estimated Tuition: $964 per credit-hour
Purdue University’s online graduate engineering program consistently ranks among the top ten programs by US News and World Report. Purdue offers an interdisciplinary biomedical engineering program that culminates in an MSE/MS degree. The program allows students to focus largely on biomedical engineering and offers them technical knowledge too.
This program is ideal for students who are looking to build a competitive edge in the healthcare and biomedical industry. The faculty for the program includes the same renowned professors who teach on-campus classes.
The major admission requirements for the program include an undergraduate degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program (or one with similar standards), a statement of purpose, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a current resume, among others.
In this 30-credit-hour program, students will delve into topics such as biomedical engineering, life science, regulatory engineering, and analysis. Specifically, courses include an introduction to biomaterials, tissue engineering, quality systems for regulatory compliance, an introduction to clinical medicine, biostatistics, and biomedical signal processing.
- Location: West Lafayette, Indiana
- Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
- Expected Time to Completion: 12 months
- Estimated Tuition: $1,348 per credit-hour
As part of its Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University offers an online master’s degree in biomedical engineering. Distance-based courses at Columbia University are completed through a tried and tested system known as the Columbia Video Network (CVN), with experienced professors. This fully online program teaches students to harness applied science and engineering for solving problems in medicine and biology. It also provides them with an understanding of living systems and their behavior, as well as biomedical devices and systems.
In order to get accepted into the program, applicants must have an undergraduate degree in engineering, mathematics, science, computer science or a related field from an accredited academic institution, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, three letters of recommendation, transcripts, a current resume, a statement outlining their personal and professional goals, and TOEFL/IELTS scores for international applicants.
Consisting of 30 credit-hours, the program includes courses such as quantitative physiology, solid biomechanics, physiological control systems, sound and hearing, ultrasound in diagnostic imaging, tissue engineering, and physiological control systems.
- Location: New York, New York State
- Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- Expected Time to Completion: Five years or less
- Estimated Tuition: $2,104 per credit-hour
5JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
Johns Hopkins University offers both a master’s degree and a post-master’s certificate in applied biomedical engineering. Online, hybrid, and on-site programs are available in three different specializations. These programs provide students with an opportunity to advance their engineering skills and solve complex problems in medicine and biology.
Admission requirements for the master’s degree include a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, a grade point average of at least 3.0, and transcripts, among other requirements. The post-master’s certificate requires students to have a master’s degree in a relevant engineering or science discipline, transcripts from all college studies, and a completed online application. International applicants will be required to submit proof of English language proficiency through TOEFL or IELTS scores.
The master’s certificate involves ten courses, while the post master’s certificate involves five courses. Students take courses such as molecular biology, physiology for applied biomedical engineering, an introduction to biomechanics, biological solid and fluid mechanics, biomimetics in biomedical engineering, and orthopedic biomechanics, among others.
Students will get an opportunity to work on solving medical and physiological challenges, use their mathematical methods and physiological knowledge to design laboratory equipment and experiments, and develop a strong background in medical physiology.