Major: Biomedical Engineering
“Engineering for Life” is a phrase Columbia University couples with their biomedical engineering program. They’re right on target, of course. Biomedical engineers have saved and improved lives of people around the globe through breakthroughs and innovations that have helped solve problems that have baffled the industry for years. Patients who benefit from an artificial organ or a prosthetic limb, for example, have biomedical engineers to thank.
Through your major in biomedical engineering, you’ll learn how to use physics, chemistry, mathematics, and engineering to produce solutions to important biological and medical problems. Topics span from the fundamental studies of biological structures to applied medical device design and evaluation. Many of your investigations will involve the design and development of implantable or indwelling devices such as orthopedic, cardiac, endovascular, drug delivery, or cell- and tissue-engineered systems. As a biomedical engineering major, you’ll also be responsible for understanding laboratory techniques, concepts of engineering design, and the ethics involved when practicing the development of biomedical devices and systems.
Through research (both your own and that of others) you’ll see practical applications of the laws of biology and how what you study leads to new advancements in fields far outside the realm of engineering.
Many biomedical engineering programs also cover the basics of our healthcare system, meaning you could study health management systems and legal and ethical issues in healthcare. The field of biomedical engineering changes rapidly, and many students choose to pursue advanced degrees to stay on top of the latest devices or techniques, which emerge practically daily. Graduates may find themselves working with pharmaceuticals, medical devices, artificial organs, prosthetics and sensory aids, diagnostics, medical instrumentation, or medical imaging.