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Overview

"Engineering for Life" is a phrase commonly associated with biomedical engineering programs. This simple phrase aptly describes a field tackling some of the most important issues of our time. 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.

SAMPLE CURRICULUM

  • Biological Transport

  • Biomaterials

  • Biomedical Fluid Mechanics

  • Bioprocess Design

  • Biotechnology and Environmental Processes

  • Cell Biology

  • Genetics

  • Heat Transfer in Biological Systems

  • Medical Devices

  • Physiology

  • Principles of Neuroanatomy

  • Tissue Engineering


HIGH SCHOOl PREPARATION

Math and science courses of every stripe are key preparation if you’re considering this field. Biology, chemistry, physics, statistics, calculus . . . need we go on? Don’t forget about English courses, either; good engineers must also be good communicators. Courses in philosophy (especially ethics), history, and religion will also give you a strong foundation.