Getting a master’s degree in biomedical engineering opens the door to many well-paying positions that are rewarding and challenging in interesting ways. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median income for a biomedical engineer is $91,410 annually (around $44 per hour).
Biomedical engineering combines many different disciplines to focus on the human body. Biomedical engineers have knowledge and expertise in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, materials engineering, biology, and computer science. This career is attractive for those who have an interest in combining engineering with biology.
Biomedical engineers are the designers of many innovative biomedical devices and equipment, such as a replacement for a body part that is injured or damaged. These engineers also create equipment to diagnose medical conditions and to assist healthcare professionals. In addition to inventing innovative biomedical solutions, biomedical engineers work on biomedical equipment installation, calibration, monitoring, maintenance, repair, and providing technical support.
When evaluating the best master’s programs, there are two different strategies to consider. One strategy involves going to an Ivy League or top “brand name” school and the other strategy focuses on acquiring the most useful skills.
If your career goal is to become the CTO or COO of a major biomedical corporation, you must prioritize your evaluation of schools based on the “brand” value of a degree. A master’s degree from Stanford or MIT will have much more clout on your resume than a degree from a smaller lesser-known, regional college. However, the tuition for an Ivy League or other top school is going to be up to five times higher than a regional college.
If your goal is to join or create a startup company that innovates in biomedical design, your talent as a biomedical engineer will be far more important than any degree you have. In such a case, look for the ongoing research to help you decide the college or university you want to attend.
Our ranking takes a look at the best values for schools when comparing their tuition and the educational programs. Because the tuition for Ivy League or other top schools is so much higher, they rank lower on this list. If going to such a school is your strategy then skip to the end and read the list backward.
A Master of Science (M.S.) in Biomedical Engineering has the prerequisite of having an undergraduate degree in an acceptable category and an acceptable GRE test score to be accepted.
An M.S. requires 18 to 24 months to complete 12 to 18 courses to earn a minimum of 30 credits. You will study core-curriculum graduate-level courses plus some optional elective courses in specializations. Students take four to six classes at a time to earn 12 to 18 credits per semester.
Some programs can be completed in three semesters and during one calendar year by taking courses in the fall, spring, and summer. For many programs, students must complete a thesis or a final project to graduate. Some have programs that only require completing coursework.
|1||University of New Mexico||Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|2||University of Oklahoma||Norman, Oklahoma|
|3||Texas A&M||College Station, Texas|
|4||University of South Dakota||Vermillion, South Dakota|
|5||Indiana University – Purdue University||Indianapolis, Indiana|
Here is our list of the top biomedical engineering master’s programs at schools in the United States.
University of New Mexico
University of New Mexico offers a master’s in biomedical engineering as a thesis-based program or non-thesis program. Both programs require a total of 30 semester credits to get a degree. The thesis-based program is designed for students who desire to pursue a career in biomedical research. It includes substantial technical work in the laboratory. The other program is for students who do not plan to do any laboratory research for their careers. This program is both well-ranked and low-cost for residents of New Mexico.
University of Oklahoma
University of Oklahoma has the Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering that offers a graduate program. The program requires 30 hours of coursework to obtain an M.S. degree. Faculty members at this university conduct research in biomaterials, medical imaging, Nano-medicine, neural engineering, and regenerative medicine.
Texas A&M is a terrific choice because it offers a high-quality program and it is well-recognized by employers and recruiters. This school offers three programs. Students admitted in this program must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or the equivalent or take leveling courses as required. One program is to get an M.S. degree and the other is to get a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degree. The M.S program requires 32 hours and requires a thesis. The M.Eng. program requires 30 hours to complete and requires a final project. There is also a ME/MBA Cooperative program that allows a student to obtain both an M.Eng. degree and an MBA, by studying for two and one-half years.
University of South Dakota
University of South Dakota offers a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering. The regular program requires 33 credit hours to earn an M.S. degree. There is also an accelerated version of the program that allows up to 12 qualifying credits earned as an undergraduate to qualify for graduate-level credit. An optional specialization is offered in medical product development and manufacturing.
Indiana University – Purdue University
Indiana University – Purdue University offers a Master of Science degree program in biomedical engineering. The program requires completing 30 credit hours to obtain a degree. There is a thesis option and a non-thesis option. Admission requirements are a GRE test score above the 60th percentile and an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
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University of South Florida
University of South Florida offers a master’s in biomedical engineering (M.S.B.E.) that requires 30 course credits to complete. Ongoing university research in this discipline includes biomaterials, biomechanics, cellular-level drug delivery, medical imaging, neuro-engineering, human tissue engineering, and rehabilitation engineering.
North Dakota State University
North Dakota State University offers an accelerated program to obtain an M.S. degree in biomedical engineering that can be completed in three semesters (18 months). It has a thesis-based program and a non-thesis-based program. Both require 30 credits to complete the program for a degree.
Cleveland State University
Cleveland State University offers a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering. Students in this program gain experience working with the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the renowned Cleveland Clinic. Additionally, this university offers a unique accelerated program in biomedical engineering. Students who complete this five-year program receive both a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master of science in biomedical engineering.
University of North Texas
University of North Texas has two options to obtain a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering for those with a qualifying undergraduate degree. The thesis option has a minimum of 30 semester hours and the non-thesis option has a minimum of 33 semester hours to complete the program. The university also offers a combination of an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering with an MBA in Business Management. The MS program in Biomedical Engineering enables students to take 3 elective courses (graduate minor) from another Engineering discipline/Computer Science/Biology/Performance Arts Health/Health Services Management/Audiology.
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has a thesis and non-thesis option for its Master of Biomedical Engineering degree. Both of them take 30 hours of course credits to complete. Graduate students in the master’s program get the opportunity to do research. Nearly 80% of the students have a paid internship while studying at this school. They earn an average wage of $17.90 per hour. There is a very high (96%) job placement rate for graduates. The average earning for graduates who take an entry-level position right out of school is $65,000 per year.
Colorado State offers both a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (M.S.) and a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) with a specialization in biomedical engineering. It also offers both programs online as well as on the campus. Both programs require completing 30 course credits to graduate. There is a thesis or a non-thesis option.
University of Toledo
University of Toledo offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Bioengineering that has three options, which are: 1) thesis (21 credits of coursework and 9 credit of thesis research); 2) final project (24 hours of coursework and 6 hours of project research), and; 3) coursework only (30 hours). The coursework covers the fundamentals of three principal areas of bioengineering, which are biochemical, bioelectrical, and biomechanical. This degree leads to a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering.
University of Tennessee – Knoxville
University of Tennessee – Knoxville offers a thesis option and a non-thesis option that both require earning 30 course credits to get an MS degree in Biomedical Engineering. They offer top-quality studios for design, manufacturing, and testing biomedical devices. They are home to the SynDaver (synthetic cadaver) Laboratory—the first of its kind in an engineering department. Students in the program will have the opportunity to collaborate with the University of Tennessee Medical Center, Graduate School of Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Core research areas include brain computer interface robotics for health care and other applications; artificial synapses for brain-inspired computing; wearable technology for health care and rehabilitation; upper limb prosthesis and exoskeletons; biomechanics, and neuromuscular control; drug delivery and device design.
University of California
University of California – Berkley offers a Master of Engineering in Bioengineering (M.Eng.). A graduate student can specialize in biomedical engineering.
University of Dayton
University of Dayton offers a Master of Science in Bioengineering that requires a minimum of 30 semester credits for completion. Regional partners of the university are Grandview Medical Center (biomaterials) and the Kettering Medical Center (biomedical imaging). Areas of research include biomolecular engineering, bioenergy, biomaterial development, cellular models, drug delivery, nanomaterial safety, and pharmacokinetics.
Michigan Tech University
Michigan Tech University offers a research-intensive graduate program in biomedical engineering. For an MS degree, there is a thesis and a non-thesis option. Both programs require completing 30 course credits to graduate. Ongoing research includes biosensors, biomechanics, biomimetics, bio adhesives, biomedical optics, cardiovascular engineering, and tissue engineering.
Columbia University offers a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering that requires 30 course credits to get a diploma. It can be completed in three semesters (fall, spring, and summer) of one year.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the #1 ranked engineering school in the country. It offers a master’s degree in biomedical engineering as the fifth year of an undergrad/grad program. This degree is only for MIT undergraduate students who are majoring at MIT in engineering or science. Outside students are not accepted in this special program.
University of Michigan
University of Michigan offers an MS in Biomedical Engineering with a choice of six concentrations, which are:
Medical Product Development
Students complete the program over a period of one and one-half to two years.
Boston University offers an MS in Biomedical Engineering. The program requires completing 36 course credits. The program has a thesis and a non-thesis option. They also offer a Master of Engineering.
Duke University offers an MS degree in biomedical engineering that requires a thesis. Students usually complete this program in one and one-half years or two years. It also offers an M.Eng. degree that requires a final project but no thesis. Students usually complete this program in one and one-half years. Both programs require completing 30 course credits to get the degree.
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University offers a Master of Science (MSE) program with a specialization in biomedical engineering that requires 30 course credits to complete. This is the #1 ranked school for graduate-level biomedical engineering programs.
Our Ranking Methodology
For our rankings, first, we used the report from U.S. News that ranks the top 200 engineering schools in the U.S. by calculating a weighted average of the following factors:
- Quality (weight 0.40): Peer assessments from the deans of other engineering schools and recruiter assessments made by employers.
- Student Selectivity (weight 0.10): Applicants’ mean GRE score and acceptance rate.
- Faculty Resources (weight 0.25): Low student-to-faculty ratios, faculty with a doctoral degree, and faculty who are members of the National Academy of Engineering.
- Research Activity Expenditures (weight 0.25): Total expenditure and average expenditure per faculty member.
We filtered the above results by the lowest cost for the total tuition that a student pays to obtain a graduate degree. A high score for quality, along with lower tuition, is necessary to achieve the best ranking on our list. Our list shows our evaluation of how to get the most value for the tuition money that students pay.