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Best Online Master’s Programs in Biomedical Engineering

online biomedical engineering degree

If you are a techie, a math whiz, and/or an inquisitive scientist, you can learn to lend these skills and interests toward making the world a healthier place. 

Biomedical engineering—also referred to as bioengineering—is an emerging, interdisciplinary, exponentially-growing field that blends engineering and life sciences. The study of biomedical engineering examines the intersection between technology and medical science. Master’s Programs Guide’s best online master’s programs in engineering provide students with the training needed to support and promote human health. Through coursework, research, and hands-on experimentation, students enrolled in these programs can build scientific, technical, and technological expertise to lend to the medical field. 

Bioengineering grad students will learn to apply principles of biological science and engineering toward building an understanding of biological systems and behaviors. These systems may include cells, tissues, organs, entire organisms, and entire populations. The programs listed below explore a wide scope of topics and areas within the biomedical engineering field. These topics may include bioinstrumentation, biomaterials, and biomechanics; cellular, clinical, genetic, rehabilitation, and tissue engineering; drug design and delivery and pharmaceuticals; and systems physiology. 

The bioengineering field also exercises skills in data analysis, measurement, simulation, and systems identification. Bioengineering students will learn to apply this understanding to the development of cutting-edge devices and technologies that can support individuals with a variety of health-related challenges. 

The following programs are delivered from a distance, through fully online or hybrid learning tools and technologies. This allows grad students the convenience and flexibility to maintain full-time jobs and other personal responsibilities while earning their master’s degree in biomedical engineering. While virtual learning may seem to present barriers to the hands-on experimentation bioengineering requires, the following online programs are designed to include case studies and simulations that bring a laboratory environment to student’s own homes. 

Some of the programs listed are delivered in a blended format, welcoming students to campus for certain classes, laboratories, and/or workshops that supply hands-on learning and networking opportunities.

In addition to doctors who are well-versed in emerging medical technologies, the contemporary job market calls for engineers who are well-versed in biotechnology and medical science. Biomedical engineers design technologies and equipment to be used in medical settings, such as devices and software. They may work in industry, hospitals and other medical settings, universities, or research institutions. 

Biomedical engineers may work in development and manufacturing for medical devices, medical imaging equipment, or pharmaceuticals. They may work as clinical engineers or use biomaterials to develop technologies such as medical implants. Graduates of the following programs can become innovative engineers and technological pioneers, blazing the trail to a healthier world.

See Also: 10 Best Master’s in Industrial Engineering

Common Application and Admission Questions

Graduate bioengineering applicants are typically expected to hold a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, an engineering discipline, physics, or another relevant technical field. These degrees usually need to be from an accredited college or university, and applicants must often demonstrate a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants are also often expected to have completed satisfactory prerequisite coursework in math and the physical sciences.

The analysis of living systems often requires mathematical and quantitative skills, so applicants can expect to need prior coursework in a variety of mathematical areas. These areas may include applied math, linear algebra, ordinary differential equations, or calculus-based physics. The spirit of scientific inquiry also lends itself to strong bioengineering skills. Prerequisite coursework requirements in the science realm may include biology, organic and inorganic chemistry, or fluid mechanics. Other prerequisite coursework requirements may include areas of engineering and computer programming.

When applying to a master’s program in biomedical engineering, applicants can expect to submit materials including Graduate Record Exam test scores, official transcripts with GPA records, letters of recommendation, and personal statements.

What About Financial Aid and Scholarships?

Individuals with financial need, strong undergraduate academic performance, and/or specialized professional or research experience in a relevant field may be eligible to receive financial aid or scholarships to help with program costs. Financial aid and scholarship opportunities may vary by school and program. However, many schools offer opportunities for grants, fellowships, and teaching assistantships, especially for students hoping to pursue doctoral study beyond the master’s degree.

The National Institutes of Health offers a variety of training grants for biomedical engineering students. These grants vary from year to year, but a past example has been the Training in Biomedical Instrumentation grant. The grant offers funding and training opportunities for students particularly interested in medical imaging sciences. Recipients can expect to explore areas such as hardware and software, hybrid systems, quantitative image analysis, radiotherapy, ultrasounds, and beyond.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offer Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships for Minorities. This year, the organization is awarding 70 fellowships to students from racial minorities who are interested in pursuing doctoral study. Qualified candidates will demonstrate academic excellence and a desire to pursue careers in academia and research at the college or university level.

The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation focuses on applied sciences with the potential to serve humanity. The foundation operates a fellowship program for aspiring scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. Fellowship recipients will receive a $34,000 stipend spread over nine months. They will also receive the equivalent of full tuition to their graduate program, renewable annually for up to five years. The fellowship program also offers an additional stipend of $5,000 a year for recipients with dependent children.

The National Science Foundation operates a graduate research fellowship program. All applicants must be enrolled on a full-time basis at an accredited college or university in the United States. The fellowship applies specifically to STEM-based Master’s or doctoral programs. Students seeking a graduate fellowship may apply to the program in their senior year of undergraduate study or their first year of graduate study.

Prospective grad students also have the option to pursue the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. The fellowship is designed for individuals who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in an approved scientific or engineering discipline. NDSEG fellowships cover full tuition and all necessary fees, a monthly stipend, and up to $1,000 in medical insurance each year for up to three years.

How Much Can I Make With a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering?

According to Payscale, the average annual salary for a biomedical engineer is $65,357. However, Payscale also reports that individuals who hold a Master of Science in biomedical engineering earn an average salary of $75,000. Individuals who hold master’s degrees in biomedical engineering may pursue a standard biomedical engineer position, in which they can expect to earn $68,000 annually on average. Similarly, product development engineers earn $71,000 a year on average, and medical device quality engineers earn an average annual salary of $73,000. Biomedical engineering majors may alternatively pursue careers as medical engineers, process engineers, quality assurance engineers, or research and development engineers, all of which earn an average annual salary within the $73,000-to-$76,000 range. 

The most recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 2018 median salary of $88,550, which is equivalent to $42.57 per hour. The demand for individuals to fill biomedical engineering positions is projected to grow by 4% by 2028, which is about as fast as the average growth rate across all industries. This job outlook is likely attributed to a steady growth in emerging technologies, as well as the continued medical needs of the population, including the aging baby boom generation. Similar fields, such as industrial and mechanical engineering, show similar salaries at approximately $87,000 annually. Mechanical engineering is also projected to grow by 4%, while industrial engineering is growing at a faster-than-average 8% rate.

As with any occupation, biomedical engineers’ salaries vary by the type and scope of their organization. Popular biomedical engineering companies include Abbott Laboratories, Philip Medical Systems, and Stryker. Individuals employed by these companies can earn between $60,000 and $139,000 annually. 

While a bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum requirement for biomedical engineering positions, master’s degrees are required for some positions. By earning one of the following master’s degrees, you can gain an edge over the competition for advanced bioengineering professions.

What Are the Best Biomedical Engineering Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following three aspects:

40% Potential Salary After Graduation: Average mid-career salary of school alumni 

30% Institutional Accreditation: Regional and National Accreditation for the 2019-2020 school year 

30% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

Check out our ranking of the best online master’s programs in biomedical engineering! 

#1. University of Washington

Master of Pharmaceutical Bioengineering

The University of Washington’s Colleges of Engineering and Medicine jointly offer a Master of Pharmaceutical Bioengineering. The online degree program is housed in the university’s Department of Bioengineering. It is designed for working engineers, scientists, researchers, and other professionals in industries relating to biotechnology or pharmaceuticals. 

Admission to the Master of Pharmaceutical Bioengineering program requires applicants to submit their official Graduate Record Exam scores. The GRE requirement may be waived for individuals who hold doctoral degrees. The application checklist also includes unofficial transcripts, a resume, a statement of purpose, and a minimum of two letters of recommendation from professional contacts.

The 38-credit curriculum provides advanced education in cellular and molecular biology, drug design and discovery, and pharmaceutics. The core curriculum consists of 16 credits of basic bioscience courses in molecular and cellular biology, pathophysiology, and pharmaceutics. Students then choose to follow one of two 10-credit advanced track options. The drug discovery and design track consists of courses in Drug Discovery and Design, and Molecular Targets and Drug Classes. The translational pharmaceutics track is composed of courses in Pharmacokinetics and Process Development. Each student can also expect to complete six credits of Department of Bioengineering seminars. 

The online learning environment includes pre-recorded course sessions that may be accessed at each student’s convenience. The program also includes live virtual discussions one to two evenings per week. To culminate their studies, each student completes a six-credit comprehensive capstone project. The clinical development project outlines the drug development process from start to finish, from the initial launch to the action required even after the drug hits the market. UW students typically earn their Master of Pharmaceutical Bioengineering in around two years of part-time study. The degree program is also offered in an ideal format for international students or individuals who travel or move frequently, as it can be completed from anywhere in the world.

UW Master of Pharmaceutical Bioengineering students also have the option to earn a UW professional and continuing education certificate in basic bioscience. The 16-credit certificate requires students to complete the same courses that comprise the master’s program core curriculum. Unlike the graduate program, certificate program applications do not need to include Graduate Record Exam scores or letters of recommendation.

Graduates of the program will be prepared to advance in their current careers, to pursue a new biotechnology or pharmaceutical career, or to pursue advanced doctoral study in a related field. 

#2.  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Master of Engineering in Bioengineering

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign houses a degree program leading to a Master of Engineering in bioengineering. The program is offered jointly by the university’s Gies College of Business and the Grainger College of Engineering. It is designed to build students’ technical skills, “big picture” business mindset, and systems problem-solving skills for individuals seeking careers in the bioengineering industry. It is a rigorous, professionally-oriented, non-thesis degree program designed for working students. The degree program may be completed on the university’s campus in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, IL, or fully online. 

The 32-credit UI M.Eng. in Bioengineering curriculum is customizable and offers a wide range of courses related to business and technical skills in bioengineering. It includes only four required courses: Managing Business Operations and Innovation, Introduction to Financial Decision, a seminar series, and a team project course. The one-credit core seminar series involves case studies, discussions, and lectures on a wide range of contemporary bioengineering topics, such as biomedical imaging, intellectual property, life science research, pharmaceutical discovery, and technology innovation. 

The three-credit, capstone project focuses on creating solutions for real-world problems that involve principles of analysis, design, and functional operation of engineering systems. Depending on their individual circumstances, students may complete a team-based project or a self-directed project that relates to issues in their own workplace. Some students may be required to complete project presentations and demonstrations at the end of their master’s program. The project work may be spread across multiple semesters.

Beyond the core requirements, students can customize their curriculum through approved graduate technical electives. General bioengineering elective options are offered in areas such as biomechanics, cell and tissue engineering, computational and systems biology, imaging and sensing, and therapeutics. Course examples include Brain, Learning and Memory; Cancer Nanotechnology; and Human Factors in Health Care Engineering System. Students also have the option to pursue an approved independent study. If students do not wish to take the general bioengineering route, they may choose an alternate core concentration in bioinstrumentation or computational genomics. 

The bioinstrumentation concentration covers areas such as biodetection, medical imaging, and microscopy. It builds students’ skills in product creation and requirements, FDA approval, project management, risk analysis, and software and hardware validation. The concentrated bioinstrumentation curriculum includes courses in biological measurement and seminars in bioinstrumentation that bring various industry professionals onto campus to speak about their real-world experiences in the field. 

Bioinstrumentation electives are offered in areas including bioinformatics; biomedical imaging; chemical, molecular, and cellular biology; electromagnetic and acoustic waves; and neuroscience. Bioinstrumentation capstone projects typically incorporate elements of competitive analysis, pilot testing, product design, and prototyping.

The computational genomics concentration explores topics such as gene expression, gene finding, genome annotation, network analysis, phylogenetic reconstruction, and sequence alignment. Computational Genomics students can also expect to learn skills in data management, operational management, and software tools. 

The concentrated curriculum includes a speaker series and courses in Algorithms, Statistics, and Modeling and High-Throughout Genomics Data Analysis. Computational Genomics elective offerings include Human Genetics, Math Modeling in Life Sciences, Plant Genomics, and Population Genetics.

Applications to the bioengineering program are accepted on a rolling basis until May 31 before each school year. The program welcomes recent engineering graduates, international students, early-career engineering professionals, and individuals interested in building careers in medical and health care fields.

#3. University of Maryland

Master of Engineering in Bioengineering

The University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering houses a Master of Engineering in bioengineering within its Fischell Department of Bioengineering. The degree program is offered through the Office of Advanced Engineering Education. Students can complete the program online or on the university’s campus in College Park, MD. 

In order to qualify for admission to the master’s program in bioengineering, applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, engineering, physics or another technical field. They should have earned the degree from an accredited college or university and graduated with a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants should also have completed sufficient prerequisite coursework in biology, chemistry, engineering, math, and physics. Individuals who do not hold an undergraduate degree in an engineering field should demonstrate competence in bioengineering through courses in applied math, computer programming, fluid mechanics or biofluidics, and/or linear algebra.

By the end of their first semester of study, students must create a preliminary course plan approved by the department’s senior academic advisor. The UMD M.Eng. in bioengineering curriculum consists of 10 courses for a total of 30 credits. The core curriculum consists of four courses: Applied Mathematics in Bioengineering, Biomedical Device Developments, Physiology for Bioengineers, and Regulatory Affairs in Medical Product Development. 

The core curriculum is supplemented by six pre-approved elective courses. Elective offerings include Additive Manufacturing for Bioengineering Applications; Application of Biomaterials; Applications in Biopharmaceutical Engineering; Applications of Bioinformatics; Biosensor Techniques, Instrumentation, and Applications; and Genome Editing and Synthetic Biology. Alternatively, students may choose electives from the optional technical elective offerings in the areas of biological science, math, and professional development. Technical elective courses include Management of Project Teams, Project Risk Management, and Sustainability Fundamentals for Project Managers.

Students also have the option to complete an independent study or engage in a cooperative learning course called Advanced Experiences in Bioengineering. The degree does not require candidates to complete a research or thesis component.

UMD students alternatively have the option to earn a graduate certificate in engineering. The certificate program consists of four courses for a total of 12 credits, including one of the M.Eng. core courses and three of the program’s elective courses.

According to U.S. News & World Report, UMD ranks No. 22  among United States engineering schools at the graduate level. The university also ranks No. 18 in the nation for online graduate engineering programs, and No. 14 nationally in Best Online Master’s in Engineering Programs for Veterans.

#4.  Purdue University

Master of Science/Master of Science in Engineering in Biomedical Engineering

Purdue University offers a Master of Science or Master of Science in engineering in biomedical engineering through its College of Engineering. Delivered via Purdue Online, the biomedical engineering program is a concentration within the university’s interdisciplinary engineering degree. The interdisciplinary engineering degree is Purdue’s most flexible online master’s degree program. The online biomedical engineering concentration is designed for working professionals who wish to advance their skills, knowledge, and prospects in biomedical and healthcare industries. 

Interdisciplinary engineering applicants must submit official transcripts, a current resume, three letters of recommendation, and a 300- to 500-word statement of purpose. Applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree in a non-engineering STEM field in math, science, or technology must have completed two calculus courses and a course in differential equations or linear algebra. Admission to the program requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants’ undergraduate education background determines whether they qualify to earn a Master of Science or a Master of Science in engineering degree. 

Interdisciplinary engineering courses are delivered online asynchronously, meaning students can access course materials at a time that best suits their schedule. Courses are taught live in Purdue classrooms and recorded for online student access via streaming video. The typical course length is 16 weeks, and summer courses typically span eight weeks. Some courses require online group work. Generally, enrolled students can expect to devote nine to 12 hours of study a week for each course. The online program includes proctored exams on set exam days.

Purdue biomedical engineering students may choose to pursue a thesis or non-thesis track toward their MS or MSE degree. Students can customize their studies by choosing courses that tackle topics in analysis, biomedical engineering, life science, quantitative and analytical processes, and regulatory engineering. 

Once individuals begin their studies, they can expect to team up with a Purdue academic advisor to create a personalized plan of study based on their interests, goals, time constraints, and desired course load. Students may take time off from their studies at any time throughout the program as needed. Most interdisciplinary engineering students are professional engineers who take one course at a time.

Purdue’s interdisciplinary engineering master’s programs require 30 credits of study, including 18 credit hours of Purdue engineering courses. The biomedical engineering curriculum includes course offerings such as Biomedical Signal Processing, Ethical Engineering of Medical Devices, and Regulatory Issues Surrounding Approvals Biomedical Devices. When taking one course at a time, most students complete the degree program in three years or so.

Purdue Online also offers five engineering-related graduate certificate options. Students may pursue a certificate in applied heat transfer, applied statistics, digital signal processing, noise control, or teaching and learning in engineering. Engineering certificates require 10 to 15 credits of study.

In its 2020 rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranks Purdue the sixth-most innovative school in the United States. The site also ranks the university eighth in the nation among engineering schools at the master’s level, and third nationally for online graduate engineering programs.

#5.  Colorado State University

Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering

Colorado State University Online offers a Master of Engineering with a specialization in biomedical engineering. The interdisciplinary, coursework-only degree program is designed to allow flexibility for working professionals. 

Applicants to the M.Eng. in biomedical engineering program should hold a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, life sciences, or natural sciences. They must have prior coursework in calculus, life science, ordinary differential equations, and physics. Students should also have a minimum 3.0 GPA in order to be admitted. Required application materials include a resume, a statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation from professional sources.

The CSU Online biomedical engineering curriculum examines how the fields of animal and human medicine, engineering, and the sciences can help aid individuals with disabilities, improve health, and fight disease. Biomedical engineering students can expect to learn about data analysis, mechanical design, and biomaterials. 

Students also have the option to focus their studies on an area such as biomechanics, materials, or tissue. Faculty members have industry and research expertise in the areas of biomaterial tissue engineering, bone biology and mechanics, and nanotechnology. The program curriculum consists of 30 semester credits of study, including 12 foundation credits, eight depth credits, seven core credits, and three breadth credits. A minimum of 24 semester credits must be earned at the graduate level at CSU. Each student’s course load must also include at least 15 credits of biomedical engineering courses. 

The core curriculum consists of two courses: Bioengineering and Quantitative Systems Physiology. Foundation courses include Bio-Inspired Surfaces, Cell/Tissue Engineering, and Material Issues in Mechanical Design. Depth courses include Cardiovascular Biomechanics, Process Control and Instrumentation, and STEM Communication. Breadth course offerings include Analysis of Time Series, Nonparametric Methods, and Regression Models and Applications.

Online biomedical engineering students can interact with instructors through discussion board postings and email exchange. Students can also expect to interact with peers through collaborative projects and discussions.  The online environment includes asynchronous course materials to suit students’ schedules. Students can expect to spend nine to 12 hours per week on each course. Course responsibilities may include communicating via chat rooms and discussion boards, reading, reviewing lecture notes, studying for exams, and writing papers.

Students will graduate from the CSU Online biomedical engineering program with knowledge and skills applicable to a wide range of fields, including drug delivery, mechanical engineering, military medicine, nanotechnology, wound healing, and beyond. Potential job titles may include biomedical electronics technician, clinical engineer, professor, or researcher. U.S. News & World Report currently counts CSU among the top 75 best engineering graduate schools in the nation. The university’s online graduate engineering programs are counted among the top 50 nationwide.

#6.  University of California, Riverside

Master of Science in Engineering, Specialization in Bioengineering

Research from the University of California, Riverside has lead to discoveries in battery life, cancer detection, efficient farming, and happiness analysis. It has even bred new types of citrus fruits, including the Golden Nugget orange and the Melogold grapefruit. U.S. News & World Report places UCR among the top 50 most innovative schools in the United States. It also ranks the university’s graduate engineering programs No. 75 nationally among campus-based programs and No. 29 nationally among those offered online.

The university offers the opportunity to earn an innovative Master of Science in engineering with a specialization in bioengineering online. The degree program is housed in the university’s Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering, and it is part of the school’s Bioengineering Interdepartmental Graduate Program. It is delivered entirely online with no in-person residency requirements, allowing students to maintain full-time jobs if they choose to. 

The online master’s degree program in bioengineering also offers students flexible admissions and the choice between three start dates. All applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in biological science or an engineering discipline. In some cases, relevant professional experience can substitute for a relevant undergraduate major. 

Applicants who do not hold a bachelor’s degree in an engineering field should have a strong academic background in math and the physical sciences, including two years of math; one year each of inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics; and one course each in biochemistry and molecular biology. All applicants must have completed prerequisite coursework in biochemistry and biology, chemistry, engineering, math, and physics. 

The interdisciplinary bioengineering curriculum requires a minimum of 36 quarter credits of study. It explores biological science and engineering and places a particular emphasis on quantitative research. It is designed to provide an advanced exploration of areas including biological and physiological systems engineering, cellular and molecular engineering, computational and experimental biology, genetics, and the global impact of engineering. 

The curriculum includes 16 quarter credits of core engineering coursework, 16 quarter credits in the bioengineering specialization, and four one-credit capstone courses spread throughout the program. The core curriculum consists of four courses: Engineering in the Global Environment, Introduction to Systems Engineering, Principles of Engineering Management, and Technology Innovation and Strategy for Engineers. The bioengineering specialization also consists of four courses: Biotransport Phenomena, Cellular and Molecular Engineering, Engineering Analysis of Physiological Systems, and Integration of Computational and Experimental Biology. Each student also participates in a bioengineering project design course that includes a written report and literature review.

UC Riverside students can earn their MS in engineering in bioengineering at an accelerated rate in as few as 13 months, or three to four academic quarters of full-time study, but the typical timeframe is two years. With its built-in training in technical and management skills, the program is ideal for individuals seeking leadership roles in various biotechnology fields. Riverside MS in bioengineering candidates also have the option to simultaneously pursue a doctoral degree. 

#7.  Columbia University

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Columbia University is ranked among the top 50 universities in the United States for innovation by U.S. News & World Report. The site also ranks the prestigious university’s graduate-level biomedical engineering program No. 10 nationally. With Columbia’s Master of Science in biomedical engineering, you can earn an Ivy League bioengineering education with maximum convenience and flexibility, surrounded by your at-home comforts. The highly customizable graduate degree program is delivered entirely online through the university’s Department of Biomedical Engineering within its Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. 

Applicants to the MS in biomedical engineering program must have a strong undergraduate record. Admission to the program requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, math, science, or an approved related field from an accredited college or university. One year of prerequisite coursework each in biology, calculus, chemistry, and physics is expected. Applicants must also demonstrate a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 

Required application materials include academic transcripts, Graduate Record Exam scores, a personal and professional statement, a professional resume, and three letters of recommendation. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but they must be submitted at least four to six weeks prior to the beginning of the applicant’s intended semester of entry.

The MS in biomedical engineering curriculum emphasizes the intersection between applied engineering, basic engineering, and the biological and physical sciences. It pays particular attention to the areas of biomechanics, biomedical imaging, and cell and tissue engineering. With the exception of one required course in Computational Modeling of Physiological Systems: Cellular/Molecular, each student can customize their curriculum to suit their interests and goals. 

Each student chooses three core courses from options including Computational Neuroscience: Circuits in the Brain; Physiological Control Systems; Solid Biomechanics; and Sound and Hearing. Students choose one math course in an area such as biophysical modeling, nonlinear dynamical systems, or partial differential equations. Each student must also choose two biomedical engineering electives. Elective offerings range from Artificial Organs and Cardiac Mechanics to Tissue Engineering and Ultrasound in Diagnostic Imaging. To complete their curriculum plan, students choose four elective courses from any area within the Engineering School.

The degree requires a minimum of 30 credits of graduate study with a minimum academic average of 2.5 GPA. Transfer credits are not accepted, and all degree requirements must be met within five years of each student’s entry into the program. Beyond graduation, students with an MS in biomedical engineering will be prepared for biomaterials work in medical implant technology, clinical engineering roles in the healthcare industry, medical imaging technology development, and other positions that use engineering and technology to improve and sustain human life.

#8. University of Southern California

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering

The University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering is counted among the top 10 best graduate engineering schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school’s online graduate programs rank first nationally in computer information technology and fourth nationally in engineering. Students can gain an education that combines these areas through the Viterbi School’s Master of Science in biomedical engineering program.

Applicants to the biomedical engineering program must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a major in an engineering discipline or a related field. Applicants must submit official transcripts, satisfactory Graduate Record Exam scores, a resume, a personal statement, and three letters of recommendation.

The degree program is delivered in a unique blended learning model, which bridges the gap between online students and the on-campus classroom. Online lectures may be viewed via live video streaming or in an asynchronous, on-demand capacity. Online students have access to the same lectures as on-campus students, and the online learning environment promotes collaboration between online and on-campus students and faculty. The program can be completed entirely online, though students are offered the option to visit the university’s campus in Los Angeles, CA. The online program is particularly designed for professional engineers.

The interdisciplinary MS in biomedical engineering degree program combines engineering science and physiology. The degree requires 28 units of graduate study, including 15 core units and 13 elective units. Required courses include Physiological Control Systems, Signal and Systems Analysis, advanced courses in biomedical systems and the nervous system, and a seminar in bioengineering. Biomedical engineering students may take a thesis-based or coursework-only route toward their degree. Students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in order to graduate. 

The MS in biomedical engineering program also offers an option to specialize in medical imaging and imaging informatics. The specialized curriculum covers areas including image security, informatics infrastructure, medical simulation, and radiotherapy information systems. The specialized program is designed to prepare graduates for careers in biomedical imaging, image processing, and medical imaging informatics. Similarly, the bioengineering department offers a Master of Science in medical device & diagnostic engineering program.

In addition to its graduate programs, the university’s Department of Biomedical Engineering is home to wide-ranging research in bioengineering. It houses labs in areas including biomedical microsystems, computational systems biology, and living systems engineering.

The USC MS in biomedical engineering program can be completed in 18 months to two years of full-time study. Part-time students may earn their degree in two and a half to three and a half years. Graduates of the program will be prepared to pursue careers in medical technology or further graduate studies in a similar realm. 

#9.  Harvard University

Master of Liberal Arts, Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

With roots that trace back to the 1600s, Harvard University has developed over the centuries into one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Despite being the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, Harvard keeps up with the times by offering virtual delivery and degrees in emerging technological fields. Old meets new with the university’s online programs, including the Extension School’s Master of Liberal Arts in bioengineering and nanotechnology

The degree program is designed especially for individuals with an undergraduate degree in a science field such as computer, life, or physical science, and at least one year of postbaccalaureate scientific background. Applicants must also have an undergraduate academic background in cellular, molecular, and organismal biology. Individuals without this background will not be considered. 

Instead of submitting an application, prospective students start the admissions process by registering for two courses. Students must first pass a virtual critical reading and writing test, which allows them to register for Proseminar: Introduction to Graduate Studies and Scholarly Writing in Biotechnology. Students must also register for a life science course. Upon successful completion of these two courses, students will be eligible for degree-applicable courses. Students submit their official applications while taking the second course of their program.

The bioengineering and nanotechnology program is designed to prepare students to apply the life sciences and engineering principles to biotechnology and biological challenges. Students can expect to learn about nanotechnology and work with emerging nanoscale applications. The program explores the use of nanomaterial for drug delivery and the use of emerging biomedical technologies, such as microfluidics, for cellular analysis. Coursework incorporates data analysis and experimental case studies in bioengineering.

The program curriculum consists of 12 set courses that add up to 48 credits of study. It includes two life science courses, five engineering science courses, and a course in Ethics and Trends in Biotechnology. While the majority of the program is delivered online, students are required to attend two courses on the university’s campus in Cambridge, MA. Students can meet the on-campus requirements either by taking 15-week on-campus courses in the fall or spring semester and/or three- or seven-week on-campus courses during the summer. 

Online course offerings include Engineering of Nanostructures for Targeted Drug Delivery; Immunology, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology; and Tissue Engineering for Clinical Applications. It also includes a proseminar, a thesis proposal tutorial, and a two-part master’s thesis. Prior to beginning their thesis proposal, students must demonstrate proficiency in statistics by successfully completing a statistics waiver exam or a Harvard statistics course. During the thesis process, students conduct research in a relevant area of their choice and produce a master’s thesis of publishable quality. Students must also maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and complete all degree requirements within five years.

#10. Johns Hopkins University

Master of Science in Applied Biomedical Engineering

John Hopkins University is known for its expertise and innovation in biomedical research and medical care. The university offers a Master of Science in applied biomedical engineering through its Whiting School of Engineering. The degree program is designed for working professionals and practicing scientists. Students may follow a fully online pathway, or a hybrid pathway that blends online delivery with classes on the university’s campus in Baltimore, MD, and lab opportunities at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Admission to the MS in applied biomedical engineering requires applicants to satisfy the general JHU admission requirements. These requirements include an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and submission of all college transcripts. Applied biomedical engineering requirements also include prerequisite coursework in calculus-based physics, chemistry, molecular biology, and ordinary differential equations. Students who have not completed prior coursework in these areas may be required to take the university’s courses in General Applied Mathematics, Molecular Biology, and Signals and Systems.

The curriculum consists of 10 courses that address crucial issues in biology and medicine. It includes five core courses, one focus area course, and four electives. The core curriculum includes two courses in Physiology for Applied Biomedical Engineering and a course in either Mathematical Methods for Applied Biomedical Engineering or Mathematical Methods for Engineers. Each student must also complete a hybrid course, Biomedical Engineering Practice and Innovation, which involves online components and two intensive weekends of clinical, design, and lab work on the university’s campus. 

Students can choose their four electives from options such as Build-a-Genome, Human-Robotics Interaction, Microfabrication Laboratory, and Theoretical Neuroscience. The MS in Applied Biomedical Engineering program emphasizes real-world education and builds a strong knowledge of medical physiology, life sciences, and emerging biomedical engineering research. The curriculum explores topics such as electric circuit theory and homeostasis. Students can also expect to build skills in analysis, clinical communication, computer simulation, and mathematical modeling. 

Students can choose to focus their studies by following a track in imaging, instrumentation, or translational tissue engineering. The imaging track is designed to prepare graduates to analyze data from imaging techniques such as MRI scans, ultrasounds, and x-rays to develop multi-dimensional images. It requires a course in Principles of Medical Imaging, and offers course options including Biochemical Sensors and MR Imaging in Medicine. 

The instrumentation track prepares students to convert biological signals into electrical signals. Students on the instrumentation track must complete courses in Medical Sensors and Devices and Principles of Medical Instrumentation and Devices. Additional course offerings include Biophotonics and Rehabilitation Engineering. 

The translational tissue engineering track prepares students to identify and understand the challenges of repairing and replacing human cells with living cells and tissue. The translational tissue engineering course requirement is Cell and Tissue Engineering, and TTE students can choose from additional courses such as Biomaterials, Immunoengineering, and Orthopedic Biomechanics.

Applied biomedical engineering grad students must meet all degree requirements within five years of starting the program. JHU also offers a post-master’s certificate in Applied Biomedical Engineering.

OTHER NOTABLE PROGRAMS           

#11. Stevens Institute of Technology

Location: Hoboken, NJ

Degree: Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering

Net Price: $39,862

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#12. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Location: Worcester, MA

Degree: Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Net Price: $28,341

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#13. Villanova University

Location: Villanova, PA

Degree: Master of Science in Biochemical Engineering

Net Price: $44,700

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#14. University of South Dakota

Location: Vermillion, SD

Degree: Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Net Price: $13,812

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#15. University of Missouri

Location: Columbia, MO

Degree: Master of Science in Biological Engineering

Net Price: $32,905

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IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE 50 BEST ONLINE MASTER’S PROGRAMS IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING & 25 BEST ONLINE MASTER’S IN ENGINEERING!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor