United States Biomedical Engineering PhD Programs & BME Degrees
Biomedical engineering PhD degree programs combine advanced engineering principles with the study of biology and medicine. Students explore the life sciences and make use of theories and computation practices from disciplines that include core biological sciences, engineering, computer science and advanced mathematics. Often referred to as a BME PhD, a Biomedical Engineering PhD program offers in-depth training; students conduct original research that culminates in a doctoral dissertation. Biomedical engineering advances knowledge and develops new devices at the crossing points of engineering, biology, and medicine.
Biomedical Engineering PhD Program Overview
Admission to a Biomedical Engineering PhD program may vary. Typically a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in biology, mathematics or computer science is required. Ideal candidates for BME PhD programs are individuals interested in specialized research in topics such as tissue regeneration, biomaterials or medical optics. Students are trained to become leaders in research and development in industrial and university settings.
FUN FACT: Biomedical engineering has existed for centuries, perhaps even thousands of years. In 2000, German archaeologists uncovered a 3,000-year-old mummy from Thebes with a wooden prosthetic tied to its foot to serve as a big toe. Researchers said the wear on the bottom surface suggests that it could be the oldest known limb prosthesis.[i]
The term Biomedical Engineering refers to the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology for healthcare purposes. As an academic field it encompasses bioinformatics, biomechanics, biomaterial, biomedical optics, tissue engineering, genetic engineering, neural engineering, pharmaceutical engineering, medical devices, clinical engineering, and rehabilitation engineering.
Selecting a Biomedical
Engineering PhD Program: Online or On-Campus?
Since one of the potential career outcomes from earning a PhD in Biomedical Engineering is academia, some Biomedical Engineering PhD programs require doctoral students to demonstrate teaching competence as part of their training. In this event, attending courses on-campus may work in your favor, as graduate students often gain hands-on experience as teaching assistants. You can locate Biomedical Engineering graduate schools on GradSchools.com; use the city, state or country tabs to browse listings, such as Biomedical Engineering PhD or PhD in Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering.
Since doctoral degrees in Biomedical Engineering are research-intensive, you might also choose an online BME PhD, especially if you are currently working, or live too far from the school you wish to attend. Some online programs, such as PhD in Biochemical Engineering may require some time spent on campus, so always request information from the graduate school to see what their format entails.
Biomedical Engineering PhD Potential Curriculum
During the initial stage of a Biomedical Engineering PhD program, students participate in fundamental life science curricula. Often, because of the advanced nature of the course material, these classes can sometimes be taken from a medical school's curriculum. Most universities prefer students who have a strong interdisciplinary background or can demonstrate experience in interdisciplinary research.
Biomedical Engineering PhD programs are often interdisciplinary and will prepare students to work with teams of other specialists to create and evaluate systems that solve complex medical problems.
As a result, coursework in a biomedical engineering PhD program can vary greatly, and may depend on a student's chosen area of specialty, recommendations of advisors or advisement committees, research projects and school. Students in the biomedical engineering doctoral program study equal portions of engineering, life sciences, and mathematics.
Common course topics might include:
- Biomedical imaging
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiovascular systems
- Computational modeling of Physiological systems
Potential Career Path For BME PhD Graduates
Biomedical Engineering PhD graduates are prepared for a variety of potential career paths that might include:
- Research and development positions at the highest levels in private industry and in government laboratories
- Teaching positions in Biomedical Engineering fields at universities
- Positions in universities, hospitals or companies where they perform and direct original research
- Medical Equipment manufacturing
- Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing
- Navigational, measuring, electro medical and control instruments manufacturing
Job Outlook and Salary For Biomedical Engineers
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Biomedical Engineers are part of a very fast-growing industry; employment is projected to increase by 23% between 2014 and 2024. The median annual wage for biomedical engineers was $86,950 in May 2014.[ii]
Ready to Pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical engineers apply their knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products. If you are interested in innovations, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems, a Biomedical Engineering PhD program will prepare you for a variety of potentially exciting career opportunities!
Sources: [i] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomedical_engineering | [ii] bls.gov/OOH/architecture-and-engineering/biomedical-engineers.htm | onetonline.org/link/summary/17-2031.00
- Binghamton, NYBinghamton, NY
Binghamton University (S.U.N.Y.)
Prepares graduate engineers to face 21st-century challenges to improve human health through advances in healthcare and medicine...
- Villanova, PAVillanova, PA
Serving primarily the pharmaceutical industry, biochemical engineering is a niche discipline within the biomedical engineering field, which is ranked first on CNN Money’s list of the “Best Jobs in America” (2012). With solid earnings potential, a 10-yea...
- Villanova, PA
- Buffalo, NYBuffalo, NY
University at Buffalo
The BME Department is centrally located in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the North Campus of the University at Buffalo. It is in close proximity to the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in the South Campus.
- Amherst, NH
- Athens, GAAthens, GA
University of Georgia
The MSBE degree provides an opportunity for learning advanced techniques of data analyses and presentation of original research results. Skills in pro...
- Milwaukee, WIMilwaukee, WI
Medical College of Wisconsin
Our jointly offered Biomedical Engineering graduate programs with Marquette University bring together the strong curricular expertise and industry relations of Marquette University with the research infrastructure and clinical partnerships of MCW...
- Milwaukee, WI
- Madison, ILMadison, IL
University of Wisconsin - Madison
- Salt Lake City, UTSalt Lake City, UT
University of Utah
- Blacksburg, VABlacksburg, VA
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
The joint graduate degree program in biomedical engineering offered through Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University combines the resources of VT's College of Engineering, the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and the Virginia-Maryland Regio...
- Blacksburg, VA
- Boston, MABoston, MA
The College of Engineering at Northeastern University offers an interdisciplinary PhD program in Bioengineering.
- Troy, NYTroy, NY
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Areas of advanced study and research include biomolecular science and engineering, biomedical imaging, musculoskeletal engineering, neural engineering, systems biology and biocomputation and vascular engineering. These broad areas include, but are not l...
- Knoxville, TNKnoxville, TN
University of Tennessee
In the Environmental & Soil Sciences masters and doctoral programs, we seek to give students a firm understanding of both soils and their environmental context, enabling them to make informed decisions about conserving and managing our land and water re...
- Stanford, CAStanford, CA
The Biomechanical Engineering (BME) Division has research and teaching programs which focus primarily on neuromuscular, musculo...
- University Park, PAUniversity Park, PA
Pennsylvania State University
Agricultural and Biological Engineering offers students the opportunity to gain expertise in areas of engineering for biological/agricultural systems corresponding to their professional interests. Graduate students select research projects (and supporti...
- University Park, PA
- Hershey, PA
- Washington, DCWashington, DC
The Catholic University of America
Graduate programs in the school of engineering emphasize both theory and application of advanced engineering principles. The goal of the school is to produce professional engineers, scientists and researchers who can contribute significantly to society...
- Tucson, AZTucson, AZ
University of Arizona
Students can choose to emphasize areas such as irrigation and water resource engineering, agricultural engineering., biosystems engineering, or bioenvironmental engineering. Sensors, computer analysis, and high tech developments are emphasized.
- Tucson, AZ
- Merced, CAMerced, CA
University of California - Merced
The engineering sciences are undergoing a vast and fundamental metamorphosis from isolated disciplines to more integrative and multidisciplinary topics.
- Dallas, PADallas, PA
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Basic and Clinical scientists working to facilitate the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease and disability.
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
- Flagstaff, AZFlagstaff, AZ
Northern Arizona University
Our PhD in Bioengineering focuses on the areas of biomaterials and biomechanics. This interdisciplinary program provides a broad-based research perspective that draws upon the expertise of our faculty from unique disciplines.
- La Jolla, CALa Jolla, CA
University of California - San Diego
The Charles Lee Powell Structural Systems Laboratory, the Center for Magnetic Recording Research, the Institute for Nonlinear Science and the San Diego Super Computer are examples of the superiority of facilities for engineering research at UCSD. The Sc...
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Biomechanics Program at the Graduate College of Rush University (RU) is designed to educate bioengineers who can perform “bench to bedside and back again” research to improve orthopedic care. Chicago being quite close to various well known industries th...
- Melbourne, FLMelbourne, FL
Florida Institute of Technology
Biomedical engineering applies engineering and science methodologies to the analysis of biological and physiological problems and the delivery of healthcare. The biomedical engineer serves as an interface between traditional engineering disciplines and...
- Akron, OHAkron, OH
University of Akron
The Department of Biomedical Engineering offers MS and PhD degrees to students following one of two tracks: Biomechanics or Instrumentation, Signals and Imaging. A diverse faculty pursues research in many areas and collaborate with physicians and scient...