25 Best Value Schools for Biomedical Engineering

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Biomedical engineering is a fascinating and growing field. It applies cutting-edge technologies and modern engineering techniques to healthcare and medicine. At the collegiate level, programs in bioengineering attract ambitious students. These learners combine their love of problem-solving with their desire to help others.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for biomedical engineers will increase by nearly 25% by 2024. This is much faster than the average occupation. In addition, the average salary for specialists in this discipline is more than $85,000 a year.

Those interested in earning a degree in biomedical engineering enjoy a high return on investment. But that does not mean you should be willing to shell out any amount of cash to receive an education. The key is to find a university that offers a good curriculum for a reasonable price.

To help you get started, we have put together a list of the 50 best value biomedical engineering degrees. We determined this ranking by looking at a variety of factors. Taken together, they indicate the quality and cost you can expect from programs.

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Top 10 Rankings for Biomedical Engineering Schools

Rank School Location
1 Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA
2 Rice University Houston, TX
3 University of California-Irvine Irvine, CA
4 Clemson University Clemson, SC
5 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
6 Washington University in St Louis Saint Louis, MO
7 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
8 New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, NJ
9 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
10 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL

Methodology

To begin, we got a list of all the schools that offer bachelor’s degrees in biomedical or bioengineering. Next, we compared this set to a list of all ABET-accredited programs. Schools need accreditation for their bioengineering degrees to qualify. It was not sufficient to have an ABET-accredited general engineering curriculum. From here, we collected data on five equally weighted metrics:

Graduation Rate: Graduation rate refers to the percentage of students who earn their degree. While this statistic is not specific to biomedical engineering programs, we thought it was important to include. Source: College Navigator.

Accreditation Date: Achieving accreditation status is a big deal for academic programs. It indicates that the curriculum meets rigorous, nationwide standards. It also demonstrates an ability to prepare students for relevant career fields. In order to make the most of this metric, we looked at each degree’s accreditation date. In general, schools accredited for longer periods of time have more comprehensive programs. They have also had more time to enhance their curriculum and attract quality faculty. Source: Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Degree Popularity: Many schools offer a vast array of engineering degrees. This includes degrees in bioengineering. What does it take for them to choose bio-medicine over another discipline? We considered that robust BME programs likely attract a large number of aspiring engineers. Thus, we prioritized programs with high volumes of BME students. Source: College Navigator.

Engineering Popularity: We also considered schools with broad strengths in engineering and STEM as a whole. In general, these schools funnel more money into their engineering programs. They also have more and better engineering facilities. Thus, we assessed schools on the percentage of students earning an engineering degree. Source: College Navigator.

Net Price: Of course, no Best Value ranking would be complete without an assessment of cost. We judged schools on their overall net price. Note that this figure is distinct from tuition. It “is generated by subtracting the average amount of federal, state/local government, or institutional grant or scholarship aid from the total cost of attendance.” Source: College Navigator.

We gave each school points for its performance in each of the above categories. The sum is used to order the rankings below. Lastly, we curve these calculations so that the school with the most points received an A+. You can find the 25 highest-scoring schools below. These also come with descriptions of their top biomedical engineering degree programs.


  1. Georgia Institute of Technology
    Location

    Atlanta, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Georgia Institute of Technology is ranked first on our list for a reason. The school is armed with a robust engineering curriculum and reasonable tuition rates. The school attracts attention for its focus on practical, application-based learning. Other focus areas include diversity in biomedicine and communication. The department also works to ensure that undergrads have easy access to research opportunities. As a result, 70% of BME students complete an independent project.

  2. Rice University
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Rice University began operating in the early 1900s. Ever since, engineering has been a core part of its curriculum. Over time, its place in engineering education has only expanded. The department acquired official ABET accreditation for its biomedical engineering program in 2009. It had also regularly been earning top 10 rankings for nearly a decade prior. Rice's BME degree takes 2nd on our bioengineering degree ranking. The research and internships available to students are particularly commendable. In addition to on-campus work with faculty, many undergrads take advantage of summer opportunities. Options include the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

  3. University of California-Irvine
    Location

    Irvine, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    UCI scores higher on our biomedical engineering ranking than any other Californian school. It also has one of the top BME programs of any university in the United States. And it's not hard to see why. Annual costs only run undergrads about $12,000, but they get plenty for their money. The Samueli School of Engineering offers two different bioengineering programs. One is general and one is specifically for pre-med students. There is also an accompanying minor, which is home to a student-run chapter of the BME Society. UCI biomed students can apply to the Program in International Engineering (PIE). This is a one-of-a-kind initiative in which they study abroad. They complete an internship with a German company, earning a dual-major in engineering and German.

  4. Clemson University
    Location

    Clemson, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Clemson University offers a great biomedical engineering program. Students engage in laboratory studies, research projects, and side-by-side work with faculty. The curriculum goes far beyond the basics. Students focus on orthopedic implants, EKG simulations, and medical treatment in developing countries. Other topics include tissue engineering for human organs, all of which translate into the work environment. Students do not have to wait until graduation to test out their skills. International partnerships enable budding engineers to conduct research in Singapore. They can also work with mentors in Japan or study bioethics in Spain.

  5. University of Utah
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Utah offers an abundance of resources and opportunities. In fact, the school's Department of Bioengineering is the 11th largest in the nation. The school also has some of the highest research expenditures in biomedical engineering of any U.S. college. The productivity of its faculty places the University of Utah among the ranks of MIT, Harvard, and CalTech. This leads to an absolutely unparalleled experience for UU undergrads. Students enjoy a comprehensive set of electives featuring courses in uncommon topics. These include ultrasound, scanning electron microscopy, and nanomedicine.

  6. Washington University in St Louis
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Most students who study biomedical engineering typically take one of three paths. These are getting a Ph.D., going to medical school, or entering the workforce. Washington University in St. Louis has a top bioengineering program. The program is equipped to handle all these aspirations and more. The school encourages its engineering students to complete at least one research experience. They can do this either during the school year or over summer break. Some also participate in co-ops with local life science and technology companies. The department also supports an accelerated BS/MS option. It also provides access to specialized advisors for pre-med students. This ensures that all students obtain the education they need.

  7. Vanderbilt University
    Location

    Nashville, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    In Vanderbilt University's Department of Biomedical Engineering, "The Focus is on YOU." What does that mean, exactly? It means that the department seeks to create a personalized, intimate environment. This allows biomedical engineering degree students to follow their passions. Vanderbilt is also unique for its international emphasis. Engineers who want to work in international settings can opt for this unique track. The track enables them to study abroad and even complete international design projects. These students are also required to take foreign languages classes. Many also choose to participate in programs. These include Engineers without Borders or volunteering through alternative spring break trips.

  8. New Jersey Institute of Technology
    Location

    Newark, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    NJIT offers an impressive curriculum. It includes coursework in biomedical electronics, biomaterials and biocompatibility, and biofluid mechanics. Students obviously enjoy their time at the school with these classes. This accredited biomedical engineering school encourages students to learn outside the classroom, too. Internships are an integral part of experiential learning at NJIT. Learners have landed highly coveted positions at great companies. These include Boston Scientific, Integra Life Sciences, and Supertron Technologies. The university also hosts a NEURO-eNgineering Summer Research Program. The program focuses on researching neural system and disease recovery.

  9. Johns Hopkins University
    Location

    Baltimore, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    JHU is known for its outstanding healthcare programs and top-tier medical school. It is no wonder that it also offers one of the best biomedical engineering degrees. The school also attracts some of the nation's best and brightest students. Each of them comes to JHU to take advantage of its unbeatable facilities and resources. There is even a designated BME Design Studio. There, students enjoy access to a prototyping lab, machine shop, and video-conferencing units. In total, there are almost 30 different research labs for the bioengineering department. JHU maintains high standards for its biomedical engineering students, who regularly exceed expectations. A team of eight BME students won 1st prize at the Retail and Health Innovation Challenge, for example.

  10. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Location

    Champaign, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    This top bioengineering degree isn't available to just anyone. Undergrads at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign must apply to the department as sophomores. Those with the best academic transcripts gain admittance. Those capable of handling the challenging curriculum take classes across five primary tracks. These are cell and tissue engineering, computational and systems biology, imaging and sensing, biomechanics, and therapeutics engineering. Students can also join the on-campus BME Society. This group sponsors several volunteer and networking opportunities throughout the semester. It also hosts regular seminars on current research topics in the field.

Sources:
College Navigator
Accrediting Board of Engineering & Technology (ABET)
Alpha Eta Mu Beta (AEMB) Honors Society
Bureau of Labor Statistics: Biomedical Engineers

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