25 Best Value Schools for Biomedical Engineering

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25 Best Value Schools for Biomedical Engineering

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.

  11. Rutgers University-New Brunswick
    Location

    New Brunswick, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Rutgers University-New Brunswick offers a focused curriculum. The department offers three well-defined tracks. These include tissue engineering and molecular bioengineering; biomedical computing, imaging, and instrumentation; and biomechanics and rehabilitation engineering. Academic advisors work closely with students. They ensure that students make the most of the curriculum and prepare for life after graduation. Rutgers has also taken concrete steps to increase the number of female engineering students. It is one of just a few schools on this top biomedical engineering degree ranking to do so. Current initiatives include the Women in Engineering Leadership League, The Academy at Rutgers for Girls in Engineering and Technology (TARGET), and the Douglass/Engineering Living Learning Community.

  12. University of Washington
    Location

    Seattle, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Washington offers an affordable bioengineering program. The program touts "a culture of collaboration" and great students. Many of them are Rhodes Scholars or Fulbright grant recipients. The program is about as challenging and rewarding as they come. UW BME students start by establishing a strong grasp of engineering fundamentals. They quickly learn to develop their problem-solving and communication skills. Next, they tackle a capstone course. This asks them to design a product to fulfill a societal need or engage in an original research project. Along the way, they can accumulate a series of unique elective credits and even earn a minor in nano and molecular engineering.

  13. Purdue University
    Location

    West Lafayette, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Purdue is known as a powerhouse of engineering. It boasts a long history of producing highly qualified, industry-ready graduates. The Purdue College of Engineering is highly selective. It requires all freshmen to complete the first-year engineering program. After this, they apply directly to the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. With such a large program comes resources, including connections and industry partnerships. In fact, 92% of students at this top biomedical engineering school participate in at least one co-op, internship, study abroad trip, research experience, or community service program. What's more, 98% are employed or attending graduate school six months after graduation.

  14. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
    Location

    Worcester, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    This school aims to put "the problem-solving capabilities of engineering to work for the medical sciences." WPI accomplishes this goal through a challenging curriculum. Coursework encourages students to consider careers in biomedical research and healthcare. To this end, the school offers three specializations tailored to the medical industry. The first is in biomaterials and tissue engineering. This specialization imparts knowledge about the design and implementation of medical devices. The second is bioinstrumentation and biosignal processing. This specialization focuses on sensors and medical equipment that enhance healthcare. The third specialization is in biomechanism and mechanobiology. This specialization takes an anatomical look at the way the human body moves, grows, and heals.

  15. University of Rochester
    Location

    Rochester, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Rochester offers a great biomedical engineering program. The Department of Biomedical Engineering provides all the same opportunities as other colleges. These include internships, a senior design project, and a BMES Student Chapter. The school is completely unique on this bioengineering degree ranking for its special offerings. Examples include the Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year (KEY) Program. This lets undergrads take a fifth year tuition free. Students pursue research, business ventures, and design ideas alongside UR Engineering faculty. The Graduate Engineering at Rochester (GEAR) awards qualified students early entrance to the M.S. program. They also enjoy a research assistantship and minimum 50% tuition scholarship!

  16. University of California-Riverside
    Location

    Riverside, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    UC Riverside offers an affordable biomedical engineering degree. It is also one of the nation's best programs. The BME program attracts hundreds of students a year and accounts for 20% of the student body. It features a top-notch curriculum that holds its own among schools that cost twice as much. Topics include biomechanics of the human body and bioinstrumentation. Still other topics include tissue engineering and bioinspired engineering for sustainable energy. These are just a few of the classes to which UCR biomed engineering students have access.

  17. University of Wisconsin
    Location

    Madison, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Wisconsin College of Engineering highlights innovation, design, and possibilities. These three words are the priorities that drive all of the college's programs. This includes one of the best biomedical engineering degrees in the nation. The undergraduate program is one of the nation's largest. Nearly 600 students enroll in the program. BME students at UW benefit from a hands-on curriculum. Learners complete design-based courses every semester from their sophomore year onward. Highly motivated students can also take a unique research-based honors program. They can also opt for a one-year master's program (at least a 3.0 GPA required to apply).

  18. University of Delaware
    Location

    Newark, DE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    It is hard to imagine a more in-depth major than biomedical engineering. This is why the University of Delaware offers coursework in organic chemistry and two semesters of calculus. While this program is not easy, the school offers plenty of support to those admitted. In just four years, BME students graduate with the skills they need to succeed. Graduates move on into medical schools, professional industries, or advanced engineering programs. This affordable bioengineering program offers several minors. These include nanoscale materials and bioelectrical engineering. Still another option is in material science. Graduates enter the workforce ready to be immediate contributors.

  19. North Carolina State University
    Location

    Raleigh, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Stevens Institute of Technology offers a design-focused program with laboratory coursework. Experiential learning extends beyond the classroom, too. For example, students enjoy opportunities to conduct research and create prototypes. Many also enter national competitions. In addition to working with SIT faculty, BME students collaborate with researchers. This includes working with Hackensack University Medical Center. Faculty specialize in everything from biorobotics to spinal implants. These features have helped some biomed students secure their own patents. Others have also gone on to create successful companies.

  20. Stevens Institute of Technology
    Location

    Hoboken, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Stevens Institute of Technology offers a design-focused program with laboratory coursework. Experiential learning extends beyond the classroom, too. For example, students enjoy opportunities to conduct research and create prototypes. Many also enter national competitions. In addition to working with SIT faculty, BME students collaborate with researchers. This includes working with Hackensack University Medical Center. Faculty specialize in everything from biorobotics to spinal implants. These features have helped some biomed students secure their own patents. Others have also gone on to create successful companies.

  21. Columbia University in the City of New York
    Location

    New York City, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The prestige of attending a school like Columbia University is a big attraction. But the university's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science has so much more to offer than its reputation. Bioengineering degree students get their money's worth at this top college. They can capitalize on its extensive resources. Undergrads, for example, have access to comprehensive design facilities. These include a separate wet lab, prototyping lab, machine shop, and computing lab spaces. They also enjoy access to a dedicated MRI research unit.

  22. University of California-Los Angeles
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Rounding out the west coast colleges is the University of California at Los Angeles. The school is one of the most affordable biomedical engineering degrees in the country. UCLA's BME program ties together knowledge and skills from courses across the university. The intensive curriculum calls for students to demonstrate their abilities. They do this through presentations, projects, original written papers, and even team-based competitions. Graduates can easily apply to top medical schools and graduate programs. Many also enter the workforce in coveted positions in STEM fields.

  23. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo
    Location

    San Luis Obispo, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo is the place to go for a high-tech, high quality engineering education. The school offers one of the best biomedical engineering programs in the country. The school also focuses on equipping graduates to make a difference in the real world. This attitude extends to every corner of the curriculum - and even to student clubs. Popular extracurriculars include the Quality of Life (QL+) Club. This club works to develop assistive devices and other healthcare solutions for wounded veterans. The Biomimicry Club, for its part, promotes sustainable practices through environmentally friendly designs.

  24. University of California-Davis
    Location

    Davis, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Like its neighbor in San Diego, UC Davis has no shortage of top bioengineering degrees. Options at this west coast campus include biochemical, biological systems, and biomedical engineering. Related programs include biochemistry and molecular biology, biotechnology, cell biology, and biological sciences. Interdisciplinary study is the exception rather than the rule at this university. And biomed students benefit big time. The accredited program supports more than 400 undergrads. UC Davis boasts a collaborative, research-intensive learning environment. The department offers six pre-approved concentrations, or students can design their own.

  25. The College of New Jersey
    Location

    Ewing, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A degree in biomedical engineering qualifies students for a wide array of fields. And The College of New Jersey has thought of them all. At bottom, TCNJ likely has a track to put any student directly on their desired career path. This includes a special biomedical engineering research track. This degree includes faculty-sponsored research and a full summer experience. Students with medical aspirations will love TCNJ's unique, accelerated BS/MD program. Qualifying undergrads can jump straight from the biomedical degree into medical school. Many earn their MD in just seven years.

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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