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Biomedical engineers develop medical innovations like artificial organs, surgical robots, and medical implants.

Working at the intersection of biology and engineering, biomedical engineers improve human health through their research. The growing field of biomedical engineering offers above-average salaries and the potential for career advancement.

A master's degree in biomedical engineering leads to exciting job opportunities in the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, biomedical engineers earn a median annual salary of over $88,000 per year.

An online biomedical engineering master's program offers more flexibility and accessibility than an on-campus program. Working professionals who enroll in programs like this benefit from the ability to complete coursework around their work schedules. An online learning format also appeals to people who are busy with personal or family responsibilities.

The following list ranks the best biomedical engineering schools to help prospective students identify the right fit for their interests and professional goals.

Best Online Master's in Biomedical Engineering Programs 2020

#1 Columbia University in the City of New York New York, NY
#2 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
#3 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
#4 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
#5 University of Maryland College Park, MD
#6 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
#7 Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO
#8 University of California-Riverside Riverside, CA
#9 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND

Best Online Master's in Biomedical Engineering Programs

1
Columbia University in the City of New York
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Champaign, IL

About this school

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign began as Illinois Industrial University in 1867. Today, the institution hosts over 50,000 learners annually. Learners at U of I can pursue an online master of engineering in bioengineering that offers concentrations in computational genomics or bioinstrumentation.

The curriculum addresses technical and biological concepts, but also covers business topics like innovation and decision-making to prepare graduates for managerial and supervisory positions. All concentrations require a team project, electives, and a seminar or speaker series with field professionals. Students can earn this 32-credit, online biomedical engineering degree in five terms.

Graduates find work as systems engineers, research development lab technicians, and data analysts. This degree also prepares learners for doctoral programs. Online courses may include tests, assignments, and lectures.

Tuition for this biomedical engineering degree does not vary by state. U of I offers related certificates in health communication, business management for engineers, and strategic technology management.

Graduation Rate
84%
Percent Receiving Loans
40%
5

University of Maryland 

College Park, MD

About this school

Founded in 1856, the University of Maryland at College Park currently educates more than 40,000 students annually through 12 colleges. Faculty members include two Nobel laureates and three Pulitzer-Prize winners. UMD ranks among the top biomedical engineering schools for its online master of engineering in bioengineering.

The program trains students to create new healthcare technology. The 30-credit curriculum includes 21 credits of electives, allowing students to customize the degree to their interests. Advisors work with students to create documented learning plans for classes. Courses may incorporate discussion boards, video discussions, lectures, and presentations.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and prerequisite coursework in math, biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering. Candidates with bachelor's degrees in other fields need to complete at least one course related to bioengineering for admission. Other application materials include GRE scores and three recommendations. In-state and out-of-state learners pay equal tuition.

Graduation Rate
86%
Percent Receiving Loans
31%
6

Case Western Reserve University 

Cleveland, OH

About this school

Case Western Reserve University hosts around 11,000 students annually from nearly 100 countries. The institution's School of Medicine and Case School of Engineering collaborate to offer a 30-credit, online master of science in biomedical engineering.

In this program, learners study concepts such as biomedical instrumentation, medical imaging, engineering economics, business, and cellular and molecular physiology. Online learners can also pair with on-campus students to complete and present projects, gaining practical experience and enhancing their professional networks. Full-time students can graduate in 18 months.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit GRE scores, a personal statement, a resume or CV, and two recommendations. Applicants also need prerequisite courses in differential equations, electromagnetics, programming, and chemistry. The department admits new students in the fall, spring, and summer.

Distance students can access e-books, e-journals, and databases through the Kelvin Smith Library. The library also offers research guidance by phone or through Zoom and participates in Interlibrary Loan.

Graduation Rate
85%
Percent Receiving Loans
71%
7

Colorado State University 

Fort Collins, CO

About this school

Colorado State University started in 1870 as a product of the Morrill Act of 1862 and currently boasts Carnegie Classification. The school's online master of engineering in biomedical engineering is a product of 13 CSU departments working together across four colleges. This collaboration ensures a multidisciplinary education that gives students medical, technical, and research knowledge and skills.

The 30-credit program covers topics like mechanical design, biomaterials, cell/tissue engineering, data analysis, and process control and instrumentation. Graduates can work in fields like clinical engineering, equipment manufacturing, and medical imaging. CSU offers courses asynchronously. Classes incorporate exams, projects, discussion boards, papers, and lectures.

Applicants need a relevant bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and prerequisite coursework in calculus, differential equations, physics, and life science. Candidates must also submit a resume or CV, a statement of purpose, and recommendation letters. Tuition does not vary by state.

CSU students can download a free copy of Office 365, and the university provides online career conferences, webinars, networking events, advising appointments, and job postings. Distance students can also access online tutoring.

Graduation Rate
71%
Percent Receiving Loans
46%
8

University of California-Riverside 

Riverside, CA

About this school

The University of California, Riverside is a public, military-friendly institution founded in 1907. The school offers nearly 200 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs and enrolls more than 25,000 students each year. Over 100 faculty members are Fulbright Scholars, Guggenheim Fellows, or National Endowment for the Humanities Fellows.

UCR's online master of science in engineering offers seven specializations, including bioengineering. Students in this program study genetics, biological systems, technology innovation, molecular engineering, and computational and experimental biology. Learners culminate the 32-credit program with a capstone project. Students can graduate in just over one year of full-time study.

UCR offers online courses through Canvas and Zoom, with some classes requiring synchronous participation. Applicants must hold a relevant bachelor's degree and submit transcripts, reference letters, and standardized test scores.

Graduation Rate
75%
Percent Receiving Loans
51%
9

University of North Dakota 

Grand Forks, ND

About this school

Founded in 1883, the University of North Dakota is a public institution that hosts over 13,000 learners each year. The institution boasts Carnegie Classification and offers an online master of science in biomedical engineering that emphasizes research and problem-solving skills.

The 30-credit program includes courses in digital image processing, intelligent decision systems, and anatomy and physiology for biomedical engineers. Students may also participate in seminars and internships and choose between thesis and nonthesis paths. UND allows master's learners to participate in research groups exploring topics like biomechanics, bio-signals, and bio-instrumentation.

Applicants to the online biomedical engineering master's program must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit transcripts, a goals statement, and GRE scores. Military students pay in-state tuition rates, regardless of residency location. The Chester Fritz Library participates in Interlibrary Loan and allows distance learners to access electronic resources.

Graduation Rate
55%
Percent Receiving Loans
63%
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End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Master's

Online Master's in Biomedical Engineering Ranking Guidelines

We selected the following schools based on the quality of their programs and the range of courses provided. We also considered school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Biomedical Engineering?

Biomedical engineering applies engineering principles to the medical field. Biomedical engineers develop medical equipment, treatments, and technologies to improve human health.

What Is a Master's in Biomedical Engineering?

A master's degree in biomedical engineering provides graduate-level training in biomechanics, cellular engineering, and biomedical imaging. Graduates take lead roles in biomedical engineering teams or go on to pursue doctoral degrees.

How Long Is a Master's Degree in Biomedical Engineering?

Earning a master's in biomedical engineering typically takes two years, but some programs offer one-year accelerated tracks. Students can also enroll part time.

Do Biomedical Engineers Need a Master's Degree?

Some entry-level positions hire biomedical engineers with a bachelor's degree, but many employers prefer candidates with a master's degree. A graduate degree also helps with career advancement.

How Much Do Biomedical Engineers Make With a Master's?

The median biomedical engineer salary exceeds $88,000 per year. In general, biomedical engineers with a master's degree earn a higher salary than those with a bachelor's degree.

What Jobs Can You Get With a Master's in Biomedical Engineering?

Biomedical engineering jobs usually involve biomedical engineering research, clinical engineering, biomechanics, or cellular engineering. A master's in biomedical engineering can also lead to a career in medical research, biochemistry, or biomedical engineering sales.

Choosing an Online Master's in Biomedical Engineering Program

When selecting an online biomedical engineering degree, prospective students should evaluate several factors, including program cost, program length, and graduation requirements. By researching the following factors, prospective students can find the best fit for their unique goals and needs.

  • Program Cost

    In addition to tuition costs, prospective students should consider fees, textbook prices, and distance learning costs. In-state public schools typically offer the lowest tuition rates, but some out-of-state schools offer a flat rate for online learners.

  • Transfer Policies

    Prospective students with prior graduate coursework can save time and money by applying transfer credits toward their degrees. However, some programs set a limit on the number and type of transfer credits they accept, so it's important to research your school's transfer policy in advance.

  • School Size and Type

    Some students prefer a smaller class size with more focused faculty attention, while others prefer a larger cohort and alumni network. Choose the type that best fits your needs.

  • Program Length

    While a master's in biomedical engineering typically takes two years, some programs offer accelerated pathways or part-time options. Evaluate the total number of credits required, and take into consideration any graduation requirements that might add time to your degree.

  • On-Campus Requirements

    Some online programs still have on-campus requirements, such as an orientation or laboratory requirements. Students considering biomedical engineering schools in other states may prefer a program without on-campus requirements.

  • Thesis, Fellowship, and Work Requirements

    Biomedical engineering programs may incorporate a research-based thesis at the conclusion of the program, or they may require students to pursue a related field experience. Make sure you can meet internship or laboratory requirements before enrolling in a program.

What Is Biomedical Engineering?

Biomedical engineering bridges biology and engineering, usually by using the principles of engineering to conduct medical research and develop biomedical equipment. The machines, technologies, and methods developed by biomedical engineers have revolutionized medicine; the field has contributed innovative medical advancements like artificial organs, pharmaceutical drugs, and surgical robots.

Biomedical engineers draw on related fields like mechanical engineering and chemical engineering to focus on human health.

Within the field, professionals may specialize in fields like cellular and tissue engineering, biomechanics, or biomedical electronics. Some biomedical engineers design medical devices, while others specialize in medical imaging or orthopedic implants. Biomedical engineers can also work in clinical engineering.

The field requires strong engineering knowledge and a medical background. Biomedical engineers draw on related fields like mechanical engineering and chemical engineering to focus on human health. They also need creativity and analytical skills to solve healthcare challenges by creating equipment.

This fast-paced field typically involves working in a research laboratory or clinical setting. Many professionals work in medical equipment and supplies manufacturing, though some pursue opportunities in academia or healthcare. By applying engineering to human health, biomedical engineers improve people's lives.

What Is a Master's in Biomedical Engineering Degree?

A master's degree in biomedical engineering trains students to research and design medical devices, engineer tissues and cells, and work in clinical engineering. During a master's program, graduate students take courses like biomedical data science, systems biology, neuroengineering, and tissue engineering. These courses build on the biology, chemistry, and mathematics training of an undergraduate biomedical engineering degree.

Full-time students can earn their master's in biomedical engineering in two years.

Biomedical engineering master's programs emphasize the theoretical side of engineering while also encouraging students to gain practical experience through research projects. Some programs offer concentrations in areas like biomechanics, cellular engineering, immunoengineering, and biomedical imaging. Some master's students also complete a thesis as part of the degree.

Most biomedical engineering master's programs require a bachelor's degree in engineering or a similar field for admission. Applicants must also meet prerequisite requirements, which can include courses in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, calculus, and physics.

In general, full-time students can earn their master's in biomedical engineering in two years. Some programs offer a one-year, accelerated pathway to the degree. After completing a master's degree, graduates can enter the workforce or apply to a doctoral program in biomedical engineering. Learn more about career paths in engineering.

Curriculum for an Online Master's in Biomedical Engineering

  • Research Methods in Biomedical Engineering: Research methods courses prepare graduate students to conduct independent research projects in biomechanical engineering. During the course, students build the skills to create, develop, and carry out a research project from proposal to publication. Graduate students also learn about legal and ethical requirements for biomedical research.
  • Biomechanics: In biomechanics courses, graduate students learn how to apply Newtonian principles of mechanics to biological movement analysis. For example, students may examine human movement through video and force plate data. The course trains graduate students to use biomechanical technologies to measure kinematics and apply biomechanical methods to answer research questions.
  • Quantitative Physiology: Graduate students in this course explore the field of cellular biophysics using quantitative physiology, which applies mathematical methods to the study of living organisms. Coursework examines how molecules cross cellular membranes and the mechanisms of cellular transportation, providing theoretical and experimental knowledge for biomedical engineering students.
  • Signal and Systems Analysis: In courses on signal and systems analysis, biomedical engineering students learn how to model biological systems. The class teaches student how to predict and manipulate the behavior of systems using an experimental approach. In addition to lectures, coursework may include laboratory requirements to gain practical experience.

Biomedical Engineering Jobs

Biomedical engineering schools prepare graduates for careers in engineering, medicine, and healthcare. In these roles, professionals research and develop medical equipment, instruct healthcare organizations on how to use biomedical equipment, and investigate solutions to health problems.

The average biomedical engineering salary exceeds $88,000 per year. In addition to biomedical engineering jobs, a graduate degree in the field can lead to opportunities in biochemistry, biomedical research, and biomedical engineering sales. Some careers may require further study or certification.

Biomedical Engineers

Biomedical engineers create equipment, software, and devices used in healthcare. They blend engineering principles with medical science to design artificial internal organs, diagnostic machines, and other biomedical equipment. In addition to performing research and development, biomedical engineers maintain and repair equipment. They also evaluate the effectiveness of biomedical equipment to improve patient outcomes.

While biomedical engineers specialize in the healthcare field, they may also design computer software to run equipment or design models for biological processes. Entry-level positions require a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering, though some employers prefer candidates with a master's degree.

Median Annual Salary

$88,550

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

4%

Biochemists and Biophysicists

Biochemists and biophysicists examine the principles behind living things and biological processes. They carry out research in areas like cell development and disease, investigate the impact of drugs and hormones on biological processes, create research papers or technical reports based on their findings, and make recommendations. They rely on technology like fluorescent microscopes to conduct their experiments.

Biochemists specialize in molecular or cell biology, including evolution, while biophysicists explore the mechanics behind biological systems. Both biochemists and biophysicists develop applied uses of their research. Most biochemists work in research and development, and a master's degree meets the requirements for entry-level roles.

Median Annual Salary

$93,280

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

6%

Medical Scientists

Medical scientists conduct research through clinical trials and other studies. Their research investigates human diseases and develops treatment methods. Medical scientists prepare samples and data to understand diseases, determine standard doses for drugs, and test medical devices. Medical scientists may direct a team of technicians to carry out their work.

Biomedical scientists bring a background in biology to research the human body, working to develop treatments and cures for diseases. While medical scientists often hold doctorates, a master's degree meets the requirements for most jobs as biomedical scientists and biomedical researchers. Most medical scientists do not need a license or certification to practice.

Median Annual Salary

$84,810

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

8%

Technical Writers

Technical writers create instruction manuals, guides, and other written documents that communicate technical information. They determine user needs, including the different needs of consumers versus businesses, while working with technical staff to understand how to create instruction manuals. Technical writers also collect user feedback to improve content.

In the biomedical field, technical writers often have a background in engineering, medicine, or biology. The field typically requires a bachelor's degree and knowledge or experience in science or engineering. Technical writers with a master's degree qualify for advanced roles.

Median Annual Salary

$71,850

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

8%

Sales Engineers

Sales engineers blend technical skills with sales abilities. They market scientific and technological products and services to businesses, delivering technical presentations to explain a product or service to potential customers. They work with sales teams to understand a company's needs and recommend updates. After selling technical equipment, sales engineers help customers with problems or maintenance issues.

Many sales engineers also help research and develop new products. Sales engineers must bring strong communication and interpersonal skills to the role, along with a background in engineering. Typically, the position requires at least a bachelor's degree in a field like engineering. A graduate degree can help sales engineers pursue career advancement.

Median Annual Salary

$101,420

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

6%

Biomedical Engineering Professional Organizations

Professional organizations help civil engineering students transition from their graduate programs into the workforce. Many professional organizations offer networking opportunities through conferences and events. These organizations also provide scholarship opportunities, publications, and career centers.

American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering

AIMBE, a nonprofit professional organization, represents professionals in medical and biological engineering. The institute offers conferences, events, and lecture series to connect professionals and keep members current in the field. AIMBE also offers workshops, a public policy institute, and student policy resources to help students learn more about science policy and advocacy.

American Society of Biomechanics

Made up of academic researchers, clinicians, and scientists, ASB promotes the field of biomechanics. The organization was founded in 1977 and hosts annual conferences, grants awards, and offers a teaching repository with educational resources. Students and professionals alike can access the society's database of grants and career resources.

Biomedical Engineering Society

Founded in 1968, BMES represents biomedical engineering professionals. The organization publishes research in the field, hosts scientific meetings, and maintains a job board with career opportunities and internships. BMES provides members-only content on its website, including a directory, online education resources, and access to special interest groups.

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