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Pursuing a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering

What is Biomedical Engineering?

During the past 25 years biomedical engineering has become accepted as an important field of interdisciplinary study and research. The growth of the field was especially rapid in the late 1980's and early 1990's, and in July of 1997 the National Institutes of Health issued a working definition of Biomedical Engineering:

"The discipline of biomedical engineering lies at the forefront of the medical revolution. Advances in biomedical engineering are accomplished through interdisciplinary activities that integrate the physical, chemical, mathematical, and computational sciences with engineering principles in order to study biology, medicine and behavior."

Biomedical engineers develop devices and procedures that solve medical and health-related problems by combining their knowledge of biology and medicine with engineering principles and practices. Many do research, along with medical scientists, to develop and evaluate systems and products such as artificial organs, prostheses (artificial devices that replace missing body parts), instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems. Biomedical engineers also may design devices used in various medical procedures, imaging systems such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and devices for automating insulin injections or controlling body functions.

Employment & Earnings Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "biomedical engineers are expected to have employment growth of 72% over the projections decade (2008-2018), much faster than the average for all occupations. The aging of the population and a growing focus on health issues will drive demand for better medical devices and equipment designed by biomedical engineers. Along with the demand for more sophisticated medical equipment and procedures, an increased concern for cost-effectiveness will boost demand for biomedical engineers, particularly in pharmaceutical manufacturing and related industries."

A 2009 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found the average starting salary for a person with a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering to be $54,158/year. In 2008 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calculated the median salary of all Biomedical Engineers employed in the U.S. to be $77,400/year with the top 10% earning above $121,970/year.

Accreditation

The Ohio State University’s Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Undergraduate enrollment and graduation data for the Biomedical Engineering program and all College of Engineering programs are available.

Program Educational Objectives

The Educational Objectives of our Biomedical Engineering undergraduate program can be found at majors.osu.edu.

We will help students prepare for their chosen career paths by making clear what steps are needed prior to graduation to enable later successes.

  • Students planning to go to graduate school are advised to pursue opportunities for independent research projects (e.g., honors thesis), advised about planning the sequence of Professional Elective courses based on anticipated future studies, and kept informed about the GRE process.
  • Students planning to attend medical school need to take a specific organic chemistry sequence and will be kept informed about the MCAT process.
  • Students planning to go directly to the job market are strongly advised to work closely with Engineering Career Services and aggressively seek summer internship opportunities. They will receive advice about focusing Professional Electives to develop areas of concentration attractive to potential employers.

Student Outcomes

Upon graduation, a student will have attained:

(a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering

(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data

(c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability

(d) an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams

(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems

(f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

(g) an ability to communicate effectively

(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context

(i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning

(j) a knowledge of contemporary issues

(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

(l) an understanding of biology and physiology, and the capability to apply advanced mathematics (including differential equations and statistics), science, and engineering to solve the problems at the interface of engineering and biology

(m) the ability to make measurements on and interpret data from living systems, addressing the problems associated with the interaction between living and non-living materials and systems