Biomedical engineering has a long history and is the driving force behind many of the advances in the life sciences that we experience today. It is responsible for the development of the diagnostic medical equipment used in hospitals, ranging from x-ray machines to magnetic resonance scanners. It also develops prosthetic limbs, cardiac heart machines, artificial kidneys, artificial hips, artificial knees, and stomach stapling devices. These and other new medical developments are the result of advances in biotechnology. Biomedical engineering also contributes to the world’s food supply by helping to create products such as vaccines, medicines, food crops, synthetic materials, energy drinks, artificial skin, artificial blood, and other biodegradable, biocompatible substances.
The first task for the graduate student enrolling in a graduate school in the field of biomedical engineering should be selecting which area of specialization they wish to pursue. Graduate programs in this field are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Almost all of the colleges and universities in the United States have a program with a focus on biomedical engineering. At every major university there are a few select departments of the engineering department that provide undergraduate students with the experience they need to start work in their areas of concentration after graduation.
Most of the courses required for graduation from either the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree programs will give students the opportunity to participate in internships while they are enrolled in a graduate program. These opportunities will provide an excellent forum for students to gain valuable experience in the life sciences. The Bioengineering Graduate Program at the Michigan State University College of Engineering has strong faculty members with diverse backgrounds in a variety of disciplines. Faculty members have earned a Ph.D. in Life Sciences or a comparable area from an accredited university and have a strong background in biomedical engineering. Other faculty members have earned a Ph.D. in Biology and have extensive experience in genetics and other topics in the life sciences. All of the faculty members, whether working individually or as a member of a research group, are committed to research and academic excellence.
Undergraduate students can choose to pursue graduate studies in Bioengineering from two schools located on the campus of the MSU College of Engineering. The College of Engineering has direct accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs. This means that the graduates of these programs have obtained educational recognition from an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Accreditation for colleges and universities. The Bioengineering Graduate Program was also recently given its accreditation by The Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The Bachelor of Science degree is a non-degree program that will give students a solid background in science and technology. An undergraduate student may choose to enroll in one of the graduate programs in the Bioengineering Department which has direct accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs. An associate’s degree is a two year program that will give students an overview of the life sciences and will prepare them for a career in bioengineering. Many associate’s degrees are now available online which allows students to complete their courses from the comfort of their own home. Students who have already taken classes in the bachelor’s degree program can transfer into the master’s degree program which is an important step in pursuing a career in bioengineering.
The Bioengineering Department also has an undergraduate program educational objectives and a graduate program educational objectives. These two programs address core educational goals. The undergraduate objective focuses on teaching students how to analyze, design, develop and maintain systems that are essential to the health and well being of human beings. The objective of the graduate program focuses on training students in the areas of bioengineered products and materials for human use.
In addition to the core objectives, each department has its own secondary and tertiary objectives that provide additional opportunities for students to specialize or enter into different concentrations. Many graduate students will choose to become specialists in one or more of these areas. Specializations are based on a student’s area of concentration. For example, those students may choose to be involved in materials science, bioorganic technology, or electronics technology.