What to Major In if You Want to Be a Biomedical Engineer

January 23, 2024
College Majors

A career in biomedical engineering involves applying principles of engineering and biological sciences to develop technologies and solutions for healthcare. To pursue a successful career in biomedical engineering, it is crucial to choose a major that provides a strong foundation in relevant knowledge and skills. Here are some of the best majors for a career in biomedical engineering.

Biomedical Engineering

This major is the most direct and obvious choice. It covers a broad range of topics, including medical imaging, biomaterials, biomechanics, and bioinformatics, providing a comprehensive understanding of both engineering principles and biological sciences. Colleges with strong biomedical engineering programs include Johns Hopkins University, Dartmouth College, Columbia University, and Harvard University.


Similar to biomedical engineering, bioengineering programs focus on the application of engineering principles to biological systems. Students learn about topics like medical device design, tissue engineering, and molecular biology. Colleges with robust bioengineering programs include Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Biomechanical Engineering

This major specifically emphasizes the mechanical aspects of biomedical engineering. It covers topics like the mechanics of the human body, prosthetics, orthopedic devices, and the study of anatomical movement. Colleges with well-regarded biomechanical engineering programs include Stanford University and UC Berkeley.

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering majors can focus on the biomedical aspects of the field. Such students may focus on topics like the development of pharmaceuticals, drug delivery systems, and biomaterials. Colleges with strong chemical engineering programs include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the California Institute of Technology, and Princeton University.

Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering majors can focus on the bioelectronic aspects of the field. Such a focus may involve the study of medical imaging devices, biosensors, and electrical applications in healthcare. Colleges with excellent electrical engineering programs include the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Carnegie Mellon University.

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering majors with a biomedical focus concentrate on the mechanical aspects of medical devices, biomechanics, and materials used in healthcare applications. Colleges with renowned mechanical engineering programs include Cornell University, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Materials Science

This major is relevant for those interested in developing biomaterials for medical implants, drug delivery systems, and tissue engineering. Students who major in materials science can choose to focus on the properties and applications of materials in the biomedical field. Colleges with first-rate materials science programs include Stanford University, Northwestern University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Computer Science

Combining computer science with a biomedical focus is a good choice for students who are interested in applications like medical imaging, healthcare informatics, and bioinformatics. Computer science majors can focus on developing skills that will allow them to devise software solutions for healthcare challenges. Colleges with highly ranked computer science programs include UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon University, and Princeton University.

Need help choosing a major or a college that will launch you into a career in biomedical engineering? AtomicMind can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.