• School of Engineering

      • Kirkbride Hall
      • tel: 610-499-4037
      • fax: 610-499-4059
    • Dr. Zhongping Huang

      • Chairman of Biomedical Engineering
      • Kirkbride Hall, Room 269A
      • tel: 610-499-4249
      • zhuang@widener.edu
    • Kim Robinson

FAQs, Biomedical Engineering

What is biomedical engineering?

Biomedical engineering is the discipline in which experimental and analytical engineering techniques are used to understand complex living systems and to develop devices, methods, and software to improve the quality of human health and life.

What is the best way to learn about the biomedical engineering program at Widener?

Widener University hosts a number of options for visiting the campus throughout the year. In addition, the School of Engineering offers a number of outreach activities for high school students.

What are the advantages of attending Widener University?

Some of the advantages include a small student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1 in engineering, optional 4-year co-op program, optional living learning community for engineering freshmen, and a campus located in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Our faculty and staff are focused on the success of each student and provide students with personal attention to allow them to reach their maximum potential.This one-on-one relationship with faculty has led to a number of advanced student research projects. From assisting faculty on grants to getting published in prestigious journals, students in this program have limitless opportunities to jumpstart their career. 

The Greater Philadelphia Area ranks as the second largest area of employment for biomedical engineers in the nation, and the Interstate 95 corridor from New York to Washington D.C. makes up a major center of the therapeutics and devices industry. Employment opportunities abound in firms making biomedical devices and systems, as well as pharmaceutical companies and government agencies. Companies and organizations hiring biomedical engineering majors include AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb Company, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Johnson & Johnson, Life Sensors, Merck, Precision Medical Products, and Siemens Healthcare.

Can I do co-op and graduate in 4 years?

Yes. Our optional co-op program is highly recommended and provides qualified students with an opportunity to complete up to 12 months of co-op employment in industry and government agencies and earn their undergraduate degree in just 4 years. The co-op office has a staff dedicated to connecting students with potential employers to find meaningful engineering jobs in the region and beyond. The field of biomedical engineering is experiencing significant expansion. The demand for biomedical engineers nationally is expected to grow by a robust 72 percent by 2018, far more than the 16 percent growth forecasted for all professional occupations.

What can I do now to prepare for the biomedical engineering program at Widener?

We recommend courses in mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics, preferably at the honors or AP level. Refer to the undergraduate catalog for basic curriculum requirements for admission. Please visit Admissions for additional information.

In addition to earning a BS degree in biomedical engineering, can I also pursue pre-med studies at Widener?

Yes. You will work closely with engineering and pre-med faculty advisors to guide your plan of study.

What are some of the specialties within biomedical engineering?

Specialties within the biomedical engineering profession include clinical engineering, biomechanics, bioinformatics, biosystems, bioimaging, bioinstrumentation, orthopedic engineering, rehabilitation engineering, medical imaging, biomaterials, tissue engineering, etc.

How can I learn about the research opportunities in biomedical engineering for undergraduates?
Please visit the department website to learn about some of the ongoing research opportunities.

Can you describe the type of work done by biomedical engineers?

Biomedical engineers are involved in the development and design of artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, health management and care delivery systems, devices used in various medical procedures, robots, surgical tools, imaging systems such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and devices for automating insulin injections or controlling body functions. Pharmaceutical companies and manufactures of medical devices ranging from the simple (e.g., Band-Aid®) to the complex (e.g., dialysis systems) require engineering expertise to deliver functional, safe, and effective products to the consumer.

Is the biomedical engineering program accredited and, if not, when do you plan to seek accreditation?

The earliest opportunity allowed by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET for accrediting new programs is immediately following the graduation of the first class and would retroactively cover the first graduating class. We will seek accreditation of the biomedical engineering program immediately following the graduation of the first class of May 2015. We are proud of the fact that the School of Engineering has been successful in continuously accrediting all of its current programs following their inception. Assessment of student learning at Widener is an ongoing process that is designed to meet or exceed accreditation standards.

What are the job prospects of the first graduating class?

Our faculty members work closely with focus groups from industry and government to develop curricula designed to prepare students for successful careers and for graduate studies. Co-op and internship employment provides employers with an excellent opportunity to become familiar with the caliber of our students and the strength of our programs. On the other hand, co-op and internship employment provides students with excellent networking opportunities and allows them to demonstrate to employers their potential to make positive contributions to businesses. They are often recruited in their senior year for full-time positions in the same companies.

Does the School of Engineering have an industry advisory board?

Our advisory board, which includes leaders from local and global industries, plays an important role in aligning our mission and educational objectives with current needs and emerging trends in engineering and technology.

What are the types of industries that employ biomedical engineers?

Biomedical engineers find employment opportunities in the therapeutics and devices (T&D) industry which includes medical devices, pharmaceutical manufacturing, biotechnology, and R&D in the life sciences. They may also find employment in hospitals, the regulatory agencies of the federal and state governments.

What are the employment projections for biomedical engineers?

The 2010-11 Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), projects that employment opportunities for bioengineers/biomedical engineers will grow by 72% between 2008 and 2018, significantly higher than the average for all engineering occupations (11%) and the average for all professional and related occupations (16.8%). Previous employment growth projections by BLS for biomedical engineers hovered around 20%, which is a clear sign that the T&D industry is maturing and in need of significantly more BME graduates in the near future.

What is the tuition cost?
Tuition cost can be found on the Tuition & Fees page.

How do I apply to the engineering program?
Apply online through the Admissions office.