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    • School of Engineering

      • Kirkbride Hall
      • tel: 610-499-4037
      • fax: 610-499-4059
    • Patricia Brown

      • Secretary of Biomedical Engineering
      • Kirkbride Hall, Room 269
      • tel: 610-499-4033

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 outreach programs for high school students.

What are the advantages of attending Widener University?

Some of the advantages include average class size of 18 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 careers.

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 therapeutic and device 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 GlaxoSmithKline, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Johnson & Johnson, LifeCell Corporation, Pulse Technologies, Independence Prosthetics-Orthotics, Merck, AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb Company, Aramark, W.L. Gore, 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.

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. We also offer a pre-physical therapy program of study for those interested in pursuing a career in physical therapy.

What are some of the specialties within biomedical engineering?

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

How can I learn about the research opportunities in biomedical engineering for undergraduates?

Our faculty are engaged in active research programs that include artificial kidney/hemodialysis, injury prevention, and mobility enhancement of individuals with disabilities. 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, artificial tissue, prostheses, medical 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 firms that manufacture medical devices range from the simple (e.g., Band-Aid®) to the complex (e.g., dialysis systems). They require engineering expertise to deliver functional, safe, and effective products to the consumer.

Is the biomedical engineering program accredited?

Biomedical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (EAC/ABET).

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. Our graduates are employed in the biomedical engineering locally and regionally. Others have enrolled in doctoral programs and law school.

Does the School of Engineering have an industry advisory board?

Yes. 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 and the regulatory agencies of the federal and state governments.

What are the employment projections for biomedical engineers?

The 2014-2015 Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), projects that employment of biomedical engineers is projected to grow 23 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growing technology and its application to medical equipment and devices, along with an aging population, will increase demand for the work of biomedical engineers.

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.