Biomedical Engineering Technology Career Education in Morrisville, NC

Morrisville-area students desiring to work in biomedical engineering technology can find education options within 20 miles of the city center. Learn about degree programs, admission info and coursework requirements for three nearby schools and decide which program is ideal for you.

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Morrisville Biomedical Engineering Technology Schools

Biomedical engineering technologists support and maintain current biomedical equipment and systems, while biomedical engineers develop and design such systems. Although Morrisville, NC, has no schools offering stand-alone biomedical technology programs, students seeking academic opportunities in biomedical engineering have several options to consider at area institutions.

The three schools spotlighted in this article are all within about a 25-minute drive of central Morrisville. Read overviews of their undergraduate and graduate degree programs, then take a glance at the table that follows to see info on costs, enrollment figures and other stats.

  • About 12 miles from Morrisville is Raleigh's North Carolina State University (NC-State). NC-State is the largest public university in the state and offers degrees in biomedical engineering at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels.
  • Another large university with a biomedical engineering program is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). This school, located around 18 miles from downtown Morrisville, offers a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering as well as a master's and a PhD program.
  • Another option for is Duke University, which is located in Durham about 18 miles from central Morrisville. The private institution offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in biomedical engineering.

North Carolina State University

The NC-State College of Engineering has more than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in programs throughout its 14 different departments. The biomedical engineering department is jointly operated by NC-State's College of Engineering and the UNC-CH School of Medicine, although the undergraduate programs at each school remain separate.

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

The biomedical engineering (BME) bachelor's degree program is designed so graduates can immediately enter the workforce or continue to one of many related graduate degree programs. Students wanting to enter this program must enroll in the College of Engineering's unmatriculated program and complete several prerequisite courses before entering the Bachelor of Science (BS) program. Once in the BS program, students take courses in organic chemistry, biomedical measurements, engineering design, linear systems, thermodynamics, biomaterials, biomechanics and biomedical instrumentation. This undergraduate program is ABET accredited.

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Students interested in pursuing a BME master's degree should apply directly to the BME department. Admission to the program is highly competitive. Students who have an engineering background are required to complete 30 semester hours, while those with an undergraduate degree in other fields may need to complete prerequisite coursework. This program covers topics in biology, medicine, engineering, mathematics, statistics, bioengineering and ethics. This program also allows students to focus their studies in biomedical microtechnologies, imaging engineering or rehabilitation engineering. The master's program is research-based and requires a thesis along with a comprehensive examination.

PhD in Biomedical Engineering

PhD students are expected to identify an area of study in which they are interested in concentrating. The core courses focus on biology/medicine, engineering, mathematics, statistics and ethics. Student must complete a seminar course each semester. The program requires 52 credit hours of graduate work with at least six hours devoted to dissertation research.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The UNC-CH School of Medicine is home to the institution's biomedical engineering department. The BME program is run jointly by UNC-CH and NC State. Unlike NC-State, however, the undergraduate biomedical engineering program at UNC-CH is operated by the College of Arts and Sciences rather than the BME department. The graduate programs at both schools are combined.

Bachelor of Science in Applied Sciences and Engineering - Biomedical Engineering

This program is structured so that students take foundational courses in math and science during their first two years, followed by focused studies on biomedical engineering in their third and fourth years. The program's overall concentration is on BME design and manufacturing processes and culminates with a senior-year design project. This degree program is not ABET accredited.

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering

This joint BME program is identical to the one offered at NC-State. Applications to the BME department are accepted at both schools. Students can take classes and use the resources offered at both campuses. Applicants to the program are expected to have a solid background in engineering or physical/biological science. GRE scores are required. In 2010-2011, about 75% of graduates either found jobs in the field or continued with graduate-level studies.

PhD in Biomedical Engineering

The BME PhD program is academically identical to the one offered at UNC-CH. Doctoral students must pick a research topic for their dissertation by the end of the second semester, which is followed by three examinations related to the student's readiness and research in the chosen topic. The process culminates in a final defense of the dissertation.

Duke University

The Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering offers four programs in the BME field. This is one of the largest areas of study at the school; in 2011, about 30% of all engineering degrees awarded were in BME.

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Students in this ABET-accredited program study molecular, cellular and tissue engineering, electrobiology, medical imaging, biomedical optics and medical informatics. Undergraduates are able to participate in research projects involving disease treatment, forming nanoparticles for drug delivery and creating artificial organs. This degree program can prepare the student for a career in biomechanics, biotechnology, the medical device industry and engineering consulting. Many graduates choose to continue their education in an engineering discipline or in medical school.

Biomedical Master of Engineering

This program combines biomedical studies with core business courses. Students choose a concentration in imaging and biophotonics, cardiac and neuroengineering, biomaterials, tissue engineering or biomechanics. Along with the science courses, students take courses preparing them for the commercial aspects of high-tech engineering. This degree program does not include a thesis but requires either an internship or engineering project. This program can be completed in two years or less, and the school also offers this course of study within a combined bachelor's and master's program that takes five years to finish.

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering

The focus of this master's program is on the student's research project. The project requires the collaboration of the student and his or her teacher. When students are choosing an area of concentration, they are are encouraged to become familiar with faculty members' research interests. The research project/thesis combined with advanced technical coursework can provide a student with a foundation for various careers in technology development, industry or academia. This 30-credit program takes about two years to complete.

PhD in Biomedical Engineering

The PhD program is intended for students interested in specialized BME research. The program is flexible and has few prerequisites. Students must take courses in life sciences, advanced mathematics and ethics. Students are also required to spend at least two semesters as teaching assistants. Thesis preparation begins during the student's first year, and they can become PhD candidates after passing the preliminary examination. The program culminates with a successful defense of the thesis. About six years of graduate work is required for this degree.

Comparison of Schools

There's a lot to consider when choosing what college to attend, such as cost, campus setting and acceptance rates. Find out about such stats for the three biomedical engineering schools discussed above.

North Carolina State University University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Duke University
School Type Four-year; public Four-year; public Four-year; private, not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2011) 34,767* 29,137* 15,427*
Campus Setting Large city Small city Midsize city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2011-2012) $7,018 in-state; $19,853 out-of-state* $7,009 in-state; $26,834 out-of-state* $41,938*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2011) 70%* 70%* 62%*
Acceptance Rate (2010) 54%* 34%* 16%*
Retention Rate (2011) 89% of full-time students* 97% of full-time students* 97% of full-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (2011) 72%* 89%* 94%*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics'

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