Planning ahead can get you access to the resources you need
Are you specifically interested in one area of biomedical engineering? If so, choosing a school that offers research opportunities in this particular area can be beneficial to your future professional career. It’s always valuable to plan ahead as you’re thinking about which school to attend. Instead of getting attached to a particular school because of factors that won’t matter too much in the end, it may be helpful to consider the question: Are their labs relevant to the kinds of research and development you want to pursue?
Biomedical engineering is a broad field that includes many different specialty areas. Biomedical engineers may build instrumentation used to treat diseases, biomaterials that are implanted into people’s bodies, or devices that help with bodily functioning like joint replacements. You may focus on the cellular level in areas like genetic engineering or growing tissue for replacement organs; with bones, muscles and joints or with medical imaging devices.
How Specialization May Impact Choice of School
The area in which you plan to specialize may impact your choice of schools depending on how that school emphasizes one area over another. Each school has a lab in which students can do research, and each lab likely has different equipment that works better with one or more particular specialties.
Depending on your specialty, you may need a lab with advanced microscopy, one that facilitates the building and testing of various biomaterials, or one that contains lasers and photonics that are needed for different types of experimentation. Not many students might think about asking what equipment a particular school has in their biomedical engineering research labs. However, if you know what specialty you think you want to pursue, having the right equipment in the lab could make a big difference in getting the experience you need to get started in your subfield.
Not all students are sure about what specialty area they want to pursue, especially before they have taken several courses and learned more about the different options within the field. Finding a school with a lab that has a good cross-section of equipment for different specialties is a good option in this case.
Finding Out About Professors’ Specialties
Along with asking questions about research lab facilities, you can also try to find out about the professors in the department and the areas of biomedical engineering in which they might specialize. Visiting the school may give you a good opportunity to connect with professors, and followup questions are generally encouraged after a school visit.
While the general information and knowledge of the biomedical engineering field will be covered in your coursework at just about any school, it stands to reason that you can get more teaching and hands-on experience in a particular subfield if a school’s professors specialize in that area.
Florida Tech offers a doctorate in biomedical engineering degree as well as master and undergraduate programs with research opportunities that involve both faculty and your peers. Learn more about our master’s in biomedical engineering degree program and all we have to offer students who want to enter this exciting field.