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So You Want to Become a Biomedical Engineer

IEEE via edX

This course may be unavailable.


Want to become a biomedical engineer but not sure where to focus or how to get there? This engineering course will give you an overview of this wildly popular and vast field, as you learn about more than two dozen areas of focus and get a peek at some of the cool and exciting advances going on at top institutions. Along the way, you’ll meet more than three dozen biomedical engineers—from top names in the field to those just starting their careers.

Through exercises, you’ll get to think like a BME and experience the various areas to see which fits your interests and talents.

Finally, once you have a better sense of where you’d like to focus, our educational and career advice will help show you how to get there.

While targeted to students exploring a career in biomedical engineering, anyone curious about this fascinating field will find something of interest: from the thinking processes of pilots and baseball batters to an inside view of a beating heart to developments in bionics, exoskeletons, and nanotechnology.

Join us on a journey through the world of biomedical engineering.

Verified students are eligible to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and Professional Development Hours (PDHs), valid toward continuing education requirements for many professional certifications.


LESSON 1: Introduction

  • Overview
  • Course Structure

LESSON 2: Biomedical Engineering Defined

  • What is a BME
  • A Very Broad Field
  • How BMEs Differ from Other Engineers
  • Is BME Right for You?
  • Helping You Get There

LESSON 3: The Big Picture

  • A Multidisciplinary Field
  • A Simple History of Science
  • What Biomedical Engineering Provides

LESSON 4: Practical Applications

  • Introduction
  • Clinical Engineering
    • Working in the Clinical Setting
  • Rehabilitation Engineering
    • Neural Prostheses
    • Working with Patients
    • Exoskeletons 
  • Performance Enhancement
    • Monitoring Pilot Fatigue
  • How They Got Here

LESSON 5: Starting from Physiology

  • Introduction
  • Cardiac Engineering
    • Reanimating Human Hearts
    • Lessons from Hibernating Bears
  • Physiological Systems Modeling
    • Modeling Neural Circuits for Parkinson’s and Epilepsy Control
  • How They Got Here

LESSON 6: Neural Engineering

  • Introduction
    • Multi-Scale Engineering
  • Brain-Machine Interfaces
    • Addressing Pilot-Induced Oscillations
    • Sensory Feedback with Neural Implants
    • Non-Invasive Signaling
  • Conclusion
  • How They Got Here

LESSON 7: Biomedical Imaging

  • Introduction
  • Functional Brain Imaging
  • Cardiac Imaging
  • How They Got Here

LESSON 8: Biomedical Image Processing

  • Introduction
  • Image Analysis
  • How They Got Here

LESSON 9: Electronics & Instrumentation

  • Instrumentation, Sensors & Measurement
    • Sleep Monitoring
    • Home Robot for Fall Detection
  • Biosignal Processing
    • Cardio Seismography
    • Monitoring the Brain Under Anesthesia
    • Seizure Control
  • Wearable Biomedical Sensors
  • How They Got Here

LESSON 10: Biomedicine Meets Computers

  • Introduction
  • Bioinformatics
    • YOU on a Chip
    • Systems Medicine
    • Tracking Bacteria Propagation
  • Biomedical and Health Informatics
    • Monitoring Premature Infants
    • Mining Data from Wearables
    • Telemedicine
  • How They Got Here

LESSON 11: Mechanics Meets Biology & Medicine

  • Introduction
  • Biomechanics
  • Biorobotics
  • Surgical Robotics
  • How They Got Here

LESSON 12: Materials Go Very Small

  • Introduction
  • BioMEMS
  • Micro & Nanotechnology
  • How They Got Here

LESSON 13: BME Intersects Cells & Tissues

  • Introduction
  • Drug Design & Delivery
    • The Langer Lab
    • Tales of Two Startups
  • Biomaterials
  • Tissue Engineering
  • How They Got Here

LESSON 14: Additional Areas

  • Genetic Engineering & Synthetic Biology
  • Cellular & Molecular Biomechanics
  • Agricultural & Environmental Engineering

LESSON 15: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

  • Introduction
  • Let the Need Drive the Research
  • Getting to Market

LESSON 16: Designing Your Career

  • What You Can Do with a BME Degree
  • Selecting a Career Path
  • Working in Industry
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Career Advice

LESSON 17: Planning Your Education

  • Selecting Your Major
  • How Much Education You’ll Need
  • What Courses To Take
  • Academic Advice
    • Which Classes to Take
    • Degree Programs
    • Which Degree is Right for You
    • For Those Going to Med School
    • How Far You Should Go
    • Try Things On
    • Your Attitude Towards Learning
  • Gaining Real-World Experience
    • Why Work in a Lab
    • Getting into a Lab
    • The Lab Environment
    • Poster Halls

LESSON 18: Advice and Inspiration

  • What Inspires Me
  • Where to Learn More
  • Advantages of Society Membership
  • My Personal Goal
  • Conclusion

Taught by

Bruce C. Wheeler PhD


5.0 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

Start your review of So You Want to Become a Biomedical Engineer

  • This is actually a really interesting/useful exploratory course for people who are unsure about either getting a degree in biomedical engineering or getting into the field, it presents you with several examples of careers exploring different areas of focus, so no matter what your goal is when considering this profession, you'll likely find inspiring people who'll be talking about their roles and research.

    Highly recommended for people about to complete high school, or at any point as undergraduate, or for anyone really, who could like to get into the amazing field of biomedical engineering.
  • Arahim Zuñiga

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