FINAL PROJECT: Abstract and Reader's Reponse > Kayla's Excellent Guide to Scoping Out Graduate School in the Emerging Field of Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering is one of the newest engineering fields; emerging for the first time about 40 years ago. Job prospects for the next fifteen years are excellent and entry level salaries are around $85,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As this field is still in its infancy, information on how to apply to biomedical engineering graduate PhD programs and what these programs entail is not well known. Additionally, I am coming from a unique situation making the application process even more difficult and stressful. I am majoring in biology and I do not have engineering experience. I am going to have a more difficult time applying to these programs without an engineering background. In order to be a viable and attractive candidate, I will have to work extra hard to make sure I have the correct pre-requisites to apply and provide any additional materials these programs might need as evidence that I am capable of handling an engineering graduate program. This guide will walk through my research on and process of applying to five different graduate programs that range in cost, prestige, and location: Johns Hopkins University, University of California – Berkeley, University of Minnesota, University of Maryland, and University of Washington. These programs were selected based on US News and World Report’s rankings of top biomedical engineering programs. This guide will also feature a timeline of the application process as well as a FAQ section. While this document is constructed for my personal use, any student interested in applying to biomedical engineering graduate programs can gain valuable information from it.

Readers Profile: Engineering students would likely find a lot of this document useless to them. As the reader myself, I am likely going to get frustrated with only looking at five schools in this document.

Readers Response: Each school is going to have a general process but it will be impossible to capture all of the differences each school requires in this document. I am also neglecting options other than PhD programs but doing a second bachelor’s or a master’s degree would also be good options for someone in my position.
May 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKB
Revised Statement: In a relatively new field, applying to biomedical engineering graduate schools is a challenge due to the absence of a standardized definition of biomedical engineering and officially accredited programs resulting in large variance in application requirements, especially for students without undergraduate engineering backgrounds.

Voice: I will write in first person for the beginning of my document, a cover letter of sorts as this is my research and geared towards me. As I get into the different schools and the process of application, I will switch to more of third person, maybe adding some first person opinions and thoughts throughout.

Citation: Throughout the document, I will be using informal citation. "According to" and "US News provides", etc.
May 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKB
K -- good plan. I am not sure that your biology background situation is unique! Yet, you are right to note that meeting engineering school requirements poses additional challenges for biology students.

Can you find information on the numbers of women in this emerging engineering field? Do you have a professional engineering exam to pass? What society or professional group will you be able to join (they can be an excellent source).
May 7, 2017 | Registered CommenterMarybeth Shea