Biomedical sciences are defined as disciplines which involve focusing on the biology of human health and illnesses. The scope of the subject covers everything from generic medical science and anatomy to highly specialized subjects like human physiology, nutrition and pharmacology. Biomedicine students help in the process of diagnosis and treatment of a disease by researching how a person’s biochemistry interacts with drugs, external factors and micro-organisms. Students of biomedical science can expect to work at the forefront of medical research after graduating. Globally, more than US$240bn is spent on biomedical research and development every year (Guardian, 2018). While biomedical sciences are a major focus of funding and research by universities and private organisations in several nations, USA, in particular gives the subject prime importance in its educational sector. This article seeks to shed some light on the topic for students who wish to study biomedical science in the USA.
Without biomedical scientists, it would be almost impossible to deal with illnesses and disease. This is because the treatment of any disease is dependent upon the diagnosis, prognosis and recovery protocols provided by research and laboratory testing. The following are some of the reasons that may encourage you to consider studying biomedical science:
The following are some of the top biomedical science undergraduate degrees available to international students looking to pursue their education in the USA:
A bachelor’s program in biomedical science is based around core biology courses supplemented by subjects like human anatomy, immunology and molecular genetics. This degree will prepare you for a career in healthcare, natural sciences or moving on towards a master’s or PhD.
A bachelor’s program in biomedical engineering revolves around the core structure of engineering subjects like mathematics, physics and statistics with the addition of biology disciplines like human anatomy and physiology, molecular cell biology and biochemistry. Biomedical engineers can work for pharmaceutical companies, biomedical device manufacturers, hospitals and rehabilitation centers along with research institutes.
The biological chemistry bachelor’s program is designed for students who are looking to build a professional career in the field of biotechnology or move on to master’s or PhD studies in the field of biochemistry. The core subjects for this program are general and organic chemistry along with specific lab-oriented subjects like laboratory analysis and synthesis and laboratory techniques in biochemistry.
A bachelor’s degree in bioinformatics is based around the interdisciplinary study of biology and biochemical system using computer science and mathematical tools. Bioinformatics revolves around using computers and statistics to make sense of the massive amounts of data gathered through biological and chemical experiments like gene sequencing etc. The coursework is an amalgamation of science, computers and mathematics designed to prepare students for careers in the biotechnology industry or to move on to further studies at the master’s and PhD levels.
A medical laboratory science degree is a combination of biology and chemistry with medicine and clinical science that is designed to prepare students for a career as a medical laboratory scientist or a medical technologist. Laboratory scientists use their skills to perform research and interpret data. This aids in the diagnosis and treatment of disease as well as monitoring and prevention.
The following are some of the top postgraduate courses available to international students looking to pursue their higher education in biomedical science in the USA:
An advanced degree in biomedical science is an excellent way for gaining entry into medical school or PhD programs in subjects like genetics, neuroscience, immunology etc. The degree is a great choice for students who wish to have a rock-solid foundation for pursuing a career in biotech, pharmaceutical science, laboratory and academic research etc. As biomedical science moves into the future and becomes more sophisticated, a master’s degree will ensure that you have the foundation in biological sciences, laboratory operations and clinical research to perform at a high level in your chosen career path.
The master’s in biomedical engineering program is based around the concepts of science and core engineering, bio-engineering and advanced biotechnology. Students are taught the essentials of life science, engineering theory and are provided with analytical and practical tools that will be necessary for them to be successful in their chosen biotechnology and bioengineering careers. An advanced degree in biomedical engineering will open up career avenues for you in hospitals, teaching in a variety of industry settings and working in research facilities of education, medical and government agencies.
Bioethics is the study of the moral implications of biological research and applications. As biotechnology and biomedicine advance at a rapid clip, so do the issues regarding their ethical, legal and social implications. A bioethics degree program is designed to teach students how to apply ethics to situations that arise in the medical field. From stem cell research to drafting new healthcare policies and regulations, an advanced degree in bioethics prepares students for careers in healthcare, academia and health law.
An advanced degree in biostatistics is designed to train students in designing and analyzing experiments and the data gathered through them to solve biomedical or public health problems. The core coursework of the program revolves around mathematical, statistical and computational methods for dealing with large amounts of medical data. Students enrolled in the program are provided with the tools they need to gain statistical consulting experience to face a variety of health and medicine related problems.
The field of biomedical informatics focuses on the use of information or data to improve personal health, delivery of healthcare services and general populace health as well. An advanced degree in biomedical informatics is based around the core subjects of clinical and functional genomics, text mining, information retrieval, systems biology and computational neuroscience. The career avenues are varied as the principles of biomedical informatics are applied for maintaining electronic health records, telemedicine, information retrieval systems and mobile technologies focused on medicine and personal health.
Given below is a list of the top universities and colleges in the USA that offer biomedical science courses, according to the USN Report (U.S. News and World Report) for 2020:
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Founded in 1861, Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT as it is more commonly known, ranked #2 in the USN rankings of national universities for biomedical science. It offers degree programs in a wide range of subjects although the primary focus of the institution are science and technology disciplines. The institute’s largest department in terms of enrollment is the ‘School of Engineering’ closely followed by the ‘School of Science’. They offer master’s level courses in biology, life sciences and biomedical engineering.
3. Duke University – Duke University was founded in 1838 and is ranked #3 in the USN rankings of national universities for biomedical sciences. The university is divided into 10 schools and colleges which include the highly respected ‘Pratt School of Engineering’, ‘School of Medicine’, ‘Sanford School of Public Policy’ and more. They are known for their unique combination of academic achievement and athletic excellence. Duke University offers an innovative master’s program in biomedical science designed to enhance the scientific and professional knowledge of students who wish to pursue a career in the health industry or related fields.
4. Georgia Institute of Technology – Georgia Institute of Technology or Georgia Tech was founded in 1885 as a public university. It is ranked #4 on the USN rankings of national universities for biomedical science. The institute has a reputation for being very active in the fields of research and development with more than 100 centers focusing on interdisciplinary cutting-edge research and innovation for the American government and other industries. It is divided into 6 colleges and the ‘College of Engineering’ is one of the highest ranked departments within the university. ‘Georgia Tech’ offers students a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical science, bio-molecular technology and bio-design.
5. Stanford University – Stanford University was founded in 1885 and is a private institution. The university is comprised of 7 schools out of which only 4 offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs. The remaining 3 serve as purely post-graduate schools. Ranked #5 on the USN rankings of national universities for biomedical science, Stanford offers highly ranked programs through their ‘School of Medicine’. They offer students a master’s program in Biomedical Informatics which can lead to a career in applied medical research, telemedicine, electronic recordkeeping and other avenues in this new and highly innovative field of study.
Application deadline: Stanford University stops accepting applications in early January.
Scholarships: The university offers need-based financial assistance to international students provided they state their situation during the process of application. They typically offer a USD 85,000 financial aid package to international students, but the important thing to note is that in recent years less than 35% of international undergraduate applicants who qualify for financial aid are accepted into Stanford. However, there are a number of privately funded scholarships like the Westly Scholarship Fund which international students can apply for to secure financial aid to attend Stanford University.
Biomedical science focuses on human health. However, instead of learning to treat patients in a hospital, students are taught how the human body functions at the DNA level, how a disease originates and spreads, how to discover new diagnostic methods that make it easier to detect illnesses discover new treatment options by understanding how a disease works at the molecular level.
You should opt for a biomedical science degree if you are passionate about research and understanding how the human body works at a cellular level. Degrees in biomedical science are flexible and lead to a wide variety of career options for graduates. Generally, people who are passionate about health and trying to find cures for diseases are advised to go for a biomedical science degree but over the years there are other avenues that have opened up within the biomedical field that students can opt for. For example – a degree in bioethics, biostatistics and even health law.
The following is a list of jobs that are directly related to a biomedical science degree:
The following is a list of jobs where a biomedical science degree can be applicable: