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Biology vs Biomedical Engineering

cutiedidacutiedida 431 replies55 threads Member
edited November 2013 in Boston University
I am having a really hard time with which department to apply to on the CommonApp. I really love biology and I already have an internship under my belt at a basic science research lab investigating oncogene mutations. However, biomedical engineering sounds really cool because it adds a quantitative and novel approach, and also isn't just about finding things out, but also about fixing them.

However, I really just want to work with cells, and I'm not that interested in prosthetics or bioelectronic devices (though microfluidic devices does sound interesting). I guess you could say that I just really like things that involve microscopes haha

So basically, would I better off as a Biology + computer science/physics major in the College of Arts and Sciences, or as a biomedical engineer? If I majored in biology + compsci/physics, could I always apply to BME masters programs if I do decide to pursue that path?
I do really like humanities classes as well and I want to graduate as a well rounded individual.

My dream is to get an MD/PhD by the way.
edited November 2013
2 replies
Post edited by cutiedida on
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Replies to: Biology vs Biomedical Engineering

  • LBowieLBowie 1792 replies51 threads Senior Member
    I would suggest you look up the courses you would be required to take in each major and compare them side by side. Which are more interesting to you? It is not hard to switch schools, so you may want to plan your first year schedule so you satisfy requirement for both majors regardless of which one you are in. As you go along in your coursework, you can decide which you like better. But as far as applying, in general, biology is a very popular major at many schools, so maybe you'd set yourself apart more applying as an engineer. I don't know - maybe others can comment? But engineering as a field is quite different from science. It is more applied, while science is more discovery-oriented. It is actually a big difference, and I suspect that will be what makes the ultimate decision for you.
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  • Blade3390Blade3390 72 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Hey! I'm a current freshman at BU majoring in BME and I love it! It's a LOT of hard work but it is honestly so interesting and fun! The department is one of the best in the country and it's amazing! When I was applying to schools last year, I had the same debate with myself in regards to whether or not I wanted to apply as a Biology or a BME major and eventually I decided with BME because you are able to apply what you learn in the classroom a lot more than if you just major in one of the sciences. Plus, biology and BME majors usually take similar classes, however, BME is a lot more rigorous than biology (which helps you if you want to go to med school!!!) By the way, you could always just minor in computer science or physics if you go into BME (double majoring in two sciences is so difficult unless you have a whole bunch of AP credits so a minor could be better but you don't even have to worry about that yet!!!!)
    In regards to your interest in cells, BME at BU actually has this thing called "clusters", which is a focus of a type of biomedical engineering that you can follow called "Cell and Tissue Engineering"! More info here: Clusters » Biomedical Engineering | Boston University

    If you have any questions about BU or anything else, just message me and I will be glad to help you out in any way I can. Good luck!!! :)
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