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BME vs ChemE in Undergrad

BlueCorvetteBlueCorvette 3 replies1 threads New Member
I am currently a senior in high school and I am deciding on a college right now. Should I do an B.S. in BME or major in ChemE for undergrad and do BME in Grad School? I am more interested in BME, but I've heard that it would be better to major in a traditional engineering and then do a masters in BME. This dilemma was caused because I have two college options right now.

1. B.S in ChemE, with biomed concentration at my state school (lower ranking than my other option)
2. B.S in BME at Purdue, an out of state school (drastically more expensive)

*The in-state vs. out of-state was one source of confusion
*The ChemE vs BME was another source of confusion

Either way, I plan on do grad school and/or a PhD, so which option would be better for me in the long term.

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Replies to: BME vs ChemE in Undergrad

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9782 replies110 threads Senior Member
    I have a couple of thoughts here.

    First, can your family afford the out of state tuition at Purdue? If not, go to your instate option. Don't accrue debt if you don't have to. It's not worth it (and I say this as a Purdue parent).

    The CHE and BME plan of studies vary greatly. Look up the four year plan of studies at these two schools. See which appeals to you more. There is nothing wrong with studying BME as an undergraduate if you are sure you will continue to grad school. It's just one of those fields that requires an advanced degree and the job market is more competitive than for other engineering disciplines.

    At Purdue, all engineers start off with the same common first year engineering curriculum and then transition to their major. BME was the hardest major to transition to last year because there were more students than slots. Even students who met the GPA threshold to be guaranteed their first choice, didn't get into BME. I would suggest looking into the process at the schools on your list.

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  • BlueCorvetteBlueCorvette 3 replies1 threads New Member
    Oh ok, what major did your son/daughter study at Purdue? My family would have to acquire a loan in order to afford Purdue. As I am still on visa, I would be considered an international student and won't be eligible for traditional student loans and financial aid.
    Also I made some changes to my plans.
    *How difficult is it to get into Mechanical Engineering at Purdue after the first year. I saw that there were some biomedical research options for MechE students
    * I also saw that there were 5 year BS/MS programs for both BME and MechE, how difficult is it to get into those?
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9782 replies110 threads Senior Member
    My D is a chem E.

    Mech E is the biggest major. D didn't know anyone who had trouble getting into Mech E. Mech E has a lot of crossover with BME and many students who didn't get into BME, did Mech E or Bioengineering instead.

    I don't know much about the 5 year programs. That isn't on my D's radar. Hopefully someone else will chime in.

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  • BlueCorvetteBlueCorvette 3 replies1 threads New Member
    Wow, your comment about the crossover between BME and Mech E is very helpful because that is something I was hoping for. Just asking, an answer isn't necessarily required, but how does your D know so much about Mech E's crossover with BME.

    Another more general question I had was how much of a role does the name, prestige, and ranking of a university play when applying to grad school and/or jobs?
    Because our in-state option isn't very highly ranked (but that could mean that holding a higher rank and gpa in the in-state would be easier). What are your thoughts, opinions, comments about the relationship between rank in college class and gpa vs college ranking and popular name in terms of applying for grad school and/or jobs?
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9782 replies110 threads Senior Member
    I think that as long as you are at an ABET accredited school, where you go for engineering (or CS for that matter) doesn't really matter that much. Certainly not enough to take on a lot of debt. Work hard in your classes, do well, and get as many internships or co-ops as you can. That will matter more than the name of the college on your diploma.

    (My D considered BME for her major for a bit before college. She was back and forth between BME, MechE, and CHE and as a result did a fair amount of research.)
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  • BlueCorvetteBlueCorvette 3 replies1 threads New Member
    wow @momofsenior1 , thank you so much for your insight on this topic. It really means a lot!
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