Is ABET accreditation important for Biomedical Engineering Majors?

<p>I am a student at Uconn and I am interested in going into either biomedical engineering or chemical engineering. However, I have recently found out that Uconn's Biomedical Engineering program is not ABET accredited (although it is going through the process of accreditation currently.) Is this something I should worry about? Because of the accreditation issue, I am leaning more towards chemical engineering at this time.</p>

<p>Nope. Don't worry about it. The only thing that ABET accreditation really does is make it possible to get a PE license someday, which is only really something you need to worry about if you're a civil engineer and need a PE license to do your job. PE licenses really aren't required in biomedical engineering.</p>

<p>ABET accreditation is important in traditional engineering disciplines (e.g. CE, ME, EE, ChE) which are subject to state licensing laws. Virtually all reputable programs in these disciplines are ABET-accredited, because they know that at least some of their graduates will seek licensure. In practice, it is difficult (and in some states, impossible) to obtain a PE license if you don't have an ABET degree.</p>

<p>But Biomedical Engineering is completely different. BME is basically unregulated: there are no states that license biomedical engineers, and there are no biomedical FE or PE exams. So in practice, it doesn't really matter whether a BME degree is ABET-accredited or not. </p>

<p>For this reason, many prestigious engineering schools have not pursued ABET accreditation in BME. Examples include Cornell, MIT, and Stanford. These schools have ABET accreditation in traditional disciplines (where it matters) but not in BME (where it doesn't). UConn is the same way.</p>

<p>ABET accredidation in not essential in the BME field per se but it can be very helpful in getting a non BME job. Why? Passing the FE exam will show employers that you actually have fundamental technical engineering ability and are not just some biology major with a few physics and math classes. </p>

<p>ABET accredidation is basically saying a particular program has all of the essential FUNDAMENTAL (traditional) curriculum for an engineering program. You may still be able to sit for the FE with a non-ABET accredited degree but you may not be able to pass it if your BIOE/BME curriculum deviates too much from standard engineering curriculum. What's more, getting an FE certification without an ABET accredited degree is a little trickier in most states.</p>

<p>It's important to understand that there's (traditionally) a difference between bioengineering (BE) and biomedical engineering (BME). Biomedical engineering will typically include a lot of traditional ME/EE/CHME coursework and allow for specilization in an area. BMEs work in areas such as designing lvads, artificial hearts, heart valves, stents, catheters, etc. A lot of BMEs will get dual degrees. I, for instance, got degreees in BME and ME by using my BME courswork as the electives (and substitutes where possible) in the ME curriculum. Of course, there was a lot of overlap between the ME and BMEM (BME mechanical specilization) so it was not a difficult thing to do.</p>

<p>BE has to do with things like genetics, tissue engineering, artificial organs of a biological nature, etc. BE programs have typically have a lot of specific, specialized BE courses of their own and may not have much overlap with the more traditional disciplines. Therefore, it is much harder to work a second traditional degree with a BE program sequence. Because of the nature of the BE curriculum subject matter, BE programs rarely seek ABET accredidation.</p>

<p>Medtronic, Guidant, J&J, Boston Sci. hire a lot of BMEs but, for the most part, do not generally hire BEs at all. Glaxo-Smith-Kline, Eli Lilly and medical research centers typically hire BEs. It's note worthy to point out that BEs typically do not perform as well as other disciplines on the FE, but BMEs perform about the same as other disciplines (the catagories are lumped together on the NCEES web page but there is more detailed information availabe from various sources).</p>

<p>I interviewed with meadtronic, guidant, & J&J but did internships with GE and Lockheed of all places. I got hired on full time with lockheed upon graduation. My senior project was a biomedical related topic but used traditional ME methods (finite elements stress analysis). That undergrad research was what essentially got me my job. LM wasn't interested in the topic I had done research in, but the skillsets I had developed in doing the research. The fact that I had passed the FE exam (which was mentioned in the interview) helped to cement in the minds of my interviewer that I had enough traditional background and ability to do work in aerospace, even though a lot of my focus had been on the medical device field.</p>

<p>actually penn state has a major called 'bioengineering'</p>

<p>and the courses in there r like traditional eng. courses. they lack w/ medical and health or science courses so advisors advise to minor in biology .</p>

<p>mech eng. and elect eng. r the 2 options out of the 4 total options in this Bioeng. major.</p>

<p>i think 'bio-medical engineering' is more leaned towards medical courses and is not that heavy on the traditional eng. courses.</p>

<p>but basically bio and biomed are the same thing.</p>

<p>their both engineers who use engineering to solve medical, health and science problems.</p>

<p>they need the traditional engineering skills and the medical/health skills. Their like a bridge between the 2 fields. [eng. and med.]</p>