I’m a high school junior looking at what exactly I want to do major-wise and career-wise, and biomedical engineering has been enticing to me for years. I wanted to go into either prosthetics design or, more recently, I’ve been looking into tissue engineering (which seem like really different disciplines, so idk how I managed to make those two my main options?). But the more I read about BME, the more I see saying that it’s a “jack-of-all-trades” major that basically requires I go to grad school to get a job in product design, unless I major in mechanical engineering. I’m more interested the “bio” part than the “engineering” (that’s not to say I’m not interested in engineering, just that I’m more interested in bio) so going into Mech E just doesn’t seem right. That being said, I feel like just going for biology or biochem also wouldn’t get me a design job, unless I let myself get sucked into pharma, which wouldn’t be my first choice. I feel kind of lost on what to do now regarding my future major. Any advice?
You might consider a Materials Science/Engineering major; that can be a great route into biomaterials. I don’t know that there are any undergrad programs that are biomaterials-specific, but a Materials degree will give you a great foundation to get into that field, and you can get involved in more specialized research.
Just as one example, here’s the undergrad program at tOSU. The biomaterials specialty is specifically mentioned as one of the areas of concentration that upperclassmen can pursue: Major in MSE - Materials Science and Engineering | Materials Science and Engineering
First, prosthetics is a completely different approach. You get an applicable undergraduate degree and then a MS in Prosthetics and Orthotics.
Tissue engineering used to be exclusively within purview of Biology (Cellular Biology). Many BME programs now offer that too, because the engineering background is helpful in formulating substrates. I don’t know the programs as well as I used to, but I would think either route would require an advanced degree though to do anything very autonomously beyond lab tech work.
I was thinking materials engineering as well after reading your post.
There are also schools that offer concentrations within a major that could help you be more employable without a masters degree. My daughter is a chemical engineering major with a materials concentration. She have friends who are mech es with bio engineering concentrations.
The good news is that you don’t have to decide now on a major. Plenty of schools have first year engineering programs that allow you to learn more about different majors. Some schools don’t require you to pick a major until second semester sophomore year.