Is Harvard Good for Biomedical Engineering? Pros and Cons

Harvard is perhaps one of the most prestigious universities in the world. With a reputation that spans centuries, the university is renowned for producing some of the brightest minds in various fields. But what about biomedical engineering? Is Harvard really a good fit for anyone looking to pursue a career in this field?

Well, the short answer is yes. With a highly specialized program in biomedical engineering, Harvard is an ideal place for anyone aspiring to make a name for themselves in this area. The university boasts state-of-the-art research facilities, world-class faculty, and an impressive network of alumni who have excelled in various areas of research and development.

But what exactly makes Harvard so great for biomedical engineering? Well, for starters, the curriculum is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the field, while also allowing them to specialize in areas of interest. Additionally, the program’s faculty comprises some of the most distinguished researchers and scientists in the field, who are committed to helping students reach their full potential. So, if you’re looking for a university that can help take your biomedical engineering career to the next level, look no further than Harvard.

Biomedical Engineering Programs at Harvard

Harvard is one of the most prestigious universities in the world, and it’s no surprise that the school offers some of the top biomedical engineering programs as well. As a student in one of these programs, you’ll have access to state-of-the-art facilities, renowned faculty, and countless opportunities for research and exploration.

  • The Biomedical Engineering Program at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) is one such program. It offers both an undergraduate and a graduate degree in biomedical engineering, with a curriculum that focuses on the intersection of engineering, biology, and medicine.
  • At the graduate level, Harvard also offers a joint program in health sciences and technology (HST). This program is a collaboration between the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
  • In addition to these degree programs, Harvard also has plenty of opportunities for biomedical engineering research. The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering is one such research organization, bringing together experts from a variety of fields to create innovative solutions for medical and environmental challenges.

Whether you’re interested in pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering or simply want to get involved in cutting-edge research, Harvard is a great place to be. With a diverse and dedicated community of students and faculty, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn, grow, and contribute to the field.

Career Opportunities for Biomedical Engineers from Harvard

Graduating from Harvard’s biomedical engineering program opens up numerous career opportunities for students. Here are some potential career paths:

  • Medical Device Developer – Biomedical engineers from Harvard can work for medical device companies like Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson to develop new medical technologies.
  • Regulatory Affairs Specialist – Graduates can also work as regulatory affairs specialists to ensure medical devices are safe and meet regulations set forth by the FDA and other regulatory agencies.
  • Biomedical Researcher – Students can pursue a career in biomedical research and work for organizations such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct cutting-edge research in the field of biomedical engineering.

Harvard’s National Board Exam (NBE) Pass Rates

Harvard’s biomedical engineering program has an impressive national board exam (NBE) pass rate, which is a testament to the quality of education provided by the school. According to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), which tracks pass rates of biomedical engineering programs across the country, Harvard’s NBE pass rate for 2020 was 91.5%, well above the national average of 80.5%. This indicates that students who graduate from Harvard’s biomedical engineering program are well-prepared for their careers in the field.

Admission Requirements for Biomedical Engineering Programs at Harvard

Becoming a student at Harvard University is a highly selective process. For their Biomedical Engineering program, they carefully evaluate every applicant to ensure that they will not only thrive in their program but also contribute positively to the university community. Here are some of the admission requirements for their Biomedical Engineering programs:

  • A completed application form, which includes personal and academic information, essays or personal statements, and transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended.
  • GRE (General) scores are required, but they also recommend taking the GRE (Subject) in biology, chemistry, or physics.
  • TOEFL or IELTS for international students whose first language is not English.

Additionally, if you want to be considered for the Ph.D. program, you should have excellent writing and research skills. You should also have a strong background in engineering, biology, mathematics, and/or chemistry. They also recommend doing research in your undergraduate studies as well as a co-op or intern experience in a relevant field.

Harvard’s admission committee is not looking for a one-size-fits-all applicant. Instead, they are interested in individuals who have unique experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives. They are looking for people who aren’t afraid to ask questions or challenge assumptions and who can collaborate effectively with others.

It’s essential for prospective students to do their research and become familiar with Harvard’s application process. Completing your application correctly and providing all the necessary materials before the due date is essential to be considered for admission.

Harvard’s Research in the Biomedical Engineering Field

Harvard University is undoubtedly one of the world’s leading institutions in the field of biomedical engineering. With its vast resources, state-of-the-art facilities, and top-notch researchers and faculty, it has established itself as a premier destination for those seeking to study and conduct research in this field.

Research areas and projects

Harvard’s Department of Biomedical Engineering is at the forefront of cutting-edge research in a wide range of areas, including tissue engineering, medical imaging, and neuroengineering, among others. Some notable research projects that have been conducted at Harvard include:

  • The development of biomaterials for tissue engineering, such as synthetic scaffolds and hydrogels, which can be used to regenerate damaged or diseased tissues
  • The use of micro- and nanotechnology to create miniaturized medical devices, such as implantable sensors and drug delivery systems
  • The investigation of neural pathways and brain function using advanced imaging techniques, such as functional MRI and PET scanning

Collaborations and partnerships

Harvard’s biomedical engineering department collaborates with other institutions and organizations around the world to advance the field and bring new technologies and treatments to patients. Some of its notable partnerships include:

  • The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, which brings together scientists and engineers from across Harvard and other institutions to develop innovative solutions to complex medical problems
  • The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, which focuses on genomics, drug discovery, and other areas related to human biology and disease
  • The Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, which offers joint educational programs and conducts research at the intersection of engineering, medicine, and science

Facilities and resources

Harvard’s biomedical engineering department is home to a number of world-class research facilities and resources, including:

Facility Description
George Whitesides Research Group A laboratory specializing in the design and fabrication of micro- and nanoscale materials and devices for biomedical applications
Center for Nanoscale Systems A cleanroom facility for the fabrication of nanoscale devices, featuring advanced tools such as electron beam lithography and focused ion beam milling
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering A multidisciplinary research organization focused on developing innovative solutions to biomedical problems, with research areas ranging from human organs-on-chips to synthetic biology

Overall, Harvard’s research in the biomedical engineering field is a testament to its commitment to advancing human health and well-being through scientific and technological innovation.

Student Life for Biomedical Engineering Students at Harvard

Harvard University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world with an impressive reputation for research, innovation, and academics. The university offers a diverse range of courses, and one of the popular programs is biomedical engineering, which is a rapidly growing and lucrative field with a wide range of possibilities.

  • Academic Opportunities: Biomedical engineering students at Harvard have access to one of the best programs in the field, with a rigorous curriculum that focuses on the fundamentals of engineering, biology, chemistry, and physics. The program emphasizes hands-on learning through research projects, internships, and collaborations with faculty and industry experts. Students have the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology and contribute to groundbreaking research that can have a real-world impact on healthcare.
  • Student Organizations: Harvard has a vibrant student community, and biomedical engineering students can get involved in various student organizations to connect with like-minded peers and learn beyond their coursework. For instance, the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) is a popular organization that brings together students who are interested in enhancing their knowledge of technology and medicine. BMES provides students with access to resources, networking opportunities, and events to learn more about the field, exchange ideas, and explore career opportunities.
  • Campus Life: Student life at Harvard is stimulating and diverse, with a wide range of extracurricular activities, clubs, and events. Biomedical engineering students can participate in sports, music, arts, and other activities to unwind and take a break from their coursework. The campus is also home to numerous museums, libraries, and research centers, providing ample opportunities for students to expand their knowledge and interests beyond their field.
  • Support Services: Harvard provides numerous support services for students to help them excel in their academic and personal life. For biomedical engineering students, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences provides academic advising, career services, and other resources to help students achieve their goals. The school also has a strong mentoring program, where students can connect with alumni and professionals in the field to gain valuable insights and guidance.
  • Community Service: Harvard encourages its students to be active in the community and make a positive impact on society. Biomedical engineering students can participate in numerous community service initiatives, such as volunteering in local hospitals, conducting health screenings, and mentoring young people. Such activities not only benefit the community but also help students develop leadership skills, empathy, and a sense of purpose.

Alumni Success Stories in Biomedical Engineering from Harvard

Harvard’s Biomedical Engineering program has produced many successful alumni who have made significant contributions to the industry. Here are a few standout success stories:

  • Dr. Robert Langer: Dr. Langer is a professor at MIT and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has over 1,400 patents issued or pending worldwide and has started multiple successful biotech companies.
  • Dr. Marvyn M. Darling: Dr. Darling helped develop the first artificial heart valve and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has also made significant contributions to the field of blood compatibility and hemodialysis.
  • Dr. Samantha Shapiro: Dr. Shapiro co-founded the biotech company Q-State Biosciences, which focuses on personalized medicine for genetic diseases. She has also been named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in Healthcare.

These alumni are just a few examples of the impact that Harvard’s Biomedical Engineering program has had on the industry. Their groundbreaking research and innovation have helped shape the field and pave the way for future advancements.

In addition to these success stories, Harvard’s Biomedical Engineering program also boasts a strong network of alumni who are actively involved in mentorship, research collaborations, and industry partnerships. This network provides invaluable opportunities for current students and recent graduates to connect with leaders in the field and gain insights into the latest trends and developments.


Overall, Harvard’s Biomedical Engineering program has a proven track record of producing successful alumni who are making significant contributions to the industry. Whether it’s through groundbreaking research or successful entrepreneurship, these alumni have helped shape the field and drive innovation forward. For students interested in pursuing a career in Biomedical Engineering, Harvard is undoubtedly a top choice.


1. “Robert Langer.” The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.
2. “Development of the Artificial Heart Valve.” The Franklin Institute.
3. “How Q-State Biosciences Is Using Technology To Unleash The Potential Of Personalized Medicine.” Forbes.

Comparing Biomedical Engineering Programs: Harvard vs Other Top Universities

Harvard University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world, and its biomedical engineering program is no exception. However, there are several other top universities that offer exceptional biomedical engineering programs as well. In this article, we will compare Harvard’s program with other top universities to help you make an informed decision about where to study biomedical engineering.

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • University of Michigan

While Harvard is known for its strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research, MIT’s biomedical engineering program is arguably the best in the world. It has a long history of groundbreaking research and is home to some of the most innovative researchers in the field. Johns Hopkins University is also well-known for its biomedical engineering program, particularly in the areas of medical imaging and regenerative medicine.

Caltech, Stanford, and UC Berkeley are known for their strong engineering programs overall, and their biomedical engineering programs are no exception. Caltech’s program is small but highly selective, with a focus on cutting-edge research and technology. Stanford’s program is known for its close ties to nearby Silicon Valley, where many biomedical technology companies are located. UC Berkeley’s program is particularly strong in the areas of tissue engineering and biomaterials.

Georgia Tech and University of Michigan both offer highly-regarded biomedical engineering programs with a focus on translational research and collaboration with industry partners. Georgia Tech’s program is known for its interdisciplinary approach, combining engineering with medicine and public policy. University of Michigan’s program has strong ties to the medical community and offers opportunities for students to work on real-world problems through industry-sponsored projects.

University Ranking (US News & World Report, 2021) Research Expenditures (2019) Number of Faculty Number of Students (Graduate)
Harvard University 2 $1.3 billion 20 303
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1 $1.2 billion 46 809
Johns Hopkins University 3 $2.8 billion 61 862
California Institute of Technology 5 $360 million 12 285
Stanford University 2 $1.1 billion 36 558
University of California, Berkeley 3 $836 million 29 439
Georgia Institute of Technology 4 $1.1 billion 31 471
University of Michigan 4 $1.7 billion 64 788

When choosing a university to study biomedical engineering, it’s important to consider factors such as the strength of the program, research opportunities, faculty expertise, and industry partnerships. Each of these top universities offers a unique set of advantages, so it’s important to do your research and find the program that best fits your interests and goals.

FAQs: Is Harvard Good for Biomedical Engineering?

Q: Is Harvard a good school for studying biomedical engineering?

A: Yes, Harvard is considered one of the best schools for biomedical engineering thanks to its top-ranked program, renowned faculty, and access to cutting-edge technology.

Q: What kind of research opportunities are available for biomedical engineering students at Harvard?

A: Harvard’s biomedical engineering program offers a wide range of research opportunities, including work on regenerative medicine, drug delivery systems, biosensors, and tissue engineering.

Q: What kind of job opportunities are available for graduates of Harvard’s biomedical engineering program?

A: Graduates of Harvard’s biomedical engineering program are in high demand. They go on to pursue careers in a variety of fields, including medical device and pharmaceutical companies, research institutions, academia, and government agencies.

Q: Can students get involved in extracurricular activities related to biomedical engineering at Harvard?

A: Yes, Harvard offers a number of student organizations related to biomedical engineering, including the Biomedical Engineering Society and the Stem Cell Club.

Q: How does Harvard’s biomedical engineering program prepare students for graduate school?

A: Harvard’s biomedical engineering program provides students with a strong foundation in the field, including coursework in biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering. Students also have the opportunity to conduct research alongside faculty and other students, which can provide valuable experience for graduate study.

Q: What kind of financial aid is available for students studying biomedical engineering at Harvard?

A: Harvard offers a range of financial aid options for students, including scholarships, grants, and student employment. Students should consult with the financial aid office to determine the best financial aid package for their individual needs.

Q: How competitive is admission to Harvard’s biomedical engineering program?

A: Admission to Harvard’s biomedical engineering program is competitive, with acceptance rates varying from year to year. However, the program does not provide a specific acceptance rate.

The Verdict

In conclusion, Harvard is an excellent choice for students interested in studying biomedical engineering. With a top-ranked program, access to cutting-edge technology, and a wide range of research opportunities, students are well-prepared for a variety of careers in the field. Additionally, the school offers a number of student organizations and financial aid options to help students succeed. Thanks for reading, and be sure to visit again later for more information about biomedical engineering and other science topics!