School and Ranking Information
About 10 schools within a 25-mile radius of the downtown Fremont area offer biomedical engineering programs. These include both public and private 4-year universities. Based on location and rankings, the best three schools are as follows:
- Winner: Stanford University is the only nationally ranked university among the three schools, and it also has top-ranked undergraduate and graduate biomedical engineering programs. The school offers an array of biomedical or bioengineering degrees, ranging from Bachelor of Science to Doctor of Philosophy programs.
- Runner-Up #1: Santa Clara University (SCU) is a regionally ranked school. It offers a bioengineering undergraduate major, and as of 2012 a bioengineering graduate degree program.
- Runner-Up #2: San José State University (SJSU), through its biomedical, chemical and materials engineering department, offers nine degree programs, including a B.S. and M.S. in biomedical engineering, a M.S. biomedical engineering with concentration on biomedical devices, and a bioengineering minor.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Stanford University||Santa Clara University||San José State University|
|Ranking(s)||6th for national universities in 2020*
5th for undergraduate biomedical programs in 2020, nationwide*
4th for graduate biomedical engineering programs in 2020, nationwide*
|54th for national universities in 2020*
134th for undergraduate engineering programs in 2020, nationwide*
| 24th for regional universities (West) in 2020*
17th for undergraduate engineering programs in 2020, nationwide*
|Location||Stanford, CA (13 miles from downtown Fremont)||Santa Clara, CA (15 miles from downtown Fremont)||San José, CA (16 miles from downtown Fremont)|
|School Type||4-year, private not-for-profit||4-year, private not-for-profit||4-year, public|
|Tuition & Fees (2019-2020)||$53,529 (undergraduate), $53,151 (graduate)**||$53,634 (undergraduate), $25,056 (graduate)**||$7,852 (undergraduate, in-state), $19,732 (undergraduate, out-of-state); $9,286 (graduate, in-state), $18,790 (graduate, out-of-state)**|
|Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering Degree Levels Offered||Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees**||Bachelor's and master's degrees**||Bachelor's and master's degrees**|
|Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering Degrees (all levels) Awarded in 2018-2019||85**||49**||64**|
|Most Popular Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering Program in 2018-2019||Bachelor's degree (38 awarded)**||Bachelor's degree (34 awarded)**||Bachelor's degree (53 awarded)**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2013 Entering Class||94%**||91%**||64%**|
|Noteworthy||Current faculty have 17 Nobels and 4 Pulitzers||California's oldest operating higher-education institution||Oldest public institution on the West Coast|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator
Winner: Stanford University
- 2nd for graduate engineering schools in 2020 by U.S. News & World Report
- About 65 centers and labs across campus allow students to get involved in research projects
- Stanford has an overall student-faculty ratio of 5:1, according to NCES
Stanford University, about 13 miles from Fremont across the San Francisco Bay, is a nationally recognized educational institution. Stanford has seven schools; the schools of medicine and engineering collectively offer five undergraduate and graduate biomedical engineering programs: B.S. in biomechanical engineering; B.S. in biomedical computation; M.S. in biomechanical engineering; M.S. in bioengineering; and doctoral degrees in bioengineering and biomechanical engineering. The biomechanical undergraduate degree satisfies pre-med or bioengineering graduate school requirements. A biomedical computation major teaches biological structure computer models for medical treatment and human health. Undergraduate engineering foundation courses cover biology, math, engineering, chemistry, physics and computer science. Upper division biomechanical courses are on cells, tissues, and body systems; biomedical courses cover simulation application to molecular biology, organisms and human populations, and a research project is required.
The biomechanical graduate major curriculum includes cardiovascular biomechanics, orthopedic bioengineering, and biomedical device design. The bioengineering graduate program has core classes in biological systems analysis and medical treatments. Students then select one concentration, including biomedical computation. No thesis is required for either program, with the bioengineering program allowing an extra year for a research thesis combined with the option to earn an engineering degree. The Doctor of Philosophy program offers medical imaging and orthopedic engineering courses. The Doctor of Philosophy/Medicine program is for students pursuing clinical medicine combined with advanced research in biomechanics. Both programs require the completion and defense of a doctoral thesis.
Runner-Up #1: Santa Clara University
- 96th for best value schools in 2020 by U.S. News & World Report
- Effective Fall 2012, a new M.S. in bioengineering degree program is offered
- NCES statistics showed that 68% of full-time beginning undergraduates received financial aid in 2018-2019
SCU's department of bioengineering offers an undergraduate major in bioengineering, and as of 2012, a M.S. bioengineering degree program. Undergraduate lower division courses cover engineering, math, chemistry, physics, computer science, and bioengineering. Upper division curriculum consists of roughly 15 course selections, including biomaterials science, biological transportation phenomenon, biosensors and bioinstrumentation, and biosignals and processing. The program culminates in four electives and a design project.
The graduate program offers advanced study in medical devices and bioinstrumentation, and focuses on biomolecular engineering, biomaterials and tissue engineering, and bio-device engineering. The 45-unit program requires a graduate core of at least 6 units, an applied mathematics covering four units, a bioengineering core of 15 units, and bioengineering electives satisfying the remainder.
Runner-Up #2: San José State University
- 80% of the engineers in Silicon Valley that are part of the global economy developed skills at SJSU
- 7th for top public schools in 2020 by U.S. News & World Report
- School's biomedical engineering program supports burgeoning Bay Area biomedical device industry
SJSU's B.S. in biomedical engineering requires 131 total units, with 41 covering preparation for the major and 58 units satisfying the requirements for the major. The curriculum includes foundation work in math, chemistry, physics, and biology, with specific biomedical engineering courses covering organic chemistry, biotransport phenomena, biomedical regulatory requirements, physiology for engineers, and one course in probability and/or statistics. A 4-unit design project satisfies the program. The 30-unit MS-Biomedical Engineering degree program offers complex biomedical engineering problem solving. The graduate program offering with concentration in biomedical devices provides its graduates the opportunity to learn design, development and the manufacture of biomedical devices. The minor in bioengineering is a 14-unit program with completed coursework to be outside the student's major.