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Hey guys! 

Like I mentioned in the "Masters Applicants for Fall 2018" thread in Waiting It Out Forum, I have created a thread for BME/Bioengineering people!
Even though I have not received all the results back from schools, I probably should start researching into the schools I got accepted to make a wise decision!
This thread is to share and exchange information about BME/Bioengineering programs of different schools.

I will try my best to gather information about schools, using all my resources (internet, friends, visiting campus) and update this thread. 
And... I would greatly appreciate if you do the same! 

I assume the topics will be about... Curriculum, School Atmosphere, Prestige, Career Services, Students, Faculty, Facilities, Research, Location, Quality of Life, Tuition, Cost of Living, etc. 

I'm tagging a few of people from "Masters Applicants for Fall 2018" thread to get this started. 

@scared @mungbean_ @BME_Engineering @lafry

Current BME/Bioengineering students (grads and undergrads) are more than welcome to comment and add any relevant information for us! 

Thanks!

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So from what I've gathered (trying to choose between JHU, Duke and UMich)

UMich: Adv: Great program, great research opportunities
             Disadv: Finding good BME jobs/internships around this area will probably be more difficult than, say, for a mechanical engineer. And the weather.

JHU:    Adv: Highly research oriented program, top rank, great brand name
            Diadv:  More focus on PhD's and undergrads than on Master's students for jobs/internships?? From what I can tell, if you pick the thesis track, you can't take any of the more business-y classes available for CBID students. Not to mention that fitting all your classes into one year, rotating in labs AND trying to find a thesis advisor; and then doing thesis research the next, feels a very very hectic schedule, and not very flexible.

Duke: Adv: Great industry/research collabs, you can rotate around in labs before picking one to settle in and internships/jobs shouldn't be a huge problem thanks to the RTP.  Lower cost of living in Durham
          Diadv: Not as prestigious as JHU, and living in Durham (small college town, not much to do/see, not close to any major city)

 

 

Edited by scared

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Thanks for creating this!! I didn't actually apply to JHU's BME MS program... but I'm pretty similar to @scared in that my main two school's I'm looking at are UMich and Duke. However, I'm pretty set on Duke since its more prestigious and better weather than UMich! I am visiting Duke in a couple of weeks, so if you have questions about it, let me know!! I've also visited UMich a few years ago. so here are my thoughts [sorry in advance that I have so many lol]:

UMich: Not as prestigious, but the main thing is that is is Public, which can make a huge difference in the atmosphere. It is large, and going to be a 'typical' American university. That said, they do have a very strong following in Engineering and the Alumni I think is quite strong since they are so large. Ann Arbor is also a cute college town, but very small. Additionally, the Engineering Campus is actually like a 10 min drive from the home campus, so its kind of isolating. However, Ann Arbor does have that midwestern, hometown feel where community is super important and everyone is SO SO nice!!

Duke: The best thing about Duke is that BME is like their "thing," so they have great resources for their students. While it is private, they do have a really strong sense of school spirit, so its sort of more typical. Based on what I found online, its a very collaborative environment, and people have a very good work/play balance, and its not a competitive environment. Alumni base is also very strong. My friend from NC also said that Durham is a super fun place to be for young people, so I don't think that living there is a disadvantage. UNC I think is right near there so theres tons of student-oriented events. I have heard their campus is beautiful! Also you can't beat Duke Basketball haha

JHU: For those accepted to JHU, I have also been there haha! Its a super tiny campus, like you can walk around it in like 10min. In my opinion, Baltimore is also not a great city to do stuff in and isn't necessarily the safest, but there is a small area right next to campus that is cute that I think students tend to stay at. Much like Duke, BME is their "thing", which is a positive. However, I have heard its a hyper competitive atmosphere, which is why many of my friends at school didn't apply. I have heard that groups form that only help each other, and its not a collaborative atmosphere, and that people can be cutthroat to be the best. One girl I know also said that their hospital is not as tied in with the program anymore, which is what has given the program its prestige. Overall, I didn't end up applying because I didn't love the feel of the campus/town, and the competitive atmosphere. 

Overall, the most important thing is how the school aligns with your interests - so its great to take a look at the research options they have and the classes they offer! Also, its about where you would be happiest, regardless of the rankings, all 3 of these schools are fantastic and offer great opportunities!! :) 

Edited by lafry

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Hi guys, thanks so much for your information! I got into Duke, Columbia and JHU. I did my undergrad in Canada so i dont know too much about the schools in the States. But I'll share my thoughts :)

Duke: the program is less research focused (please correct me if i'm wrong). 

Columbia: wasn't too interested in the labs...the research topics weren't very broad. but their ECE department has some labs do very impressive bio-related research 

JHU: according to the someone i know who went there, classes there are pretty high quality. and we will also be getting a full year to do research which is nice. not sure how difficult it is to secure a research position tho.

University of Toronto: my undergrad institute, tuition is all covered with some living stipends. PI gave me a really good project 

Knowing that JHU is top in the BME field,  i am very tempted to go. but at the same time being an international student,  i didn't get any funding for the American schools.. (do you guys mind sharing your funding situation :) many thanks!)

also are most of you thinking about phd or industry after your master?

Edited by BME_Engineering

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Thank you all for sharing!!

I live relatively close to Baltimore (a little less than 3 hr drive) so I'm planning to pay a visit to JHU sometime next week. 
They don't have campus tour or visiting days so I will just have to look around myself and ask them some questions about the program.
I will update you with the things that I find out.

@BME_Engineering I did not get funding for JHU or Duke, but I did for BU. I'm looking at industries as of now but I don't know how my plans will change.

@DCap I don't know much about CBID program, but I can ask some questions about it when I'm there.

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Is there any massive difference between an MS in BME and an M.Eng, if I'm planning to join the industry? 

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Okay, so.. I didn't really get to visit JHU this week.
I called the program manager and he said not to drive all the way there just to ask him some questions and tour around.
I agreed that it would be more worth my 6-hr drive if i have other appointments (appointments with professors? or labs? possibly) set up.
So, I think I will visit after I talk to some people there.

However, I was on the phone with the program manager for 40 minutes, asking him my list of questions and.. here are some things I found out about JHU!

Tuition for 1st year: As you probably read from the acceptance letter, every M.S.E. student is required to take one year of coursework (it doesn't matter whether you're doing M.S.E. with thesis or without thesis). The student is fully responsible for paying the tuition for the first year, unless he/she has external funding. It also says on the letter that you can work as a TA but the money wouldn't be a lot (obviously). I asked him how difficult it is to get a TA position, and he was not really clear about it and just mentioned that we can also work at other (not BME) departments as TAs or find other student job opportunities. So, I am assuming that it is not easy to get one. 

Tuition for 2nd year: By the end of the first year, you need to have a lab that you want to work in. If you have a lab confirmed, they will pay 80% of your tuition (even if you did not secure the funding with the professor). So.. it's basically.. if you have funding you don't have to pay for your second year. If you don't have funding, you will have to pay 20% of your tuition. He said it is an "incentive" for students to stay one year longer. 

Finding the lab: While you're taking courses during the first year, you can take Grant Methodology course along with other courses to try out different labs within your focus area. Grant Methodology course is for those who are not sure which lab to join and want to try out different labs. If you cannot fit Grant Methodology course in your schedule, you can separately set up hours with labs you are interested and try out how it fits with what you wanna do. I asked him if there is anybody who was forced to graduate because he/she didn't find a lab and secure the funding, and he said there is one student who's graduating after her first year because she didn't (couldn't???) find a lab and funding secured. He mentioned something like... she was not really "forced" to graduate, rather she "decided" to graduate. Not sure how often that happens in other schools but... if somebody can comment on this.. it would be helpful!

 About not being able to take CBID classes: I briefly asked him about regular M.S.E. students not being able to take CBID classes. I'm actually not sure about business classes ( @scared mentioned) but he said the classes they offer CBID students greatly focus (or even limited to) on their projects. Even if we are able to take those CBID courses, it wouldn't be as helpful to us because we are not doing the projects. Also, he said we would be able to find courses that cover the same topics in our course catalog and they will be more in-depth. 

So... these are what I learned from him... I asked a few more questions specific to my interest area and career plans.
If you have any questions about JHU, you can ask me and I 'll try to answer as much as I can.

And I actually have a side question for you guys.
Do you know how important it is to have an internship experience during school as a biomedical engineer if you plan on going to the industry?

Edited by citrus00

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On 3/14/2018 at 12:26 PM, scared said:

Is there any massive difference between an MS in BME and an M.Eng, if I'm planning to join the industry? 

I don't think there is a "massive" difference. I believe a lot of people with MS still join the industry.
I think M.Eng. is just more practical with business coursework, etc. while MS is more academic.
I would never think that they teach you less for MS compared to MEng

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1 hour ago, citrus00 said:

Okay, so.. I didn't really get to visit JHU this week.
I called the program manager and he said not to drive all the way there just to ask him some questions and tour around.
I agreed that it would be more worth my 6-hr drive if i have other appointments (appointments with professors? or labs? possibly) set up.
So, I think I will visit after I talk to some people there.

However, I was on the phone with the program manager for 40 minutes, asking him my list of questions and.. here are some things I found out about JHU!

Tuition for 1st year: As you probably read from the acceptance letter, every M.S.E. student is required to take one year of coursework (it doesn't matter whether you're doing M.S.E. with thesis or without thesis). The student is fully responsible for paying the tuition for the first year, unless he/she has external funding. It also says on the letter that you can work as a TA but the money wouldn't be a lot (obviously). I asked him how difficult it is to get a TA position, and he was not really clear about it and just mentioned that we can also work at other (not BME) departments as TAs or find other student job opportunities. So, I am assuming that it is not easy to get one. 

Tuition for 2nd year: By the end of the first year, you need to have a lab that you want to work in. If you have a lab confirmed, they will pay 80% of your tuition (even if you did not secure the funding with the professor). So.. it's basically.. if you have funding you don't have to pay for your second year. If you don't have funding, you will have to pay 20% of your tuition. He said it is an "incentive" for students to stay one year longer. 

Finding the lab: While you're taking courses during the first year, you can take Grant Methodology course along with other courses to try out different labs within your focus area. Grant Methodology course is for those who are not sure which lab to join and want to try out different labs. If you cannot fit Grant Methodology course in your schedule, you can separately set up hours with labs you are interested and try out how it fits with what you wanna do. I asked him if there is anybody who was forced to graduate because he/she didn't find a lab and secure the funding, and he said there is one student who's graduating after her first year because she didn't (couldn't???) find a lab and funding secured. He mentioned something like... she was not really "forced" to graduate, rather she "decided" to graduate. Not sure how often that happens in other schools but... if somebody can comment on this.. it would be helpful!

 About not being able to take CBID classes: I briefly asked him about regular M.S.E. students not being able to take CBID classes. I'm actually not sure about business classes ( @scared mentioned) but he said the classes they offer CBID students greatly focus (or even limited to) on their projects. Even if we are able to take those CBID courses, it wouldn't be as helpful to us because we are not doing the projects. Also, he said we would be able to find courses that cover the same topics in our course catalog and they will be more in-depth. 

So... these are what I learned from him... I asked a few more questions specific to my interest area and career plans.
If you have any questions about JHU, you can ask me and I 'll try to answer as much as I can.

And I actually have a side question for you guys.
Do you know how important it is to have an internship experience during school as a biomedical engineer if you plan on going to the industry?

This was a question that I had, too, since I found out that a lot of JHU students work on their thesis during the summer rather than doing internships (atleast, this is the idea I got from the students I spoke to). I've spoken to students from USC and Duke as well, and I think that if you're planning to work in the industry after you graduate, it would probably be pretty important in terms of networking, the connections you make and the job experience you secure that could help with your job search after you finish your degree. Personally, this is the main reason why I'm not sure I want to pick JHU. 

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@citrus00 Thanks. I'm interested in what kind of courses do CBID students take up? Do they have an elective spread as well, and if they're able to work with research groups on campus, considering it's a one year program.

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Does anybody have any inputs on Duke vs. USC BME? (I know the answer may seem obvious in terms of ranking, but as somebody looking to join the industry and as an international student I'd like to see if there is anything I'm missing)

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On 3/19/2018 at 3:01 AM, DCap said:

@citrus00 Thanks. I'm interested in what kind of courses do CBID students take up? Do they have an elective spread as well, and if they're able to work with research groups on campus, considering it's a one year program.

I don't really know any more details about the program because I didn't apply for CBID and only asked a couple questions about it. It says on the website that it is non-research based program. I believe what it means is that it is rather a project-based. It says "students work with physicians to identify problems and then design and build products to solve these problems" and "interact with clinical and corporate sponsors." It focuses on building/designing a product and commercialization.

Also, I believe the curriculum for CBID is already set and you don't really have a list of electives to choose from: https://cbid.bme.jhu.edu/academics/graduate-studies/curriculum/ On the other hand, I heard that, for MSE students, you can customize your schedule by taking courses from other majors (other engineering, math, etc.) as long as you satisfy minimum requirement for the graduation. 

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21 hours ago, BME_Engineering said:

Hi friends! Did anyone hear anything from Stanford? Have been waiting for a long time now :o

I think they release results around the end of this week or early next week. I've searched postings about Stanford bioE and they all seem to have come out around 3/30 for past couple years. I called Stanford to confirm too and they said they will probably get the results this week. So... anytime now or soon!

Edited by citrus00

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Hey guys and girls, would definitely love some input

I am a PhD applicant but I had hoped you all might have some advice for choosing between my top two.

Penn State:  Pros: Offered a fellowship, have a research position secured with PI I like a lot, SO was admitted to Master's program

Cons: Location,

Northeastern: Pros: Offered a TAship for first year, Sister will be starting there for undergrad, co-ops, Boston area is amazing for BME

Cons: SO waiting on admission decision to masters program (may not come until after April 15th), don't have a research position locked up yet, not sure of school's rep for RAships

 

I am actually visiting NEU tm so hopefully I will get the chance to speak with some grad students and professors, but as of right now that is my available information. Unfortunately my decision is somewhat influenced by my SO's admission status to NEU. She is visiting also, do you think it would be possible to ask for a timely notification in person if we explain the situation?

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4 hours ago, citrus00 said:

Have you guys decided on which schools to attend? @scared @mungbean_ @BME_Engineering @lafry @DCap
Just wondering :S

Hi everyone!

Apologies for the super late response (I was carried away w/ finals and week 10 stuff when this thread was created). A lot of the information discussed is pretty much what I got but I'll list what I know of as well:

1. USC

+Trojan network (alumni love coming back) / target school for companies such as Edwards Lifesciences

+Great program if you want to go into regulatory / quality

+LA area! (USC is also kinda known to be sketch outside of campus, but they have gates & officers)

- expensive & 1.5 yr program

2. Duke (I don't really know anything in NC)

+Research triangle park (industry) -> MEng requires internships I think

-Expensive

3. JHU

+Prestigious for BME

-Very academia driven (med school, PhD focused rather than industry; I talked to JHU undergrad who went to USC for his masters)

-Baltimore 

4. UCSD

+Known for BioE

+Lots of biotech/pharm companies esp. on sorrento valley

+San diego

+cheap compared to private schools (esp for in state people)

-not a brand school?? idk lol

Anyway, I haven't really decided where I'm going yet (lol), but in the end, I got accepted to JHU, Duke, USC, UCSD & UCLA. Rejected by Stanford :(. As of right now, I'm most likely (80%) going to UCSD since I'm from California and have worked in SD last summer (and loved it! yay no snow!). I don't really want to deal with the hassle of moving, finding a place to live and the huge price tag just for 1 or maybe 2 years. If anyone is also going to UCSD feel free to message me! 

 

 

Edited by mungbean_

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5 hours ago, citrus00 said:

Have you guys decided on which schools to attend? @scared @mungbean_ @BME_Engineering @lafry @DCap
Just wondering :S

Hey, thanks for asking! I think im pretty much decided for JHU. I'm more inclined to do research but i 'm worried that im not suitable for it. So the second year of JHU program will let me figure that out...plus i have heard good things about their courses. 

Columbia doesnt have the labs/research focus that im interested in. And duke is very expensive, plus it's spending /funding on biomed research is way less than JHU (according to a friend who went to JHU so he could be biased haha)

And the most puzzling school for me was USC...they still have not got back to me (ignored all my emails too :(). but i think JHU suits my personal goals better so im gonna stop waiting. And stanford rejected me, took them forever to send that letter too lol. 

What about you guys? anyone joining JHU? :D 

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I got into JHU, USC, UMich and Duke, and I'll be attending Duke this fall! While I was pretty excited about getting into JHU, it didn't quite fit in with my future goals. But anyway, anyone going to Duke, feel free to message me!! 

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On 4/9/2018 at 2:24 PM, citrus00 said:

Have you guys decided on which schools to attend? @scared @mungbean_ @BME_Engineering @lafry @DCap
Just wondering :S

Yes I am attending Duke! 

It really wasn't a difficult decision for me. Duke is super industry focused, which is the reason I'm attending graduate schools. It's also has a very lively school population, which is what I love. I visited a couple of weeks ago, and here is what I learned:

The BME department is super close, like a family! The classes are difficult but most have many projects that you get hands-on experience with, which are meant to be able to put these many projects on your CV for internships and jobs later on. They really want you to succeed! The campus is also absolutely breathtaking! Many students chose the project track instead of the thesis track, and base this off of either one of their class projects or a project from their lab.

Overall, I think this program fits me the best and will provide the best opportunity to get a great job afterwards. 

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On 4/16/2018 at 7:35 AM, scared said:

What about you, citrus00, where do you plan on going!!

I got into UCLA, UC Irvine, Rutgers, BU, JHU, and Duke and.. I decided to attend JHU!
I guess I will see you there @BME_Engineering :D 

Towards the end I was choosing between Duke and JHU.

It was a REALLY hard decision for me.  

I visited both schools and I definitely liked Duke campus and its neighborhood a lot more than JHU. However, there were no funding/scholarships whatsoever. :(
I would've chosen Duke if they provided me with some scholarships.... :/ but they said none.
(I already have my undergraduate loan sitting on my shoulders... so $$$ was a major factor.) 
Like lafry said, Duke was super industry-focused but I am not sure if it's a plus for me because I'm still not 100% sure whether I will go into the industry or stay in academia. 

And JHU's funding for the second year is something I couldn't turn down. (Even if I can't find a lab, I can graduate after one year with enough coursework.) Also, JHU is much closer to my family!

Two things that still concerned me about JHU was 1. the neighborhood/area (I heard a lot of stories about the neighborhood being dangerous) and 2. the curriculum (due to the recent curriculum change none of the focus area exactly fit my interest)

1. However, the neighborhood wasn't as bad as I expected when I visited. I tend to study and stay at home mostly anyways.
2. As for the focus area, I found a lab of my interest and I had a chance to talk to the PI when I visited. He said he will guide me through choosing appropriate courses for his research. And as long as I take the minimum required courses for graduation I can customize my schedule (and talking to him will be helpful in planning my schedule).

So, JHU it is!
 

Edited by citrus00

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Tha

On 4/20/2018 at 2:41 AM, citrus00 said:

I got into UCLA, UC Irvine, Rutgers, BU, JHU, and Duke and.. I decided to attend JHU!
I guess I will see you there @BME_Engineering :D 

Towards the end I was choosing between Duke and JHU.

It was a REALLY hard decision for me.  

I visited both schools and I definitely liked Duke campus and its neighborhood a lot more than JHU. However, there were no funding/scholarships whatsoever. :(
I would've chosen Duke if they provided me with some scholarships.... :/ but they said none.
(I already have my undergraduate loan sitting on my shoulders... so $$$ was a major factor.) 
Like lafry said, Duke was super industry-focused but I am not sure if it's a plus for me because I'm still not 100% sure whether I will go into the industry or stay in academia. 

And JHU's funding for the second year is something I couldn't turn down. (Even if I can't find a lab, I can graduate after one year with enough coursework.) Also, JHU is much closer to my family!

Two things that still concerned me about JHU was 1. the neighborhood/area (I heard a lot of stories about the neighborhood being dangerous) and 2. the curriculum (due to the recent curriculum change none of the focus area exactly fit my interest)

1. However, the neighborhood wasn't as bad as I expected when I visited. I tend to study and stay at home mostly anyways.
2. As for the focus area, I found a lab of my interest and I had a chance to talk to the PI when I visited. He said he will guide me through choosing appropriate courses for his research. And as long as I take the minimum required courses for graduation I can customize my schedule (and talking to him will be helpful in planning my schedule).

So, JHU it is!
 

That's great!! Congratulations, and good luck!

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Sorry for the super late reply.

JHU it is for me too! That is, if my visa comes through!

The CBID program is 1+1 program, where you can choose to extend to an optional 2nd year (Tuition Free + scholarship) (I got a first year scholarship too, so that greatly influenced my decision). Apart from that, the course is pretty much project based (so pretty solid with industry) and I'll need to take 4-5 courses of my choice from JHU's schools apart from the curriculum. A little hectic, but doable I guess. 

Baltimore is a concern for me too since it is my first time in the US, but I hope staying near campus and heeding to advisories will help take care of that.

 

So @citrus00, @BME_Engineering, see you guys in Baltimore! My course starts in May! 

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