Getting into a top biomedical engineering school is just the beginning of a promising career. So what do you need to know to be accepted into one of these popular programs?
Biomedical engineering is a mash-up of engineering with biology and medicine. From inventing new medical devices to improving healthcare practices, biomedical engineers may conduct research as well as work with patients directly.
1. Test scores aren’t everything.
Put down that SAT study guide for just a second. Schools do consider standardized test scores, some more than others, but high test scores aren’t a guaranteed ticket to your favorite program. Grade point average, class rank, teacher recommendations and other extra-curricular activities are all part of the equation. So get involved in student government, volunteer in your community and develop good relationships with your teachers. An amazing recommendation letter is just as important as a number two pencil.
2. It’s not all about the easy A.
Top colleges want to see that you have challenged yourself all through high school. So don’t wait until your junior year to jump into some higher level science and math classes. Honors, AP, summer and online programs are available beginning your freshman year. Then you have a good foundation to help decide on dual enrollment your senior year. One semester of weight lifting is fine. Four straight semesters? Not so much. Show colleges that you have made good use of your high school years.
If you want to get into a top biomedical engineering school, get used to staying in on a few Friday nights. Staying organized, keeping up with assignments and studying instead of going to the movies can be a drag. But it’s important to keep those grade high. If you follow tip number two, getting A’s will require a little extra effort. And remember that senior year counts too. Don’t fall into the old trap of senioritis. Top programs check out those senior year grades just as much as the junior year.
4. But don’t study too much.
Try to find a healthy balance between the Friday night study sessions and fun activities outside the classroom. Colleges want to see that you’ve been involved at school and in your community, so be sure to list all your extracurricular activities. Academic groups, community service projects and team sports show that you are a well-rounded, community-minded student.
Your essay is a good way for admissions personnel to get to know you on a more personal level. So use it to show who you really are, not what you think they want to see. Remember, they read thousands of these essays. So make sure yours stands out. Put a lot of thought into it, and avoid putting it off until the last minute. When you think you’ve got a good draft, show it to as many teachers and other adults as possible. They will give a fresh perspective and help you through the editing process
Coaches, teachers you’ve had for multiple courses and your club sponsors will give you the best recommendations, because they know you on a more personal level. That’s why it’s so important to develop these relationships early on to get into a top top biomedical engineering school . A teacher you know well will always write an enthusiastic and original letter. Once again, just like the essay, don’t put off asking them the day before it’s due. Give them at least two weeks to think it over and write a thoughtful recommendation.
There are so many people available to help when you have questions or are just overwhelmed by the process. Your high school guidance counselor, contacts you may have with the college, and admissions personnel can all help guide you through this academic maze of getting into a top biomedical engineering school. Make use of all your resources to get the help you need. Believe it or not, Google can’t answer everything.
Are you interested in pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering? Learn more about undergraduate admissions and our program at Florida Institute of Technology.