What is a Biological Engineering Degree?

A black female scientist pipetting a sample into a test tube.

Morsa Images/DigitalVision/Getty Images

What is a Biological Engineering Degree? This degree will prepare you for a career in biological engineering with courses in computer systems, statistics, chemistry, and more.

Read on to explore the curricula and types of degrees that schools offer.

Biological engineering is the practice of using engineering principles, life sciences, systems analysis and instrumentation to improve the lives of people, plants and animals.

These engineers need skills in equipment design, computer systems and software, and statistical modeling.

According to the BLSthe largest industries for Biological Engineering jobs include medical device manufacturing, life sciences research and development, and healthcare.

These professionals design new and improved medical devices for more effective treatment, develop genetically enhanced food crops and create artificial and replacement organs and body parts for humans and animals.

Technological advances, an aging population, and the need for biomedical healthcare solutions are driving the demand for biological engineering professionals.

TO SEE: What is the difference between biology and biological engineering?

Curricula vary depending on the school, level of education and focus of the program. These programs generally provide technical and life sciences training.

Students learn the basics and can specialize in many areas, including:

  • Biology and Physiology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Instrumentation
  • Design and Modeling
  • Kinesiology and Biomechanics
  • Computer programming

Examples of biological engineering courses

Biological engineering design

This course examines engineering design tools and processes. Students learn to use simulations, models and impact assessments during the design process.

Analysis of biomolecular and cellular systems

In this course, students learn how to use computers and experiments to analyze biomolecular and cellular systems. The training may cover molecular modeling, cell populations, regulatory networks and gene sequencing.

biological systems

Students in this course study the complex systems within living organisms. They examine organisms at the molecular level and how systems function and interact with the organism’s environment.

biological chemistry

In this course, students investigate the chemical processes and biological systems of organisms. They study biological process reactions and interactions and how chemical strategies can manipulate these systems.

A biological engineering degree can present several challenges for students.

The discipline requires knowledge of complex scientific fields, such as chemistry, biology and physics. The programs also include math and computer-related training that can pose problems for some students.

Like most engineering programs, biological engineering also has strict study requirements and heavy workload.

Determined and motivated students who are committed to the job can have success. Students should also apply problem-solving, critical thinking, and reasoning to their studies.

What Types of Biological Engineering Degrees Are There?

Bachelor’s degree in Biological Technology

A bachelor’s degree in biological engineering typically has 120 credits and usually lasts four years. The training covers the basics and principles of engineering and life sciences. It includes technical analysis and biological system structures and functions.

Students may encounter courses in:

  • Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Biostatistics
  • Organic Chemistry

Graduates have access to entry-level careers as biological engineers, biochemical engineers and biomechanics engineers.

Master’s Degree in Biological Technology

A two-year master’s degree in biological engineering addresses more advanced research and study topics in the discipline.

Graduate students develop the methods and tools for practical applications. They also pursue specializations such as biomechanical engineering, robotics, and biomedical materials.

Courses may include:

  • Physical properties of biomaterials
  • Advanced food technology
  • Biomechanical Design

In addition to entry-level biological engineering positions, master’s graduates have access to senior and team leadership positions in research and development labs, hospitals and governments.

Doctorate in Biological Technology

Doctorates prepare graduates for post-secondary education and medical science positions. The training emphasizes innovation and clinical and industrial applications, providing students with the resources and support networks to make a difference in the field and the world.

These programs allow students to pursue research and study specializations, including regenerative medicine, advanced imaging, and bioinformatics.

The degree can last four to seven years and may include courses in:

  • Applied Microbiology
  • Computational Systems Biology
  • tissue technique

Accreditation shows that schools and programs meet industry quality standards. Schools must have institutional accreditation to provide federal financial aid.

Programmatic accreditation for biological engineering programs must come from the Department of Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Council of Accreditation for Engineering and Technology


A biological engineering degree equips graduates with interdisciplinary skills to make an impact in the life and natural sciences.

When choosing a school and program, consider your study interests and career goals to ensure you choose the best educational path for you.

Those interested in other technical disciplines can diploma electrical engineeringdegree in mechanical engineeringdiploma software engineeringdegree in computer engineeringdegree civil engineeror industrial engineer degree.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *