male MEng students in lab using equipment

What Are Different Types of Engineering Master’s Degrees?

Do you have an insatiable curiosity? Do you enjoy learning by doing? Are you a creative problem-solver who loves working with others to find innovative solutions to complex challenges?

Consider a career in biopharmaceutical engineering, where your skillset could be utilized to find life-saving solutions for debilitating diseases and conditions. The rapidly changing medical industry landscape—where new discoveries are made daily—calls for innovators and changemakers.

Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) offers two master’s degree programs—each two years—for those looking to combine their passions for engineering and healthcare.

If you enjoy tinkering, designing, and building things, consider KGI’s Master of Science in Medical Device Engineering (MSMDE) program. This program teaches you how to invent, develop, and produce devices to diagnose and treat medical conditions.

If, on the other hand, you’re most drawn to the “chemistry” side of engineering—combining raw materials or “ingredients” to create a uniform product—then consider KGI’s Master of Engineering in Biopharmaceutical Processing (MEng) program. Here, you will learn to discover and manufacture treatments for diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease.

Master of Engineering in Biopharmaceutical Processing (MEng)

KGI’s MEng program teaches you how to develop safe, affordable, and effective medicines and therapies for those that desperately need a cure. Such treatments include vaccines, proteins, monoclonal antibodies, stem cell biologics, gene therapy, and engineered tissues.
This program is particularly well-suited for those with a background in biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemical engineering, or biomedical engineering. With a MEng degree, you will:

  • Gain a powerful network through hands-on coaching and mentoring by senior academic and industry experts housed within KGI’s Amgen Bioprocessing Center.
  • Acquire essential teamwork skills through group projects and a capstone Team Design Project, which provides “real-life” experience in taking a drug molecule candidate to a pharmaceutical therapy.
  • Become skilled in key biomanufacturing areas, including product and process development, process validation, CMC regulatory compliance, and quality.
  • Enhance your professional skills and obtain knowledge of management issues within the biopharmaceutical industry.
  • Participate in a paid industry internship, participate in a team project sponsored by industry, or participate in research activities within the Amgen Bioprocessing Center.

Top career paths for MEng graduates include process development scientist and engineer, regulatory scientist, and process design engineer. Process development scientists—who oversee the steps leading to an item’s completion and are responsible for optimizing efficiency and quality—receive a median salary of $86,283 per year.

Regulatory scientists play a critical role in ensuring the efficacy and safety of products during the drug development process. This is a highly in-demand profession, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the regulatory affairs field will continue growing at an average rate of eight percent until 2026.

Process design engineers are responsible for maintaining production efficiency, which in the long term helps to reduce drug expenses for patients. According to Salary.com, the average salary was $99,870 as of December 2022, with a typical range between $89,096 and $116,498.

As a whole, not only do process engineers enjoy a stable income, but they also tend to love the work they do. According to CareerBliss, Process engineer ranked 9th on a list of the 20 happiest jobs, based on an analysis of more than 100,400 employee-generated reviews.

Master of Science in Medical Device Engineering (MSMDE)

From pacemakers to blood glucose meters to prosthetic limbs, medical devices have the potential to save lives and to significantly improve one’s quality of life. KGI’s MSMDE program prepares you for an exciting career in inventing, developing, and producing medical devices in specialties such as wearables, assistive technology, drug delivery, and in-vitro diagnostics.

Learn how to design devices that diagnose and treat medical needs, develop these next-generation transformative devices, and plan and manage production to improve worldwide healthcare. In the Medical and Assistive Device Lab, gain hands-on experience with modern prototyping equipment such as laser cutters, vacuum formers, soldering stations, electronic testing equipment, and 3D printers.

In this two-year program, you will:

  • Interact with patients and healthcare providers to gain a true understanding of the clinical setting and user needs.
  • Learn and apply industry practices to develop and manufacture viable medical devices.
  • Work in teams with industry sponsors to solve real-world problems.

Courses such as “Clinical Experience for Engineers” provide ample opportunities to observe and analyze a clinical environment for various medical devices and practice interpersonal interactions with patients and professionals.

The program culminates in a capstone experience—the Team Master’s Project—where you will work in teams with an industry sponsor and faculty support on a medical device project that integrates everything you learned in the program into a single experience.

With an MSMDE degree, your career prospects are promising. Over 40,000 jobs were listed nationally last year in medical device engineering.

The MSMDE program will help develop the most requested skills for those open positions, which include:

  • Product development
  • Project management (planning, scheduling, budgeting)
  • Quality assurance/quality control
  • Data analysis
  • Product manager

You can expect a lucrative income. According to Comparably, the average Medical Device Engineer in the US makes $97,780, with those in San Francisco (an industry hotspot) earning a yearly average of $147,715.

Jumpstart your medical engineering career today. Contact KGI to learn more about admission requirements, curriculum and program details, and financial aid opportunities.

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