Undergraduate biomedical engineering programs prepare students for research careers, medical school or doctoral programs.

Students at the top ranked undergraduate biomedical engineering colleges prepare for research careers and medical school. At the best colleges, these students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories, where they conduct research with real-world implications. In addition, these programs provide a strong foundation of science and math learning, and then upperclassmen specialize in biomedical engineering lab and course work. Graduates from these programs find jobs at the top pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies or they pursue advanced degrees in medicine and biological engineering. The selectivity at these schools -- with average acceptance rates lower than 20 percent -- also contributes to their top-ranked status.

Johns Hopkins University

In 2012, "U.S. News and World Report" named JMU's undergraduate biomedical engineering program No. 1 in the U.S. Students at the university study in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and the undergraduate program focuses in the first two years on general math and science courses. During junior and senior year, students specialize in biomedical engineering, taking advanced lab courses and conducting research. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for the MCAT and medical school admission.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Tech's undergraduate biomedical engineering program was named the second best in the country by "U.S. News and World Report" in 2012. The university was the top-ranked public institution on the list, and the school also had the highest average acceptance rate at 50 percent. The program awards Bachelor of Science degrees that are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission. Students begin by taking advanced calculus and chemistry courses, before specializing in biomedical labs and advanced science coursework during their last two years.

Duke University

The biomedical engineering program at Duke University -- which was ranked No. 3 by "U.S. News and World Report" -- offers hands-on research opportunities for undergraduates. For instance, the university offers several fellowships for undergraduates, including the Pratt Undergraduate Research Fellows and the Grand Challenge Scholars programs. In addition to specialized coursework in biomedical engineering, students can pursue electives to concentrate in several fields, including biomedical imaging, biomechanics, electrobiology and biomolecular and tissue engineering.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ranked No. 4 in 2012 by "U.S. News and World Report," MIT's undergraduate biomedical engineering program develops students skills in research, analysis and engineering design. The program begins with general science and math coursework, followed by specialized biomedical classes during years three and four. As a research institution, MIT also offers opportunities for real-world experimentation and analysis. The program is designed to prepare students for careers at pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, but many students also pursue advanced degrees in related subjects.