Top Biomimicry Master Programmes: Your 2024 Guide

To Bsc or not to Bsc ... that is the question.

If you are seeking a leading Biomimicry Masters Programme (or considering doing a PHd in Biomimicry), you've arrived. Sounds like you are ready to take the next step in your biomimicry career.

With the growing emphasis on sustainable practices and innovative design solutions inspired by nature, studying biomimicry might be the answer to help you leverage your ongoing career to a higher and more impactful level. 

So which is the right Biomimicry Degree or Masters? Perhaps that depends on your background, interests, location, your budget or the time you have. To assist you in making a decision, here is a high-level overview of the Top Biomimicry Master Programmes around the world:

Biomimicry Masters Degree Infographic and Map: This infographic cover the leading Biomimicry Masters, Degrees and PHds around the world... and you can download the complete Biomimicry Masters list and view an interactive map here. we've included our Biomimicry Practitioner Programme too - for those who are less interested in accreditation, and want to dive right in.

Biomimicry is becoming increasingly attractive to all professionals, from engineers and sustainability designers to social innovators, due to its potential to drive sustainable innovation. By studying nature's time-tested patterns and strategies, professionals can incorporate efficient, effective, and environmentally friendly solutions into their work.

This approach resonates particularly well with entrepreneurs and business consultants seeking to differentiate themselves in the market through an innovative approach to sustainability.

Before we dive deeper into these top Biomimicry Master Programmes... there are two important question worth considering:
- Is university degree what I need to master biomimicry?
- Is there any demand for working professionals with expertise in biomimicry?

What does it actually take to Master biomimicry?

Before jumping into or back to university, we need to consider the fact that studying is not for everyone – the lengthy time and high cost commitments are perhaps the most glaring considerations. There is also one consideration that often goes unspoken or unacknowledged - and that is there is always more ways to learn than just university.

If you are a student, the need for an academic accreditation is likely to much much higher - so a university or Biomimicry Masters would make more sense. 

If you're a working professional and are not seeking an accreditation - and are primarily interested in acquiring biomimicry knowledge - check out this Biomimicry Practitioner Programme. This 6 month (part-time) learning journey is purpose built for working professionals to practice biomimicry with confidence. Within this journey, you'll gain everything you need to know about biomimicry and how to apply it.

For those with a desire and or need the academic accreditation, continue on (or download the complete list below).  

What is the current and projected demand for professionals with expertise in biomimicry?

Green jobs are on the rise. As problem-solving and sustainable solutions become a crucial part of any innovative job, the demand for professionals with expertise in sustainability (and biomimicry) has been growing consistently over time.

Hiring of green jobs in the global workforce is rising faster than any other category - according to LinkedIn's Global Green Skills Report 2023. But together green and greening jobs still only accounted for 10% of hiring in 2021. Trends vary across different regions and sectors, but the takeaway is the same: at this pace, moving toward a green economy will require workers to upskill in green and enter green, greening, and greening potential jobs. At Learn Biomimicry, we created the Biomimicry Practitioner Programme for any working professional to upskill and advance (or green) their career.

Sectors such as architecture, product design, materials science, and environmental consulting recognise the value of biomimicry in creating efficient, sustainable solutions. The projected demand is expected to rise as the global focus on climate change, resource conservation, and sustainable development intensifies. Companies seek ways to integrate biomimetic principles to enhance their products and processes, making professionals with biomimicry expertise highly valuable.

Great. Now that we've established there is a growing demand for green jobs, what are the top accredited and regarded Biomimicry Masters and PhD's in Biomimicry.

Top Biomimicry Masters Programmes and PhD's in Biomimicry

If you are a designer, entrepreneur, engineer, or just interested in integrating biomimicry and nature-positive practices into your work, take a look at these options: 

Arizona State University (ASU) - Master of Science in Biomimicry:

Cost: Base tuition for a Graduate: $37,044 credit dependent 
Duration: 2.5 - 5 years online

Arizona State University (ASU) offers a fully online Master of Science (MS) in Biomimicry through the College of Global Futures. This program is designed for working professionals in biology, design, business, and engineering. It focuses on applying biological principles to design and innovation, emphasising sustainability and problem-solving. Delivered in conjunction with Biomimicry 3.8, a leading organisation in the field, this program provides a comprehensive education in the principles and practices of Biomimicry.

Link to ASU's website.

Arizona State University (ASU) & Biomimicry 3.8 - The Biomimicry Professional Program:

Cost: $37,044 Varies 
Duration: 2 years hybrid

This programme is probably the coolest programme to date! From the Sonoran Desert to the Coniferous Forests of California - The Biomimicry Professional Program (BPro) is an elite, two-year hybrid program that combines online coursework through ASU Online with six intensive, week-long, face-to-face sessions in unique ecosystems. The program is designed to transform participants into leaders in the field of biomimicry, with a curriculum that emphasises professional growth, leadership skills, and practical application of biomimicry principles. The BPro program is highly selective, admitting only 20 participants per cohort. 

To enrol int he BPro program - you must have completed at least one semester of the Master of Science in Biomimicry by the time the first BPro in-person session takes place. To be eligible for the next cohort, which begins in December 2024, you must be enrolled in the MS program by the fall semester of 2024. 

Link to Biomimicry 3.8's website.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) - Biomimicry Certificate:

Cost: $1,355 non-credit or $5,130 for credit, depending on coursework. 
Duration: 120 hours over 6 months online

MCAD's Master of Arts in Sustainable Design program includes a certificate that emphasises the application of biomimicry principles in design and innovation, with a strong focus on sustainability and environmental stewardship. This program integrates the principles, applications, and science of Biomimicry, requiring students to complete a thesis on a subject they choose related to the disciplines they study throughout the course.

Link to MCADs Biomimicry Certificate.

Utrecht University - MSc in Bio-inspired Innovation:

Cost: Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee, full-time) 2024-2025: € 2,530
Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee) 2024-2025: € 23,765
Duration: 2 years

This interdisciplinary program combines biology, technology, and innovation. The curriculum includes courses in bio-inspired design, sustainable innovation, and practical applications of Biomimicry. Students work on projects that integrate biological principles into technological and societal challenges.

Link to the Utrecht's MSc in Bio-inspired Innovation.

Biomimicry Masters and Programmes for Engineers, Industrial Designers and Product Designers

If you are an engineer or industrial/product designer interested in the more technical and material applications of biomimicry, read below to learn more:

University of California, Berkeley - The Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry:

Though this isn't a Masters, Berkley does offer a project based approach to learning green chemistry. The university offers a postgraduate course titled "Greener Solutions" that introduces students and potential future researchers to biomimicry methodology through hands-on examples. Unlike most other courses of study, these are not hypothetical case studies but genuine problems presented by some of the country's and the world's largest and most successful businesses. You can learn more about The Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry here.

University of Akron - MSc in Biomimetic and Bio-inspired Engineering:

The MSc in Biomimetic and Bio-inspired Engineering focuses on designing and developing biomimetic materials and systems. The curriculum covers topics like bio-inspired materials, biomechanics, and biomimetic design. Students engage in practical projects and research to develop innovative solutions.

Learn more about Akron's MSc in Biomimetic and Bio-inspired Engineering here
Akron also offers an Undergrad Certificate in Biomimicry, which you can learn about here too.

POLI.design - Designing for Transition

Focusing on Ecodesign, Circularity and Regenerative Solutions, this new Master's course provides the knowledge and tools for sustainable design, emphasising that 80% of a product's environmental impact is determined at the design stage. By fostering awareness and practical skills, designers can create solutions that benefit the environment, economy, and society. Fuelled by human activity, the environmental crisis is calling for designers to adopt sustainable and regenerative production models. Learn more about POLI.designs Designing for Transitions programme here.

Biomimicry Masters for Biologists

If you are an biologist interested in biomimicry, read below to learn more:

University of Stuttgart - MSc in Technical Biology:

Please note that this programme is only offered in German. 

This program emphasises the application of biomimicry principles in engineering and materials science. The curriculum includes courses in biomimetics, technical biology, and bio-inspired materials. Students engage in research projects that apply biological strategies to solve engineering challenges. Learn more about the University of Stuttgart MSc in Technical Biology here

University of Freiburg - MSc in Biochemistry and Biophysics:

The MSc in Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Freiburg focuses on the of the laws of physics to biological phenomena. The curriculum covers topics like functional morphology, bionics, biomechanics, and biomaterials. Students engage in hands-on projects and research to develop innovative solutions inspired by nature. Learn more about Freiburg's MSc in Biochemistry and Biophysics here. 


Now that we've explored some of the better known Biomimicry Masters available worldwide, you may still be uncertain about the professional benefits of pursuing this degree.

To help ease these concerns, here are some FAQs we've received that might address your uncertainties:

How does a degree in biomimicry align with my long-term career goals?

Biomimicry works well in combination with another degree or established skillset. A degree in biomimicry can advance your long-term career goals if you are interested in working at the intersection of nature and innovation.

A biomimicry degree can provide the necessary knowledge and skills if your goals include contributing to sustainable development, creating innovative products and systems inspired by nature, or working in environmental consulting, sustainable architecture, or green technology. This degree can also open design, consulting, research, education, and policy-making opportunities, where you can influence how nature-inspired innovations are applied to solve real-world problems.

If you don’t see yourself fitting in any of these categories, don’t give up just yet! Biomimicry’s applications can go beyond technical and scientific fields, there are an array of different ways you can incorporate nature’s wisdom into your work.

Do I need a background in relevant fields such as biology, design, engineering, or sustainability?

Although for some programs it’s not a requirement, a biology, design, engineering, or sustainability background is beneficial when pursuing a biomimicry degree, as the field is inherently interdisciplinary.

A solid foundation in these areas will help you understand the biological principles that underpin biomimicry and apply them effectively in various contexts. If you have experience in any of these fields, you can leverage that knowledge to excel in biomimicry, integrating biological insights with design and engineering practices to develop innovative solutions.

What should I do if I am not yet ready to commit to a Masters Programme or PhD? 

If you're not ready to commit to a degree, or feel like an academic route might not be your first choice, consider enrolling in the Biomimicry Practitioner Programme, a specialised six-month, part-time online course focused on working professionals looking to develop a biomimicry skillset and create nature-inspired innovations.

The Biomimicry Practitioner Programme is focused on project-based learning, so you'll gain practical skills in biomimicry principles and methodologies that are relevant to your world. Think less cookie cutter learning, more hands-on and practical learning. This programme includes expert mentorship, and foundational learning too, through the Biomimicry Short Course Set.

Within the 6 months, you'll gain the techniques, tools, and philosophies of biomimicry. Additionally, there exists a global community of Biomimicry Practitioners and Biomimicry Educators through the Learn Biomimicry Communitree platform, fostering collaboration and continuous learning.

These institutions stand as proof of the growing global interest in Biomimicry as a discipline and its potential applications across various fields. They also highlight the diversity of approaches and focuses, from design and innovation to sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Are you ready to accelerate your career with biomimicry and start asking 'what would nature do'?

 I am curious, which university or programme are you considering?
Share your answer in the comments.

Never stop learning

Regards,
Alistair Daynes, Biomimicry Practitioner

 


References:

For those looking for a short course on biomimicry - click here.

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