MS in Biomedical Engineering

The Master of Science (MS) Program in Biomedical Engineering is a thesis-based degree program designed to provide advanced training in biomedical engineering for students focusing on a research career. The program requires students to establish the necessary foundation in molecular- or systems-level biology/physiology and mathematics, in addition to advanced biomedical engineering coursework. Students develop a research focus and carry out original research that culminates in a written thesis. The program is designed to be completed by full-time students in two years. Students who excel in the BME MS program are encouraged to apply to the BME post-MS PhD program.

Course Requirements

The MS program requires completion of a 36-credit-hour study program. Details of the curricular and other academic requirements of the MS program can be found in the BME Graduate Student Handbook. Key elements are outlined here:

  • BE 605 Molecular Bioengineering I or BE 606 Quantitative Physiology for Engineers (4 credits)
  • Three BME graduate-level elective courses in the area of specialization (12 cr)
  • A mathematics elective (4 cr) (from the approved list)
  • Two graduate-level technical electives (8 cr)
  • ENG BE 790 Biomedical Engineering Seminar (0 cr)
  • ENG BE 900 Research (8 cr)


A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained. The department permits only four credit hours of C or C+ to be applied toward the degree. Grades of C- or lower are not acceptable.

Research Project Requirement

Each student will undertake a suitable research project supervised by a faculty member of the department or an external faculty member deemed acceptable by the Graduate Program Committee. Students are expected to register for ENG BE 900 Research each semester they work on their project. However, only 8 credits may be applied to the 36 required for the degree.

MS Thesis Committee Membership

After identifying a research advisor and project, each student forms a thesis committee. The MS Thesis Committee must have a minimum of three members. Two members must be from the primary BME academic faculty, and one must be from outside the department (BME affiliate faculty, research faculty, and research associates with a PhD and sufficient experience may count as the “outside” member). Any of these three members can be the primary advisor.

MS Thesis Proposal

A brief written proposal (three to five pages) of the MS research project must be submitted and defended no later than the semester before the student defends his/her thesis. It is the student’s responsibility to schedule a formal meeting with his/her thesis committee members for discussion and approval of the proposal document. The student must present the MS Proposal and Thesis Committee Approval Form to his/her thesis committee during this meeting. If the proposal is approved, the members of the thesis committee must sign the form, thereby indicating their willingness to participate on the thesis committee. The student must submit the signed approval form and the proposal document (signed by the advisor) to the BME Graduate Program Administrator.

MS Thesis

An MS thesis must be written and defended successfully for completion of the MS degree. Note that in order for a student to make full use of the critiques on the proposal offered by his/her committee, students are not permitted to defend the final thesis the same semester in which the proposal was submitted. A full description of the format requirements for the written thesis is located on the BME website. The format described in this guide must be adhered to when writing the thesis. Mugar Library will not accept the thesis if it does not follow the required format.

It is the student’s responsibility to confirm a date and time of the presentation with his/her committee members. The MS Thesis Defense Approval Form must be completed—this form should include title, abstract, names of committee members, and advisor’s signatures. Once a date has been confirmed, the date and location, along with a copy of the abstract, must be submitted to the BME Graduate Program Administrator at least eight business days prior to the presentation date. The abstract must have the names of the student and research advisor listed together with the project title. The BME Graduate Program Administrator will process announcement of the thesis defense to the Biomedical Engineering faculty and graduate students via email.

Students should be able to complete the MS program within two calendar years.


The graduate student is responsible for meeting the various deadlines for submission of the program planning sheet, the thesis proposal, and the final thesis document. See the BME Graduate Student Handbook.