New Graduate Degrees Planned in Materials, Systems, BME


Capitalizing on established and emerging interdisciplinary strengths, the College of Engineering plans to offer new graduate degree programs in Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Systems Engineering in the coming year.

The College plans to expand its existing master’s and doctoral programs in biomedical engineering to include a Master of Engineering degree. Unlike the existing programs, the new degree will not require a thesis and is aimed at biomedical engineers working in industry. A similar degree in Systems Engineering, as well as a new Master of Science degree, will complement an existing doctoral program in that area.

New programs in Materials Science and Engineering will include Master of Science and doctoral degrees, the latter having both post-bachelor’s and post-master’s tracks. Courses in the Materials Science and Engineering degree programs are likely to be drawn from the College of Engineering as well as other departments throughout Boston University, such as physics and chemistry.

“The new degree programs in Materials Science and Engineering will be truly interdisciplinary,” Professor Soumendra Basu said. “They will bring together materials researchers from various departments and colleges into the same classrooms and help build a community that fosters new collaborative research ideas.”

While a formal degree in Materials Science and Engineering did not exist previously at Boston University, there has long been materials science expertise among the faculty. Materials science applications to solid-state materials, energy materials, biomaterials and materials processing have long been productive faculty research avenues.

“Boston University is already home to outstanding materials scientists,” Professor Theodore Moustakas said. “The new program will provide faculty and students a new base to practice their interdisciplinary research.”

The Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering has been developed specifically for students seeking careers in the biomedical industry and will focus on the transfer of innovation from research lab to practical use. The 32-credit degree will allow students with careers in biomedical industry, as well as those interested in entering the field, the opportunity to learn more about this area while focusing on topics relevant to industry, such as intellectual property and commercialization. The program is designed for students interested in engineering design, development, manufacturing and management.

“The Master of Engineering in BME is an innovative program that blends graduate-level engineering coursework with topics related to technology evaluation, translation and intellectual property,” said Professor Solomon Eisenberg, the BME chairman ad interim. “We feel this program will be more attractive to practicing professionals than the more research-oriented M.S. program.”

Training students in complex systems analysis, and control and decision sciences, the new Master of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in Systems Engineering will augment the Ph.D. program and further capitalize on the research activities of faculty affiliated with the Center for Information and Systems Engineering (CISE).

The new Systems Engineering programs will offer a balance between theory and application, appealing to both industry professionals and students continuing from a B.S. with quantitative backgrounds. The more research-based M.S. will require a thesis, while the M. Eng. will focus more on practicum with advanced project work in lieu of a thesis. With a variety of minor concentration areas, graduates of these new programs will be able to pursue either doctoral research or employment opportunities in communications and networks, computational and systems biology, control systems and robotics, financial engineering, manufacturing systems and supply chains, and operations research.

“Systems engineering is a reflection of a world increasingly consisting of many hardware and software components with complex interactions that define a system,” Professor Christos Cassandras said. “This requires a science for designing, managing and maintaining such a system in diverse application environments.  Indeed, engineering as a whole is rapidly becoming more interdisciplinary.”

For more information on Materials Science and Engineering, contact Contact Elizabeth Flagg at, for information on Systems Engineering programs.