MS in Biomedical Engineering

The Master of Science (MS) in Biomedical Engineering is a degree program designed to provide advanced training in biomedical engineering. 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. All students are required to complete a practicum. Students may satisfy the practicum requirement by completing an approved project. Alternatively, students may satisfy the practicum requirement by developing a research focus and carrying out original research that culminates in a written thesis.

The program is designed to be completed by full-time students in one calendar year. Students choosing to complete a thesis should expect to complete the program in two years. Students who excel in the BME MS program are encouraged to apply to the BME post-MS PhD program.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the MS in Biomedical Engineering program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a strong foundation of biomedical engineering knowledge in the phenomena of molecular and cellular biology and/or physiology from a quantitative and systems perspective as measured by successful completion of coursework.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to obtain, analyze, and synthesize quantitative data and generate hypotheses pertaining to biological systems.
  3. Complete additional technical coursework and a mentored project in the area of biomedical engineering.
  4. Effectively communicate the results of the mentored project in a written report. Alternatively, they will demonstrate the ability to perform and effectively communicate original scientific ideas in biomedical engineering as measured by the completion of a novel master’s thesis, conference presentations, and peer-reviewed and other publications.

Course Requirements

The MS program requires completion of a 36-credit-hour study program. Key elements are outlined here:

MS with Project

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

Practicum Requirement

For students who wish to satisfy the practicum requirement with a project, a suitable project must be identified and approved by the BME Graduate Committee. This requirement may be satisfied by a mentored project supervised by a BME primary faculty member or an approved outside advisor or by an industry internship (4 cr).

MS with Thesis

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

Research Project Requirement

Students 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 a research project. However, only 8 credits may be applied to the 36 required for the degree. The research project satisfies the practicum requirement.

MS Thesis Committee Membership

For students pursuing a thesis, 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 their thesis. It is the student’s responsibility to schedule a formal meeting with their thesis committee members for discussion and approval of the proposal document. The student must present the MS Proposal and Thesis Committee Approval Form to their 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 to satisfy the requirements of the MS with Thesis degree. Note that in order for a student to make full use of the critiques on the proposal offered by their 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 their 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 the announcement of the thesis defense to the Biomedical Engineering faculty and graduate students via email.