Nov 14, 2018  
Graduate Record 2015-2016 
Graduate Record 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Biomedical Engineering

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Graduate Program

The M.S. and Ph.D. degrees form the core of the BME graduate educational program. These degrees have the broad goal of educating students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in careers in research and development. Successful completion of these degrees will require that a student meet the following expectations, in addition to the formal degree requirements:

1. Completion of original research. Students will complete a research project under direction of their faculty advisor. The end goal of this work should be experimental or simulation results, methods, and analysis which are of a level of quality sufficient for presentation in a refereed publication. To achieve this end, students will need to make a novel contribution to their respective fields. Students should always be aware that research is not a job performed for the benefit of his or her faculty advisor, but rather is an integral part of graduate education. As such, students must take initiative and responsibility for the success of their research.

2. An ability to think critically. Successful students will be able to evaluate the validity of new results and ideas.  They will be able to make precise statements about limitations of experimental methods and identify the weaknesses of new and existing hypotheses. They will be able to identify the next step in their research and design experiments to test their hypotheses and/or designs.

3. Critical knowledge of the core literature in their field. Students should know the central literature in their field. They should be aware of the important implications and possible limitations of existing knowledge.

4. Excellent oral and written presentation skills. Success in both academics and industry requires clear communication of ideas to technical and lay audiences. Students should use graduate school as an opportunity to hone presentation skills.

5. Completion of formal course requirements. Course work provides students with basic knowledge and problem solving skills central to the field of Biomedical Engineering. In addition, advanced courses in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and in the School of Medicine offer knowledge and skills that can be applied to specialized areas of research.

BME Academic Requirements

  ME MS PhD PhD (prior MS) PhD/MSTP

Coursework Requirements

 Core Courses1

 BME 6101 and 6102
BME 6310 and 6311
BME 6310 and 6311
Advanced BME Courses (7000 or above) 1 2 0 0 0
Advanced Eng. Course in One Concentration2 1 2 0 0 0
BME 8995 (ME Project) 3 credits No No No No
Graded credit hours of coursework 30 24 24 12 18
Elective Educational Experiences No No 2 2 1
Research course hours3 No BME 8999
6 credits
BME 8999 before comps
BME 9999 post comps
24 credits
BME 8999 before comps
BME 9999 post comps
24 credits
BME 9999
24 credits
Total overall credits 30 30 48 36 42

Other Requirements

Qualifying/Comprehensive Exam (by beginning of 3rd year) No No Yes Yes Yes
Proposal of Research Written Written Oral & Written Oral & Written Oral & Written
Oral Defense of Thesis/Dissertation No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Written Final Report of Research/Thesis/Dissertation Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Outcome Assessments Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Teaching Assistant4 No No 2 semesters 2 semesters 1 semesters
Attend BME Seminars Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


  1. Students with equivalent prior course work may place out of some or all of the core classes listed above by obtaining written permission from the course instructor and approval of the Graduate Program Committee. The “Permission to Opt-out of Department Core Course” form can be obtained from the Graduate Program Coordinator. Opt-out procedures typically include an oral or written examination in the course material. Opt-out course must be replaced with a graduate elective.
  2. A concentration must share common engineering concepts. It may cross departmental boundaries. A concentration must be approved by the Graduate Program Committee before courses are taken.
  3. Research credit does not count towards course credit hour requirement.
  4. Teaching is an integral part of graduate training in Biomedical Engineering. All PhD students must participate in BME teaching assistantships in BME undergraduate or graduate courses as part of the requirement for the degree, regardless of their source of funding for the stipend or fellowship. The teaching experience will normally be performed in the second and third years of doctoral study.


Elective Educational Experiences

Elective Educational Experiences (EEEs) are intended to encourage students to begin the process of life‐long learning essential to a career in Biomedical Engineering. We anticipate that students will often pursue EEEs later in the course of their PhD studies and select them based on their PhD research and future career plans. All EEEs must be approved by the student’s thesis committee in advance. Students must submit to their committee a brief proposal stating the rationale for their EEE (how it fits with their individual plan of study), their goals for the EEE, and the metrics they will use to assess how well the EEE fulfilled those goals. At the completion of the EEE, students must submit a brief report to their committee assessing the EEE using the proposed metrics. EEEs must be approved prior to the thesis proposal, and students are encouraged to complete them prior to the proposal.

Students are also encouraged to include a slide on their EEEs in their PhD proposal and/or defense presentations in order to share information on potentially valuable experiences with other students. An appropriate EEE is expected to involve roughly the time commitment of a typical graduate course; possible examples include:

1. Taking an additional graduate course beyond the normal course requirements.

2. Taking an intensive 2‐week “short course” to learn a series of specialized techniques.

3. Completing a summer internship at a medical device company.


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