Our interdisciplinary Master of Science (MS) program in Bioengineering is designed for (1) students with a BS in engineering or physics* who would like to continue or move their career in the direction of Bioengineering; (2) students who would like to strengthen their academic credentials/portfolio prior to applying to medical school; and (3) workers in the biotech industry who would like to strengthen their technical background, broaden future employment opportunities, and/or re-direct their specific expertise.

The minimum semester hours required by students to complete this degree are listed below. Typically full-time students are able to complete these requirements in about two years, however it might take longer if the student completes a thesis or participates in co-op.

Degree RequirementsThesis
Required core courses5 SH5 SH5 SH5 SH
Required concentration courses8 SH8 SH8 SH8 SH
Master of Science thesis/project8 SH4 SHN/AN/A
Seminar0 SH0 SH0 SH0 SH
Elective courses12 SH16 SH20 SH4 SH
Leadership coursesN/AN/AN/A16 SH
Minimum semester hours required33 SH33 SH33 SH33 SH


*Although this program is designed specifically for students with BS degrees in engineering or physics, students with a degree in biological or chemical sciences may apply.  However, admission of students with different academic backgrounds will be contingent on the successful completion of undergraduate prerequisites required for the core courses of the program.  This may require the student to take up to a year of undergraduate courses to fulfill the necessary requirements for enrolling in the core courses of the Bioengineering MS curriculum.

Learning Outcomes

The M.S. programs' student learning outcome is

  • The ability to use basic engineering concepts flexibly in a variety of contexts.
Career Preparation

Bioengineering is a rapidly growing sector of the engineering profession. The aging of the U.S. population and the nationwide focus on health issues will help drive demand for better medical devices and equipment designed by biomedical engineers. Recent high-profile reports on high rate of failures in artificial hips underline the critical need for improved engineering and materials design of long-lasting devices. Along with the demand for more sophisticated medical equipment and procedures, an increased concern for cost-effectiveness will boost demand for biomedical engineers, particularly in pharmaceutical and device manufacturing and related industries.

Approximately 19,400 biomedical engineers were employed in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and employment in the field is expected to increase by 27 percent through 2022, much faster than the average across all engineering disciplines.

The M.S. Program in Bioengineering will provide significant opportunities for student research. Bioengineering research enjoys strong support from multiple government agencies. NIH has historically led all other agencies in budget increases and today consumes roughly 50% of all non-defense research spending. Healthcare spending expanded from 6% of the GDP in 1960 to 15% in 2000 and is projected to reach 20% by 2021, in part due to the aging of the baby-boom generation. Biomedical advances are increasingly dependent on quantitative approaches as exemplified by bioengineering, and the general perception is that government support for this research will continue to rise (or at the very least, erode more slowly than other areas). The energy crisis and global climate change threats have also fostered interdisciplinary research across bioengineering with other fields such as biofuel cells, bio-batteries, bioremediation, bio-carbon sequestration, etc., and many agencies such as EPA, DOE, DOD and DARPA support these research directions.