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Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering & Biotechnology

Master's Program in Biomedical Engineering & Biotechnology

The Boston, Dartmouth, and Lowell campuses of the University of Massachusetts offer joint Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology.

coopENGCo-op Option in Engineering

The Department of Biomedical Engineering & Biotechnology Program participates in the Graduate Master's Co-op Option in Engineering. For detailed information about the Co-op Program and curriculum requirements, please see the Graduate Catalog Engineering Co-op page.

Admission Requirements

Applicants from many different science/engineering undergraduate programs are invited to apply. Because the degree brings together biomedical engineering with biotechnology, it is designed equally for students with life sciences or engineering/physical science backgrounds. One's specific background will be of less interest in determining qualification for entrance than will be one's personal and career goals, demonstrated academic ability, research potential and commitment to an interdisciplinary, team-work approach.

Applicants will be accepted from individuals holding appropriate bachelor's degrees or master's degrees (or the US baccalaureate equivalents from a foreign institution). Applicants should have a background in life science, physical science or engineering. All applicants must have taken a full year (two semester or three quarter sequence) of calculus and the successful applicants will normally have had undergraduate coursework in statistics/experimental design and in life science/biomedical science.

Applicants must submit the following and are expected to meet the standards indicated:

  1. Generally students with an overall undergraduate or graduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher will considered for admission. Applicants must present official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all schools attended.
  2. Applicants accepted into the program should present a minimum Graduate Record Exam (GRE) combined verbal (142) and quantitative (152) score of 294. The AACC will also pay particular attention to the applicant's score on the GRE analytical writing section of the general examination because of the emphasis placed on strong writing skills in this program. Only official GRE scores form Educational Testing Service will be considered acceptable.
  3. Applicants must have a minimum of two semesters of calculus and strong quantitative skills.
  4. International applicants should present a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 79 (internet version), 213 (computer version) or 550 (paper version). Only official TOEFL scores from Educational Testing Service will be considered acceptable.
  5. Two letters of recommendation, from individuals familiar with the applicants academic ability will be required.
  6. Applicants will also be required to submit a Statement of Purpose (personal essay) that should indicate their qualifications for and motivation to undertake this program as well as their personal and career goals. Specifically, the statement should indicate the applicant's background, research credentials and career plans as they relate to the multidisciplinary nature of the program. 
  7. Applicants shall also to submit a personal resume.

Individual circumstances can be taken into account and extraordinary qualifications in some areas can be used to outweigh weaknesses in others.

Along with an admissions decision comes consideration of the appropriate program of courses for the applicant. The interdisciplinary nature of our program gives special importance to the advising relationship in forming a specific academic program to meet each student's specific goals. Applicants may be offered admission with a number of courses identified as conditional requirements that they will need to take to fill in for gaps in preparation or knowledge. Each admitted student is assigned to a faculty advisor, who will guide them in course selection.

Transfer of Credits

For students who have previously completed graduate course work, the admission committee may approve the transfer of up to 12 credits of graduate credits for courses from an accredited United States or Canadian college or university that received a grade of B (not B-) or better if those courses were not already used in the degree requirements of another earned degree. The graduate school will govern the maximum number of credits that may be transferred into the program. The transfer credit may replace core or specialization course requirements. The project/directed studies credits will be accepted for transfer from institutions within the UMass system.

Students may also have core courses waived without transfer of course credit. Students would still be responsible for the full credits required of the master's degree (minimum of 31 credits), but would not have to take the waived course.

Academic Program

The curriculum is organized around common experiences, including common core courses, elective/specialization courses and an optional research project. The program makes some use of distance learning/on-line/faculty exchange for delivery of courses. The program encourages a multidisciplinary team approach during a variety of courses.

General Program Requirements

The program of courses includes a core requirement (Requirement 1) and elective / specialization course requirements (Requirement 2).

The Master of Science requires completion or transfer of at least 31 total credits. Students must meet the specific requirements of their "home campus" for such matters as grade averages, documentation of completion of requirements and registration for program continuation if needed. No courses receiving a grade below C (2.0) can receive credit. Grades earned below C are still calculated in the student's grade point average.

Students are limited in the number of Directed or Independent Study courses credits, maximum 6 credits, that they can apply toward their program. All courses must be conducted at the graduate level.

Students must pursue and complete a program of study approved by their assigned advisor. The interdisciplinary nature of this program makes close contact between each student and his or her advisor important.

Core Course Requirements - Requirement 1 (minimum 19 credits)

The core courses provide a common foundation for all students, either from life science or physical science/engineering backgrounds. Core requirements consist of three compulsory courses and four additional courses selected from four categories of approved courses. All course selections must be approved by the advisor.

Students shall complete the following three core courses:

BMBT.5000 Introduction to Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology (3 cr)
BMBT.5200 Bioethics (1 cr)
Elective Specialization Course from the list below (3 cr) or Research Project (3 cr)

For the Research Project, students should conduct research in a faculty lab or in industry and register for an Independent Study/Advanced Project under the Research Advisor's department. If the Research Advisor can't set up a number in their department, the student should register for BMBT.7200 Independent Study with a section established for the Research Advisor.

Students shall take one course from each of the following four core categories. Students should consult the advisor for the most appropriate selection from the approved courses in each of the categories. With adequate justification, students may submit a Academic Petition to substitute a course for one of the courses listed below in these respective categories.

MATH (3 cr.)*
BMEN.5380 Computational Biomechanics
CHEN.5390 Math Methods for Engineers
CHEN.5480 Engineering Process Analytics
MATH.5300 Applied Math I
MATH.5760 Statistical Programming Using SAS
PLAS.5480 Numerical Methods in Plastics Processing
PHYS.5630 Computational Methods in Physics
PUBH.5750 Epidemiology and Biostatistics
PUBH.5770 Biostatistics for Health Data
RADI.5820 Numerical Methods in Radiological Sciences
RADI.6060 Monte Carlo Simulation of Radiation Transport
XXXX.XXXX Other math course approved by the BMEBT Graduate Coordinator

PHYSIOLOGY (3-4 cr.)*
BIOL.5490L Biology Of Muscle Lab (1 cr)
BIOL.5620 Cardiovascular Physiology Lecture (3 cr)
BIOL.5630 Cardiovascular Physiology Lab (1 cr)
BIOL.5800 Development Biology (3 cr)
BIOL.5810L Development Biology Lab (1 cr)
BIOL.5900 Human Neurobiology (3 cr)
HSCI.5510 Clinical Pathophysiology (3 cr)
XXXX.XXXX Other physiology course approved by the BMEBT Graduate Coordinator

LABORATORY (3-5 cr)*
BIOL.5190/5210L Biochemistry Techniques (5 cr)
BIOL.5290 Recombinant Protein Production Techniques (4 cr)
BIOL.5320/5340L Genomics and Lab (4 cr)
BIOL.5760 Cell Culture (4 cr)
BIOL.5950 Immunology Lecture and Lab  (2 cr)
CHEN.5860 Biotech Processing Projects Lab (3 cr)
EECE.5600 Biomedical Instrumentation (3 cr)
MLSC.6100/6101L Clinical Toxicology and Lab (4 cr)
NUTR.5650 Lab Methods in Nutrition Assessment (3 cr)
PHRM.6400/6420 Pharmaceutical Analysis and Lab (4 cr)
RADI.5060 Nuclear Instrumentation with Lab (3 cr)
XXXX.XXXX Other lab course approved by the BMEBT Graduate Coordinator

BIOL.5420 Advanced Cell Biology (3 cr)
BIOL.5670 Molecular Biology (3 cr)
BIOL.5820 Cancer Biology (3 cr)
BIOL.6660 Selected Topics in Molecular and Cellular Biology (3 cr)
NUTR.5720 Nutrigenetics (3 cr)
RADI.5620 Radiation Biology (3 cr)
XXXX.XXXX Other advanced cell and molecular biology course approved by the BMEBT Graduate Coordinator.

*Students may take additional courses from the Core categories as Elective courses.
** Students who take this course, which included a co-requisite lab, to satisfy the Physiology Core requirement, may take a course from the Elective list below in place of the LAB core requirement. A Graduate Academic Petition will be required. 

Elective Specialization Course Requirements - Requirement 2 (minimum 12 credits)

All students shall complete a minimum of 12 credits of elective specialization courses. Students may take courses from one specialization area, across specialization areas and/or from the list of additional course offerings as noted below. Specialization courses will help the student attain depth in focused areas. 

Elective Specialization Courses:

EECE.5100 Digital Signal Processing
EECE.5110 Medical Diagnostic Imaging
EECE.5410 Introduction to Biosensors
EECE.5520 Microprocessor Systems II & Embedded Systems
EECE.6150 Medical Image Reconstruction
EECE.7100 Selected Topics: Biomedical Imaging and Data Science

CHEN.5340 Industrial Bioprocessing
CHEN.5350 Cell and Microbe Cultivation
CHEN.5380 Advanced Separations in Biotechnology
CHEN.5450 Isolation and Purification of Biotech Products
CHEN.5460 Biomaterial Science
CHEN.5500 Biomedical Applications of Nanotechnology
CHEN.5550 Biopharmaceutical Regulatory Compliance

MLSC.5120 Medical Bacteriology
MLSC.5500 Foundations in Biomedical Research
MLSC.5530 Emerging Topics in Clinical Chemistry
MLSC.5800 Clinical Applications of Molecular Genetics
MLSC.6130 Infections Disease
MLSC.6150 Medical Mycology and Parasitology
NUTR.5720 Nutrigenetics

CHEN.5550 Biopharmaceutical Regulatory Compliance
PLAS.5030 Mechanical Behavior of Polymers
PLAS.5180 Plastics Product Design
PLAS.5530 Medical Device Design I 
PLAS.5540 Medical Device Design II      
PLAS.5750 Biomaterials I  
PLAS.5790 Problems in Biomaterials       
PLAS.6020 Medical Device Development Regulation       
PLAS.6750 Biomaterials II

BIOL.5410 Topics in Cell Biology
BIOL.5600 Stem Cell Biology
BIOL.5690L Molecular Techniques
CHEN.5350 Cell and Microbe Cultivation
CHEN.5450 Isolation and Purification

PHRM.6100 Principles of Pharmaceutical Sciences   
PHRM.6410 Drug Delivery   
PHRM.6600 Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism

BMEN.5300 Ergonomics and Work
BMEN.5380 Computational Biomechanics
BMEN.5310 Occupational Biomechanics
BMEN.5400 Occupational Safety Engineering
BMEN.6380 Methods in Work Analysis
PUBH.5061 Environmental Health
PUBH.5510 Work Environment Policy & Practice    

h. Additional Course Offerings 

Biological Sciences:
BIOL.5050L Bioinformatics
BIOL.5090 Photobiology
BIOL.5720 Virology
BIOL.5840 Comparative Vertebrate Embryology
BIOL.5930 Immunology
BIOL.5940 Advanced Topics in Immunology
BIOL.5062/5062L. Bioinfomatic Tolls in Sequence Analysis

Biomedical Engineering:
BMEN.5020 Biomaterials
BMEN.5030 Medical Device Design
BMEN.5035 Advanced Medical Device Development
BMEN.5040 Medical Device Development Regulation
BMEN.5110 Tissue Engineering
BMEN.5115 Advanced Tissue Engineering
BMEN.5130 Neural Engineering
BMEN.5305 Biomechanics
BMEN.5325 Biofluid Mechanics
BMEN.5350 Respiratory Dynamics Devices
BMEN.5380 Computational Biomechanics
BMEN.5390 Computer Aided Engineering Design and Analysis
BMEN>5410 Biomedical Optics
BMEN.5610 Drug Delivery

CHEM.5130 Spectroscopy
CHEM.5500 Biochemistry I
CHEM.5510 Biochemistry II
CHEM.5550L Lab in Modern Biochemistry and Biophysics
CHEM.5600 Advanced Physical Biochemistry
CHEM.5620 Biopharmaceutical Development
CHEM.5700 Protein Chemistry
CHEM.6310 Principles of Medicinal Chemistry I

Chemical Engineering:
CHEN.5370 Nanomaterials Characterization I
CHEN.5410 Nanomaterials Characterization II

Electrical and Computer Engineering:
EECE.5160 Biomedical Imaging and Data Sci
EECE.5440 Comp. Data-Driven Modeling I
EECE.5470 Comp. Data-Driven Modeling II
EECE.5560 Robotics
EECE.5590 Intro to Nanoelectronics
EECE.5680 Electro Optic Systems
EECE.5810 Comp Vision & Dig Image Proc
EECE.5950 Solid State Electronics
EECE.6690 Opto Electronic Devices

Mechanical Engineering:
MECH.5710 Quality Engineering
MECH.5750 Industrial Design of Experiments
MECH.5760 Engineering Project Management
MECH.5960 Mechanics of Composite Materials

Medical Lab Science:
MLSC.5310 Clinical Immunohematology
MLSC.6000 Biomarker Discovery & App
MLSC.6001 Biomarker Discovery & App Lab

Nutritional Science:
NUTR.5630 Vitamins & Minerals
NUTR.6010 Nutrition Assessment
NUTR.6040 Nutrition Epidemiology

Pharmaceutical Science:
PHRM.6120 Principles of Pharm Sciences Lab
PHRM.6501 Drug Discovery

Plastics Engineering:
PLAS.5320 Adhesives and Adhesion
PLAS.5970 Plastics and the Environment
PLAS.6420 Characterization of Polymers and Plastics

Radiological Science/Medical Physics:
RADI.5010L Radiation Safety and Control I
RADI.5020L Radiation Safety and Control II
RADI.5240 Environmental Health Physics
RADI.5330 External Radiation Dosimetry and Shielding
RADI.5340 Internal Radiation Dosimetry and Bioassay
RADI.5410 Radiochemistry
RADI.5650 Introduction to Radiation Therapy Physics
RADI.5820 Numerical Methods in Radiological Science
RADI.5980 Introduction to Medical Imaging
RADI.6050 Radiation Interactions and Transport
RADI.6060 Monte Carlo Simulation of Radiation Transport
RADI.6650 Advanced Radiation Therapy Physics
RADI.6980 Advanced Medical Imaging

XXXX.XXXX Other elective as approved by BMEBT Graduate Coordinator

Earning the Master of Science Degree

Following successful completion of coursework with a minimum of 31 credits completed or transferred in that satisfy the core and elective specialization courses, the student will be awarded the Master of Science degree. Students must have at least a cumulative B average to receive the Master of Science degree. 

Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degree Program

The program participates in the University's effort to encourage outstanding graduate students to begin study toward an advanced degree while still undergraduates. Arrangements are possible for joint programs, that combine a bachelor's degree in one of the other departments in the University with a master's degree in the Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology program. Such arrangements are made for eligible students after discussions with graduate coordinators in both departments (see eligibility requirements).