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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.

AdmissionRequirementsAdmission 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 3.000 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.

TransferCreditsTransfer 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.

AcademicProgramAcademic 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.

GenPgmReqsGeneral 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.

CoreCourseCore 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 credits)
  • BMBT.5200 Bioethics (1 credit)
  • Elective Specialization Course from the list below (3 credits) or Research Project (3 credits)

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 credits)*

  • 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 credits)*

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

Laboratory (3-5 credits)*

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

Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology (3 credits)*

  • BIOL.5420 Advanced Cell Biology (3 credits)
  • BIOL.5670 Molecular Biology (3 credits)
  • BIOL.5820 Cancer Biology (3 credits)
  • BIOL.6660 Selected Topics in Molecular and Cellular Biology (3 credits)
  • NUTR.5720 Nutrigenetics (3 credits)
  • RADI.5620 Radiation Biology (3 credits)
  • 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.<//p>

ElectiveSpecElective Specialization Courses:

a. Courses in Medical Imaging and Instrumentation

b. Courses in Biotechnology and Bioprocessing

c. Courses in Clinical Pathology

d. Course in Medical Plastics Design and Manufacturing

e. Courses in Molecular & Cellular Biotechnology

f. Courses in Pharmaceutical Sciences

g. Courses in Ergonomics and Biomechanics

h. Additional Course Offerings

Biological Sciences:

Biomedical Engineering:


Chemical Engineering:

Electrical and Computer Engineering:

Mechanical Engineering:

Medical Lab Science:

Nutritional Science:

Pharmaceutical Science:

Plastics Engineering:

Radiological Science/Medical Physics:


  • XXXX.XXXX Other elective as approved by BMEBT Graduate Coordinator

EarningEarning 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.

CombinedB2MCombined 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 the eligibility requirements).