General Coursework Requirements
Our MS program offers a broad range of courses in all areas of biomedical engineering. Considerable flexibility is allowed in the selection of courses to adapt to diverse interests, educational backgrounds, and career plans. Although numerous areas of specialization are possible, we have created sample course menus based on specific areas of interest and educational backgrounds. These include biomaterials and nanotechnology, tissue engineering, computational and general neural engineering, computational and general biomechanics and transport, design of medical devices, biomedical imaging, and biomedical engineering for students with a BS in biological sciences.
Our program gives students the flexibility to focus most of their courses on their area of interest, but also ensures a well-rounded graduate. As part of their overall coursework, students must take a course in at least three out of five core areas: physiology and cellular/molecular biology, biomaterials and tissue engineering, biomechanics, biomedical imaging and bioinformatics, and neuroengineering. Each of these courses must be of 9 units or more. All students are also required to take Biomedical Engineering Seminar (42-701) or (42-801) during each semester of residence to learn how established professionals are applying biomedical engineering to research, industry, and other pursuits.
Integrated Master's/Bachelor's program (IMB)
Biomedical Engineering allows a streamlined application process for qualified CIT and MCS students to enter its accelerated Practicum-Option M.S. program. Please see the application process.
Considerable flexibility is allowed in the selection of courses, to adapt the M.S. Program to diverse interests and career plans.
Research-Option M.S. students enjoy a wide choice of advisors from close to 50 faculty members, whose expertise ranges from basic to translational, materials to algorithm.
The traditional Research-Option M.S. program facilitates careers that require a combination of advanced knowledge in biomedical engineering and independent research skills. Limited Financial Aid is available for full-time students. The program typically takes 16-21 months of full-time residence (minimum 36 units per semester) to complete, and may be attended entirely on a part-time basis. Students may petition to switch from Research Option to Practicum Option.
Students in Research Option must complete at least 72 units of formal coursework and at least 24 units of research with a minimum of 12 units of research each semester. Students are allowed to take up to 24 units of advanced undergraduate courses to broaden their background. Students may take Biomedical Engineering Practicum (42-790) at a local hospital and count up to 12 units of the Practicum as an elective course.
Completion of the Research-Option M.S. program requires a comprehensive report describing original, independent research. While the minimal requirement for research is 24 units, due to the high standard of research the great majority of students accumulate substantially more than 24 research units before graduation.
Research-Option M.S. students enjoy a wide choice of advisors from close to 50 faculty members, whose expertise ranges from basic to translational, materials to algorithm. Students spend the first two months meeting potential research advisors. A research advisor is then assigned by the end of the second month, followed immediately by the initiation of research through the rest of the program. Students are expected to lay the groundwork of research while taking courses during the first year. The balance of effort then shifts to research during the following summer and second year. Detailed requirements are described in the Graduate Student Handbook.
Built upon the success of the Biomedical Engineering dual major undergraduate program, the Practicum-Option M.S. program is designed to build both depth and breadth of knowledge in biomedical engineering. The program appeals not only to students from standalone biomedical engineering programs, but also to students of traditional engineering or basic science disciplines who wish to develop a career in biomedical engineering. Students interested in entering medical or graduate school may find the program useful as post-baccalaureate training for improving the credential.
Students in Practicum Option must complete at least 84 units of formal coursework and at least 12 units of practicum. The courses may include up to 27 units of undergraduate courses to broaden the background. While this program is designed for 16 months of full-time residence (minimum 36 units per semester), some students including most Carnegie Mellon graduates may be able to complete the requirements within 9 months. The program requires a minimum of one fall or spring semester of full-time residence. Students admitted into Practicum Option may petition to switch to Research Option during the first two weeks of enrollment, following a procedure described in the Graduate Student Handbook.
Practicum requirement may be met by taking either 42-790 Biomedical Engineering Practicum at a local hospital or one of several courses that require a substantial project. Carnegie Mellon graduates who have performed research with a departmental faculty member may continue the research and count as practicum, upon agreement of the advisor. In addition, students who stay for the summer after the first year may choose to perform full-time summer research and count the experience as practicum. Advisors for Practicum-Option studens are assigned by the Department upon matriculation. Detailed requirements are described in the Graduate Student Handbook.
A summer internship at an industrial or clinical setting will offer a unique training opportunity for our MS students to gain knowledge and skills to practice biomedical engineering in a real-world setting. This will be particularly important for students who seek industrial employment post-MS study, as it will allow students to improve team working skills, communication skills, and problem solving skills in real-world settings.
- Strengthen and broaden skill sets/competency through exposure to graduate level courses in Biomedical Engineering
- Ability to apply mathematics and engineering principles to solve problems found in practical settings
- Acquire depth in one primary subject area
- Ability to work in teams to propose, plan, and execute projects of engineering relevance
- Ability to disseminate engineering work to a broad professional community via written and oral communication
- Ability in applying engineering, professional, and communication skills to applied problems in an industrial, clinical or research setting.
The required summer internship may be (i) paid or unpaid, and (ii) at a company, hospital, research laboratory, or university. The internship will allow the student to apply the skills learned through their coursework in an applied setting. This experience will further develop these skills and prepare the student to obtain full-time employment post-graduation and to be successful in that position.
The BME department will assist students in obtaining an internship through the following mechanisms:
- Engagement with local and national employers to identify positions, notably by taking advantage of our alumni network.
- Making connections with the CMU Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC), who can assist in resume/cover letter preparation and interview practice.
- Direct advertising of on-campus recruiting events, including the career fairs and visits by individual companies.
An alternative to the external internship is to conduct a 10-weeks summer research with a BME faculty advisor, while registering for at least 12 units of 42-890 Section R (tuition free).
Dual M.S. in Biomedical Engineering and Engineering & Technology Innovation Management (E&TIM)
The E&TIM M.S. program educates future engineering leaders by providing frameworks to lead, foster, and manage technical innovation. The practicum-option M.S. program may be combined with the E&TIM program to form a 21-month dual M.S. program that encompasses two highly interdisciplinary, complementary, and innovative fields.
The dual degree program starts with one (Fall) semester in the Biomedical Engineering program, followed by the E&TIM program for one year including a summer internship. The student then returns to Biomedical Engineering to finish the Practicum-Option M.S. requirements. Some elective technology courses may count toward both degrees.
Dual M.S. in Biomedical Engineering and Technology Ventures
The M.S. in Technology Ventures (MSTV) equips students with tools and skills to bring high tech ideas to market. Students learn to leverage cutting-edge technologies in order to make a true impact on society. In partnership with the Integrated Innovation Institute, the dual degree is a two-year bicoastal program that allows Biomedical Engineering Practicum-Option M.S. students to also obtain an M.S. in Technology Ventures. After completing BME requirements in Pittsburgh 9 months, students travel to Silicon Valley for an internship at an established startup and fulfill two academic semesters learning about technology transfer and entrepreneurship at our campus in Mountain View, CA
MS in Biomedical Engineering and Integrated Study in Computer Science
The Department of Biomedical Engineering is pleased to offer with the School of Computer Science a 4-semester program that focuses on completion of the Practicum Option MS program in the Biomedical Engineering Department integrated with advanced study in Computer Science. This Biomedical Engineering Practicum Option MS program and Integrated Study in Computer Science is a highly competitive MS degree for engineers with a prior background in programming and computation. There are a limited number of positions open in this program with admissions required by both the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the School of Computer Science. Therefore, we highly recommend simultaneous application to the traditional MS in the Biomedical Engineering Department.
In addition to graduate study in Biomedical Engineering, this program will teach students core and emerging skills in Computer Science, as well as the ability to apply advanced computational-based methods to engineering.
Required Computer Science Courses
There are two required SCS courses, with 1 taken each of the first 2 semesters:
- 15-513, Introduction to Computer Systems (12 units)
- 17-514, Principles of Software Construction: Objects, Design, and Concurrency (12 units)
- The remaining SCS courses, taken during semester three and four will be electives
The Practicum Option MS in BME and Integrated Study in Computer Science (CS) is a four-semester program where you will complete a minimum of 144 units - a minimum of 60 units from School of Computer Science (SCS) courses. Students are required to successfully complete 96 units to earn a MS BME degree. As a student in this program, you will work with your BME academic advisor to develop a BME course schedule that will be tailored to your academic and career goals.
You will be required to carry 36 units per semester with no more than 1 (one) SCS course in your first and second semesters. In your third semester, you may take no more than 2 (two) SCS courses and complete your program in semester four with a minimum of one SCS course. You will need to maintain a 3.0 GPA to receive your degree.
Summer semesters are not considered part of the required semesters, and you cannot transfer into this program once you have already enrolled in one of BME's MS programs.
Apply online using the standard BME graduate admissions requirements. Your applications will be reviewed by representatives from both BME and the School of Computer Science.
Only applicants who specifically select the “MS in BME and Integrated Study in CS” option within the online application will be considered.
Built upon the success of the BME dual major undergraduate program, the Practicum-Option M.S. program is desgined to build both depth and breadth of knowledge in biomedical engineering.
The Practicum-Option M.S. program appeals not only to students from standalone biomedical engineering programs, but also to students of traditional engineering or basic science disciplines.