General Coursework Requirements
Formal coursework for the M.S. Program must cover at least three out of five core areas, molecular/cellular biology, physiology, bioimaging/bioinformatics, biomaterials, and biomechanics; each of these courses must be of 9 units or more. Graduate level introductory courses in each core area are available for students who are unfamiliar with the subject. Aside from the core area requirement, considerable flexibility is allowed in the selection of courses to adapt to diverse interests and career plans. All students are also required to take Biomedical Engineering Seminar (42-701) during each semester of residence.
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 broadedn 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 desgined 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.
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 9-12 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