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University of Pittsburgh    
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
    
 
  Nov 28, 2021
 
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Bioengineering, MS


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Students interested in pursuing a Master of Science in Bioengineering have three options:

  1. “Research MS” program: This is a thesis-based program in which the student completes a combination of didactic coursework and, under the mentorship of an advisor, performs a scholarly thesis project.
  2. “Professional MS” program, focus on Medical Product Engineering: This is a nonthesis-based form of education focused of didactic coursework related to medical product engineering. It provides opportunities for students to acquire relevant business, advanced engineering, and technology skills such as entrepreneurship, product development, regulatory processes, and commercialization. It is ideally positioned to offer a premier educational program in response to the strong interest and support for medical product innovation and product development. It is ideal for current industry professionals or students desiring a career in the healthcare industry.
  3. “Professional MS” program, focus on Neural Engineering: This is a nonthesis-based form of education focused of didactic coursework related to neural engineering. Students will gain a deeper knowledge of the nervous system and how, from an engineering perspective, to treat disorders, build clinical devices, analyze neural data, and construct computational models. It is designed to provide excellent training for industry in neural engineering or related fields.

Research MS Requirements (Research or Thesis Track)


The course requirements for the MS in Bioengineering (thesis track) include the following:

Total number of credit hours - 30 credits (in addition to credits from foundational courses, if taken). Other required courses may be tailored to the student’s background and interests.  To qualify for graduation, the student must successfully complete 30 credits, not counting credits from foundational courses if taken. All students must maintain a 3.0 GPA at all times to remain in good standing in the program.  Research-based MS students are also required to complete 1 teaching practicum. There is no course registration for the educational experience, and fulfillment is monitored by the department.

Typically, completion of the Research MS program requires two years.  Within the first year of enrollment (preferably within the first semester), the MS candidate is expected to finalize the general area in which he/she will write a thesis and an advisor who will guide the work.  By the third semester of enrollment, the student is to prepare a Master’s Thesis, following University requirements for Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs.)  The student (under the guidance of his/her advisor) selects a thesis committee that consists of three faculty members and at least two need to be member of the Bioengineering faculty.  The third member can also be a Bioengineering faculty, although an outside member is recommended.  The student’s advisor will act as Chairman of this committee.  The committee meets at least once per year and oversees the Thesis Defense.

Professional MS Requirements (Non-Thesis Track) Focus on Medical Product Engineering


The Department of Bioengineering offers a Master’s degree in the profession or non-thesis program of graduate education. The focus on medical product engineering is ideal for current industry professionals or students desiring a career in the healthcare industry.  It provides opportunities to acquire relevant business, advanced engineering, and technology skills such as entrepreneurship, product development, regulatory processes, and commercialization. It is ideally positioned to offer a premier educational program in response to the strong interest and support for medical product innovation and product development. 

The course requirements for the MS in Bioengineering (professional track) include the following:

  • Core courses specifically designed for medical product innovation - 12 credits
  • Societal, Political and Ethical Issues in Bioengineering (BIOENG 2241 ) - 3 credits
  • Entrepreneurship/Engineering Management Course - 3 credits  
  • Graduate Electives - 12 credits (These can be any courses in science or engineering that are deemed useful for the student’s career with the approval of the Graduate Coordinator.)

Total number of credit hours - 30 credits (in addition to credits from foundational courses, if taken). All students must maintain a 3.0 GPA at all times to remain in good standing in the program.[NG1]  Full-time professional track MS students are also encouraged to engage in part-time internship (paid, unpaid, or for credit) with an industry partner or related entity, typically starting in the second semester until completing the program. Completion of the MS in the professional program typically takes 1.33 years (3 semesters and the in-between summer).

Professional MS Requirements (Non-Thesis Track) Focus on Neural Engineering


This curriculum in the profession or non-thesis program of graduate education prepares students to work in the exciting and dynamic field of neural engineering including neural prosthetics, brain-computer interface systems, epilepsy monitoring, deep brain stimulation, engineering approaches to psychiatric disorders, and brain-inspired computation. It is a fast-growing field that provides clinical and technological benefits.

Neural engineering students will pursue didactic coursework that builds core competency in at least two of the following areas:

  • Brain-computer interfaces
  • Neural tissue interfaces
  • Neural imaging and signals
  • Neural devices and neuromorphic engineering

The concentrations for core competency will be selected in consultation with the program director and will take into consideration the student’s previous training and career aspirations.

The course requirements for the MS in Bioengineering (professional track) include the following:

  • 12 credits in Concentration 1
  • 9 credits in Concentration 2
  • 3 credits in life science
  • 3 credits in medical ethics
  • 3 credits in mathematics/statistics

Total number of credit hours - 30 credits (in addition to credits from foundational courses, if taken). All students must maintain a 3.0 GPA at all times to remain in good standing in the program.

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