Note: as of catalog publication in April, the program described below has been approved by the Board of Visitors and sent to the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia for consideration as a new degree program. The university cannot accept applications or enroll students in this program until SCHEV approval has been granted. Check the college/school website for current program status.

The Bioengineering graduate program prepares students for research and professional practice in bioengineering and related fields. The program includes both fundamentals and advanced work to apply engineering techniques to solve problems in biology and medicine. A major distinguishing feature of the curriculum is that it is designed to educate leaders who understand and appreciate how biomedical technology is translated from bench to bedside. Regardless whether they will eventually serve at universities, industry or government, they will understand that new types of devices and processes resulting from their graduate experience need to be improved and made cost-effective to reach the public. As demanded by their leadership positions, they will recognize that entrepreneurial considerations that are essential for determining whether a planned diagnostic or therapeutic approach is practical from an investment perspective and is likely to produce societal benefit.

Admissions

Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree in engineering or the sciences from an accredited program and an earned GPA of 3.0 or better in their 60 highest-level credits.

In addition to fulfilling Mason's admission requirements for graduate study, applicants seeking to be admitted must:

  • Demonstrate interest in combining engineering or natural sciences with basic or applied biology as demonstrated by the BS degree, course selection, or project work.
  • Provide two letters of recommendation, from references who are familiar with the applicant's professional accomplishments.
  • Provide a resume and detailed statement of career goals and professional aspirations.
  • If their native language is not English, students must earn a minimum TOEFL score of 575 for the paper-based exam or 230 for the computer-based exam.
  • Official GRE scores.

Banner Code: VS-MS-BIOE

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 30-33

Students complete the Core Bioengineering requirements, the Additional Training Requirement, and Requirements within one selected option. 

Core Bioengineering

BENG 525Neural Engineering3
BENG 538Medical Imaging3
BENG 541Biomaterials3
BENG 550Advanced Biomechanics3
Total Credits12

Thesis Option

BENG 501Bioengineering Research Methods3
Thesis Research6
Total Credits9
Career Specialization

These courses are to be chosen to give students career skills in teaching, entrepreneurship and/or health care policy.

Select one course from one of the following specializations:3
Teaching
College Teaching
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship and Economic Development
Health Care Policy
Health Economics
Health Policy Development and Analysis
Cost-Effectiveness for Health Care Management and Policy Decisions
Total Credits3
Technical Specialization

These upper-level technical courses are to be chosen to give students technical depth in an area of their interest. The courses are to be selected under the guidance and with the approval of the student's advisor. At least one of the two classes must be at the 700 level.

Select two of the following:6
Advanced Biomedical Signal Processing
Advanced Nanotechnology in Health
Advanced Topics in Bioengineering
Computational Motor Control
Advanced Medical Image Processing
Biomedical Systems and Microdevices
Modeling and Simulation of Human Movement
Introduction to Biophysics
Pathogenic Microbiology
Solid State Chemistry
Protein Biochemistry
Introduction to Solid Surfaces
Pattern Recognition
Advanced Topics in CS
Fluid Mechanics
The Mathematics of the Finite Element Method
Principles of Modeling and Simulation in Science
Introduction to Digital Image Processing (DIP)
Advanced Digital Signal Processing
Optimum Array Processing I
Computational Modeling in Nanoscience
Cellular Neuroscience
Neural Modeling
Neurophysiology Laboratory
Computational Neurobiology
Computational Neuroscience Systems
Applied Dynamics in Neuroscience
Modern Instrumentation in Neuroscience
Physics of Modern Imaging
Cognitive Bases of Behavior
Advanced Topics in Statistical Analysis
Advanced Topics in Cognitive Science
Applied Physiology II
Movement Control and Learning
Multivariate Statistical Methods
Advanced Biostatistical Methods
Bayesian Inference and Decision Theory
Total Credits6

Students cannot begin thesis research until the completion of their second semester of coursework. Once enrolled students must maintain continuous registration in thesis research until graduation, excluding summers. Students who defend in the summer must be registered for at least 1 credit of thesis research during that summer term.

Committee Selection

Each student must form a master's committee comprising three individuals. A minimum of two members of the committee must be tenured or tenure-track faculty in the Department of Bioengineering. The other member must be from outside the department.

Thesis Research Proposal

Each student must prepare a written thesis proposal, and it must be presented before the completion of the first semester. The proposal must be made available to the committee at least two weeks in advance of the presentation. The proposal must be presented to and approved by the committee. The committee determines whether the proposal has merit and can lead to significant contributions to the area and whether the student has the knowledge and skills to complete the proposed work successfully and in a timely manner. If the student fails to defend the proposal, the student may present a proposal a second time, no later than 60 days from the first attempt. Failure in the second attempt results in dismissal from the program.

Thesis Preparation and Defense

While preparing the thesis, the candidate enrolls in thesis research. The candidate can proceed to a public defense of the thesis once it has been approved by the committee.

The defense must be announced at least two weeks in advance. The thesis draft must be submitted to the library and made publicly available at least two weeks in advance of the defense. The entire committee must be present at the defense. If the candidate fails to defend the thesis, the candidate may request a second defense, following the same procedures as for the initial defense. A candidate who fails a second attempt to defend the thesis is terminated from the program.

Practicum Option

BENG 551Translational Bioengineering3
Internship/Co-Op6
Independent Reading and Research in Bioengineering 1
Total Credits9
1

Students are expected to complete 6 credits of BENG 798 Independent Reading and Research in Bioengineering towards their degree. Students cannot enroll in BENG 798 Independent Reading and Research in Bioengineering until the completion of their second semester of coursework. These credits must be taken along with an internship/co-op opportunity. Therefore, a letter from the specific employer must be provided on behalf of the student.

Electives

Career Specialization

These courses are to be chosen to give students career skills in teaching, entrepreneurship and/or health care policy. 

Select one course from the following:3
Teaching
College Teaching
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship and Economic Development
Health Care Policy
Health Economics
Health Policy Development and Analysis
Cost-Effectiveness for Health Care Management and Policy Decisions
Total Credits3
Technical Specialization

These upper-level technical courses are to be chosen to give students technical depth in an area of their interest. The courses are to be selected under the guidance and with the approval of the student's advisor. At least one of the two classes must be at the 700 level.

Select two of the following:6
Advanced Biomedical Signal Processing
Advanced Nanotechnology in Health
Advanced Topics in Bioengineering
Computational Motor Control
Advanced Medical Image Processing
Biomedical Systems and Microdevices
Modeling and Simulation of Human Movement
Introduction to Biophysics
Pathogenic Microbiology
Solid State Chemistry
Protein Biochemistry
Introduction to Solid Surfaces
Pattern Recognition
Advanced Topics in CS
Fluid Mechanics
The Mathematics of the Finite Element Method
Principles of Modeling and Simulation in Science
Introduction to Digital Image Processing (DIP)
Advanced Digital Signal Processing
Optimum Array Processing I
Computational Modeling in Nanoscience
Cellular Neuroscience
Neural Modeling
Neurophysiology Laboratory
Computational Neurobiology
Computational Neuroscience Systems
Applied Dynamics in Neuroscience
Modern Instrumentation in Neuroscience
Physics of Modern Imaging
Cognitive Bases of Behavior
Advanced Topics in Statistical Analysis
Advanced Topics in Cognitive Science
Applied Physiology II
Movement Control and Learning
Multivariate Statistical Methods
Advanced Biostatistical Methods
Bayesian Inference and Decision Theory
Total Credits6

Committee Selection

Each student must form a master's committee, comprising two or three individuals. In this case, the committee will help identify the goals of the internship and make sure that they are in line with the MS program's objectives. The committee will also be responsible to evaluate a final report and presentation to assess the successful completion of the internship. A minimum of one member of the committee must be tenured or tenure-track faculty in the Department of Bioengineering. The other two members must be representatives from the internship program.

Project Preparation and Presentation

During the internship, the candidate enrolls in BENG 798 Independent Reading and Research in Bioengineering (Internship/Co-op) and prepares the project report and presentation. The candidate can proceed to the final presentation of the project once it has been approved by the committee.

The presentation must be announced at least two weeks in advance. The report draft must be submitted to the library and made publicly available at least two weeks in advance of the defense. The entire committee must be present at the presentation. If the candidate fails to defend the project, the candidate may request a second attempt, following the same procedures as for the initial one. A candidate who fails a second attempt is terminated from the program.

Coursework Option

BENG 551Translational Bioengineering3
Total Credits3

Electives

Career Specialization

These courses are to be chosen to give students career skills in teaching, entrepreneurship and/or health care policy.

Select two from the following:6
Teaching
College Teaching
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship and Economic Development
Health Care Policy
Health Economics
Health Policy Development and Analysis
Cost-Effectiveness for Health Care Management and Policy Decisions
Total Credits6
Technical Specialization

These upper-level technical courses are to be chosen to give students technical depth in an area of their interest. The courses are to be selected under the guidance and with the approval of the student's advisor. At least two of the four classes must be at the 700 level.

Select from the following:12
Advanced Biomedical Signal Processing
Advanced Nanotechnology in Health
Advanced Topics in Bioengineering
Computational Motor Control
Advanced Medical Image Processing
Biomedical Systems and Microdevices
Modeling and Simulation of Human Movement
Introduction to Biophysics
Pathogenic Microbiology
Solid State Chemistry
Protein Biochemistry
Introduction to Solid Surfaces
Pattern Recognition
Advanced Topics in CS
Fluid Mechanics
The Mathematics of the Finite Element Method
Principles of Modeling and Simulation in Science
Introduction to Digital Image Processing (DIP)
Advanced Digital Signal Processing
Optimum Array Processing I
Computational Modeling in Nanoscience
Cellular Neuroscience
Neural Modeling
Neurophysiology Laboratory
Computational Neurobiology
Computational Neuroscience Systems
Applied Dynamics in Neuroscience
Modern Instrumentation in Neuroscience
Physics of Modern Imaging
Cognitive Bases of Behavior
Advanced Topics in Statistical Analysis
Advanced Topics in Cognitive Science
Applied Physiology II
Movement Control and Learning
Multivariate Statistical Methods
Advanced Biostatistical Methods
Bayesian Inference and Decision Theory
Total Credits12

Note: Students who elect to the coursework option will complete a minimum of 33 credit hours.

Additional Training Requirement

Bioengineering Seminar

All MS students are required to attend a minimum of two departmental seminars per semester. Students will sign an attendance sheet available at the end of each seminar.