The MS in Bioengineering 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 education leaders who understand and appreciate how biomedical technology is translated from bench to bedside. Graduates from this program will eventually serve at universities, industry or government in a variety of roles, due to the breadth of this program and its content specific to clinical translation of new technologies.

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 or provide the following:

  • Demonstrate strong knowledge in ordinary differential equations cell biology and general chemistry as demonstrated by the BS degree, course selection, or project work.
  • Additional knowledge in molecular biology, physiology, organic chemistry, linear algebra, and/or statistics is recommended.
  • 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 take the English Proficiency exam. Test score minimum requirements are available at https://www2.gmu.edu/admissions-aid/how-apply/graduate/standardized-test-information
  • Provide official GRE scores.

Banner Code: VS-MS-BIOE

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 30-33

Students complete the Core Bioengineering requirements, and requirements within one selected option: thesis, practicum or coursework. 

Core Bioengineering

BENG 520Biomedical Data Analytics3
BENG 521Cell and Tissue Engineering3
or BENG 541 Biomaterials
BENG 526Neural Engineering3
BENG 537Medical Image Processing3
or BENG 538 Medical Imaging
Choose two courses from the following:6
Bioengineering Research Methods
Pathophysiology and the Role of New Technologies in Human Diseases
Intellectual Property, Regulatory Concepts and Product Development
Total Credits18

Thesis Option

Research Thesis6
Master's Thesis 1
Total Credits6

Students choose from a restricted list of technical specialization courses to increase technical depth in an area of their interest, under the guidance and with the approval of the student's advisor.  Students must choose six credits from these courses. At least half of the selected classes must be at the 600 or 700 level.

Technical Specialization6
Bioengineering
Advanced Topics in Bioengineering
Computational Motor Control
Advanced Medical Image Processing
Biomedical Systems and Microdevices
Modeling and Simulation of Human Movement
Electrical, Computer & Mechanical Engineering
Computer Architecture
Introduction to Random Processes in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sensor Engineering
System Engineering Design
Adaptive Signal Processing
Foundations of Fluid Mechanics
Bioinformatics
Biomolecular Modeling
Numerical Methods for Bioinformatics
Systems Biology
Protein Structure Analysis
Introduction to Biophysics
Introduction to Computer Simulations of Biomolecules
Biochemical and Cellular Systems Modeling
Machine Learning for Bioinformatics
Biology and Chemistry
Personalized Medicine
Virology
Cancer Genomics
Human Genetics
General Biochemistry
Advanced Eukaryotic Cell Biology
General Biochemistry I
Bioorganic Chemistry
Modern Polymer Chemistry
Protein Biochemistry
Physics
Computational Physics I
Physics of Modern Imaging
Finite Element Analysis of Solids and Fluids
Applied Mechanics of Solids
Applied Fluid Mechanics
Mathematics and Statistics
Numerical Analysis
Experimental Design
Applied Multivariate Statistics
Applied Regression Analysis
Biostatistical Methods
Multivariate Statistical Methods
Statistical Learning and Data Analytics
Nanoscience and Neuroscience
Developmental Neuroscience
Cellular Neuroscience
Molecular Neuropharmacology
Computational Neurobiology

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 second 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

Internship/Co-Op6
Independent Reading and Research in Bioengineering 1
Total Credits6

Students choose from a restricted list of technical specialization courses to increase technical depth in an area of their interest, under the guidance and with the approval of the student's advisor.  Students must choose six credits from these courses. At least half of the selected classes must be at the 600 or 700 level.

Technical Specialization6
Bioengineering
Advanced Topics in Bioengineering
Computational Motor Control
Advanced Medical Image Processing
Biomedical Systems and Microdevices
Modeling and Simulation of Human Movement
Electrical, Computer & Mechanical Engineering
Computer Architecture
Introduction to Random Processes in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sensor Engineering
System Engineering Design
Adaptive Signal Processing
Foundations of Fluid Mechanics
Bioinformatics
Biomolecular Modeling
Numerical Methods for Bioinformatics
Systems Biology
Protein Structure Analysis
Introduction to Biophysics
Introduction to Computer Simulations of Biomolecules
Biochemical and Cellular Systems Modeling
Machine Learning for Bioinformatics
Biology and Chemistry
Personalized Medicine
Virology
Cancer Genomics
Human Genetics
General Biochemistry
Advanced Eukaryotic Cell Biology
General Biochemistry I
Bioorganic Chemistry
Modern Polymer Chemistry
Protein Biochemistry
Physics
Computational Physics I
Physics of Modern Imaging
Finite Element Analysis of Solids and Fluids
Applied Mechanics of Solids
Applied Fluid Mechanics
Mathematics and Statistics
Numerical Analysis
Experimental Design
Applied Multivariate Statistics
Applied Regression Analysis
Biostatistical Methods
Multivariate Statistical Methods
Statistical Learning and Data Analytics
Nanoscience and Neuroscience
Developmental Neuroscience
Cellular Neuroscience
Molecular Neuropharmacology
Computational Neurobiology

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

Students choose from a restricted list of technical specialization courses to increase technical depth in an area of their interest, under the guidance and with the approval of the student's advisor.  Students must choose 15 credits from these courses. At least half of the selected classes must be at the 600 or 700 level.

Technical Specialization15
Bioengineering
Advanced Topics in Bioengineering
Computational Motor Control
Advanced Medical Image Processing
Biomedical Systems and Microdevices
Modeling and Simulation of Human Movement
Electrical, Computer & Mechanical Engineering
Computer Architecture
Introduction to Random Processes in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sensor Engineering
System Engineering Design
Adaptive Signal Processing
Foundations of Fluid Mechanics
Bioinformatics
Biomolecular Modeling
Numerical Methods for Bioinformatics
Systems Biology
Protein Structure Analysis
Introduction to Biophysics
Introduction to Computer Simulations of Biomolecules
Biochemical and Cellular Systems Modeling
Machine Learning for Bioinformatics
Biology and Chemistry
Personalized Medicine
Virology
Cancer Genomics
Human Genetics
General Biochemistry
Advanced Eukaryotic Cell Biology
General Biochemistry I
Bioorganic Chemistry
Modern Polymer Chemistry
Protein Biochemistry
Physics
Computational Physics I
Physics of Modern Imaging
Finite Element Analysis of Solids and Fluids
Applied Mechanics of Solids
Applied Fluid Mechanics
Mathematics and Statistics
Numerical Analysis
Experimental Design
Applied Multivariate Statistics
Applied Regression Analysis
Biostatistical Methods
Multivariate Statistical Methods
Statistical Learning and Data Analytics
Nanoscience and Neuroscience
Developmental Neuroscience
Cellular Neuroscience
Molecular Neuropharmacology
Computational Neurobiology

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.

Bioengineering, BS/Bioengineering, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in the Bioengineering, BS have the option of obtaining an accelerated Bioengineering, MS.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees.  For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Mason undergraduate students majoring in Bioengineering, BS may apply to this option if they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.20 and completed all MATH and PHYS requirements. Criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the Bioengineering, MS program.

Accelerated Options Requirement

Students must complete all credits that satisfy requirements for both the BS and MS programs.  Up to two courses (6 credits) of approved MS level courses taken as part of the undergraduate degree may be applied to the graduate degree.  The courses selected for this purpose must be approved by the academic advisor of both the BS and MS programs and by the Bioengineering department chair. For undergraduate Bioengineering technical electives, the students may choose the graduate version of such elective courses to replace the corresponding undergraduate courses. 

Degree Conferral

Students are recommended to meet with the Bioengineering academic advisor one year before and must apply to the program one semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and the VSE Graduate Admissions Office. At the completion of MS requirements, a MS degree is conferred.