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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Biomedical Engineering (BME)

Program Home Page

Pak Kin Wong, MS BME Program Director
205 Hallowell Building
814-863-0490 (Fax)

Degree Conferred:

The Graduate Faculty

The Program

The Biomedical Engineering program at Penn State has graduated many undergraduates who have gone on to very successful careers in the biomedical industry. There is a critical niche to fill at the master’s level for biomedical companies wishing to obtain highly trained students capable of carrying out cutting-edge work in translational medicine, device development, and related areas.  To fill this niche, the Dept. of Biomedical Engineering offers a one-year master’s program.  The degree will consist of advanced instruction in biomedical engineering fundamentals, courses in advanced biotechnology and applications, and a culminating research proposal that incorporates experiments and computational work. This degree will result in the students developing foundational knowledge and skills in biomedical engineering that will make them competitive for industry leadership positions or doctoral-level graduate programs in BME and related disciplines.

The one-year master’s program focuses on fundamentals of integrating life sciences and engineering, in addition to providing instruction in cutting-edge biotechnology methods in bio-imaging, drug delivery, regenerative medicine, bio-manufacturing, and biomaterials. Students can only start the M.S. program in the Fall semester.


Admission requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Applicants must apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Students with a degree in engineering, physics, or the life sciences are eligible for admission. All students must have a strong background in physics and mathematics. This background should include chemistry, calculus-based physics, and mathematics through calculus and differential equations. Students who lack this background may still be considered for provisional admission but will have to make up any deficiency early in their graduate program. These remedial courses will be required in addition to the stated graduate program course requirements. Students with a 3.0 junior/senior grade-point average and with appropriate course backgrounds will be considered for admission. The best-qualified applicants will be accepted up to the number of spaces available. Exceptions to the minimum average may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests.

Scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are required for admission. However, at the discretion of the program a student may be admitted for graduate study in the Bioengineering program without these scores.

Master’s Degree Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Mentored Projects: By the end of September, a student will identify an adviser. A mentored project assigned by the adviser will be completed and a culminating project using the data as a basis for the scholarly paper will be submitted and evaluated. These projects are completed while enrolled in BME 594.

A minimum of 32 credits at the 400-level or higher is required for a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering (BME M.S.), with at least 24 credits at the BIOE 500 or 800 level. Students must take the following: 9 credits of foundation courses at the BIOE 500-level, an additional 12 credits of fundamentals and/or applications courses (with a minimum of 3 credits from each category), 1-credit BIOE 591 research ethics course, two 1-credit BIOE 590 graduate seminars, 2 credits of BME 429, and 6 credits of BME 594 mentored research.

Penn State allows a maximum of 10 transfer credits of high-quality graduate work to be applied toward the requirements for a graduate degree, subject to restrictions outlined in the Transfer Courses section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Student Aid

Refer to the Student Aid section of the Graduate Bulletin. Students in this program are not eligible for graduate assistantships.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Last Revised by the Department: Fall 2016

Blue Sheet Item #: 45-01-000

Review Date: 8/23/2016


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