Biomedical Engineering

Major: Biomedical Engineering
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 45.0-51.0 (MS) or 90.0 (PhD)
Co-op Option: Available for full-time on-campus master's-level students
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 14.0501
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 17-2031

About the Program

The curriculum develops graduates who can identify and address unmet clinical, diagnostic, and healthcare needs by using their knowledge of modern theories, engineering systems, and mathematical and engineering tools. Biomedical engineers require the analytical tools and broad knowledge of modern engineering and science, fundamental understanding of the biological or physiological system, and familiarity with recent technological breakthroughs.

Master students can choose to include a 6 months graduate co-op cycle as part of their studies. Students may also choose to enroll in a concentration in Biomedical Device Development, or specialize in biomaterials and tissue engineering, biomechanics, neuroengineering, imaging and devices or bioinformatics, or may pursue a dual-degree MS option. Graduating students work in industry in such fields as medical devices, health care, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, continue academic careers (PhD), or continue to medical schools. 

Additional Information

Natalia Broz
Associate Director for Graduate Programs
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems

Andres Kriete, PhD
Associate Director for Graduate Studies
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems

For more information, visit the The School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health Systems website.

Degree Requirements (MS)

The core requirements for the master's in biomedical engineering encompass approximately 45.0 course credits (most courses carry three credits each). Students who choose the non-thesis option cannot register for thesis or research credits.

The curriculum includes room for specialization in several areas of biomedical engineering, as well as a concentration in biomedical technology development.

Core Courses
BMES 501Medical Sciences I3.0
BMES 502Medical Sciences II3.0
BMES 503Medical Sciences III3.0
BMES 510Biomedical Statistics4.0
BMES 538Biomedical Ethics and Law3.0
BMES 546Biocomputational Languages4.0
BMES 672Biosimulation I3.0
BMES 673Biosimulation II3.0
BMES 864Seminar (Must be taken 3 times)0.0
BMES Electives - Select a minimum of 10 credits from the list below10.0-15.0
Cardiovascular Engineering
Entrepreneurship for Biomedical Engineering and Science
Experimental Design in Biomedical Research
Intermediate Biostatistics
Interpretation of Biomedical Data
Introduction to Biosensors
Chronobioengineering I
Chronobioengineering II
Design Thinking for Biomedical Engineers
Introduction to Product Design for Biomedical Engineers
Nano and Molecular Mechanics of Biological Materials
Quantitative Systems Biology
Genome Information Engineering
Structural Bioinformatics and Drug Design
Genomic and Sequencing Technologies
Biomedical Signal Processing
Medical Device Development
Biological Control Systems I
Medical Imaging Systems I
Medical Imaging Systems II
Medical Imaging Systems III
Tissue Engineering I
Tissue Engineering II
Biomedical Mechanics I
Biomedical Mechanics II
Transport Phenomena in Living Systems I
Biomaterials I
Biomaterials II
Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering III
Experimental Methods in Neuroengineering
Neural Signals
Principles in Neuroengineering
Neural Aspects of Posture and Locomotion I
Medical Instrumentation
Medical Instrumentation II
Hospital Administration
General Electives in the fields of science, engineering, or medicine including additional BMES classes9.0-12.0
The sum of electives, core credits, and/or thesis credits must total 45.0 credits. Elective choices would depend upon the student's area(s) of focus or concentration but must be within the fields of science, engineering, or medicine. A concentration may substitute for elective credits. A minimum of 15 credits of BMES elective courses are required.
Thesis Option0.0-9.0
Master's Thesis
Total Credits45.0-62.0

The research for the thesis may include work carried out during an internship.

Biomedical Technology Development Concentration (Optional)

Students enrolled in this concentration will develop an understanding of critical regulatory, economic, and legal issues in addition to the project management skills that facilitate the development of new medical devices and positive working relationships with intellectual property lawyers, insurance companies, and the federal government.

Core Courses
BMES 509Entrepreneurship for Biomedical Engineering and Science3.0
BMES 534Design Thinking for Biomedical Engineers3.0
BMES 538Biomedical Ethics and Law3.0
BMES 588Medical Device Development3.0
BMES 590Clinical Rotation3.0
or BMES 596 Clinical Practicum III
Total Credits15.0

Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Concentration (Optional)

This concentration is designed to provide students with advanced training in cellular and molecular biology relevant to tissue engineering and behavior of materials used in biomedical applications

Core Courses
BMES 631Tissue Engineering I4.0
BMES 632Tissue Engineering II4.0
BMES 660Biomaterials I4.0
BMES 661Biomaterials II4.0
BMES 675Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering III4.0
Total Credits20.0

Bioinformatics Concentration (Optional)

This concentration emphasizes a systems engineering approach to provide a foundation in systems biology and pathology informatics. Students are provided students with hands-on experience in the application of genomic, proteomic, and other large-scale information to biomedical engineering as well as experience in advanced computational methods used in systems biology: pathway and circuitry, feedback and control, cellular automata, sets of partial differential equations, stochastic analysis, and biostatistics.

BMES 543Quantitative Systems Biology4.0
BMES 544Genome Information Engineering4.0
BMES 547Machine Learning in Biomedical Applications3.0
or BMES 549 Genomic and Sequencing Technologies
BMES 551Biomedical Signal Processing3.0
BMES 604Pharmacogenomics3.0
Total Credits17.0

Sample Plan of Study (MS)

First Year
BMES 501Medical Sciences I3.0
BMES 510Biomedical Statistics4.0
BMES 546Biocomputational Languages4.0
BMES 864Seminar0.0
 Term Credits11.0
BMES 502Medical Sciences II3.0
BMES 672Biosimulation I3.0
BMES 864Seminar0.0
BMES Elective3.0-4.0
 Term Credits9.0-10.0
BMES 503Medical Sciences III3.0
BMES 673Biosimulation II3.0
BMES 538Biomedical Ethics and Law (can be taken in any term)3.0
BMES 864Seminar0.0
 Term Credits9.0
Second Year
Elective Courses and/or Thesis*9.0-12.0
 Term Credits9.0-12.0
Elective Courses and/or Thesis**7.0-12.0
 Term Credits7.0-12.0
Total Credit: 45.0-54.0

 Can includeBMES 897.


 Can include BMES 897 and BMES 898.

PhD in Biomedical Engineering Degree Requirements

To be awarded the PhD degree, students must complete 90.0 required credits and fulfill the one-year residency requirement.
The following milestones have to be satisfied during the course of the program:

  • Students must successfully pass the candidacy examination.
  • Students must submit a PhD dissertation proposal and successfully defend it.
  • Students must write a dissertation and successfully pass final oral defense.

Post-Baccalaureate Requirements and Post-Master's Requirements
Both post-baccalaureate and post-master's students are admitted into the doctoral program in Biomedical Engineering, but have slightly differing sets of requirements.

For post-master’s students, 45.0 of the credits that they earned toward their Master’s degree may be applied toward the PhD. If coming from the Master’s program in Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University, those courses they took would apply. For non-Drexel students who have completed their master’s elsewhere, there may be exceptions made. If these students believe that they have covered the material of the required courses in another program, they must show evidence of such material and obtain a formal waiver of this requirement from the Graduate Advisor.

For post-baccalaureate students, students must complete a minimum of 90.0 credits and a research thesis. These 90.0 credits include the core courses required by Drexel’s MS in Biomedical Engineering.

Core Courses
BMES 501Medical Sciences I3.0
BMES 502Medical Sciences II3.0
BMES 503Medical Sciences III3.0
BMES 672Biosimulation I3.0
BMES 673Biosimulation II3.0
BMES 864Seminar0.0

In addition to the required courses, post-baccalaureate PhD students must take at least 21.0 more credits in courses. This balance may be taken as research and/or thesis/dissertation credits.

Thesis Advisor/Plan of Study
During the first year of the program all Doctoral students are required to identify a Thesis Advisor and complete a plan of study. The student’s Thesis Advisor and the Graduate Advisor will guide the student in developing this plan of study. Each plan of study is individually tailored to the student, and includes a combination of research and course credits most beneficial and complimentary to the student’s chosen thesis topic.

The Candidacy Examination
Doctoral students must successfully pass a candidacy examination, preferably at the end of the first year of their study.
The overall objective of the candidacy examination is to test the student's basic knowledge and preparedness to proceed toward a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. After a satisfactory performance on the candidacy examination the student is awarded the Doctoral Candidate status. Candidates must submit a Thesis Proposal by the end of the second year and defend it in an oral presentation to a committee of five faculty members.

Thesis Defense
After the student has successfully completed all the necessary research and composed a thesis manuscript, in accordance with the guidelines specified by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, he or she then must formally defend their thesis. A formal thesis defense includes an oral presentation of research accomplishments in front of a committee of faculty members. The thesis defense is open to the general public.

Prospective PhD students are welcome to contact the school to discuss their research interests. For a more detailed description of the PhD requirements, please visit the School of Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems' Biomedical Engineering web site.

Areas of Specialization

Areas of specialization can be pursued within the Biomedical Engineering graduate program. Students can plan their own focus area that will give them strength in a particular sub-discipline. Alternatively, the student can specialize by conducting research and writing a thesis.

Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
Biomaterials and tissue engineering is designed to provide students with advanced training in cellular and molecular biology relevant to tissue engineering and behavior of materials used in biomedical applications.

Biomedical Technology Development
Students pursuing the concentration will develop an understanding of critical regulatory, economic, and legal issues in addition to the project management skills that facilitate the development of new medical devices and positive working relationships with intellectual property lawyers, insurance companies, and the federal government. (This is a formal concentration with specific course requirements.)

Bioinformatics emphasizes a systems engineering approach to provide a foundation in systems biology and pathology informatics. Students are provided with hands-on experience in the application of genomic, proteomic, and other large-scale information to biomedical engineering as well as experience in advanced computational methods used in systems biology: pathway and circuitry, feedback and control, cellular automata, sets of partial differential equations, stochastic analysis, and biostatistics.

Biomechanics and Human Performance Engineering
Biomechanics and human performance engineering is designed to meet two objectives: to acquaint students with the responses of biological tissues to mechanical loads as well as with the mechanical properties of living systems and to provide students with the background and skills needed to create work and living environments which improve human health and enhance performance. Biomechanics and human performance also involves the study of orthopedic appliances and the broader aspect of rehabilitation engineering and the management of disability.

Biomedical Systems and Imaging
Biomedical systems and imaging focuses on the theoretical and practical issues related to machine vision, image processing and analysis, and signal processing associated with such medical applications as well biomedical instrumentation and product development.

Neuroengineering is broadly defined to include the modeling of neural and endocrine systems, neural networks, complexity in physiological systems, evolutionary influences in biological control systems, neurocontrol, neurorobotics, and neuroprosthetics.

Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems Faculty

Fred D. Allen, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) Associate Director, Undergraduate Education. Assistant Professor. Tissue engineering, cell engineering, orthopedics, bone remodeling, wound healing, mechanotransduction, signal transduction, adhesion, migration.
Hasan Ayaz, PhD (Drexel University). Research Associate Professor. Optical brain imaging, cognitive neuroengineering, brain computer interface (BCI), functional ner infrared (fNIR), and near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS).
Sriram Balasubramanian, PhD (Wayne State University). Assistant Professor. Structural characteristics of the pediatric thoracic cage using CT scans and developing an age-equivalent animal model for pediatric long bones.
Kenneth A. Barbee, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) Associate Dean for Research. Professor. Cellular biomechanics of neural and vascular injury, mechanotransduction in the cardiovascular system, mechanical control of growth and development for wound healing and tissue engineering.
Paul Brandt-Rauf, ScD, MD, PhD (Columbia University) Dean. Distinguished Professor. Environmental health, particularly the molecular biology and molecular epidemiology of environmental carcinogenesis.
Donald Buerk, PhD (Northwestern University). Research Professor. Biotechnology, physiology, systems biology, blood flow, microcirculation, nitric oxide, oxygen transport
Jamie Dougherty, PhD (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Brain-computer interface, neural encoding, electrophysiological signal acquisition and processing.
Lin Han, PhD (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) School of Biomedical Engineering Science & Health Systems. Assistant Professor. Nanoscale structure-property relationships of biological materials, genetic and molecular origins soft joint tissue diseases, biomaterials under extreme conditions, coupling between stimulus-responsiveness and geometry.
Uri Hershberg, PhD (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel). Assistant Professor. Bioinformatics, immunology, neural computation, system biology, somatic selection, autoimmunity, genetic stability, germline diversity, dendritic cell, transcription elements, pathogens, computational and mathematical modeling, complex systems, cognition and inflammation.
Kurtulus Izzetoglu, PhD (Drexel University) Associate Research Professor. Cognitive neuroengineering, functional brain imaging, near infrared spectroscopy, medical sensor development, biomedical signal processing, human performance assessment, and cognitive aging
Meltem Izzetoglu, PhD (Drexel University). Associate Research Professor. Cognitive neuroengineering, biomedical signal processing, statistical signal analysis, optimal artifact removal, information processing, optical brain imaging, functional near infrared spectroscopy, working memory, attention, learning, reading and mathematical disabilities, cognitive aging, anesthesia awareness, and social anxiety disorders.
Dov Jaron, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) Calhoun Distinguished Professor of Engineering in Medicine. Professor. Mathematical, computer and electromechanical simulations of the cardiovascular system.
Andres Kriete, PhD (University of Bremen Germany) Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Associate Teaching Professor. Systems biology, bioimaging, control theory, biology of aging, skin cancer.
Steven Kurtz, PhD (Cornell University). Associate Research Professor. Computational biomechanics of bone-implant systems and impact-related injuries, orthopaedic biomechanics, contact mechanics, orthopaedic biomaterials, large-deformation mechanical behavior and wear of polymers, and degradation and crosslinking of polyolefins in implant applications.
Ryszard Lec, PhD (University of Warsaw Engineering College). Professor. Biomedical applications of visoelastic, acoustoptic and ultrasonic properties of liquid and solid media.
Peter Lewin, PhD (University of Denmark, Copenhagen-Lyngby) Richard B. Beard Professor, School Of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems. Professor. Biomedical ultrasonics, piezoelectric and polymer transducers and hydrophones; shock wave sensors.
Hualou Liang, PhD (Chinese Academy of Sciences). Professor. Neuroengineering, neuroinformatics, cognitive and computational neuroscience, neural data analysis and computational modeling, biomedical signal processing.
Donald L. McEachron, PhD (University of California at San Diego) Coordinator, Academic Assessment and Improvement. Teaching Professor. Animal behavior, autoradiography, biological rhythms, cerebral metabolism, evolutionary theory, image processing, neuroendocrinology.
Michael Neidrauer, PhD (Drexel University). Assistant Research Professor. Wound healing, near infrared, spectroscopy, cell culture, data analysis, optical coherence tomography (OCT), matlab, life sciences assay development, confocal microscopy, biomaterials, in-vivo, medical devices
Banu Onaral, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) H.H. Sun Professor; Senior Advisor to the President, Global Partnerships. Professor. Biomedical signal processing; complexity and scaling in biomedical signals and systems.
Kambiz Pourrezaei, PhD (Rensselaer Polytechnic University). Professor. Thin film technology; nanotechnology; near infrared imaging; power electronics.
Ahmet Sacan, PhD (Middle East Technical University). Assistant Professor. Indexing and data mining in biological databases; protein sequence and structure; similarity search; protein structure modeling; protein-protein interaction; automated cell tracking.
Joseph J. Sarver, PhD (Drexel University). Associate Professor. Neuromuscular adaptation to changes in the myo-mechanical environment.
Patricia A. Shewokis, PhD (University of Georgia). Professor. Roles of cognition and motor function during motor skill learning; role of information feedback frequency on the memory of motor skills, noninvasive neural imaging techniques of functional near infrared spectroscopy(fNIR) and electroencephalograpy (EEG) and methodology and research design.
Adrian C. Shieh, PhD (Rice University). Assistant Professor. Contribution of mechanical forces to tumor invasion and metastasis, with a particular emphasis on how biomechanical signals may drive the invasive switch, and how the biomechanical microenvironment interacts with cytokine signaling and the extracellular matrix to influence tumor and stromal cell behavior.
Wan Y. Shih, PhD (Ohio State University). Associate Professor. Piezoelectric microcantilever biosensors development, piezoelectric finger development, quantum dots development, tissue elasticity imaging, piezoelectric microcantilever force probes.
Kara Spiller, PhD (Drexel University). Assistant Professor. Macrophage-biometerial interactions, drug delivery systems, and chronic would healing. Cell-biomaterial interactions, biomaterial design, and international engineering education.
Marek Swoboda, PhD (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Cardiovascular engineering, cardiovascular system, diagnostic devices in cardiology, piezoelectric biosensors, and pathogen detection.
Amy Throckmorton, PhD (University of Virginia). Associate Professor. Computational and experimental fluid dynamics; cardiovascular modeling, including transient, fluid-structure interaction, and patient-specific anatomical studies; bench-to-bedside development of medical devices; artificial organs research; prediction and quantification of blood trauma and thrombosis in medical devices; design of therapeutic alternatives for patients with dysfunctional single ventricle physiology; human factors engineering of mechanical circulatory assist devices
Margaret Wheatley, PhD (University of Toronto) John M. Reid Professor. Ultrasound contrast agent development (tumor targeting and triggered drug delivery), controlled release technology (bioactive compounds), microencapsulated allografts ("ex vivo" gene therapy) for spinal cord repair.
Ming Xiao, PhD (Baylor University). Associate Professor. Nanotechnology, single molecule detection, single molecule fluorescent imaging, genomics, genetics, genome mapping, DNA sequencing, DNA biochemistry, and biophysics.
Yinghui Zhong, PhD (Georgia Institute of Technology). Assistant Professor. Spinal cord repair, and engineering neural prosthesis/brain interface using biomaterials, drug delivery, and stem cell therapy.
Leonid Zubkov, PhD, DSc (St. Petersburg State University, Russia). Research Professor. Physiology, wound healing, physiologic neovascularization, near-infrared spectroscopy, optical tomography, histological techniques, computer-assisted diagnosis, infrared spectrophotometry, physiologic monitoring, experimental diabetes mellitus, penetrating wounds, diabetes complications, skin, animal models, radiation scattering, failure analysis
Catherin von Reyn, PhD (University of Pennsylvania). Assistant Professor. Cell type-specific genetic engineering, whole-cell patch clamp in behaving animals, modeling, and detailed behavioral analysis to identify and characterize sensorimotor circuits.

Emeritus Faculty

Rahamim Seliktar, PhD (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow). Professor Emeritus. Limb prostheses, biomechanics of human motion, orthopedic biomechanics.
Hun H. Sun, PhD (Cornell University). Professor Emeritus. Biological control systems, physiological modeling, systems analysis.
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