female student working in biomedical engineering lab

One-year, Non-thesis Master of Science Degree (M.S.) in Biomedical Engineering

Get your future on the fast track

Our one-year, non-thesis master’s degree program provides a strong foundation in biomedical engineering, enabling you to apply your skills across a broad range of disciplines in both academia and industry.

The non-thesis M.S. is a 32-credit program that can be completed in one year for a faster path to a great career. The program is ideal for engineers with a B.S. degree who wish to gain a deeper understanding of biomedical engineering practice and explore a number of research opportunities.

We give you the options you need

Our program introduces students to a variety of research interests and provides training in:

  • Medical device design
  • Biomechanics
  • Biomedical health systems
  • And many more

Successful graduates are positioned to become leaders in industry or may choose to use the experience as a segue to apply to biomedical engineering doctoral programs.

Whether your passion is to start your own business, pursue the next ground-breaking biomedical innovation, or secure an advanced position in industry, our degree program can help you achieve your goals.

students working in a lab

Non-thesis M.S. Course Requirements

Timeline to complete the One-year M.S. in Biomedical Engineering

The program runs fall/spring/summer with a final project due in at the end of summer. Through the fall, students will be exposed to the faculty research labs via lab tours and faculty presentations covering their current research projects. In the first month of the program, students will identify a research adviser and carry out a literature review for the proposed research. Research will continue through fall and spring semesters. Summer will be fully committed to research and writing of the final project.

Fall Semester

  • Take 15 credits of courses including BME 594–Graduate Seminar and BME 591–Ethics and Professional Development
  • Take 1 credit of BME 594-Mentored Projects
  • Identify adviser (no later than the end of September)

Spring Semester

  • Take 14 credits of courses including BME 590–Graduate Seminar and BME 429–Biomedical Mechanics and Techniques Lab
  • Take 2 credits of BME 594: Mentored Projects
  • Submit title and one page proposal on mentored research by spring break


  • Take 3 credits of BME 594
  • Submit first draft of scholarly paper by July 1
  • Submit final scholarly paper by August 1


Category Credits
Mentored Projects 6 cr.
Foundational Courses 9 cr.
Fundamental and Application Courses 12 cr.
BME 590: Graduate Seminar 2 cr.
BME 591: Ethics and Professional Development (2 credits BME 429, 1 credit of fall BME 594, 1 credit of spring BME 594, 2 credits of summer BME 594) 3 cr.
Total Credits 32 cr.


Our specialized degree tracks include:

  • Bioimaging
  • Drug Delivery
  • Tissue Engineering/Regenerative Medicine
  • Biomanufacturing
  • Biomaterials

Course Outline

Required Courses

  • BIOE 512: Cell and BioMolecular Engineering (Fall) (3 cr.)
  • BIOL 472: Physiology or PHSIO 571: Graduate Physiology (Fall) (3 cr.)
  • BIOE 504: Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering (Fall) (3 cr.)
  • BME 590: Graduate Seminar (Fall/Spring) (1 cr. each)
  • BME 591: Bioengineering Ethics and Professional Development (Fall) (1 cr.)

Fundamental Courses*

  • BIOE 501: Bioengineering Transport Phenomena
  • BIOE 503: Fluid Mechanics of Bioengineering Systems
  • BIOE 505: Bioengineering Mechanics
  • BIOE 506: Medical Imaging
  • BIOE 508: Biomedical Materials

Application Courses*

  • BIOE 509: Mechanobiology
  • BIOE 510: BioMems and Bionanotechnology
  • BIOE 514: Quantitative Microscopy
  • BIOE 515: Cell Mechanics and Biophysics
  • BIOE 517: Biomaterials Surface Science
  • BIOE 518: Organic Nanobiomaterials
  • BIOE 519: Artificial Organ Design


  • BME 429: Biomedical Mechanics and Techniques Lab (2 cr.) (Spring)
  • BME 594: Mentored Projects (6 cr. total) (Fall/Spring/Summer)

*Fundamental and Application courses are all 3-credit courses. Take 12 credits combined of Fundamental and Application credits with minimum 3 credits of each.

Application Deadlines

The deadline to apply for the fall semester is July 15. The deadline to apply for the spring semester is December 15. International students are encouraged to apply early.

Application Criteria

Bachelor of Science Degree

Prior to beginning the program, all applicants must have obtained a bachelor of science degree or equivalent from an accredited university or institution. Engineering, science, mathematics and life science degrees are strongly preferred.

Course Requirements

All applicants must have successfully completed at least one programming course (preferably Matlab) and one differential equations course.



GPA expectations for applicants are 3.0 or higher. Lower scores will be considered under special circumstances or if other aspects of the application are deemed considerably strong.

Letters of Recommendation

Two strong letters of recommendation are required in addition to the completed application. We recommend that these be submitted by a faculty member or mentor who knows you well and can attest to your work, research, or academic merit.

It is also recommended that all applicants have knowledge of differential equations and some computer programming experience.

To Apply

Visit the Penn State Graduate School website and apply to the “BME MS” program. Be sure to mention your specific interest in the “one-year BME MS” in your personal statement.


Tuition fees for Pennsylvania residents and non-Pennsylvania residents or international students can be found here. Typical program is full time fall and spring semesters and 2 credits in the summer.

Contact Information

  • Dr. Leo Lei
    Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Program Coordinator, 515 CBEB
  • Virginia Simparosa
    Graduate Programs Assistant

Have Questions?

thesis m s program


The Department of Biomedical Engineering administers the bachelor of science, master of science, and doctorate degree programs in biomedical engineering. Our work combines traditional engineering principles with medicine and technology for the betterment of human health and society. 

Department of Biomedical Engineering

122 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-863-6614

Email: bme@engr.psu.edu