Thesis Master of Science Degree (M.S.) in Biomedical Engineering

Jump start your research career

Our thesis master of science (M.S.) degree program provides a strong foundation in biomedical engineering, engineering science and a foundational research experience to positioning our graduates for a biomedical engineering research career.

The thesis M.S. is a 30-credit program with an in-depth research experience that culminates in the defense of a scientific or engineering thesis in the field of biomedical engineering. The course options are flexible and tailored to the career goals and research focus of the student. Students in the thesis program will work closely with a research advisor and a thesis committee to define a cutting-edge research question in biomedical engineering. The program is ideal for engineers and scientists with a B.S. degree who are seeking the tools and experience to start a professional research career.

Thesis M.S. Course Requirements

Timeline to complete the thesis M.S. in Biomedical Engineering

The program is flexible to meet the research and career goals of our students. A typical thesis M.S. student will take two years to complete the program and defend their thesis.

Category Credits
REQUIRED COURSES Lecture- or laboratory-based coursework at the 500-level1 12 cr.
Lecture- or laboratory-based coursework at the 400- or 500-level1 6 cr.
BIOE 591: Bioengineering Ethics and Professional Development 1 cr.
One-credit graduate seminar for every semester in attendance 4 cr.
CULMINATING EXPERIENCE BIOE 600: Thesis Research 6 cr.
  1. Coursework must include at least 6 credits each in bioengineering, life sciences, and technical/quantitative electives.
  2. Students will select additional course work and research credits from a list of approved electives maintained by the program office, as appropriate, to obtain the total minimum of 30 credits.

Application Deadlines

The deadline to apply for the fall semester is July 15. The spring application deadline is December 15.

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.


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
    Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Graduate Programs Coordinator
  • Virginia Simparosa
    Graduate Programs Assistant

one-year non-thesis M.S. programamp-scholars-3.jpg


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