BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING - Dept. Code:  BME

DEGREE PROGRAMS

The Department of Biomedical Engineering offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Science (thesis or non-thesis option) and Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering. A 5-year BS/MS option is available for qualified undergraduate students enrolled within the Department.

AREAS OF RESEARCH

The areas of research in Biomedical Engineering include:
1. Biomedical instrumentation and devices
2. Medical imaging
3. Applications of computers to diagnostic and therapeutic systems
4. Biomechanics, biofluid dynamics, hemodynamics
5. Biomaterials, Tissue and cellular engineering
6. Biomedical signal and image processing
7. Rehabilitation and neural engineering
8. Brain-computer interface
9. Biomedical optics and lasers
10. Medical physics and engineering

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

A. The Department of Biomedical Engineering uses the same general graduate admission requirements as the College of Engineering.
B. Students who hold a Bachelor’s degree in a field other than engineering may be admitted to the graduate program and to candidacy upon completion of appropriate undergraduate courses, in addition to the regular requirements for the graduate degree.

MASTER OF SCIENCE

A. The Master of Science degree offers the graduate student an opportunity to obtain advanced training in selected areas of biomedical engineering and to begin independent research.
B. General requirements for the M.S. degree are listed in this Bulletin under Engineering and under Master’s Degree-General.
C. Both a 30-credit thesis option and a 30 credit non-thesis option are available.
D. There is also a 5-year BS/MS option available for qualified undergraduate students enrolled within the Department.
E. The department admits four types of students to its MS program:
1. Students with BS degrees in Biomedical Engineering or similar engineering fields
2. Students with BS degrees in Electrical, Computer, Mechanical, Chemical, or similar engineering fields
3. Students with BS degrees in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Biology or similar fields
4. Students with MD or similar degrees
F. Students in the last two groups are generally given conditional admission and required to take additional undergraduate courses in engineering, mathematics and science depending on their previous course work as decided by the graduate program director and the designated advisor.
G. There are three paths to earn a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering:
1. The Thesis Option requires a minimum of 30 credits beyond the BS degree. These must include a minimum of 6 thesis credits (BME 710) and the completion of at least two appropriate courses at the 600 level.
2. The Non-Thesis Option requires a minimum of 30 credits beyond the BS degree. These must include at least 3 credits for an independent design or research project for which the student enrolls in BME 605. In addition, at least three appropriate courses at the 600 level must be completed.
3. The BS/MS Dual degree Program (see separate section below).
H. The student’s overall graduate program is planned by the student, advisor, graduate program director and the thesis committee (for the thesis option).
1. The thesis committee consists of a minimum of 3 members.
2. Two members, including the chair of the committee, shall be faculty members from the BME Department (primary or secondary), and one member must be from outside the Department.
3. Outside members of the thesis committee can include part-time faculty that teach within the Department.
4. One of the committee members must be a member of the Graduate Faculty.
I. The three courses of the Unified Medical Sciences sequence (BME 501, 502 and 503) were designed to apprise the engineer of the basic knowledge in the life sciences necessary to work in the broad field of biomedical engineering.
1. MS Students coming from traditional engineering field with no biology/medicine backgrounds are required to complete all of the three Unified Medical Sciences courses.
2. Other MS students are required to take at least two of the three courses unless the student holds a degree in medicine (MD, DO or equivalent) or an advanced degree (or its equivalent) in the life sciences.
3. Each such exception requires the approval of the department’s faculty for the course of concern.

BS/MS 5-YEAR PROGRAM

This program is available only to qualified undergraduate students enrolled within the Department as described in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
A. This program permits students to receive a baccalaureate degree (BSBE) and a Master of Science (MS) degree in five years.
B. The two degrees are awarded simultaneously when the combined requirements have been met for both degrees.
C. Qualified students who want to be enrolled in this program must apply before the end of their junior year and meet all pertinent graduate school and College of Engineering requirements.
D. In lieu of the 6-credit thesis requirement, the participants complete either one significant design project or two shorter duration projects by registering for BME 605 and 606.
E. The design project(s) is (are) monitored by at least two mentors, one of the mentors must be a member of the primary faculty in the department.
F. The project(s) is (are) completed by the acceptance of a verbal presentation and a written report by the student’s mentors.

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

A. The goal of the PhD program in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami is to prepare graduates for careers in academia, industrial research and development, or government. The program is designed to train students for advanced independent research and technical innovation in biomedical engineering.
B. The general requirements for award of the Doctor of Philosophy degree include:
1. Completion of a minimum of 60 credits beyond the Bachelor of Science degree.
2. Satisfactory completion of a qualifying examination.
3. The submission, oral defense, and approval of a dissertation proposal.
4. The submission and oral defense and approval of a dissertation.
There are no foreign language competency requirements for the PhD in biomedical engineering.
C. The requirements for admission to the PhD program in biomedical engineering usually include:
1. In general, the department admits three types of students to its PhD program:
a) Students with MS degrees in Biomedical Engineering or related science and engineering fields.
b) Students with MD degrees with undergraduate degrees in sciences or engineering.
c) Highly qualified students with BS degrees in engineering or sciences (direct BS to PhD track).
2. The general requirements for admission of BS students to the doctoral degree program are consistent with the admission requirements of the College of Engineering.
3. Students in M.S. thesis or non-thesis tracks who wish to pursue a doctoral degree can transfer to the doctoral degree program without completing a thesis or project under the following general requirements:
a) A letter of support by a faculty member who agrees to serve as the student’s Ph.D. dissertation advisor.
b) Completion of an application for admission to the PhD program, which will be reviewed by the Department’s Graduate Admissions Committee, using the standard admission criteria for the doctoral program.
4. Regulations concerning admission, course requirements, residence requirements, qualifying and final examinations, and dissertation are listed in this Bulletin under Engineering and Doctor of Philosophy.
D. The doctoral program in biomedical engineering requires each student to pass a departmental qualifying screening examination.
1. The screening examination consists of three written examinations on each of the following broad subjects:
a) basic engineering;
b) applied mathematics and computer science; and
c) applied physiology and medical science.
2. These examinations are usually offered once or twice each year.
3. The examination must be taken the first time it is scheduled after completion of the first two semesters.
4. A student may repeat once any or all parts of the examination where the results were found unsatisfactory.
5. Students admitted to the doctoral program with a BS degree that do not pass the qualifying examination may complete the MS degree.
E. Following the successful completion of the screening examination, a PhD Supervisory Committee is appointed by the Chairperson of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. The role of the Supervisory Committee is to administer the dissertation proposal, and to make up any additional written or oral examination deemed necessary to complete the qualifying examination.
1. The supervisory committee is composed of a minimum of 5 members.
2. Three members, including the chair, shall be members of the Graduate Faculty, and one member shall be from outside the Department.
3. A minimum of three members, including the chair of the committee, must be primary faculty members from the BME Department.
4. A research mentor who is not a Primary Faculty member of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, can serve as Co-Chair of the Supervisory Committee, together with a second Co-Chair who shall be a member of the primary faculty of the Department of Biomedical Engineering.
5. A written dissertation proposal is submitted along with an oral presentation to the supervisory committee.
6. Acceptance of the dissertation proposal in combination with other examinations as determined by the committee to assure the qualifications of the student for the doctorate leads to candidacy for the Ph.D.

F. When the student is admitted to candidacy, a dissertation committee is formed.
1. The Dissertation Committee is nominated by the Department, and is approved and appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School.
2. In the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Dissertation Committee is generally the same as the Supervisory Committee, but it may also be a committee formed anew to undertake the duties of advising and passing upon the dissertation.
3. The composition of the Dissertation Committee is subject to the same rules as for the Supervisory Committee (see above).
4. The duties of the Dissertation Committee are:
a) to consult with and to advise students on their research;
b) to meet, at intervals, to review progress and expected results;
c) to read and comment upon the draft dissertation;
d) to meet, when the dissertation is completed, to conduct the final oral examination and to satisfy itself that the dissertation is a contribution to knowledge and that it is written in lucid and correct English and submitted in approved form.
G. Successful defense of the dissertation leads to the award of the PhD degree.

H. All students in the BME Doctor or Philosophy program are required to complete the following course or credit requirements:
1. At least two of the following three courses: BME 501, BME502, BME503.
a. Students, who have completed these courses or similar coursework in their previous MS programs, may substitute technical electives for this requirement.
b. Students in the direct BS to PhD track and students with no prior exposure to biology/medicine are required to complete all three courses
c. This requirement can only be waived for students holding MD degrees.
2. A zero-credit Biomedical Engineering Seminar course (BME 680). This requirement is not waived, even if the student has taken this course in his/her MS program.
3. Students admitted with an MS degree must complete at least 18 credits of graduate level course work followed by at least 12 credits of dissertation work (BME 730 before admission to candidacy or BME 740 after admission to candidacy). A minimum of 6 course credits must be at the 600 level.
4. Students admitted with a BS degree must complete at least 42 credits of graduate level course work followed by at least 18 credits of dissertation work (BME 730 before admission to candidacy or BME 740 after admission to candidacy). A minimum of 12 course credits must be at the 600 level.

• 500 level courses are open to advanced undergraduates and to graduate students; 600 level courses are open only to graduate students and seniors with graduate standing.