MSBE Coursework

The Coursework Master of Science in Bioengineering Degree requires the completion of required coursework without the submission of a thesis. This degree is typically selected by working professionals who cannot commit to full-time thesis research, by students seeking to increase their knowledge base on a shorter or longer timeline than designed for the MS thesis degree, or by students who choose to design a curriculum that is more broadly defined than that for the MS thesis degree. Students entering the coursework M.S. program are typically self- or employer-funded students. Students awarded stipends may not complete the MSBE coursework degree. Students enrolled in the MSBE coursework program may opt to participate in an industrial internship at the completion of their coursework requirements. The coursework M.S. degree may be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis (see Time Limits for degrees).
Students who are admitted to the coursework M.S. program may elect to switch to the M.S. thesis program provided they identify a faculty member willing to support their thesis activities and serve as their faculty advisor. In addition, if an enrolled student elects to pursue the Ph.D. degree, he/she may reapply to the College of Graduate studies for the Ph.D. degree. Students electing this change in terminal degree are strongly urged to discuss this option with both the Graduate Program Director and the Department Chair prior to applying. Any request regarding the change of the terminal degree must be approved by the faculty advisor and the Graduate Committee.
Basic Coursework Requirements
minimum of 30 semester hours of approved graduate coursework is required for a Master of Science in Bioengineering (MSBE) Coursework degree. All coursework must be approved by the Graduate Director. Each student must meet the following minimum general coursework requirements:
  • Register and attend the weekly Bioengineering Department seminar. Registration and attendance is mandatory every semester.
  • Complete 12 hours of Bioengineering core coursework.
  • Complete 3 hours of coursework to satisfy the mathematics requirement.
  • Complete 15 hours of elective coursework as approved by the Graduate Director.


Bioengineering can be broadly classified into the three areas, or subdisciplines, of biomechanics, bioelectronics, and bioprocessing. Much of the important and exciting research in bioengineering is currently occurring at the interface of these areas. Employment opportunities for M.S. graduates are greatest for students trained in one of the subdisciplines with at least familiarity for the other two subdisciplines. As such, we have designed our M.S. curriculum so that students will have proficiency in all three subdisciplines of bioengineering. Elective coursework may be selected to support one or more subdisciplines as needed for completion of the thesis research.
The MSBE coursework requirements for a full-time student can be completed in as few as 3 semesters. However, students may also enroll part-time and complete courses over an extended time period. The curriculum requirements for the MSBE coursework degree are summarized in Table 1. Coursework must be selected to satisfy the hour requirements for each category.
Table 1: Coursework M.S. in Bioengineering (MSBE) curriculum requirements. The Coursework MSBE requires a minimum of 30 credit hours distributed among several categories. Elective courses can be selected to tailor the degree to the student's areas of interest.
Category and Courses Credit Hours
    BIOE 5200 Physiology for Bioengineers 
        or BIOE 6100 Computational Physiology 
    BIOE 5260 Medical Imaging Systems I 
    BIOE 6520 Orthopaedic Biomechanics 
    BIOE 6310 Biochemical Engineering Principles
12 hours
    MIME 6000 Advanced Engineering Mathematics I
3 hours
    no more than 3 hrs Special Topics courses
15 hours
BIOE 5930 Bioengineering Seminar ---
Total (minimum) 30 hours

The vast majority of students entering the program with a B.S. in Bioengineering will require no remedial coursework. However, students entering with a B.S. degree from another engineering discipline or from the basic sciences may require remedial coursework. Students with non-engineering B.S. degrees may have to complete as many as five (5) prerequisite or remedial courses before registering for the BIOE core courses. Table 2 provides the prerequisite courses that are needed for completion of the core M.S. coursework.

Table 2: Prerequisite courses for the MSBE core courses.

Biomechanics Core Course: BIOE 6520 Orthopaedic Biomechanics
    prerequisites: CIVE 1150 Engineering Mechanics: Statics 
MIME 2300 Engineering Dynamics 
BIOE 4110/5780 Advanced Biomechanics or equivalent
Bioelectrical Core Course: BIOE 5260 Medical Imaging Systems I
    prerequisites: EECS 2300 Electric Circuits
Bioprocessing Core Course: BIOE 6310 Biochemical Engineering Principles
    prerequisites: graduate standing
Physiology Core Course: BIOE 6100 Computational Physiology
    prerequisites: BIOE 4100/5200 Physiology for Bioengineers or equivalent 
MIME 6000 Advanced Engineering Mathematics I
Mathematics Core Course: MIME 6000 Advanced Engineering Mathematics I
    prerequisites: MATH 2860 Elementary Differential Equations or equivalent

Graduate BIOE courses are rotated so that approximately 6-8 courses are offered yearly. In addition to graduate Bioengineering courses, students may take graduate level courses in other departments and colleges to satisfy the elective credit requirements as well as to gain knowledge in other areas of interest. The MSBE coursework degree provides significant flexibility for degree design with 15 credit hours in graduate-level elective courses. A sample curriculum for the MSBE coursework degree is given in Table 3. In this example, coursework requirements are completed in 4 semesters, but could be completed over a shorter or longer time period.

Table 3: Sample curriculum for the MSBE coursework degree. Elective and pre-requisite coursework will vary for each student. Time to completion of degree is determined by each student in consultation with the Graduate Director.

Course Semester Category
Fall 1 Spr 1 Fall 2 Spr 2
BIOE 5200 Physiology for Bioengineers 3       Core
BIOE 5260 Medical Imaging Systems I 3       Core
BIOE 6520 Orthopaedic Biomechanics       3 Core
BIOE 6310 Biochemical Engineering Principles   3     Core
MIME 6000 Advanced Engineering Mathematics I 3       Math
BIOE 5780 Advanced Biomechanics     3   Elective
BIOE 5/6XXX or other graduate-level course   6 6   Elective
BIOE 5930 Bioengineering Seminar R* R* R* R*  
Total hours 9 9 9 3 30
* Seminar is a no credit course offered Fall and Spring semesters.

UT Plan of Study

All MS students must file a Plan of Study with the College of Graduate Studies by the beginning of their second year in the program. A student's Plan of Study should be completed in consultation with the Graduate Program Director. The plan of study must be TYPED and include ONLY those courses that count toward the 30 hrs required for the degree, even if additional coursework hours are completed. Students are responsible for selecting approved courses that satisfy the curriculum requirements as outlined in Table 1. For each semester, hours listed must be totaled. Courses yet to be taken should be entered under the appropriate term to be taken with no grade entered. Completed Plans of Study should be saved electronically in case modifications are required. Completed Plans of Study should be submitted to the Graduate Program Director for approval by September 15. Modifications to an approved Plan of Study must be submitted on a Plan of Study modification form or, if substantial, on a new Plan of Study form to the Graduate Program Director.

M.S. Forms Check Sheet

Over the course of the M.S. thesis, several milestones must be achieved. These milestones are typically documented with a specific University or Department form. The specific milestones, forms, and the times for submission of these forms are summarized in Table 4.

Table 4: M.S. Coursework Forms Check Sheet. The forms listed below must be completed and filed by the appropriate due dates as part of the MSBE degree requirements. All forms are available on-line.

Form Due date Return to
UT Plan of Study for the MS Degree September 15 of the 2nd academic year Graduate Program Director
UT Application for Graduation Beginning of final semester; check the Registrar's website for specific dates College of Graduate Studies
BIOE Graduate Exit Interview Form Upon completion of thesis degree requirements BIOE Secretary

M.S. Graduation

Students must apply for graduation using the UT Application for Graduation form. This form must be filed with the Graduate School at or before the beginning of the semester during which the degree requirements are expected to complete.

To receive the MSBE coursework degree, a student must:

  • Satisfy the coursework requirements summarized in Table 1.
  • Maintain a 3.0/4.0 GPA in all coursework (see Grade Requirements for Graduation).
  • Submit all appropriate degree forms according to Table 4.
  • Have all PR and IN grades removed from the transcript.
  • Additional requirements as documented by the College of Graduate Studies.

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Last Updated: 6/27/22