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Department of Biological Engineering

A Masters Degree in Biomedical Engineering for MIT Undergraduates

The MEBE program is a fifth-year program leading to a bachelor’s degree in a science or engineering discipline along with a Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering. The program emphasizes the fusion of engineering with modern molecular-to-genomic biology as in our SB and PhD degree programs.

What are the entrance requirements?

MIT Undergraduates majoring in any of the departments of the Schools of Engineering or Science are eligible to apply. No applicants are accepted from other institutions. In addition to the requirements of the major department, applicants must also complete the following by the end of their Senior year:

  • Organic Chemistry (5.12)
  • Differential Equations (18.03)
  • Biochemistry (5.07 or 7.05)

Two of the following subjects:

  • Thermodynamics of Biomolecular Systems (20.110) or Physical Chemistry of Biomolecular Systems (20.111)
  • Molecular, Cellular, and Tissue Biomechanics (20.310)
  • Analysis of Biomolecular and Cellular Systems (20.320)
  • Fields, Forces and Flows in Biological Systems (20.330)
  • One Engineering or Systems Transport subject (e.g. 2.005, 3.185, 6.002, 10.301)

For more information on these courses please go to: http://student.mit.edu/catalog/index.cgi

How do I apply?

Contact be-acadmit.edu to request a copy of the application.

Students should apply by the end of their Junior year (May 31st), submitting the application, statement of purpose, 3 letters of recommendation and an official MIT transcript to the BE Academic Office (16-267). Transcripts should be submitted after Spring Semester grades are available. Applications will be reviewed during the summer and final decision will be announced by the end of that summer (August 31st). Admission into the program is highly competitive. Please note the GRE and application fee are not required.

Program Requirements

In addition to Thesis credits, at least 66 units of coursework are required; at least 42 of these subject units must be from H-level graduate subjects. The remaining units may be satisfied with G-level subjects, or in some cases, with advanced undergraduate subjects. Of the 66 units, a minimum distribution in each of three categories is specified below.

Core Requirements


  • 20.410 Molecular, Cellular & Tissue Biomechanics
  • 20.420 Biomolecular Kinetics and Cellular Dynamics
  • 20.430 Fields, Forces & Flows in Biological Systems

Thesis Requirement

The student is required to complete a thesis that must be approved by the Program Director. The thesis is an original work of research, design, or development. If the supervisor is not a member of Biological Engineering, a reader who belongs to the BE faculty must also approve and sign the thesis. The student submits a thesis proposal by the end of the fourth year, and conducts the work and completes the thesis by the end of Spring Term of the fifth year.


Biomedical Engineering Electives

  • 20.442 Molecular structure of Bio-Materials
  • 20.462 Molecular Principles of Biomaterials
  • 2.183 Biomechanics & Neural Control of Movement
  • 2.763J Hyperthermia: Biology, Technology, and Cancer Therapy
  • 2.782 Design of Medical Devices and Implants
  • 2.785J Cell-Matrix Mechanics
  • 2.79J Biomaterials – Tissue Interactions
  • 6.541J Speech Communication
  • 6.542J Laboratory on the Physiology, Acoustics, & Perception of Speech
  • 6.551J Acoustics of Speech and Hearing
  • 6.552J Signal Processing by the Auditory System Perception
  • 6.555J Biomedical Signal & Image Processing
  • 6.566J Biosensors, Signal Processing, and Biomedical Applications
  • 6.872J Medical Computing
  • 8.515J Biological Physics
  • 8.591J Systems Biology
  • 8.592 Statistical Physics in Biology
  • 8.593J Biological Physics
  • 10.449 Cell and Tissue Engineering
  • 10.544 Metabolic and Cell Engineering
  • 16.423 Aerospace Physiology & Life Support Systems
  • 22.55J Radiation Biophysics
  • 22.56J Noninvasive Imaging in Biology and Medicine Techniques
  • HST.525J Transport Phennomena and Tumor Pathophysiology
  • HST.545 Introduction to Systems Analysis with Physiological Applications
  • HST.548 Neural Signal Processing
  • HST.573 Complex Biological Control Systems
  • HST.582J Biomedical Signal and Image Processing
  • HST.750 Modeling Issues in Hearing and Speech

Bioscience Electives
Must equal at least 12 credits. One biological science subject in addition to organic chemistry and biochemistry. This must be a laboratory subject if one was not taken as part of the student’s undergraduate curriculum.

Financial Support Requirement

It is anticipated that a student will complete the Program in approximately one summer term and two academic terms; one full calendar year beyond what would normally be required for the SB degree. The additional 12 months of tuition required by the Program is paid by the student. Although there is no promise of support, students are permitted to seek funding through a traditional Research Assistantship or Teaching Assistantship. Note, however, that full time RAs or TAs may enroll for a maximum of two subjects; half-time RAs or TAs may register for no more than three subjects. Students who hold RA or TA appointments are expected to complete the MEBE program within three or four regular terms. To ensure compliance with these guidelines, no additional RA or TA support will be allowed beyond four regular terms. The BE Academic Office will handle all requests for RA and TA support for MEBE students.

I have more questions, whom do I ask?

Additional information on application procedures, objectives, and program requirements can be obtained by contacting:

Professor Forest White
Co–chair of Graduate Program

Professor K. Dane Wittrup
Co–chair of Graduate Program

Dalia Fares
Biological Engineering Academic Administrator

Sue Jaskela
Biological Engineering Administrative Assistant


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