Master of Science In Bioengineering

The Master of Science degree in Bioengineering, offered by the Department of Mechanical Engineering, provides both a terminal professional degree for students to enter the biotechnology and medical device industries as well as preparation for further study in bioengineering leading to the Doctor of Engineering or PhD degree. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in an engineering field with a strong grounding in physics and mathematics. The degree program offers three tracks in biomechanics, biomaterials, and bioinstrumentation as described below.

The student’s program will be prepared in conference with and approved by the bioengineering graduate adviser. Students take a “core” of courses required for their specialization, and additional courses and electives.

Students without prerequisites for the required courses may need to take additional courses outside the 30 units needed for the degree.

All requirements for the master's degree coursework must be completed within six consecutive calendar years after initial registration.

The Program Educational Objectives of the Master of Science program in Bioengineering program are to produce graduates who will:

  • Be prepared for successful careers in industry, government, academia, clinical settings, or non-profit establishments, and will have an appreciation for lifelong learning.
  • Have the capacity to use advanced analytical and experimental methods needed to continue graduate study at the doctoral level, or to thrive in a research and development environment.
  • Have a breadth of knowledge that fosters an awareness of and skill in interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving.
  • Have a keen sense of professionalism and a commitment to work toward the betterment of society and the world.
  • Embrace diversity and work to foster successful collaborations that are inclusive of all people.

1. Excellence. Mastery of the knowledge in their area of specialization, and the ability to apply assisted technologies to novel and emerging problems.

2. Breadth. Broaden professional foundations through activites such as internships, fellowships, the Student Research Symposium, and serving on student committees, as appropriate.

3. Problem definition. State a research problem in such a way that it clearly fits within the context of the literature in an area of study, and demonstrate the value of the solution to the research problem in advancing knowledge within that area.

4. Problem solving. Apply sound research methods/tools to problems in an area of study, and describe the methods/tools effectively. Analyze/interpret research data.

5. Professionalism. Participate in professional organizations, becoming members and attending meetings. Present research to local, regional, national and international audiences through publications in professional journals and conference papers.

6. Communication. Communicate research clearly and professionally in both written and oral forms appropriate to the field.

7. Societal Context. Understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, and societal context.

  1. The steps to apply are given at the following link: Graduate Admissions. Applicants are required to send a "Statement of Purpose", and are encouraged to send three recommendation letters, electronically as PDF files to:

    Dr. Parag Katira
    [email protected]

    GRE Scores are not required. 
  1. The application file is screened for completion by Graduate Affairs.

  2. Files considered complete are sent to the Mechanical Engineering (ME) department.

  3. The ME department reviews the students’ files and sends them back to Graduate Affairs with its decisions to accept, conditionally accept, or reject the candidate.

  4. The SDSU Webportal is populated or updated, and the student receives an acceptance letter. A student with a slightly below the minimum GPA or one with non-Bioengineering undergraduate degree may be accepted conditionally. The acceptance letter does not mention whether or not the student is accepted conditionally.

  5. Based on graduate application report at Graduate Division, a student may receive additional email from ME department stating that his or her acceptance is conditional.


The graduate program offers three areas of specialization.

  • Biomechanics Specialization

Biomechanics requires an integrative understanding of physiology and mechanics. Design of medical devices including choice of materials, tissue mechanics and computational mechanics modeling, are focuses of our program that reflect the rigorous mechanical engineering backbone. Applications in orthopedic, cardiovascular medicine range from microscopic MEMS to joint kinematics and computers in the surgical ward.

Core Courses
BIOL 590 Physiology of Human Systems (4)
ME 580 Biomechanics (3)
ME 610 Finite Element Methods in Mechanical Engineering (3)
ME 681 Biomaterials (3)
ME/EE 685 MEMS Design and Applications (3)
ME 688 Tissue Engineering

  • Biomaterials Specialization

Biomaterials engineers must develop new materials or manufacturing techniques for implants and devices, develop new sensors to measure physical and chemical properties in tissues and implants, and assess biocompatibility. For these applications, the focus is on the interaction of biological tissues and fluids with synthetic surfaces. This area requires proficiency in cell and molecular biology as well as materials science.

Core Courses
BIOL 585 Cell and Molecular Immunology (3)
ME 540 Nonmetallic Materials (3)
ME 681 Biomaterials (3)
ME 685 MEMS Design and Applications (3)
ME 688 Tissue Engineering

  • Bioinstrumentation Specialization

Bioinstrumentation focuses on the integration of electronics and measurement principles and techniques towards the design and development of devices used in diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Core Courses

BIOL 590 Physiology of Human Systems (4)       EE 503 Biomedical Instrumentation (3)
ME 580 Biomechanics (3)
ME 685 MEMS Design and Applications (3)

List of Electives:

AE 601 Computational Fluid Dynamics (3)
BIOL 585 Cell and Molecular Immunology (3)
BIOL 590 Physiology of Human Systems (4)
BIOL 597A Univariate Statistical Methods in Biology (3)
CHEM 711 Chemical Thermodynamics (3)
CHEM 712 Chemical Kinetics (3)
CHEM 751 Separations Science (3)
EE 502 Electronic Devices for Rehabilitation (3)
EE 503 Biomedical Instrumentation (3)
EE 539 Instrumentation Circuits I (3)
EM 621 Theory of Elasticity (3)
ENS 610 Biomechanics: Measurement Techniques I-Kinematics (3)
ENS 611 Biomechanics: Measurement Techniques II-Kinetics (3)
ENS 612 Biomechanics: Measurement Techniques III-EMG (3)
ENS 613 Motor Control and Rehabilitation Science (3)
ENV E 554 Process Fundamentals of Environmental Systems (3)
ENV E 648 Biological Processes and Bioremediation Engineering (3)
ME 502 Continuum Mechanics (3)
ME 540 Nonmetallic Materials (3)
ME 580 Biomechanics(3) 

ME 582 Introduction to Nanobiotechnology (3)
ME 585 Fundamentals of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) (3)
ME 610 Finite Element Methods in Mechanical Engineering (3)
ME 645 Mechanical Behavior of Engineering Materials (3)
ME 656 Conduction Heat Transfer (3)
ME 681 Biomaterials (3)
ME 683 Design of Medical Devices (3) 

ME 688 Tissue Engineering (3)
PHYS 670A Medical Physics I (3)
PHYS 670B Medical Physics II (3)

  1. Students select a specialization in biomechanics or biomaterials in consultation with the bioengineering graduate adviser.

  2. The MSBE requires a total of 30 credits. These credits come from the required coursework for each area of specialization, elective courses, and 9 units of Research (ME 797/EE 797), Thesis (ME 799A/EE 799A), or Special Study (ME 798/EE 798).

  3. A thesis is required for the degree.

  4. Demonstration of prior coursework equivalent to a core course will enable substitution of an elective chosen in consultation with the bioengineering graduate adviser.

  5. At least 15 units of coursework (excluding 797, 798, 799 courses) must be from Engineering.

  6. At least 12 units of coursework (excluding 797, 798, 799 courses) must be 600- or 700-level courses.

  7. GPA Score of 3.00 or higher