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Swanson School of Engineering—Department of Bioengineering

 

Contact Information

Department Chair: Sanjeev Shroff, PhD
Main Office: 302F Benedum
412-624-6445
Fax: 412-383-8788
E-mail: sshroff@pitt.edu
http:www.engineering.pitt.edu/bioengineering/

Additional information concerning the department's graduate program may be obtained from the Department of Bioengineering, 306 Center for Bioengineering; 412-624-6445; e-mail: ngm8@pitt.edu; http://engineering.pitt.edu/bioengineering/.

More information on the Bioengineering Graduate Programs can be found on the website, which can be found here:  http://engineering.pitt.edu/bioengineering/

 

Graduate Degree Programs

The Department of Bioengineering offers the degrees of Master of Science in Bioengineering, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Bioengineering, and a Professional Masters in Medical Product Engineering.  In addition, the department has a certificate program in Medical Product Innovation and participates in the MD/PhD program with the School of Medicine and the MBA/MS program with the Katz Graduate School of Business.

The graduate program in bioengineering incorporates five programmatic tracks:

Cellular and Organ Engineering
Biomechanics
Biosignals and Imaging
Physiology and Biophysics
Neural Engineering
          Medical Product Engineering*
            *(Please note this track is only available for the Professional Master's Degree).

The department has an active, interdisciplinary graduate bioengineering program in conjunction with faculty from the School of Medicine, the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, the School of Dental Medicine, the clinical staffs at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospitals, and other schools and departments at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

The graduate program is directed toward engineering and life science education and research, with particular emphasis on the PhD. Its scope is broadly defined to incorporate the application of engineering principles, methods, and technology in two broad areas: (1) scientific queries into fundamental biological phenomena and (2) the development of instrumentation, materials, devices, and systems relative to application in the biological sciences and medicine. Thus, the bioengineering faculty are applying various forms of engineering principles, mathematics, computation, technology, and methodology to a broad variety of medical and life sciences problems.

Admissions

Applicants for admission are expected to have a minimum GPA of 3.5 from an accredited BS program. They must submit transcripts of all college-level work, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and scores on the verbal, quantitative, and writing assessment-analytical sections of the Graduate Record Examination. International applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit the TOEFL, administered by the Educational Testing Service, with a minimum score of 550 (213 computer-based, 80 internet-based). In addition to these basic requirements, evidence of significant research and/or industrial experience is very important as further evidence of ability to perform well at the graduate level.

Students with a non-engineering background may be admitted provisionally on a case-by-case basis, and often are required to take undergraduate engineering and math courses considered as prerequisite for graduate course work in these areas. These undergraduate courses do not count toward their graduate degree credit requirements. Likewise, an undergraduate knowledge of physiology and basic biology and chemistry is assumed. In addition to the above basic requirements, evidence of significant research and/or industrial experience is very important as further evidence of ability to perform well at the graduate level. These experiences should be detailed clearly in recommendation letters, as well as in the student's statement of purpose. Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.

Research MS Program

The Research MS program requires a total of 31 credits, which includes:

  • Graduate Engineering Mathematics—3 credits (approved math courses)
  • Statistics for Bioengineers—3 credits (approved statistics courses)
  • Societal, Political, and Ethical Issues in Bioengineering—3 credits
  • Life Sciences—3 credits (approved life science courses)
  • Track Courses—9 credits (from menu of courses for specific track)
  • MS Thesis—6 credits
  • Teaching Practicum—1 credit
  • Bioengineering Seminar—3 credits

Typically, completion of the Research MS program requires two years.  Within the first year of enrollment (preferably within the first semester), the MS candidate is expected to finalize the general area in which he/she will write a thesis and an advisor who will guide the work. After completing degree requirements and the research project the student is to prepare a Master’s Thesis.  The student (under the guidance of his/her advisor) selects a thesis committee of three or more persons.  The committee should consist of the student’s advisor (who will act as the Chairman of this committee), at least one additional faculty member from within the Department of Bioengineering and at least one faculty member from outside the department.  The committee meets at least once a year. All students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to remain in good standing in the program.

Professional MS Program

The Professional Master of Science degree program in Medical Product Engineering is suitable for those students who have industry-driven career goals, or who are already working in the industry.  The students participating in the program can choose to complete their curricular requirements either as full-time students in a shorter period, or as part-time students over a longer period. (Note: Foreign students should consult their OIS advisors as it is often required for a foreign exchange student to maintain a full-time student status while studying in the USA.)  For detailed information, interested students should contact the CMI Program’s Educational Director, Dr. Kilichan Gurleyik. The student in the Professional MS program must maintain a 3.0 GPA to remain in good standing within the program. Students who are accepted and enroll in the Professional MS program and who subsequently wish to enter the PhD program must complete the entire PhD application process.

The degree program emphasizes preparation for a career in the medical device industry through hands-on, practical experience in medical product design and development, development of advanced engineering skills, and instruction in professional affairs and practices in medical engineering. In essence, the program focuses on the application of engineering innovation to the identification of and solution to challenges in health care delivery in the medical industry. 

The Professional MS in Bioengineering - Medical Product Engineering is designed to assure mastery of specific knowledge and skills, rather than random accumulation of a specified number of courses. A thorough grounding in the principles of medical device innovation and development compliant with regulatory requirements is provided through a three-semester sequence that starts with immersion in the medical/hospital environment and ends with a first generation prototype. The curriculum also provides a strong foundation in ethics, analysis, design principles, and principles of entrepreneurship as applied to medical device innovation. The degree still requires a total of 30 credits as follows:

 

  • Medical Product Engineering Core Curriculum (12 credits)
  • Electives (18 credits as follows:)
    • Medical Ethics (3 credits)
    • Graduate Engineering Mathematics or Statistics (3 credits)
    • Advanced Graduate Engineering Electives (12 credits)

More detailed information on the Professional Masters in Medical Product Engineering can be found at the following website:

http://engineering.pitt.edu/Departments/Bioengineering/_Content/Programs/Graduate/Programs---accordion/

 

PhD Requirements

The course requirements for the PhD in Bioengineering include the following:

  • Graduate Engineering Mathematics—3 credits (approved math courses)
  • Statistics for Bioengineers—3 credits (approved statistics courses)
  • Societal, Political, and Ethical Issues in Bioengineering—3 credits
  • Life Sciences—6 credits (approved life science courses)
  • Doctoral Dissertation Research—33 credits
  • Teaching Practicum—2 credits
  • Seminar-6 credits total, 4 credits must be the Bioengineering Seminar
  • Track Courses—9 credits (from menu of courses for specific track)
  • Graduate Electives—6 credits
  • Grant Writing in Bioengineering-1 credit

Total number of credit hours: 72 credits (plus the credits associated with the remedial courses, as applicable.) Students typically take the PhD preliminary exam after their first year in the program, and PhD proposal (comprehensive examination) is presented generally at the end of the second year. A final public PhD defense is made by each PhD candidate based on the student's research work. All students must maintain a 3.0 GPA at all times to remain in good standing in the program.

* Please note that the total of 33 credits is not necessarily the total number of credits of BIOENG 3997 that must be taken, as other courses/credits in other areas may be taken as long as the total number of credits adds up to 72 total. Students are required to take a minimum of 12 credits of BIOENG 3999 after their PhD proposal defense, as these credits cannot be taken before. Total number of credit hours: 72 credits.

Financial Assistance

All doctoral students in the Department of Bioengineering are currently supported either by research or departmental funds. Financial assistance is typically arranged between a student and a faculty advisor. Students with exceptional qualifications will be considered for additional departmental support and fellowships.

 

MD/PhD Requirements

The University MD/PhD program supports well-integrated basic and clinical sciences pre-doctoral training program. The training program links 30 PhD programs in twelve graduate schools within the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. For more information on this MD/PhD Program, visit the following web site: https://www.mdphd.pitt.edu/

The course requirements for the MD/PhD in bioengineering include the following:

  • Graduate Engineering Mathematics—3 credits (approved math courses)
  • Statistics for Bioengineers—3 credits (approved statistics courses)
  • Track Courses—9 credits (from menu of courses for specific track)
  • Graduate Electives—6 credits
  • Doctoral Dissertation Research—43 credits
  • Teaching Practicum—2 credits
  • Bioengineering Seminar—6 credits

Total number of credit hours: 72 credits (plus the credits associated with the remedial courses, as applicable).

Dual MBA/MS in Engineering

The Department of Bioengineering and the Katz Graduate School of Business offer a dual MBA/MS program, with the following requirements:

Foundation Courses

  • BQOM 2401 – Statistical Analysis:  Uncertainty, Prediction & Quality Improvement (3 credits)
  • BIOENG 2242– Societal, Political, Ethical Issues in Biotechnology 2, or another approved Ethics course (3 credits)
  • Graduate Engineering Mathematics (3 credits)
  • Life Sciences (6 credits)
  • Bioengineering Seminar (2 credits)

Bioengineering Track Courses

  • BIOENG 2150 (Medical Product Ideation)
  • BIOENG 2151 (Medical Product Development)
  • BIOENG 2170 (Clinical Bioengineering)
  • BIOENG 2171 (Medical Product Prototyping)

 

Projects Courses

  • Joint with KGSB  (3 credits)

Please note that all students must maintain a 3.0 GPA at all times to remain in good standing in the program.

Certificate Program in Medical Product Innovation

The Graduate Certificate in Medical Product Innovation (CMI), offered by the Department of Bioengineering in conjunction with CMI is multi-faceted, reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of medical innovation, with the objectives:

     1)  To educate engineering graduate students at the MS and PhD levels in clinical, engineering, business, and legal aspects of the medical device design and development process;

     2)  To educate students of the health sciences (residents, fellows and clinicians) in engineering, business, and legal methodologies in identifying and developing innovative solutions to their problems;

     3)  To educate law students in engineering methodology, regulatory constraints, medical device intellectual property, and commercialization aspects of medical innovation;

     4)  To educate business (MBA) students in clinical, engineering, regulatory, and legal aspects of medical innovation and entrepreneurship; and

     5)  To train all of the above disciplines in the art of working in multi-disciplinary teams to accomplish the medical innovation process, from medical technology ideation, through development, to realization and commercialization. 

Certificate candidates must complete a minimum of 5 courses (15 credits) drawn from the following areas:

  • Medical Product Innovation Core Curriculum (6 credits)

  • Electives (9 credits – from each of the following subgroups)

  • Medical Ethics (3 credits)

  • Entrepreneurship/Engineering Management (3 credits)

  • Legal Aspects of Medical Product Engineering (3 credits)

  • More information and details on credit requirements for the Certificate Program can be found here: http://www.engineering.pitt.edu/Sub-Sites/Centers/CMI/_Content/Education/Graduate-Certificate-in-Medical-Product-Innovation/

 

Students currently enrolled in any graduate program in the University (MS, MBA, JD, PhD, etc.) are eligible to obtain the C-MPI upon completion of the Certificate requirements. No formal admissions process is required. Post-baccalaureate and post-professional students interested only in obtaining the C-MPI need to apply to the Department of Bioengineering for admission to the Certificate program. 

 

 

Bioengineering Graduate Courses

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