Non-Thesis MS Program

The MS non-thesis option is intended for students with an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering or related disciplines who seek advanced training or specialization in a specific area of biomedical engineering; for professional engineers with undergraduate degrees in other disciplines who want to enter the field of biomedical engineering; and for students who want to prepare for admission to advanced health-related or other professional programs.

Graduation Requirements 

Graduation requirements for the MS Non-Thesis Option include:

27 Graduate-Level Course Credits Including: 27
At least 2 of the following 3:
Unified Medical Sciences I (Cellular/Molecular)
Unified Medical Sciences II (Human physiology)
Unified Medical Science III (Neuroscience)
A minimum of 9 course credits at the 700 level
MS Project 3
Master's Design Project II
Total Credit Hours30

 Graduate-level courses are courses that are 600 and above.

Curriculum

A typical curriculum for the MS non-thesis option is shown in the following table. The course sequence and timeline can be adjusted based on individual needs. The minimum residence requirement for the MS degree is two semesters in full-time study or the equivalent in part-time work.

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
Course Credits 12
Identify Mentor  
Submit Project Abstract  
 Credit Hours12
Second Semester
Course Credits 6
BME 706 Master's Design Project II 3
 Credit Hours9
Third Semester
Course Credits 9
 Credit Hours9
 Total Credit Hours30

Non-Thesis MS Project

General description

All students enrolled in the MS non-thesis program must complete a 3 credit Master's project (BME 706), under the supervision of a project mentor and departmental project coordinator. The project must demonstrate the candidate’s ability to solve complex scientific or technical problems at the interface of engineering and medicine or biology.

The MS project can be a research or design project. The project must include a significant research or design component contributed by the M.S. student, including, but not limited to, the design of an experiment or process; the development of a device, instrument, or system; the development of a computer program; the analysis of experimental data. Projects cannot be limited solely to the review of literature, the development of research or design proposals, or the collection of experimental data.

At the completion of their project, students must submit a written project report and complete a public oral defense of their project.

Project Mentor

Students who select the MS non-thesis track must identify a project mentor and select a project before they register for their second semester of full-time study. The project mentor is generally a primary faculty member of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. The role of the project mentor is to help the student identify a suitable project, to monitor the progress of the student, to provide guidance and training in the relevant topics, and to review the final report and presentation.

Students may complete their project under the supervision of a faculty member from another Department at the University of Miami, or from the local biomedical industry, under the following conditions:

  • The student must receive the approval of the Department Chairman and Graduate Program Director.
  • The student must identify a co-mentor who must be a primary faculty member of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. The co-mentor must be familiar with the topic of the proposed project. The role of the co-mentor will be to monitor the student progress and ensure that the Master's project report and presentation satisfy all of the relevant requirements.

Project Coordinator

The project coordinator is a member of the primary faculty of the Department of Biomedical Engineering who is responsible for teaching the BME 706 course. The role of the project coordinator is to:

  • Help students identify a project and mentor.
  • Ensure that the projects satisfy the program objectives.
  • Provide general guidance and graduate scholarship training.
  • Ensure that the students are making suitable progress towards the project goals.

Project Abstract

Non-Thesis MS students must submit a one-page project abstract to the Department Chairman or Graduate Program Director and to the MS Project Coordinator at the time when they register for BME 706. The abstract must include the name of the project mentor (and co-mentor, if any), the title of the proposed project, and a brief description of the goals of the project and proposed methods. The abstract must be approved by the mentor, MS Project Coordinator, and Department Chairman or Graduate Program Director before the student can start work on the project. (Project Abstract Template)

Project Report

Non-thesis MS students must submit a detailed report describing the work completed during the project. The report must describe the objectives and significance of the work, and summarize the activities completed by the student as part of the MS project. The report must demonstrate that the work performed by the student satisfies the general project criteria. The typical length of non-thesis M.S. project reports is 20 to 30 pages. If the project resulted in the submission of a full-length peer-reviewed scientific article, the article can be submitted in lieu of a report, as long as the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The student must be the first author of the article.
  • The article must reflect the work performed by the student as part of the project.
  • The article must be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal or conference proceedings volume.
  • A one to two page introduction must be submitted to summarize the project goals and main outcomes.

The report must be reviewed and approved by the project mentor (and co-mentor, if any). Once the report is approved by the mentor(s), one printed copy and one electronic version in PDF format must be submitted to the Project Coordinator by the specified deadline. The final report must be approved and signed by the Project Mentor(s), Project Coordinator and Graduate Program Director or Department Chairman. (Signature Page Template)

Project presentation

Non-thesis MS students must give an oral presentation of their project. The oral presentation is generally scheduled during the scheduled final examination time of BME 706 in the semester of graduation. 

Project grade

The final grade for the project is given by the Project Coordinator. The final grade is a combination of a grade submitted by the Project Mentor(s) assessing the overall performance of the student on the project, and a grade given by the Project Coordinator assessing the quality of the oral presentation and report.

MS Thesis Program

The thesis option is typically selected by students who are oriented towards a career in academic or industrial research and development, or students who want to acquire an initial independent biomedical research experience before seeking admission to doctoral programs.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements for the MS Thesis Option include:

24 Graduate-Level Course Credits Including: 24
At least 2 of the following 3:
Unified Medical Sciences I (Cellular/Molecular)
Unified Medical Sciences II (Human physiology)
Unified Medical Science III (Neuroscience)
A minimum of 6 course credits at the 700 level
Thesis Work6
Master's Thesis
Total Credit Hours30

 Graduate-level courses are courses that are 600 and above.

Curriculum

A typical curriculum for the MS thesis option is shown in the following table. The course sequence and timeline can be adjusted based on individual needs. The minimum residence requirement for the MS degree is two semesters in full-time study or the equivalent in part-time work.

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
Course Credits 12
Identify Mentor & Project  
 Credit Hours12
Second Semester
Course Credits 9
BME 810 Master's Thesis 3
 Credit Hours12
Third Semester
Course Credits 3
BME 810 Master's Thesis 3
 Credit Hours6
 Total Credit Hours30

Students who are not able to complete their thesis during the 3rd semester and have completed all 30 required credits of graduate work, must enroll in 0 credits of Research in Residence (BME 820) to maintain full-time student status.

MS Thesis

General Description

The Master's thesis is a research monograph which describes the significance of the research and summarizes the research activities completed as part of the MS degree requirements. The objective of the thesis is to evaluate the candidate’s competence in the area of the MS research. The thesis must demonstrate that the research is original and that the candidate has the ability to solve complex scientific and/or technical problems at the interface of engineering and medicine or biology.

Thesis Mentor

Students who select the MS thesis track must identify a thesis mentor before they register for their second semester of full-time study. The thesis mentor must hold a primary or secondary faculty appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Exceptions can be made only with approval of the Graduate Program Director and Department Chairman.

The thesis mentor supervises the research work of the student and provides training and guidance in the relevant research topics, including design of experiments, experimental techniques, and scholarship activities. The mentor helps the student select a thesis topic and develop a plan, and chairs or co-chairs the thesis committee. The mentor works closely with the student to ensure that there is satisfactory progress towards the thesis goals.

Thesis Committee

The thesis must be approved by a thesis committee. The duties of the thesis committee are:

  • to consult with and to advise students on their research;
  •  to meet, at intervals, to review progress and expected results;
  • to read and comment upon the draft thesis;
  • to meet, when the thesis is completed, to conduct the final oral examination and to satisfy itself that the thesis work is original; that it demonstrates the candidate's ability to solve complex scientific and/or technical problems at the interface of engineering and medicine or biology; that it is written in lucid and correct English; and that it is submitted in approved format.

The thesis committee will consist of not less than three members, with the following requirements:

  • The committee chair shall be a Primary Faculty member of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, as well as a regular member of the Graduate Faculty. The Committee Chair is generally also the thesis mentor.
  • A thesis mentor who is not a member of the Primary Faculty of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, can serve as Co-Chair of the Thesis Committee, together with a second Co-Chair who shall be a member of the primary faculty of the Department of Biomedical Engineering.
  • It is an additional requirement of the Department of Biomedical Engineering that at least two committee members should be primary Faculty members from the Department.
  • One committee member must be from outside the Department. Outside members of the thesis committee can include part-time faculty that teach within the Department.
  • At least one committee member must be a regular member of the Graduate Faculty of the University of Miami.

The committee is nominated by the Graduate Program Director. Usually, the student consults with his/her research mentor and with the Chairperson or Graduate Program Director to select the Committee members.

Thesis Format and Deadlines

It is the duty of the student to ensure that the thesis defense is scheduled and that a final version of the thesis approved by the Dissertation Editor is submitted to the Dissertation Editor by the required deadlines set by the Graduate School. All information pertaining to the formatting and electronic guidelines for electronic thesis submission can be found on the Graduate School website

Each thesis must be accompanied by a Certificate of Defense Approval for Master’s Thesis signed by all members of the Committee. Forms can be downloaded from the Graduate School website.

Evaluation Forms

The student is responsible for distributing dissertation evaluation forms to the members of the Thesis Committee for the final oral examination. The evaluation forms are used to assess the overall quality of the graduate program at the Department, College, and University level. The evaluation forms are available on the Graduate School and Department of Biomedical Engineering websites. The completed forms must be collected by the Thesis Mentor and forwarded to the Office Manager at the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Transfer to MS Non-Thesis Program

Students enrolled in the MS thesis program who do not wish to complete their thesis can transfer to the MS non-thesis program and graduate from the MS program under the following conditions:

  • The transfer must be approved by the Department Chair or Graduate Program Director.
  • All requirements of the MS non-thesis option must be satisfied, including completion of a 3 credit MS project (BME 706), submission of a project report, and oral defense of project. Completed thesis credits may count towards the three credit MS project requirement.

MS in Medical Physics 

The Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami offers a special MS program in Medical Physics. The objective of the Medical Physics program is to provide advanced knowledge in the field of therapeutic medical physics, and to provide the training required for students to become licensed medical physicists. This program is coordinated by the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Radiation Oncology at the School of Medicine.

The program is opened to students enrolled in the regular MS program, as well as the dual degree (BS/MS) program. Candidates are required to have completed a 3 credit course in Modern Physics (PHY 360 or equivalent) and a 3 credit course covering the physical foundations of medical imaging (BME 330 or equivalent) before they start their course work in the Medical Physics program.

Students in the Medical Physics Program must complete Unified Medical Sciences II (BME 602) and one of the remaining two courses from the Unified Medical Sciences (BME 601 or BME 603) course series, and the following 22-credit core curriculum in the area of medical physics:

BME 620Medical Imaging System3
BME 681Radiation Biology and Physics3
BME 682Radiation Therapy Physics3
BME 683Radiation Protection3
BME 729Advanced Medical Imaging3
BME 781Radiation Dosimetry And Physics3
BME 783Radiation Therapy Physics Clinical Rotation3
BME 784Medical Physics Journal Club1
Total Credit Hours22

Any remaining credits required to complete the degree must satisfy the general requirements of the MS program. Students enrolled in the MS program in Medical Physics may require a total of 31 credits (non-thesis option) or 34 credits (BS/MS and thesis option) to complete the program requirements.

The topic of the BS/MS project (BME 705/BME 706), MS project (BME 706, non-thesis option), or MS thesis must be related to medical physics. In general, the project is co-supervised by Faculty from the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Radiation Oncology.

Curriculum 

Typical curricula for each option of the MS program in Medical Physics are shown in the following tables. The course sequence and timeline can be adjusted based on individual needs. The minimum residence requirement for the MS degree is two semesters in full-time study or the equivalent in part-time work.

MS without Thesis

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
First SemesterCredit Hours
BME 602 Unified Medical Sciences II 3
BME 620 Medical Imaging System 3
BME 682 Radiation Therapy Physics 3
 Credit Hours9
Second Semester
Choose One of the Following 3
Unified Medical Sciences I  
Unified Medical Science III  
BME 781 Radiation Dosimetry And Physics 3
BME 729 Advanced Medical Imaging 3
Identify Co-Mentors  
Submit Project Abstract  
 Credit Hours9
Year Two
First Semester
BME 681 Radiation Biology and Physics 3
BME 706 Master's Design Project II 3
BME 683 Radiation Protection 3
 Credit Hours9
Second Semester
BME 783 Radiation Therapy Physics Clinical Rotation 3
BME 784 Medical Physics Journal Club 1
 Credit Hours4
 Total Credit Hours31

MS with Thesis*

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
First SemesterCredit Hours
BME 602 Unified Medical Sciences II 3
BME 620 Medical Imaging System 3
BME 682 Radiation Therapy Physics 3
 Credit Hours9
Second Semester
Choose One of the Following 3
Unified Medical Sciences I  
Unified Medical Science III  
BME 781 Radiation Dosimetry And Physics 3
BME 729 Advanced Medical Imaging 3
Identify Co-Advisors & Project  
 Credit Hours9
Year Two
First Semester
BME 681 Radiation Biology and Physics 3
BME 683 Radiation Protection 3
BME 810 Master's Thesis 3
 Credit Hours9
Second Semester
BME 783 Radiation Therapy Physics Clinical Rotation 3
BME 784 Medical Physics Journal Club 1
BME 810 Master's Thesis 3
 Credit Hours7
 Total Credit Hours34

*Students who are not able to complete their thesis during the 3rd semester and have completed all 30 required credits of graduate work, must enroll in 0 credits of Research in Residence (BME 820) to maintain full-time student status.

BS/MS - Medical Physics Program BS/MS

Students must complete a total of 34 graduate credits in the BS/MS program in Medical Physics. Students who take 6 credits per semester in the senior year only need to register for 22 credits in the fifth year.

Plan of Study Grid
Year Four
FallCredit Hours
Same as BS Degree Except 6
BME 402 (2 cr) is not required
 
1 Undergraduate Technical Elective (3 cr) is replaced with BME 681
 
Students are advised to take BME 620 as a Graduate Technical Elective
 
 Credit Hours6
Spring
Same as BS degree except: 6
BME 403 (1 cr) is not required.
 
1 Undergraduate Technical Elective (3 cr) is replaced with BME705 (3 cr, Graduate)
 
Students are advised to take BME729 as a credit Graduate Technical Elective (3 cr)
 
 Credit Hours6
Year Five
Fall
BME 602 Unified Medical Sciences II 3
BME 682 Radiation Therapy Physics 3
BME 683 Radiation Protection 3
BME 706 Master's Design Project II 3
 Credit Hours12
Spring
Choose One of the Following: 3
Unified Medical Sciences I  
Unified Medical Science III  
BME 781 Radiation Dosimetry And Physics 3
BME 783 Radiation Therapy Physics Clinical Rotation 3
BME 784 Medical Physics Journal Club 1
 Credit Hours10
 Total Credit Hours34