Master's Program

Degree Requirements:
Students pursuing a BME M.S. degree must complete a minimum of 30 total credits of graduate work made up of 21-24 course credits and 6-9 thesis research credits.  All M.S. degrees require writing and defending a thesis.  SBES does not offer a non-thesis degree.  An M.S. can be earned “along-the-way” to the Ph.D. by students accepted into the direct-to-PhD degree path.  Course requirements for the M.S. thesis degree are shown in the table below.

Students are required to enroll in a one-credit BMES Seminar each semester of their academic career. Seminar credits must be recorded on the graduate program of study, but they will NOT be included in the calculation of credits required to earn the degree. In addition, all SBES graduate students are required to participate in ethics and integrity activities as part of their graduate studies, most of which are incorporated into the Seminar course.

Major Professor:
As early as possible, but no later than the end of the second semester of study, the student must select a SBES faculty member who will serve as the student's major professor, supervise the student's research, and chair the advisory committee.

Student Advisory Committee:
Prior to submitting a program of study and no later than the end of the second academic semester of study each student must form an Advisory Committee. The M.S. Advisory Committee is composed of a minimum of three (3) people: the advisor (who must be a core SBES Faculty member), and two other faculty members, one of whom must be in engineering. Students are encouraged to involve faculty from the opposite campus on their committees if possible.

Program of Study:
A program of study should be completed as soon as the student selects his or her Advisory Committee and no later than the end of the second academic semester of study. The program of study must be approved by the student's Advisory Committee and the SBES Graduate Committee prior to submission to the graduate school. The program of study outlines the specific courses to be taken by the student in fulfillment of the degree following the requirements shown in the table below. A course may only be used once in the plan of study, towards the satisfaction of a single requirement.

Final Examination:
All M.S. students must pass an oral comprehensive examination given by the advisory committee covering the student's coursework and thesis research upon completing all other degree requirements. A copy of the thesis approved by the student's major professor shall be provided to each of the committee members no less than one week prior to the examination. To complete the program students must pass the final examination, including approval of the thesis. A student is considered to have passed the examination and to have had the thesis approved if he/she receives no more than one negative vote on the oral examination or on the thesis.

Course Requirements for BME M.S. Program

Course Category

Course #
(VT # / WFU #)

Course Title / Information

No. Credits Required

Biomedical Engineering
(9 credits)

BMES 5054 / 605

Quantitative Cell Physiology (required)


BMES 5074 / 606
Quantitative Organ Systems Physiology (required)
5000 or 6000 level (600/700 at WFU)

3 credit hours of engineering courses approved by committee


Life Sciences
(3 credits)

5000 - 6000 level
(600/700 at WFU)

Min. 3 credit hours approved by committee – (see approved list)


Math Requirement
(3 credits)

5000 - 6000 level
(600/700 at WFU)

Min. 3 credit hours approved by committee – can be MATH or STAT
(see approved list)



5000 - 6000 level
(600/700 WFU)

Approved by advisory committee

(0 credit)

Required by graduate schools

At VT: Included in Seminar course
At Wake Forest: Met by enrollment in required professional courses



Research Credits

BMES 5994
(797 at WFU)

Research & Thesis


Seminar Credits
BMES 5944/708
Enrollment Required Every Semester
# semesters enrolled