UMass System Programs

Biomedical Engineering & Biotechnology Program

The Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell and Worcester campuses of the University of Massachusetts offer joint Master’s of Science and PhD degree programs in Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology.  Students who wish to pursue a Master’s degree have two choices 1) a research-based degree awarded en route to the PhD, or 2) the student may apply directly for the Master of Science Professional Science Master’s (PSM) option.  The PSM option is a master’s degree which is not a way-station on the road to the PhD, rather it is a degree which prepares professionals to work in industry.

The program’s purpose is to offer nationally recognized Professional Science Master’s and PhD programs that are at the intersection of biology and engineering; that will be readily accessible to individuals with a wide range of science/engineering undergraduate degrees; that will address contemporary biomedical/health research problems; and that will contribute significantly to meeting the workforce needs of allied biomedical industries.

Students who enter the PhD program may elect to receive the MS degree (without the PSM option) along the way to the doctorate.

The Master of Science, Professional Science Master’s option is a non-thesis, two-year program designed to enhance core science curricula with business fundamentals, communications, ethics and project management. Students put their skills and knowledge into practice during a required internship. (Students who are employed full-time may be able to substitute a project for the required internship.) The program provides its graduates with the following knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Competency in cutting-edge technical/laboratory/computer skills related to a wide range of instrumentation/procedures;
  • The application of research in solving current biomedical/health problems especially in relationship to new discoveries in nanoscience and technology;
  • The ability to function as interdisciplinary collaborators with strong critical thinking, inquiry-based analytical skills;
  • The ability to work on integrated problems in multidisciplinary research teams;
  • The development of written and oral presentation skills which will allow them to adapt highly scientific material to a variety of audiences;
  • The development of advanced problem solving skills using a multidisciplinary approach;
  • Appreciation of the challenges of conducting/publishing research associated with contemporary biomedical ethical issues;
  • Grantsmanship skills that will allow them to collaborate with researcher to obtain extramural private/federal research funding;
  • Knowledge about intellectual property/patents/regulatory issues;
  • The understanding of how theory/concepts are related to applied research;
  • The understanding of how applied research is conducted in an industrial setting;
  • The understanding of how industry applies experimental research to equipment design/ manufacturing/product development.

As well as the skills listed above, the PhD program aims to provide its doctoral recipients with the following additional knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • The ability to formulate/test multiple, original scientific hypotheses related to their dissertation research based on careful observations and a comprehensive review of past and current literature in their field;
  • The ability to design/carry out detailed experiments or develop theoretical models/numerical simulations;
  • The application of their research in solving current biomedical/health problems especially in relationship to new discoveries in nanoscience and technology;
  • The ability to function as independent researchers with strong critical thinking, inquiry-based analytical skills;
  • The ability to critically interpret their research results, synthesizing findings from other investigators/previous studies, that will serve as the basis for developing new hypotheses;
  • Written/oral presentation skills resulting in publication of their findings and presentation of results at professional research conferences; and
  • Grantsmanship skills that will allow them to obtain pre-doctoral and post-doctoral extramural private/federal research funding.