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Biomedical Engineering

BME Graduate School Degree Requirements


Master of Science:

Candidates for the master of science (M.S.) degree must complete 30 hours of graduate-level credit, approved by the faculty, with the following minimum distribution of didactic hours:

  • Biomedical Engineering: minimum of 12 credit hours
  • 3 or more credit hour course in life sciences offered at the 6000-level or above, which is taken from the list below or approved by the research adviser and Director of Graduate Studies:

            - PATH-GS 8352: Cellular and Molecular Basis of Disease
            - HGEN 8340: Human Genetics I
            - M&IM 8329: Principles of Immunology and the Immune System in Disease
            - MPB 8330: Human Physiology and Molecular Medicine
            - CBIO-GS 8325: Histology
            - NURO 8327: Neuroanatomy
            - NURO 8345: Fundamentals of Neuroscience I
            - NURO 8340: Fundamentals of Neuroscience II

  • Advanced Engineering/Science: minimum of 9 credit hours

At least 6 of the BME hours and 3 of the advanced science or engineering hours must be 6000+ level courses. One (1) hour of BME seminar and 6 hours of thesis research credit hours can count toward the total of 30 hours necessary for the M.S. degree. In addition, the candidate must submit a research thesis for faculty approval and give a final oral presentation. 

Doctor of Philosophy:

Candidates for the Ph.D. degree must complete a minimum of 27 semester hours of graduate-level didactic courses approved by the program faculty, excluding seminar, research, and teaching hours, and distributed as follows:

  • Biomedical Engineering: minimum of 15 credit hours (including BME 6110)
  • 3 or more credit hour course in life sciences offered at the 6000-level or above, which is taken from the list below or approved by the mentoring committee:
            - PATH-GS 8352: Cellular and Molecular Basis of Disease
            - HGEN 8340: Human Genetics I
            - M&IM 8329: Principles of Immunology and the Immune System in Disease
            - MPB 8330: Human Physiology and Molecular Medicine
            - CBIO-GS 8325: Histology
            - NURO 8327: Neuroanatomy
            - NURO 8345: Fundamentals of Neuroscience I
            - NURO 8340: Fundamentals of Neuroscience II
  • Advanced Engineering/Science: minimum of 9 credit hours
  • Of the 27 required didactic credits, at least one course is required to be strongly quantitative.  It must either come from the list below or be approved by your mentoring committee.

Biomedical Engineering:
BME 7310: Advanced Computational Modeling and Analysis in Biomedical Engineering
BME 7410: Quantitative Methods in Biomedical Engineering
BME 7450: Advanced Quantitative and Functional Imaging
BME 8901: Special Topic in Imaging Instrumentation

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science:
EECS 5260: Artificial Intelligence
EECS 5262: Foundations of Machine Learning
EECS 5274: Modeling and Simulation
EECE 5353: Image Processing
EECS 6354: Intelligent Systems and Robotics
EECE 6357: Advanced Image Processing
EECS 8395: Special Topics in Machine Learning in Medical Imaging
EECS 8395: Special Topics in Deep Learning in Medical Image Computing
EECS 8395: Special Topics in Practicum: Medical Image Processing and Visualization in Virtual Environment
EECS 8395: Special Topics in Medical Image Segmentation
EECS 8395: Special Topics in Statistics in Medical Imaging
EECS 8395: Special Topics in Open Source Programming for Medical Image Processing
EECS 8395: Special Topics in Data Privacy in Biomedical Environments
CS 6350: Artificial Neural Networks
CS 6358: Computer Vision
CS 6359: Medical Image Registration
CS 6360: Advanced Artificial Intelligence
CS 6362: Advanced Machine Learning

Mechanical Engineering:
ME 5236: Linear Control Theory
ME 5263: Computational Fluid Dynamics and Multiphysics Modeling
ME 5275: Finite Element Analysis
ME 5280: Advanced Dynamics of Mechanical Systems
ME 5284: Modeling and Simulation of Dynamic Systems
ME 8351: Adaptive Control
ME 8352: Non-linear Control Theory

Mathematics:
MATH 6620: Linear Optimization
MATH 6630: Nonlinear Optimization
MATH 6600: Numerical Analysis
MATH 6710: Graph Theory
MATH 7110: Partial Differential Equations
MATH 5670: Mathematical Data Science

Biostatistics:
BIOS-6301: Intro to Statistical Computing
BIOS-6306: Intro to Study Design
BIOS-6311: Principles of Modern Biostatistics
BIOS 6312: Modern Regression Analysis
MSCI-5009: Biostatistics I

Physics:
PHYS-8005: Mathematical Methods for Physicists.

At least 6 of the BME hours and 3 of the advanced science or engineering hours must be 6000+ level courses. The remainder of the 72 hours required for a Ph.D. will primarily consist of dissertation research, but may also include seminar and other approved (didactic) courses. In addition, students must pass a qualifying examination consisting of written and oral presentations of a proposal for doctoral research, present a dissertation showing the results of original research in biomedical engineering, and successfully defend the dissertation in an oral examination. The 24 didactic hours taken towards the M.S. degree count towards the 27 didactic hours required for the Ph.D. degree; however, seminar hours do not count towards the didactic hour requirement for a Ph.D.

Students wishing to combine study for the M.D. degree with that for a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering must apply to the School of Medicine for admission to the Medical Scientist Training Program. Financial aid for this program is available on a competitive basis.


CURRICULUM:
     link to on-line graduate catalog

Graduate courses offered on a regular basis in Biomedical Engineering are listed below. Additional courses are also offered as special topics courses. Students choose their BME courses with the assistance of their advisor. All M.S. and Ph.D. students take the physiology course offered by the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics (MPB 330).

BME 6110: Introduction to Research and Professional Development in Biomedical Engineering
MPB 8330: Human Physiology and Molecular Medicine

Regularly Offered Full Graduate Courses:

BME 7410: Quantitative Methods in Biomedical Engineering
BME 7413: Advanced Biomechanics
BME 7419: Engineering Models of Cellular Phenomena
BME 7410: Laser-Tissue Interaction and Therapeutic Use of Lasers
BME 7420: Optical Diagnosis: Principles and Applications
BME 7425: Physical Measurements on Biological Systems
BME 7310: Advanced Computational Modeling and Analysis
BME 7430: Cancer Imaging
BME 7440: Neuroimaging
BME 7473: Design of Medical Products, Processes and Services 
BME 5420: Advanced Quantitative and Functional Imaging
BME 7420: Magnetic Resonance Imaging Methods
BME 7500: Independent Study in Biomedical Engineering

Recently Offered Special Topics Courses:

BME 8900: Advanced Biomaterials
BME 8900: Tissue Engineering and Drug Delivery
BME 8900: Advanced Systems Biology
BME 8900: Advanced Automated Biology
BME 8900: Advanced Drug Delivery
BME 8900: Cellular Transport Phenomena
BME 8900: Advanced Therapeutic Bioengineering
BME 8900: Optical Microscopy and Imaging
BME 8900: Advanced Magnetic Resonance Engineering
BME 8900: Advanced Image Reconstruction in MRI


Admission Requirements:

**Note that GRE scores are not required and will not be used to evaluate applications to the Biomedical Engineering graduate program (Masters or Ph.D.)

Students applying for admission to the graduate program in biomedical engineering must meet the general requirements of admission of the Vanderbilt University Graduate School. Admission is competitive and students are selected on the basis of their scholastic preparation and intellectual capacity. All applicants shall have maintained a B average in their undergraduate work, provide three letters of recommendation. Applicants for study in biomedical engineering should have a bachelor's degree in engineering or science, with the following minimum preparation:

Biology- one semester of molecular-based biology

Mathematics- calculus, differential equations, and statistics; one semester of computer programming highly recommended.

Physics- two semesters, modern physics recommended

Chemistry- one semester; biochemistry or organic chemistry recommended

Engineering - introductory courses in two of the following three areas: materials science or biomaterials, mechanics or fluid mechanics, transport or heat and/or mass transfer, signals and systems. Courses in instrumentation and systems physiology are highly recommended.

Research or Design Experience - highly recommended.

Special plans may be made on an individual basis for students who are highly prepared in one area, but under-prepared in another.

Applicants should have a minimum 3.0/4.0 grade point average overall, in the last two years of undergraduate study, and in their major field.

Students for whom English is not the primary language and who have not earned a degree at an English-speaking US institution must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination. A minimum score of 100 (600 on the old (paper-based) scoring scale) is required.

Admission to the program is competitive and limited by financial support and available positions in laboratories. Qualifications of an applicant are judged relative to the qualifications of the entire applicant pool.