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Biomedical engineering program to offer second track

The Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering program, launched last year with a bioengineering track, will be expanded next fall to include medical engineering.

Through this expanded program, the Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Health (BEH) and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) will prepare students for positions in the medical products, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

"Uniting the efforts of BEH and HST into a single M.Eng. program rather than two independent programs has compelling educational advantages for exposing our students to the full landscape of biological and medical engineering," said Dean for Graduate Students Isaac M. Colbert.

The five-year M.E.B.E. program leads to a bachelor's degree in a science or engineering discipline and a master of engineering in biomedical engineering. The bioengineering track, which emphasizes links between engineering and biology, was introduced under the auspices of BEH in September 2000. The new medical engineering track, which will emphasize engineering applications in systems physiology and clinical medicine, will be offered under the auspices of HST beginning September 2002.

While the two tracks will have a similar overall structure and academic demands, students in the new medical engineering track will take subjects that will let them apply their engineering expertise to problems in medical and clinical sciences. In contrast, the bioengineering track is based on subjects that view biological systems from an engineering perspective, using biology as one of the foundational sciences for engineering, along with physics, chemistry and mathematics. Those admitted to the M.E.B.E. program must demonstrate adequate quantitative and engineering credentials through coursework, usually as part of an undergraduate degree program.

Professor Roger Kamm, BEH's M.E.B.E. program director, said, "The addition of a second track provides an opportunity to students, unique to MIT, to augment their undergraduate degrees with either a medical or biological focus. Graduates should be especially attractive to the emergent industries associated with tissue engineering, biotechnology and medical products."

"The M.E.B.E. program is an excellent strategy for students preparing for a biomedical engineering career, since it builds on a rigorous undergraduate education foundation," said Professor Roger Mark, HST's M.E.B.E. program director. "We're delighted to be collaborating with BEH to provide this new opportunity."

Students interested in applying to the program should submit a standard MIT graduate application by the end of their junior year. Additional information on application procedures and track-specific program requirements can be obtained by contacting Kamm at x3-5330 (bioengineering track) or Mark at x3-7818 (medical engineering track). An informational meeting on the program will be announced in early February.


A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 12, 2001.

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