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Master of Science in Bioengineering

Master of Science in Bioengineering


Our interdisciplinary Master of Science (MS) program in Bioengineering is designed for (1) students with a BS in engineering or physics* who would like to continue or move their career in the direction of Bioengineering; (2) students who would like to strengthen their academic credentials/portfolio prior to applying to medical school; and (3) workers in the biotech industry who would like to strengthen their technical background, broaden future employment opportunities, and/or re-direct their specific expertise pursuing a graduate degree.

The bioengineering master’s program offers three concentrations: cell and tissue engineering, biomechanics, and biomedical devices and bioimaging.

Innovative Curriculum - MS in Bioengineering

* Although this program is designed specifically for students with BS degrees in engineering or physics, students with a degree in biological or chemical sciences may apply. However, admission of students with different academic backgrounds will be contingent on the successful completion of undergraduate prerequisites required for the core courses of the program. This may require the student to take up to a year of undergraduate courses to fulfill the necessary requirements for enrolling in the core courses of the Bioengineering master’s (MS) curriculum.

The M.S. Program in Bioengineering will provide significant opportunities for student research. Bioengineering research enjoys strong support from multiple government agencies. NIH has historically led all other agencies in budget increases and today consumes roughly 50% of all non-defense research spending. Healthcare spending expanded from 6% of the GDP in 1960 to 15% in 2000 and is projected to reach 20% by 2021, in part due to the aging of the baby-boom generation. Biomedical advances are increasingly dependent on quantitative approaches as exemplified by bioengineering, and the general perception is that government support for this research will continue to rise (or at the very least, erode more slowly than other areas). The energy crisis and global climate change threats have also fostered interdisciplinary research across bioengineering with other fields such as biofuel cells, bio-batteries, bioremediation, bio-carbon sequestration, etc., and many agencies such as EPA, DOE, DOD and DARPA support these research directions.

The MS programs’ student learning outcome is the ability to use basic engineering concepts flexibly in a variety of contexts.

Over 15 graduate certificates are available to provide students the opportunity to develop a specialization in an area of their choice. Certificates can be taken in addition to or in combination with a master’s degree, or provide a pathway to a master’s degree in Northeastern’s College of Engineering. Master’s programs can also be combined with a Gordon Engineering Leadership certificate. Students should consult with their faculty advisor regarding these options.

Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership

Master’s Degree in Bioengineering with Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership

Students may complete a Master of Science in Bioengineering in addition to earning a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership. Students must apply and be admitted to the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program in order to pursue this option. The program requires fulfillment of the 16-semester-hour-curriculum required to earn the Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership, which includes an industry-based challenge project with multiple mentors. The integrated 33-semester-hour degree and certificate will require 17 hours of advisor-approved bioengineering technical courses.


Students accepted to the Master of Science in Bioengineering program have three concentrations from which to choose.

Cell and Tissue Engineering

The cell and tissue engineering concentration is appropriate for students interested in molecular, cell, and tissue engineering. Two courses Molecular Bioengineering (BIOE 5410) and Cellular Engineering (BIOE 5420) are required of all cell and tissue engineering students. There is an extensive list of approved technical electives to choose from to complete the degree.


Students who join the biomechanics concentration will cover multiscale mechanics, including whole-body movement, mechanical properties of biomaterials, and fluid mechanics of physiological fluids. The two courses required of all biomechanics concentration students are Multiscale Biomechanics (BIOE 5650) and Musculoskeletal Biomechanics (ME 5665).

Biomedical Devices and Bioimaging

The biomedical devices and bioimaging concentration is appropriate for students interested in the design of biomedical devices, as well as biomedical imaging and signal processing.  Three courses are required for all students in this concentration, Design of Biomedical Instrumentation (BIOE 5810)Design, Manufacture, and Evaluation of Medical Devices (BIOE 5250), and Biomedical Imaging (BIOE 5235).

Experiential Learning

Northeastern combines rigorous academics with experiential learning and research to prepare students for real world engineering challenges. The Cooperative Education Program, also known as a “co-op,” is one of the largest and most innovative in the world, and Northeastern is one of only a few that offers a Co-op Program for Graduate Students. Through this program students gain industry experience in a wide variety of organizations, from large companies to entrepreneurial start-ups, while helping to finance their education.

The Professor and Chair of the Department of Bioengineering explains value of cooperative education for bioengineering students

Program Goals

Career Outlook

Bioengineering is a rapidly growing sector of the engineering profession. The aging of the U.S. population and the nationwide focus on health issues will help drive demand for better medical devices and equipment designed by biomedical engineers. Recent high-profile reports on high rate of failures in artificial hips underline the critical need for improved engineering and materials design of long-lasting devices. Along with the demand for more sophisticated medical equipment and procedures, an increased concern for cost-effectiveness will boost demand for biomedical engineers, particularly in pharmaceutical and device manufacturing and related industries.

Approximately 19,400 biomedical engineers were employed in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and employment in the field is expected to increase by 27 percent through 2022, much faster than the average across all engineering disciplines.

Program Contacts

Lee Makowski
Professor and Chair,  Bioengineering & Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Professor,  Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Affiliated Faculty,  Electrical and Computer Engineering

image and signal processing as applied to biophysical data designed to answer fundamental questions about the molecular basis of living systems, and progression of Alzheimer's Disease

Shiaoming Shi
Assistant Teaching Professor,  Bioengineering

Cancer detection and drug discovery technologies

Academic Advising

For support with academic questions, contact the student services representative assigned to this program.

Admissions & Aid

Ready to take the next step? Review degree requirements to see courses needed to complete this degree. Then, explore ways to fund your education. Finally, review admissions information to see our deadlines and gather the materials you need to Apply.