BME Master's Programs: Who Are They for and What Can They Offer?

Marissa Gray, Jennifer R. Amos, Soraya Bailey, K. Jane Grande-Allen, Celinda Kofron, Sabriya Stukes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Authored by six current and former Biomedical Engineering (BME) Master's Program Directors, this article aims to summarize the types of BME master's programs that are offered in the U.S., delve into the value of BME master's programs, and reveal concerns of BME master's students and directors that are exacerbated among international and under-represented populations. Using a combination of literature review, meta-analysis, and review of data collected from master’s program websites, we provide a report of master’s program types and characteristics. Based on the demographics of these BME programs, the authors use their collective expertise to outline common concerns of BME master’s programs and propose solutions to these issues. There is a wide variety of BME master’s programs that include those rooted in research, coursework, or medical device innovation. The value of a BME master’s degree includes depth in the field beyond the undergraduate degree, eligibility for more specified positions in industry, pivot to another career path, or a gateway to professional programs. However, there are perceived disparities among BME master’s students compared to Ph.D. and undergraduate students. These disparities typically fall under two main categories: lack of support for master’s programs and financial concerns. To better support master’s programs, the authors recommend (1) advocating for master’s-specific resources for both students and program leadership and (2) advocating for master’s-specific scholarships and assistantships at the institution-level. With this enhanced programmatic and financial support, BME master’s programs will be more robust, equitable, and attainable for many students.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBiomedical Engineering Education
StatePublished - Mar 13 2024


  • Master's programs
  • Translational programs
  • Non-thesis
  • Thesis
  • Financial concerns
  • Support


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