A Masters Degree in Biomedical Engineering for MIT Undergraduates

The MEBE program is a fifth-year program leading to a bachelor’s degree in a science or engineering discipline along with a Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering. The program emphasizes the fusion of engineering with modern molecular-to-genomic biology as in our SB and PhD degree programs.

What are the entrance requirements?

MIT Undergraduates majoring in any of the departments of the Schools of Engineering or Science are eligible to apply. No applicants are accepted from other institutions. In addition to the requirements of the major department, applicants must also complete the following by the end of their Senior year:

  • Organic Chemistry (5.12)
  • Differential Equations (18.03)
  • Biochemistry (5.07 or 7.05)

Two of the following subjects:

  • Thermodynamics of Biomolecular Systems (20.110)
  • Molecular, Cellular, and Tissue Biomechanics (20.310)
  • Analysis of Biomolecular and Cellular Systems (20.320)
  • Fields, Forces and Flows in Biological Systems (20.330)
  • One Engineering or Systems Transport subject (e.g. 2.005, 3.185, 6.002, 10.301)

For more information on these courses please go to: http://student.mit.edu/catalog/index.cgi 

How do I apply?

Contact be-acad@mit.edu to request a copy of the application.

Students should apply by the end of their Junior year (June 1st), submitting the application, statement of purpose, 3 letters of recommendation and an official MIT transcript to the BE Academic Office (16-267). Transcripts should be submitted after Spring Semester grades are available. Applications will be reviewed during the summer and final decision will be announced by the end of that summer (August 31st). Admission into the program is highly competitive. Please note the GRE and application fee are not required.

Program Requirements

In addition to Thesis credits, at least 66 units of Graduate level coursework are required. Of the 66 units, a minimum distribution in each of three categories is specified below.

Core Requirements


  • 20.410 Molecular, Cellular & Tissue Biomechanics
  • 20.420 Biomolecular Kinetics and Cellular Dynamics
  • 20.430 Fields, Forces & Flows in Biological Systems

Thesis Requirement

The student is required to complete a thesis that must be approved by the Program Director. The thesis is an original work of research, design, or development. If the supervisor is not a member of Biological Engineering, a reader who belongs to the BE faculty must also approve and sign the thesis. The student submits a thesis proposal by the end of the fourth year, and conducts the work and completes the thesis by the end of Spring Term of the fifth year.


Biomedical Engineering Electives

  • 20.463 Biomaterials Science and Engineering
  • 2.183 Biomechanics & Neural Control of Movement
  • 2.785J Cell-Matrix Mechanics
  • 6.542J Laboratory on the Physiology, Acoustics, & Perception of Speech
  • 6.552J Signal Processing by the Auditory System: Perception
  • 6.555J Biomedical Signal & Image Processing
  • 6.872J Biomedical Computing
  • 8.591J Systems Biology
  • 8.592 Statistical Physics in Biology
  • 8.593J Biological Physics
  • HST.545 Physiological Systems Analysis
  • HST.562 Pioneering Technologies for Interrogating Complex Biological Systems
  • HST.562 Imaging and Sample Processing in Biology and Medicine
  • HST.565 Medical Imaging Sciences and Applications
  • HST.580J Data Acquisition and Image Reconstruction in MRI
  • HST.728J Automatic Speech Recognition

Bioscience Electives
Must equal at least 12 credits. One biological science subject in addition to organic chemistry and biochemistry. This must be a laboratory subject if one was not taken as part of the student’s undergraduate curriculum.

Financial Support Requirement

It is anticipated that a student will complete the Program in approximately one summer term and two academic terms; one full calendar year beyond what would normally be required for the SB degree. The additional 12 months of tuition required by the Program is paid by the student. Although there is no promise of support, students are encouraged to seek funding through a traditional Research Assistantship or Teaching Assistantship. Note, however, that full time RAs or TAs may enroll for a maximum of two subjects; half-time RAs or TAs may register for no more than three subjects. Students who hold RA or TA appointments are expected to complete the MEBE program within three or four regular terms. To ensure compliance with these guidelines, no additional RA or TA support will be allowed beyond four regular terms. The BE Academic Office will handle all requests for RA and TA support for MEBE students.

For more detailed information regarding the cost of attendance, including specific costs for tuition and fees, books and supplies, housing and food as well as transportation, please visit the SFS website.

I have more questions, whom do I ask?

Additional information on application procedures, objectives, and program requirements can be obtained by contacting:

Professor Katharina Ribbeck
Co-Chair of Graduate Program

Professor Alan Jasanoff
Co-Chair of Graduate Program

Dalia Fares
Biological Engineering Academic Administrator

Sue Jaskela
Biological Engineering Administrative Assistant

Please contact be-acad@mit.edu for additional information regarding BE educational programs.