Bioengineering, MSE

The Bioengineering master's program provides an interdisciplinary education in scientific and engineering fundamentals, with an emphasis on new developments in the field of Bioengineering. The primary goal of the Penn Bioengineering master's program is to provide students with a customized curriculum designed to prepare them to function creatively and independently in industry, research and development, government or academia.

The master's degree program provides rigorous and advanced training in engineering with a focus on biological and medical sciences. The flexible curriculum allows students to select their own graduate coursework in math, biomedical sciences, bioengineering, and other science and engineering disciplines. The University of Pennsylvania has a "one university" philosophy, and students may register for courses from any School in the University. Our students typically take courses in the Schools of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and Medicine.

Bioengineering master's degree candidates select either the thesis or non-thesis degree track during their first year, in consultation with the Director of Master's Advising. Students typically complete their degree program in twelve to eighteen months.

The MSE in Bioengineering is a "terminal degree," meaning that students interested in pursuing a PhD must apply to the program through the PhD graduate admissions process.


A total of 10 course units are required for the MSE degree.1,2

Required Courses 3
Select 1 Math course1
Select 1 Biological Science course 1
Select 2 Bioengineering graduate courses 42
Select 3 SEAS and or Biomedical Science electives3
Select 1 general elective 51
Thesis/Non Requirements
BE 597Master's Thesis Research (or Science and Engineering electives)2
Total Course Units10

Thesis Option Requirements

If you choose to write a thesis, you will enroll in 2 units of thesis research, BE 597 Master's Thesis Research.

Be sure to read the Master's Thesis Guidelines. In choosing the thesis option, your thesis advisor may provide additional guidance on course selection and will supervise your thesis research. The director of the bioengineering MSE program will help you find a mentor, traditionally selected from the Bioengineering Graduate Group.

Non-Thesis Option Requirements

If you choose not to write a thesis, you will enroll in an additional 2 course units (2 CU) of science and engineering electives (of which 1 may be BE 599 Master's Independent Study)

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2020 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.