University of Minnesota
Department of Biomedical Engineering

Go to Department of Biomedical Engineering home page.

M.S.-Plan B Requirements

Prior to Spring 2012, the Master's-Plan B (no thesis) in Biomedical Engineering requires completion of at least 35 credits of coursework including the Plan B Project, and a project defense. (Students whose degrees were in-progress in Spring 2012 can decide whether to complete this curriculum or the new one.)

Full-time students are expected to complete the Master's degree within 2 years.

Part-time students are expected to take one to two courses per semester and to finish the Master's degree within 5 years.


M.S.-Plan B students are required to complete at least 35 credits of coursework, which must include the following (click each item for more information):

BMEn 5000-Level Core Courses (2)


Choose TWO courses from the following list:

  • BMEn 5001 - Advanced Biomaterials
  • BMEn 5101 - Advanced Bioelectricity and Instrumentation
  • BMEn 5201 - Advanced Biomechanics
  • BMEn 5311 - Advanced Biomedical Transport Processes
  • BMEn 5351 - Cell Engineering
  • BMEn 5401 - Advanced Biomedical Imaging

If additional core courses are completed, they may be counted toward other degree requirements.

BME Graduate Seminars (2)



TWO semesters of the BME Graduate Seminar (BMEn 8601/8602) are required. Click here for the current seminar schedule. Other graduate seminars, Grand Rounds, etc., may not be substituted for this requirement.

Statistics (1)


ONE course in statistics is required. Recommended courses are:

  • STAT 5021 - Statistical Analysis
  • STAT 5302 - Applied Regression Analysis
  • STAT 5303 - Designing Experiments

The statistics course must be at the 5xxx level or higher, unless approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Biology Electives (2)


TWO courses with a primarily biological emphasis are required.

This category may include BMEn 5501 - Biology for Biomedical Engineers, as well as courses from several other departments (e.g., Biochemistry, Microbiology, Physiology, etc.).

All biology electives must be at the 5000 level or higher unless approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.


Technical Electives (3)

Technical electives are courses offered in the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) in engineering, physical sciences, and mathematics. THREE of these courses are required, ONE of which must be in engineering.

Courses outside of CSE with content predominantly in engineering, physical sciences, and/or mathematics may be counted toward this requirement with pre-approval from the Director of Graduate Studies.

All technical electives must be at the 5000 level or higher unless approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Free Science/Technical Electives (2)


TWO additional courses in fields of science or engineering field are required.

The free electives must be at the 5000 level or higher unless approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Minor/Supporting Program

The M.S. electives (Biology, Technical, Free) must include a minimum of 6 credits of minor or supporting program coursework. This coursework must be completed outside BME in engineering, mathematics, the physical sciences, and/or the biological sciences.

  • If a MINOR is chosen, it will be included on the official transcript. A minor must be approved by the DGS of the program granting the minor. Students are advised to determine appropriate courses for fulfillment of minor requirements during their first semester of study.
  • If a SUPPORTING PROGRAM is chosen, it must be composed of a coherent set of courses, possibly embracing several disciplines, and should include at least one 8000-level elective. A supporting program will not appear on the transcript.
Graduate Degree Plan

By the end of the first academic year of study*, M.S. students should submit a Graduate Degree Plan to the advisor, DGS, and Graduate School for approval. The Graduate Degree Plan is the formal statement of the coursework being used to satisfy degree requirements.

Along with the Graduate Degree Plan, students should also submit the M.S.-Plan B Supplement for review by the DGS. The supplement is an internal form that shows which courses are being used toward the specific degree requirements set by the department (core courses, bio/tech electives, etc.).

*Part-time students do not need to submit the Graduate Degree Plan until one semester before they plan to complete the degree.


Project and Defense

Plan B Project

As part of the required 35 credits for the M.S.-Plan B degree, students must complete 2-3 credits of Plan B Project (BMEn 8820). The project must be done in collaboration with the advisor and documented with a report.

M.S.-Plan B students may register for Plan B Project credits during any semester, with the advisor's approval.

Final Examination Committee


At least one month prior to the Final Examination/Project Defense, students must assign their examination committee members online by going to the Graduate School's Forms for Master's Students and clicking on "Master's Final Examination Committee."

Committee requirements are posted on the Graduate School website at

Project Defense/Final Examination

All M.S.-Plan B students must perform a Final Oral Examination in defense of the Plan B Project. The Master's defense is closed to the public. It is not restricted to a discussion of the project, but will include questions related to coursework in the major and minor/supporting fields.


Degree Completion

Students should be sure to consult the Graduate School's Information for Current Master's Students (opens in new window). This website includes links to forms, timelines, completion and graduation procedures, and other information that is essential for timely completion of the degree.

Quick Links

MS and PhD Application Information

PhD Requirements

MS-Plan A Requirements

MS-Plan B Requirements

Graduate Minor


Grad Handbooks

Additional details about our MS and PhD programs, course lists, and requirements are distributed to new students in the BME Grad Program Handbook. The Handbook is updated every summer. Students should consult the Handbook for the year in which they were admitted to the program. (Handbook links will open in a new tab/window.)

2011-12 (pdf, 390KB)
2010-11 (pdf, 378KB)
2009-10 (pdf, 181KB)

2008-09 (pdf, 746KB)
2007-08 (pdf, 104KB)
2006-07 (pdf, 103KB)
2005-06 (pdf, 107KB)

If your Handbook is not listed above, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator (612-624-8396,