Master of Bioengineering (MBE) Degree

Program Learning Outcomes for the MBE Degree 

Program Learning Outcomes for the Applied Bioengineering Area of Specialization

Upon completing the MBE degree, students pursuing the Applied Bioengineering area of specialization requirements will be able to:

  1. Apply and integrate advanced knowledge of Bioengineering topics in at least one of the following areas: Biomaterials and Drug Delivery, Biomedical Imaging and Diagnostics, Computational and Theoretical Bioengineering, Tissue Engineering and Biomechanics, or Systems and Synthetic Biology.    
  2. Apply knowledge from engineering and other disciplines to identify, formulate, and solve novel and complex problems that require advanced knowledge in bioengineering.  
  3. Select and apply quantitative analytic techniques to analyze bioengineering data.  
  4. Gain admission to a graduate or professional program, if students want to pursue further education.   

Program Learning Outcomes for the Global Medical Innovation Area of Specialization

Upon completing the MBE degree, students pursuing the Global Medical Innovation area of specialization requirements will be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge of Bioengineering topics in at least one of the following areas: Biomaterials and Drug Delivery, Biomedical Imaging and Diagnostics, Computational and Theoretical Bioengineering, Tissue Engineering and Biomechanics, or Systems and Synthetic Biology.
  2. Develop effective medical products, from concept to commercialization, within a team environment.
  3. Comprehend and navigate the global medical technology industry by leveraging an internship experience.
  4. Gain employment or advance professionally in a technical field related to bioengineering.

Requirements for the MBE Degree 

The MBE degree is a non-thesis master’s degree. For general university requirements, please see Non-Thesis Master’s Degrees. For additional requirements, regulations, and procedures for all graduate programs, please see All Graduate Students. Students pursuing the MBE degree must complete:

  • A minimum of 30 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level study (coursework at the 500-level or above).
  • A minimum of 24 credit hours must be taken at Rice University.
  • A minimum residency enrollment of one fall or spring semester of part-time graduate study at Rice University.
  • The requirements for one area of specialization (see below for areas of specialization). The MBE degree program offers two areas of specialization:
    • Applied Bioengineering: designed as a flexible degree for students who will pursue careers in research, medicine, or related fields, or
    • Global Medical Innovation: designed specifically for students who will pursue a career in the global medical technology industry. As the medical technology industry becomes increasingly global with an emphasis in cost-effective health care solutions and clinical outcomes, Rice University seeks to prepare engineers for this new and changing environment. This area of specialization of the MBE degree is designed to prepare engineers for careers in medical technology through education in innovation, emerging-market design projects and internships. The Rice MBE area of specialization in Global Medical Innovation program specifically targets students who have an undergraduate degree in engineering (mechanical, electrical, chemical, or bioengineering/medical) or a related field, and who are interested in pursuing a career in the private, public, or non-profit sectors of medical technology.   
  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.67 or higher in all Rice coursework.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.00 or higher in all Rice coursework that satisfies requirements for the non-thesis master’s degree with a minimum grade of a B- (2.67 grade points) in each course (for the Applied Bioengineering area of specialization), or a minimum GPA of 3.20 or higher in all Rice coursework that satisfies requirements for the non-thesis master’s degree with a minimum grade of a B- (2.67 grade points) in each course (for the Global Medical Innovation area of specialization).

Both areas of specialization have the same prerequisites, though applicants will be evaluated considering the different purposes of each. More information about each of these areas of specialization can be found below. Curriculum must be approved by the Graduate Academic Affairs Committee and the Bioengineering Department. This is done on a case-by-case basis.  

The Master of Bioengineering (MBE) degree is a professional non-thesis master's degree. Students who have a BS or BA degree in an engineering or science discipline may apply. Depending on their background, some students may need to fulfill prerequisites or take remedial engineering courses to earn the MBE degree. For more information, see the department website.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this degree program. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the program's academic advisor, or where applicable, the department or program's Director of Graduate Studies. Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the department or program's Official Certifier. Additionally, these must be approved by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the MBE Degree 30

Degree Requirements

Area of Specialization
Select 1 of the following Areas of Specialization (see below for Areas of Specialization):30
Applied Bioengineering
Global Medical Innovation
Total Credit Hours30

Areas of Specialization

Area of Specialization: Applied Bioengineering

Students pursuing the Applied Bioengineering area of specialization must complete:

  • A minimum of 2 courses (3 credit hours) from the core requirements. 
  • A minimum of 9 courses (27 credit hours) taken at the 500-level or above from selected course offerings.
    • A minimum of 6 courses (18 credit hours) from approved departmental (BIOE) course offerings.
    • A minimum of 1 course (3 credit hours) as a professional development elective course.
    • A minimum of 1 course (3 credit hours) as a quantitative elective course. 
    • A minimum of 1 course (3 credit hours) from approved departmental (BIOE) course offerings or another department.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.00 or higher in all Rice coursework that satisfies requirements for the non-thesis master’s degree.
Core Requirements
BIOE 627MEDICAL INNOVATION INDUSTRY SEMINAR1.5
Select 1 from the following:1.5
MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY DESIGN SEMINAR 2
ROLES OF PHYSICIANS, SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS AND MBA’S IN HIGH-TECH STARTUPS
Elective Requirements
Elective Category: BIOE Departmental Electives
Select 6 courses from approved departmental (BIOE) course offerings at the 500-level or above18
Elective Category: Professional Development
Select a minimum of 3 credit hours from the following: 13
WORKPLACE COMMUNICATION FOR PROFESSIONAL MASTER'S STUDENTS IN ENGINEERING
TECHNICAL AND MANAGERIAL COMMUNICATIONS
LEADING TEAMS AND INNOVATION
ETHICS AND ENGINEERING LEADERSHIP
PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION FOR ENGINEERING LEADERS
MANAGEMENT FOR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
LEADERSHIP COACHING FOR ENGINEERS
Elective Category: Quantitative Requirement
BIOE 539APPLIED STATISTICS FOR BIOENGINEERING AND BIOTECHNOLOGY 23
Elective Category: BIOE General Elective
Select 1 additional course from approved departmental (BIOE) course offerings (or another department) at the 500-level or above 33
Total Credit Hours30

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Area of Specialization: Global Medical Innovation

Students pursuing the Global Medical Innovation area of specialization must complete: 

  • A minimum of 4 courses (9 credit hours) from the core requirements. 
  • An internship or independent study (6 credit hours).
  • A minimum of 5 courses (15 credit hours) taken at the 500-level or above from selected course offerings.
    • A minimum of 2 courses (6 credit hours) from approved departmental (BIOE) course offerings.
    • A minimum of 1 course (3 credit hours) as a professional development elective course.
    • A minimum of 1 course (3 credit hours) as a quantitative elective course. 
    • A minimum of 1 course (3 credit hours) from approved departmental (BIOE) course offerings or another department.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.20 or higher in all Rice coursework that satisfies requirements for the non-thesis master’s degree. 
Core Requirements
Medical Technology Design
BIOE 527HEALTHCARE INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP3
BIOE 529HEALTHCARE INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP LAB3
Industry Seminar Series
BIOE 627MEDICAL INNOVATION INDUSTRY SEMINAR1.5
Select 1 from the following:1.5
MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY DESIGN SEMINAR 2
ROLES OF PHYSICIANS, SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS AND MBA’S IN HIGH-TECH STARTUPS
Internship or Independent Study 16
GRADUATE INDEPENDENT STUDY (2 semesters required, 1st semester)
GRADUATE INDEPENDENT STUDY (2 semesters required, 2nd semester)
Elective Requirements
Elective Category: BIOE Departmental Electives
Select 2 courses from approved departmental (BIOE) course offerings at the 500-level or above6
Elective Category: Professional Development
Select a minimum of 3 credit hours from the following:3
WORKPLACE COMMUNICATION FOR PROFESSIONAL MASTER'S STUDENTS IN ENGINEERING
TECHNICAL AND MANAGERIAL COMMUNICATIONS
LEADING TEAMS AND INNOVATION
ETHICS AND ENGINEERING LEADERSHIP
PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION FOR ENGINEERING LEADERS
MANAGEMENT FOR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
LEADERSHIP COACHING FOR ENGINEERS
Elective Category: Quantitative Requirement
BIOE 539APPLIED STATISTICS FOR BIOENGINEERING AND BIOTECHNOLOGY 23
Elective Category: BIOE General Elective
Select 1 additional course from approved departmental (BIOE) course offerings (or another department) at the 500-level or above 33
Total Credit Hours30

 Footnotes and Additional Information 

Policies for the MBE Degree

Department of Bioengineering Graduate Program Handbook

The General Announcements (GA) is the official Rice curriculum. As an additional resource for students, the department of Bioengineering publishes a graduate program handbook, which can be found here: https://gradhandbooks.rice.edu/2019_20/Bioengineering_Graduate_Handbook.pdf

Enrollment Status Requirements

Students may enroll for the Applied Bioengineering area of specialization on a full-time or part-time basis. Students may only enroll on a full-time basis for the Global Medical Innovation area of specialization. University graduation requirements (including the minimum residency requirement for students in graduate degree programs) still apply. 

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Bioengineering website: https://bioengineering.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the MBE Degree

Fifth-Year Master's Degree Option for Rice Undergraduate Students 

Rice students have an option to pursue the Master of Bioengineering (MBE) degree by adding an additional fifth year to their four undergraduate years of science and engineering studies.

Advanced Rice undergraduate students in good academic standing may apply to the MBE degree program during their junior or senior year. Upon acceptance, depending on course load, financial aid status, and other variables, they may then start taking some required courses of the master's degree program. A plan of study will need to be approved by the student's undergraduate advisor and the MBE program director. 

As part of this option and opportunity, Rice undergraduate students:

  • must complete the requirements for a bachelor's degree and the master's degree independently of each other (i.e. no course may be counted toward the fulfillment of both degrees).
  • should be aware there could be financial aid implications if the conversion of undergraduate coursework to that of graduate level reduces their earned undergraduate credit for any semester below that of full-time status (12 credit hours).
  • more information on this Undergraduate - Graduate Concurrent Enrollment opportunity, including specific information on the registration process can be found here.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Bioengineering website: https://bioengineering.rice.edu/