The UTHSC College of Graduate Health Sciences together with the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The University of Memphis offers a joint graduate program leading to the Master of Science (MS) degree in Biomedical Engineering (BME). As a special field, BME applies engineering, physical sciences, and mathematical methods to problems involving health care; it demands close integration of many areas and forms of knowledge including the areas listed above, the life and health sciences, and current practice in clinical care.
The program’s faculty, about equally divided between the two campuses, offer academic and research specialization in four major sub-disciplines: (1) Biomechanics; (2) Biomaterials and regenerative technology; (3) Biosensors and electrophysiology; and, (4) Bioimaging. These sub-disciplines are bolstered by collaborations with secondary and adjunct faculty at the two universities and other affiliated institutions.
Admission and Selection
Admission as a full-time student requires a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent with an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 from an accredited college or university and a combined score totaling at least 300 for the verbal and quantitative sections of the revised Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). Individuals with a professional or graduate degree in science from an accredited US/Canadian institution, or with scores from other commonly recognized standardized graduate admissions exams, may petition for an exception. Three letters of recommendation from previous instructors or persons capable of judging the applicant’s qualifications for graduate study are also required. Any applicant to the graduate program whose first language is not English and who has earned neither a bachelor’s nor a master’s degree from a college or university in an English-speaking country must have achieved a TOEFL score of at least 213/79 on the computer-based/Internet-based exam or an IELTS score of 6.5 (earned within 2 years prior to application). Any applicant to the CGHS whose first language is not English but who has earned a baccalaureate or master’s degree from a college or university in an English-speaking country where instruction was in English may be exempted from the requirement for the TOEFL or IELTS examination.
Technical Standards and Accommodations
The minimum abilities for eligibility to participate successfully in educational programs and activities by students enrolled in the College of Graduate Health Sciences are listed below. All persons who wish to enter one of the programs in the College should be aware of the minimum abilities required for success. Admission decisions for the College programs do not take disabilities into consideration; students may disclose their disabilities after admission to request accommodations to the UTHSC Office of Student and Academic Support Services.
Minimum abilities are as follows:
- To make proper assessments and ethical judgments regarding research and professional decisions.
- To communicate effectively with colleagues and professional staff.
- To acquire necessary information developed through classroom instruction, laboratory experience, independent learning, and consultation.
- To search and evaluate articles in the scientific literature.
- To obtain, interpret, and accurately document research data.
- To complete computer-based assignments and use computers.
- To understand and carry out safety rules and precautions in the laboratory.
- To handle emergencies in the laboratory, including fire, exposure to dangerous agents, and explosions.
These abilities may be accomplished through direct student response, use of prosthetic devices, or personal assistance (e.g., readers, signers, and note takers). Purchase of prosthetic devices to aid the student in meeting these requirements is the responsibility of the student. On a case-by-case basis and upon written request of the student, the college may assist in providing attending services.
Curriculum Summary and (Typical) Sequence
for Students Matriculating Academic Year 2015-16
Total for the Degree: 45 credit hours *
*These courses may be required for completion of the degree. The thesis option requires 33 credit hours in addition to the thesis; the project option requires 36 credit hours. Additional courses may be required to maintain full-time status.
Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average or greater throughout the program.
Prior to admission to candidacy, students pursuing the project option must pass a comprehensive written examination (Level A exam). This examination is given in the third term of the student’s curriculum and has four sections covering the topics of life sciences, mathematics, instrumentation, and biomedical engineering. A student must pass three of the four sections of the exam.
Admission to Candidacy
The student must apply for degree candidacy no later than the end of the second month in the term in which the thesis or project is to be presented to the college. Application may be made only after the student successfully completes the prerequisite courses and 18 semester credit hours of graduate course work.
Admission to candidacy for the master’s degree requires (1) certification by the student’s Faculty Committee and the Program Chair that the student has successfully completed sufficient graduate courses and has demonstrated an ability to do graduate work of satisfactory character and (2) approval by the Dean of the student’s proposed program. The Dean will inform the Program Director of admission to candidacy. Upon admission to candidacy, all master’s students must be enrolled full-time, unless an exception is approved by the Dean.
Research, Electronic Thesis and Oral Defense
Requirements for the master’s degree include the successful completion of a suitable research problem, the student’s demonstration of scholarly attainment, and the potential to do independent research. This phase of the master’s program takes the form of a major research project reported in the form of a thesis or project. The subject of the research shall be determined by the student in consultation with Faculty Committee members and the Program Chair. The scientific content and style of the thesis are the responsibility of the student and student’s Faculty Committee. The thesis must be formatted and delivered according to the electronic thesis and dissertation policies outlined in these bylaws under “ET/D Program Policies”.
The final oral defense of the research shall be publicized to the University community and shall be conducted by the student’s Faculty Committee. When the defense is successfully completed, a Report of Final Examination is signed by all Faculty Committee members and forwarded to the Dean of the CGHS.