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The Master of Bioengineering (M.B.E.)

Rice University's Master of Bioengineering (M.B.E.) is a non-thesis degree that provides students with greater depth in their bioengineering training to advance their career objectives. The degree has two tracks:

  • The Global Medical Innovation (GMI) track is designed specifically for students who want to pursue a career in the global medical technology industry; and
  • The Applied Bioengineering track is designed as a flexible degree for students who want to pursue careers in research, medicine or related fields.  

Move ForwardBoth tracks require 30 credit hours of study, and will result in the Master of Bioengineering (M.B.E.) degree. Both tracks have the same prerequisites, though applicants will be evaluated considering the different purposes of each track. Applicants may apply to both tracks. More information about each of these tracks can be found below.

The first round of applications for the Global Medical Innovation (GMI) track are due by January 15 for fall admission, but a second round might be opened on March 15.

Applications for the Applied Bioengineering track are due by October 30 for spring admission and April 30 for fall admission.

Students may enroll for the Applied Bioengineering track on a full-time or part-time basis. Students may only enroll on a full-time basis for the GMI track. All curriculum must be approved by the Graduate Academic Affairs Committee and the Bioengineering Department. This is done on a case-by-case basis. 

Global Medical Innovation curriculum and requirements

As the medical technology industry becomes increasingly global with an emphasis in cost-effective health care solutions and clinical outcomes, Rice seeks to prepare engineers for this new and changing environment.

In the fall of 2015, Rice launched a new track with the M.B.E. degree to prepare engineers for careers in medical technology through education in innovation, emerging-market design projects, and internships. The track builds on Rice’s award-winning design facilities at the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, the successful history of innovation in the developing world with Rice 360° Institute for Global Health, and through collaborations with the Texas Medical Center.   

   GMI Graphic Web Small
  The M.B.E. track in Global Medical Innovation prepares engineers for careers in medical technology through education in innovation, emerging-market design projects, and internships. (Learn more)

The M.B.E. track in Global Medical Innovation 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.  

The GMI track curriculum consists of:

  • Medical Technology Design 1 (BIOE 527, 3 credits)
  • Medical Technology Design 2 (BIOE 529, 3 credits)
  • Medical Technology Implementation 1 (BIOE 528, 3 credits)
  • Medical Technology Implementation 2 (BIOE 530, 3 credits)
  • Medical Technology Design Seminar 1 (BIOE 627, 1.5 credits)
  • Medical Technology Design Seminar 2 (BIOE 628, 1.5 credits)
  • One elective graduate-level (500 and above) BIOE course (3 credits)
  • An internship (BIOE 600), which may be completed during the summer (full-time) or during the fall and winter semesters (part-time). The students traveled to Costa Rica for a global design internship during summer of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Subsequent students may fulfill this requirement with an industry internship, or Independent Study (BIOE 506) in the summer, or during the fall and winter semesters. This will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students are responsible for obtaining and selecting an internship that best aligns with their career goals (6 Credits)
  • Applied Statistics for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (BIOE 539, 3 credits), or a Graduate-level MATH, STAT, or CAAM (3 credits, 400-level courses or above may be considered)
  • One Professional Development Elective, 500 level or above, chosen from approved courses listed below (Must have a total of 3.0 credits.)

All students must maintain an average GPA of 3.2 or higher. 

If you have additional questions about the Global Medical Innovation track, email gmi@rice.edu.

Applied Bioengineering curriculum and requirements

The Applied Bioengineering track gives students the flexibility to craft their own curriculum depending on their interests and career goals. The Department of Bioengineering offers graduate-level courses in Biomaterials and Drug Delivery, Biomedical Imaging and Diagnostics, Computational and Theoretical Bioengineering, Tissue Engineering and Biomechanics, and Systems and Synthetic Biology.

Students in the Applied Bioengineering track are required to complete 30 credit hours of upper-level courses , including:

  • Eighteen bioengineering credits at the graduate level (500 and above)
  • A minimum of 24 of the 30 credits must be taken at Rice
  • Medical Technology Design Seminar 1 (BIOE 627, 1.5 credits)
  • Medical Technology Design Seminar 2 (BIOE 628, 1.5 credits)
  • Applied Statistics for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (BIOE 539, 3 credits), or a Graduate-level MATH, STAT, or CAAM (3 credits, 400-level courses or above may be considered)
  • One general elective (3 credits - may be non-BIOE, but must be relevant to bioengineering degree)
  • Professional Development Elective(s) (3 total credits - 500 level or above, chosen from approved courses listed below.)

All students must maintain an average GPA of 3.2 or higher.

If you have additional questions about the Applied Bioengineering track, email ges@rice.edu.

Approved M.B.E. Professional Development Electives

The following is a list of approved Professional Development Electives for both M.B.E. tracks.

  • Life Science Entrepreneurship (BIOE 633, 1.5 credits)
  • Technical and Managerial Communications (ENGI 510, 3 credits)
  • Leading Teams and Innovation (ENGI 515, 3 credits)
  • Ethics and Engineering Leadership (ENGI 529, 3 credits)
  • Strategic Thinking (ENGI 545/LEAD 545, 3 credits)
  • Management for Science and Engineers (ENGI 610, 3 credits)
  • Leadership Coaching for Engineers (ENGI 615, 3 credits)
  • Technology Entrepreneurship (MGMT 734, 3 credits)
  • Communication for Engineers (ENGI 542, 3 credits)

For details about the Department of Bioengineering's Graduate Degree Requirements and Procedures, see the linked PDF files on the sidebar to the left titled Additional Information. 

M.B.E. prerequisite courses

Both tracks require prerequisite courses to ensure students are prepared for graduate-level courses in bioengineering. Fundamentals of Systems Physiology (BIOE 322 or equivalent 3 credit hours), Cell Biology (BIOC 341 or equivalent 3 credit hours), and Statistics are prerequisite courses. If a student does not have evidence on their undergraduate transcript that they have received credit for these courses they must take them as part of the M.B.E. curriculum. Prerequisite courses may be taken for a standard letter grade or pass/fail credit, and will not count toward the required 30 hours regardless of the grade mode. All BIOE courses must be taken for a standard letter grade.