BioE Offers New Online Master's Program

Beginning Fall 2010, the Fischell Department of Bioengineering (BioE) will offer a new online Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degree program to better meet the needs of working bioengineers in the Washington, D.C. metro area, across the U.S. and around the world.

"Even before recent news articles listed bioengineers among the most in-demand professionals for the next decade, we saw the signs and began the process to create this new program to meet the national need for exceptionally skilled engineering and technology professionals," says BioE Professor and Chair William Bentley. "Being located inside the Capital Beltway and so close to major biotechnology research institutions gives us a unique opportunity to understand their needs and to service the large number of professionals who want to further their education and add more specialization to their backgrounds."

Industries and institutions served by the new program include those in the fields of chemicals, materials, healthcare, biotechnology, electronics and devices, and defense and security, as well as major federal agencies such as the Department of Defense, NIST, NIH, FDA, USDA, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The new program takes advantage of the A. James Clark School of Engineering's key strengths: its research and its experimental facilities. Students enrolled in the Graduate Program in Bioengineering will gain the knowledge base and skill sets to quantitatively measure and rationally manipulate cells, tissues, and integrated systems.

The curriculum will consist of seven core courses—Rate Processes in Biological Systems, Cellular and Tissue Biomechanics, Quantitative Cell Physiology, Transport Phenomena in Bioengineering Systems, Physiological Evaluation of Bioengineering Designs, Modern Methods of Drug Delivery, Biomedical Optics, Biosensor Techniques, and Tissue Engineering—and three elective courses. There is no thesis or research work required for the Master of Engineering program. Students will select electives, in consultation with the graduate director, to customize their education to meet their career needs.

"The Master of Engineering degree is applicable to engineering professionals as well as post-baccalaureate students who are preparing to apply to medical schools, and others who can benefit from a highly-focused graduate degree," explains graduate program director Professor Peter Kofinas. “The flexibility to choose courses and delivery methods sets us apart with professionals who are working full-time or may not be close to campus."

Utilizing the Clark School's Distance Education Technology & Services unit, the program is able to offer working engineers and technical professionals access to coursework and faculty at the forefront of biotechnology.

"The online Master of Engineering degree offers the same high level of education and training experienced by full-time, on-campus students," says Dr. George Syrmos, executive director of the Clark School's Office of Advanced Engineering Education (OAEE), which will administer the program. "Delivering a truly interactive, virtual-classroom experience allows for communication with faculty and other students and facilitates the formation of project groups. The coursework is structured so that what students learn can be immediately beneficial in the workplace."

To learn more about the Fischell Department of Bioengineering's online Master of Engineering program, as well as its new graduate certificate option, visit the OAEE web site at

Published August 10, 2010