The Fischell Department of Bioengineering’s combined B.S./M.S. program provides undergraduate students the opportunity to complete the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Master of Science (M.S.) degrees in approximately five and a half years by double counting graduate coursework toward the B.S. and M.S. degrees. Ideal candidates for this program are top undergraduate students interested in pursuing and developing research projects that will translate to the graduate level and, ultimately, into a master’s thesis.

Eligibility Requirements

At the time of application to the B.S./M.S. program, undergraduate students should meet the following criteria:
  • have a GPA of at least 3.50 overall
  • have completed at least 21 BIOE credits
  • have support of a full-time BIOE faculty member or a full-time UMD faculty member affiliated with the Bioengineering department who agrees to serve as the student’s mentor and research advisor through completion of M.S. program. Researchers outside the university wishing to supervise a B.S./M.S. student’s research must establish a BIOE faculty member familiar with their work to serve as a co-mentor and supervisor. The BIOE faculty and outside researcher will co-chair the M.S. thesis defense.
It is strongly recommended that applicants to the B.S./M.S. program use their application packet to demonstrate a strong background in or aptitude for research.

Program Logistics

  • B.S./M.S. students can double count up to 2 graduate courses towards the B.S. and M.S. programs. These courses will satisfy BIOE technical electives within the B.S. program and restricted/unrestricted electives within the M.S. program.
  • Graduate courses taken during the B.S. program must be within the BIOE department. Courses need to be pre-approved by the graduate and undergraduate program directors, and by the Clark School of Engineering.
  • Only 1 graduate course can be taken per semester while enrolled in the B.S. program.
  • Students must earn a grade of at least a “B-” in the graduate course for it to be double counted for the M.S. program.
  • B.S./M.S. students cannot take BIOE601, BIOE604, or BIOE612 (M.S. core courses) while enrolled in the B.S. program. These courses must be taken after graduating from the B.S. program.
Students in the BIOE Honors program are eligible for the BIOE B.S./M.S. program. Research being conducted for BIOE Honors may be applied to the B.S./M.S. program and expanded upon for the M.S. thesis. Graduate courses taken for BIOE Honors can double count for the B.S./M.S. program.

When and How to Apply

Applying to the combined B.S./M.S. program is a two-step process. In the first step, students must apply to the combined B.S./M.S. program. The second step requires students to formally apply to the UMD Graduate School (generally in the fall of senior year). Acceptance to the combined B.S./M.S. program does not guarantee admission to the Graduate School.

Applying to the B.S./M.S. Program

Eligible students should apply for the combined B.S./M.S. program the semester before planning to enroll in a graduate-level course. Students generally will start taking graduate-level coursework in their senior year.
  • Deadline for spring enrollment: Nov 15
  • Deadline for fall enrollment: April 15

To apply, students must:

Meet with Melanie Prange, BIOE Director of Academic & Student Affairs, in advance of starting/submitting an application.

Submit the following via the BIOE B.S./M.S. online application:

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Transcript
  • Letter of support from BIOE faculty mentor
  • Resume
  • Updated plan of study which includes planned BIOE graduate courses
Decisions will be released by May 1 for fall applications and Dec 1 for spring applications.
Admitted B.S./M.S. students must complete the Clark School’s “Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s Degrees Request” form in order to register for a graduate course as an undergraduate student. This form is located at under the “Request to Take Graduate Courses” category.

Applying to the M.S. Program (UMD Graduate School)

B.S./M.S. students will need to submit an official application to UMD’s Graduate School. Students completing the B.S. program in May will apply to the M.S. program by early January. Students completing the B.S. program in December should speak directly with the BIOE Graduate Program for application instructions.
To apply to the M.S. program, students must submit:
  • Application fee
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Scanned copy of UMD transcripts
  • Resume
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (one must be from your B.S./M.S. mentor)
  • GRE is waived for B.S./M.S. applicants

Completion of M.S. Program

After graduation from the B.S. program and upon official matriculation to the M.S. program, students need to complete the additional requirements for the completion of the M.S. program:

M.S. Core Courses:

  • BIOE 601: Rate Processes in Biological Systems (3 credits)
  • BIOE 604: Transport Phenomena in Bioengineering Systems (3 credits)
  • BIOE 612: Physiological Evaluation of Bioengineering Designs (3 credits)

Unrestricted Electives:

  • Depending on how many graduate courses were taken during the B.S. program, B.S./M.S. students will need to take either 9 credits (3 courses) or 12 credits (4 courses) of unrestricted electives in topics such as engineering, biology, chemistry, mathematics, or computer science. These courses can be chosen in consultation with the Graduate Program and/or the student’s faculty research advisor.

Thesis Research:

  • Six credits of BIOE799, Master’s Thesis Research must be completed. BIOE799 credits can be split over the summer (optional), fall, and spring semesters.

Defense of M.S. Thesis:

  • A final oral examination of the thesis will be held when the student has completed the thesis to the satisfaction of the student's advisor and thesis committee, all other requirements for the degree have been completed, and a 3.0 grade point average has been earned.

More information about the M.S. course and thesis requirements can be found in the BIOE Graduate Handbook.


Melanie Prange

Melanie Prange

Program Director, Academic & Student Affairs
Room 3102F A. James Clark Hall
(301) 405-3686