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Master’s Degree Requirements

Course-Based Degree Option

Core Biomedical Engineering Requirements

Students must complete at least 30 credits of approved coursework to satisfy the course-based degree option requirements. Students must select a focus area and complete coursework primarily within that discipline. In addition to focus area-specific coursework, MSE students have the option to count up to six credits of research (three credits per semester with a confirmed lab) as well as up to two seminars (typically one credit each) towards their overall 30 credits.

Focus Area Requirements

Students are expected to select one of the following focus areas:

Medical students, residents, and clinical fellows are eligible for the AI in Medicine focus area:

All graduate students must register for graduate level courses, and will not earn credit for undergraduate level versions of the same courses. In some cases, a 400-level course may count towards your degree requirements if no graduate level instance of the course exists. Any 400-level courses intended for your degree requirements must be approved by your advisor prior to registration.

Tips on selecting the thesis or course-based degree option, and choosing a focus area can be found here.


Any Johns Hopkins graduate (typically 600 or 700 level) math, science, engineering, or medicine/public health course qualifies. In some cases, advanced undergraduate level (i.e., 400 level) courses are allowed if a corresponding 600 level course is not taught. Please check with your advisor before enrolling.

Ideally, the electives will align with a student’s focus area and career objectives

Thesis-Based Degree Option


Each student must complete the same course requirements through a focus area as noted under the course-based degree option. Upon completion of the course requirements during the first year, students will begin a second year of research only, which will lead to the submission of their thesis at the end of the second year.

Course Selection, Approval, and “Double-Counting” Policies

Course selection will be guided by a description of potential tracks/focus areas (listed above), and through discussion with the faculty lead of your chosen focus area and the Administrator.

Course approval will be managed through course selection approval forms and checklists similar to those used for the BME undergraduate program and other Whiting School of Engineering Master’s programs.

Whiting School policies allow the “double counting” of two full 400-level or higher courses for both an undergraduate degree and the BME MSE degree will apply. 

Double counting will not apply to non-Hopkins courses (i.e., credit towards the MSE degree will only be awarded to courses taken at Johns Hopkins).

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