MSE program degree requirements

The BME department offers two degree options:

Course-Based Degree Option

Core Biomedical Engineering Requirements

  • Overall 5 (or more) courses for the M.S.E. degree are expected to be qualifying BME courses (Qualifying BME courses have “580” or “585” as their first three numerical digits (i.e., or

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:

A minimum of 5 courses for the M.S.E. degree are expected to be from the selected focus area (an overview of each area and course options are provided at the links listed above)

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 that will be provided online, and through discussion with a committee that consists of the BME MSE Director and Administrator for non-thesis track students, and the BME MSE Administrator and Research Advisor for thesis track students.

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 allowing 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.