Curriculum Requirements

Bioengineering students working together in lab at Clemson

Master of Science

The M.S. is primarily offered as a professional degree program through the non-thesis option, and students must anticipate covering their own tuition and living expenses. There are limited opportunities for the thesis-option and assistantship support for the M.S. degree through faculty-supported research projects. Students are welcome to e-mail faculty members directly regarding the availability of such projects in a given faculty member’s research group.

The curriculum for the master’s program consists of a core of required bioengineering courses supplemented by elective courses that provide greater depth in a specific area of interest. Two degree options are offered at the master’s degree level:

Thesis Option
The thesis option requires a total of 30 credit hours (six of which must be research credits) and the submission and defense of a master’s thesis.

Non-Thesis Option
The non-thesis option requires a minimum of 33 credit hours (six of which must be research credits) followed by the submission of a publishable report on an approved topic.

The minimum time period necessary to complete the master’s degree is normally 16 months, with at least one academic semester in residence as a full-time student at Clemson University.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Doctoral degree candidates must provide evidence of their potential success in advanced graduate study. The selection of courses for the doctoral degree is flexible and depends on the background and objectives of each candidate. Course requirements will vary depending on past education. The program comprises a total of 60 credit hours composed of 36 course credit hours; up to 6 hours of graduate BioE Seminar (BioE 800) and 18 hours of doctoral research Students are encouraged to enroll directly in the doctoral program from a baccalaureate degree. Applicants who already have an M.S. degree in engineering or science can apply up to 24 credit hours from their M.S. degree toward the 36 credit hours required for the Ph.D.

Students admitted into the doctoral program will be required to pursue a core curriculum and plan of study that will serve as the basis for further, more specialized study in the field. The Ph.D. curriculum (PDF) and plan of study seeks to:

  1. establish a uniform knowledge base of fundamental bioengineering principles among admitted graduate students with conventional and non-traditional educational backgrounds,
  2. provide greater flexibility in selection of core and elective courses in order to be more relevant to the students’ chosen research track,
  3. specify guidelines for transfer of relevant course credits for doctoral students with a master’s degree to avoid course repetition/duplication and ensure quality control of bioengineering education offered by the department.

Qualifying examination and a proposal defense must be passed before a student is accepted officially as a Ph.D. candidate. The qualifying examination is an oral exam covering the student's area of concentration and specific research field. The proposal defense part of the comprehensive examination involves the oral presentation and defense of the student's proposed research before his or her selected research committee. The Ph.D. in bioengineering can also be conducted jointly with an MD or a DMD at the Medical University of South Carolina.

MD/Ph.D. or DMD/Ph.D. Degree Program

A joint research training program is established between Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina. Students pursue a joint MD/Ph.D. or Dental MD/Ph.D. The Ph.D. in bioengineering is conferred by Clemson and the medical degrees are from MUSC.

BS/MS Combined Degree Programs

Bioengineering students working together in lab at Clemson

Under this plan, students can reduce the time necessary to earn both degrees by applying graduate credits to both undergraduate and graduate program requirements.

To be eligible for this plan, students must have completed their bachelor’s curriculum through the junior year (minimum 94 credits) and have a minimum overall grade-point ratio of 3.40. Information and application forms are available from the Graduate School. Endorsements by the program coordinator or department chair of both programs are required. If accepted, students will be given conditional admission to the master’s program pending completion of their bachelor’s degrees and submission of satisfactory GRE or GMAT scores, if required. Combined Plan students are not eligible for graduate appointments for financial aid until their bachelor’s degrees have been awarded.

Under this plan, students can obtain their bachelor’s degree in any of the following disciplines while working toward completion of their master’s in bioengineering.

Please download the following application if you are interested in the combined B.S./M.S. education plan:

Please download the following application if you are interested in the M. Engineering education plan:

Graduate Curriculum

Graduate Catalog Course Listing

Core Courses (everyone must take)
  • BIOE 615 - Research Principles
  • BIOE 800 - Seminar
  • BIOE 801 - Biomaterials
One of the following two courses
  • BIOE 846 - Biomed Engr Replace
  • BIOSC 659 - Systems Physiology
One of the following three courses
  • BIOE 820 - Biomechanics
  • BIOE 847 - Transport Processes
  • BIOE 870 - Bioinstrumentation