Clemson University’s Department of Bioengineering has been widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of biomaterials science and engineering and is renowned for its leadership in biomaterials research and education. One of the oldest in the world, Clemson’s bioengineering program began in 1963 with the inception of a Doctor of Philosophy. A Master of Science was added in 1966 and a Bachelor of Science in 2006. Clemson University is also known as the international birthplace of the field of biomaterials, the building blocks of medical devices. The Society For Biomaterials (SFB), which is the premier professional society in the field of biomaterials science and engineering, began at Clemson in 1974. Clemson has a strong commitment to provide a unique learning environment to students and scientists-in-training by integrating state-of-the-art research with education in cardiovascular devices and implantology, orthopaedic materials, tissue engineering, hybrid systems, biophotonics, nanoscale biointerfaces, biomolecular simulations, dental biomaterials, mechanobiology and many other emerging technologies.
The department has ongoing formal partnership and collaboration with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) through the Clemson University-MUSC Bioengineering Program in Charleston, SC, and the Greenville Health System through the Clemson University Biomedical Engineering Innovation Campus (CUBEInC) located in Greenville, SC. Graduate degrees offered include MS, MEng, PhD, and a certificate in medical device design, recycling and reprocessing.
More information can be found in this graduate handbook.
Past 2 years
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M.Eng: The M.Eng. curriculum provides skills and expertise that enhance the individual’s ability to contribute to the technical workforce. The degree will provide professionals in the technical workforce an opportunity to continue their education and development in the context of an advanced degree. The M.Eng. also serves the practicing engineer to further his/her career in the context of an application of engineering knowledge, as opposed to a master’s of science in a research context, which is focused on discovering new knowledge. The minimum requirement for this degree is one year of full-time graduate study or its equivalent. Eligibility for graduation requires a minimum of thirty (30) graduate credits consisting of 15-17 credits from a recommended core and 13-15 credits of technical elective courses. An internship of 1-2 credits is expected for graduation. No thesis is required for this degree.
MS: The curriculum for the Master of Science degree consists of a core of recommended bioengineering courses supplemented by elective courses that provide a student greater depth in his/her specific area of interest.The minimum time period necessary to complete the Master’s Degree is typically 18 months, out of which at least one academic semester must be undertaken in residence as a full-time student at Clemson University.
Ph.D: Candidates applying to the bioengineering doctoral degree program 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. A master’s degree is not required for application to the doctoral program. The comprehensive examination, including the qualifier exam and proposal defense, must be passed before a student is accepted officially as a Ph.D. candidate. The qualifying examination involves a written report, oral presentation and examination of the student’s understanding of the bioengineering literature related to his or her specific doctoral research project. The proposal defense includes the submission of a grant proposal to the advising doctoral committee members followed by a presentation of the research plan with supportive evidence and arguments indicating that the proposed work can be completed with rigor.
Rhodes Engineering Center and Annex (Clemson, SC):The Department of Bioengineering offers ample instructional and research laboratory facilities over more than 80,000 square feet, which are all functional and well equipped to meet the needs appropriate to educational and research goals.
CUBEInC (Greenville SC): Strategically located above three floors occupied by clinical vascular/cardiovascular surgery and orthopaedic surgery, CUBEInC houses research and education facilities, translational/incubator space, meeting and networking accommodations for scientists and clinicians, and state-of-the-art surgical-skills facilities. This program is aimed at providing the essential environment to further the development of clinically relevant technology aimed at improving patient care and disease diagnosis conducted by faculty and students at Clemson University. This strategic expansion that will clearly position Clemson University and the State of South Carolina as national leaders in translational medical research includes multi-investigator research laboratories supplemented by clinical and industrial participation. Research conducted through this initiative results in a large number of innovations in the practice of medicine and enhances patient-oriented outcomes while stimulating economic growth in the State through entrepreneurship. Targeted research areas include cardiovascular science and engineering, orthopaedic performance and biomechanics, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, advanced surgical technologies, and drug development among others. CUBEInc integrates education, research and economic development in medical technology. Overall, it is aimed at providing the essential environment to faculty and students at Clemson University to further the development of clinically relevant technology to improve patient care delivery and disease diagnosis in collaboration with health care practitioners.
Bioengineering Building (Charleston, SC): As part of the James E. Clyburn Research Center, the Bioengineering building supports researchers from Clemson University, the University of South Carolina and MUSC. The BEB has the potential to become one of the nation’s most productive centers for the development of biologically useful materials, devices and systems, guiding the process from discovery to practical solutions for some of our most pressing health concerns.
Course work and research areas include:
The Department of Bioengieering fosters an innovative and translational environment to assure the success of its graduate students and values diversity as an essential element in innovation, discovery and tanslation.
Each application is evaluated individually and based on undergraduate/graduate records, GRE scores and recommendation letters. In addition, the department will consider current project, lab, and research area availability when evaluating applicants. Past research experience or employment in areas relevant to bioengineering carry significant weight.
Generally, applicants will have
The basic requirement for admission to a bioengineering advanced degree program is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate engineering program. Students will most commonly be trained in materials, chemical or mechanical engineering, although students from the other traditional engineering disciplines are also accepted. Exceptional students in physics, chemistry and the life sciences are also considered.
Because of the interdisciplinary character of bioengineering, it is to be expected that many students will have areas of deficiency that will have to be remedied during their first year of graduate work. The following is a list of courses that cover the areas in which all bioengineering graduate students must demonstrate competence:
Students with a B.S. in engineering or physics
Expected additional background of
Students with a B.S. or B.A. with majors such as biology, physiology, microbiology, zoology or biochemistry
Students can enter the department prior to meeting all the prerequisites if approved by the admissions committee. These students must plan to complete the prerequisites during their enrollment in addition to the requirements stipulated for the M.S. or Ph.D. Course credits from prerequisites are not applied toward a graduate degree, and students can be restricted to a minimum assistantship until undergraduate prerequisites are completed.
Under special circumstances, some students might wish to waive prerequisites. A petition to the bioengineering department must be submitted.
Tentative notification of admission status by department is:
Applicants for the Ph.D. program will be preferably considered. The department does not provide assistantship support for M.S. students.
Applicants for August enrollment whose files are completed prior to January 15 will be given preferential consideration for financial aid in the form of research and teaching assistantships or University fellowships. Assistantship support might also be available for students considering January enrollment.