Bioengineering Graduate Academics

The Department of Bioengineering has an active, interdisciplinary bioengineering program in conjunction with faculty from the Schools of Medicine, Health and Rehabilitative Sciences, Dental Medicine, The Graduate School of Public Health, and the clinical staffs at the UPMC hospitals in addition to the other departments within the School of Engineering.

This program is directed toward graduate bioengineering education and research, with particular emphasis on the PhD program.  Its scope is broadly defined to incorporate the application of engineering principles, methods, and technology in two broad areas:

  • Scientific inquiries into fundamental biological phenomena 
  • Development of instrumentation, materials, devices, and systems relative to application in the biological sciences and medicine.

Thus, the bioengineering faculty is applying various forms of engineering principles, technology, and methodology to a broad variety of medical and life sciences problems.

Our Graduate Programs Include

The Doctor of Philosophy Program in the Department of Bioengineering emphasizes our excellence in bioengineering research and education. 

Students pursuing the PhD degree are required to pass a preliminary examination based on their Bioengineering coursework at the end of their first year of graduate study. Students pursuing the PhD are also required to complete two, one-credit teaching practicums, and present a PhD proposal, ideally within 18 months or so of taking the preliminary exam. Each PhD candidate makes a final, public PhD thesis defense to fulfill the requirements for the PhD degree.

See the Bioengineering, PhD Program in the Pitt catalog


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See the Bioengineering, MD/PhD Program in the Pitt catalog

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See the Program Bioengineering, MS in the Pitt catalog

Download our Professional Master of Science in Bioengineering information sheet.

For further information, contact Education Director, Prof. Kilichan Gurleyik ( and visit

The Department of Bioengineering offers a special Professional MS in Bioengineering with an emphasis on Medical Product Engineering in conjunction with Center for Medical Innovation. The degree program emphasizes preparation for a career in the medical device industry through hands-on, practical experience in medical product design and development, development of advanced engineering skills, and instruction in professional affairs and practices in medical engineering. In essence, the program focuses on the application of engineering innovation to the identification of and solution to challenges in health care delivery in the medical industry.

The Professional MS in Bioengineering is designed to assure mastery of specific knowledge and skills, rather than random accumulation of a specified number of courses. A thorough grounding in the principles of medical device innovation and development compliant with regulatory requirements is provided through a three-semester sequence that starts with immersion in the medical/hospital environment and ends with a first-generation prototype. The curriculum also provides a strong foundation in ethics, analysis, design principles, and principles of entrepreneurship as applied to medical device innovation.

Full-time program students are required to have internship (or co-op) experience starting with their second semester until completing the program.

Fall Semester (1):
  • [Core Didactic]: BIOENG 2150 - Medical Product Ideation
  • [Elective]: BIOENG 2167 - Managing Medical Product Innovation
  • [Elective]: Graduate Engineering Mathematics or Statistics Course*
  • [Elective]: Advanced Graduate Engineering Course*
  • [Optional]: Business/Law Course**
Spring Semester:
  • [Core Didactic]: BIOENG 2151 - Medical Product Development
  • [Core Hands-on]: BIOENG 2170 - Clinical Bioengineering 
  • BIOENG 2242: Medical Ethics*
  • [Elective]: BIOENG 2175 - Human Factors Engineering and Medical Devices
  • [Elective]: Advanced Graduate Engineering Course* 
Summer Semester:
  • Full-Time Students are required to complete full-time internship (paid, unpaid, or for credit) with an industry partner or related entity
Fall Semester (2):
  • [Core Hands-on]: BIOENG 2171 - Medical Product Prototyping
  • BIOENG 2241: Medical Ethics*
  • [Elective]: BIOENG 2230 - Cardio Organ Replacement
  • [Elective]: Advanced Graduate Engineering Course*
  • [Elective]: Advanced Graduate Engineering Course*
  • [Optional]: Business/Law Course**

While the typical three-semester sequence focuses heavily on medical product design and development, the student has an opportunity to develop depth in an area of interest through proper choice of the four Advanced Graduate Engineering Courses. The Optional Business/Law Courses are directed toward gaining an appreciation for the special entrepreneurial and law challenges associated with the typical small businesses that are on the forefront of medical product engineering and will qualify the student to earn the  Graduate Certificate in Medical Product Innovation  as well as the Professional MS.

Admission to the Professional MS in Bioengineering program is by application only. Class size is limited. Accepted students will have a curricular advisor and a project advisor to guide the student's individualized educational experience. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to remain in good standing in the program. The Professional MS in Bioengineering is not intended for students pursuing the PhD and admission to the program does not guarantee continuation on to the PhD program. Students interested in pursuing the PhD must complete the PhD application process.

To apply, please visit the Graduate Admissions Page on the Swanson School of Engineering website.

To schedule a meeting with Dr. Kilichan Gurleyik (Dr. G) make an appointment using his Calendly Scheduling

See the Bioengineering - Medical Product Innovation Certificate Program in the Pitt catalog

Download our Graduate Certificate in Medical Product Innovation information sheet.

For further information, contact Education Director, Prof. Kilichan Gurleyik ( and visit


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See the Bioengineering, MS Program in the Pitt catalog

Download our Professional MS in Bioengineering - focus on Neural Engineering information sheet.

Program Coordinator: Prof. Neeraj Gandhi (


Pitt is a recognized leader in the emerging discipline of Neural Engineering. Our core faculty and clinical collaborators offer courses that prepare students to work in this exciting and dynamic field. Neural Engineering, which encompasses neural prosthetics, brain-computer interface systems, epilepsy monitoring, deep brain stimulation, engineering approaches to psychiatric disorders, and brain-inspired computation and device design, is a fast-growing field that provides clinical and technological benefits.

The program is offered by Pitt’s nationally ranked Department of Bioengineering (#18 U.S. News and World Report). Instruction will be in-person and online. The 30-credit program can be completed in one year of full-time study. Students will garner a deep knowledge of the biology of the nervous system, and how, from an engineering perspective, to treat disorders, build clinical devices, and build computational models. The non-thesis program is designed to provide excellent training for industry in Neural Engineering or related fields such as Medical Devices or Data Science.


Neural engineering students will pursue didactic coursework that builds core competency in at least two of the following areas:

  • Brain-computer interfaces
  • Neural tissue interface
  • Neural imaging and signals
  • Neural devices and neuromorphic engineering

The concentrations for core competency will be selected in consultation with the program director and will take into consideration the student’s previous training and career aspirations.


  • 12 credits in Concentration 1
  • 9 credits in Concentration 2
  • 3 credits in life sciences
  • 3 credits in Mathematics/Statistics
  • 3 credits in Medical Ethics
Concentration Area: Brain-Computer Interfaces
Class Number Class Name Semester (typically)
BIOENG 2186 Neural Engineering Fall
CMU 42-595 Neural Data Analysis Fall
ECE 2195 Machine Learning Fall
BIOENG 2650 Learning and Control of Movement Spring
CMU 42-590 Neural Signal Processing Spring
BIOEN 2586 Quantitative Neuroscience Spring
ECE 3195 Advanced Machine Learning & Deep Learning Spring
Concentration Area: Neural Tissue Interface
Class Number Class Name Semester (typically)
BIOENG 2615 Introduction to Neural Engineering Fall
BIOENG 3735 Extracellular Matrix Tissue Engineering Fall
BIOENG 2540 Neural Materials & Tissue Engineering Spring
BIOENG 2810 Biomaterials and Biocompatibility Spring
Concentration Area: Neural Signals & SystemsClass NumberClass NameSemester (typically)BIOENG 2005RF Medical DevicesFallBIOENG 2505Multimodal ImagingFallBIOENG 2330Biomedical ImagingFallBIOENG 2340Introduction to Medical Imaging & Image AnalysisFallECE 2390Image Processing & Computer VisionFallBIOENG 2630Methods in Image AnalysisSpringECE 2523Digital Signal ProcessingSpring

Concentration Area: Neural Devices & Neuromorphic Engineering
Class Number Class Name Semester (typically)
BIOENG 2005 RF Medical Devices Fall
BIOENG 2150 Medical Product Ideation Fall
ECE 2192 VLSI Design Fall
BIOENG 2151 Medical Product Development Spring
BIOENG 2170 Clinical Bioengineering Spring
BIOENG 2175 Human Factors Engineering & Medical Devices Spring
ECE 2264 Flexible Electronics Spring
Life Science Course
Class Number Class Name Semester (typically)
NROSCI 2005 Cognitive Neuroscience (Olson) Fall
NROSCI 2039 Processing in Neural Circuits (Runyan) Spring
BIOENG 2586 Quantitative Neuroscience (Batista) Spring

Math/Statistics Course –many options available each semester; too many to list

Research M.S. Program (Thesis)

See the Bioengineering, MS Program in the Pitt catalog

 The Research MS program requires a total of 31 credits, which includes:

  • Graduate Engineering Mathematics - 3 credits 
  • Statistics for Bioengineers - 3 credits 
  • Societal, Political and Ethical Issues in Bioengineering - 3 credits
  • Life Sciences - 3 credits 
  • Track Courses - 9 credits 
  • MS Thesis - 6 credits
  • Teaching Practicum - 1 credit
  • Bioengineering Seminar - 3 credits

Total - 31 credits

Other required courses may be tailored to the student's background and interests. Typically, completion of the Research MS program requires two years. Within the first year of enrollment (preferably within the first semester), the MS candidate is expected to finalize the general area in which he/she will write a thesis and an advisor who will guide the work. By the third semester of enrollment, the student is to prepare a Master's Thesis, following University requirements for Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs.)   The student (under the guidance of his/her advisor) selects a thesis committee of three or more persons.  For MS students, the committee will need to consist of three faculty members total and at least two need to be member of the Bioengineering faculty. However, all three can be Bioengineering faculty as there is no requirement to have one member from outside of Bioengineering. The committee should consist of the student's advisor (who will act as Chairman of this committee), at least one additional faculty member from within the Department of Bioengineering and at least one faculty member from outside the Department of Bioengineering. The committee meets at least once per year and oversees the Thesis Defense.

For further information, contact Education Director, Prof. Kilichan Gurleyik ( and visit The Katz MBA/MS Engineering Dual Degree Program website

The MBA/Master of Science (MS) in Engineering Dual Degree Program, offered jointly by the University of Pittsburgh's Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and School of Engineering, positions individuals with an undergraduate degree in engineering or the hard sciences to take a management role in a company that has a significant engineering and/or technological focus. 

The Department of Bioengineering and the Katz Graduate School of Business offer a dual MBA/MS program, with the following requirements. Please note that these are only the requirements for the Professional MS half of the MBA/MS in Bioengineering and does not include the requirements of the entire program:

Foundation Courses  

  • BQOM 2401 - Statistical Analysis: Uncertainty, Prediction & Quality Improvement - Joint with KGSB (3 credits)
  • BIOE 2241 - Societal, Political, Ethical Issues in Biotechnology (3 credits)

Bioengineering Track Courses & Electives*

  • BIOENG 2150 - Medical Product Ideation (3 credits)*
  • BIOENG 2151 - Medical Product Development (3 credits)*
  • BIOENG 2170 - Clinical Bioengineering (3 credits)*
  • BIOENG 2171 - Medical Product Prototyping (3 credits)*
  • Graduate Engineering Elective (3 credits)*
  • Graduate Engineering Elective (3 credits)*
  • Graduate Engineering Elective (3 credits)*

Projects Course  

  • BIND 2200 & BIOENG 2095 - Integrated MBA/MS Project - Joint with KGSB (3 credits)

* The requirement of track courses implies that students would choose a specialty focus or "track" within Bioengineering, which currently consists of Biomechanics, Biosignals and Imaging, Cellular and Organ Engineering, Medical Product Engineering, Rehabilitation and Human Movement, Neural Engineering, Biophysics and Physiology. With the program director's approval, students could take courses from multiple tracks that either logically fit together or help fulfill the student's educational & career objectives.

To apply, please visit  The Katz Graduate School of Business website.

To schedule a meeting with Dr. Kilichan Gurleyik (Dr. G) make an appointment using his Calendly Scheduling

Patrick Sparto, PhD, PT
Co-Director, DPT-PhD Program
Department of Physical Therapy
Bridgeside Point 1, Suite 210
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3130
Phone: 412-647-8069
Fax: 412-648-5970

See the Physical Therapy/Bioengineering, DPT/PhD Program in the Pitt catalog


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Graduate Program

Master's Programs

Four NIH Training Grants