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Biomedical Engineering Graduate Programs

Biomedical Engineering is the use of engineering principles and technology to solve problems in medicine and biology. The goal of biomedical engineering research is to understand living systems and develop new and improved devices and products for medicine and biology. SBME graduate degrees provide an in-depth biomedical engineering education for students seeking careers in industry, medicine, business and other fields related to biotechnology.

The University of Oklahoma (OU) has a rich research history in biomedical engineering based on widespread collaborative activities between professors on the Norman and Health Sciences Center campuses. The origin of biomedical engineering at OU goes back several decades with early research toward creating an artificial liver and pioneering work in the use of thermography for mammograms. Continued research has led to important discoveries in the areas of blood substitutes, electrocardiology, implantable devices, software development, and tissue engineering.

The OU College of Engineering received a special opportunity grant in 1999 from the Whitaker Foundation to establish the University of Oklahoma Biomedical Engineering Center (OUBC) and to create a graduate program. Officially established as a degree program in 2003, the interdisciplinary degrees in biomedical engineering are designed to increase the knowledge of biological systems and to detect and treat disease through the use of engineering principles and techniques. The program draws faculty resources from the OU Schools of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME), Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering (CBME), Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC). In 2016, these interdisciplinary degree programs were moved into the Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering (SBME), which was established in the College of Engineering due to the rapidly growing biomedical research community and increased education needs. SBME faculty members conduct research in the areas of medical imaging, nanomedicine, neural engineering, biomaterials, and regenerative medicine.

Our philosophy for education is to provide a solid core of knowledge through broad-based, rigorous coursework and a multidisciplinary research experience on thesis/dissertation project. Life science courses (e.g. physiology, molecular biology) complement graduate offerings in biomedical engineering with minimum coursework credit hour requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. of 30 and 90 hours, respectively. In collaboration with Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology (IBEST) at the University of Oklahoma, students work closely with scientists, physicians and engineers to learn experimental and quantitative approaches to investigation and design. Our primary goal is to have skilled and knowledgeable graduates prepared for industrial, academic, entrepreneurial or government careers.

Any student with an undergraduate degree in engineering from an accredited school may be admitted as a student in full standing. It is required that students entering the program without biomedical engineering/life science background have to take at least one course related to life science, preferably a physiology course or a quantitative physiology course, either at the undergraduate higher division level or graduate level. A student with an undergraduate degree in the sciences may be admitted on the condition that specified undergraduate engineering and/or mathematics courses will have to be taken for completion of the degree program, which will depend on the background of each individual student. While here, the Masters and Doctoral students will continue to follow the general procedures of the Graduate College for their level of degree as well as the procedures at the Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering.