Curriculum Overview

The field of Biomedical Engineering is rapidly evolving to include, in addition to the established disciplines such as solid biomechanics, cardiovascular and fluid biomechanics, biomaterials, bioinstrumentation, and biomedical imaging, the more recently developed fields of tissue and cellular engineering, computational biology, bioinformatics, and cellular systems modeling. The graduate curriculum in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Iowa has been designed to foster continued development in the established biomedical engineering disciplines and to embrace newly emerging applications of engineering approaches to problems of broad interest in the life sciences. To accomplish these goals, a course of study individually tailored to a student's research interest is developed through close interaction between the student and their Examining Committee.

Core Coursework (required for all M.S. and Ph.D. students)

All M.S. and Ph.D. students must successfully complete the Graduate Core Courses as part of their graduate curriculum. Students are expected to complete the Graduate Core Courses during their first year of study.

  • Human Physiology, HHP:3500
  • Mathematical Methods in Engineering, ME:5113 or equivalent 3000-level Mathematics course (e.g., MATH:3xxx excluding History of Math or Philosophy of Math and excluding Engineering Mathematics 5: Vector Calculus)

  • Engineering Ethics, ENGR:7270

Engineering Coursework Requirement

  • All M.S. and Ph.D. students must complete 18 semester hours at 5000-level or above from the College of Engineering or courses from the approved elective list1,2.  This requirement must be satisfied by the end of the student's studies.

B.S./M.S. fast track students may include courses taken during year 4 and/or year 5
MSTP students will have a reduced requirement of 12 credit hours of 5000-level or above courses from the College of Engineering

Depending upon a student’s performance in these Graduate Core Courses and the nature of their research project, the student’s examining committee may specify additional coursework to be completed to satisfy the Graduate Core Coursework requirement.

Graduate Core Courses may be substituted by other equivalent courses at the discretion of the student’s Examining Committee. Equivalent coursework taken as part of either student's undergraduate or graduate studies prior to starting the BME graduate programs at the University of Iowa may satisfy one or more of the Graduate Core Coursework requirements. Students wishing to request a substitution or a waiver of a Graduate Core course (only Human Physiology) must submit a Core Course substitution or waiver form. Relevant forms may be obtained from the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Graduate Course Offerings

3000-level and above courses offered outside of the College of Engineering (ACB, BIOS, CS, CPH, HHP, MATH, etc.) will count towards graduate credit requirements provided that the course pertains to your research expertise.  5000-level and above courses offered in the College of Engineering are automatically approved for graduate credit (with the exception of non-BME seminar courses).  Only select 3000 and 4000-level courses in the College of Engineering have been pre-approved (list included below) to count towards graduate degree requirements. If you are interested in a College of Engineering course not included on this list please consult with the BME Graduate Coordinator or Director of Graduate Studies prior to enrolling. Please consult with your academic and research advisors prior to enrolling in your electives.

Graduate Courses offered in the Roy J. Carver Dept. of Biomedical Engineering

BME:5101 Biomaterials and Implant Design

BME:5540 Quantitative Studies of Respiratory and Cardiovascular Systems

BME:5200 Biomedical Signal Processing

BME:5550 Cardiovascular Tissue Mechanics

BME:5210 Medical Imaging Physics

BME:5610 Musculoskeletal Biomechanics

BME:5251 Advanced Biosystems

BME:5620 Introduction to Applied Biomedical Finite Element Modeling

BME:5320 Bioinformatics Techniques

BME:5630 Kinetics of Musculoskeletal Systems

BME:5330 Computational Genomics

BME:5640 Ergonomics of Occupational Injuries

BME:5340 Contemporary Topics in Biomedical Engineering

BME:5715 Advanced Medical Device Design Studio

BME:5421 Cell Material Interactions

BME:5720 Optimization of Structural Systems

BME:5430 Biotransport

BME:6110 Mechanics of Cells and Cellular Systems

BME:5435 Systems Biology for Biomedical Engineering

BME:6225 Communicating Science

BME:5441 Numerical and Statistical Methods for Bioengineering

BME:6415 Advanced Biomechanics and Modeling of Soft Tissues

BME:5445 Stem Cells in Regenerative Engineering

BME:6610 Spine Mechanics

BME:5451 Research Methods in Cellular Engineering

BME:6630 Human Response to Vibration

BME:5510 Cardiovascular Biomechanics


BME:5520 Cardiovascular Fluid Mechanics


BME:5525 Cardiopulmonary Design and Modeling

BME:5999 Research: Biomedical Engineering M.S. Thesis

BME:5530 Design of Circulatory Implants and Artificial Organs

BME:7999 Research: Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. Dissertation

Approved 3000 and 4000- level Electives

The following list includes the 3000 and 4000-level College of Engineering courses that have been pre-approved to count towards BME graduate course requirements.  For complete offerings of 5000-level or higher courses offered in the College of Engineering, please consult MyUI.


BME:4310 Computational Biochemistry ME:4080 Experimental Engineering
CBE:4156 Scan Electron Microscopy & Xray Microanaly ME:4110 Computer-Aided Engineering
CEE:4511 Numerical Calculations ME:4111 Scientific Computing and Machine Learning
CEE:4410 Interdisciplinary Scientific Visualization ME:4112 Engineering Design Optimization
CEE:4187 Statistics for Experimenters ME:4115 Finite Element I
ECE:3330 Introduction to Software Design ME:4117 Finite Element Analysis
ECE:4480 Knowledge Discovery ME:4140 Modern Robotics & Automation
IE:3400 Human Factors ME:4150 Artificial Intelligence in Engineering
IE:3450 Ergonomics ME:4200 Modern Engineering Materials for Mechanical Design
IE:4172 Big Data Analytics ME:4650 Mechatronics Engr Smart Device Design
ME:3179 Continuum Mechanics


Attendance and participation in seminars are important parts of graduate education. All Biomedical Engineering graduate students are required to attend the weekly BME Graduate Seminar, BME:5010:0001. In the case of a course schedule conflict, a student may request to be excused from attending the seminar.

In these cases, the student would still register for the seminar but would choose section two (BME:5010:0002) and submit a Graduate Seminar waiver form (download from the BME graduate program Forms and Documents page) no later than the last day for graduate students to late register or add courses. Even if the petition to waive/substitute the seminar is approved, the student should still register for the BME Graduate Seminar section two.

All Ph.D. students in their final year are encouraged to present their thesis research in the BME Graduate Seminar. Communicate with the seminar instructor.

Academic Standing, Probation, Dismissal and Review Procedures

A student in the M.S. program shall be placed on probation if, after completing nine (9) semester hours of graduate work, his/her cumulative grade point average on graduate work done at The University of Iowa falls below 2.75, per Graduate College policy. The corresponding minimum requirement for cumulative coursework taken in the Ph.D. program is 3.00. If a student is not removed from probation after one semester he/she may be denied permission to re-register. Students may also be denied re-registration or be dismissed directly for less than full professional conduct. The student is also subject to the more general provisions of the University's current "Policies and Regulations Affecting Students" document, a copy of which is provided to students at registration. Should a student feel his/her dismissal is unfair the student may seek a departmental faculty review of the dismissal. The procedure for academic dismissal is described in the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College.