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 MS and PhD students)

All MS and PhD 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 MS and PhD 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.

BS/MS 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 ProcessingBME:5550 Cardiovascular Tissue Mechanics
BME:5210 Medical Imaging PhysicsBME:5610 Musculoskeletal Biomechanics
BME:5251 Advanced BiosystemsBME:5620 Introduction to Applied Biomedical Finite Element Modeling
BME:5320 Bioinformatics TechniquesBME:5630 Kinetics of Musculoskeletal Systems
BME:5335 Computational BioinformaticsBME:5640 Ergonomics of Occupational Injuries
BME:5340 Contemporary Topics in Biomedical EngineeringBME:5715 Advanced Medical Device Design Studio
BME:5421 Cell Material InteractionsBME:5720 Optimization of Structural Systems
BME:5430 BiotransportBME:6110 Mechanics of Cells and Cellular Systems
BME:5435 Systems Biology for Biomedical EngineeringBME:6225 Communicating Science
BME:5441 Numerical and Statistical Methods for BioengineeringBME:6415 Advanced Biomechanics and Modeling of Soft Tissues
BME:5445 Stem Cells in Regenerative EngineeringBME:6610 Spine Mechanics
BME:5451 Research Methods in Cellular EngineeringBME:6630 Human Response to Vibration
BME:5510 Cardiovascular Biomechanics 
BME:5520 Cardiovascular Fluid Mechanics 
BME:5525 Cardiopulmonary Design and ModelingBME:5999 Research: Biomedical Engineering M.S. Thesis
BME:5530 Design of Circulatory Implants and Artificial OrgansBME: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 BiochemistryME:4080 Experimental Engineering
CBE:4156 Scan Electron Microscopy & Xray MicroanalyME:4110 Computer-Aided Engineering
CEE:4511 Numerical CalculationsME:4111 Scientific Computing and Machine Learning
CEE:4410 Interdisciplinary Scientific VisualizationME:4112 Engineering Design Optimization
CEE:4187 Statistics for ExperimentersME:4115 Finite Element I
ECE:3330 Introduction to Software DesignME:4117 Finite Element Analysis
ECE:4480 Knowledge DiscoveryME:4140 Modern Robotics & Automation
IE:3400 Human FactorsME:4150 Artificial Intelligence in Engineering
IE:3450 ErgonomicsME:4200 Modern Engineering Materials for Mechanical Design
IE:4172 Big Data AnalyticsME:4650 Mechatronics Engr Smart Device Design


Attendance and participation in seminars are mandatory and important parts of graduate education. All Biomedical Engineering graduate students are required to register for and attend the weekly BME Graduate Seminar, BME:5010:0001. In the case of a conflict (i.e., an internship out of town) a student may request to be excused from attending the seminar. Please note course conflicts do not qualify for a waiver.

If there is a qualifying conflict, the student must instead register for BME:5010:0002. This course requires prior approval in order to receive a registration code. To obtain approval, first contact the DGS and explain the rationale for this request.

Academic Standing, Probation, Dismissal and Review Procedures

A student in the MS 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 PhD 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.