Program Requirements

Those enrolled in the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program at McMaster University must meet the following program requirements.

Masters Degree (M.A.Sc.)

Course Requirements

Students must take a minimum of three half-year graduate courses, with one being a 700-level core course in biomedical engineering (12 weeks of instruction broken into four equal modules – biomaterials and tissue engineering, biomedical imaging, biophotonics, and medical robotics). At least two of the courses must be at the 700 level. For students from health/life sciences backgrounds, one of the two courses beyond the core course must be from Engineering offerings. For students from engineering backgrounds, one of the two courses beyond the core course must be from the Health Sciences offerings.

Seminar Requirement

Students must attend all seminars in the Biomedical Engineering Program seminar series. They must present one seminar on the research they have carried out while enrolled in the program.

Students will be encouraged to present their research at appropriate conferences in Canada and internationally. Faculty support of students for this purpose will also be encouraged.

Interaction with industry will be an important aspect of the School of Biomedical Engineering. Students will benefit considerably from these interactions. Some students will work on projects in collaboration with industrial partners with whom the School of Biomedical Engineering has research agreements.

Thesis Requirement

Students must complete a thesis to be examined by a committee of no fewer than 3 members (supervisor(s) plus two additional faculty members, one of whom may be from a department other than Biomedical Engineering). The thesis will be defended by the candidate in an oral examination before this committee and such other members as may be appointed by the Director. The time of the defense will be set typically 2 weeks after the submission of the completed thesis.

Ph.D. Degree

Course Requirements

A minimum of three half-year graduate courses beyond the Masters Degree requirement. A minimum of two of the three courses must be at the 700 level. The core course in biomedical engineering must be included if not taken previously (12 weeks of instruction broken into four equal modules – biomaterials and tissue engineering, medical imagining, medical technology, bioprocessing). For students from health/life sciences backgrounds who have previously taken the core course, two of the three courses must be from Engineering offerings. If the core course is required, one of the two courses beyond the core course must be from Engineering offerings.

For students from engineering backgrounds who have previously taken the core course, two of the three courses must be from Health Sciences offerings. If the core course is required, one of the two courses beyond the core course must be from Health Sciences offerings.

Seminar Requirement

Students must attend all seminars in the Biomedical Engineering Program seminar series. They must present one seminar on the research they have carried out while enrolled in the program.

Students will be encouraged to present their research at appropriate conferences in Canada and internationally. Faculty support of students for this purpose will also be encouraged.

Interaction with industry will be an important aspect of the School of Biomedical Engineering. Students will benefit considerably from these interactions. Some students will work on projects in collaboration with industrial partners with whom the School of Biomedical Engineering has research agreements.

PhD Comprehensive Examination Requirement

PhD candidates are required to complete a comprehensive examination in the form of a research proposal on a topic related to but distinct from the student’s thesis topic. The written proposal will be prepared by the student and must include: 1) a critical survey of the directly related literature in the field, 2) an explanation of the relevant background, and 3) a research proposal related to the topic. The student will present the proposal at an oral examination conducted by an examining committee appointed by the Director of the program, consisting of the members of the student’s Supervisory Committee and at least one additional faculty member.

Thesis Requirement

PhD candidates must present a thesis that embodies the results of original research and mature scholarship. Before preparing the final version of the thesis the student must be authorized to do so by the supervisory committee. When a majority of the supervisory committee has approved the final version of the thesis, it may be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for examination. The oral defense will not be set-up until the report from the supervisory committee has been received and the date of the defense established.

The examining body will consist of the following members: the student’s supervisory committee, an external examiner, and two representatives of the faculty at large. The examiners will report to the Dean of Graduate Studies as to whether the thesis, and the student's defense of it, are satisfactory or not.

If major revision is not required by the external examiner, an oral defense will be convened by the Dean of Graduate Studies, chaired by himself or his designate and conducted by all members of the examining committee.