Raj Raghavendra Rao
Professor and Department Head
120 John A. White Jr. Engineering Hall
479-575-8610
Email: bmegrad@uark.edu

Kartik Balachandran
Graduate Coordinator
120 John A. White Jr. Engineering Hall
479-575-2005
Email: bmegrad@uark.edu

Biomedical Engineering website

Degrees Conferred:
M.S.B.M.E. (BMEG)
Ph.D. (BMEG) in Engineering (See Engineering)

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (M.S.B.M.E.)

Primary Areas of Faculty Research: Bioimaging and biosensing; bioinformatics and computational biology; tissue engineering and biomaterials; bio-MEMS/nanotechnology.

Program Objectives: The objectives of the M.S.B.M.E. program are to prepare graduates for careers in biomedical engineering practice with government agencies, engineering firms, consulting firms or industries and to provide a foundation for continued study at the post-master’s level.

Admission to Degree Program: Admission to the M.S.B.M.E. is a two-step  process. First, the prospective student must be admitted to graduate standing by the University of Arkansas Graduate School (see "The Graduate School:  Objectives, Regulations, Degrees" in this catalog or visit grad.uark.edu for details). Second, the student must be admitted to the Department of Biomedical Engineering on the basis of academic transcripts, standardized test scores, three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose. Students with a non-engineering degree or a non-ABET-accredited engineering degree must demonstrate completion of the basic Engineering Education Requirements prior to being admitted. Complete details for admission may be obtained in the applicable program section from the Biomedical Engineering website as well as in the BMEG graduate program handbook. A general summary of admission requirements is given below:

  1. A B.S. or M.S. degree in engineering or engineering equivalent or completion of the Basic Engineering Education Requirements (see below) with a GPA of at least 3.0.
  2. A GPA of 3.0 or higher on the last 60 hours of the baccalaureate degree.
  3. A GRE score of 302 or above (verbal and quantitative).
  4. A TOEFL score of at least 213 (computer-based) or 80 (internet based). This requirement is waived for applicants whose native language is English or who earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a U.S. institution.
  5. A member of the faculty who is eligible (graduate status of group III or higher) must agree to serve as the Major Adviser to the prospective student.

Basic Engineering Education Requirements: Prior to gaining admission into the M.S.B.M.E. program, students with a non-engineering degree or a non-ABET-accredited engineering degree must demonstrate completion of the following coursework with a GPA of at least 3.0: 15 hours of Humanities/Social Sciences, 6 hours of English Composition, 16 hours of Mathematics (including Calculus I, Calculus II, Calculus III and Differential Equations), 8 hours of University-level Biology, 8 hours of University-level Chemistry, 8 hours of University-level (calculus-based) Physics, and 15 hours of Basic Engineering Topics (selected from courses such as Biomechanics, Thermodynamics, Bioinstrumentation, Fluid Mechanics, Transport Phenomena and others). Students should consult the Graduate Coordinator for a complete list of courses that satisfy the Basic Engineering Topics criterion.

Complete details for admission may be obtained in the applicable program section from the Biomedical Engineering website as well as in the BMEG graduate program handbook.

Requirements for M.S. Degree in Biomedical Engineering: Both thesis and non-thesis options are available for the M.S.B.M.E. degree. In general, students pursuing the thesis option are supported by research or teaching assistantships and conduct research under the guidance of a major adviser.  Students pursuing the non-thesis options are typically not sponsored. For either option, all course work must be approved by the student's program advisory committee. The cumulative grade-point average on all graduate courses presented for the degree must be at least 3.0. A general summary of degree requirements is given below. More detailed information may be obtained from the Biomedical Engineering website as well as in the BMEG graduate program handbook.

  • Thesis Option: 24 hours of graduate-level course work, including 12 hours of Biomedical Engineering Graduate Core as identified below, plus six hours of research resulting in a written master's thesis.  Candidates must pass a comprehensive final examination that will include an oral defense of the master's thesis.  The examination is prepared and administered by the student's master's thesis committee.
  • Non-thesis Option:  30 hours of graduate-level course work including 12 hours of Biomedical Engineering Graduate Core as identified below.

Biomedical Engineering Graduate Core:

BMEG 5103Design and Analysis of Experiments in Biomedical Research (Irregular)3
BMEG 5203Mathematical Modeling of Physiological Systems (Irregular)3
BMEG 5504Biomedical Microscopy (Irregular)4
BMEG 5801Graduate Seminar I (Fa)1
BMEG 5811Graduate Seminar II (Sp)1

Students should also be aware of Graduate School requirements with regard to master's degrees.

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering with a Concentration in Biomedical Engineering (BMEG)

Program Description: The Ph.D. Degree in Engineering with a concentration in Biomedical Engineering is an interdisciplinary research degree awarded through the College of Engineering in cooperation with the Graduate School (at the University of Arkansas, there is a common Ph.D. degree for all engineering disciplines). The Ph.D. Degree is earned through advanced coursework and in-depth, specialized research. Graduates from this program will be well-prepared for careers in academia, industry or government or as entrepreneurs in technology-based start-up companies.

Admission to Degree Program: Admission into the Ph.D. program with a concentration in Biomedical Engineering is a two-step process. First, the prospective student must be admitted to graduate standing by the University of Arkansas Graduate School (see "The Graduate School:  Objectives, Regulations, Degrees" in this catalog or visit grad.uark.edu for details). Second, the student must be admitted to the Department of Biomedical Engineering on the basis of academic transcripts, standardized test scores, three letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose. All students in the Ph.D. program are offered either a research or teaching assistantship.  A member of the faculty who is eligible (graduate faculty status of Group I), must agree to serve as the major adviser to the prospective student.  Because of the multidisciplinary nature of Biomedical Engineering, students holding either Engineering or non-Engineering degrees are eligible to apply. Eligibility criteria are outlined below:

  • Engineering Academic Background: Students with a B.S. or M.S. degree in engineering or engineering equivalent are eligible to apply for the Ph.D. program.
  • Non-engineering Academic Background: Students with a non-engineering degree must fulfill the admission requirements for the Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (M.S.B.M.E.) including the Basic Engineering Education Requirements (see admission requirements for the M.S.B.M.E.).  Students with a non-engineering background may be admitted directly into the Ph.D. program; however, it is recommended that students first complete the M.S.B.M.E. degree before entering the Ph.D. program.   

Complete details for admission may be obtained in the applicable section from the Biomedical Engineering website as well as in the BMEG graduate program handbook.

Degree Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering with a concentration in Biomedical Engineering:  In addition to the requirements of the Graduate School and the College of Engineering, candidates must meet the following requirements: 

  1. Develop a Plan of Study within the first year after matriculation.
  2. Complete an Annual Progress Report for each subsequent year of study.
  3. Complete at least 42 hours of course work beyond the B.S. degree.  A minimum of 30 semester hours of course work must be at the graduate level (5000 or above).  The cumulative grade-point average on all graduate courses presented for the degree must be at least 3.0.  Upon recommendation of the student's Program Advisory Committee, a student who has entered the Ph.D. program after a M.S. degree in engineering may receive credit for up to 24 hours of course work.  See Coursework Requirements, below, for additional details.
  4. Complete 30 hours of dissertation.  Upon recommendation of the student's Program Advisory Committee, a student who has entered the Ph.D. program after a M.S. degree in engineering may receive credit for up to six hours of thesis research toward the dissertation requirement.
  5. Satisfactorily pass both a written and oral candidacy examination administered by the student's Program Advisory Committee.  Details of the candidacy exam are found in the BMEG graduate program handbook.
  6. Assist in departmental teaching for two semesters.
  7. Submit and defend the final dissertation to the student's Dissertation Committee.

Coursework Requirements: Students are required to complete 42 credit hours of coursework beyond the B.S. degree in engineering or equivalent in the following four categories.

Biomedical Engineering Graduate Core (12 hours)12
Design and Analysis of Experiments in Biomedical Research (Irregular)
Mathematical Modeling of Physiological Systems (Irregular)
Biomedical Microscopy (Irregular)
Graduate Seminar I (Fa)
Graduate Seminar II (Sp)
Life Science – minimum of six hours approved by the student's Program Advisory Committee
Engineering Electives – minimum of nine hours approved by the student's Program Advisory Committee
General Electives – minimum of six hours approved by the student's Program Advisory Committee

Detailed degree requirements may be obtained in the applicable program section from the Biomedical Engineering website as well as in the Biomedical Engineering graduate program handbook.

Students should also be aware of Graduate School requirements with regard to doctoral degrees.

Courses

BMEG 5103. Design and Analysis of Experiments in Biomedical Research (Irregular). 3 Hours.

An advanced course covering sample size estimation with power calculations, protection of vertebrate animals and human subjects, factorial design, multivariate analysis of variance, parametric and non-parametrics data analysis, Kaplan-meier analysis, and post-test correction of multiple comparisons as related to biomedical data. Prerequisite: MATH 2584 and BMEG 3653 or equivalents.

BMEG 5203. Mathematical Modeling of Physiological Systems (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Application of numerical methods and mathematical techniques to physiological systems. Cellular physiology topics include models of cellular metabolism, diffusion, membrane potential, excitability, calcium dynamics and intercellular signalling. Cardiovascular system topics include models of blood cells, oxygen transport, cardiac output, cardiac regulation, and circulation. Other physiology topics include respiration, muscle, vision, hearing, voice, and speech. Prerequisite: MATH 2584 or BMEG 3653 or BMEG 4623 or equivalents.

BMEG 5213. Tissue Mechanics (Irregular). 3 Hours.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to non-linear biomechanics of soft tissues such as skin, bladder, blood vessels, and the brain. Topics covered: Tissue mechanics: continuum biomechanics, tensor analysis, kinematics of continua, balance laws. Governing physics of mechanics as applied to soft tissues. Various constitutive relations will be discussed: linear elastic, hyperelastic, viscoelastic, poroelastic, and inelastic materials with internal variables. Cannot receive credit for both BMEG 4213 and BMEG 5213.Prerequisite: BMEG 2813 and BMEG 4623 or equivalents.

BMEG 5313. Advanced Biomaterials and Biocompatibility (Irregular). 3 Hours.

From Absorbable sutures to Zirconium alloy hip implants, biomaterials science influences nearly every aspect of medicine. This course focuses on the study of different classes of biomaterials and their interactions with human tissues.Prerequisite: BMEG 3634 and BMEG 4623 or equivalents.

BMEG 5413. Tissue Engineering (Irregular). 3 Hours.

This course introduces Tissue Engineering approaches at genetic and molecular, cellular, tissue, and organ levels. Topics include cell and tissue in-vitro expansion, tissue organization, signaling molecules, stem cell and stem cell differentiation, organ regeneration, biomaterial and matrix for tissue engineering, bioreactor design for cell and tissue culture, dynamic and transportation in cell and tissue cultures, clinical implementation of tissue engineered products, and tissue-engineered devices. Students may not earn credit for both BMEG 5413 and BMEG 4413. Corequisite: Lab component. Prerequisite: BIOL 2533 and BMEG 3824.

BMEG 5423. Regenerative Medicine (Irregular). 3 Hours.

The course covers five broad areas: Biological and molecular basis for regenerative medicine, tissue development, regenerative medicine and innovative technologies, clinical applications of regenerative medicine, and regulation and ethics. Prerequisite: BIOL 2533 and BMEG 3824 or equivalents.

BMEG 5504. Biomedical Microscopy (Irregular). 4 Hours.

An advanced course covering light microscopy techniques, conjugate image planes, principles of contrast, fluorescence imaging, confocal and multiphoton microscopy, electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, image reconstruction and digital image processing with supporting units in tissue culture and histology. Prerequisite: PHYS 2074 or equivalent.

BMEG 5513. Biomedical Optics and Imaging (Irregular). 3 Hours.

This course will provide students with a fundamental understanding of various biomedical imaging modalities. Topics will include: Basics of light-tissue interaction - absorption, fluorescence, elastic and inelastic scattering; Computational and analytical models of light propagation to quantify tissue optical properties; Optical imaging techniques - spectroscopy, tomography, and laser speckle with potential clinical applications; and Clinical imaging modalities and recent advances - X-ray, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Computed Tomography (CT), Ultrasound imaging, and Photoacoustic imaging. At the end of this course, students should have a good understanding of optical imaging, spectroscopy, and non-optical imaging modalities, specific anatomical sites that they are best suited for, and the trade-offs between imaging depth and resolution. Students may not receive credit for both BMEG 4513 and BMEG 5513.

BMEG 5523. Biomedical Data and Image Analysis (Irregular). 3 Hours.

This course focuses on an introduction to image processing and analysis for applications in biomedical research. After a review of basic MATLAB usage, students will learn fundamental tools for processing and analyzing data from a variety of subdisciplines within biomedical engineering. Topics include: filtering, thresholding, segmentation, morphological processing, and image registration. Through exercises involving 1D, 2D, and 3D data, students will develop problem-solving skills and a knowledge base in MATLAB required for customized quantitative data analysis. Students may not receive credit for both BMEG 4523 and BMEG 5523. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

BMEG 560V. Advanced Individual Study (Irregular). 1-6 Hour.

Individual study and research of a topic mutually agreeable to the student and faculty member. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

BMEG 570V. Advanced Special Topics (Irregular). 1-6 Hour.

Consideration of current biomedical engineering topics not covered in other courses. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. May be repeated for up to 15 hours of degree credit.

BMEG 5713. Cardiovascular Physiology and Devices (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Understanding etymology of disease while creating solutions and dedicated devices is the primary focus of biomedical engineering. This course describes an interdisciplinary approach of the clinical and engineering worlds to develop devices for treating cardiovascular disease. The first part of the course will be a thorough review of the relevant anatomic and physiological considerations important for developing devices. Understanding these considerations from an engineering perspective to inform device development will be the second part of the course. Students may not receive credit for both BMEG 4713 and BMEG 5713. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

BMEG 5800. Graduate Seminar I (Fa). 0 Hours.

A weekly seminar series comprised of presentations by invited speakers and graduate students as well as didactic instruction in relevant topics including research ethics, authorship, biosafety and the use of animals in biomedical research. Prerequisite: BMEG 5801. May be repeated for up to 8 hours of degree credit.

BMEG 5801. Graduate Seminar I (Fa). 1 Hour.

A weekly seminar series comprised of presentations by invited speakers and graduate students as well as didactic instruction in relevant topics including research ethics, authorship, biosafety and the use of animals in biomedical research.

BMEG 5810. Graduate Seminar II (Sp). 0 Hours.

A weekly seminar series comprised of presentations by invited speakers and graduate students as well as didactic instruction in relevant topics including professional development, career options, effective communication, technology transfer, clinical translation and intellectual property. Prerequisite: BMEG 5811. May be repeated for up to 8 hours of degree credit.

BMEG 5811. Graduate Seminar II (Sp). 1 Hour.

A weekly seminar series comprised of presentations by invited speakers and graduate students as well as didactic instruction in relevant topics including professional development, career options, effective communication, technology transfer, clinical translation and intellectual property.

BMEG 5953. Fundamentals of Fracture and Fatigue in Structures (Sp, Fa). 3 Hours.

The course will cover the concepts of linear-elastic, elastic-plastic and time-dependent Fracture Mechanics as applied to fracture in a variety of materials, structures, and operating conditions. The examples will include fracture in large components such as aircraft, bridges and pressure vessels and also in bones and in soft materials and human tissue. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Civil, Mechanical or Biomedical Engineering or consent of the instructor.

This course is cross-listed with MEEG 5953, CVEG 5953.

BMEG 600V. Master's Thesis (Irregular). 1-6 Hour.

Master's Thesis. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. May be repeated for degree credit.

BMEG 700V. Doctoral Dissertation (Irregular). 1-6 Hour.

Doctoral Dissertation. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. May be repeated for degree credit.

Kartik Balachandran, Assistant Professor
Hanna Katariina Jensen, Research Assistant Professor
Morten O. Jensen, Associate Professor
Myunghee Michelle Kim, Cinical Assistant Professor
Timothy J. Muldoon, Assistant Professor
Priyaveena Puvanakrishnan, Instructor
Xianghong Qian, Professor
Kyle P. Quinn, Assistant Professor
Narasimhan Rajaram, Assistant Professor
Raj R. Rao, Professor
Jeffrey Collins Wolchok, Associate Professor