June 22, 2003
June 22, 2003
June 25, 2003
8.658.1 - 8.658.4
Implementation of A 5-Year, Thesis-Based B.S./M.S. Degree Program in Biomedical Engineering
Stephen R. Quint, Timothy A. Johnson, Carol N. Lucas, Stephen B. Knisley.
The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Abstract The graduate Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina offers a 5-Year Biomedical Engineering Master's Degree program in three undergraduate tracks in Applied Science: Biomedical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Material Sciences. Each of these fields of study have counterparts in our graduate program in biomedical engineering that includes concentrations in instrumentation, biomaterials, biological systems, genomics, sensors, and tissue engineering. This 5-Year Master's program has been very popular with undergraduates seeking advanced study in biomedical engineering and, for some students, it has been a motivating factor in achieving academic success. Approximately 20% of the students admitted for graduate studies in the Department of Biomedical Engineering enter using this mechanism. These students have proven to perform on par with the competitively admitted BME graduate students and finish within the expected time frame. Additionally, many of these 5-Year Master's students, who enter with limited educational aspirations, continue for the Ph.D. On the undergraduate side, an unanticipated outcome is that the prospect of a seamless 5-Year Master's Degree program is a compelling feature that is attractive to the best students attending UNC-CH for their undergraduate education.
Introduction An efficient process for attaining a Master's degree following a successful four-year undergraduate effort in a challenging engineering curriculum is desirable for the retention of the best students for graduate level education. Successful programs must be brief and rewarding for the student, yet not compromise the quality of the advanced degree sought. At UNC-CH, we have found that this can be achieved when the two degrees are coordinated such that the graduate level studies continue seamlessly in both academics and research. One challenge in accomplishing that goal is peculiar to UNC-CH, i.e., separate departments, Schools, and Associate Chancellors are part of the overall administrative structure of the program. The undergraduate programs are in the Curriculum of Material and Applied Sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences, while the graduate Department of Biomedical Engineering is in the School of Medicine. At a time when enrollment in undergraduate engineering is generally flat, biomedical engineering is enjoying double digit growth . This may be in part due to the interdisciplinary nature of the field, the direct connection in this field to helping people, and the dramatically expanding scope of the field. It is incumbent for educators in this discipline to be innovative in the approach to delivering the very broad fundamentals needed while not diluting the aspects of
Proceedings of the ©2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2003, American Society for Engineering Education
Quint, S. (2003, June), Implementation Of A 5 Year, Thesis Based B.S./M.S. Degree Program In Biomedical Engineering Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12127
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