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Bioengineering is jointly supported by the School of Engineering and the School of Medicine. The facilities and personnel of the Department of Bioengineering are housed in the Shriram Center,  James H. Clark Center, the William F. Durand Building for Space Engineering and Science, the William M. Keck Science Building, the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building, and the Richard M. Lucas Center for Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Imaging. The departmental headquarters is in the Shriram Center for Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering.

Courses in the teaching program lead to the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy. The department collaborates in research and teaching programs with faculty members in Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and departments in the School of Medicine. Quantitative biology is the core science base of the department. The research and educational thrusts are in biomedical computation, biomedical imaging, biomedical devices, regenerative medicine, and cell/molecular engineering. The clinical dimension of the department includes cardiovascular medicine, neuroscience, orthopedics, cancer care, neurology, and environment.

The Master of Science in Bioengineering requires 45 units of coursework. The curriculum consists of core bioengineering courses, technical electives, seminars and unrestricted electives.

Core courses focus on quantitative biology and biological systems analysis. Approved technical electives are chosen by students in consultation with their graduate advisor, and can be selected from graduate course offerings in mathematics, statistics, engineering, physical sciences, life sciences and medicine. Seminars highlight emerging research in bioengineering and provide training in research ethics. Unrestricted electives can be freely chosen by students in association with their advisor.

Students will be assigned an initial faculty advisor, who will assist the student in designing a plan of study that creates a cohesive degree program with a concentration in a particular bioengineering focus area. These focus areas include (but are not limited to):

  • Biomedical Computation
  • Regenerative Medicine/Tissue Engineering
  • Molecular and Cell Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Biomedical Devices 

Students and advisors should work together to design a program of courses that offers depth in a particular area and breadth across at least two areas of bioengineering.

Department requirements for the MS in Bioengineering

It is expected that the requirements for the MS in Bioengineering can be completed within approximately one year. There is no thesis requirement for the MS.

1. Bioengineering courses — 9 units

  • BIOE 300A Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering (Win)
  • BIOE 300B Physiology and Tissue Engineering (Aut)
  • BIOE 301A Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering Lab (Aut)
  • BIOE 301B Clinical Needs and Technology (Win)

These courses, together with the Approved Technical Electives, should form a cohesive course of study that provides depth and breadth.

2. Approved technical electives — 26 units

These units must be selected from graduate courses in mathematics, statistics, engineering, physical science, life science and medicine.  They should be chosen in concert with the bioengineering courses to provide a cohesive degree program in a bioengineering focus area (see the list below). Students are required to take at least one course in some area of device or instrumentation. Up to 9 units of directed study and research may be used as approved electives. 

3. Seminars — 4 units

  • BIOE 393 Bioengineering Departmental Research Colloquium (1 unit; 3 quarters required)
  • MED 255 The Responsible Conduct of Research (1 unit)

4. Unrestricted electives — 6 units

Students must complete a proposed MS degree form listing their proposed courses during their first quarter at Stanford to assure that the planned program provides appropriate depth and breadth. The student's faculty advisor and the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies must approve this list of courses.

Sample MS programs are provided in the following focus areas:

  • Biomedical Computation
  • Biomedical Devices
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Molecular and Cell Bioengineering
  • Tissue Engineering/Regenerative Medicine


  1. Completion of a bachelor's degree from a U.S. college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association; or
  2. Completion of an international degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree from a college or university of recognized standing.
  3. Students will be expected to enter with a series of core competencies in mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, computing and engineering. The backgrounds of students entering the program will be assessed by the examination of their undergraduate transcripts and research experiences. Specifically, we will require that students have completed mathematics through multivariable calculus and differential equations, completed a series of undergraduate biology courses (equivalent to BIO 41, 42, 43 series), and completed physics, chemistry and computer sciences courses required of all undergraduate majors in engineering. 
  4. Applications must be submitted with the online application form. Paper applications are no longer accepted. When you use the online application, your information enters our database directly, making the admissions process smoother and faster. A built-in monitor ensures that you do not forget to include important information, and you can save your progress. When your department downloads your application, you will know that it is legible and complete.
  5. The application fee is $125. Online application fee payment: Credit Card (Visa or MasterCard) ONLY. Stanford University cannot accept checks or money orders.
  6. Statement of purpose.Your statement of purpose should describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford. It would be helpful to include what you have done to prepare for this degree program. Please describe your research interests, past research experience, future career plans and other details of your background and interests that will allow us to evaluate your ability to thrive in our program. If you have interests that align with a specific faculty member, you may state this in your application. Your statement of purpose should not exceed two pages in length (single spaced).
  7. Three letters of recommendation are required; two letters must come from an academic source. If your background includes industrial experience, involvement in performing arts, athletics, public service or entrepreneurial activities, you may wish to include one reference who can comment on that part of your experience. Indicate on the recommendation form whether you are waiving your right to see the letter of recommendation. You can obtain the recommendation form OR you may utilize the provision in the online application to have your recommenders submit letters directly online.
  8. We require two official and sealed copies from all previous colleges or universities attended for one year or more full time. The institution should send you your transcripts in a sealed envelope. Transcripts received opened are not considered official. In addition to the paper transcripts, applicants are required to upload scanned unofficial transcripts as part of their application.
  9. A resume or curriculum vitae (CV) submitted as part of the online application. Please be sure to list all your publications (if any) here as well.
  10. Applicants are required to take the GRE aptitude test (verbal, quantitative and analytical). No GRE Subject test is required. Scores must be reported to the Graduate Admissions office by the Educational Testing Service (photocopies of scores sent to you are not acceptable.) Our institution code for ETS is 4704. You do not need a department code. It is strongly recommended that the GREs be taken before the end of November for the scores to arrive in time for the consideration of your application. The department has no established absolute cutoff scores.
  11. TOEFL results must be from an examination taken within the past 18 months. The Stanford institution code for ETS reporting is 4704. You do not need a department code.


Siebel Scholar fellowships

The Siebel Scholars Foundation recognizes the top students from the world's leading graduate schools of business, computer science and bioengineering based on exceptional leadership and academic performance. Each Siebel Scholar receives a $35,000 award as they complete their final year of graduate studies, and becomes part of a vibrant, active community of leaders who collaborate, communicate and institute meaningful change.

Research assistantships

Research assistantships (RAs) are provided to both entering and continuing students in the Master of Science and PhD programs. In most cases, assistantships are awarded by individual faculty who have the necessary research funding.

Research assistants typically receive 8-10 units of tuition coverage and a monthly stipend (paid semi-monthly and subject to state and federal tax withholding), in exchange for 20 hours of work per week. RAs that provide less stipend and tuition coverage, and that require fewer hours of work per week, are also available. Entering students are awarded RA positions based upon the information provided in their admissions application. Current students typically contact faculty members to arrange research assistantships.

Teaching and course assistantships

Teaching/course assistantships are offered primarily to continuing students and to a limited number of entering graduate students. TA/CAs typically provide recipients with tuition coverage of 8-10 units and a monthly stipend (paid semi-monthly and subject to state and federal withholding). TA/CA-ships are offered by individuals who have been allocated the necessary funds to hire a TA/CA. TA/CAs must attend the TA Orientation offered by the Center for Teaching and Learning.

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