Bioengineering MSc

Students pursuing the Master's degree through the UCLA Bioengineering Department can choose to complete degree requirements in two different ways: through the comprehensive exam plan, or completion of a Master's thesis. We encourage all Master's students to discuss early on with their advisor their career plans in order to guide individuals towards appropriate coursework and degree completion. Please note that this is a terminal MSc degree, and its completion does not guarantee acceptance into the PhD program: students must reapply for admittance into the doctoral degree program.

MSc Comprehensive Exam

The comprehensive exam plan consists of three parts:

  1. Successful completion of the core curriculum. Students must complete the Bioinformatics core curriculum with letter grades of B or higher.
  2. Passing a written exam on 4 of 6 selected classes. Individuals choosing to complete this option will complete the first year core curriculum. At the end of the first year, students have two opportunities to pass a written exam on 4 of 6 selected courses, chosen from: Bioengineering 221, Bioengineering M226, Bioengineering M227, Bioengineering M228, Bioengineering 224A, and Bioengineering 224B. The written exam for each course is 2 hours, and all four must be passed. The exam is typically offered in July and September of each calendar year.
  3. Completion of three additional electives. Students must complete additional electives from the courses below with a letter grade of B or better.

Students must choose this option by the end of the first year. On average, the MSc comprehensive exam plan can be completed in 4 quarters. In general, the comprehensive exam option is suited to individuals who need exposure and an introduction to biomedical informatics with the intent of using such experience towards careers in various industries, including health information technology (IT), medical imaging informatics, and the biomedical data sciences.

MSc Thesis

The thesis plan consists of three parts:

  1. Successful completion of the core curriculum. Students must complete the Bioinformatics core curriculum with letter grades of B or higher.
  2. Elective coursework. During the second year of study, students must take one additional elective from any of the topic areas below and in consultation with their thesis advisor, with the intent of doing coursework that will add the student in his/her research topic.
  3. Completion of a research thesis. Students complete a written research thesis under the supervision of a faculty research advisor, resulting in a document reviewed and vetted by a thesis committee of three members. Students following this option must have a thesis advisor chosen by the start of the second year. In general, the MSc thesis research entails two quarters of research and development, and another quarter of writing.

Students who are interested in research-oriented careers should choose the thesis option in order to gain experience in conducting and evaluating biomedical informatics research. On average, the MSc thesis plan can be completed in a total of 6 quarters.

Electives

A list of electives can be found here.