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Biomaterials, MS

One of the few biomaterials graduate programs in the world, this interdisciplinary masters degree program focuses on the use of synthetic and natural materials in biomedical engineering, dentistry and environmental engineering. Students also have the opportunity to participate in a unique dental ceramics training specialization.

Application Deadlines


For Spring (January) 2018 Admission

U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents: September 1, 2017

International Students: August 1, 2017


For Fall (August) 2018 Admission

International Students: February 1, 2018


> Apply Now

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Dental Ceramics Specialization

Students can explore the emerging field of dental ceramics through cross-training at nearby Alfred University. 

> Learn more about the dental ceramics specialization

About the Program

Successful completion of the program leads to a Master of Science (MS) degree.

The Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomaterials is an outgrowth of a masters degree program in Dental Materials, sponsored by the School of Dental Medicine since 1971. Courses and research topics have been developed to provide comprehensive knowledge of prosthetic materials, from bio/surface and molecular interactions to device design and surgical requirements.

Preparing Students for Success in Many Fields

The program emphasizes ethics and professional/client interactions as applied to the fields of medicine, dentistry, law and engineering. Supporting themes include:

  • Safe processing of biological materials and devices (e.g., sterilization)
  • Global regulatory perspectives
  • Engineering design

Applicants to this program typically include chemists, engineers, biologists, pre-medical students, clinicians and social scientists.

Graduates have the option of working in the biomedical industry, entering a professional clinical program (DDS program or MD program), or, if they are already a licensed clinician, obtaining an academic clinical position in their home country or entering a post-graduate clinical specialty program.

For graduates interested in further research training, a doctoral program in a related field of specialization would be appropriate. Our former students have specialized in mechanical engineering, biophysics, immunology, pharmaceutical sciences, and other fields at our university and other universities.

Focused on Application of Materials

This is not a clinical program. No direct access to clinical facilities or clinic patients is provided. The emphasis of the biomaterials program is on the application of materials to biomedical and dental engineering.  

About Biomaterials

Biomaterials replace, duplicate or augment the function or appearance (or otherwise intimately contact) biological substances, either temporarily or permanently, while maintaining compatible interfaces with living cells, biofluids and their constituents.

Industry/University Center for Biosurfaces (IUCB)

IUCB is a multidisciplinary center focused on the understanding, prediction and control of biological adhesion.

> Learn more about IUCB

Length of Study

Most students complete the program within two academic years, and begin their thesis research tasks during the intervening summer.

Faculty

Robert Baier

Professor

Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences

355 Squire Hall, 110 Parker Hall

Phone: (716) 829-3560

Email: baier@buffalo.edu

Anne Meyer

Research Associate Professor; Associate Dean For Research, Office of the Dean

Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences

355 Squire Hall, 110 Parker Hall

Phone: (716) 829-6244

Email: aemeyer@buffalo.edu

Professor Baier and Dr. Meyer are the primary faculty members. Many other faculty in the School of Dental Medicine and other University at Buffalo schools participate as research mentors and thesis committee members, depending on the individual student’s interests and goals.

Biomaterials faculty have also served on graduate committees for students in mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, and biophysics (through Roswell Park Cancer Institute).

Program Requirements

A minimum of 30 credit hours is required to complete the program, including thesis research and preparation of the thesis:

  • Required "core" courses (10 credits total)
    • Biomaterials Science of Cell/Surface Contact Phenomena
    • Polymeric Biomaterials
    • Evaluation of Biomedical Materials
  • Required seminar course each semester (2 credits total over 2 years)
  • Elective courses (6-12 credits), including lecture courses taken in other departments
  • Lab research and thesis (6-12 credits)

Your electives are selected in consultation with the Director of the Biomaterials Graduate Program, and should be closely related to your research interests. Successful completion of the program requires passing the public defense of your thesis, including confirmation of your fundamental knowledge of biomaterials principles, and final acceptance of the written thesis by an Outside Reader, your thesis committee, and the graduate school administration.

Research

The summer preceding the second year of study is usually spent doing research with a faculty advisor. This work often forms the basis of the MS thesis. During the second year, students complete any remaining coursework and finish their thesis research, which must be reviewed by an expert outside reader before eligibility for a formal oral defense.

Students may also take or transfer approved graduate-level courses at other institutions and count these courses toward formal requirements for the MS degree, after review by the program faculty and Graduate School. There is a limit of six credits that can be transferred.

In addition to the facilities at the School of Dental Medicine, various departments throughout UB — including mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering and biophysics (through Roswell Park Cancer Institute) — provide research venues for biomaterials MS students.

Courses

During the first year, students are required to complete 12 credit hours of core courses and approximately 12 credits of elective courses from the Biomaterials Program and other university departments. An example of a core course is BMA 520 (Evaluation of Biomedical Materials), which is also a required course for the biomechanicall engineering PhD option in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Some of the additional course offerings include:

  • Biomaterials Science and Engineering
  • Polymeric Biomaterials
  • Regulatory Environment of Medical Products
  • Research Seminar in Biomaterials
  • Research Design
  • Statistics

Students must take a minimum of 6 credits of elective coursework, most of which must be related to their area of research. The remaining credit hours are fulfilled through thesis research and thesis preparation.

Students admitted to the program usually have backgrounds in biological science or engineering. The Program Director encourages graduate mechanical engineering and biophysics courses as electives for those students anticipating PhD studies after completing the MS degree in Biomaterials.

Estimated Expenses and Financial Support

Financial aid is not available from the Biomaterials Graduate Program. You are expected to have your own financial resources to pay for the 2 to 2.5 years of study in the program.

Part-time jobs, such as tutoring undergraduate students or working in the campus libraries, are available on campus on a competitive basis. A paid research assistant position may become available after one year, but is not guaranteed.

Please note that students enrolled exclusively in this degree program are charged tuition and fees applicable to Graduate (not dental) students. Information regarding cost of attendance and financial aid are provided on the University’s Student Accounts website.

Program Policies

The Biomaterials Graduate Program follows the policies of the Graduate School and University at Buffalo.

Application Information

Spring (January) 2018 Admission

Status Deadline
U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents September 1, 2017
International Students August 1, 2017

Fall (August) 2018 Admission

Applications Accepted Deadline
U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents May 15, 2018
International Students February 1, 2018

For applicants requesting admission in the Spring (January) semester, decisions usually are made by early September. For applicants requesting admission in the Fall (August) semester, decisions usually are made by early March.

Admission Requirements

The Biomaterials Program Committee considers all aspects of an application: academic preparation as quantitatively recorded in grade sheets and transcripts (particularly in the basic sciences), activities, honors, presentations, publications, and letters of recommendation. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for application to the program. We also require:

  • A strong baccalaureate record in engineering, the biological sciences, or an associated clinical field (e.g. dentistry)
  • An acceptable grade point average (GPA; acceptable minimum is 3.0 on a 0-4.0 scale); we are well-acquainted with transcripts from universities in other countries, and we will focus on your grades in basic science courses

For international students, we also require an acceptable TOEFL score (internet test: 79 minimum; computer-based: 213 minimum; paper-based: 550 minimum). IELTS, PTE/Academic, and Cambridge English tests also can be used to demonstrate English language skills.  The minimum, acceptable scores for these other tests are:

  • IELTS:  6.5 overall, with no subsection score below 6.0
  • PTE/Academic: 55 overall, with no subsection score below 50
  • Cambridge English Advanced (CAE): 185 overall (new scoring scale)
  • Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE): 185 overall (new scoring scale)

How to Apply

In addition to the on-line portion of the application, scanned copies of all supporting documents must be uploaded to the application system by the deadline. Original copies of letters of recommendation may be sent directly to the Biomaterials Graduate Program as e-mail attachments to aemeyer@buffalo.edu by the deadline.

To apply, please submit all documents listed below on-line in GRADMIT. Your application will not be complete until these items have been received and you have submitted your application for formal review.

Questions?

If you have questions about the application process, please contact:

Ms. Kristin Yager
Advanced Education Admissions Coordinator
(716) 829-2839
sdmpg@buffalo.edu

Required (All Applicants)

1. The On-line Application

  • Please complete all questions on the application completely and accurately.
  • You must complete the International On-Line Application if you are an international student who is not an immigrant, regardless of where you graduated from dental school; check the box for "International Applicant" after selecting degree program on the Interactive Graduate Application Site (GRADMIT)
  • You must complete the Domestic On-Line Application if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S., regardless of where you graduated from dental school

2. $50.00 non-refundable application fee paid on UBePay

  • Once you have submitted your online application for formal review, you will be able to pay the application fee by credit/debit card only. Your application cannot be reviewed until the fee has been paid. Please note that the $50 application fee is non-refundable.

3. CV / Resume

4. Letters of Recommendation

  • Two letters of recommendation and a Dean's letter (if graduated from a US or Canadian dental school), otherwise three letters of recommendation.
  • Recommendation letters must be uploaded electronically:
  • In the recommendation section of this online application, you submit three referees with their email addresses. They will receive an email notification to electronically submit an online recommendation only after you submit your application for formal review.

5. Unofficial transcripts from EVERY college/university attended

  • If you are accepted into the program you will be asked to submit original transcripts with proper signatures, seals or stamps. Academic documents that are not in English must be accompanied by an exact, certified translation. International applicants please include copy of certificate with proof of degree.

GRE Scores

In addition to the above information, please submit your unofficial GRE (General Test) Score Report.

Statement of Purpose

In addition, please submit your written statement of purpose.

Additional Requirements — International Applicants

In addition to the requirements listed above, please submit the following:

1. Unofficial TOEFL Score Report That Meets Requirements

TOEFL score report must be at or above minimum of 550 (written) / 213 (computer based) / 79 (internet based) or better obtained within eighteen months of the application deadline.

  •  If you are accepted into the program you will be asked to submit original TOEFL score reports.

2. UB Financial Form / Bank Documents

  • All International applicants must complete and upload to their application the UB financial form documenting all the sources of your financial support with the sponsor's signature. Official supporting documentation as outlined in the instructions must also be uploaded.
  • Official financial documents verifying scholarship support from your government if applicable. Upload in the Bank Documents section.
  • No certificate of eligibility will be issued without satisfactory financial documentation. Financial documentation is required for visa issuance only-documentation may be submitted after acceptance but I-20 documentation cannot be issued without it.

3. Photocopy of Passport Biographical Page

4. Photocopy of Your Current I-20 AND the F-1 Visa Stamp in Your Passport if You Are Currently an F-1 Student

* All documents become property of the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine and are not returnable to the applicant.

IELTS or PTE/Academic and Cambridge English Scores

Instead of submitting TOEFL scores, IELTS, PTE/Academic, and Cambridge English tests also can be used to demonstrate English language skills. The minimum, acceptable scores for these other tests are:

  • IELTS:  6.5 overall, with no subsection score below 6.0
  • PTE/Academic: 55 overall, with no subsection score below 50
  • Cambridge English Advanced (CAE): 185 overall (new scoring scale)
  • Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE): 185 overall (new scoring scale)

The Acceptance Process

The Biomaterials Graduate Program Committee reviews all applications as a batch. For applicants requesting admission in the Spring (January) semester, decisions usually are made by early September. For applicants requesting admission in the Fall (August) semester, decisions usually are made by early March.

For international students, original copies of your documents will be required if the Biomaterials Program Committee offers Provisional Admission to you. “Provisional” means that the offer of admission depends on your eligibility to receive an I-20 for application for a U.S. visa. The original copies of your documents will be inspected when you arrive in Buffalo for the university's orientation session.

Questions?

Kristin Yager

Advanced Education Admissions Coordinator

Phone: (716) 829-2839

Email: sdmpg@buffalo.edu

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