University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
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Biomaterials, MS

Applications being considered for both Spring and Fall admissions.

Additional Information

Program Overview

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. Through policies established by the Graduate School of the University, 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. Supporting themes include safe processing of biological materials and devices [e.g. sterilization], global regulatory perspectives, and engineering design.

The program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours and a masters thesis. These requirements are usually completed in 2-2.5 years. The program emphasizes ethics and professional/client interactions as applied to the fields of medicine, dentistry, law, and engineering.

Coursework

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; see link, above), 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, and 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 Ph.D. studies after completing the M.S. degree in Biomaterials.

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 M.S. 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 M.S. degree, after review by the program faculty and Graduate School. There is a limit of 6 credits that can be transferred.

Financial Support

The Interdisciplinary Program in Biomaterials can occasionally assist with financial support for admitted students, sometimes by arranging for joint industry/university research projects that fund student thesis studies. Some faculty have research grants that may permit them to support graduate research assistants.

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 web page.  

Questions?

Please send questions and correspondence via e-mail to Dr. Robert Baier.