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About MS-Train

Our professional Master’s curriculum is an 11-month (Summer II, Fall, Spring) program for students interested in acquiring the skills necessary to lead biomedical-related early stage ventures or to drive new product development in healthcare industries.

Our curriculum utilizes clinical immersion to identify healthcare innovation opportunities, teaches path-to-market concepts, including regulatory aspects unique to medical devices and pharmaceuticals, and facilitates development of commercialization strategies for innovative biomedical technologies.

UNC BME MS program

Students receive mentorship from biotech entrepreneurs, legal scholars and venture partners.

Location! Location! Location! Our program leverages two world class universities, the NCSU College of Engineering, the UNC School of Medicine, the NCSU Poole College of Management, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine and the emerging biotech industry in Research Triangle Park.


Applicants may apply to the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering through the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Graduate School or the North Carolina State University Graduate School. Applications to the department are pooled and reviewed by BME faculty on both campuses. Applicants must submit:

  • Transcript(s) documenting an undergraduate or graduate degree in engineering or a quantitative science.
  • Scores from the GRE general exam taken within the last five years. UNC institution code: #5816. NCSU institution code: #5496.
  • A 2-3 page personal statement indicating why you are interested in the M.S. program focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship in biomedical engineering and its potential benefit to you and your career.
  • Three recommendation letters that discuss your potential for graduate study.
  • TOEFL scores (international applicants only).

ADMISSIONS DEADLINE: All materials must be received by April 14, 2020 for the June 22, 2020 start date.


Our 30-hour curriculum features three cornerstone courses, BME 501, BME 502 and BME 503, in which students work in teams to discover unmet clinical needs (BME 501), design, prototype and test solutions (BME 502), and develop operating strategies to launch a new product (BME 503). In addition to these courses, students gain additional design and regulatory expertise in BME 551 and BEC 575. The curriculum also includes three MBA courses which teach technology valuation, new venture analysis and developing a business plan. Download the MS TraIn curriculum.

Hospital Credentialing

MS-TraIn students spend 100+ hours in hospitals and clinics in the Triangle area (mainly during the Needs Discovery phase). Prior to clinical immersion, students must be fully “credentialed.” This includes providing a complete record of immunizations, passing a drug test and a criminal background check. The drug test and criminal background check will be initiated by the department when a student registers in the program. The immunization record must be supplied by the student. The student is also responsible for completing any additional vaccines as mandated by the hospital clinical coordinator. There are no exceptions to these requirements. Students not completing the credentialing process will not be allowed in the hospitals as part of the MS-TraIn program.


Do you have a MS degree that is research or thesis-based?
No. The only Master’s degree we offer is MS-TraIn. Students interested in research should check out our PhD program.
I am interested in pursuing a PhD degree. Is the MS-TraIn a good stepping stone for a PhD program?
Not really. The PhD is all about performing original research and making novel contributions to the engineering and/or medical literature. The PhD program mainly prepares students for careers in research. The MS-TraIn program focuses on new product design and development. There is some research involved in the MS program, but it tends to be more focused on assessing existing solutions, market landscapes, regulatory pathways, and intellectual property considerations.
Are there any scholarships or assistantships for MS-TraIn students?
Unfortunately, we do not have any scholarships or assistantships for MS-TraIn students at this time. However, students may be eligible for financial aid.
How much does the program cost?
Current tuition and fees for the MS-TraIn program can be found under the “Biomedical Engineering” heading here:
What if I’m not sure I want to start my own company or join a startup?
MS-TraIn graduates will have a deep understanding of the product innovation and development continuum and an appreciation of the market, regulatory and intellectual property forces that guide product innovation. As a result, students not fully committed to entrepreneurship will be well equipped for advanced placement in the medtech industry.
Who teaches in the MS-TraIn program? How is the MS-TraIn program unique?
Our cornerstone courses, BME 501, BME 502 and BME 503, are taught by engineers and scientists from industry. We feel it is very important for students to learn from instructors with “real world” experience in new product design and development. In addition, each course invites 8-10 guest speakers from companies such as Transenterix, Teleflex, Siemens, Becton Dickinson, Bioventus, Theragen, Concept Designs, Ximedica, Grifols, Kalypso, Innavasc, EG-Gilero, Roebling Medical, etc. Guest speakers share their unique experiences with our students and allow our graduates to make lasting connections with biotech/medtech leaders in North Carolina.
What are the GPA and GRE minimums for the MS-TraIn program?
We do not enforce minimum GPA and GRE scores. Aptitudes for innovation and entrepreneurship are not always captured by traditional metrics such as grades and standardized test scores. The admissions committee uses these scores as merely one part of a holistic view of each candidate.
What should I write about in my personal statement?
Write about why you are interested in new product innovation.
[expand title=”What are some experiences that led you to apply to this program? What are your career goals and how do you think this program will help you achieve them?
My immunizations are not up to date. Can I still be admitted into the program?
Yes, you are eligible for admission, however, you will not be allowed to participate in clinical immersion until all necessary immunizations have been completed.
Marijuana is legal in my state. Do I still have to take the drug test?
Yes, the drug screening is mandated and enforced by our clinical partners who adhere to the laws of North Carolina.

Have more questions? Contact the MS-TraIn Director, David A. Zaharoff, PhD or

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