General Questions

Both MSE programs at JHU are excellent, but very different and designed for different purposes. Traditional graduate programs (both MS and PhD) are taught by faculty whose focus is research and on the expansion of knowledge in a field. The BME MSE program offers a one-year course-based degree, as well as a two-year thesis option.

The CBID MSE is not about expanding the frontiers of science or technology. It is a one-year degree program focused on design, clinical rotations, prototype development, and global health projects. The program is about using existing knowledge and tech to design new solutions to important health care problems. As a student, your main learnings will be around problem-solving in healthcare, from all aspects (including business). You will also have access to take any of the other courses as electives, for example, in imaging, ML/AI, etc.
The 2021-2022 class has had a mostly normal CBID experience. Students were doing clinical rotations at Johns Hopkins Hospital in June and July. Some of the student teams were able to conduct the global health immersion for which they traveled to Uganda, Ghana, Kenya, and India in August, and some teams are planning to do their global health travel later this year or in early 2022 provided that international travel is permitted. Johns Hopkins University is currently in Phase 3 of its reopening plan and intends to be substantially back to normal this fall. COVID-19 vaccination is required for all faculty, staff, postdoc fellows, and students who will be working/studying at a Hopkins campus in the U.S.

No, the program cannot be taken completely online due to the hands-on nature of the program, including clinical rotations at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, as well as prototype development and testing at on-site locations.

This is not recommended as the CBID MSE program is an intense, full-time commitment, and students need to be able to devote all of their time to the program.

The first semester begins the last week of May with an intense boot camp, followed by clinical rotations. Graduation is in May of the following year.

Each year the class size is limited to 25 students.

CBID students have different backgrounds and majors. Students primarily come to the program with an engineering degree (BME, EE, MechE, CS, ECE, Bioengineering etc). We have also recruited medical students/residents, industrial designers and those with public health and science undergraduate degree.



CBID uses a holistic, multidisciplinary approach and is looking for students with diverse expertise, including a background in any of these areas: engineering, medicine, science, industry, entrepreneurship, healthcare design, consulting, medical device development, and many more. Most of the CBID students come from an engineering, medical, or other scientific background. CBID looks at the overall application including background, academic performance, recommendation letters, statement of purpose, and sample of work. Prior work experience is not a prerequisite. Applicants should have a strong background and a passion for medical device innovation.

The following application materials are required before an application can be submitted via Slate:

  • Statement of purpose
  • Personal statement
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Official undergraduate transcripts
  • Sample of work
GRE is optional. We don’t expect applicants to take specific subject-based GRE.

Applicants can submit any design work they have done, e.g., a report or presentation showing a solution of which they are proud, or a technical report describing something they have created. Additionally, students can include PDF samples of papers published, or a design portfolio showing their past projects and innovations. Alternatively, they could write an abstract for a project – even if it has not been published anywhere – describing the project and the result. Other examples include internships, work and research experience, medical device experience, etc.

The formatting requirements for the Statement of Purpose are: maximum two (2) pages, single-spaced, 12 point font size, and 1-inch margins.

The formatting requirements for the Personal Statement are: maximum one (1) page, single-spaced, 12 point font size, and 1-inch margins.

The main difference between these two types of essays is: The Statement of Purpose is about what you want to do. It showcases your academic strengths and background, career goals, research interests, and fit with the program. The Personal Statement is about who you are. It highlights your personal motivations for applying to the program and any major accomplishments you have had or challenges you have faced along the way.

Applicants will need to enter the name and email address of their recommenders in Slate as part of their application. Slate will then send an email to the recommenders with instructions to upload their letters.

For international students, TOEFL/IELTS is more of a visa requirement. CBID sometimes waives the requirement depending on where students have studied previously. International students who received their B.S. degree from the U.S. and other English speaking countries (including Canada, UK, and Australia) are not required to submit TOEFL scores.

There are no course prerequisites for the CBID MSE program, and prior work experience or a background in engineering are not prerequisites either.

The deadline to submit an application to the CBID MSE program is December 31st. Due to the tight timeline of the admissions process and the early program start date in late May, CBID usually does not extend the deadline. Upon request, and with sufficient reason, CBID might be able to extend the deadline by one week.

Typically, CBID does not accept deferrals. For applicants who wish to defer, we suggest they reapply during the next cycle the following year.

The enrollment process begins once the offer has been accepted by the student. This can take several weeks to complete. Most details, including your Johns Hopkins student account and insurance information, will be sent to you once you are an “enrolled student.”

Yes, in most cases, the MCAT can be used as an alternative. Please submit your request to [email protected]
We expect all accepted applicants to take part in the CBID Boot Camp which begins in last week of May or first week of June.


Tuition/Financial Aid

For the 2023-24 academic year, the current tuition fee is $62,840. Occasionally students are awarded a fellowship for the second year to extend their CBID experience and to continue the work on their project, in which case the fellowship will cover all expenses (tuition and student health care plan). Please see below for a list of other 2023-2024 cost of attendance budget components.
Summer Fall Spring
Matriculation Fee $0 $500 $0
Living Expenses, Housing (off campus) $3,753 $5,633 $5,633
Living Expenses, Food (off campus) $2,609 $3,914 $3,914
Misc. Personal Expenses $409 $613 $613
Transportation $199 $299 $299
Books, Course Materials, Supplies, and Equipment $0 $749 $749
Health Insurance $0 $1,169 $1,947
Loan Fees (Sub/Unsub) $44 $67 $67
Loan Fees (PLUS) $234 $351 $351

* Average Federal Direct loan fees are added to the student budget when a student accepts a Federal Direct loan.

**If you are a student living in housing on a military base or for which you receive a basic allowance under section 403(b) of title 37 of the United States Code, please contact SEAM to discuss how this may affect your cost of attendance.

There are several Teaching Assistant positions available to CBID students. On average, these jobs pay $720/month for a 10-hour work week. CBID does not recommend more than 10 work hours outside of the program due to the significant workload of the program. CBID offers a 50% tuition waiver for JHU undergraduates who have completed eight full-time semesters and/or have been an alumnus for at least one year by the start of the CBID program (end of May). Additionally, there are some partial tuition waivers available through the Swirnow Fellowship which are announced in the spring based on the program budget. CBID does not offer any full tuition waivers.

Yes, CBID will arrange and pay for travel and accommodation during the global health trips. Additional travel related expenses, such as public transportation, taxi/Uber/Lyft, need to be paid out of pocket by the student and then submitted for reimbursement through JHU. Students are responsible for incidentals and meals. Additionally, CBID students will receive appropriate training and ensure that medical requirements are met based on the country/countries they will be visiting. CBID will also cover travel-related expenses for other potential domestic and international trips pertaining to the students’ CBID projects (conferences, meetings, etc.), however prior approval by the PI/supervisor is required.

Students with special circumstances for unanticipated expenses (see the FA-Budget Adjustment Request Form for examples) can request a budget adjustment to their cost of attendance that may allow for additional federal loan borrowing eligibility.


Student Teams/Projects

Teams are formed based on student interest and preference for projects, their technical expertise, and our internal assessment. There are usually four teams of four to six students, and each of the teams work simultaneously on two projects (one U.S. project and one global health project).

Project areas vary, and are open for the teams to navigate within large domains of health care needs. They are chosen before the formation of teams. The interest of the team is crucial in deciding what to work on within project areas.

There are usually four teams of four to six students, and each team works simultaneously on two projects: one U.S. advanced health project, and one global health project. In total, there are usually eight projects for each cohort of students.

Students should consider the CBID MSE program like a full-time job. In the summer, students will be taking classes and doing clinical rotations. In August, they will be traveling for their global immersion. In the fall, students are also taking engineering electives. Finally, in the spring the students have time for prototyping, testing, business plan competitions, etc. Students are not expected to work weekends or university holidays.

CBID offers tremendous facilities and infrastructure to support students, including a dedicated design studio, machine shop, and wet lab. The studio is equipped with the latest 3D printers and machine tools. For more advanced tools and larger equipment, there are other avenues to develop prototypes. The Wyman machine shop on campus offers students the opportunity to work with technicians to develop precision equipment. There are also numerous research labs in which students are able to work with their clinical partners based on project domain and equipment needed.

Most CBID students who graduate from the program go into the medical device industry. Some of the major recruiters are Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, Stryker, Boston Scientific, BD, and Edwards Life Sciences. A smaller number of students pursue a PhD and/or MD degree, or work for consulting companies, the government, or the global health sector.



For additional questions or concerns, please contact us at [email protected] 


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Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University, Whiting School of Engineering

Department of Biomedical Engineering

Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design

3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-2608

410-516-8006 | [email protected]

The Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design