May 28, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Biomedical Engineering Department

Interim Department Chairperson/Graduate Program Director: Erin B. Harmon, Ph.D.
4800 N. Career Ave., Suite 221
Sioux Falls, SD 57107
Phone: 605-275-7474



Daniel Engebretson, BME Program, Ph.D., Michigan State University. Specialization: Biological Sensing and In Vitro Diagnostics.

Associate Professors:

Ying Deng, Ph.D., Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China. Specialization: Bioactive Materials and Bionanotechnology in Tissue Engineering and Drug Delivery; Engineering Biomaterials and Alternative Cell Sources for Biomedical Applications.

Research Assistant Professors:

Carol Lushbough, M.A., (Emeritus), University of South Dakota. Specialization: Bioinformatics.
Etienne Z. Gnimpieba, Ph.D., University of Technology of Compiègne, France. Specialization: Bioinformatics and Data Integration in Life Sciences.


Accelerated Master of Science, Plan A and Plan B (33 credits)  
Master of Science, Plan A and Plan B (33 credits)  


      Medical Product Development and Manufacturing

Doctor of Philosophy (84 credits)  

Program Description

Biomedical engineering (BME) focuses upon the application of engineering and science methodologies to the analysis of biological and physiological problems and to the development and delivery of health-care technologies. The biomedical engineer serves as an interface between traditional engineering disciplines and living systems and may work in either direction, applying the patterns of living organisms to engineering design or engineering new approaches to human health. Both the Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees are cross-disciplinary degrees. The objective of the M.S. program is to prepare a student for research and development careers in the biomedical industry and for additional training at the doctoral level. The Ph.D. program will prepare a student for a career as a researcher who advances the frontiers of biomedical science and engineering with attention to generating new ideas for commercialization.

Faculty in the University of South Dakota’s Biomedical Engineering program focus on developing materials that are used as vehicles for drug delivery, to control biofilm formation, as scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, and biological sensors. Faculty also use bioinformatics to elucidate biochemical signaling pathways and biomechanics to investigate disease progression. The program was developed to be positioned at the interface between academic research and commercialization. Faculty members routinely interact with small and large businesses to identify market opportunities for products that emerge from their research. This presents unique opportunities for students in the program to explore the full gamut of research, development, and ultimately commercialization.

The Biomedical Engineering Program is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in the GEAR (Graduate Education & Applied Research) Center, 4800 N. Career Ave., Suite 221.

WICHE Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) eligible program. 


  1. Completed Graduate Application form found at: and a non-refundable application fee of $35.
  2. Official transcript(s) verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit (in English or with translation) must accompany an application. Official transcripts of all academic work at the undergraduate and graduate levels are required for all students. The USD Graduate School and/or academic units retain the right to require credential evaluations from organizations, such as Educational Credential Evaluators/World Education Services (ECE/WES), for a student if such an evaluation is deemed necessary.
  3. Applicants with a baccalaureate degree in a biomedical, chemical, electrical, mechanical, or metallurgical engineering; materials science and engineering; or other related discipline may be qualified for admission into the graduate program. Baccalaureate degree must be from an institution with institutional accreditation for that degree. A minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.7 on conferred degree and/or graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, based on a 4.0 scale, on all graduate coursework is required for full admission. Each graduate program may admit students on provisional status per university policy.
  4. Applicants with degrees from countries other than the United States who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institutionally accredited American college or university or from an accredited institution in the following English-speaking countries: United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Canada (Excluding Quebec), Australia, and New Zealand are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score. For all other applicants, a minimum score of 79 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT), 550 on the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT), 8.5 on the TOEFL Essentials, 6.0 on the IELTS Academic, or 53 on the PTE is required for graduate admission. 
  5. Applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose or goal statement.

Additional Program Admission Requirements:

  1. Three (3) letters of recommendation.

  2. The GRE General test is required for those seeking the M.S. or Ph.D. GRE scores are not required for the following:

    1. Current USD students pursuing at least a bachelor’s degree in a related area and those who have graduated from USD with at least a bachelor’s degree within the last 5 years OR

    2. Applicants with an earned master’s or doctoral degree from an institutionally accredited college or university in the United States. 

Subject to program approval, those who do not meet all of the above criteria may be admitted on a provisional basis.

Application Deadline 

  • Fall start
    • March 15

Accelerated B.S./M.S. Program

USD undergraduate students meeting requirements for entry into the M.S. program may take up to 12 credit hours of graduate coursework that will apply to both B.S. and M.S. degrees. The following restrictions apply:

  • The courses must be taken at the 400/500/600 level as an undergraduate. Dual-listed courses taken at the 500-level can be applied to both the B.S. and M.S. degrees. Dual-listed courses must be taken at the 500-level.
  • The student must apply to, and be admitted to, the accelerated program prior to taking courses to be credited toward the accelerated program.
  • No courses taken prior to admission to the accelerated program may be counted toward the accelerated graduate degree. No exceptions to this policy will be approved.
  • Courses that are “double counted” must be approved by the program coordinator for inclusion in the program of study prior to registration for the course or the credits will not be applied toward the accelerated graduate degree. No exceptions to this policy will be approved.
  • For accelerated track students only, a 500 level cellular physiology course may be used as an approved substitute for BME 602, a 500 level molecular biology course may be used as an approved substituted for BME 603, and a 500 level biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy course may be used as an approved substitute for BME 508.
  • Only courses taken at USD are eligible for dual credit. No transferred courses from other institutions will be allowed to count toward the accelerated master’s degree.

Financial Support

Applicants are encouraged to apply early as decisions are typically made in mid-March for the fall term. Graduate assistantships are available ($5,558-$30,000) on a competitive basis. Applications for assistantships are available from the Graduate School website homepage. Awarding of assistantships is based on:

  • Availability
  • Ability to communicate well in oral/written English
  • Satisfactory performance in coursework

Student Learning Outcomes for Biomedical Engineering (M.S.)

  1. Masters degree students will work as independent researchers. 
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to perform a critical review of literature in biomedical engineering

Student Learning Outcomes for Biomedical Engineering (Ph.D.)

  1. Doctoral students will work as original and independent researchers. 
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to perform a critical review of literature in biomedical engineering.