A high quality graduate education should combine the development of advanced analytical skills together with the practical application gained through collaboration between faculty and other students in a practical hands-on environment. We recently developed a new online Master’s program in biomedical engineering at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU), which integrates hands-on laboratory experience in collaboration with classmates and faculty with the convenience of online coursework for working professionals. The cornerstone of the program is a summer residency course, Biomedical Engineering Practice and Innovation (“BEPI”).
BEPI was designed to build upon foundational coursework by providing experiential learning opportunities in all program focus areas: Imaging, Instrumentation, and Translational Tissue Engineering. BEPI combines seven weeks of online coursework with two three-day weekends in residency at the main campus and hospital in Baltimore, for a total of twelve sessions taught by multiple engineering and clinical faculty, each experts in their respective fields. Each of the three-day weekends is composed of on-site labs and workshops that demonstrate the practical aspects of the online coursework. Many of our applicants have cited the required residency course and the opportunity to directly interact with their fellow classmates and the world class faculty at the Johns Hopkins University campus and hospital as the primary reason they chose to enroll in the program.
After completing the residency, students are required to specialize in one of three focus areas. Interaction with the faculty during the residency encourages a more personal relationship during subsequent online courses. Many of our students gain additional hands-on skills through an independent study. The onsite training additionally builds a trusted peer environment across the program.
Future plans for BEPI include adding more options to the weekends for students who have already selected a focus area. We are also currently developing advanced residency courses, which offer students the opportunity to learn the state-of-the art in a specific field taught by leading scientists and working biomedical engineers.
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