Wednesday, December 21, 2022
  Around Campus

By Victoria Brito Morales

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley plans to offer a new graduate program – a master of science degree in Biomedical Engineering – starting Fall 2023, as part of the UTRGV College of Engineering and Computer Science.

The program has received approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and is pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Biomedical engineering is a multidisciplinary field that combines engineering, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and statistics to improve human health.  

UTRGV’s new program will contain three concentrations:

  • Biomechanics.
  • Biomaterials.
  • Biomedical Manufacturing and Instrumentation.

Dr. Dumitru Caruntu, professor of mechanical engineering and graduate program coordinator.
Dr. Dumitru Caruntu, professor of mechanical engineering and graduate program coordinator. (Courtesy Photo)

Dr. Dumitru Caruntu, professor of mechanical engineering and the graduate program coordinator, said approximately 15 students will be admitted the first semester, with more added over time. 

“At the end of five years, we expect there will be about 60 students in the program,” Caruntu said. 

A strong candidate for the Biomedical Engineering program should have a solid science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) background. 

“We are looking to recruit students from CECS,” Caruntu said. “But we are also looking for students from physics, chemistry, biology and health professions. We already have the necessary courses for them to take to be successful in the new program.” 

The biomedical engineering curriculum will offer courses in topics like orthopedic and experimental biomechanics, biomaterials, biomedical microdevices and physiology for biomedical engineers, to name a few. 

Students with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, physics, chemistry, biology and health profession-related majors already have many of the prerequisites for admission to the new program.  

“We are not necessarily looking for students with an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering,” said Dr. Robert Freeman, professor and chair of the UTRGV Department of Mechanical Engineering. “The program curriculum is set to be so that students from different disciplines can participate in the program.”

Freeman said the faculty is excited about the new degree, and the new research opportunities it will create at UTRGV.

“We hope to bring state-of-the-art labs and research that we can involve the students in,” Caruntu said. 


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.