UTSA offers new Master of Science programs


Julia Maenius

Beginning Spring 2020, the College of Business and the College of Engineering will be offering a new master’s program to students.

Collaborating on this new program, the two colleges will be offering a joint Master of Science program in Biomedical Technology Commercialization.

“This degree allows both engineering and non-engineering students interested in the health industry to learn the terminologies that are commonly used by the biomedical sector,” Joo L. Ong, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Administration and Graduate Studies and UTSA College of Engineering, said. “All students will learn both the business and the engineering components to be competitive for job placements. As such, these students not only will be equipped with the knowledge they need but will also be equipped with medical device design, as a final project is required for the completion of this degree.”

The initiative was passed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on July 25, permitting UTSA to advance with the planning of the nine semester credit hours of core courses from each college.

“Courses in bioengineering-industry terminologies, knowledge on commercialization and entrepreneurship as well as a final medical device design project will be required,” Ong said. “Depending on their interest, students will have the option to take additional biomedical engineering or management of technology courses as part of their electives.”

The new master’s program will offer a chance for students to explore the biomedical industry.

“Unlike the M.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering, the M.S. in Biomedical Technology Commercialization program emphasizes commercialization, entrepreneurship and the working knowledge within the biomedical industries,” Ong said. “The M.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering focuses only on engineering, with students emphasizing on the engineering concepts and the applications of basic science in biomedical engineering.”

The implementation of this degree will be influential to students looking to remain in Texas after graduation.

“This degree is very useful in Texas, especially in San Antonio, since the bioscience/biomedicine/healthcare industry is one of the city’s leading industries,” Ong said. “San Antonio’s biomedical-related companies are either medical device manufacturers or corporations devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of innovative, high-technology medical therapies and products. As a result, they will not only need engineers who can design and test products but also the ability to protect that technology, get the newly discovered products through the regulatory affairs agencies and commercialize them.”

During the 2020 spring semester, classes will be offered in the classroom, but plans are being made to incorporate online courses in the future. After students complete this degree program, students will have knowledge in the design of biomedical devices, technology commercialization, product development, intellectual properties and the business knowledge to market those devices.