What if you could save someone’s life by inventing a groundbreaking medical device? At Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) in Claremont, CA, our Master of Science in Medical Device Engineering (MSMDE) program prepares students for engineering roles in inventions, development, and production of medical devices in specialties like wearables, assistive technology, drug delivery, or in-vitro diagnostics.

Graduates of KGI’s two-year program gain skills in product development, project management, quality assurance and control, data analysis, and product management. Taking classes in the Medical and Assistive Device Lab, students gain hands-on experience with modern prototyping equipment such as laser cutters, vacuum formers, soldering stations, electronic testing equipment, and 3D printers.

Students learn how to design devices that diagnose and treat medical needs, develop these next-generation transformative devices, and plan and manage production to improve worldwide healthcare. Our graduates are passionate about medical devices and diagnostics and apply their engineering backgrounds to solve real healthcare problems.

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Program Quick Facts

Fact
Details
Program length
It takes four semesters (two years) to complete the MSMDE program.
Full or part-time program
The MSMDE program is a full-time program with classes during the day.
Online or in-person classes
All classes are done in-person along with lab work essential for learning.
Summer experience
Students are encouraged to complete a summer internship or participate in summer research.
Capstone requirements
Students participate in teams on a year-long industry sponsored project.

MSMDE Program Details

  • In the MSMDE program, students will :

    • Interact with patients and healthcare providers to gain a true understanding of the clinical setting and user needs.
    • Learn and apply industry practices to develop and manufacture viable medical devices.
    • Work in teams with industry sponsors to solve real-world problems.
  • The curriculum integrates three key knowledge areas across core and elective courses, and provides authentic experiences with patients, providers, and industry.

    Courses in the program are delivered in small section sizes with the aim of delivering realistic and transferable experiences for industry careers. For example, the course “Clinical Experience for Engineers” provides students with opportunities to observe and analyze the use environment for various medical devices as well as practice inter-personal interactions with patients and professionals.

  • In support of their courses, students have access to the Medical and Assistive Device (MAD) Lab. Students use the room to work on class projects, team master’s projects, research activities, and as a place to study. The lab is equipped with modern prototyping equipment for electronics and mechanical work, such as a laser cutter, vacuum former, soldering stations, electronic testing equipment, and 3D printers. Students use this space for collaborating, designing, prototyping, and showcasing their work.

  • Clinical Experience

    User-centered design involves understanding the needs of patients and healthcare providers. As part of the curriculum, students in the program are placed in a clinical setting where they learn to observe and interact with patients, providers, and conduct user studies.

    Industry Experience

    The MSMDE program leverages the strong industry relationships of the Henry E. Riggs School of Applied Life Sciences to provide authentic experiences and networking opportunities for our students. These include:

    • Visiting speakers
    • Case-based coursework
    • Industry sponsored projects
    • Alumni network
    • Advisory Board connections 

    Culminating in a capstone experience—the Team Master’s Project—students work in teams with an industry sponsor and faculty support on a medical device project that integrates the curricular elements into a single experience.

  • MedTech is a vast and steadily growing industry with a need for qualified engineers. The MSMDE program helps develop the most requested skills including:

    • Product development
    • Project management
    • Quality management

    Data analysis students will also develop sought-after professional skills through practice and mentorship, including:

    • Communication
    • Teamwork/collaboration
    • Problem solving
    • Creativity
    • Organizational skills
  • Over 40,000 jobs were listed nationally last year in medical device engineering. The MSMDE program will help develop the most requested skills for those open positions, which include:

    • Product development
    • Project management (planning, scheduling, budgeting)
    • Quality assurance/quality control
    • Data analysis
    • Product manager
  • The MSMDE program is designed for those with a passion for medical devices and diagnostics who want to:

    • Apply engineering to healthcare problems
    • Design devices to diagnose and treat medical needs
    • Lead the development of the next generation of transformative medical devices
    • Plan and manage the production of medical devices to improve worldwide healthcare

KGI Celebrates 2021-2022 Accomplishments During Awards and Recognition Ceremonies

In celebration of KGI’s accomplishments during the 2021-2022 academic year, the Henry E. Riggs School of Applied Life Sciences (Riggs School) and School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (SPHS) hosted […]

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Medical Device Engineering Student Mary Bessell Thrives in KGI’s Supportive Environment, Navigating Learning Challenges While Playing to Her Strengths

Mary Bessell, MSMDE ’23, is not a typical master’s student, as she has already earned a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s in Product Development Engineering from USC. However, […]

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Severe Injuries Motivate KGI Student Michael Gonzalez to Design Medical Devices

From an early age, Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) student Michael Gonzalez, MSMDE ’22, has always been interested in building and fixing things. His father taught him much about cars over […]

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InvisiBreeze Mask Designed at KGI’s Medical Device Development Bootcamp Summer Program Addresses Common Mask Objections

Some of the most common objections to wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic include an uncomfortable fit, difficulty breathing, and moisture buildup that causes glasses to fog. A team […]

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Program Faculty

Anna Iwaniec Hickerson, PhD

Associate Professor; Program Director, Master of Science in Medical Device Engineering
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Travis Schlappi, PhD

Assistant Professor in Medical Diagnostics
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Angelika Niemz, PhD

Chair of Business and Bioengineering for the Henry E. Riggs School of Applied Life Sciences and Arnold and Mabel Beckman Professor
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Ed Arnheiter, PhD

Professor of Practice
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Day in the Life of an MSMDE Student

"I’m thrilled that KGI is finally offering to provide the medical device industry with much needed, well-rounded, business-savvy engineers!"
Rafael Ollervides
Validation Engineer, Shire
MBS '16

Ready for What’s Next?

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If there’s anything we can do, be sure to connect with our admissions team. You can also check out more information on cost and aid and how to apply.