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KGI’s Medical Device Engineering Program Now a One-Year Accelerated Master’s 

What if you could save someone’s life by inventing a groundbreaking medical device? Keck Graduate Institute (KGI)’s Master of Science in Medical Device Engineering (MSMDE) program, which started in 2019 as a two-year degree, is changing to better meet students’ needs in the form of a one-year accelerated master’s.  

Graduates of the two-semester 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, 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,” said Associate Professor and MSMDE Program Director Dr. Anna Hickerson.

“Our graduates are passionate about medical devices and diagnostics and apply their engineering backgrounds to solve real healthcare problems.” 

While the change in program length decreases the number of credits required to graduate, the curriculum covers the essential areas of expertise to apply engineering skills to the specialized field of medical devices and provides authentic experiences with the industry.  

Additionally, 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 students. These include visiting speakers, case-based coursework, industry-sponsored projects, a robust alumni network, and access to 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,” Hickerson continued. “The MSMDE program helps develop the most requested skills.” 

These skills include product development, project management, and quality management. Students also develop sought-after professional skills through practice and mentoring, such as communication, teamwork and collaboration, problem-solving, creativity, and organizational skills.  

Graduates of the MSMDE program have started their post-graduate careers in positions such as Research and Development Engineer, Product Development Engineer, Process Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, and Field Application Scientist. The knowledge from KGI’s degree and experience in these positions open opportunities for graduates to advance quickly.   

To learn more about KGI’s MSMDE program, visit

Check out KGI podcast #155 with Dr. Hickerson, as she discusses her background and the MSMDE program!