Students take two seminar classes that help them integrate engineering, science and clinical perspectives while also developing professional skills that prepare them to become independent investigators at the interface of technology and medicine. The seminars introduce students to the breadth of research areas in biomedical engineering and sciences and also cover technical communication skills, responsible conduct of research and other professional development topics.

HST500: Introduction to (Bio) Medical Engineering and Medical Physics

All MEMP students are required to take HST500 during the spring semester of their first year.  In the unusual case where a student is approved to defer HST.500, it must be taken in the second year and prior to the oral qualifying exam.

HST590: Biomedical Engineering Seminar Series

All MEMP students must complete four semesters of HST590, including one semester focused on responsible conduct of research. Other semesters typically include topics such as global health and mini MBA.

HST Professional Perspectives Requirement

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Alumni of HST’s MEMP PhD program pursue a wide range of career paths in academia, medicine, industry, entrepreneurship, and the public sector. Graduate students are eager to understand career options that may be available to them, either in areas well aligned to their specific research or in areas that differ from their focused graduate research engagement. To meet this need, HST has established a Professional Perspectives Requirement.

To fulfill the Professional Perspective Requirement, students must complete one of the activities listed below. Note that items 1-7 require registration for one unit of HST.999: Practical Experience in Health Sciences and Technology. To receive credit, students must submit a short report to the HST Academic Office summarizing the knowledge gained from the experience.

  1. Industry Colloquia:  Students attend three colloquia or seminars of their choice, focused on a topic under investigation by an industrial entity.
  2. Medical Colloquia: Student attend three colloquia, seminars, HST fall Frontiers Lecture Series (“Pizza + Pizzaz”) or grand rounds of their choice, focused on a topic related to a clearly defined area of biomedical research and patient care.
  3. Industry/Government Internship*: During the summer, or over the Independent Activities Period (IAP), students engage in an internship with a company or government laboratory. Summer registration has tuition implications. [1]
  4. Academic Internship*: Students are away from MIT for a period of time to engage in an academic internship at a peer institution. Summer registration has tuition implications.[1]
  5. Medical Clerkship*: Students engage in a medical clerkship of at least two weeks beyond the MEMP requirements for HST.201 and HST.202. Summer registration has tuition implications.[1]
  6. Industry Invitation*: Students are invited to share their research results by a visit to a company and by delivering research seminars to disseminate research contributions. Visits to the company will involve discussions with industry scientists and technical staff.
  7. Medical Invitation*: Students are invited to share their research results by a visit to an academic medical center and by delivering research seminars to disseminate research contributions. Visits to the academic medical center will involve discussions with medical researchers and clinicians.
  1. Professional Skills - Programs: Students successfully complete a recognized MIT or Harvard program for career development, teaching, mentoring, or innovation. Current examples include MIT’s Kaufman Teaching Certificate Program, MIT-Gordon Graduate Certificate in Technical Leadership, The Path to the Professorship, IDEA2 Global, IMPACT, and Catalyst. Students may petition to have other programs added to this list.
  2. Professional Skills - Classes: Student register for and successfully complete an MIT or Harvard class focused on professional skills such as negotiation, business development, etc.

*For International Students: When HST.999 is used to fulfill the Professional Perspectives Requirement and is directly related to the students’ field of study, international graduate students are eligible to apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT for F-1 visa holders) or Academic Training (AT for J-1 visa holders) from the International Students Office. Students enrolling in HST.999 who have already fulfilled the Professional Perspectives requirement may be advised by MIT’s International Students Office to apply for Optional Practical Training (F-1 visa holders) or Academic Training (J-1 visa holders).

[1] Summer tuition per unit of credit will be charged for paid internships at rates published on the MIT Registrar’s Office Website. For unpaid activities, the student may petition for a summer tuition waiver.

Implementation of the HST Professional Perspectives Requirement:

  • All HST PhD students who matriculate in fall 2020 or later must complete the Professional Perspective Requirement to earn their degree. HST PhD students who enrolled prior to fall 2020 may petition to complete the requirement.
  • A student may petition to waive the HST Professional Perspectives Requirement.  Waivers can be submitted at any time. Waivers will be granted for students who demonstrate significant engagement with industry, government, or academic medicine prior to matriculation into the PhD program.
  • A student may petition to repeat HST.999 for additional units of Professional Perspectives credit.
  • Students completing a Professional Perspectives activity that requires enrollment in HST.999 as noted above should enroll in HST.999 during the semester in which they engage in the corresponding activity.

Students who have not received a waiver or completed HST.999 will be asked for documentation of their Professional Perspectives activity (e.g. certificate of completion for a professional skills program) as part of their final degree audit during the semester before graduation.