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Medical Engineering and Medical Physics (MEMP)

The Medical Engineering and Medical Physics (MEMP) program is a five to seven year program that leads to a PhD awarded by MIT or by the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The program trains students as engineers or physical scientists who also have extensive knowledge of the medical sciences. By understanding engineering and physical science applications, as well as their clinical implications, graduates of this program are well positioned to define new questions and formulate novel approaches in biomedical research. 



The MEMP curriculum includes multiple components that prepare students to be medical innovators who will advance human health:

  • Students receive a thorough graduate education in a classical discipline of engineering or physical science. Each student selects a concentration area and completes a series of courses where they learn the fundamentals of their chosen discipline.
  • Students become conversant in the biomedical sciences through preclinical coursework and clinical experiences. Courses such as pathology and pathophysiology are taken together with HST MD students. Then students engage in immersive clinical experiences where they acquire a hands-on understanding of clinical care, medical decision-making, and the role of technology in medical practice. Through these experiences, students become fluent in the language and culture of medicine and gain a first-hand understanding of the opportunities for, and constraints on, applying scientific and technological innovations in health care.
  • Two seminar classes help students integrate science and engineering with medicine and develop professional skills.
  • A two-stage qualifying examination ensures that each student is proficient in his or her chosen concentration area, can integrate information from diverse sources into a coherent research proposal, and able to defend that research proposal in an oral presentation.
  • Students investigate important problems at the interfaces of science, technology, and clinical medicine through individualized thesis research projects mentored by faculty in laboratories at MIT, Harvard, and affiliated teaching hospitals.

Neuroimaging and Bioastronautics are two areas of specialization within MEMP for which HST offers specially designed training programs.