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Biomedical Engineering is an interdisciplinary specialty that applies engineering principles to solve clinical problems. This discipline commonly deals with medical therapies, monitoring devices, and diagnostic tools. The contributions of biomedical engineering to society have grown rapidly since WW II. In fact, the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) recently listed the most prominent modern-day technologies and applications that have come about as a result of biomedical engineering. These include:

Artificial organs, like pacemakers, hearing aids, synthetic blood vessels and hemodialysis systems
Computer modeling of bodily systems, such as renal function and blood pressure machines
Medical imaging, which includes MRIs, X-ray tomography, ultrasound, positron emission tomography and more


Other applications of biomedical engineering include biomaterials design, regenerative engineering, sports medicine, and advanced therapeutic devices. Furthermore, smart technologies are becoming significant in healthcare. For instance, smart technologies allow use of real-time analysis to assist doctors and physicians in diagnosing illness, but also in using analytics to assist with provision of care. Some of these capabilities may be present in machines or equipment designed by biomedical engineers.

Entry requirements

Applicants applying to the Program are expected to have:

1. An undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent).

During the application period final year students may submit official current transcript for consideration. 

2. A minimum CGPA of 2.75 out of 4.0 (or equivalent).

3. High level of English proficiency.

The absolute minimum requirement for English language proficiency test reports for admission to the program is:

1) Overall IELTS test score of 6.5 (with sub-scores no less than 6.0) or the equivalent TOEFL score as posted on the ETS website;

2) Candidates with not sufficient IELTS score may be admitted to the ZERO-year program:

The absolute minimum requirement for English language proficiency test report for conditional admission (NUZYP) is an overall IELTS test score of 5.5, with no more than one sub-score of 5.0, or the equivalent TOEFL scores as posted on the ETS website;

3) Applicants, at the discretion of the Admissions Committee, can be exempted from submitting the language proficiency test report if:

- one of their earlier academic degrees was earned in a country with English as the language of official communication, academic instruction and daily life;

- an undergraduate and/or graduate degree was earned in a program which was officially taught in English.

4. strong reading, analytical and mathematical skills as demonstrated by GRE test (optional). Although an official GRE score is not an essential requirement, an applicant can enhance her/his application with a competitive GRE score;

5. High motivation and strong interest in the program as outlined in a statement of purpose;

6. A curriculum vitae;

7. Two letters of recommendation.


Application package checklist:

1. Complete Application form;

2. National ID (for the citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan) and passport (for international applicants);

3. Official document confirming name change (if applicable);

4. Bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree diploma with transcript;

During the application period final year students may upload official current transcript for consideration.

5. IELTS or TOEFL certificate valid as of date of online documents submission;

6. Document confirming English as the language of instruction (only for applicants who earned their degree in a program which was taught in English and request an exemption from submitting IELTS or TOEFL).

Applicants should provide a detailed certificate/reference from the university indicating the number and list of subjects completed in English.

7. Curriculum vitae (up to 2 pages);

8. GRE/GMAT certificate valid as of date of online documents submission (if applicable);

9. Statement of purpose (up to 1 page);

10. Two confidential letters of recommendation (at least one academic reference) written within the last 12 months (to be provided by referees electronically or in hard copy after receiving an email request);

11. Consent for Applicant’s personal data processing (according to the template in applicant’s personal account).


All required documents indicated above (excluding letters of recommendation) must be uploaded by candidates to the Personal account before the indicated deadline.

All submitted documents shall be in English or with notarized English translation.

Submission of a complete application package does not guarantee admission to the Program.

Applicants recommended for admission must provide hard copies of all documents as requested by the Admissions Department within established period of time.

Applicants who obtained their degree diplomas/certificates from foreign education institutions must request their official transcripts to be sent directly to the University: 010000, Astana, Kabanbay Batyr Ave., 53, Nazarbayev University, Admissions Department.

Market Need:

Evidence of Biomedical Engineering is found everywhere in the innovation revolution that is currently underway in health care globally. In hospitals there is a plethora of connected devices; the instruments and machines in use have been designed and manufactured by engineers working in collaboration with practitioners, nurses, biochemists, physicists, microbiologists and technicians. Additional examples include pumps that administer drugs to patients, instruments that monitor heart rates, and scanning techniques like X-computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging that produce detailed images of internal body parts. Biomedical engineering is also at the root of devices that monitor the heart, replacements for body parts damaged by disease or injury and systems with a capacity to regenerate tissues and organs.

Clearly, modern innovation in medicine and health care is deeply rooted in the creative genius of engineers. It is evident that Kazakhstan can also play a role in this innovation movement. If this were to happen, then the country can gradually become independent of the supply of modern medical devices and other equipment from western countries. More than that, Kazakhstan could use its potential to become a producer of contemporary products of biomedical engineering, and export such products.

Program Aims:

  1. A thorough grounding in the life sciences and mastery of analytical/ conceptual and critical thinking and problem-solving capacities, which are typical for engineering professionals.
  2. Familiarity with the problems of making and interpreting quantitative measurements of living systems.
  3. Capacity to set-up and conduct scientific experiments, and to analyze and interpret data from such experiments.
  4. The ability to formulate and solve problems with medical relevance, including the design of devices, systems, and processes to improve human health.
  5. Ability to communicate effectively with other scientific and technical experts, and –particularly- with physicians/clinicians.
  6. Ability to run or set-up a new enterprise in the field of biomedical engineering or medical device technology.

Program Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of the MSc Program Biomedical Engineering, graduates will be able to:

  1. Integrate life sciences and engineering for research, development and innovation with the aim to enhance human health.
  2. To evaluate ideas, models and hypotheses using appropriate experimental, mathematical and statistical approaches.
  3. Master multiple instrumental, computational and biological techniques for experimentation and modeling.
  4. Think critically with the ability to appropriately analyze data originating from experiments and simulations, and to draw justifiable conclusions
  5. Recognize ethical issues, consider multiple points of view, and use critical ethical reasoning to determine the appropriate behavior to follow in the practice of biomedical engineering.
  6. Communicate effectively individually as well as in the team environment

Core courses

MSC 605: Anatomy and Physiology for Biomedical Engineering (NUSOM)

Study of the basics of human anatomy and physiology including anatomical terminology, cells and tissues, body membranes, the skeletal system and muscular system. The nervous system, special senses, the cardiovascular system, ECG, the respiratory system, urinary system.  The course provides a foundation in human anatomy appropriate for biomedical engineering professionals.  Learning objectives will be achieved through a combination of lecture and hands-on (laboratory) approaches, reinforced by clinical examples and analysis of how biomedical devices interface with anatomical structures.

Students will participate in small group discussions of clinical case studies, make group presentations of topic appropriate biomedical devices, and prepare a term paper on the subject of their choice selected from a list of topics generated by the instructor.

MSC600: Research Methods and Ethics

This course addresses the primary need for graduate students to undertake formal training that will help them in understanding how to conduct their research. The course will develop student’s understanding of research plan and engender skills enhancement for reading, interpreting, writing and presenting key ideas. The course will also instill an understanding of a variety of research methods and ethics, and implement appropriate strategies in lecture and workshop settings.

MSC601: Technical Communication

This graduate level course combines the application of rhetorical analysis to stylistic conventions of writing in engineering, with a focus on clarity, conciseness, and coherence. Students will employ process writing to produce genre specific writing familiar to engineers, including research reports, and scientific papers designed for specific audiences. This course also trains students to deliver effective and appealing professional and scientific presentations, with attention to best practices in use of technical English and oral communication.


MSC602: Advanced Applied Mathematics

This course reviews and deepens the advanced analytical and numerical methods to solve ordinary and partial differential equations. The whole course, lectures and tutorials, will be delivered through a mathematical software package capable of performing symbolical calculations.

The module is designed for graduate students to cover their research needs concerning mathematical modeling via analytical, semi-analytical or numerical procedures.

MBME 600: Research Seminar

This course enables students to gain and apply basic research knowledge and skills to select their research projects in Biomedical Engineering. The course develops the following knowledge and skills:

  • Identifying the area of research interest;
  • Surveying of state-of-the-art for the area of interest;
  • Identifying the research topic and associated issues;
  • Understanding of the social, cultural, global and environmental issues associated with chosen research topic;
  • Writing a scientific paper based on literature survey under the supervision of a faculty member;

Presentation of a seminar and being assessed by a panel

MBME608: Ethics for Biomedical Engineers

This course addresses the fact that biomedical engineering, a profession that can affect life profoundly, and ethics should go hand in hand. Protecting and enhancing life is the essence of ethics; thus every biomedical engineer and design professional needs a foundation in bioethics.

The course will highlight emerging biomedical issues that must be addressed by engineers and scientists within a global and societal context. Examples of subjects to be discussed are:

  • Who is a good engineer?
  • What is morality?
  • What is responsible conduct in research, especially with regard to experimentation with animals?
  • Genetically Modified Organisms
  • How do engineers think?
  • Engineering versus Economics;
  • Conflicts of Interest;
  • Safety, Risk and Reliability in Design;
  • Risk as an Ethical Concept; Risk-based Ethics;
  • Failure of Medical Devices. How and why?
  • Failure types (mistakes and miscalculations, extraordinary circumstances, critical path, negligence, lack of imagination)
  • Fairness and Justice, professional virtue and empathy, precaution.
  • Life cycles and concurrent engineering
  • Feedback and enhancement of design
MBME601: Research Project I

This course intends to give the students the opportunity to develop the research proposal. The course develops the following knowledge and skills:

  • Preparation of a thorough and comprehensive literature review to support the research proposal;
  • Formulation of the research hypothesis;

Developing and justifying the methods to conduct research.

MBME602: Research Project II

This course intends to give the students the opportunity to fully implement the research proposal and bring it to a conclusion. The course develops the following knowledge and skills:

  • Planning and conducting, independently,, research at an advanced level;
  • Critically analyzing research results;
  • Effectively presenting their results to a wide audience;

Effectively compiling their results in the form of an authoritative thesis.

MBME 602 Biomaterials Science & Engineering

This course deals with the broad field of biomaterials from a materials science perspective. We are focusing on synthesis, structure and properties of materials and how they impart their bioactivity and biocompatibility. The course includes materials used for human repair such as permanent implants, devices, materials for drug delivery, and scaffolds for tissue regeneration. Practical examples, taken from orthopedic surgery, spinal surgery, cardiovascular surgery and dentistry will be discussed. The course also discusses biological synthesis of materials, structure-property relations relevant to biological function or biomedical applications of materials, as well as biological response to synthetic materials.

MBME 604 Biosensors

The course focusses on the most important engineering principles used to detect small molecules, DNA, proteins, and cells in the context of applications in diagnostic testing, pharmaceutical research, and environmental monitoring. While fiber-optic electrochemical methods will be discussed in particular, the course will also pay attention to methods on the basis of fluorescence, acoustics, and optics. Furthermore, the role of surfaces and selective surface chemistry will be highlighted, including methods for biomolecule attachment to transducer surfaces; characterization of biosensor performance; blood glucose detection; fluorescent DNA microarrays; label-free biochips; bead-based assay methods. Students will analyze case studies of commercial biosensor systems.

MBME 607 Tissue Engineering / Regenerative Medicine

This course is designed to cover the basics and applications of tissue engineering as an emerging therapeutic approach to treat degenerated or damaged tissues/organs. The topics in this course will include tissue engineering strategies such as the design, fabrication and utilization of biomaterials; cellular engineering including cell therapy, drug delivery; as well as cell-biomaterial interactions. Recent advances and major problems relevant to tissue engineering will also be presented and discussed.

MBME 652 Tissue Engineering / Regenerative Medicine Laboratory

This course is designed to cover the basics and applications of tissue engineering as an emerging therapeutic approach to treat degenerated or damaged tissues/organs. The topics in this course will include tissue engineering strategies such as the design, fabrication and utilization of biomaterials; cellular engineering including cell therapy, drug delivery; as well as cell-biomaterial interactions. Recent advances and major problems relevant to tissue engineering will also be presented and discussed.

Course Code and Title MBME 700 Strategies for Controlled Topical Delivery of Drugs

This course will provide students with an understanding of the principles, strategies, and materials used in the engineering of controlled drug delivery systems. To this end, it will focus on topics at the interface between engineering and medicine such as polymer chemistry, biomaterials, mass transport, and pharmacokinetics.  The course will first cover the fundamentals of drug delivery, including physiology, pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, drug diffusion and permeation, and biomaterials used in drug delivery. Controlled release strategies for various administration routes will then be discussed. The course will conclude with special topics lectures from graduate students

MBME 701 Microbiology, including lab

The course teaches general and special bacteriology, general and special virology, mycology and parasitology as well as the related laboratory methodology. The course will focus on various complex relationships between micro-organisms and disease. Attention will be paid to bacterial physiology, pathogenicity and virulence factors, bacterial genetics, antibiotics and chemotherapeutics. Current research within medical microbiology will be highlighted. Furthermore, students will obtain knowledge about organization, method validation, quality assurance, accreditation and areas of responsibility within medical microbiology.

MBME 702 Diagnostic Methods and Clinical Chemistry

The course aims to provide knowledge about the connection between patient, tests and the clinical diagnostic laboratory's importance in the daily activities in healthcare. The following fields are covered during the course.


  • Clinical chemistry diagnostics of the most common disorders in different organ systems;
  • Hematopoiesis, normal hematology, leukemia and anemia;
  • The principles of drug analyses, toxicological analyses and addiction analyses;
  • The principles of pharmaceutical effects, metabolism in the body and the factors that influence these;
  • Laws and regulations within healthcare;
  • Blood sampling;
  • Literature research in relevant databases;

Quality assurance.

MBME 703 Medical Device Technology

Medical Devices encompasses all products, except medicines, used in healthcare for the diagnosis, prevention, monitoring or treatment of illness or disability. Examples include contact lenses, orthopedic joint replacement, programmable pacemakers, stents, ventilators and laser surgical devices. Working in this field involves the extensive collaboration of a broad range of partners, including research institutions, clinicians, manufacturing companies and government agencies.

This course if focused on ways to solve clinical problems by use of medical devices or implants. Topics include:

  • Instrumentation for surgical implantation procedures
  • Technology of cardiac pacemakers and other “vital” medical devices
  • Stent technologies
  • Dialysis technologies
  • The role of stress analysis in the design process;
  • Anatomic fit, shape and size of implants;
  • Selection of biomaterials;
  • Preclinical testing for safety and efficacy, including risk/benefit ratio assessment evaluation of clinical Performance and design of clinical trials.

Student project materials are drawn from orthopedic devices, cardiovascular implant devices, soft tissue implants, artificial organs, and dental implants.

Elective courses:

MBME 700 Strategies for Controlled Topical Delivery of Drugs

MBME 701 Microbiology

MBME 702 Diagnostic Methods and Clinical Chemistry

MBME 703 Medical Device Technology

MBME 705 Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Strategies

MBME 706 Clinical Imaging Techniques

MBME 707 Biomedical Engineering Design

MBME 608 Mechanics of Living Tissues

MBME 651 Biosensors laboratory

MBME 650 Biomaterials laboratory

MBME 652 Tissue Engineering/Regenerative Medicine  laboratory

MBME 653 Biomechanics lab

The typical curriculum for the program
Year 1: Fall Semester (Semester 1)
Program Core  MSC 601, Technical Communication 6
 MSC 602, Advanced Applied Mathematics 6
 MBME 603, Biomaterials Science & Engineering 6
 MBME 604, Biosensors 6
 MBME 610, Anatomy And Physiology For Biomedical Engineering 6


Year 1: Spring Semester (Semester 2)
Program Core  MSC 600, Research Methods And Ethics 6
 MBME 600, Research Seminar 6
 MBME 607, Advanced Tissue Engineering 6
Elective  ELECTIVE 1 (Pick on from Electives Pool) 4
 ELECTIVE 2 (Pick on from Electives Pool) 4


Year 2: Fall Semester (Semester 3)
Program Core  MBME 601, Master Thesis I 24
Elective ELECTIVE 3 (Pick on from Electives Pool) 6


Year 2: Spring Semester (Semester 4)
Program Core MBME 602,Master Thesis II 24
Elective ELECTIVE 4 (Pick on from Electives Pool) 6

* Student can choose an elective course from other Departments in SEDS or Schools per approval of the advisor and the Head of Depart-ment. At least two electives should be taken from the MBME Program.

Program Elective Courses

  • MBME 700, Strategies for Controlled Topical Delivery of Drugs
  • MBME 703, Medical Device Technology
  • MBME 705, Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Strategies
  • MBME 708, Biomedical Imaging
  • MBME 709, Mechanics of Living Tissues