Translational Medicine

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The Master of Translational Medicine (MTM) program links the Department of Bioengineering at Berkeley with the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at UCSF and is designed to train students in applying translational research and engineering approaches to solve fundamental problems in healthcare delivery. The master’s program draws on the unique expertise and technological resources available at the two institutions to provide trainees with the tools necessary to address real-world problems in a creative, interdisciplinary team setting.

This program should appeal to engineers, scientists, and clinicians who seek to bring innovative treatments and devices into clinical use. Individuals with backgrounds in medicine, nursing, dentistry, and pharmacy are encouraged to apply. We anticipate that upon receiving their master’s degree or after further academic or clinical training, graduates will work in industries that deliver healthcare products or patient care. 

Coursework includes translational aspects of therapeutic science and principles of engineering design. Content covers the fundamentals of bioengineering, physiology and disease processes, along with core medical principles, clinical research methods, and clinical trials design, as well as basics of business and management. The program culminates in a capstone design project experience in which students work in interdisciplinary teams co-advised by an engineering faculty member and an MD, PharmD, or clinician.

The MTM program is focused specifically on training in translational medicine as opposed to basic research science. As such, this master’s degree is generally intended as a terminal degree for students interested in industry and entrepreneurship and is not a gateway to the Bioengineering PhD program.

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MTM Admissions

Please see the MTM Program website for detailed application instructions.

Admissions decisions are governed by committee, and are based on several factors in the application, including (but not limited to) test scores, academics, essays, letters of recommendation, and prior research and work experience. Students from all educational fields are eligible to apply, but all applicants should be aware that the masters curriculum includes required coursework in bioengineering fundamentals; applicants with a non-technical background should make it clear in their application why they feel that they will be able to handle the more rigorous technical components of the coursework. Applicants who already hold a master's degree in bioengineering (or a similar field) will need to carefully specify their reasons for pursuing this additional masters; duplicate degrees are not allowed.

Please note: Applicants who intend to pursue additional degrees beyond the MTM program should be prepared to explain their intended educational trajectory.

Admission to the University

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant comes from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
    • courses in English as a Second Language,
    • courses conducted in a language other than English,
    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
    • courses of a non-academic nature.

If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. Official IELTS score reports must be mailed directly to our office from British Council. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years.

Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Admission to the Program

Applicants from countries in which the official language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency.

Master's Degree Requirements


Satisfactory completion of the MTM program requires the completion of 24 semester (or equivalent) units of upper division and graduate courses, including 6 semester (or equivalent) units of a master’s capstone project administered by the MTM faculty directors. At least 6 semester units (or equiv) must be in 200 series courses chosen from the outline below and from an approved elective list.

Please see the MTM curriculum website for more detail.

Bioengineering Courses (at least 10 semester units or equivalent)

Courses Required- 10 semester units
BIO ENG 270: Translational Challenges: Diagnostics, Devices, and Therapeutics (UCSF course, 2 quarter units)
BIO ENG 280Ethical and Social Issues in Translational Medicine (Berkeley)1
BIO ENG 296MTM Capstone Project (UCSF or Berkeley)6
Bioengineering Electives per approved study list

Clinical Needs and Strategies Courses (at least 6 semester units or equivalent)

Courses Required- 6 semester units
BIO ENG 249Course Not Available (Designing Clinical Research) UCSF course, 2 quarter units
BIO ENG 260: Translational Challenges as Medicine--"Anti-Medical School" (UCSF course, 1 quarter unit)
BIO ENG 285: Health Care Finance and Economics (UCSF course, 2 quarter units)
Clinical needs and strategies electives per approved study list

Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology Courses

Courses Required - 8 semester units
ENGIN 270AOrganizational Behavior for Engineers1
ENGIN 270BR&D Technology Management & Ethics1
ENGIN 270CTeaming & Project Management1
Business/Entrepreneurship Electives per approved study list


Translational Medicine

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.


John Anderson, Assistant Professor.

Martin S. Banks, Professor. Stereopsis, virtual reality, optometry, multisensory interactions, self-motion perception, vision, depth perception, displays, picture perception, visual ergonomics.
Research Profile

Steven Brenner, Professor. Molecular biology, computational biology, evolutionary biology, bioengineering, structural genomics, computational genomics, cellular activity, cellular functions, personal genomics.
Research Profile

John Canny, Professor. Computer science, activity-based computing, livenotes, mechatronic devices, flexonics.
Research Profile

Jose M. Carmena, Professor. Brain-machine interfaces, neural ensemble computation, neuroprosthetics, sensorimotor learning and control.
Research Profile

Michelle Chang, Associate Professor.

Irina M. Conboy, Associate Professor. Stem cell niche engineering, tissue repair, stem cell aging and rejuvenation.
Research Profile

Yang Dan, Professor. Neuronal circuits, mammalian visual system, electrophysiological, psychophysical and computational techniques, visual cortical circuits, visual neurons.
Research Profile

John Eugene Dueber, Assistant Professor. Synthetic biology, Metabolic Engineering.
Research Profile

+ Robert J. Full, Professor. Energetics, comparative biomechanics, arthropod, adhesion, comparative physiology, locomotion, neuromechanics, biomimicry, biological inspiration, reptile, gecko, amphibian, robots, artificial muscles.
Research Profile

Jack L. Gallant, Professor. Vision science, form vision, attention, fMRI, computational neuroscience, natural scene perception, brain encoding, brain decoding.
Research Profile

Xiaohua Gong, Professor. Optometry, vision science, eye development and diseases, lens development.
Research Profile

Amy Herr, Associate Professor. Microfluidics, bioanalytical separations, diagnostics, electrokinetic transport, engineering design.
Research Profile

Tony M. Keaveny, Professor. Biomechanics of bone, orthopaedic biomechanics, design of artificial joints, osteoporosis, finite element modeling, clinical biomechanics.
Research Profile

Stanley A. Klein, Professor. Optometry, vision science, spatial vision modeling, psychophysical methods and vision test design, corneal topography and contact lens design, source localization of evoked potentials, fMRI, amblyopia.
Research Profile

Luke Lee, Professor. Biophotonics, biophysics, bionanoscience, molecular imaging, single cell analysis, bio-nano interfaces, integrated microfluidic devices (iMD) for diagnostics and preventive personalized medicine.
Research Profile

Seung-Wuk Lee, Associate Professor. Nanotechnology, bio-inspired nanomaterials, synthetic viruses, regenerative tissue engineering materials, drug delivery vehicles.
Research Profile

Song Li, Professor. Bioengineering, vascular tissue engineering, stem cell engineering, mechano-chemical signal transduction, biomimetic matrix, molecules, bioinformatic applications in tissue engineering, molecular dynamics.
Research Profile

Michel Maharbiz, Associate Professor. Neural interfaces, bioMEMS, microsystems, MEMS, microsystems for the life sciences.
Research Profile

Gerard Marriott, Professor.

Richard Mathies, Professor. Genomics, biophysical, bioanalytical, physical chemistry; laser spectroscopy, resonance Raman, excited-state reaction dynamics photoactive proteins, rhodopsins, microfabricated chemical biochemical analysis devices, forensics, infectious disease detection.
Research Profile

Mohammad Mofrad, Professor. Nuclear pore complex and nucleocytoplasmic transport, mechanobiology of disease, cellular mechanotransduction, integrin-mediated focal adhesions.
Research Profile

Niren Murthy, Professor.

+ Alexander Pines, Professor. Theory and experiment in magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging, quantum coherence and decoherence, novel concepts and methods including molecular and biomolecular sensors and microfluidics, laser hyperpolarization and detection, laser and zero-field NMR, in areas from material science to biomedicine.
Research Profile

Austin John Roorda, Professor. Adaptive optics, eye, vision, ophthalmoscopy, scanning laser ophthalmoscope, ophthalmology.
Research Profile

Kimmen Sjolander, Professor. Computational biology, algorithms, phylogenetic tree reconstruction, protein structure prediction, multiple sequence alignment, evolution, bioinformatics, hidden Markov models, metagenomics, statistical modeling, phylogenomics, emerging and neglected diseases, machine-learning, genome annotation, metagenome annotation, systems biology, functional site prediction, ortholog identification.
Research Profile

Lydia Sohn, Associate Professor. Micro-nano engineering.
Research Profile

Danielle Tullman-Ercek, Assistant Professor. Bioenergy, synthetic biology, protein engineering, bionanotechnology.
Research Profile

Emeritus Faculty

Thomas F. Budinger, Professor Emeritus. Image processing, biomedical electronics, quantitative aging, cardiovascular physiology, bioastronautics, image reconstruction, nuclear magnetic resonance, positron emission, tomography, reconstruction tomography, inverse problem mathematics.
Research Profile

Contact Information


306 Stanley Hall

MC 1762

Phone: 510-642-5833

Fax: 510-642-5835

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Department Chair

Daniel Fletcher, PhD

Phone: 510-642-5833

Executive Director, MTM Program

Michael "Moose" O'Donnell, PhD

306B Stanley Hall, UC Berkeley

Phone: 510-664-4472

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