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Duke, Zhejiang University Launch 3+2 Program for Biomedical Engineering Master’s Students

A new international program allows ZJU students to earn a master's degree from Duke BME

A collaborative new program between Duke University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and the College of Biomedical Engineering and Instrument Science at Zhejiang University (ZJU) in China will pave the way for ZJU biomedical engineering students to earn their master’s degree from Duke. The new partnership, called the 3+2 Program, will enable engineering students to graduate with both a bachelor’s degree from ZJU and a Master of Engineering degree from Duke within five years.

The 3+2 Program marks the first collaborative effort between Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering and ZJU, providing both schools with a new tool to attract skilled engineering students and grow their international reach.

In the program, selected students from ZJU will spend three years completing undergraduate classes at the university in China. At the end of their third year, these students will move to Duke to complete their undergraduate thesis and all requirements for a master’s degree in BME. Once these requirements are met, the students will graduate with a bachelor’s degree from ZJU and a Master of Engineering degree from Duke in five years—one semester faster than the traditionally separate programs.

“We wanted to create a program that would benefit both schools,” said Fan Yuan, director of master’s studies in Duke BME and the program coordinator for Duke. “Through the 3+2 Program, Duke faculty and students get to work with students from a top engineering school in China, and this program will help ZJU attract talented engineering students from top high schools.”

To participate in the international program, third-year engineering students at ZJU must submit applications to the Master of Engineering program at Duke. After accepted students transition to the master’s portion of the program, they will complete Duke’s course requirements and a summer industrial internship. These students will also have opportunities to perform lab research under the guidance of Duke BME faculty.

The first students from ZJU are set to arrive at Duke in Fall 2018.

“The top-ranked BME program at Duke has an interdisciplinary research environment that offers unique opportunities for ZJU students to participate in translational research,” said Chen Xing, the deputy head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at ZJU and the program coordinator for ZJU. “We want our students to have a global vision about the direction of biomedical engineering.”

“We look forward to continued cooperation with Duke University,” said Zhou Hong, the dean of teaching in the College of Biomedical Engineering & Instrument Science at ZJU. “We are confident that excellent students will be selected to participate in this program, and we believe that Duke’s academic atmosphere will allow them to advance through professional fields.”

Duke BME has numerous programs that extend around the world, including an educational partnership with Makerere University in Uganda. This is its first partnership with ZJU, a top engineering school in China and the first to create a BME major in 1977.

“This program is the first step towards a future of collaboration in multiple fields of research,” said Chen Hang, the head of ZJU’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. “We look forward to the teaching and research projects we will share in the future.”

“We look forward to welcoming the students from Zhejiang University to Duke BME,” said Ashutosh Chilkoti, chair of Duke’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. “Zhejiang is one of the best universities in China, and this joint program is, I hope, a harbinger of greater collaboration between us.”