Drexel University students earning master’s degrees in biomedical engineering now have the option to complete part of their program in China, thanks to an expanded agreement with Med-X Research Institute of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU).
The joint master’s degree between SJTU and the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems is a new addition to an existing initiative, which offers a dual PhD program in biomedical engineering, along with other academic and research partnerships.
Lisa Xu, PhD, dean of the Graduate School and vice president for education at SJTU, visited Drexel to sign the agreement this spring. She was joined by James Herbert, PhD, dean of the Graduate College and executive vice provost, and Kenneth Barbee, PhD, interim director of the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems.
The signing followed Drexel President John A. Fry’s visit to China and South Korea in November, which set out to advance relationships with academic and research partners. University leaders and faculty including Herbert and Julie Mostov, PhD, senior vice provost for global initiatives, were included in President Fry’s delegation.
Through this latest collaboration, students in the joint master’s program will spend time in both Philadelphia and Shanghai, researching and taking courses for at least a year at each university. The thesis committees of these students will include faculty representation from Drexel and SJTU and in fulfilling the degree requirements, students will earn a biomedical engineering master’s degree from both universities.
“This collaborative degree not only complements the diversity of our graduate programs but also comes at a time when global experience is more valuable than ever for students,” Herbert said. “Furthermore, Drexel and SJTU are natural partners, both being leading comprehensive research universities with an international reach and strong programs in science and technology.”
Established in 1896 as one of the first national universities in China, SJTU educates approximately 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students with a faculty of over 1,900. The university offers 250 master’s degree programs.
“This agreement enhances our existing collaboration with SJTU,” said Mostov. “It may serve as a template for similar dual masters programs that are particularly attractive to students who want to amplify their academic experience with a global experience.”