2022-2023 Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletin (with addenda) 
    Jul 22, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletin (with addenda)

Biomedical Engineering, Ph.D.

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The primary goal of the Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering (BME) is to provide students with an indepth, advanced education that will give them the tools needed to perform fundamental and applied independent research in biomedical engineering. In addition, students will gain the requisite technical knowledge that they may wish to apply to management, marketing, sales, and entrepreneurial activities related to biomedical engineering.

The Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering is awarded to a student upon successful completion of 75 credits and the defense of a comprehensive dissertation research project. The credits are broken down as minimums of 27 course credits – 12 core courses plus 15 electives – and 27 doctoral dissertation research credits, with flexible choices in coursework and/or research for the remaining credits. A maximum of 30 course credits may be transferred from previous graduate course work. Doctoral dissertation credits can only be taken upon passing the qualifying exam. Students should be able to complete the doctoral program within four to six years.

Core Requirement (12 credits total)

Students must take at least one course in advanced mathematics and/or statistics for biomedical engineering, one course in biomedical or biophysical science, and one course in
biomechanics or bioinstrumentation. In addition, one course in responsible conduct of research is required, in accordance with the rules of the National Institutes of Health for student training programs. A total of four courses (or 12 credits) – one course (or 3 credits) from each of the areas mentioned – are needed to complete the core requirement.

Advanced Mathematics and Statistics for Biomedical Engineering (3 Credits)

At least one course is required in advanced mathematics and/or statistics. Students may choose one of the following courses.

Biomedical or Biophysical Science (3 credits)

At least one course is required from the area of biomedical science or biophysical science. Students may choose from the following courses.

Biomechanics or Bioinstrumentation (3 credits)

One course in biomechanics or bioinstrumentation is required. Students may choose from the following courses.

Responsible Conduct of Research (3 Credits)

Students must take a course on resposible conduct in regards to research. The following course will meet this requirement.

Electives (15 credits minimum)

Students will take a minimum of 15 credits of electives. More electives may be taken depending on if students wish to focus on courswork or dissertation research. Courses listed under the core requirement may be used for electives, after the student has filled the core requirement. However, the same course cannot count as both a core and an elective. Students may choose electives from the list below.

Qualifying Exam and Dissertation (27 Credits Minimum)

Passing a doctoral qualifying examination is required in order to begin taking dissertation research credits. The qualifying exam will be based on assigned thematically focused publications. This exam may be taken as early as the end of the first year, and not later than the middle of the second year. In the case of failure, the right to a second examination within six months is at the discretion of the examination committee in consultation with the Biomedical Engineering program committee. The qualifying examination must be passed by the end of the second year.

Once students have passed the qualifying exam, they may then enroll in dissertation research. A minimum of 27 credits of dissertation are required for this Ph.D. degree. Once dissertation research begins, students must enroll in at least 3 credits of dissertation each fall and spring term (the summer term is optional) until graduation.


The Ph.D. degree requires a total of 75 credits to graduate. The minimum credit requirements for the core, electives, and the dissertation total to 54 credits. This design is intentional so that students are afforded the flexibility to structure the remaining 21 credits in the way that best suits their interests and goals. Students have the option of either electing to take more courses or more dissertation credits or a combination of both for these 21 credits.

Department Colloquium Requirements

Students must enroll in and attend the BE-GY 9730 Colloquium in Biomedical Engineering  lecture series with distinguished invited speakers each semester, and participate and enroll in BE-GY 9740 Seminar in Biomedical Engineering  for professional development for at least four semesters.

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