Doctoral Degree Program in Biomedical Engineering

Applicants to the Ph.D. program are expected to demonstrate outstanding ability and to show, based on their record of previous scholarship and experience, that they are likely to do superior creative work in their respective fields. Holding a master’s degree from this or any other institution does not render the applicant automatically admissible to a doctoral program. In general, doctoral applicants must meet all admission requirements for the BME M.S. degree and must present evidence that they are capable of doing independent work of distinction. Exceptional students with a B.S. degree may be directly admitted into the BME Ph.D. program.

A minimum of 15 credits of advanced course work, beyond the M.S., are required for the Ph.D. Additionally, 15 credit hours of GRAD 6950 “Doctoral Dissertation Research” are required.

A minimum of 30-33 credits including 30 credits of advanced course work, beyond the B.S., are required for the Ph.D. Additionally, 15 credit hours of GRAD 6950 “Doctoral Dissertation Research” are required.

Minimum Requirements for PhD

Without Master’s Requirements With Master’s
30 credits Course Credits 15 credits
5 engineering, 2 life science, 1 experimental design with biostatistics, additional courses in consultation with major advisor Core Courses 3 engineering, 1 life science, 1 experimental design with biostatistics, additional courses in consultation with major advisor
15 credits (GRAD 6950) Research Credits 15 credits (GRAD 6950)
6 credits (independent studies, additional courses, Seminar) Credits 2 Seminar credits
Two, one accepted Publications Two, one accepted
Written and Oral Exam Qualifying Exam Written and Oral Exam
Dissertation Proposal Dissertation Proposal/General Exam Dissertation Proposal
Dissertation Defense Final Exam Dissertation Defense

*All BME PhD students are required to take at least two semesters of the Graduate BME Seminar. These credits hours will be counted toward the total credit requirements but not towards advanced course credits.

Under the Ph.D. curriculum, students must take a minimum of five engineering courses and a minimum of two life science course to satisfy graduation requirements. You will work with your major advisor and advisory committee to select the additional courses that fit the definitions below and are most relevant to your career goals.

Life Sciences Courses– To help integrate biology into your engineering experience, we require that you take at least one life science course recommended on the BME course website at Courses are typically selected from anatomy and physiology, cell and molecular biology or biophysical chemistry, but are not limited to these areas.

Engineering Courses– An engineering course should be any engineering course recommended on the BME Course Track List at

Elective Courses– Graduate level courses which will be selected in consultation with the Major Advisor in the area related to the student’s research.

Advisory Committee

The advisory committee is formed after consultation between the major advisor and the student.  This committee must include, in addition to the major advisor, at least two Biomedical Engineering graduate faculty members.  In addition to the three or more members chosen in the usual way, another member, ordinarily a member of the graduate faculty outside the student’s field of study but in a related field may be appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Degree programs are planned by the advisory committee after consultation with the student.  The advisory committee may require more than the required minimum  credit hours of course work beyond the BS or M.S. degree based on the academic credentials of the student (i.e., the student enters the program without a Biomedical Engineering degree and/or life science background) or adds courses to address the student’s research focus.  The advisory committee should be formed before the student has completed twelve credits of degree program course work and shall then supervise the remainder of the student’s degree program.

Doctoral Qualifying Exam

All doctoral candidates are required to take and pass a Qualifying Examination at the end of the second year.

Biomedical Engineering Program Publication Requirement

Two journal papers must be submitted to a leading Biomedical Engineering journal before graduation (with at least one of them having gone through the review cycle favorably).

Research Requirement
Research required for the doctoral degree in biomedical engineering involves the use of advanced engineering techniques for the solution of a biological or medical problem. Ph.D. candidates must submit at least two journal papers to a leading BME journal before graduation, with at least one of them having gone through the review process favorably. Note that the journal submissions must be full papers, with two short papers the equivalent of a full paper.

Industrial Engineering Internship
The industrial internship offers an in-depth, vigorous, industrial experience that complements the engineering expertise gained in the classroom. Students in the industrial internship can earn an MS and Ph.D degree. Companies located throughout New England participate in the program. The primary objectives of this industrial internship program are to provide: exposure to the industrial workplace; the opportunity to apply engineering knowledge and expertise to a variety of industrial projects; and the opportunity to interact with a variety of industrial work groups, including administrators, engineers, and technicians.