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BioPh.D. Handbook | Advising

Bioengineering Ph.D.
For the 2019 - 2020 Academic Year
Printable pdf version.



One of the most important matters for graduate students is the choice of a faculty advisor. This choice can have a great effect on your time in graduate school and long-term career path. Upon entry, you will be temporarily advised by a faculty member assigned by your home department. Your permanent research advisor will be a faculty member in your home department.

Your advisor will be assigned to you based on your input, the current faculty needs, and available resources. In most cases individual students and faculty members make this arrangement without external intervention.

You should immediately begin speaking with faculty members in your area of interest upon arrival at Notre Dame. After your first semester you, will be asked to submit a ranked list of preferences for potential advisors to the program director. Some home departments may ask that you make this declaration earlier in your program.

If you do not have a research advisor by the end of the second semester in the program, you may be subject to dismissal from the program. If a student is dismissed by an advisor at any time during their studies and cannot secure the support of a new advisor within 6 weeks, they may be dismissed from the program at the end of the current semester.

Examination Committee

Within your first year of residence, you will establish your Examination Committee. This committee should be chosen carefully in consultation with your advisor, as they will also be involved in specifying the required coursework for your degree program. The committee must consist of:

  1. Your research advisor
  2. A faculty member of your home department
  3. A faculty member from outside your home department

All students must have an advisor from their home department who is an active member of the Bioengineering program. Any faculty member in the College of Engineering or the College of Science may be part of your examination committee.

You may have one member who is not on the Notre Dame faculty. In general, individuals from outside the University should be tenured faculty at another university, or otherwise have a record of scholarly activity. An outside member must be formally requested to and approved by the Program Committee.

Note that all three members of the committee are voting members on your examination and dissertation, and should be able to understand and judge the suitability of your coursework and research for your degree.

Professional Development and Career Planning

The Graduate Career Center resources are focused on graduate student success —helping you to be the best prepared in order to obtain strong career outcomes after your time at Notre Dame. All first-year Bioengineering PhD students are required to schedule a one-on-one sit down session with a Graduate Career counselor during their first year of study, preferably in the spring semester, and again sometime within their third year of the program. The purpose of the requirement is to assist you in understanding and navigating your career options while taking the steps necessary to achieve your goals. The Center is located in the Graduate School, 110 Bond Hall, and online at http://gradcareers.nd.edu/.