Home > Current Students > BioPh.D. Handbook | Degree Requirements

BioPh.D. Handbook | Degree Requirements

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



A. Course Requirements

The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 27 credits (usually nine courses) of coursework credit. Your advisor or your examination committee(s) may specifically require you to take additional courses based on their judgment of your preparation for research and scholarship. You may take courses beyond the minimum, with the approval of your research advisor, and to the extent that they do not interfere with your teaching and research responsibilities.

It is the policy of the University that students receiving stipends take no more than three courses per semester, so as not to interfere with your research and teaching responsibilities associated with the stipend.

Degree Program

At the end of the first year, you should complete the degree plan form (Appendix D) to indicate the courses you have taken and plan to take to meet the degree requirements.

Your signed degree program will be sent to the Graduate School, and represents the expected course sequence that you will complete for your degree. Changes to your degree plan may be necessary due to changes in course availability or your research program. Changes to your degree program will normally be approved by your committee and the program director at the time of your qualifying examination. You should discuss potential changes with your advisor and your committee to ensure that they are acceptable. If any courses listed on your signed degree program form are not completed, your degree will not be awarded.

You must complete at least nine courses for the degree. Graduate school regulations require that at least seven of the nine courses are at a level of 6XXXX and above. The following course distribution requirements must be satisfied by your degree program:

  1. ENGINEERING SCIENCE: Nine credits (three courses) of traditional engineering courses at the level of 5XXXX and above. These courses must incorporate significant applications of engineering mathematics, and should generally be from the student’s home department. The final determination of whether a course is appropriate to fulfill the engineering science requirement will be made by the Faculty Program Committee.
  2. BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE: Nine credits (three courses) of biosciences courses such as biology, physiology, anatomy, or biochemistry. Courses at the 3XXXX-level may be taken as remedial courses, but cannot be used to fulfill the bioscience requirements. The biosciences coursework is intended to provide the student with depth of knowledge in the biological sciences, and should include at least one course at the graduate (6XXXX or greater) level.
  3. BIOENGINEERING: A minimum of nine credits (normally three courses) of engineering, bioengineering, and biology electives at the graduate level (6XXXX and above). These courses are intended to develop the student’s ability to synthesize knowledge in engineering and biology, and to develop the necessary background to complete their dissertation research.

The courses that fit in each category is not fixed. The final determination of the appropriateness of any course to fulfill the requirements is determined by your advisor and examination committee, and approved by the Program Committee.

A minimum of 72 semester credit hours (including both course credits and research credits) are required for the Ph.D. degree based on the requirements to register for nine credit hours each semester, you should complete this within six semesters.