Ph.D. Student Handbook

Ph.D. Program Components

Bioengineering Fundamentals

Bioengineering research is based upon two fundamental approaches: analysis and experimentation. Bioengineering fundamentals therefore include: knowledge of how to build, test, and validate analytical models of biological systems; knowledge of how to measure biological events and activities; knowledge of how to design experiments; and knowledge of how to process and analyze experimental data. These bioengineering fundamentals are covered in a sequence of three courses devoted to analytical methods and modeling and to experimental methods and data analysis.

Biomedical Science

Bioengineering research requires thorough knowledge of living systems and organisms. Besides study and coursework in the student’s particular research area, the student will obtain a broad biological background through two courses – one covering cell biology, and one covering systems physiology. Both emphasize the quantitative aspects of living systems.

Engineering and Science Electives

Each Ph.D. student has particular needs for acquiring scientific and engineering background knowledge – background knowledge that depends on the student’s research area and previous experience. Therefore, science and engineering coursework will be tailored for the student’s specific needs.

Programmatic Seminars

Overviews and updates of research in different bioengineering fields are provided in the form of programmatic seminars. These intensive, research-focused seminars are organized by the different research programs within the Graduate Group in Bioengineering. The seminars are conducted by the faculty in those research groups, with assistance from other members of the graduate group. The content varies from year to year, reflecting research directions in the Graduate Group, needs of the students, and new developments in Bioengineering.

Bioengineering Research

PhD students are involved in research from the very beginning of their academic program. The first person with whom a new student has contact is the Bioengineering Graduate Group Chair. The Bioengineering Graduate Group Chair arranges each new student’s laboratory rotations and will also assist each student to develop a program of study for the fall and spring semester of their first year.

Most new students will begin the fall semester of the first year with laboratory rotations. Rotations are designed to allow students the opportunity to select a lab in which to continue their dissertation research. Once a lab is chosen the student’s advisor will be responsible to assist with future course selection plans and guide the student’s dissertation research.  Traditionally all PhD mentors are selected from the Bioengineering Graduate Group Faculty.