Ph.D. Degree Timeline

Below you’ll see the usual timeline for a PhD student to complete the BE doctoral program.  It will give you a sense of the order and timing of the program’s components. Most students will complete the program in 5 or 6 years.  Note that there is a 10-year time limit.  Please see the Bioengineering Ph.D. handbook for details.

Year 1

New students will receive an email in July with information about registration and when the system will be open for new students to register.

Students who are doing rotations will receive the order of their rotations in August but are welcome to reach out to their research mentors at any time over the summer to begin to plan for their arrival to campus in the fall.

Most students will complete the required lab rotations and choose an advisor by spring of their first year.

First year students complete the Qualifications Evaluation over the summer of their first year and no later than November of the fall semester of the second year. The Qualifying exam committee chairs will hold an informational meeting regarding the qualifying exam in the spring semester to prepare all students for what to expect during the qual period. Students will work with their advisor to find a good time (three week time period) to focus on the qualifying exam and complete the oral component during the summer months.

First year students who wish to be involved in PhD recruitment will be notified in October of their first year to begin planning for the upcoming recruitment season in the spring semester.  Most recruitment days are in mid/late February and early March.

Year 2
Students form a thesis committee together with their advisor.

Tips on how to assemble your thesis committee can be found here.

Year 3
Students complete the proposal defense and advance to candidacy.

Upon advancement to candidacy:
Each student has a Dissertation Committee. The committee should meet every year and the student must prepare an Annual Dissertation Progress Report to be approved by the supervisor and submitted to the Graduate Group Chair to be documented for the student’s academic record.