Biomedical Engineering Doctoral Program Curriculum Overview

The purpose of the biomedical engineering doctoral program is to educate scientists and engineers who are prepared to carry out significant independent investigations. We foster a community of scholars dedicated to advancing scientific research and inventing new technologies. While courses provide the tools for independent work, a significant part of a student’s doctoral program is achieved through independent study. This includes preparing for the qualifying examination, working on research proposals, attending seminars and establishing a familiarity with current scientific literature in an area of specialization.

By the end of this program, students will have skills relevant to:

  • Training in physiology
  • Experimental design and, in some laboratories, instrument development
  • Research area-specific data collection techniques such as immunohistochemistry, fluorescent imaging, electrical recording, and motion capture
  • Data analysis methods such as signal processing and kinematic analysis
  • Oral and written communication skills

Degree Requirements

The major requirement of the PhD program is generation of a doctoral dissertation that is based on the results of original research, carried out under the guidance of a faculty member and defended in a public examination. Preliminary requirements for the PhD degree include course work and passage of the qualifying examination. Preliminary requirements for the doctorate are regarded not as ends in themselves but, rather, as preparation for the dissertation in which the student demonstrates ability.

For the doctoral degree in BME, 84 credits of graduate work in an approved program of study are required beyond the bachelor's degree. This may include up to 30 credits obtained in a master's degree program, if the area of the master's degree is relevant to the doctoral program. Those with a master's degree who wish to transfer credits towards the Ph.D. must be aware that only one master's degree can be used toward the Ph.D.

The biomedical engineering Ph.D. curriculum adheres to the institute wide standards listed in the academic catalog.

If you have existing graduate credits or experience in this area of study, please contact [email protected] to discuss opportunities to include it in the curriculum.

Required Courses

PRV 961: Doctoral Signature Credit Seminar Dissertation research credits

Students who do not hold a master’s degree must take the following two courses:

  • BME 600: Strategies and Principles of Biomedical Design
  • BME 701: Advanced Biomedical Engineering Laboratory

At least 30 credits must be earned for PhD dissertation research.

Qualifying Examination

The qualifying examination in BME consists of submission of a written Ph.D. proposal and successful oral defense of the proposal. Students must pass the qualifying examination before registering for more than nine credits of BME 960. The proposal submission deadline is at the start of the fourth or third term for students entering the PhD program with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, respectively.

Doctoral Advisory Committee

Following successful passage of the qualifying examination, the Doctoral Advisory Committee is formed. This committee must include at least four members, one of whom must be the student’s dissertation advisor, who usually serves as Chair, and one of whom must be a Stevens faculty member from a program other than biomedical engineering. Inclusion on the committee of a qualified expert from outside of Stevens is encouraged but not required.

At least once a year, the student meets with the Doctoral Advisory Committee to update the committee on his/her research progress. This meeting is reported to the Dean of Graduate Academics.

Publication Requirement

Prior to defending the dissertation, the student publishes at least one original research article in a peer-reviewed journal. To obtain the Ph.D. degree, the student must successfully defend the dissertation in an oral examination administered by the Doctoral Advisory Committee and open to the public. At the start of the term in which the student expects to defend the Ph.D., the student files an application for candidacy. Graduate School policy requires that the student submit the completed dissertation to the Doctoral Advisory Committee at least six weeks prior to the defense date.

For additional information about courses, please review the academic catalog.