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The Bioengineering PhD Student Handbook

PhD Timeline

The normal timeline for a Ph.D. student is as follows:

  • Most students will complete the required lab rotations and choose an advisor by Spring of their first year.
  • Students will complete the Qualifications Evaluation over the summer of their first year and no later than November of the fall semester of the second year.
  • Students will form a dissertation committee together with their advisor during their second year of study.
  • Students will complete the PhD Candidacy Exam, consisting of the submission and oral defense of the dissertation proposal during the fall of the third year of the program.
  • Upon Advancement to Candidacy, each student has a Dissertation Committee. The committee should meet annually 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. This report should be signed by your committee and submitted at any time following your committee meeting. The final deadline for submitting the report is June 1st but the report is accepted at any time prior to the deadline.
  • Most students will complete the program in 5 or 6 years.

Plan of Study

The following table indicates a general sample plan of study. Students should discuss specific course selection with their advisor.

  Fall Semester Spring Semester
Year 1 - BE 513 Cell Biology & Molecular Structure
- Math or BE Fundamentals
- 2 CUs of BE 999 or 799
- BE 699 - Bioengineering Seminar (.5 cu)
- BE Fundamentals Course
- Biomedical Science or BE Fundamentals
- 2 CUs BE 999
- BE 699 – Seminar (.5 cu)
- Qualifications Evaluation completed during the Summer or early Fall
Year 2 - Math Elective
- BE Fundamentals or Biomedical Science Elective
- BE 999
- BE Fundamentals
- Bioengineering Elective
- BE 999
- BE 699 – Seminar (.5 cu)
Year 3 and beyond - BE 999
- Selected BE Fundamentals in consultation with the research advisor
- Dissertation proposal by the end of the Fall semester of the 3rd year

- Annual Progress Report due June 1
- Dissertation Research (BE 995)
- Final Examination and Dissertation Defense

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The PhD Student Handbook is also available for download as a PDF document.