PhD Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical engineering contributes to the advances in a variety of technical areas including biomaterials, tissue engineering, stem cells and regenerative medicine, cell and gene therapy, medical devices, bioinstrumentation, systems physiology etc. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 5% growth in biomedical engineering jobs over the next 10 years, which is higher than the 4% growth projected for all engineering jobs and faster than the average for all occupations. There are many engineering grand challenges that rely on biomedical engineering such as engineering better medicines, reverse-engineering the brain, and advancing health informatics.

To learn more about the innovative and translational research being conducted, click here. Contact the graduate coordinator for additional details.


Exceptional and highly motivated students with a B.S. degree who have not completed an M.S. degree may apply for direct admission to a Ph.D. program provided they have demonstrated research experience. The student’s desire and suitability to enter a Ph.D. program should be clearly articulated in their statement of purpose and in accompanying letters of recommendation.


Program of Study

Minimum requirement – 72 credit hours (minimum of 28 credit hours course work; minimum of 45 credit hours research and dissertation)

Required Advanced Engineering Core Courses (13 credit hours)
  • ENGR 8910: Foundations for Engineering Research (3 credit hours)
  • BCHE 8970: Bioengineering Seminar (4 semesters, 4 credit hours) *
  • BIOE 8510: Advanced Systems Physiology (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 7010: Introductory Biostatistics I (3 credit hours) or
    ENGR 8103: Computational Engineering (3 credit hours)
Required Biomedical Engineering Core Courses – choose any two of the following (6 credit hours)
  • BCHE 8150: Heterogeneous Reactor Design and Bio/Catalysis (3 credit hours)
  • BIOE 8210: Multi-scale Biomechanics (3 credit hours)
  • BIOE 8490: Advanced Biomaterials (3 credit hours)
  • BIOE 8530: Advanced Biomedical Instrumentation (3 credit hours)
  • ENGR 8180: Advanced Mass Transport
Electives (9 credit hours)Minimum of 9 additional credit hours of course work selected with the approval of the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee. At least 1 hour must be 8000-level or above, and at least 3 h must be courses offered by the College of Engineering. The University requires that students who are accepted to the Ph.D. program directly from a B.S. degree or who switch to Ph.D. program before earning an M.S. degree must complete an additional 4 semester hours of University of Georgia courses open only to graduate students.
Research and Dissertation (45 credit hours)A minimum of 42 hours of Doctoral Research (ENGR 9000) or Project-Focused Doctoral Research (ENGR 9010). Typically, students complete more than 42 credit hours with the approval of the Graduate Advisory Committee.
3 hours of Ph.D. Dissertation (ENGR 9300) is required on the Plan of Study.

A thesis master’s degree from an accredited university may be accepted for up to 30 credit hours, in which case a minimum of 42 credit hours of approved course work, research and dissertation beyond the M.S. degree would be required

General Requirements

In addition to Graduate School requirements and College of Engineering requirements, the School of Chemical, Materials and Biological Engineering has the following doctoral program requirements:

  • Ph.D. students must form their Graduate Advisory Committee within 18 months of starting their Ph.D. program. The committee must be comprised of 5 members, all of whom must be members of the graduate faculty and at least one, but no more than two faculty members on the Advisory Committee must have an appointment exclusively outside the College of Engineering.
  • A student must pass written qualifying and oral comprehensive exams before completing and orally defending a dissertation. The written qualifying exam will be administered by the school. The oral comprehensive exam will follow the Graduate School Requirements.
  • Ph.D. students are expected to be admitted to candidacy within 24 months of starting their Ph.D. program.
  • Student must make two oral presentations in the School Seminar Series advertised to the UGA scientific and engineering community.
  • The student’s dissertation research is expected to generate significant scholarship (such as publications, patents, conference presentations).

A complete list of PhD program milestones is available here.

* Only 3 hours of Bioengineering Seminar may apply on the Program of Study. Individual Programs or Schools may require students to enroll for additional semesters. Students are strongly encouraged to continue regular attendance of speaker series presentations even if not formally registered in the seminar.

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