|Major Code: 9058
|Degree Awarded: Doctor of Philosophy
|Delivery Mode(s): Classroom
|Age Restriction: No
|Admission Status: Graduate
|Location(s): Main Campus - Melbourne
|Admission Materials: 3 letters of recommendation, résumé, objectives, GRE
The doctoral program is primarily for students who wish to develop independent research, problem-solving and critical thinking skills in a particular area of biomedical engineering. Research areas must be related to a faculty’s interests.
General admission requirements and the application process are presented under Graduate Academic Information.
The applicant will typically have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in biomedical engineering or its equivalent. Applicants with degrees in other fields of engineering, science or mathematics may be required to successfully complete preparatory undergraduate coursework before starting the program.
Applicants are expected to have performed very well academically, as determined through GPA and GRE scores.
General degree requirements are presented under Graduate Academic Information.
The degree of doctor of philosophy is conferred primarily in recognition of creative accomplishment and the ability to investigate scientific or engineering problems independently rather than for completion of coursework. The program consists of advanced studies and research leading to a significant contribution to the knowledge of a particular problem.
A student’s research may have analytical, computational or experimental components, or some combination of these. The student will choose an area of specialty for both coursework and research (biomechanics; biomedical instrumentation, imaging and computation; and biomaterials and tissue engineering). Each student is expected to complete an approved program of study beyond that required for a master’s degree, pass both written and oral components of the comprehensive examination, present a dissertation proposal acceptable to the student’s committee, complete a program of significant original research, and prepare and defend a dissertation detailing the research.
The program consists of a minimum of 42 semester credit hours of study beyond the master’s degree, of which at least 12 semester credit hours shall be for formal coursework. High-achieving students with bachelor’s degrees can also be admitted directly into the doctoral program, and require 72 semester credit hours of study, of which at least 24 hours shall be for formal coursework.
The minimum number of doctoral research and dissertation credits for students with master’s or bachelor’s degrees is 18 semester credit hours. Students must pass the comprehensive examination before registering for dissertation credit. All program plans are required to include the course requirements listed under the biomedical engineering master’s program description in this catalog. However, they can receive credit for some coursework completed as part of the master’s degree. All students are required to register for and attend the zero-credit Biomedical Engineering Seminar (BME 5900) every semester.
The comprehensive examination is both written and oral to assess the student’s background in biomedical engineering and critical thinking skills. The written portion will typically be taken after the second semester for students with a master’s degree, although there is some flexibility. The timing will correspond to when the student completes at least 12 credits of coursework after the master’s degree (or 21 credits of coursework after the bachelor’s degree). These courses should provide background for course-specific questions in four specific areas (physiology, mathematics applied to biomedical engineering, a course in the student’s focus area and one in an area outside the student’s research focus).
Students must have at least a 3.2 grade point average to take the written examination. The oral section of the comprehensive examination occurs shortly after the written component and involves answering questions related to areas described in multiple current research articles. On successful completion of both written and oral portions of the comprehensive examination, a dissertation proposal must be submitted to the student’s advisory committee for evaluation. Once the proposed research is determined to be of doctoral quality and completion is feasible, the committee approves the student to advance to candidacy for the doctoral degree. Finally, the student must defend a dissertation.