Doctoral Candidate Requirements

Doctoral candidates are expected to complete 30 credits beyond the Master of Science degree, pass an oral and written qualifying examination, and successfully defend their doctoral dissertations, which are based on individual research. In addition, all doctoral students must demonstrate teaching competence as part of their training.

The core course requirements (9 credits) for the doctoral program include the course in computational modeling of physiological systems (BMEN E6003), plus at least two graduate mathematics courses. If BMEN E6003 or a graduate level mathematics course has already been taken for the master’s degree, a technical elective can be used to complete the core course requirements. Students must register for BMEN E9700: Biomedical engineering seminar and for research credits during the first two semesters of doctoral study. Remaining courses should be selected in consultation with the student’s faculty adviser to prepare for the doctoral qualifying examination and to develop expertise in a clearly identified area of biomedical engineering. Up to 21 credits of research may be applied toward doctoral degree course requirements.

All graduate students admitted to the doctoral degree program must satisfy the equivalent of two semesters’ experience in teaching (one semester for MD/PhD students). This may include supervising and assisting undergraduate students in laboratory experiments, grading, and preparing lecture materials to support the teaching mission of the department. The Department of Biomedical Engineering is the only engineering department that offers PhD training to MD/PhD students. These candidates are expected to complete their PhD program within 3.5 years, with otherwise the same requirements as those outlined for the Doctoral Degree program. 

  • 30 credits beyond MS degreee
  • 2 advanced math courses required
  • Up to 21 credits can be research with consultation from adviser
  • Other courses can be selected in consultation with adviser

For information on specific courses see the Columbia Directory of Classes and the Columbia Bulletin.