Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering

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General Overview of the Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering

Advising and Planning for the First Year

Orientation for new graduate students will be scheduled the week before the start of the Fall semester. New students should plan to attend.

Once accepted into either the Ph.D. in Biomedical Science, or the Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering program, and prior to the identification of a dissertation mentor, students will be advised by the First Year Advisory Committee (FYA). There is a FYA committee member at each partner institution, a listing of the committee composition may be found here link. Issues and questions relating to laboratory rotations and coursework should be discussed with a FYA committee member. This FYA faculty member will maintain a role as an informal advisor and graduate student advocate, and will offer guidance throughout the student’s program, as necessary.

Questions or issues regarding registration for classes should be directed to the GSBSE office.

By the time the student has completed three rotations she/he will have chosen a home laboratory and assembled a dissertation committee. The role of advising in the academic programs will then fall to the mentor.


GSBSE Ph.D. students will be supported with a $23,000 stipend, tuition, fees and half of the cost of health insurance for the first 2 years of the program (during the rotations and first full year in the mentor’s laboratory). At the beginning of the student’s third academic year (usually September), the mentor will then be responsible for providing the student’s complete stipend, tuition, fees, and half of the cost of health insurance. The level of stipend funding after the initial 2 years will be at the discretion of the institution/program. It should be noted that the student will only have to register for one thesis credit per semester after successfully completing the comprehensive examination.

Program of Study – Years 1 and 2

Laboratory Rotations
Students desiring to perform dissertation work through GSBSE are required to complete three laboratory rotations, each lasting one academic semester or summer. A rotation abstract booklet will be available for rotating students three months before the start of their first semester in the program. GSBSE requires that at least two Institutions be represented in a student’s rotation experience. These rotations are chosen by the student with the goals of providing experiences in diverse research areas and environments, and in the identification of a dissertation mentor.

The typical rotation schedule for the academic calendar is:

  • First rotation: Fall
  • Second rotation: Spring
  • Third rotation: Summer

At the end of each laboratory rotation, the student will provide a summary of her/his research achievements in the laboratory and an evaluation of the experience. The Principal Investigator (PI) will evaluate the performance of the rotation student, and discuss this evaluation in detail with the student. Strengths and deficiencies will be noted, and the PI may suggest coursework or study to correct any deficiencies that are identified. Both evaluations will be forwarded to the GSBSE office. This rotation evaluation will become a permanent part of the student’s file.

Visit the official program website here.UM Logo