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Course Requirements

The Ph.D. course requirement consists of mandatory core courses, restricted and unrestricted elective courses, and program credits towards fulfillment of the degree. Students can download the Ph.D. Plan of Study to help plan their degree requirements.

Core Courses

All of the following three courses must be completed in order to fulfill the core course requirement.

  • BIOE 601: Rate Processes in Biological Systems
  • BIOE 604: Transport Phenomena in Bioengineering Systems
  • BIOE 612: Physiological Evaluation of Bioengineering Designs

Restricted Elective Course

One of the following courses (3 credits) must be completed in order to fulfill the restricted elective course requirement.

  • BIOE 602: Cellular and Tissue Biomechanics
  • BIOE 611: Tissue Engineering
  • BIOE 631: Biosensor Instrumentation and Techniques
  • BIOE 632: Biophotonic Imaging and Microscopy
  • BIOE 614: Computational Molecular Bioengineering
  • BIOE 689J: Bioengineering Devices for Cancer Research
  • BIOE 689P:  Pharmacoengineering Principles and Applications for Biotherapeutics
  • BIOE 689T: Biomaterials in Immunology and Immunotherapy

Unrestricted Elective Courses

Four unrestricted elective courses (12 credits), in topics such as engineering, biology, chemistry, mathematics, or computer science must be completed. These courses can be chosen in consultation with the Graduate Program and/or Faculty Research Advisor.

Program Credits

Students must successfully complete the following program credits towards fulfillment of the degree.

  • BIOE 605/606: Bioengineering Graduate Studies I and II (2 credits)
  • BIOE 608: Bioengineering Seminar Series (1 credit), must be completed three times
  • BIOE 899: Dissertation Research Credits (18 credits)

BIOE 608: Bioengineering Seminar Series is a one-credit course that must be successfully completed three times to fulfill this requirement. Please see the Laboratory Rotation Requirement and Advancement to Candidacy sections that follow for more information on BIOE 605/606 and BIOE 899. 

Typical Course Timeline

Semester 1

  • BIOE 601 (3 credits)
  • BIOE 604 (3 credits)
  • BIOE 612 (3 credits)
  • BIOE 605 (1 credit)

Semester 2

  • BIOE 606 (1 credit)
  • Restricted Elective (3 credits)
  • Unrestricted Elective 1 (3 credits)
  • Unrestricted Elective 2 (3 credits)

Semesters 3 through 10

  • BIOE 608 (1 credit) (x3)
  • BIOE 898 (1 credit) (when needed)
  • BIOE 899 (6 credits) (x3, post-candidacy)
  • Unrestricted Elective (3 credits) (x2)

After students have completed all coursework and prior to advancement to candidacy, students may register for BIOE 898: Pre-Candidacy Research (2 credits) each semester to maintain full-time status. After passing the Ph.D. Proposal Exam and advancement to candidacy, students are registered by the Graduate School for BIOE 899: Doctoral Dissertation Research (6 credits) each fall and spring semester until they graduate.

All students are required to maintain continuous registration until the degree is completed. Students receiving financial support from the department are required to maintain full-time registration each fall and spring semester.

Students with previously earned M.S.

Students who previously earned a M.S. degree in engineering or a related technical field from another institution may request a reduction in the Ph.D. course requirement from 8 courses (24 credits) to 5 courses (15 credits).  The 5 courses must include the core course requirement of BIOE 601, BIOE 604, and BIOE 612, as well as 1 restricted elective and 1 unrestricted elective.

Students who previously earned a M.S. degree in bioengineering at UMD and successfully completed the core course requirement (minimum 3.0 in each course) may request a reduction from 8 courses (24 credits) to 3 courses (9 credits).  The 3 courses must include 1 restricted elective and 2 unrestricted electives, which must be taken while enrolled in the Ph.D. program.

The request for course reduction must be submitted before the end of the first semester in the Ph.D. program.  It is suggested that the student meet with the BIOE Graduate Office to discuss this request - and its impact upon the overall course plan - prior to submitting the request.

The M.S. degree must be conferred prior to beginning the Ph.D. program. The student is responsible for providing copy of the M.S. transcript, advisor’s support statement, and Ph.D. course plan to the BIOE Graduate Office.  The request will be reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee, and the student will be notified of the Committee’s decision.

This policy does not apply to students who earn a M.S. degree after acceptance into the Ph.D. program, and during the course of their Ph.D. program.