Bioengineering, PhD

The first doctorate degree in bioengineering in the nation was awarded at Penn in 1953, and since that time, Penn Bioengineering has been an integral academic program linking faculty from the engineering, medical, and arts and sciences schools on a single centrally-located campus. Penn Bioengineering provides students with a flexible curriculum and a world-class research environment. Students are given the opportunity to work in a collaborative culture that includes multiple generations of leaders in academia, government, and industry.  The careful process of matching students with faculty based on their research interests begins with first-year lab rotations, which gives students an opportunity to begin their dissertation research in their first semester.

View the University’s Academic Requirements for PhD Degrees.

Required Courses

Students are required to take at least 9 graduate level courses and 2 seminars.

Responsbile Conduct of Research Requirement
Responsible Conduct for Research in Engineering
Biomedical Science
Select courses in cell biology and/or systems physiology. Courses chosen in consultation with advisor. 1
Bioengineering Fundamentals
Select three BE or Engineering courses devoted to analytical methods, modeling, experimental methods and data analysis which focus on the student concentration. Courses will be chosen in consultation with the advisor.
Research Discipline Electives
Select two courses chosen in consultation with advisor
Select two courses from the recommended list 2
Bioengineering Research Rotation
Bioengineering Seminar
Select a minimum of two BE 699 seminars, usually in the first year.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2020 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.

Sample Plan of Study

First Year
Biomedical Science Course
Math or BE Fundamentals Course 1
Bioengineering Seminar
Bioengineering Seminar
Biomedical Science or BE Fundamentals 1
BE Fundamentals Course 1
Qualification Evaluation 2
Second Year
Thesis/Dissertation Research
Math Elective
Biomedical Science or BE Fundamentals Course 1
Bioengineering Seminar
Thesis/Dissertation Research
BE Fundamentals Course 1
Bioengineering Elective
Third Year and Beyond
BE Fundamentals Course 1
Dissertation Proposal 3
Final Exam and Dissertation Defense