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Biomedical Engineering (PHD) 
Program Description

Biomedical engineering is a discipline that integrates the engineering sciences with biology and medicine. The field of biomedical engineering has seen a dramatic escalation in activity over the past 20 years leading to the development of a wide variety of medical devices, medical procedures, and a basic understanding of biological processes. The University of Arizona established the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Interdisciplinary Program (GIDP) to address the increasing importance of engineering approaches in modern biomedical research and new medical technologies.

The strength of our Biomedical Engineering GIDP is derived from the breadth of research activities among our interdisciplinary faculty.  Unlike traditional BME graduate programs that are contained within a single BME department, our BME GIDP is an independent program within the Graduate College of the University of Arizona.  This provides opportunities for faculty members from any department to join the BME GIDP, which greatly expands the range of interdisciplinary research within our graduate program. This allows each student the freedom to design a unique program of study to meet individual career goals.

Faculty from numerous departments within the Colleges of Medicine, Engineering and Arts & Sciences participate in this interdisciplinary graduate program. The major research areas are Biological Imaging; Informatics and Decision Making; Musculoskeletal, Biomechanics, Robotics and Prosthetics; Biomaterials; Health and Medical Informatics Sciences; Biomedical Instrumentation; Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Small-Scale Biological Systems; Modeling, Microsensors and Simulation of Biological Systems; Neural Networks; Cardiovascular and Respiratory Mechanics and Transport; Modeling and Simulation of Health Delivery Systems.

Department/Academic Unit(s)

Biomedical Engineering -

College of Engineering  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Patricia L Stanley
Graduate Program Coordinator
Patricia L Stanley
Director of Graduate Studies
Theodore P Trouard
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Christina M Inocencio
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements
  1. Official transcripts of current Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. Our Institution Code is 4832, and Department Code is 1603. Only the general GRE scores are necessary, and we recommend a minimum of 500 verbal and 650 quantitative, as well as 650 analytical on tests taken before October 2002 or a 3.0 or higher on the new analytical writing section.
  2. A 1-2 page essay or statement of purpose describing your background, research interests and career goals. Include in your statement any information pertinent to your research experience, whether in course work, special projects or employment. Please explain why you want to obtain a graduate degree in Biomedical Engineering and what, specifically, led you to apply to our graduate program. This can be uploaded via the Grad App system or sent as an email attachment to the following address:
  3. Three letters of recommendation from former professors or individuals knowledgeable about your academic and scientific abilities. Letters of recommendation can be uploaded via the Grad App system or sent as an email attachment to the following address:, but must be on letterhead and come directly from the recommender.
  4. An original official transcript. Applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree in enginering, mathematics, physical sciences, or quantitative life sciences for admission into the Program, with a minimum GPA of 3.3. If you are currently attending or have graduated from the University of Arizona, our program will obtain copies of your transcript. Previous coursework including two courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, and at least one course in life science is required. Applicants lacking in some area at the time of application may provide a plan to gain competence in these areas by satisfying the deficiency.
  5. International applicants from non-English speaking countries must submit the TOEFL with a score of 600 or more, as well as provide a Financial Guarantee statement as part of their application.

Financial assistance, such as assistantships, traineeships, fellowships and internships, are available according to merit and awarded on a competitive basis after review of the applicants admitted to our program.

GPA 3.3
TOEFL 600 (CBT 250)


Standardized Tests

Required test(s): GRE
Required GRE Subject tests:
Recommended tests: GRE
Recommended GRE Subject tests:
Minimum GRE Verbal: 500
Minimum GRE Quantitative: 650
Minumum GRE Written: 3.0
Minimum TOEFL:  600 or greater
Minimum IELTS:

Financial Aid

Program Funding available to all qualified domestic and international Biomedical Engineering graduate students:

All full-time doctoral students who are in good standing in the BME Graduate Interdisciplinary Program receive financial support in the form of an annual stipend and out-of-state tuition waiver. All first-year students accepted into the program are supported by Program funds. Beyond the first year, support is provided by the faculty advisor, using funds from research and training grants. Other sources include Graduate College Fellowships, teaching assistantships and training grants.

Admissions Deadlines

We currently admit students to begin our program in Fall only. Applications are only accepted between September 15th and January 6th. All application materials must be submitted by December 1 of the year preceding entrance for international applicants, and January 6th of the entrance year for domestic applicants.

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: January 6

International Applicants:

  • Fall: December 1
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 4832
NRC Taxon(a) for this program: Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering

Degree Specifics

Degree Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy Requirements

Doctoral students must complete a minimum of 65 units of graduate credit, and meet the Graduate College’s minimum units of courses in which regular grades (A, B) have been earned. Requirements include 12 units of the core BME courses; 15 units in the major; a minimum of 9 units in the minor; all required seminar and student forum courses (6 units of which count towards degree requirements); a minimum of 3 units in a BME approved ethics course; 2 units of laboratory rotations (BME 597G) and 18 units of BME 920 (dissertation).

Students entering the program with a M.S. degree may petition to apply previous graduate coursework to the Ph.D. degree requirements. The Graduate College requires that at least 30 units of graduate credit must be completed at the University of Arizona.

Minor Requirements

Ph.D. candidates in other disciplines may select a minor in Biomedical Engineering.

Effective fall 2017, the doctoral minor requires 9 units: 6 units of approved BME core courses (BME 511, and one of BME 516, 566, 586, or 561), and 2 units of either Research methods in Biomedical Engineering (lab rotations) or BME Independent Study.

Completion of these courses with a "B" average for the required units is necessary for granting of the minor. The doctoral student's dissertation committee should contain at least two faculty members in the BME GIDP.

Student Handbook  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 16%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) 5.00
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 55%
Enrollment Percent Female 45%
Enrollment Percent International 3%
Enrollment Percent URM 23%

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Last revised 05 Dec 2016