Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Engineering and the Doctor of Philosophy degree programs include a core curriculum and courses from one or more areas of specialization selected with the approval of the graduate adviser. Specializations are offered in cellular and molecular imaging, cellular and biomolecular engineering, computational biomedical engineering and bioinformatics, and cellular biomechanics. The graduate adviser and the Executive Committee of the Graduate Studies Committee must approve deviation from the prescribed curriculum.

Master of Science in Engineering

The master’s degree requires at least thirty semester hours of coursework, including six hours in the thesis course and eighteen hours of biomedical engineering coursework. The remaining six semester hours should be selected from courses outside the field of biomedical engineering. These additional courses must be logically related to the student’s program and must be approved by the graduate adviser.

A thesis is normally expected; however, with the consent of the graduate adviser, the student may follow a degree plan that includes a report or one with neither thesis nor report. The report option requires thirty semester hours of coursework, consisting of six courses in the major, three courses in supporting work, and three hours in the report course. The plan without thesis or report requires thirty semester hours of coursework, consisting of at least six courses in the major and up to four courses in supporting work.

Doctor of Philosophy

Doctoral degree students complete at least twenty-six semester hours of coursework beyond the baccalaureate degree, in addition to conducting research necessary to write a dissertation under the direction of a faculty supervisor. The twenty-six hours of coursework must be composed of one course from each of the three specializations mentioned above, two seminar courses, one biological/clinical course, a mathematics course, and three other supporting graduate-level courses. One technical course may be substituted with one approved graduate-level professional development course. All coursework must be approved by the Graduate Adviser in advance.

After the first year of study, the student must pass both written and oral components of the qualifying examination. The student must present a written and oral dissertation proposal to the dissertation committee within two years of enrollment in the program. The written proposal must be formatted according to the guidelines of the National Science Foundation or the National Institutes of Health. Before taking the oral examination, the student is expected to formulate a hypothesis and propose an approach to a selected research problem with a selected supervisor. The student is examined specifically on the proposed research. After the oral examination, the dissertation committee determines if the student should complete additional coursework. At least one faculty member outside the biomedical engineering Graduate Studies Committee must participate in examining and supervising the student.

Dual Degree Programs

Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Medicine

The dual-degree MD/PhD program between The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) is no longer accepting students. Students in the dual degree program spend their first two years of study in medical school, followed by three to four years of doctoral work at UT Austin. Students then return to medical school to complete the MD degree. The degrees are conferred separately by each institution.