Jul 21, 2024  
2023-2024 General Catalog 
2023-2024 General Catalog

Biomedical Engineering, PhD

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Program in Biomedical Engineering

Dramatic advances in health care and medical technology made possible by the merger of engineering and medicine have prompted the development of new graduate degree programs in biomedical engineering at many of the top institutions in the United States. Currently, biomedical engineering is the most rapidly growing graduate engineering discipline in the U.S with expectations of more labor force growth than any other engineering discipline over the next ten years. The overall goal of this program is to implement education and research in biomedical engineering that will prepare graduates for industrial, governmental, and academic careers in clinical research, bioengineering, biotechnology, and related professions. Biomedical engineers analyze and design solutions to problems in medicine and biology, with the goal of improving the quality and effectiveness of patient care.

The graduate program in biomedical engineering (BME) provides special emphasis in cellular and tissue engineering, biomaterials and bioimaging. Advanced engineering, medicine, chemistry, physics, and biology students will gain the necessary knowledge and skills to allow them to contribute to improved technology in health and medical care, and to solve real-world engineering problems in biology and medicine, both in research and industrial settings.


Admission Requirements

  1. Fulfillment of the department’s admission and core course requirements for the chemical engineering master’s degree or its substantive equivalent (see Biomedical Engineering, MS );
  2. Maintenance of a high scholastic record for graduate coursework at the previous college or university attended; and
  3. Demonstrated proficiency in conducting research in chemical engineering by passing the departmental PhD Qualifying Examination (see PhD Qualifying Examination requirements  and on the departmental web site for more details).

Students who meet the admission requirements are encouraged to apply directly for the PhD program. Students who maintain a 3.0 graduate GPA and demonstrate proficiency in conducting research in biomedical engineering by passing the departmental PhD Qualifying Examination (see PhD Qualifying Examination requirements  and on the departmental web site for more details) are admitted to PhD candidacy if they have satisfied the departmental core course requirements for the master’s degree. Students who fulfill these requirements may elect, upon approval of the Graduate Committee and major supervisor, to proceed directly toward the PhD without first obtaining a thesis based master’s degree.

Students with a thesis-type master’s degree in chemical or biomedical engineering from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering may, with approval of the Graduate Committee and major professor, take nine additional approved semester hours beyond the thesis-type master’s course requirements to satisfy the thirty-three hour course requirement for the PhD. All other requirements must be fulfilled as stated below.

Students with master’s degrees from other institutions will be given a specific course plan by the departmental Graduate Committee and have the option of transferring up to six hours towards their PhD requirements.

Degree Requirements

Each semester, all graduate students are required to enroll in and attend the departmental seminar, BME 5935 Biomedical Engineering Seminar (0)  (S/U grade only). In addition, all students are required to take required safety training courses and annual refreshers. All graduate students are required to attend the Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) Workshop to prepare for teaching assistant (TA) duties. This requirement is mandatory regardless of the student’s classification as a teaching assistant or research assistant. For international graduate students, the SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) is a test for evaluating the English speaking ability of non-native speakers of English. The SPEAK test is administered by the Center for Intensive English Studies to international students who have been appointed or will be appointed as teaching assistants in an academic department. The SPEAK exam requirement must be cleared (scores greater than 45 or 50 for graders or TAs, respectively) before students can serve as teaching assistants or progress to full PhD candidate status.

Fifty-seven semester hours and the following requirements must be completed successfully for the award of the PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering, as follows:

  1. Passage of BME 8965 Doctoral Qualifying Exam (0)  within two consecutive exam attempts (see PhD Qualifying Examination requirements  for more details). Successful completion will permit the student to continue work towards PhD candidacy;
  2. Completion of a minimum of thirty-three semester hours of advanced coursework (including twelve semester hours of core coursework);
  3. Completion of at least twenty-four semester hours of dissertation research, BME 6980 Dissertation (1-24)  (S/U grade only);
  4. Registration and attendance at all departmental seminars, BME 5935 Biomedical Engineering Seminar (0)  (S/U grade only);
  5. Selection of a research topic and major professor(s);
  6. Formation of a supervisory committee in consultation with the major professor(s);
  7. Submission and defense of a prospectus on the dissertation topic to the supervisory committee. Successful completion will result in formal admission to candidacy for the PhD degree;
  8. One semester teaching assistantship in an undergraduate laboratory;
  9. Presentation of a research topic at one local, regional, national, or international professional meeting;
  10. Submission or publication of at least one scholarly article based on original dissertation research in peer-reviewed journals;
  11. Satisfaction of the University residency requirement; and
  12. Successful passage of BME 8985 Dissertation Defense (0)  (P/F grade only).

No course with a grade below “C” will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements. No more than one course with a grade in the “C” range will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements.

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