PhD Program Overview

PhD Program Requirements

The following list is an overview of the requirements for a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. For more specific details, please refer to the Graduate Program Guidelines.

  • University requires 3 years of full time study (24 tuition units).
  • Complete six structured (not seminar, not independent study) upper level courses (1000, 2000 level), 2 in engineering, 2 in biology and at least 2 at the 2000 level.
  • Must receive a grade of B or better, courses must be taken for a grade rather than credit/no credit.
  • A maximum of 8 tuition units (i.e., 8 standard courses) can be transferred from post-baccalaureate work.
  • Choose a thesis advisor no later than end of first semester.
  • Must attend Ethics Training Course in first year (and fifth year if still at Brown).
  • Must attend statistics short-course or equivalent.
  • Academic and research progress of first year reviewed by Graduate Program Committee.
  • Attend departmental seminars and give at least one seminar per year in the mandatory, BIOL 2230/40 student seminar course.
  • By July 31st, prior to start of semester 5, pass Qualifying Examination. (Submit written part at least 2 weeks prior to Exam). Note: Students that entered the program Fall of 2019 have a 1-semester extension due to COVID (by December 21st). 
  • Annual meeting and progress report to Thesis Advisory Committee.
  • Submit to Thesis Committee the final version of the thesis (approved by advisor) at least 2 weeks prior to defense.
  • Present thesis as a seminar and pass final oral examination.

Jointly-Selected Committees

The following Committees are jointly selected by the student and the advisor:

Qualifying Examination Committee

  • Thesis advisor
  • Three other Brown faculty (1 from Engineering and 1 from Biology/Medicine)
  • One must be a member of the Graduate Program Committee (serves as Chair if not thesis advisor)*
  • Outside expert (optional)

Thesis Advisory Committee

  • Thesis advisor
  • Three other Brown faculty (1 from Engineering and 1 from Biology/Medicine)
  • A BME primary faculty (not the thesis advisor) must serve as chair
  • Outside expert (optional, but strongly recommended)

*In addition to Graduate Program Committee members, the following BME faculty members may serve on Qualifying Exam Committees to satisfy the requirement of having a member of the BME GPC. These faculty are not full GPC members, but will serve the role of maintaining continuity across the program as Chair of the QE committee.
Vicki Colvin
Eric Darling
Jeffrey Morgan
Anita Shukla
Anubhav Tripathi