Chairperson: Frank A. Pintar, Ph.D.
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Programs website
Doctor of Philosophy
The Marquette University (MU) and Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Department of Biomedical Engineering is dedicated to delivering an extraordinary educational experience designed to empower the next generation of biomedical engineers, scientists and physicians. If you have a passion for learning and a desire to translate ideas into action — particularly those involving medical devices and health care technologies — let our faculty, staff and industry partners guide you on your journey. We develop leaders and problem solvers skilled at applying engineering, science and design principles to improve health in the service of humanity by:
- Discovering and disseminating new knowledge;
- Promoting critical thinking and lifelong learning;
- Guiding students to meaningful and ethical professional and personal lives;
- Fostering interdisciplinary and collaborative research and education through academic and industrial alliances;
- Continuing innovative leadership in education, research and industrial relationships; and
- Inspiring faculty and students to serve others.
The MU-MCW biomedical engineering program is interdisciplinary in nature, involving the application of engineering and mathematics to the solution of problems related to medicine and biology. The faculty reflect this interdisciplinary nature in their courses and research. MU faculty are synergistically complemented by faculty from the MCW. The Department of Biomedical Engineering fosters collaborative interactions between the two institutions. Research can be characterized by the general areas of bioinstrumentation, biomechanics, biomedical imaging, cellular and molecular engineering, computational biology and bioinformatics, and rehabilitation bioengineering.
All admitted students are required to obtain and read the department’s Graduate Student Handbooks for each of the degree programs, which contains complete details about the biomedical engineering programs. The handbook for each degree is available through the Department of Biomedical Engineering website.
Biomedical Engineering Doctorate
Specializations: Bioinstrumentation, Biomechanics, Biomedical Imaging, Cellular and Molecular Engineering, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Rehabilitation Bioengineering
Upon enrolling in the doctoral (Ph.D.) program in biomedical engineering, a student selects their area of specialization. Faculty design a curriculum and research program to address the specific goals of each student. Programs include course work in engineering, biology, mathematics and medicine, all of which are integrated with research laboratory experience.
The Ph.D. degree is conferred in recognition of marked ability and high attainment in the advancement of knowledge and pursuit of truth. The comprehensive knowledge expected of the student in their major field is such that the requirements for the degree usually take no less than four years of full-time work, or the equivalent, beyond the baccalaureate degree.
A doctoral student must complete a program of study prepared in consultation with their dissertation adviser and outlined on an approved Doctoral Program Planning Form. The student also must pass a doctoral qualifying examination (DQE) and submit and successfully defend a dissertation.
Students in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP; a combined M.D./Ph.D. degree program) at MCW are eligible to choose the Ph.D. program of the joint MU-MCW Department of Biomedical Engineering for the Ph.D. requirements of the M.D./Ph.D. degree program.
MSTP students begin their curriculum at MCW with two full years of medical school (M1 and M2 years), during which they complete a large array of clinical, translational and basic science course work, equivalent to a master of science degree. During their M1 and M2 years, they also complete four one-month long laboratory rotations during which they gain valuable research experience. These lab rotations are intended to help MSTP students to choose a lab and a research area (by the end of their M2 year) for conducting their Ph.D. dissertation research. Following their M1 and M2 years, MSTP students typically spend three to four years in graduate school, working toward their doctoral dissertation before returning to the medical school to complete their medical training.
The Doctoral Candidacy Examination consists of two parts. The first part involves writing a dissertation proposal in the form of an NIH-style F30/F31 fellowship grant proposal and submitting it to the student’s Dissertation Committee. The second part is an oral examination, involving the student’s presentation and defense of the dissertation proposal, in which the Dissertation Committee members serve as examiners. The student must submit a dissertation proposal and pass the oral examination to advance to doctoral candidacy.
Students entering the Ph.D. program with a bachelor of science degree are encouraged to take the DQE at or before the completion of 30 graduate credits of didactic course work. MSTP students and students entering the Ph.D. program with a master of science degree are encouraged to take the DQE at or before the completion of 15 graduate credits of didactic course work. Given the time constraints to which MSTP students must adhere, they are strongly advised to take the DQE and advance to doctoral candidacy by the end of their first year in the biomedical engineering doctoral program.
The dissertation must represent an original research contribution showing high attainment and clear ability to do independent research. A public defense of the dissertation (the final oral examination) is conducted after the student has completed all other formal requirements for the doctoral degree and has submitted a completed doctoral dissertation to his or her doctoral committee. The dissertation defense is conducted in the form of a department seminar.
A minimum of 60 graduate credits are required to complete the Ph.D. degree in biomedical engineering. Prerequisite courses for applicants who do not have a biomedical engineering degree are not counted as graduate credits.
Reading and research credits can be earned by registering and attending a seminar series, workshop, conference, journal club or simply carrying dissertation-related activities. A student can register for up to 9 credits of reading and research per term during fall and spring terms and up to 6 credits during the summer. Students should register for dissertation credits in the term they intend to defend their dissertation.
Didactic Course Work
Students may choose their didactic course work from the following options under each category and must work with their adviser to develop their tailored Doctoral Program Planning Form.
|Topics in Biomedical Engineering|
Physiol 08204 1
|Biostatistical Methods and Models|
Biostat 04224 1
Biostat 04231 1
Biostat 04232 1
|Biomedical Signal Processing||3|
|Image Processing for the Biomedical Sciences|
|Biomedical Signal Processing|
|Advanced Biomedical Signal Processing|
|Multidimensional Biomedical Time Series Analysis|
Biophys 03240 1
Bioethics 10222 1
Bioethics 10444 1
|Advanced Engineering Mathematics||3|
|Mathematics of Medical Imaging|
|Advanced Engineering Mathematics|
|Advanced Engineering Analysis 1|
|Computational and Simulation Methods||3|
|Analysis of Physiological Models|
|Modeling Rehabilitative Biosystems|
Physiol 08284 1
Physiol 08285 1
|Specialization specific courses; selected in consultation with the student's dissertation director||19|
For information regarding courses taken at the Medical College of Wisconsin please refer to the course catalog in MCWconnect.
Post-Baccalaureate Program of Study
Those entering with a bachelor of science degree, are required to complete 36 credits in didactic course work, 9 credits in dissertation, and a minimum of 15 credits in reading and research.
|Didactic Course Work||36|
|Doctoral Dissertation Credits||9|
|Reading and Research Credits||15|
|Total Credit Hours:||60|
Post-Master's Program of Study
Those entering with a master of science degree or with graduate credits (see Transfer of Credit policy), are required to complete a minimum of 18 credits in didactic course work, 9 credits in dissertation, and a minimum of 33 credits in reading and research.
|Didactic Course Work||18|
|Doctoral Dissertation Credits||9|
|Reading and Research Credits||33|
|Total Credit Hours:||60|
Doctoral students in the Biomedical Engineering Department are also required to register for the Department seminar series each term for the duration of their study (BIEN 6953 Seminar in Biomedical Engineering). For a given term, students are expected to attend at least two-thirds of the seminars.
The Doctoral Program Planning Form should include a list of the courses that the student intends to take to satisfy the core course requirements.
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