Graduate Division

Biomedical Engineering Ph.D.

Section 1

Overview

The biomedical engineering graduate program is housed at UCI's Samueli School of Engineering and closely affiliated with the School of Medicine, School of Biological Sciences and School of Physical Sciences. There are currently 26 full-time faculty in the biomedical engineering program and 59 affiliated faculty from the various schools listed above.

Research Focus Areas:

  • Biophotonics
  • Biomedical Micro/Nanoscale Devices
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Biomolecular/Genetic Engineering
  • Cardiovascular Engineering
  • Neuroengineering
  • Biomedical Computational Technologies

What Sets Us Apart?

The goal of the UCI biomedical engineering program is to train students for 21st century jobs in the biomedical professions and academia. Located at a world-class research university deep in the heart of the nation’s biomedical device and technology capital, we are uniquely positioned to build upon our existing research strengths. The mission of the department is to “Inspire Engineering Minds to Advance Human Health.”

Highlights:

  • Highly interdisciplinary culture
  • State-of-the-art research center and facilities
  • Centrally located in the heart of Southern California’s biomedical device industry (over 300 medical device companies)

Affiliated Facilities:

  • Beckman Laser Institute
  • Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics
  • Center for Advanced Design and Manufacturing of Integrated Microfluidics (CADMIM)
  • Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology
  • Center for Complex Biological Systems
  • Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Facility
  • Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility
  • Reeve-Irvine Research Center
  • Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Gavin Herbert Eye Institute
  • Bio-Organic Nanotechnology Lab

Quick Facts

Program Type

Doctoral Program

Normative Time to Degree

5 years

Capstone Type

Dissertation

Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

Due to its interdisciplinary nature, biomedical engineering attracts students with a variety of backgrounds. Thus, the requirements for admission are tailored to students who have a bachelor’s degree in an engineering, physical science, or biological science discipline, with adequate preparation in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. The minimum course work requirements for admission are six quarters of calculus through linear algebra and ordinary differential equations, three quarters of calculus-based physics, three quarters of chemistry, and two quarters of biology. Students without a physics, chemistry, or engineering undergraduate degree may be required to take additional relevant engineering courses prior to joining the program; any such requirements will be specifically determined by the BME Graduate Committee on a case-by-case basis and will be made known to the applicant at the time of acceptance to the program.

Successful PhD applicants typically have:

  • High undergraduate GPA.
  • Competitive GRE quantitative reasoning score. Strong grades in undergraduate mathematics courses.
  • Good verbal and writing skills, as evidenced by competitive GRE analytical writing scores. Well-written and non-generic personal statement.
  • Relevant research experience. Evidence of meaningful research experience with tangible outcomes, such as research theses, papers, and participation in professional conferences/meetings. An authorship in a legitimate peer-reviewed journal publication carries significant weight.
  • At least three recommendation letters, with an enthusiastic endorsement from those familiar with the applicant’s skills and personal qualities.   
  • English language proficiency. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. Either TOEFL iBT or IELTS tests are accepted.
Applicants who have taken Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) may use it as a substitute for GRE.
Exceptionally promising UCI undergraduates may apply for admission through The Henry Samueli School of Engineering’s accelerated M.S. and M.S./Ph.D. program, however, these students must satisfy the course work and letters of recommendation requirements described above.

Financial Support

Students admitted to the Ph.D. degree option are provided with a generous stipend and tuition/fee payments through departmental or faculty resources. During the first two quarters, the students are given the opportunity to rotate in at least two research labs under a "matching" process that allows the students to identify their eventual research advisor.  

The Graduate Division also offers an array of financial support resources, such as fellowship competitions open to incoming and current UCI students, and funding workshops and writing tutors available through the Graduate Resource Center.

For information on funding opportunities for international graduate students, read more here.

Click here to access the associated nomination and application deadlines for various fellowship opportunities.
Click here for a summary of funding eligibility for UCI graduate students who meet AB540 and/or DACA criteria.

Tuition & Fees

Graduate/Credential Student Fees 2018-19

  Fall 2018 Winter 2019 Spring 2019 Annual
Student Services Fee 376.00 376.00 376.00 1,128.00
Tuition 3,814.00 3,814.00 3,814.00 11,442.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee 9.00 9.00 9.00 27.00
Student Center Fee 137.88 137.88 137.87 413.63
Bren Events Center Fee 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
eTech Fee * 60.00 60.00 60.00 180.00
Document Fee † 80.00 0.00 0.00 80.00
Student Health Insurance 1,348.00 1,347.00 1,347.00 4,042.00
Total California Resident $5,795.88 $5,794.88 $5,794.87 $17,385.63
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition 5,034.00 5,034.00 5,034.00 15,102.00
Total Nonresident $10,829.88 $10,828.88 $10,828.87 $32,487.63

Posted 10 August 2018 at http://reg.uci.edu/fees/2018-2019/graduate.html

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

The non-refundable eTech Fee is required of all students and is used to support the maintenance and improvement of existing education technology, and new services and capabilities. The eTech fee is listed separately as the charged amount varies based on the amount of undergraduate units the student is enrolled in and is assessed later in the term than the other fees listed. The fee is $4 per unit of undergraduate lecture course, up to a maximum amount of $60 (or 15 units) per quarter. It will be assessed after the third week of instruction. The $60 eTech Fee included on this chart reflects the maximum possible fee.

† The Document Fee provides lifetime access to official transcripts and academic verifications without a fee for in-person pickup or delivery by USPS. In addition, there is no fee for mailing the initial diploma. Effective Fall 2018, new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students are assessed the one-time document fee. Eligible students are able to use financial aid to cover the Document Fee.

Core Faculty

Kyriacos Athanasiou, Ph.D. Columbia University, Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering (biomechanics, tissue engineering, orthopaedics, biomaterials)
 
Michael W. Berns, Ph.D. Cornell University, Arnold and Mabel Beckman Chair in Laser Biomedicine and Professor of Surgery; Biomedical Engineering; Developmental and Cell Biology (photomedicine, laser microscopy, biomedical devices)

Elliot L. Botvinick, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, Professor of Surgery; Biomedical Engineering; Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (laser microbeams, cellular mechanotransduction, mechanobiology)

Gregory Brewer, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering (neuronal networks, decoding brain learning and memory, brain-inspired computing, Alzheimer's disease, brain aging, neuron cell culture)

James P. Brody, Ph.D. Princeton University, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering (bioinformatics, micro-nanoscale systems)

Zhongping Chen, Ph.D. Cornell University, Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Otolaryngology; Surgery (biomedical optics, optical coherence tomography, bioMEMS, biomedical devices)

Bernard H. Choi, Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin, Professor of Surgery; Biomedical Engineering (biomedical optics, in vivo optical imaging, microvasculature, light-based therapeutics)

Michelle Digman, Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Chemical Engineering and Materials Science; Developmental and Cell Biology (quantitative imaging techniques to study spatial-temporal dynamics of signaling protein networks in live cells and tissues)

Timothy L. Downing, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering (stem cells and tissue engineering)

Anthony Durkin, Ph.D University of Texas at Austin, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering (spatial frequency domain imaging, wide field functional imaging, quantitative near-infrared spectroscopy of superficial tissues, chemometrics, fluorescence spectroscopy, quantitative spectral imaging)

Enrico Gratton, Ph.D. University of Rome, Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Developmental and Cell Biology; Physics and Astronomy (design of new fluorescence instruments, protein dynamics, single molecule, fluorescence microscopy, photon migration in tissues)

Anna Grosberg, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (computational modeling of biological systems, biomechanics, cardiac tissue engineering)

Jered Haun, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (nanotechnology, molecular engineering, computational simulations, targeted drug delivery, clinical cancer detection)

Elliot E. Hui, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering (microscale tissue engineering, bioMEMS, cell-cell interactions, global health diagnostics)

Tibor Juhasz, Ph.D. Attila József University, Professor of Ophthalmology; Biomedical Engineering (laser-tissue interactions, high-precision microsurgery with lasers, laser applications in ophthalmology, corneal biomechanics)

Arash Kheradvar, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (cardiac mechanics, cardiovascular devices, cardiac imaging)

Michelle Khine, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (development of novel nano- and micro-fabrication technologies and systems for single cell analysis, stem cell research, in-vitro diagnostics)

Frithjof Kruggel, M.D. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (biomedical signal and image processing, anatomical and functional neuroimaging in humans, structure-function relationship in the human brain)

Abraham P. Lee, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, William J. Link Chair in Biomedical Engineering and Department Chair and Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (Lab-on-a-Chip health monitoring instruments, drug delivery micro/nanoparticles, integrated cell sorting microdevices, lipid vesicles as carriers for cells and biomolecules, high throughput droplet bioassays, microfluidic tactile sensors)

Chang C. Liu, Ph.D. Scripps Research Institute, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Chemistry; Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (genetic engineering, directed evolution, synthetic biology, chemical biology)

Wendy F. Liu, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (biomaterials, microdevices in cardiovascular engineering, cell-cell and cell-micro-environment interactions, cell functions and controls)

Beth A. Lopour, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (computational neuroscience, signal processing, mathematical modeling, epilepsy, translational research)

Zoran Nenadic, D.Sc. Washington University, Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (adaptive biomedical signal processing, control algorithms for biomedical devices, brain-machine interfaces, modeling and analysis of biological neural networks)

William C. Tang, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Chemical Engineering and Materials Science; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) nanoscale engineering for biomedical applications, microsystems integration, microimplants, microbiomechanics, microfluidics)

Daryl Preece, Ph.D. University of Glasgow, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering (nano-optics, neuro-photonics, optical forces and mechanotransduction, singular optics and biophotonics)

Bruce Tromberg, Ph.D. University of Tennessee, Director of Beckman Laser Institute and Professor of Surgery; Biomedical Engineering; Physiology and Biophysics (photon migration, diffuse optical imaging, non-linear optical microscopy, photodynamic therapy)

Academic Data

academic data

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Career Outcomes

career outcomes data

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