Biomedical Engineering, Ph.D. | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Biomedical Engineering, Ph.D.

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The Department of Biomedical Engineering has assembled a core of renowned faculty from multiple disciplines in the Tandon School of Engineering and the NYU School of Medicine, augmented by associated faculty from across NYU’s schools and colleges and the NYU Global Network. Students within the Ph.D. degree programs engage in research leading to new engineering approaches and technologies to promote and enhance human health. In the laboratories of faculty members who are among the most accomplished authorities in the field, these students will acquire all of the necessary skills and expertise to become leaders in biomedical engineering in their own right.

Students engage, for example, in projects that look to develop new medical imaging devices and state-of-the-art medical data analysis. This includes the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning to improve diagnostic capabilities in oncology, ophthalmology, neurology, and orthopedics. Students are also involved in designing devices to separate, analyze, and modulate the behavior of single cells for disease models and diagnostic tests, and creating synthetic chromosomes. Collaboration with faculty in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering includes innovative research on wearable electronics that can be used to monitor disease onset and progression at home on a daily basis.

The state-of-the-art research taking place in the department is supported by engineering strengths in medical imaging, signal processing and analysis, modeling and control of complex living/non-living systems, big data management and visualization, design of microfluidic devices, biomaterials, control and modulation of cellular behavior, biomechanics, and systems biology.

Admission Requirements

A BS degree in biomedical engineering or a related field of science or engineering is generally required for admission to the BME Ph.D. program. Applicants with degrees in other fields or from other colleges may be admitted with undergraduate or graduate deficiencies as evaluated by the Graduate Admissions Committee. Students entering at the BME Ph.D. program with an MS degree are expected to have an MS degree in biomedical engineering or a related field of science, medicine, or engineering.  In addition to the degree requirement, acceptance to the program will depend on (1) academic excellence, (2) research interests congruent with those of program faculty, and (3) positive recommendations (e.g., from former research advisors). GRE scores are optional. Admissions committee members or faculty members whose research interests match those of the candidate, either in person or by a conference call, will interview viable candidates. Accepted students are directly admitted to an interested faculty members lab. Therefore, we strongly advise that interested students specify possible faculty advisors in the application materials and statement of purpose. Enrollment in the NYU Global Fellows program is available to those who choose a research advisor at the NYU Abu Dhabi campus.

Find out more about Admission Requirements.

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Urban Science Doctoral Track

Tandon Ph.D. students can specialize their studies in biomedical engineering with a focus on urban science through the new doctoral track offered by the Center for Urban Science + Progress.

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering is awarded to a student upon successful completion of 75 credits and the defense of a comprehensive dissertation research project. The credits are broken down as minimums of 27 course credits and 27 doctoral dissertation research credits, with flexible choices in coursework and/or research for the remaining credits. A maximum of 30 course credits may be transferred from previous graduate coursework. Doctoral dissertation credits can only be taken upon passing a comprehensive doctoral qualifying exam (DQE), which is given once a year. (Additional details on the qualifying examination are described in the Ph.D. Guideline). 


Candidates for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering should plan their programs in accordance with the following requirements:

Students must take at least one course in advanced mathematics and/or statistics for biomedical engineering, one course in biomedical/biophysical science, and one course in biomechanics or bioinstrumentation. One course in responsible conduct of research is required, in accord with rules of the National Institutes of Health for student training programs. Students may choose to enroll in guided studies with their advisor during the first year, with approval of the BME program advisor.

In addition, students must participate in noncredit student seminars for professional development for at least four semesters, and attend the Departmental Colloquium lecture series with distinguished invited speakers each semester. All students will be required to take university training in laboratory safety and other regulatory policies as appropriate.

Passing a doctoral qualifying examination is required in order to begin taking dissertation research credits (BE-GY 999x). The qualifying exam will be based on assigned thematically focused publications. This exam may be taken as early as the end of the first year, and not later than the middle of the second year. In the case of failure, the right to a second examination within six months is at the discretion of the examination committee in consultation with the BME program committee. The qualifying examination must be passed by the end of the second year. The results of each student’s examination will be delivered to the Registrar of NYU Tandon in writing, no later than one week following the exam.

Dissertation Advisor and Committee:
Students must choose a dissertation research advisor by the end of the first year, with approval of the departmental BME program committee. A dissertation guidance committee, comprised of the research advisor and three other faculty members (preferably two BME faculty members and one external faculty member) will be named with approval of the BME program committee. The function of the dissertation guidance committee will be to monitor the student’s progress throughout the program.

Research Proposal Examination:
A Research Proposal examination, overseen by the dissertation guidance committee and based on a dissertation research proposal and preliminary data, must be passed by the end of the third year. The objective of this exam is to ensure the student has chosen an appropriate PhD research topic and that the research plan is rigorous and has high likelihood of success. The results of each student’s proposal examination will be delivered to the Registrar of NYU Tandon in writing, no later than one week following the exam.

Annual Progress Assessment:
The dissertation guidance committee will continue to meet once per year with the student for a review of progress, and will provide detailed feedback advice to the student. A report following each annual meeting must be filed with the BME program committee.

Dissertation Defense:
With the dissertation research advisor’s and the dissertation guidance committee approval, the student will submit a written dissertation meeting all requirements of NYU Tandon. The dissertation must be provided to the dissertation guidance committee members at least one week, but preferably two weeks, prior to the defense. The defense includes a formal, public presentation by the student, with questions from the audience. Following the public presentation, the student meets privately with the committee members for questions. The committee makes a decision that is then transmitted, in writing, to the Registrar.


Please peruse the guidelines for NYU-Tandon Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. students. All students are required to read this document and are responsible for abiding by the herein stated deadlines and rules.

Download the Committee Form for completion of a proposal defense, annual progress meeting, or data defense.