Biomedical Engineering Program


Biomedical Engineering (BME) is an interdisciplinary science that employs engineering methods and approaches to define and solve biological problems. The UT Southwestern Medical Center BME Program has an emphasis on the development of advanced procedures and technologies that facilitate both basic biomedical research and the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease and disability. Biomedical engineering also has joint degree programs with UT Dallas or UT Arlington. Thus, the program offers a robust set of resources for biomedical engineering research and education.

The Biomedical Engineering Program has more than 40 faculty members from both basic science and clinical departments at UT Southwestern, whose research covers a broad range of fundamental and applied bioengineering research. The BME Program promotes a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment, with a focus on providing the highest quality education and training for our students.

The UT Southwestern BME Program features four research and teaching tracks:

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Ph.D. students are required to complete a minimum of 27 credit hours of didactic coursework. The BME Program has a flexible curriculum which typically includes track-specific engineering and life science courses as well as advanced electives (see sample degree plans). Students also receive training in responsible conduct of research, attend BME seminars given by faculty members, and participate in a Works-in-Progress course in which they present and receive feedback on their dissertation research. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the Program, students often take courses from other Programs in the Division of Basic Science at UT Southwestern, as well as graduate level classes at UT Arlington and UT Dallas.

All doctoral students must pass three examinations. Exam I is a qualifying exam, usually given during the second year. It consists of a written examination, based on a broad problem in the area of the student’s research, and an oral examination in which the student critiques and defends his or her written response. Successful completion of the qualifying examination is required to advance to candidacy for the PhD. Exam II consists of a detailed written prospectus of the proposed dissertation research and an oral defense of the proposal. Exam III is the final defense of the completed dissertation.

A supervisory research committee is formed for each doctoral candidate. This committee reviews and evaluates the student’s progress and participates in the proposal and dissertation defenses.

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