Biomedical Engineering: Biomedical Engineering PhD

Doctor of Philosophy​

Program Description

The PhD program offers courses and a strong research thesis component. Students emerge from this program ready to pursue careers in academia, medicine, industry, and government. Students with a particular interest in conducting biomedical engineering research with a primary clinical focus may pursue a field in clinical engineering within the Biomedical Engineering PhD program.

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of three routes: 1) following completion of an appropriate master's degree; 2) transfer from the University of Toronto MASc or MHSc program; or 3) direct entry following completion of an appropriate bachelor's degree.

 

Fields:

1) Neural/Sensory Systems and Rehabilitation
2) Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
3) Nanotechnology, Molecular Imaging and Systems Biology
4) Engineering in a Clinical Setting

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy IBBME’s additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants must have a master's degree in dentistry, engineering, medicine, or one of the physical or biological sciences with an overall average of at least B+ (3.3 grade point average [GPA]) from a recognized university.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Normally, students must complete at least 1.0 full-course equivalent (FCE) including:

    • Two of the following (1.0 FCE):

      • BME 1477H Biomedical Engineering Project Design and Execution (0.5 FCE);

      • BME 1478H Coding for Biomedical Engineers (0.5 FCE); or

      • BME 1479H Statistical Discovery Techniques for Biomedical Researchers (0.5 FCE).

  • Students are also expected to pursue a thesis topic relevant to at least one of the following Biomedical Engineering research fields: 1) Neural/Sensory Systems and Rehabilitation; 2) Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine; 3) Nanotechnology, Molecular Imaging and Systems Biology; 4) Engineering in a Clinical Setting; or 5) Clinical Engineering*.

  • Within 12 months of registration, students must pass a qualifying examination covering the broad field of biomedical engineering appropriate to their background.

  • Successful completion of a thesis, representing an original investigation in biomedical engineering.

  • Students will continue to meet with their supervisory committee at least once every 12 months until recommendation for the departmental oral examination is made. On the recommendation of the supervisory committee and special approval from their department Graduate Chair or Coordinator, candidates have the opportunity to waive the departmental oral examination and proceed directly to the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • Students must participate in:

    • Either BME 1010H or BME 1011H Graduate Seminar series (0.0 FCE);

    • JDE 1000H Ethics in Research (0.0 FCE);

    • Health and safety training workshops.

​Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

 

PhD Program (Transfer)

Transfer Requirements

  • Highly qualified master’s students (MHSc students in Clinical Engineering or MASc students in any field) may be considered for transfer into the PhD program in any of the five fields. MAsc and MHsc students who transfer to a PhD must fulfil the admission requirements listed under the specific field of the PhD program they are transferring to.

Program Requirements for MASc Transfer Students

  • Coursework. Students who transfer from the MASc program in Biomedical Engineering must complete the total course requirements for both degrees: 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) at the master’s level plus 1.0 FCE at the PhD level, for a total of 3.0 FCEs.

    • Students must complete two of the following (1.0 FCE):

      • BME 1477H Biomedical Engineering Project Design and Execution (0.5 FCE);

      • BME 1478H Coding for Biomedical Engineers (0.5 FCE); or

      • BME 1479H Statistical Discovery Techniques for Biomedical Researchers (0.5 FCE).

    • Elective courses relevant to the student's area of research (2.0 FCEs).

Program Requirements for MHSc Transfer Students

  • Coursework. Students who transfer from the MHSc program in Biomedical Engineering must complete the total course requirements for both degrees: 4.0 FCEs at the master's level plus 1.0 FCE at the PhD level, for a total of 5.0 FCEs.

    • BME 1405H ​Clinical Engineering Instrumentation I (0.5 FCE) and BME 1436H ​Clinical Engineering Surgery (0.5 FCE).

    • Students must complete two of the following (1.0 FCE):

      • BME 1477H Biomedical Engineering Project Design and Execution (0.5 FCE);

      • BME 1478H Coding for Biomedical Engineers (0.5 FCE); or

      • BME 1479H Statistical Discovery Techniques for Biomedical Researchers (0.5 FCE);

    • Two half-course electives relevant to the student's area of research (1.0 FCE).

    • BME 4444Y Practical Experience Course (1.0 FCE) in health-care facilities, the medical device industry, or health-care consulting firms. The practical experience course must total a minimum of 625 hours.

All PhD Students

  • Students are expected to pursue a thesis topic relevant to at least one of the following Biomedical Engineering research fields: 1) Neural/Sensory Systems and Rehabilitation; 2) Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine; 3) Nanotechnology, Molecular Imaging and Systems Biology; 4) Engineering in a Clinical Setting.

  • Within 12 months of registration, students must pass a qualifying examination covering the broad field of biomedical engineering appropriate to their background.

  • Successful completion of a thesis, representing an original investigation in biomedical engineering.

  • Students will continue to meet with their supervisory committee at least once every 12 months until recommendation for the departmental oral examination is made. On the recommendation of the supervisory committee and special approval from their department Graduate Chair or Coordinator, candidates have the opportunity to waive the departmental oral examination and proceed directly to the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • Students must participate in:

    • Either BME 1010H or BME 1011H Graduate Seminar series (0.0 FCE);

    • JDE 1000H Ethics in Research (0.0 FCE);

    • Health and safety training workshops.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy IBBME’s additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Direct entry with a bachelor's degree may be considered in exceptional cases. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in dentistry, engineering, medicine, or one of the physical or biological sciences.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Normally, students must complete 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) including:

    • ​Two of the following (1.0 FCE):

      • BME 1477H Biomedical Engineering Project Design and Execution (0.5 FCE);

      • BME 1478H Coding for Biomedical Engineers (0.5 FCE); or

      • BME 1479H Statistical Discovery Techniques for Biomedical Researchers (0.5 FCE).

    • Elective courses relevant to the student's area of research (2.0 FCEs).

  • Students are also expected to pursue a thesis topic relevant to at least one of the following Biomedical Engineering research fields: 1) Neural/Sensory Systems and Rehabilitation; 2) Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine; 3) Nanotechnology, Molecular Imaging and Systems Biology; 4) Engineering in a Clinical Setting.

  • Successful completion of a thesis, representing an original investigation in biomedical engineering.

  • Students will continue to meet with their supervisory committee at least once every 12 months until recommendation for the departmental oral examination is made. On the recommendation of the supervisory committee and special approval from their department Graduate Chair or Coordinator, candidates have the opportunity to waive the departmental oral examination and proceed directly to the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • Students must participate in:

    • Either BME 1010H or BME 1011H Graduate Seminar series (0.0 FCE);

    • JDE 1000H Ethics in Research (0.0 FCE);

    • Health and safety training workshops.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

 

Field: 5) Clinical Engineering

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy IBBME’s additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants must have a master's degree in dentistry, engineering, medicine, or one of the physical or biological sciences with an overall average of at least B+ (3.3 grade point average [GPA]) from a recognized university.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Normally, students must complete at least 1.0 full-course equivalent (FCE) including:

    • ​Two of the following (1.0 FCE):

      • BME 1477H Biomedical Engineering Project Design and Execution (0.5 FCE);

      • BME 1478H Coding for Biomedical Engineers (0.5 FCE); or

      • BME 1479H Statistical Discovery Techniques for Biomedical Researchers (0.5 FCE)

    • If a student does not have a formal degree in clinical engineering, 0.5 FCE from one of the IBBME clinical engineering courses (BME 1405H, BME 1436H, BME 1439H, or BME 4444Y) is required. A student who possesses protracted professional engineering experience (five or more years) will be exempt from this requirement.

  • Students must (1) conduct their research in a clinical environment and (2) be co-supervised by both engineering and health science faculty. The primary supervisor must be IBBME-appointed; however, the co-supervisor could be from a clinical unit other than IBBME but must be appointed to SGS.

  • Within 12 months of registration, students must pass a qualifying examination covering the broad field of biomedical engineering appropriate to their background.

  • Successful completion of a thesis, representing an original investigation in biomedical engineering.

  • Students will continue to meet with their supervisory committee at least once every 12 months until recommendation for the departmental oral examination is made. On the recommendation of the supervisory committee and special approval from their department Graduate Chair or Coordinator, candidates have the opportunity to waive the departmental oral examination and proceed directly to the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • Students must participate in:

    • Either BME 1010H or BME 1011H Graduate Seminar series (0.0 FCE);

    • JDE 1000H Ethics in Research (0.0 FCE);

    • Health and safety training workshops.

​Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

 

PhD Program (Transfer)

Transfer Requirements

  • Highly qualified master’s students (MHSc students in Clinical Engineering or MASc students in any field) may be considered for transfer into the PhD program in any of the five research fields. To be eligible to transfer to the PhD, Clinical Engineering MHSc students must complete 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) within the MHSc curriculum.

  • MHSc students who transfer to the PhD in the field of Clinical Engineering must fulfil the PhD program requirements listed below. MHSc students who transfer to the other PhD fields must fulfil the program requirements of the PhD field as described in the applicable section.

Program Requirements for MASc Transfer Students

  • Coursework. Students who transfer from the MASc program in Biomedical Engineering must complete the total course requirements for both degrees: 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) at the master’s level plus 1.0 FCE at the PhD level, for a total of 3.0 FCEs.

    • Students must complete two of the following (1.0 FCE):

      • BME 1477H Biomedical Engineering Project Design and Execution (0.5 FCE);

      • BME 1478H Coding for Biomedical Engineers (0.5 FCE); or

      • BME 1479H Statistical Discovery Techniques for Biomedical Researchers (0.5 FCE).

    • Elective courses relevant to the student's area of research (2.0 FCEs).

    • If a student does not have a formal degree in clinical engineering, 0.5 FCE from one of the IBBME clinical engineering courses (BME 1405H, BME 1436H, BME 1439H, or BME 4444Y) is required. A student who possesses protracted professional engineering experience (five or more years) will be exempt from this requirement.

Program Requirements for MHSc Transfer Students

  • Coursework. Students who transfer from the MHSc program in Biomedical Engineering must complete the total course requirements for both degrees: 4.0 FCEs at the master's level plus 1.0 FCE at the PhD level, for a total of 5.0 FCEs.
    • BME 1405H ​Clinical Engineering Instrumentation I (0.5 FCE) and BME 1436H ​Clinical Engineering Surgery (0.5 FCE).

    • Students must complete two of the following (1.0 FCE):

      • BME 1477H Biomedical Engineering Project Design and Execution (0.5 FCE);

      • BME 1478H Coding for Biomedical Engineers (0.5 FCE); or

      • BME 1479H Statistical Discovery Techniques for Biomedical Researchers (0.5 FCE);

    • Two half-course electives relevant to the student's area of research (1.0 FCE).

    • BME 4444Y Practical Experience Course (1.0 FCE) in health-care facilities, the medical device industry, or health-care consulting firms. The practical experience course must total a minimum of 625 hours.

    • If a student does not have a formal degree in clinical engineering, 0.5 FCE from one of the IBBME clinical engineering courses (BME 1405H, BME 1436H, BME 1439H, or BME 4444Y) is required. A student who possesses protracted professional engineering experience (five or more years) will be exempt from this requirement.

All PhD Students

  • Students must (1) conduct their research in a clinical environment and (2) be co-supervised by both engineering and health science faculty. The primary supervisor must be IBBME-appointed; however, the co-supervisor could be from a clinical unit other than IBBME but must be appointed to SGS.

  • Within 12 months of registration, students must pass a qualifying examination covering the broad field of biomedical engineering appropriate to their background.
  • Successful completion of a thesis, representing an original investigation in biomedical engineering.

  • Students will continue to meet with their supervisory committee at least once every 12 months until recommendation for the departmental oral examination is made. On the recommendation of the supervisory committee and special approval from their department Graduate Chair or Coordinator, candidates have the opportunity to waive the departmental oral examination and proceed directly to the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • Students must participate in:

    • Either BME 1010H or BME 1011H Graduate Seminar series (0.0 FCE);

    • JDE 1000H Ethics in Research (0.0 FCE);

    • Health and safety training workshops.

​Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy IBBME’s additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Direct entry with a bachelor's degree may be considered in exceptional cases. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in dentistry, engineering, medicine, or one of the physical or biological sciences.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Normally, students must complete 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) including:

    • Two of the following (1.0 FCE):

      • BME 1477H Biomedical Engineering Project Design and Execution (0.5 FCE);

      • BME 1478H Coding for Biomedical Engineers (0.5 FCE); or

      • BME 1479H Statistical Discovery Techniques for Biomedical Researchers (0.5 FCE).

    • Elective courses relevant to the student's area of research (2.0 FCEs).

    • If a student does not have a formal degree in clinical engineering, 0.5 FCE from one of the IBBME clinical engineering courses (BME 1405H, BME 1436H, BME 1439H, or BME 4444Y) is required. A student who possesses protracted professional engineering experience (five or more years) will be exempt from this requirement.

  • Students in the Clinical Engineering field must (1) conduct their research in a clinical environment and (2) be co-supervised by both engineering and health science faculty. The primary supervisor must be IBBME-appointed; however, the co-supervisor could be from a clinical unit other than IBBME but must be appointed to SGS.

  • Within 12 months of registration, students must pass a qualifying examination covering the broad field of biomedical engineering appropriate to their background.

  • Successful completion of a thesis, representing an original investigation in biomedical engineering.

  • Students will continue to meet with their supervisory committee at least once every 12 months until recommendation for the departmental oral examination is made. On the recommendation of the supervisory committee and special approval from their department Graduate Chair or Coordinator, candidates have the opportunity to waive the departmental oral examination and proceed directly to the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • Students must participate in:

    • Either BME 1010H or BME 1011H Graduate Seminar series (0.0 FCE);

    • JDE 1000H Ethics in Research (0.0 FCE);

    • Health and safety training workshops.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years