As a part of Duke BME's PhD program, you'll join a thriving, interdisciplinary research community with unique opportunities in translational research
The Duke Difference
- Strong research collaborations with clinical partners through the $20 million Duke Coulter Translational Research Partnership and Duke MEDx initiative
- Esteemed faculty members—more than half are also faculty of the Duke University School of Medicine
- A highly entrepreneurial culture
- An excellent location—In a thriving region with a lower cost of living than New York, Boston or California's Bay Area
"At Duke BME, I had experiences and opportunities in global health research that I could not have had at any other university."
Mercy Asiedu, PhD |Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, MIT
A breadth of faculty expertise, with a translational focus
- Bioelectric Engineering
- Biomechanics and Mechanobiology
- Biomedical and Health Data Sciences
- Biomedical Imaging and Biophotonics
- Biosensors and Bioinstrumentation
- Computational Modeling of Biological Systems
- Drug and Gene Delivery
- Immune Engineering
- Neural Engineering
- Synthetic and Systems Biology
- Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
First-Day Mentorship and Support
- Full funding, plus conference & travel support
- Direct admission to a Duke BME research group
- Membership and representation via BEPSA, Duke BME's PhD student association
Authentic Opportunities to Learn Mentorship Through Mentoring
In preparation for your role as a research mentor, Duke Engineering actively encourages and supports efforts by its PhD students to mentor undergraduates in research work.
Our PhD students can register to serve as a mentor and post a research project to a university-wide directory of research opportunities for undergraduates: Muser.
As mentors, our PhD students build professional mentoring relationships with undergraduates, while increasing undergraduate involvement in research—one of the hallmarks of a Duke Engineering education.
A Highly Entrepreneurial Culture
- Duke BME Startup Prize—$10,000 to develop a startup
- Duke EngEn—Access to mentorship from experienced biotech entrepreneurs and more
- Entrepreneurial Post-Doctoral Program in BME—Salary support while developing a startup
Dedicated Professional Development and Career Services
- PhD Plus—Seminars, workshops and networking opportunities to build professional skills
- Positive career outcomes for our graduates—a track record of jobs in academia and industry
Grant-Supported Training Programs
- Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering
- Integrative Bioinformatics
- Medical Scientist (MD-PhD)
- Surgical Technology Design
Graduate Certificates Programs
- Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering
More about these certificate and training programs »
- Degree Requirements
- Sample Timeline
Milestone Year of Study Preliminary Exam Year 2–3 Thesis Proposal Year 4+ Thesis Defense Year 5-6
The program of coursework, including the applicability of any transfer credits, is determined by the student, their advisor, and their committee. The minimum required amount of coursework is 30 units.
The advanced math (3 units required) and life science (3 units required) courses and up to one (1) independent study class may be used toward this requirement. See Duke BME's list of potential life science and advanced math courses; however, students are not limited solely to these courses.
Ungraded seminars do not count toward the 30-unit requirement. Students are encouraged to discuss class selection with their advisor upon matriculation and frequently throughout their course of study.
Each committee meeting should include an update on progress towards coursework requirements. The student’s committee retains the power to approve the coursework or request that the student take additional courses. Note: students seeking a master’s degree en route to a PhD must satisfy the degree requirements for the master’s degree. These are not necessarily aligned with the PhD coursework requirements, and so special consideration should be taken.
Two semesters of BME Seminar are required. New matriculants take BME 702s (Fall only). Second-year students take BME 701s (Spring only).
- Teaching Assistantship (TA)
Two (2) semesters are required. Students typically fulfill their Teaching Assistant (TA) assignments in years 2–5. Students must sign up for the TA seminar during the semester in which they TA, and they must also complete a Pratt School of Engineering TA training session.
- Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)
RCR training at Duke challenges students to engage in ethical decision-making through active learning—by using realistic scenarios and current issues.
One (1) orientation session and 4 forums are required. More details »
- Admissions Profile
Recently admitted applicants have strong academic records and compelling evidence that they are serious about preparing for a career in research. Specifics vary widely depending on many factors, including the resources available to each applicant. Applications are reviewed holistically and consider all of the materials submitted in the application package.
Average scores of recently admitted applicants:
- GRE scores are not required.
- UGPA: 3.7
- Undergraduate GPA: 3.2
- TOEFL score: 90 (Internet-based test)