Earn Your PhD at Duke
Join a thriving, interdisciplinary research community offering unique opportunities in translational research
The Duke BME Difference
- Strong ties with Duke Health clinical partners, through the $20 million Duke Coulter Translational Research Partnership and the Duke MEDx initiative
- Esteemed faculty members, more than half of whom have joint appointments in Duke’s School of Medicine
- A highly entrepreneurial culture
- A terrific location, with a lower cost of living than the Northeast and West Coast
"At Duke, 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, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
A wide breadth of faculty expertise, with 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
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 Imaging
- Medical Scientist (MD-PhD)
- Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering
More about these certificate and training programs »
|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 3 workshops are required. More details »
Average scores of recently admitted applicants:
- GRE Quantitiative: 165
- GRE Verbal: 160
- UGPA: 3.7
- Undergraduate GPA: 3.2
- TOEFL score: 90 (Internet-based test)
Take the Next Step
- Fall entry—December 15
- Spring entry—October 1