A Duke BME PhD student works in a laboratory.

Earn Your PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Duke

Join a thriving, interdisciplinary research community with unique opportunities in translational research.

  • Strong research collaborations with clinical partners

  • Esteemed faculty members—more than half are also faculty of the Duke University School of Medicine

  • A highly entrepreneurial culture

  • The high quality of life in Durham, NC

How to Apply

via gradschool.duke.edu

Mercy Asiedu, PhD

"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

World-Class Research

A breadth of faculty expertise, with a translational focus

The duke BME PhD experience

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

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
  • Nanoscience
  • Photonics

More about these certificate and training programs »

BioMedical Engineering PHD Details

Degree Requirements
Sample Timeline
MilestoneYear of Study
Preliminary ExamYear 2–3
Fourth-Year Progress Report MeetingYear 4
Thesis DefenseYear 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

Minimum Requirements:

  • Undergraduate GPA: 3.2
  • TOEFL score: 90 (Internet-based test)

Take the Next Step

How to Apply

via gradschool.duke.edu

Are you looking for help with the application process?

Duke Engineering Graduate Ambassadors offers assistance from a current Duke graduate student mentor to help navigate your application process and offer perspectives on general graduate student life.

More Information Here