Curriculum Requirements for Ph.D in IBSC program

IBSC PhD candidates may be awarded degrees in Biomedical Engineering (BME), Basic Medical Sciences (BMS), Comparative Pathobiology (CPB), or Veterinary Clinical Sciences (VCS), reflecting the collaboration between BME and the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine (PVM) in support of the program. The PhD degree can only be awarded by a department in which the primary advisor (or official co-advisor) has an affiliation.

90 total credit hours of course work and research


IBSC PhD Plan of Study Worksheet 

Academic Requirements

Courses that will NOT count towards 31 minimum credit hours of graduate course work

  • Seminar courses
  • Special topics/special assignment courses
  • ALL courses currently offered in ENE (Engineering Education)
  • BME 595/MGMT 590 (Biomedship) (3 cr.)
  • BME 595G Medical Development Accd &Eng Analysis (3 cr.)
  • CHE 685 Educ Methods in Eng (3 cr.)
  • PHAD 690 Regulatory Issues (1-3 cr.)
  • PHYS 590 Reading and Research (1-3 cr.)
  • SOC 573 Human Side of Medicine (3 cr.)
  • STAT 503 Stat Methods Biology (3 cr.)
  • STAT 511 Stat Methods (3 cr.)

Core Competencies of the IBSC graduate program

Applicants will be admitted as Doctoral candidates only. The course plan should be formed through a dissertation committee based on the strengths and weaknesses of the student's background.

Students will be required to take:

90 total credit hours of coursework and research

  • 31 minimal credit hours of graduate (500 & 600 level) coursework (didactic courses)
    • 31 is a minimum. The student's thesis committee may require additional courses.

Any remedial coursework to meet prerequisites (300, 400 level courses) will not count towards the 31 credit minimum coursework but may count towards the total 90 credit hours.

The composition of 31 minimal credit hours of graduate coursework:

  • 12 credits from Biology/Biochemistry/other sciences
  • 6 credits from Engineering
    • To earn an IBSC-BME PhD degree, all 6 engineering credits must be satisfied by BME courses and the student must have a primary or official co-advisor appointed in BME.
  • 6 credits from Math/Statistics
    • At least 6 of the above 24 core competency credits must be from 600-level Purdue courses.
  • 1 credit hour of graduate level ethics
  • 2 semesters of seminar course: BMS 69200 or CPB 69700 
  • 2 courses in Research Fundamentals (one in fall and one in spring)
  • 2 semesters of BME seminar
  • BME summer seminar presentation (no associated course credits)

Research publications

All IBSC students are required to have at least two research papers (based on their research project) accepted in peer-reviewed journals before graduation.

PhD Milestones

A series of requirements and milestones have been developed to facilitate the training of our PhD students on their pathway to becoming independent researchers. These skills define our PhD program and place our students in a position to succeed and become leaders in many possible career paths.

These requirements and milestones serve the dual purpose of facilitating the best individualized training for our students while maintaining the rigor of a Purdue degree. The links below provide students and faculty with an overview of the rationale, logistics, and expectations for these requirements, and provides a list of departmental resources available to assist students in their training. 

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