Ph.D. in Bioengineering

Bioengineering is a fast-paced, high-impact field that focuses on solving problems in medicine and biology to save and improve lives.

The Bioengineering Graduate program is research-focused and intended for students seeking careers in biomedical research or as technology leaders in industry. You’ll be guided by faculty mentors from the College of Engineering and the Department of Biology.

Coursework requirements are flexible so you can design a program that matches your goals and background. You’ll be encouraged to take leadership roles in research so that you can be recognized in your field upon graduation.

If you are self-motivated, like challenges, and are inquisitive, an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in bioengineering may be for you.

Research areas

  • Diagnostics, devices, and instrumentation
  • Mechanobiology and Biomechanics
  • Regenerative Medicine and Engineered Tissues
  • Imaging and photonics

Degree requirements

  • Graduate coursework from any appropriate department across the Colleges of Engineering and College of Science, including at least three courses from a single engineering discipline, with a primarily engineering science focus.
  • Qualifying examination, including a short paper describing your research activities over your first year in residence and presentation and an oral examination focused on the fundamental engineering and science principles and methods appropriate to your research area.
  • Candidacy examination, consisting of a complete proposal for your doctoral research in the form of a grant application and an oral examination focused on your hypotheses and the extent to which your proposed work will address them.
  • The final dissertation defense is a public presentation, followed by an examination by your committee.

More specific course requirements information can be found in the Bioengineering Graduate Handbook.

Admission requirements

  • Undergraduate degree in engineering or a related field, such as biological sciences, physical sciences, or mathematics with specific interests in biological systems. Students with a degree in biology should have at least one year each of college-level calculus and physics.
  • The GRE general test is optional for the 2021 admission cycle. Your scores will be considered if you submit your scores. You can self-report scores, and only need to send official scores to verify these if you are accepted to the program.
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty members who can judge your academic and research potential.
  • Students may apply to any “home department” within the Notre Dame College of Engineering or College of Science (your choice will not affect your admission). Your final home department will be based on the department of your faculty advisor.

A master’s degree is not required. Apply directly to the Ph.D. program.

Financial support

  • Generous 12-month stipends for Ph.D. students
  • 100% health insurance premium paid
  • Full-tuition scholarships
  • Conference workshop/travel funding opportunities

Students in the Ph.D. program are generally supported with a regular stipends via fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships.


Apply by December 31.


Prof. Glen L. Niebur
Program Director
(574) 631-3327