PhD in Biomedical Engineering

PhD candidates at the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) have an opportunity to immerse themselves in the discipline of biomedical engineering. With courses and a strong research thesis component, students emerge from the program ready to pursue careers in academia, medicine, industry and government.

Doctoral students with a particular interest in conducting biomedical engineering research with a primary clinical focus may pursue a concentration in clinical engineering within the Biomedical Engineering PhD program.

In addition to meeting our academic requirements, acceptance into this program is conditional upon finding and confirming a supervisor.

PhD Rotational Opportunity

Want to experiment with several projects in your first year before committing to a lab or supervisor?

Our new Wildcat Fellows Program provides funding to new, direct-entry PhD students to hold rotational placements between several research labs and supervisors during the first year of doctoral studies.

Please refer to the IBBME scholarships and awards section for more information about this program.

Program objectives at the PhD level

  • To integrate the study of biology/medicine with the physical and engineering sciences
  • To transform biological perspectives into an analytical engineering form
  • To provide the skills, philosophy and values to enable students to reach the forefront of leadership in biomedical engineering and have a direct impact on health care through the mentorship of world-class faculty who shape the cutting edge of research

Requirements in the PhD program

  • Two-half credit courses in addition to those required at the Master’s level. Students who transfer without completion of the Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering must complete the course requirements for both degrees (six courses total)
  • Students with a life sciences background must take an engineering course
  • Students with an engineering or physical science background must take a life science course
  • BME 1011Y Graduate Student Seminar Series
  • Health & Safety Training Workshop, WHMIS, and Biohazard and Safety
  • completion of a research thesis

Clinical engineering concentration

Students in the clinical engineering concentration must complete the following requirements in addition to those above:

If a student does not have a formal degree in clinical engineering, 0.5 FCE from one of the IBBME clinical engineering courses (BME 1405, BME 1439, BME 1436 or BME4444) is required.

A student who possesses protracted professional engineering experience (five or more years) will be exempt from this requirement.

  • Students must conduct their research in a clinical environment
  • Students will normally be co-supervised by both engineering and health science faculty—the primary supervisor must be IBBME-appointed, however the co-supervisor could be from a clinical unit other than IBBME but must be appointed to the U of T School of Graduate Studies. IBBME’s PhD program currently allows for co-supervision from non-IBBME SGS appointed faculty.

Please note that APS courses, offered by the Departments of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, do not fulfill technical degree requirements.

Timely completion of program requirements

Doctoral students are subject to the School of Graduate Studies’ policy on Timely Completion of Graduate Program Requirements.

A PhD student at the end of year three (or year four for direct-entry students) is expected to have completed all program requirements exclusive of the thesis.

The notation Candidacy Achieved will appear on the transcript of the student who has completed the above-mentioned program requirements.



+1 416 978-4841 (office) (email)