Ph.D. in Engineering (Bioengineering)


The Ph.D. graduate program in the Department of Bioengineering is open to all qualified individuals with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Master of Science (M.S.) in Engineering. Students with a B.S., B.A., or M.S./M.A. degree in a related field are also eligible provided they meet the minimum prerequisite coursework requirement of: two (2) years of calculus through differential equations; and one (1) year of engineering physics.

To be competitive for admission, all applicants should have a grade point average of at least 3.0/4.0  for all previous undergraduate work and 3.3/4.0 for all previous graduate work. In some cases, additional prerequisite courses related to the program of study may be required (consult with program). Course credits for meeting undergraduate prerequisites are not applied toward the graduate degree.

The GRE exam is required for all students who do not hold a B.S. degree from a US institution; international students are are required to provide proof of English language proficiency. Minimum accepted scores for the GRE are set by the program faculty; minimum scores for the English language proficiency exams are set by the College of Graduate Studies. 

Application requirements: 

  • Degree: Applicants must hold a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university 

  • GPA: Applicants must have at least a 3.0/4.0 grade point average from previous undergraduate coursework or a 3.3/4.0 for previous graduate coursework 

  • Application: UToledo application required 

  • GRE: Required for applicants whose B.S. degree is from a non-US institution. 

  • Transcripts: Required 

  • Statement of Purpose: Required 

  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 

  • Proof of English language proficiency: Required for students from non-English speaking countries. Minimum accepted test scores are: TOEFL PBT 550; TOEFL iBT 80; IELTS 6.5; PTE 58; and Duolingo 105. See University graduate admissions for testing exceptions. 

Application priority deadlines for admissions and funding decisions: 

  • Fall: January 15 

  • Spring: October 1 

  • Summer: Contact program


To be admitted to doctoral candidacy, all doctoral students in the program must meet the following requirements:

  • Pass the bioengineering qualifying examination.
  • Select a faculty adviser and dissertation committee.
  • Pass the bioengineering dissertation research proposal examination.
  • Earn at least a 3.0/4.0 GPA for all graduate level course work.


The doctor of philosophy degree in engineering requires a minimum of 90 cr hr of approved graduate course work beyond the B.S. degree or 60 cr hr beyond the M.S. degree. For students directly admitted into the Ph.D. program with a B.S. degree, the M.S. course work and the Ph.D. course work requirements must be satisfied. All course work must be approved by the student’s advisor. Each student must meet the following minimum general course work requirements beyond the M.S. degree requirements:

  • Register and attend the weekly bioengineering department seminar. Registration and attendance are mandatory every semester.
  • Complete BIOE 6100 if not previously taken.
  • Complete 9-12 cr hr of elective course work as approved by the adviser to support the research area.
  • Complete MIME 8100 to satisfy the mathematics requirement.
  • Complete at least 45 cr hr of dissertation research.

In addition to course work requirements, continuation within the Ph.D. program requires that the student pass two major examinations:

  1. the qualifying exam and
  2. defense of the dissertation research proposal.

Completion of the Ph.D. degree requires the writing and defense of the dissertation, and presentation and publication of the research findings.

Qualifying Exam

For students accepted into the Ph.D. program, the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam will occur after the completion of the required first year coursework comprising the core courses in physiology, mathematics and the bioengineering core courses (see MS course requirements). The students rotate through 3 different examination topics which are mediated by 2-3 faculty members. Each testing topic lasts no more than 25 minutes; each student is asked questions of increasing difficulty until the perimeter of the student's knowledge is determined. All students are tested on the common areas of mathematics and physiology. Each student selects the third test segment from the three broad specialization areas of biomechanics, bioprocessing/molecular & cellular biology, and bioelectrical systems.

Following the finalization of the examination outcomes, the Graduate Program Director will immediately notify the students tested in writing of the testing outcome. If retesting is required, the student is also informed of the date of testing and the topic(s) to be retested. Students who do not receive an outright pass on the first examination have one opportunity to retest with a passing score or are dismissed from the program.


(1) Solve problems using advanced mathematics, engineering and biomedical sciences 
(2) Communicate research rationale and results in scientific presentations, grant proposals, patents and refereed publications 
(3) Identify research questions and commercialization opportunities in biotechnology research 
(4) Independently design, conduct and direct laboratory research 
(5) Lead research or project teams without additional supervision 
(6) Review scientific literature to identify and obtain rationale for new research areas 
(7) Teach undergraduate engineering courses