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Ph.D. Program

Joint Georgia Tech & Emory University

Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. Program

 

Offering the best of both internationally renowned institutions, we are united by our dedication to improving the health and well-being of all by fostering the next generation of leaders in biomedical engineering. We are training the next generation of biomedical engineers to become independent, thought-provoking leaders. Graduates of this joint program leave armed with a strong foundation in engineering principles and bioscience knowledge.

Georgia Tech Logo
Emory University Logo
Coulter Department Ph.D. students have pursued a variety of careers in many areas.

Preparing Graduates for a Range of Career Paths

After Graduation

37%

Postdoctoral Fellows

39%

Industry

9%

MD

3%

Tenure Track

3%

Government

2%

Non-Tenure Research

A student in a lab coat works with in a laboratory fume hood.
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A student who will have completed a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree before potential enrollment may apply for the doctoral program. The program does not require that a student first earn a master’s degree.

 

Applicants should have the following prerequisites:

  • B.S. in Engineering, Science, or Math
  • One year (two semesters or three quarters) of calculus-based physics
  • Organic chemistry is preferred (one semester is suggested)
  • Calculus through and including differential equations is also preferred (4 semesters total)

 

Graduate Program Brochure
Current Graduate Students

All admission materials must be submitted via the Georgia Tech graduate admission system.

  • December 1 is the application deadline for entry

 

All applicants must submit an application with:

  • statement of purpose
  • three letters of recommendation
  • official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • TOEFL scores (for non-native English speakers).

 

The Graduate Admissions website provides details on how to submit application materials. International applicants should be sure to read the entire instructions for international admissions.

 

Application files are reviewed by the Admissions Committee generally between December and early March. All aspects of the application are considered, including GPA, academic background, research experience, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and personal statement. There is no quota for international or domestic students as the Admissions Committee seeks the best applicants, regardless of citizenship. The applicant pool is very competitive, with the acceptance rate typically being less than 20%. Decisions are communicated in writing (not via phone or email), but applicants may check on the receipt of their application materials online via the Graduate Admissions website.

 

Top applicants may be invited to campus for interviews and recruitment in March. Decisions are normally completed by early March so that prospective students have time to consider their offers and respond by the April 15 deadline. Financial award details are included with admission decision letters.

 

Curriculum Overview

 

Description Requirement
Integrative Engineering-Biomedical Science
BME Problem-Based Course (3 options)
One, 3-hour course
Bioscience and Engineering Courses 5-7 courses (21 hours total)
  • 1 bioscience course
  • 1 data science course
  • 1 engineering course
  • 2-4 research-specific electives
Advanced Graduate Seminar Course One, 3-hour topical discussion-format course
Ethics, Teaching and Professional
Development Training Course
Three, 1-hour courses
Seminar Attendance 7 seminars per semester; four semesters

 

BioE/BME Curriculum Comparison

BioE/BME Curriculum Comparison

Integrative Engineering-Biomedical Science BME Problem-Based Course (3 options)

1BME Requirement
(One, 3-hour course)
2BioE-BME Requirement
(none)
BioE/BME Curriculum Comparison

Bioscience, Data Science, Engineering, and Elective Courses

1BME Requirement
5-7 courses (21 hours total)
Courses Number of Courses Required
Bioscience 1
Engineering 1
Data science 1
Research electives 2-4
Total = 21 hours  
2BioE-BME Requirement
11 courses (33 total hours)
Courses Number of Courses Required
Bioscience ≥ 3
Engineering ≥ 3
Math science 1
Approved electives 4
Total = 33 hours  
BioE/BME Curriculum Comparison

Advanced Graduate Seminar Course

1BME Requirement
(One, 3-hour topical discussion-format course)
2BioE-BME Requirement
(One, 3-hour topical discussion-format course)
BioE/BME Curriculum Comparison

Ethics, Teaching, and Professional Developing Training Courses

1BME Requirement
(Three, 1-hour courses)
2BioE-BME Requirement
(Three, 1-hour courses)
BioE/BME Curriculum Comparison

Seminar Attendance

1BME Requirement
(7 seminars per semester; four semesters)
2BioE-BME Requirement
(7 seminars per semester; four semesters)
Financial Support

Graduate Training Grants

Training grants enhance graduate research training by promoting fundamental, interdisciplinary, and innovative research training essential for future biomedical researchers. Students appointed to a training grant are financially supported for a portion of their training. Current training grants available to biomedical engineering Ph.D. students:

NIH: Biotechnology Cellular & Tissue Engineering
NIH: Computational Biology and Biomedical Genomics
NIH: Computational Neural Engineering
NIH: Research Training Program in ImmunoEngineering
NSF: Healthcare Roboticists
Financial Support

Fellowships and Awards Opportunities

Fellowships are monetary awards usually designated for graduate students. Many are nationally competitive, often with specific requirements and expectations. Some fellowships also are limited to particular fields of study. Students applying for fellowships should carefully read the requirements on the fellowship website before applying. Fellowship students are required to maintain full-time enrollment.

Access Resources from Two Institutions

Take advantage of extensive resources from both Emory and Georgia Tech that assist in all phases of fellowship awards, from submission to award management. Both campuses have offices that help with fellowship paperwork, grant proofreading, proposal tips, and post-award accounting. In addition to the individual campus offices, our curriculum is designed to hone skills in grant writing and scientific reasoning, both critical skills for receiving fellowships. The Coulter Department also has many internal fellowship opportunities drawn from both campuses, including:

  • Georgia Tech President’s Fellowship
  • Alfred P. Sloan Award
  • Gouizeta Fellowship
  • Emory Jones Fellowship
  • Research area specific awards
  • Laney Graduate School Admissions Fellowships
    • George W. Woodruff Fellowship
    • Centennial Scholars Fellowship
    • Laney Graduate School Fellowship

Research Opportunities

Our students have an abundance of opportunities to work in their desired fields. Explore our faculty based on their respective research focus areas.

Outstanding

Medical Facilities and Resources

National Institutions Located Nearby

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (HQ)
  • The American Cancer Society (HQ)

Research Facilities

  • Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center
  • Wayne Rollins Research Center
  • Woodruff Memorial Research Building
  • Marcus Autism Center
  • Atlanta Clinical Research Network Sites
  • Whitehead Bio-medical Memorial Building
  • Emory Pediatrics Building
  • Winship Cancer Institute

Teaching Facilities

  • Grady Memorial Hospital
  • Emory University Hospital
  • Emory University Hospital Midtown
  • Egleston Children’s Hospital at Emory University
  • Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital

Did you know?

  • There are more than 2,000 bioscience companies and 30,000 bioscience jobs in Georgia (TEConomy/BIO, 2014)
  • No. 1 Metro Area for Openings for STEM Graduates per Capita (WalletHub, January 2017)
  • No. 2 Next Big Tech Hubs that Are (Still) Affordable (Realtor.com, April 2017)
  • No. 3 City for Minority Entrepreneurs (Expert Market, May 2017)
  • No. 3 City Poised to Become Tomorrow’s Tech Meccas (Forbes, March 2017)
  • Metro Atlanta is the nation’s Health Information Technology capital, with more than 225 companies that employ more than 30,000 people
  • Atlanta is one of America’s 10 best healthcare cities (iVantage Health Analytics, 2015)
  • Atlanta’s airport serves 150 U.S. destinations and more than 75 international destinations in 50 countries. Our airport is within a two-hour flight of 80% of the United States population.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded nearly $20 million to a consortium of universities led by Georgia Tech that works closely with industry and clinical partners to develop transformative tools and technologies for the consistent, scalable and low-cost production of high-quality living therapeutic cells. The NSF Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT) could help revolutionize the treatment of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and other disorders by enabling broad use of potentially curative therapies that utilize living cells.

Ph.D. Admission FAQs

Good question. The Coulter Department, an interdisciplinary department, participates in multiple Ph.D. degree programs, thereby allowing you plenty of options for your educational curriculum. The selections that appear on the online application are shown below in quotation marks. Each program is linked to a website where you should read more about degree requirements. Please review degree requirements for each prior to submitting and finalizing your application.

  • "Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering"
    This is the flagship Ph.D. program for the Coulter Department, in which students are jointly enrolled at Georgia Tech and Emory University and have full access at each institution. Upon completion of all degree requirements, students earn a degree with seals from both Georgia Tech and Emory University.
  • "Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering (Joint Peking Campus Only)"
    This is the Ph.D. program in which students are expected to spend six months to one year at Peking University in Beijing, China. Upon completion of all degree requirements, students earn a degree with seals from Georgia Tech, Emory University, and Peking University.

Georgia Tech Interdisciplinary Programs

The following are Georgia Tech only interdisciplinary programs in which the Coulter Department participates. These programs have different curricular requirements than the above programs and no affiliation with Emory University.

 

December 1 is the deadline to apply for fall admission. We do not accept Ph.D. applications for spring or summer terms.

GRE scores are not required for acceptance into a Ph.D. program in which the Coulter Department participates as a home school. Our Admissions Committee looks at each applicant holistically.

  • B.S. in Engineering, Science, or Math
  • One year (two semesters or three quarters) of calculus-based physics
  • Organic chemistry is recommended
  • Calculus through and including differential equations is recommended (4 semesters total)

Program prerequisites provide necessary background to be successful in our graduate program. Applicants are still encouraged to apply if they have not yet completed prerequisites. Our Admissions Committee will conduct holistic reviews of each application submitted and will consider each applicant’s specific research interests.

No, the program does not require that applicants first earn a master's degree.

Yes, admission to a Ph.D. program in which the Coulter Department participates as a home school includes financial aid in the form of a graduate research assistantship (GRA) that includes an annual stipend. Conditions of the GRA require you to maintain full-time enrollment as well as satisfactory academic performance and research progress. Financial award details are included in admission decision letters.

With the exception of the M.D./Ph.D. Program, Georgia Tech’s Office of Graduate Studies manages all graduate program application submissions. Many questions regarding admissions and applications may be answered via their FAQ site: Georgia Tech Admission FAQs. Please contact them directly if you have a question regarding the status of your application, submission of scores or other documents, or have general application questions.

All applications must be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and are only reviewed after complete applications have been submitted through Georgia Tech’s Office of Graduate Studies or Emory University (M.D./Ph.D. only).

Yes, we are an inclusive Department that is excited about talent!

After reviewing applications, the Admissions Committee will extend invitations to strong candidates for an on-campus recruitment event in March. This event provides an excellent opportunity to visit with students, staff, and faculty and experience life in Atlanta. Please mark the date, as we host only one recruitment event each year.

Of course, students are welcome to visit campus at other times, but all faculty and resources rally around the recruitment weekend. We cannot guarantee the availability of students, staff, or faculty, and the Coulter Department does not offer any tours or information sessions specific to our graduate programs outside of our recruitment weekend. The Georgia Tech Graduate Studies Office offers information sessions and tours, which are Institute-focused.

Applications will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee between December and March, and those invited for interviews will be notified in writing. Admission decisions will be communicated as they are made available; therefore, inquiries about admission decisions will not receive responses. All applicants will be notified of a final decision.

Application fee waiver requests will be considered for students with financial hardship or students from groups that are historically underrepresented in STEM fields (i.e., ethnicity, (dis)ability, socioeconomic background) and who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The decision made regarding your fee waiver application will have no bearing on your admission decision. Please email gradstudies@bme.gatech.edu to request an application fee waiver request form.

Apply to our doctoral programs

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