BME Graduate Interdisciplinary Program


Degrees Offered

  • M.S.
  • Accelerated M.S. (AMP)
  • Ph.D.
  • Minor for Ph.D. students in related disciplines


Biomedical engineering is a discipline that integrates the engineering sciences with biology and medicine. The field of biomedical engineering has seen a dramatic escalation in activity over the past 20 years leading to the development of a wide variety of medical devices, medical procedures, and a basic understanding of biological processes. The University of Arizona established the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Interdisciplinary Program (GIDP) to address the increasing importance of engineering approaches in modern biomedical research and new medical technologies.


The strength of our Biomedical Engineering GIDP is derived from the breadth of research activities among our interdisciplinary faculty.  Unlike traditional BME graduate programs that are contained within a single BME department, our BME GIDP is an independent program within the Graduate College of the University of Arizona.  This provides opportunities for faculty members from any department to join the BME GIDP, which greatly expands the range of interdisciplinary research within our graduate program. This allows each student the freedom to design a unique program of study to meet individual career goals.


During the first year, course work includes BME core courses to establish a foundation in advanced BME subjects, and research includes rotation in faculty laboratories to identify the best match for each student's interests. Continued studies and research in subsequent years are flexible and include advanced graduate courses in engineering and life sciences, research methods, thesis credits for the M.S. degree, dissertation credits for the Ph.D. degree, and a research seminar series. Each student's course of study is developed with the guidance of a mentor and the Program Committee of the BME GIDP. Students are also encouraged to participate in clinical and industrial internships that provide experience in state-of-the-art applications of biomedical engineering.

Doctor of Philosophy Requirements

Doctoral students must complete a minimum of 68 units of graduate credit, and meet the Graduate College’s minimum units of courses in which regular grades (A, B) have been earned. Requirements include 15 units of the core BME courses; 15 units in the major; a minimum of 9 units in the minor; all required seminar and student forum courses (6 units of which count towards degree requirements); a minimum of 3 units in a BME approved ethics course; 2 units of laboratory rotations (BME 597G) and 18 units of BME 920 (dissertation).


Students entering the program with a M.S. degree may petition to apply previous graduate coursework to the Ph.D. degree requirements. The Graduate College requires that at least 30 units of graduate credit must be completed at the University of Arizona.


Specific Ph.D. degree requirements and examination procedures are described in the BME GIDP Student Handbook.

Master of Science Requirements

All M.S. students in the program must complete a minimum of 38 units of graduate credit including the following courses:(a) five Biomedical Engineering core courses (15 units); (b) a minimum of 3 units in a BME approved ethics course; (c) BME seminar and student forum every semester offered, but only four units will count towards the degree; (d) 1 unit of Research methods in Biomedical Engineering (lab rotations); (e) 9 units in graduate engineering, life or physical sciences, or mathematics courses; and (f) 6 units of BME Thesis. The remaining units may be chosen by the student to supplement their plan of study. A final thesis defense is required. The Master of Science program is an unfunded, two-year program. The student is expected to pay all expenses, though program funding may be available.


Application Questions:
Trisha Stanley, Program Coordinator
Phone: (520) 626-9134
Fax: (520) 626-8726