BME GIDP Program Guidelines

The University of Arizona Biomedical Engineering Graduate Interdisciplinary Program offers MS, accelerated MS, and PhD degrees and well as a minor PhD for students in related disciplines.

Below you will find information on the following:
· Admissions
· Academics Overview
· MS Requirements
· Accelerated MS Criteria
· PhD Requirements
· Research Focus Areas



Unparalleled Interdisciplinary Flexibility

The University of Arizona Biomedical Engineering Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, or GIDP, is an independent program within the UA Graduate College addressing the increasing importance of engineering in biomedical research and medical technologies. More than 70 faculty members from nearly every department in the UA College of Engineering as well as the colleges of Medicine, Optical Sciences, Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Science are involved in the program.

The program – with strong first-year support, ongoing mentoring, and training grants focused on cardiovascular health and imaging and spectroscopy – gives students the freedom to tailor study to individual career goals. Interdisciplinary research opportunities range from infection diagnostics, drug delivery, disease prevention and detection, implants and tissue engineering to food and water contaminant detection.


Apply Today!

Biomedical Engineering Graduate Interdisciplinary Program

The strength of the UA Biomedical Engineering GIDP is rooted in the breadth of interdisciplinary research activities and wide-ranging programs of study that meet individual goals.


In addition to the UA Graduate College online application, the BME Graduate Interdisciplinary Program requires completion a short downloadable application form.

The following materials are also required:

· GRE general test scores
· One- to two-page essay or statement of purpose describing your background, research interests and career goals
· Three letters of recommendation
· Official transcripts for bachelor’s degree in engineering, mathematics, physical sciences or quantitative life, with a minimum GPA of 3.0, including two courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, and at least one course in life science
· For international applicants, TOEFL score of at least 600, and a Financial Guarantee statement

Get more information on applying -- recommended GRE test scores, essay requirements, format for letters of recommendation, required coursework, and admissions contacts.

Competitive assistantships, traineeships, fellowships and internships are awarded after admission.


Important Dates and Deadlines

  • Students begin in fall only. Applications are accepted between Sept. 15 and Jan. 6.
  • Domestic students must submit applications by Jan. 6 of the entrance year.
  • International students must submit applications by Dec. 1 of the previous year.
Important Dates and Deadlines

Academic Overview

Each student’s course of study is developed with the guidance of a mentor and the BME GIDP Program Committee. All students are encouraged to participate in clinical and industrial internships that provide experience in applying biomedical engineering solutions.

Students in their first year rotate through faculty laboratories to identify the best matches for their research interests and take courses in advanced BME subjects. Continued studies include coursework in engineering and life sciences as well as research methods, a research seminar series, MS thesis credits or PHD dissertation credits.


MS Requirements

  • Total units – 38
  • Core Biomedical Engineering – five units
  • BME-approved ethics course – three units
  • All required BME seminars and student forums (Four units count toward degree total.)
  • Research Methods in Biomedical Engineering (lab rotations) – two units
  • Graduate engineering, life or physical sciences, or mathematics courses – nine units
  • BME Thesis – six units

Remaining units supplement the 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.


Accelerated MS Criteria

The Accelerated Master’s Program, or AMP, is available only to UA biosystems engineering or systems engineering students who wish to obtain an MS in biomedical engineering one year beyond the BS. AMP is a terminal degree for students on career paths in industry or with medical research institutions. It is not intended for making progress toward any other degree, including a PhD in biomedical engineering.

  • Applications are accepted in the second semester of the junior year (with two full semesters remaining in undergraduate program). Deadlines are Feb. 1 if graduating in May of the following year, and Sept. 15 if graduating in December of the following year.
  • Twelve units of BME courses in the senior year apply toward the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
  • After completion of all BS requirements with at least a B in BME courses, graduate status is granted.
  • A master’s thesis or master’s report (does not require original laboratory research) must be completed.
  • Financial support from the program is not normally available to AMP students. Obtaining a relevant position – paid or for course credit (BME 693 industrial/clinical internship) – at the UA or in industry is the best way to get the experience necessary for the master’s thesis or report. Unrelated outside employment is strongly discouraged.

For further information on admissions, degree and course requirements, tuition policies, and scholarship and fellowship criteria, please see UA AMP Academic Policies and Admission Requirements.


PhD Requirements

  • Total units – 68, with regular grades (A, B)
  • Core BME – 15 units
  • Major – 15 units
  • Minor –12 units minimum
  • All required seminars and student forums (Six units count toward degree total.)
  • BME approved ethics course – three units
  • Laboratory rotations (BME 597G) – three units
  • Dissertation (BME 920) – 18 units

Students with an MS may petition to apply previous coursework toward the PhD. However, at least 30 units of graduate credit must be completed at the University of Arizona.

Specific PhD requirements and examination procedures are described in the BME GIDP Graduate Handbook.


Minor Requirements

  • Total units – 12, with a B average
  • Approved BME core courses (BME 510 and 511, and one of BME 516, 566, 586 or 561) – nine units
  • Research Methods in Biomedical Engineering (lab rotations) or BME Independent Study – three units
  • At least one BME GIDP faculty member on the dissertation committee


contact Trisha Stanley, BME GIDP program coordinator  •  520.626.9134  • or