Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Our Ph.D. in Bioengineering will prepare you to succeed in interdisciplinary research in an academic or industry environment.
As a Ph.D. student, your original research will be guided by your advisor and contribute to the knowledge base in the scientific community. You may be involved in the design and regulatory approval of advanced medical technologies, as well as the manufacturing of health care products. Funding opportunities include research or teaching assistantships and fellowships. Lab rotations, funded as graduate research assistanceships, are available for top Ph.D. candidates and offer a one-year opportunity for students to rotate through research labs within the School of Biomedical Engineering to find the ideal match of research project and advisor for their dissertation research.
The Ph.D. curriculum includes core courses in advanced mathematics and statistics, biomedical engineering, and biotechnology, as well as technical electives chosen from numerous engineering and life science courses. The curriculum is designed to provide flexibility and support your research specialty. You will also be required to complete a Ph.D. qualifying process, present your research plan in a preliminary exam, and defend your completed research in a final exam/dissertation defense.
Strengths of the program include:
- Opportunities to develop major advances in the health care field
- Nationally and internationally recognized faculty from over a dozen departments
- Practical and academic experience with regulatory issues and approval processes with animal and human subjects
- Conducting research in state-of-the-art facilities, including the nationally renowned Veterinary Teaching Hospital
- Community of innovators on the cutting-edge of research in cancer, orthopaedics, cardiovascular disease, nanotechnology, biosensors, and more
Email Graduate Advisor Sara Mattern
How to Apply
For full consideration into any of the School of Biomedical Engineering graduate programs, applicants must have completed Calculus 1, 2, and 3, Physics 1 and 2 (calculus-base preferred), Ordinary Differential Equations, a semester of Life Science, and have a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
An applicant may be conditionally admitted if missing only one of the prerequisite courses listed above (and must complete that course the first semester in the program).
To apply for admission, applicants must:
(1) complete the online application;
(2) submit supporting documents including (a) professional resume or vita, (b) statement of purpose, and (c) three letters of recommendation (letters may also be sent to the Office of Admissions by your recommender);
(3) pay the $60 application fee (Qualified applicants may be eligible for an application fee waiver. If interested, please submit your application as soon as possible and contact Sara.Mattern@colostate.edu after submission.);
(4) contact your previous institution(s) to request your official transcripts be sent to Colorado State University (use institution code 4075);
DO NOT SEND APPLICATION MATERIALS TO THE SCHOOL OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, AS IT WILL DELAY YOUR APPLICATION.
NOTE: There is no separate application for graduate research assistantships. Applicants are automatically considered for funding.
International applicants must also submit the following:
Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) Score; contact the testing agency to request that scores be sent to Colorado State University (use institution code 4075). Photocopies will not be accepted. It generally takes 3 – 6 weeks for ETS to get the scores to CSU, so allow plenty of time.
After initial screening of applications by the School of Biomedical Engineering faculty, candidates for our M.S. and Ph.D. programs will be invited to campus to interview for admission.
Graduate Interview Days provides an opportunity for candidates to tour campus, meet current and other prospective students, visit with faculty, and learn more about the program.
Spring 2023 Application Deadlines
M.S. and Ph.D. applications: September 1, 2022
M.E. and M.E. Online applications: November 15, 2022
Fall 2023 Application Deadlines
M.S. and Ph.D. applications: January 15, 2023
M.E. and M.E. Online applications: June 1, 2023
The SBME understands the importance of financial support to your success as a graduate student and provides a number of funding opportunities for Ph.D. and M.S. students. Most of our Ph.D. students and many of our M.S. students have full funding (including tuition and a monthly stipend) from the School or a specific core faculty member and their lab.
How is it awarded?
Financial support is competitive and awarded based on your completed application. When you submit an application to the M.S. or Ph.D. programs, you are automatically considered for most funding awarded by SBME.
What types of aid are available?
Grants and Research Centers
SBME faculty are continually applying for and receiving training and transdisciplinary grants that provide funding for students. SBME-affiliated research laboratories are listed by college and encompass a wide variety of disciplines.
Graduate Research Assistantships for First Year Lab Rotations
This is a unique opportunity for top Ph.D. applicants/students to rotate through three different faculty labs over the course of the first academic year. You will be exposed to a variety of research, labs, faculty advisors, and meet many fellow students. This opportunity is designed to assist you in choosing an advisor and research topic for your dissertation. Tuition and a monthly stipend are provided.
Graduate Research Assistantships
Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs) are available to M.S. and Ph.D. carrying out thesis related research. As a GRA, you will be conducting research under the guidance of your faculty advisor. You will agree on a project with your advisor that should lead to your thesis or dissertation. Availability of GRAs is dependent on faculty research areas and funding/grant status. Tuition and a monthly stipend are provided.
Graduate Teaching Assistantships
Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) are available to M.S. and Ph.D. students each year. As a GTA, you will assist a core faculty member with biomedical engineering courses at either undergraduate or graduate levels. GTAs may be expected to assist with course development, delivery, grading, technology support, lab instruction, and other course-related duties. Academic background and familiarity with course content will play a role in selection for GTA positions. Appointments are by application in a competitive process through SBME. Tuition and a monthly stipend are provided.
NOTE: The Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering pays differential tuition for all graduate students on a research assistantship (GRA), teaching assistantship (GTA), or other assistantship (GSA).
GAUSSI Computational Biology Fellowships
The GAUSSI Program offers one year $32,000 NSF-supported fellowships to outstanding students from life science, computer science, engineering, math, and statistics graduate programs who are working on projects involving computational biology. The fellowship provides comprehensive training in analysis of large biological datasets and aims to prepare students for a variety of professions. Students will generally become eligible for the GAUSSI fellowship at the end of year one, but exceptional students may be considered upon admittance.
What additional funding opportunities are available?
How do I choose a faculty advisor?
Graduate students will select an advisor based on their research interests. You can learn more about faculty research areas by searching and reviewing our Faculty Directory. Two to three Ph.D. students will have an opportunity to complete lab rotations, allowing them to work with three different professors before choosing an area of study and faculty advisor.
Who makes up my committee?
The committee must consist of at least three faculty members for a master’s degree program and at least four for a doctoral degree program. The members are as follows:
1) the advisor who serves as chairperson of the committee and who must hold academic faculty rank as a professor, associate professor, or assistant professor of any appointment type within the department or program (Core Faculty Member) granting the degree;
2) one or more additional members from the department (Core Faculty Member);
3) any nondepartmental faculty member who may be appropriate (non-Core Faculty Member);
4) one member from an outside department who, appointed by the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, represents the Graduate School. The outside committee member appointed by the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies must hold a regular, special, transitional, joint, or emeritus/emerita faculty appointment at Colorado State University. (The outside member cannot be a Core Faculty Member nor from your Advisor’s home department.)
Individuals who are not academic faculty but who have special expertise may serve on committees in addition to the prescribed members, but may not vote regarding examination results.
Where can I find information regarding job outlook, pay, work environment, etc., for a career in bioengineering or biomedical engineering?
Cost of Living Considerations
Want to know the fiscal realities of living in Fort Collins, Colorado?
If you’re comparing programs in different cities across the country and want to know the fiscal realities of living in Fort Collins, Colorado, we’ve prepared a 2020 Cost of Living Index showing the cost-of-living indices of major cities across the country and how they compare to Fort Collins.
The websites below provide further information to help you make an informed decision when comparing your options.
Smart Asset (calculator showing cost of living comparisons, including tax, housing, and food)
Compare Rents in U.S. Cities and Counties (shows median monthly rent estimates for studio, 1BR, 2BR, 3BR)
Expatistan (shows city comparisons for food, housing, clothes, transportation, entertainment and personal care)
Moving.com (shows demographics, income, jobs, ethnicity, and residential data for U.S. cities)
Grad Sense (graduate student budget calculator)
Colorado State University Off-campus Life Resources (housing options, rental search & much more!)
Fort Collins is an amazing location with various activities including restaurants, arts & entertainment, water activities, parks & open space, shopping, and family fun all within 30 minutes of campus.
Our Ph.D in Bioengineering provides a strong interdisciplinary experience.