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This archived information is dated to the 2011-12 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Doctor of Philosophy in Bioengineering

A student studying for the Ph.D. degree must complete a master's degree (45 units) comparable to that of the Stanford M.S. degree in Bioengineering. Up to 45 units of master's degree residency units may be counted towards the degree. The Ph.D. degree is awarded after the completion of a minimum of 135 units of graduate work as well as satisfactory completion of any additional University requirements. Students admitted to the Ph.D. program with an M.S. degree must complete at least 90 units of work at Stanford. The maximum number of transfer units is 45.

On the basis of the research interests expressed in their application, students are assigned an initial faculty adviser who assists them in choosing courses and identifying research opportunities. The department does not require formal lab rotations, but students are encouraged to explore research activities in two or three labs during their first academic year.

Prior to being formally admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree, the student must demonstrate knowledge of bioengineering fundamentals and a potential for research by passing a qualifying oral examination.

Typically, the exam is taken shortly after the student earns a master's degree. The student is expected to have a nominal graduate Stanford GPA of 3.25 to be eligible for the exam. Once the student's faculty sponsor has agreed that the exam is to take place, the student must submit an application folder containing items including a curriculum vitae, research project abstract, and preliminary dissertation proposal to the student services office. Information about the exam may be obtained from the student services office.

In addition to the course requirements of the M.S. degree, doctoral candidates must complete a minimum of 15 additional units of approved formal course work (excluding research, directed study, and seminars).

Dissertation Reading Committee—Each Ph.D. candidate is required to establish a reading committee for the doctoral dissertation within six months after passing the department's Ph.D. qualifying exams. Thereafter, the student should consult frequently with all members of the committee about the direction and progress of the dissertation research.

A dissertation reading committee consists of the principal dissertation adviser and at least two other readers. Reading committees in Bioengineering may include faculty from another department. It is expected that at least one member of the Bioengineering faculty be on each reading committee. The initial committee, and any subsequent changes, must be officially approved by the department Chair.

University Oral and Dissertation—The Ph.D. candidate is required to take the University oral examination after the dissertation is substantially completed (with the dissertation draft in writing), but before final approval. The examination consists of a public presentation of dissertation research, followed by substantive private questioning on the dissertation and related fields by the University oral committee (four selected faculty members, plus a chair from another department). Once the oral has been passed, the student finalizes the dissertation for reading committee review and final approval. Forms for the University oral scheduling and a one-page dissertation abstract should be submitted to the department student services office at least three weeks prior to the date of the oral for departmental review and approval.

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