Cardiovascular engineering training program

Our cardiovascular engineering program educates and trains University of Minnesota biomedical engineering PhD students to meet the increasing demand for cardiovascular disease solutions.

About the program

The doctoral training program positions trainees to drive future technological advancements for diagnosing, preventing, and treating cardiovascular diseases.

To do this, the program takes a multidisciplinary approach, exposing students to:

  • Unique courses
  • Clinical experiences
  • Innovation methodologies
  • Local cardiovascular device company experts

Selected trainees participate in this program during their first two years in our PhD program.

The training program was created in 2019, upon receiving a highly competitive T32 training grant from the National Institutes of Health (grant T32-HL139341).


Map of Twin Cities showing University of Minnesota in the center of a cluster of cardiovascular device companies (Medtronic, Vascular Solutions, Boston Scientific, Abbott, Lake Region Medical, Medivators, 3M Healthcare)
The University of Minnesota is strategically located in the heart of the world's most concentrated cluster of cardiovascular device companies.


The training program combines coursework with other activities to maximize trainees’ subsequent doctoral research and professional development.

Distinctive activities include:

  • Advanced Cardiac Physiology and Anatomy course organized by the leader of the University of Minnesota-Medtronic Visible Heart Laboratories collaboration.*

  • Cardiovascular Devices course taught by local cardiovascular device company experts.*

  • Clinical immersion in one of the University's cardiovascular clinics.

  • Monthly clinical focus lunches with clinicians presenting on specific cardiovascular diseases and associated medical device limitations.*

  • Monthly professional development lunches with invited speakers addressing broad career opportunities including medtech R&D, the FDA, and patent law.*

*open to all BME graduate students with cardiovascular engineering interests

View trainee requirements




The Visible Heart Laboratories feature a living pig heart hooked up to equipment that allows it to keep beating.
The Visible Heart Laboratories feature a living pig heart hooked up to equipment that allows it to keep beating.

How trainees are chosen

  • Potential trainees apply for our BME PhD program.
  • Faculty trainers nominate potential trainees during the PhD application process.
  • Traineeships are offered to PhD applicants before they decide on their graduate school.
  • A second round of nominations and selections occurs early in the fall semester. This creates an opportunity for interested, qualified matriculating graduate students who were not offered the traineeship during the first round.
  • A total of three new trainees are added each year for the two-year program, for a total of six trainees each year.


Erica Ratner
Graduate Program Coordinator

This program is supported by the National Institutes of Health through the Cardiovascular Engineering Training Program at the University of Minnesota (T32-HL139431).