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PhD program

Hubert Lim showing a medical device to students

Broad, deep research and training environment

You’ll have the opportunity to work closely with graduate faculty members who span the full spectrum of biomedical engineering. 

Our 80+ faculty hail from more than 20 departments as well as our own, which has special research expertise in cardiovascular, neural, and cancer bioengineering.

Early exposure to research

  • Our efficient rotation program allows you to make a more informed decision in selecting a lab.
  • Three student-driven lab rotations, three weeks each.
  • Students join a PhD lab in November.

Coursework tailored to your interests

Our electives-based curriculum allows you to design an individualized program of study, providing optimal flexibility in balancing coursework and research.

A top public research university

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities is a top 10 U.S. public research university with world-class facilities.

More about UMN research

3D map showing the Dept. of Biomedical Engineering's proximity to the Institute for Engineering in Medicine, UMN health sciences and 1,000+ local healthcare companies

Proximity to engineering, science, and medicine

We’re adjacent to the Medical School and other University of Minnesota science and engineering domains — they’re just steps away and connected by tunnels.

This proximity creates an intellectual environment where there’s:

✓ Interdisciplinary research.
✓ Engineering being applied to fundamental biological questions.
✓ Clinical and translational research collaborations.

UMN resources for biomedical engineering research

local healthcare companies, including Boston Scientific, Medtronic, 3M, Abbott, Takeda, Bio-Techne, and Cargill.
people employed in health innovation and care — Minnesota boasts one of the world’s top health technology innovation clusters.
of Department of Biomedical Engineering faculty have start-ups based on their tech.


A great place to live

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area offers vibrant culture and arts and abundant opportunities to enjoy the outdoors — all at a lower cost of living than cities on the east or west coast.

Why Minneapolis-St. Paul?

Fulfilling career opportunities

  • Biomedical engineer
  • Research and development engineer
  • Prosthesis designer
  • Medical device designer
  • Manufacturing engineer
  • Quality control/assurance engineer
  • Medical diagnostics
  • Rehabilitation engineer
  • Physiological systems engineer

An inclusive, close-knit community

Students studying on the lawn near Nils Hasselmo Hall

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is integral to departmental decision-making, including graduate admissions. In fact, we were among the first Biomedical Engineering departments with a full-time DEI Coordinator.

Students also enjoy:

  • A two-tiered peer mentoring program organized by the department.
  • Highly engaged student groups.

Student groups

Benefits and financial support

All full-time PhD applicants (both domestic and international) are automatically considered for financial support, which includes a stipend, health insurance, and full tuition coverage.

Financial support

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How support is provided

How support is provided

Students admitted to our full-time PhD program are awarded graduate assistantships that come with:

  • A stipend
  • Health benefits
  • Tuition coverage

Support is provided through a combination of:

  • Research assistantships
  • Teaching assistantships
  • Traineeships with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Competitive fellowships

Competitive fellowships

We have also helped many of our students get:

  • Competitive graduate fellowships from NSF, NIH, and American Heart Association (AHA)
  • Internal support from the University's Graduate School and College of Science and Engineering. These come in the form of first-year fellowships, dissertation completion fellowships, and interdisciplinary research fellowships.

Application process

Our straightforward application process allows interested students to directly apply to the overarching PhD program. When admitted, students will undergo rotations in labs of graduate faculty members to identify a PhD advisor.


Contact us and more information

Dave Wood
Director of Graduate Admissions

Erica Ratner
Graduate Program Coordinator

For current students