Bioengineering PhD

The doctor of philosophy in bioengineering prepares students for bioengineering careers in industry, government or academia. An advanced degree in this area provides numerous opportunities to work in health care, biomedical industry, government regulatory agencies and academia. At CU Denver, you’ll work with top faculty and researchers in the field, with a choice of training pathways in basic research, clinical applications or commercialization of medical technologies. 

Research Tracks

Basic Research

Engaging in highly interdisciplinary collaborations between engineers, physical scientists and medicine, students focused on scientific discovery can choose from a strong base of research projects to focus their work. Faculty in the Department of Bioengineering and in the CU School of Medicine avail students the opportunity to work in basic and applied research, from bench-top research to computer simulations to translational work with patients. Basic research is best for students interested in pursuing research careers in academia or industry. 

Translational Bioengineering

Students working in translational bioengineering will gain expertise in projects that bridge the gap between clinical and laboratory settings. This track is best for students interested in academic and industry research as well as students interested in careers at regulatory agencies such as the FDA.


Students looking for skills and strategies necessary to launch start-up biomedical technology companies can pursue an emphasis in entrepreneurship. In collaboration with the CU Denver Business School students choose their electives from the Business School’s certificate in entrepreneurship curriculum [link to program]. Coursework will provide the foundations of entrepreneurial strategy, alongside faculty experienced in launching their own start-up companies. This track is designed for students interested in start-up biomedical technology. All aspects of the process required to commercialize a novel biomedical technology, device or application may be studied.

Degree requirements

The PhD in bioengineering requires 36 credit hours of coursework and at least 30 credit hours of dissertation work.

  • 6 credit hours of life sciences core
  • 6 credit hours of quantitative methods core
  • 6 credit hours of technology core
  • 3 credit hours of research and clinical core
  • 15 credit hours of electives
  • at least 30 credit hours of dissertation work

Dual MD/PhD Program         

The MD/PhD degree is available for students concurrently enrolled in the Medical Scientist Training Program ​(MSTP) at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Students complete the PhD degree (66 credits) in five years of full-time study. Contact the department at for advising.  

CU Denver and the graduate programs in bioengineering are accredited through the regional accreditation agency. For more information, visit​.​​


Western Regional Graduate Program

The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) allows graduate students who are residents of WICHE member states to enroll outside of their home state and pay resident tuition.

All College of Engineering, Design and Computing graduate programs are eligible for the WRGP.