University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering
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PhD degree requirements


  • Ph.D. Qualifying Examination Requirements: Students must satisfy the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination requirements, no later than the fourth semester in residence as a full-time graduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. A student must complete at least one semester of full-time graduate course work to be eligible to take the examination. The qualifying exams consist of five, approximately thirty minute oral examinations.
  • Ph.D. Interdisciplinary or Minor Option: BME students are exempted from the Minor requirement based on the following principles. The central aim of BMEs is to unravel gaps in biological knowledge through the use of engineering principles. Thus, the doctoral program in BME is inherently interdisciplinary. At the time the student requests their Preliminary Exam Warrant, they should prepare a summary of his or her effort in interdisciplinary coursework and training. Alternatively, students who wish to complete a cohesive body of work outside the BME major may wish obtain a PhD Minor and submit their form at time of their request for the Preliminary Exam Warrant. Please note students who completed their MS degree at UW-Madison can use credits from their MS degree towards their Minor, but should first consult with their advisor.
  • Ph.D. Prelim and Final Exam: PhD students should submit a Warrant Request for their Preliminary and Final Exam at least one month before they plan to defend. Both the Preliminary and Final Warrant Request forms can be found in the Student Services Office. Please see the Warrant Process document for an explanation of warrants.