UMass Boston

Biomedical Engineering & Biotechnology PhD

Request Info


Become part of a nationally recognized PhD program at the intersection of biology and engineering.

UMass Boston's Bioinformatics, Biomedical Engineering, and Translational Biology (BMEBT) PhD program will bring you on a transformative journey of scientific inquiry and innovation. This cutting-edge program offers a multidisciplinary and research-focused curriculum, empowering students to become leaders in the rapidly evolving fields of bioinformatics, biomedical engineering, and translational biology.

In this program, you will:

  • Develop advanced expertise in bioinformatics, biomedical engineering, and translational biology, gaining a comprehensive understanding of the intersection between biology, data science, and engineering.
  • Acquire cutting-edge research skills, including computational biology, data analysis, genomics, and advanced biomedical techniques, enabling you to conduct groundbreaking research that bridges the gap between basic science and clinical applications.
  • Cultivate critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration skills, preparing you to address complex biological and medical challenges, communicate scientific findings effectively, and lead transformative projects in academia, industry, and healthcare.

Career Possibilities

Work in research institutions or biotechnology companies, analyzing large biological datasets. Contribute to the development of innovative medical technologies or bridge the gap between basic research and clinical applications, translating scientific discoveries into practical solutions. These are just a few of the possibilities.

Become a(n):

  • Bioinformatics Scientist
  • Biomechanical Engineer
  • Computational Biologist
  • Translational Researcher
  • Genomic Data Scientist

Start Your Application

Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements in addition to the following program-specific requirements:

  • Applicants should have a background in life science, physical science, or engineering. All applicants must have taken a full year (two semesters or three quarters sequence) of calculus.

Individuals applying to this program should apply to one of the four participating campuses.

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: January 1 (priority deadline for funding consideration) and April 1 (final) for fall; October 1 (priority deadline) or November 1 (final deadline) for spring

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website


Core Courses (16 Credits)

Complete six courses from below.

One course must be taken in each area.

  • Introduction to Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology

  • BIOL 625 - Genomics and Biotechnology 3 Credit(s)
  • BIOL 697 - Special Topics in Biology 1-6 Credit(s)

    Instrumentation and Laboratory Experience
  • BIOL 899 - Dissertation Research 1-99 Credit(s)

    Applied Math for Life Sciences or Advanced Numerical Methods
  • BIOL 384L Game Theory, Evolution and Ecology 3 Credit(s)(see undergraduate catalog)
  • BIOL 607 - An Introduction to Computational Data Analysis for Biology 3 Credit(s)
  • ENVSCI 611 - Applied Statistics 3 Credit(s)
  • MATH 303 Introduction to Mathematical Biology 3 Credit(s)(see undergraduate catalog)
  • MATH 384L Game Theory, Evolution and Ecology 3 Credit(s)(see undergraduate catalog)
  • BIOL 691 - Seminar in Developmental Biology 3 Credit(s)

  • BIOL 650 - Scientific Communication 3 Credit(s) (1/3 of this course or 1 credit will apply to this requirement; the remainder is applied to the doctoral seminar requirement below)

    Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 612 - Advanced Cell Biology 3 Credit(s)
  • BIOL 676 - Advanced Molecular Biology Lecture 3 Credit(s)

Specialization Courses (12 Credits)

Complete four courses chosen and approved by the dissertation committee.

Project/Directed Study (3 Credits)

The credits for this can be embedded in existing coursework, but the spirit of this requirement is that students must be involved in some multi-investigator collaborative project and the student should present this project at some national meetings or equivalent venue. Documentation of this presentation must be presented to the GPD for this requirement to be fulfilled.

  • BIOL 672 - Directed Readings in Biology 1-3 Credit(s)
  • BIOL 899 - Dissertation Research 1-99 Credit(s)

Doctoral Seminar (2 Credits)

Doctoral students will present research in progress. The seminar will emphasize not only research but also communication and writing.

  • BIOL 650 - Scientific Communication 3 Credit(s) (2/3 of this course or 2 credits will apply to this requirement; the remainder is applied to the Bioethics requirement above).

Research (30 Credits)

Complete at least 30 credits of doctoral research from below.

  • BIOL 899 - Dissertation Research 1-99 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

Complete 63 credits from 12 courses including six core courses, four specialization courses, one project/directed study course, one doctoral seminar, and 30 credits of research.

Doctoral candidacy: Students must pass written and oral qualifying examinations before undertaking research at the doctoral level.
Dissertation: Candidates must compose and defend a dissertation based on original research.
Departmental presentation: Within two semesters after the advance to candidacy, the student will present a seminar, based on his/her work in progress, to the entire department.
Teaching: Students are required to participate in the teaching program as teaching assistants for at least two semesters.

Minimum grade: No more than one course with a grade of C may be applied toward the program.
Statute of limitations: Eight years.


Graduate Program Director Linda Huang
Linda.Huang [at]
(617) 287-6674

Alexa MacPherson
Alexa.MacPherson [at]
(617) 287-6603

2 students work in lab in university hall.


Learn more about UMass Boston's Biology department, our research, and our faculty.

Explore the Department of Biology

College of Science & Mathematics

Learn more about the faculty, research, and programs that make up our College of Science and Mathematics.

Explore Now