Joint Doctoral Program

Engineering Science (Bioengineering)

Program Overview

Degree Learning Outcomes

Graduates with the Doctoral Degree in Engineering Science (Bioengineering) will demonstrate:

  • an in-depth understanding of the basic and advanced topics in bioengineering,
  • the ability to use common tools and techniques in bioengineering,
  • the ability to create and perform independent research on an original and novel topic in bioengineering,
  • effective professional skills including oral and written communication, leadership, independence, teamwork, and ethics,
  • the ability to function as part of a multi-disciplinary team in industry or in academia, and
  • the qualifications to be hired in industry or in academia.

Course Requirements

JDP students are required to satisfy course requirements at both institutions. At UCSD, preparation for the Departmental Qualifying Examination involves twelve graduate courses taken at UCSD and grouped into three focus areas. An overall graduate GPA of 3.5 is required for continuation in the program.

Departmental Qualifying / Comprehensive / Ph.D. Preliminary Exam

It is administered by a committee designated by the Department and consisting of four members, three chosen in consultation with the primary co-advisors to represent the subject areas covered during the Examination, and one appointed from a related academic department (MAE, ECE, medicine). At least one, but not more than two, of these members are from SDSU. The Departmental Qualifying Exam committee is chaired by the UCSD co-advisor of the student.

Senate Qualifying / Ph.D. Candidacy Exam

The Ph.D. Candidacy Examination is an oral examination that includes presentation of a plan for the dissertation research project. The examination is designed to test the ability of the student to conduct original dissertation research, and must be taken within four years after admission to the doctoral program.

The Joint Doctoral Committee consists of at least five officers of instruction, with two members from SDSU, two members from UCSD, and one tenured UCSD member from outside the Department of the candidate. At least two members should represent specialties different from the student’s chosen field. The two co-advisors, one from each institution, serve as co-chairs of the Joint Doctoral Committee. The Joint Doctoral Committee administers the qualifying examination. Students must maintain a GPA equivalent to 3.5 or better in order to take the qualifying examination and advance to candidacy.

Doctoral Dissertation Defense

The Dissertation Defense is the final Ph.D. examination. Upon completion of the dissertation research project, the student writes a dissertation that must be successfully defended in an oral examination and public presentation conducted by the doctoral committee. The final examination may not be conducted earlier than three quarters after the date of advancement to doctoral candidacy.