Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering

The Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering offers a degree program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy.

Areas of strength in the department include

  • development of novel treatments for cardiovascular disease
  • computational modeling of tissue mechanical behavior
  • new strategies for regeneration of cartilage and bone

Graduate training emphasizes preparation for careers in teaching and research in both academic and industry settings.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree typically three years of course work, a comprehensive exam, a preliminary exam (dissertation proposal), and a defense of the dissertation.  Dissertation research involves an in-depth investigation of a particular topic with emphasis on hypothesis generation, experimental design, analysis and interpretation of results, and manuscript preparation.

Summary of BME Semester Credit Hour Requirements

Specified, core course hours

Elective course hours

Research hours

Other (additional elective or research)

TOTAL

Other requirement

13

35

20*

12

80

dissertation

* 20 hours minimum of research is required and the completion of a dissertation

The required core courses are:

  • ST 8114 Statistical Methods (4 credit hours)
  • ABE 8621 Methods of Biomedical Engineering Research (1 credit hour)
  • BIO 6514 Animal Physiology or BIO 6114 Cellular Physiology (4 credit hours)
  • ABE 8801 Clinical Experience for Biomedical Engineering (1 credit hour)
  • Graduate-level mathematics course (minimum 3 credit hours)

Admission

Admission is competitive.  Academic performance, research experience, stated interests, and availability of a suitable major professor (research supervisor) are all factors that are taken into consideration.  All applications require the following:

  • Submission of GRE scores
  • Letters of reference, statement of purpose, and other graduate school requirements
  • If applicable, minimum total TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based), or 100 (internet-based)

The qualified applicant will hold a Bachelor Science degree in any discipline of engineering with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.  Prospective students with a non-engineering B.S. in the sciences or mathematics will also be considered for admission, but awarding of a graduate degree will be contingent upon satisfactory completion of remedial coursework to include calculus through differential equations, two semesters of college physics, one year of college chemistry, and six discipline-specific courses.  The required remedial courses are specified at the time of admission.

Financial Assistance

Graduate research assistantships (GRAs) are part-time jobs that pay a stipend (salary) and most of the tuition and fees for full-time enrollment. Stipends vary according to qualifications and available funds. Research assistants are chosen by individual professors who have openings in their research programs.  Specific duties and responsibilities are defined by the funding professor.  In addition to being a source of financial aid, a research assistantship is an opportunity to gain hands-on research experience that will form the basis of a graduate thesis or dissertation. There is no formal application process for research assistantships, but all biomedical engineering professors have access to the files of graduate school applicants, and may choose to contact you about a GRA position. There is no set timetable for the awarding of GRAs.  If you are offered an assistantship, you will be notified immediately and an official offer letter will be mailed to you.

Below are the Agricultural & Biological Engineering faculty members who are actively engaged in biomedical research.  You are welcome to contact any of them directly for more information about his/her research and availability of assistantships:

  • Dr. Steven Elder, Professor and BME Graduate Coordinator, cartilage regeneration and orthopaedic biomechanics, selder@abe.msstate.edu
  • Dr. Raj Prabhu, Assistant Research Professor, computational modeling, rprabhu@abe.msstate.edu
  • Dr. LaShan Simpson, Assistant Professor, vascular calcification, cell and gene therapy, clsimpson@abe.msstate.edu
  • Dr. Renita Horton, Assistant Professor, hemodynamics and sickle cell disease, cardiac and cardiovascular tissue engineering, rhorton@abe.msstate.edu
  • Dr. Lauren Priddy, Assistant Professor, bone healing following injury and disease, lbpriddy@abe.msstate.edu

Additional Information

For general graduate policies, consult the Office of the Graduate School.
Information about Mississippi State University is available from the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness.