The Biomedical Engineering and Physiology curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in their research and future careers. The curriculum focuses on an integrative approach to learning by applying engineering concepts in the context of physiological systems.
First and second years
During the first year of study, all Biomedical Engineering and Physiology students complete the core curriculum, which provides students with a firm foundation in biomedical engineering and physiology concepts.
The core curriculum includes courses on many topics, including mathematics, physiology, imaging, biomechanics and biomedical engineering. Students also take advanced courses directly related to their chosen research projects. The advanced curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of each individual student.
Small class sizes and expert faculty allow students to explore specific areas of interest in greater depth:
- Physiology. Cellular mechanics, exercise physiology, systems physiology and physiology of organ systems (respiratory, cardiovascular, renal, endocrine, muscle, bone, and central and peripheral nervous systems).
- Imaging. Magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, ultrasound, molecular imaging, nuclear imaging, radiation physics, image processing and visualization, and imaging informatics.
- Biomechanics. Orthopedic biomechanics, kinematics and kinetics, tissue engineering, fluid mechanics, continuum mechanics, and finite element methods.
- Molecular biophysics. Biophysics of ion channels, solute transporters, molecular motors, elastic proteins, molecular recognition, protein dynamics and enzyme kinetics.
During the first year, students complete three laboratory rotations performing small research projects in three different laboratories. These rotations are designed to facilitate selection of a thesis adviser based on the best match with a student's scientific interests and goals.
Qualifying exams consisting of both a written and oral component are completed at the end of the first year and during the second year, respectively.
Third, fourth and fifth years
After completing the curriculum and passing the qualifying exam, students focus on their thesis research. The average time to earn a Ph.D. in the Biomedical Engineering and Physiology program is just more than five years.
Students are encouraged to apply for external funding and to attend and present at national and international scientific meetings. Effective communication is an essential skill, and our curriculum is designed to develop and enhance both oral and written communication proficiency. Students have the opportunity to present in the classroom, weekly seminars, lab meetings and small group tutorials, as well as at scientific meetings.
Students assemble a thesis committee composed of experts both inside and outside of Mayo Clinic that facilitates and guides their education and research. Reflecting the collaborative and highly interdisciplinary environment at Mayo, most thesis committees include members from a variety of research departments, and many include clinicians as well.