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The mission of Biological Engineering (BE) is to educate leaders and to generate and communicate new knowledge at the interface of engineering with biology. Our focus at this interface is on combining quantitative, physical, and integrative principles with advances in modern biology.

A Ph.D. graduate of the BE Department will have:

  • Contributed original research to the field of biological engineering, including but not limited to research which:
    • increases understanding of biological system(s),
    • creates novel technologies based on biological system(s), and/or
    • generates new biology-based paradigms for solving problems.
  • Demonstrated that they are prepared to advance biosciences and biotechnology, meaning the student:
    • has solved problems at the interface of biology and engineering, and
    • is ready and able to lead their own research project or otherwise impact science and/or society at the intersection of biology and engineering, whether in academia, government, industry, or the nonprofit sector.
  • Fulfilled the stated Institute and Departmental requirements for the PhD, based on:
    • departmental requirements, meaning the student has
    • their dissertation, meaning that the student has written, submitted, and given an oral defense of a dissertation based on research they have performed at MIT; and
    • their time, meaning that the student has been enrolled as a PhD student for a minimum of two academic semesters and one summer session.

The Institute specifies that a doctoral degree comprises creditable completion of an approved program of advanced study and a general examination, in addition to a research dissertation of high quality based on original research. The Department of Biological Engineering offers a doctoral degree (PhD) in Biological Engineering with thesis field specified in the specific areas where the student has passed the required written and oral examinations, has satisfied the Academic Program elective subjects, has satisfied the thesis related subjects, and has completed a doctoral thesis. The choice of a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree designation is left up to the student; the requirements are identical for both degrees.