Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering (PhD)
Biomedical Engineers apply their knowledge in engineering, biology, and medicine to healthcare and medical device industries. Biomedical Engineering is a distinct field that encompasses engineering disciplines, biology, life sciences, medicine, clinical applications, and the improvement of human health. Since 2006, our PhD program has trained students in the fundamentals of Biomedical Engineering, providing extensive research experience in biomechanics, biomaterials, biochemical processing, cellular engineering, imaging, medical devices, micro-electro-mechanical implantable systems, and physiological modeling, simulation, monitoring, and control, as well as medical robotics. Graduates continue on to PhD programs as well as research and development positions in industry and other institutions. The research supervisor's department will determine the student's home department (Electrical & Computer, Chemical & Biological, Materials, Mechanical Engineering).
What makes the program unique?
The Biomedical Engineering Program at UBC is a collaborative undertaking of the following four departments: Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Materials Engineering. This unique interdisciplinary structure provides students with unparalleled access to engineering experts across varied Biomedical Engineering research areas at UBC. It emphasizes a balance of biomedical engineering and life science study with a focus on clinical and industrial application. Our graduates have gone on to become industry leaders, especially in the medical device industry, and provide a network of professionals within the community.
Biomedical Engineering at UBC is the only program in Canada to offer the Engineers in Scrubs (EiS) training program. The EiS program began as an NSERC-funded Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program designed to foster innovation in medical technology by training biomedical engineers in clinical environments. Students receive a significant portion of their training in hospital settings, and the program focuses on the medical technology innovation process. This program complements the research training of MASc and PhD students and allows them to work closely with medical professionals in identifying clinical problems and developing a solution.
Meet a UBC representative
Graduate Students with Familieswebinar
Date: Wednesday, 21 November 2018
Time: 10:00 to 11:00
If you have a partner and/or a family and are considering graduate school at UBC, join us for this online info session. Topics include resources for families, including partners, general information on child care, registering for school, looking for a place to live, and fun and affordable activities for kids of all ages. Current graduate students with family will be on hand to help answer questions.
Great Grad School Applicationswebinar
Date: Friday, 23 November 2018
Time: 14:00 to 15:00
Learn about the application process, and general academic and admissions requirements. Develop a timeline for meeting deadlines, scheduling language tests, getting your documents ready, and reaching out to letter writers and supervisors. As well, join us on a virtual tour of the UBC Grad Studies website to point out important resources.
Recent research highlights include:
Overdoes Detection Device
Surgical Screw Cover
Magnetic Drug Implant
Painless and Inexpensive Microneedle System
Non-Invasive Migraine Monitoring Technique
UBC Biomedical Engineering researchers work in a wide range of areas. Our main research clusters (RC) include: Imaging, Modeling, Simulation, and Guided Interventions; BIOMEMs and Bio-Optics; Musculoskeletal Biomechanics, Injury, Disease, and Restorative Treatments; Rehabilitative and Assistive Technologies and Human-Environment Interactions; and Physiological Modeling and Control.
TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement
IELTS Overall Score Requirement
Language Requirements (Details)
English minimum requirements are determined by the research supervisor's home department.
Supervisor commitment required prior to application?
Prior degree requirements
Applicants to the BME program should normally hold a research master's degree in engineering or a closely-related degree with significant technical, analytical and mathematical components (e.g., physics, biophysics, chemistry, computer science). Students with degrees in other fields (e.g., life sciences, kinesiology, physical therapy) may be considered for the program if they have adequate technical preparation. We do not have direct entry to the PhD program for applicants without a research master's degree. Applicants without a master's degree interested in pursuing a PhD should apply to the Master of Applied Science.
Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.Transcript Deadline
Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.Referee Deadline
Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.
September 2019 Intake
Application Open Date15 November 2018
The majority of PhD students are offered research assistantships (RAs) by faculty members. RAs are funded by research grants for specific projects which almost always constitute thesis projects. Although you will automatically be considered for an RA when submitting your online application, to successfully secure an RA appointment you are encouraged to make contact with a research supervisor. The number of RA’s offered will vary depending on lab and research space as well as available funding.
All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.
8 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 7 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):
Sample Employers in Higher EducationBritish Columbia Institute of Technology
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationCook Biotech Inc.
Response Biomedical Corp
AR Medical Technologies
MEA Forensic Engineers and Scientists
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationResearch Engineer
Manager, Product Development
Chief Operating Officer
PhD Career Outcome SurveyYou may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
DisclaimerThese data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Tuition / Program Costs
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,632.61||$2,868.22|
|Tuition per year||$4,897.83||$8,604.66|
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$930.14 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,884.10 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Completion Rates & Times
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Abolmaesumi, Purang (Biomedical Engineering with emphasis on computer-assisted surgery, image-guided therapy and medical image analysis, prostate cancer)
Baldwin, Susan (Bioprocess engineering, bioremediation, biomedical reaction modelling)
Bamji, Shernaz (synapse biology, primary neuronal cultures, transgenic mouse models, neurodevelopmental disease)
Cheung, Karen (Biomedical Technologies, microfluidics, tissue engineering, biosensors, additive manufacturing, organ-on-chip, BioMEMS, neural interfaces)
Chiao, Mu (MEMS, Micro Sensors, Micro Actuators, BioMEMS, Nanotechnology, Bioengineering, Electronic Packaging, Nanoscience, Energy sources for micro-electro-mechanical systems)
Chrostowski, Lukas (Optics and Photonics, Micro and Nanoelectronics, Nanotechnologies, Manufacturing Processes, silicon photonics, biosensors, biophotonics, quantum computing, optoelectronics, photonics, optics, semiconductor lasers)
Cripton, Peter (Trauma / Injuries, Cranio-Encephalic and Spinal Cord Trauma, Mechanical Systems, spinal cord injury, neurotrauma, traumatic brain injury, biomechanics, injury prevention, hip fracture, spine biomechanics)
Croft, Elizabeth (Robotics, human-robot interaction, mechatronics)
Dumont, Guy A (biomedical engineering; automatic drug delivery; mobile health; global health; anesthesia; physiological monitoring;, Adaptive control, predictive control, control of distributed parameters systems, advanced process control, applications of wavelet analysis, biomedical applications of control, pulp and paper process control)
Eaves, Constance Jean (Normal and leukemic stem cells, normal and malignant breast stem cells)
Fels, S Sidney (Human computer interaction, human 3D biomechanical modeling, speech synthesis, medical applications of modeling, computer vision, interactive arts and music)
Feng, James Jingtao (Fluid Mechanics, Complex fluids, Biophysics, Mathematical biology)
Fernlund, Goran (Polymer matrix composites, Biomaterials, Adhesive bonding)
Garbi, Rafeef (Biomedical Technologies, Imaging, Artificial Intelligence, Medical Image Computing, Machine learning in Medical Imaging, Computer Vision, Image Processing and Analysis, Biomedical Engineering)
Gopaluni, Bhushan (Modelling and experiment design, identification for control)
Grecov, Dana (Rheology, Rheometry, Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics, Computational Fluid Mechanics, Liquid Crystals, Biolubricants, Lubricants, Journal Bearings, Multi-Phase Flow, Synovial Joints, Synovial Fluid, Arthrithis, Liquid crystals and nanomaterials, Biofluid Mechanics)
Guy, Pierre (Bone Tissue)
Hansen, Carl (Single-Cell Analysis, Molecular Diagnostics, genomics)
Hatzikiriakos, Savvas (Polymer melt and suspension rheology, food rheology, polymer melt processing, superhydrophobicity, surface science, winter sports expert, ski/skate performance and snow/ice friction. )
Haynes, Charles (Protein purification, recombinant proteins, molecular thermodynamics, biocompatible polymers)
Hodgson, Antony (Bioengineering, Biomechanics, Medical or Surgical Robotics, Medical Engineering, Electoral Reform, Single Transferable Vote, STV, Citizens’ Assembly, Fair Voting )
Hoodless, Pamela (Embryonic Development, Genomics, Heart Valve / Valvular Diseases, Liver, Stem Cells and Organogenesis, Developmental Genetics, Embryology, Transcriptional regulation, Epigenetics, Heart valve formation, Liver development)
Ivanov, Andre (microelectronics; integrated circuits, computer chip design, smart grid, engineering curriculum, Computer and Software Systems, Emerging Micro/Nano Technologies)
Kastrup, Christian (drug delivery, coagulation, biomaterials, atherosclerosis, in-vivo imaging, microfluidics )
Ko, Frank (Textile Structural Composites)
Recent Doctoral Citations
- Dr. Stephen Frank Ernesto Mattucci
"Dr. Mattucci performed a thorough biomechanical investigation and redevelopment of a dislocation spinal cord injury model, to better understand the most common clinical injuries. These improvements will provide future researchers a robust avenue to further investigate the importance of biomechanical factors contributing to spinal cord injury." (May 2018)
- Dr. Emily Sunyoung Park
"Circulating tumour cells are important targets for cancer research. Dr. Park developed a technology to enrich circulating tumor cells and then isolate them for genome sequencing. She then applied this technology to sequence single circulating tumor cells from patients with prostate cancer. This work will aid with early diagnosis." (May 2018)
- Dr. Seyed-Alborz Amir-khalili
"Dr. Amir-Khalili developed computer algorithms to assist clinicians and improve outcomes for patients undergoing complex medical procedures. His contributions include an automated algorithm that locates blood vessels based on movement, and systems for interpreting uncertainties that occur during cancer surgery or radiotherapy interventions." (May 2018)
- Dr. Niamul Quader
"Dr. Quader focussed on improving diagnosis reliability of hip instability in infants using ultrasound imaging. His top contribution was in implementing a novel and automatic three-dimensional ultrasound-based system. This has improved the diagnosis reliability of current-state-of-the-art hip instability diagnosis by around 70 percent." (May 2018)
- Dr. Pegah Kharazmi
"Dr. Kharazmi studied the role of cutaneous vascular structures in skin lesions. She developed a technology to analyze cutaneous vessels and identify skin abnormalities at an early stage. Her work increases the effectiveness of screening for skin disorders, which will ultimately save lives and reduce healthcare costs." (May 2018)