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Outstanding Biomedical Engineering Graduate Department

The Columbia University Department of Biomedical Engineering stands out as one of Columbia's premier departments. The department has consistently been ranked among the top biomedical engineering departments in the nation.

Graduate students entering the Department of Biomedical Engineering work side-by-side with world-class researchers in research and coursework that prepares them for careers in a broad range of settings, ranging from industries devoted to medical devices, artificial organs, and medical engineering, to oversight agencies such as the FDA, OSHA, or major research institutes.

Graduate Biomedical Engineering Degree Programs

The Columbia University Department of Biomedical Engineering offers graduate degree programs including a Masters of Science (M.S.), Doctor of Engineering Science (Eng.Sc.D.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and a combination Ph.D/M.D., offered in collaboration with the Columbia University Medical School.

In the department's popular master's-to-Ph.D. program, students may complete the requirements for a master's degree and then convert to the Ph.D. track upon successful completion of a qualifying examination.

The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science

The Department of Biomedical Engineering is part of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), one of the nation's oldest and most distinguished schools of engineering. Graduate courses are available not just in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, but in other departments also within SEAS, as well as in the Faculty of Medicine, the School of Dentistry and Oral Surgery, and the Mailman School of Public Health.

Master's Program

Candidates working toward master's degrees are required to complete 30 credits of approved graduate-level coursework. The core master's program includes computational modeling of physiological systems, a biomedical engineering seminar series, and at least one graduate-level mathematics course.

Prerequisite quantitative physiology courses are required for students with deficiencies in physiology course work.

Doctoral Program

Doctoral students are required to complete 30 credits beyond the master's degree, pass an oral and written qualifying examination, and successfully defend their doctoral dissertation. A demonstration of teaching competence is also required of all doctoral students.

Requirements in the doctoral program also include 2 courses in computational modeling of physiological systems, at least one graduate mathematics course in addition to the mathematics course required for the M.S. degree, and attendance to the Biomedical Engineering seminar series.

Three Key Research Tracks

Students in the various degree programs focus particularly on 3 tracks of research: biomechanics, bioimaging, and cell and tissue engineering. Faculty and students in the Department of Biomedical Engineering are divided equally among the 3 disciplines.

The Biomechanics Track

In the field of biomechanics, students pursue groundbreaking research involving everything from human joints, articular cartilage, and bones to disease mechanisms and traumatic brain injury.

In the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Laboratory, for instance, researchers have been involved in the development of engineered cartilage using live cartilage cells, and newly developed bioreactors.

In the Bone Bioengineering Laboratory, researchers were recently developing 3-D image analysis and recognition of trabecular bone microstructure and 3-D bone cell culture systems.

The Cell and Tissue Track

Students following the cell and tissue track pursue research in laboratories including the Cellular Engineering Laboratory, which has been involved in the development of groundbreaking strategies for the treatment of problems involving the musculoskeletal system. These include osteoarthritis and sports and occupational injuries.

The Biomedical Imaging Track

In the biomedical imaging track, research pursues an expansive range of technologies important for physiological applications.

In the Biophotonics and Optical Radiology Laboratory, for instance, researchers were recently applying optical tomography to the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, the study of cerebral ischemia and stroke, and the diagnostic analysis of cancer.

Additional labs in the track include the Functional Optical Imaging Lab, the Hatch Center for MRI Research, the Heffner Biomedical Imaging Lab, and the Laboratory for Intelligent Imaging and Neural Computing.

Admission Requirements for Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University

Application requirements for admission to graduate programs in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University vary based on the planned research track chosen by the applicants in question.

Those pursuing biomechanics are required to have one year of biology and/or physiology, solid mechanics, statics and dynamics, fluid mechanics, or ordinary differential equations.

Applicants planning to focus on cellular and tissue engineering are required to have one year of organic chemistry or biochemistry with laboratory, and one year of biology and/or physiology, fluid mechanics, rate processes, ordinary differential equations.

Those choosing biomedical imaging are required to have linear algebra, ordinary differential equations, Fourier analysis, digital signal processing, and one year of biology and/ or physiology and/or biochemistry.

Applicants who lack some required courses may still be considered for admission with the stipulation that the deficiencies must be satisfied in addition to the requirements of the degree program.

Financial Aid

Merit-based financial aid is available to students admitted to the graduate program, and all graduate students are strongly encouraged to apply for individual fellowships, such as those offered by the National Science Foundation and Department of Defense.

All students admitted to the doctoral program receive research assistantships and a yearly stipend, along with a tuition waiver.

The "Quintessential Great Urban University"

Columbia University prides itself in offering a top-notch level of education in a uniquely multicultural environment that strives to break down the ivory tower boundaries associated with its Ivy League stature.

Located in the heart of New York City, the university has been dubbed by its president, Lee Bollinger, "the quintessential great urban university."

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Doctor of Engineering Science (Eng Sc D)
Master of Science (MS)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes
Evening/weekend programs available? No
Distance learning programs available? Yes
Terminal master's degree available? No

Degree Requirements

Doctoral Degrees Entrance Exam GRE General Test
Thesis Required
Qualifying exam



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline December 15th December 15th Yes
Spring deadline October 1st October 1st Yes

Entrance Requirements

Master's Degree Exam GRE General Test
Doctoral Degree Exam GRE General Test
International Students Exam Details
TOEFL: Required
IELTS: Required

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards December 15

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)
Out-of-state students


Hispanic/Latino 0.59%
Black or African American 1.18%
White or Caucasian 22%
American Indian or Alaska Native Not Reported
Asian 21.3%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Not Reported
Two or more races 5.33%
Unknown 4.14%


Male (50%)
Female (49%)


Total faculty
Full-time (23)
Part-time (5)
Male (23)
Female (5)


Focus of faculty research: Biomechanics, biosignal and biomedical imaging, cellular and tissue engineering
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year: 0

Location & Contact

Address 116th Street and Broadway
New York, NY  10027
United States
Contact Dr. Andrew Laine
Email: laine@columbia.edu
Phone: 212-854-6539