Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Biomedical Engineering

The Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering is a jointly offered program between The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio).

The program is designed to build on the scientific interactions and cooperation between the biomedical engineering and clinical scientists of the UT Health San Antonio and the engineering and basic science faculty at the UTSA. Because engineers, basic scientists, and clinicians will participate in the education and training of each student, the new graduates from this program will be uniquely trained in the fundamental sciences and engineering related to medicine. 

The objective of the program is to train students in the use of basic biomedical engineering approaches for the investigation of fundamental bioengineering questions associated with the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. 

To see the program website,  click here.

Admission Requirements

Students who hold an undergraduate or master's degree may apply to the program. The minimum requirements for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering degree program are described below. Note that admission is very competitive and satisfying these requirements does not guarantee admission.

- Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 or better in the last 60 semester credit hours of coursework with a major in a recognized science or engineering discipline. All students should have had sufficient background in engineering, chemistry, biology, and physics prior to being admitted to the program. It is expected that these students will have B.S. degrees with emphasis in either engineering, physical science, or biological science disciplines. All students are required to have completed at least 1 year of engineering (calculus-based) physics, 1 year of chemistry, 1 year of biology, and mathematics up to Differential Equations or Engineering Analysis I. Students with deficiencies in the above courses will be required to take selected courses as a condition of acceptance.

- Applicants with a master's degree must have a grade point average of 3.0 or better in their master's degree program. Applicants with a Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering or in a related field may apply a maximum of 30 semester credit hours of previously earned graduate credit toward their doctoral degree. The Committee on Graduate Studies (COGS) will evaluate each student's transcript and credit will be recommended for transfer on a course-by-course basis to satisfy the formal coursework requirements of the doctoral degree.

- A satisfactory score, as evaluated by the Admissions Committee for Biomedical Engineering, is required on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Students whose native language is not English must achieve a minimum score of 550 (paper version)/79 (internet version) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The applicant's performance on a standardized test will be considered, in addition to other criteria, for admission or competitive scholarship awards and will not be used as the sole criterion for consideration of an applicant.

- Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's readiness for doctoral study are required.

- A complete application includes the application form, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, a résumé, and a statement of the applicant's research experience, interests, and goals. TOEFL scores are required for those applicants whose native language is not English. Additional information can be found at the UTSA Graduate School "future students" website:


2015-2017 Graduate Catalog

Tentative Course Schedule TBA

Seminar Schedule BME Fall 2015

As the program is multi- and inter-disciplinary, the curriculum is designed to provide a synergistic combination of formal courses, seminars, teaching opportunities, interactions with clinicians, and individualized biomedical engineering research experiences in the laboratories of the Biomedical Engineering faculty.

All students are required to take core courses in the areas of Biomaterials, Biomechanics, Bioelectronics/Imaging, and Biology (Cell and Molecular Biology and either Gross Human Anatomy or Human Physiology), as well as Analytic Techniques in Engineering Analysis, Ethics in Research, Experimental Design and Data Analysis, Lab Rotation, Supervised Teaching, and Introduction to Clinical Practices. In addition to the basic core curriculum, students are required to take additional coursework in their area of specialization. Overall, students must complete a minimum of 81 hours of graduate work and must maintain an overall grade point average of at least 3.0.

The required and selected courses are intended to focus and support the individual's mastery of his or her particular area of expertise. Throughout their graduate training, students have access to the bioengineering and biosciences laboratories at both UT Health San Antonio and UTSA. This provides a unique opportunity to have learning experiences in medical, dental, bioscience, and engineering environments.

Program Students

Highly qualified students have been attracted to the program from its inception. Applications have been received from all over the United States, India, China, South Korea, Venezuela, and Italy. Students accepted into the program have come from many of the colleges and universities in San Antonio (UTSA, UT Health San Antonio, St. Mary's University, and Trinity University), as well as Texas (UT-Austin, Texas A & M, Southern Methodist University, and Rice), and neighboring states (Arizona State University, Tulane University, and Louisiana Tech). More distant from San Antonio, students have been accepted from North Carolina State University, Purdue University, and Florida Atlantic University as well as Zhejiang University and Indian Institute of Technology.

Admission into the program is selective with only about 45-50% of the applicants being offered admission. Enrollment has been a subset of those offered admission and has ranged from 40-80%. The average GRE scores of all students matriculating into the Program are Verbal 523 and Quantitative 716. The average GPA for the same cohort of students was 3.46 on a 4.0 scale. The racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of the students is also one of the strengths of the BME Program and continues the historic role of both UTSA and UT Health San Antonio as minority-serving institutions within the state of Texas.

A number of mechanisms are used to financially support graduate students in the Program. All first year students are supported by Program funds through UTSA. After their first year, students are expected to have located a mentor who can support the remainder of their graduate studies. This support includes a number possible mechanisms such as NIH and NSF assistantships or training grants, fellowships provided through the Sloan Foundation, industry-sponsored projects, and other sources of discretionary funding available to the Supervising Professor.

Core Facilities

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and UT Health San Antonio offer many resource facilities with biotechnology equipment and state-of-the art laboratories. The Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering Building is a 220,000-square foot facility that won the Education Design Showcase 2006 award.

The newest building on the 1604 campus is the Applied Engineering and Technology Building. Administrative offices are located in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building in Room 1.102. The new building was completed in October 2009. This latest addition to our 1604 campus is comprised of laboratories and classrooms for College of Engineering students. It is 150,000 square feet and sits alongside the Biotechnology, Science, and Engineering Building (BSE).

Research Imaging Center

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

UTSA-Micro Computerized Tomography (MicroCT)

UTHSCSA-Micro Computerized Tomography (MicroCT)

Nanobiomaterials & Tissue Engineering Lab

Other Facilities at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio 

Financial Aid and Housing 

All doctoral applicants applying for full-time status will automatically be considered for a stipend of $21,000 per year plus full-tuition and fees and health insurance. Supplemental stipends ($1,000 to $5,000) for outstanding students are also available. Scholarships (stipends + tuition + fees+ insurance) offered to our current students range from $26,000 to $31,000 per year.

Scholarships in Rehabilitation Medicine: Scholarships are available for both M.S. and Ph.D. research in rehabilitation medicine. If interested, please contact the BME Program office for additional information.

Other Financial Assistance: Teaching and research assistantships may also be available from research mentors. There are also financial aid opportunities such as the Beldon Scholarship, Mcnair & others.

Student Housing: At the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) students have a choice of on-campus housing options. The newest on-campus residences are Laurel Village and Chaparral Village. These two complexes offer apartment-style living with a choice of either two or four private bedrooms in an apartment with a living room and a kitchenette with a microwave, sink and full-size refrigerator (no stove/oven). These complexes are owned and managed by UTSA and residents are required to purchase meal plans.


For a list of faculty,  click here

Contact Information:

Anson Ong
Interim Director, Graduate Program of
Biomedical Engineering
Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Jean Jiang, Ph.D. (UTHSCSA)
Associate Director, Graduate Program of Biomedical Engineering
Professor, Biochemistry

More information: Joint Program UTSA Website

Application Deadline:

Fall/February 1
Spring/October 1


Students receive a stipend of $26,000.

Program Handbook:
BME Program Handbook

Want to learn more about students in the program?