PhD Program

Located in the heart of Boston, directly adjacent to the world renowned Longwood Medical Area, Northeastern provides an excellent opportunity for students to combine engineering, medicine and biology.

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Students work with one of more than 75 faculty affiliated with the program toward a degree tailored to suit their interests or take advantage of one of our eight “strength” tracks.

Our interdisciplinary PhD program in Bioengineering draws on the expertise of faculty across the University and reflects the significant strengths of bioengineering research in multiple areas. Students accepted to the program will complete a rigorous core curriculum in basic bioengineering science followed by completion of an immersion track curriculum described in unique features below.

Interdisciplinary curriculum combines engineering, medicine and biology

Applicants accepted from Bachelors and Masters level

The PhD in Bioengineering can be combined with a Gordon Engineering Leadership certificate

Students specialize in one of 8 strength tracks

  • Track 1: Bioimaging and Signal Processing: The Bioimaging and Signal Processing (BISP) track reflects Northeastern University’s outstanding research profile in various aspects of biological and biomedical imaging and image processing and signal processing.
  • Track 2: Biomechanics and Mechanobiology: The Biomechanics and Mechanobiology track reflects the link of the biological response to applied forces and strains, and leverages the strong faculty research at Northeastern, which is attempting to tie biomechanics to biological responses at multiple scales.
  • Track 3: BioMEMs/BioNANO: The BioMEMs/BioNANO track reflects Northeastern University’s strength as indicated by the NSF Center for High Rate Nanomanufacturing, the NSF/NCI Nanomedicine IGERT training grant and the strong Pharmaceutical Sciences Department.
  • Track 4: Biochemical and Bioenvironmental Engineering: The Biochemical and Bioenvironmental Engineering track reflects strengths in biochemical engineering and bioenvironmental engineering by active research programs focused in pharmaceutical bioprocessing, biomaterials, tissue engineering, drug delivery, environmental microbiology, biotreatment/bioremediation, and environmental modeling.
  • Track 5: Motor Control: The Motor Control track presents an interdisciplinary research program with the goal to understand sensorimotor processes underlying the control and coordination of human movements.
  • Track 6: Biocomputing: The Biocomputing track draws on strengths in computer engineering and computation applied to bioengineering applications.
  • Track 7: Cell and Tissue Engineering: Cell and tissue engineering is a major strength at Northeastern University with several research labs. These labs are elucidating the quantitative principles that govern cell fate decisions and are developing design strategies to promote the assembly and patterning of multicellular systems into viable, functional tissues.
  • Track 8: General Bioengineering Studies: The General Bioengineering Studies track provides students with the flexibility to create a custom course plan depending on their individual interests, under the strong advisement of the Bioengineering Committee.


  • The ability to use basic engineering concepts flexibly in a variety of contexts
  • Ability to formulate a research plan
  • Ability to communicate orally a research plan
  • Ability to conduct independent research
  • Can be combined with a Gordon Engineering Leadership certificate

Our graduates pursue careers within academia and beyond.

  • Bruker Nano Surfaces
  • Giner Inc.
  • Global Orthapedic Technology
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Masschusetts General Hospital
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • MIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Visual IQ
  • Vivionics, Inc.

Application Materials

A complete set of application materials includes a description of each applicant’s education journey and career goals.

  • Completed online application form
  • $75 application fee
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Official GRE scores
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume
  • TOEFL or IELTS for international applicants


Nearly all incoming PhD students begin their PhD programs in the Fall term.

  • The deadline for applicants seeking funding through a research, teaching, or fellowship towards their PhD studies is January 15
  • A few students matriculate in January each year. The deadline for a January admission is: September 15
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