Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The Master of Applied Science (MASc) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) research-stream are thesis-based graduate programs. Students in these programs learn the fundamentals of conducting biomedical engineering research where engineering principles are applied to solve the biggest problems in biology and medicine. Students may work at the University of Toronto, affiliated hospitals/institutes, and/or industry. Students will gain knowledge, skills, and expertise in one or more of the three areas of specialty in biomedical engineering. These include:

  • Molecular engineering: Trainees will develop molecular techniques, approaches, and systems for diagnosing and treating diseases. Medical applications may be related to cancer, diabetes, or heart disease for example.
  • Cell & tissue engineering: Trainees will develop techniques to regenerate cells and tissues that can replace and repair damaged tissues. Medical applications may involve organ transplants, surgery, or skin grafting for example.
  • Clinical engineering: Trainees will develop technologies that contribute to rehabilitation and neuro-interfacing with patients. Medical applications may include helping patients regain daily functions.

Our program graduates excel as leaders in academia, industry, and government agencies across the globe.


Research intensive training in a laboratory or clinical setting

Program Length

Full-time (four to six years).

Program Components

Coursework, research thesis, and final oral examination.

  • Bachelor degree holders must successfully complete 6 half-courses.
  • Advanced (e.g. masters) degree holders must successfully complete 2 half-courses.

Admission requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) applicants must have completed at least a four-year undergraduate program in the field of engineering, medicine, dentistry, physical sciences, or biological sciences. Graduates of recognized institutions outside Canada should hold an appropriate bachelor's degree or its equivalent. Whereas applicants can enter the PhD program through one of three ways, all requirements must be met for consideration. However, possession of the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

  • Entry points:
    1. Direct entry from a bachelor's degree to PhD. Applicants must have completed a four-year undergraduate program in engineering, medicine, dentistry, physical sciences, or biological sciences, with at least an A- average (3.7 grade point average) in the final two years of study.
    2. Entry from master's degree to PhD. Applicants must have at least a mid-B average (3.0 grade point average).
    3. Entry for University of Toronto MD students. Candidates must apply through the MD/PhD Program.
  • Supervisor requirement:

All applicants are responsible for finding and securing a supervisor prior to admission. Note that PhD sole supervisors must hold primary (core) or cross-appointment at BME, and possess full membership at the School of Graduate Studies.

  • English language proficiency:

Click here to learn more about our English test requirements.

(Note: GRE scores are not required)

Apply to the PhD program

Application Procedure

  1. Start the application process and submit required documents. Follow the steps listed in our admissions overview.
  2. Contact a potential supervisor and discuss with them the possibility of joining their lab.
  3. Complete and submit the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Application and pay the application fee.
  4. Acceptance to the program is dependent on finding a supervisor. Of note, supervisors typically look at the entire submitted application on the SGS Admission Portal before making a final decision.
  5. Arrange for your English language proficiency examination score to be reported electronically to the University of Toronto (Enrolment Services) by the testing agency if applicable. The institution code for U of T is 0982-00 (there is no need to specify a department).
  6. Mail your supporting documents (e.g. official transcripts) to:

Institute of Biomedical Engineering
c/o Graduate Studies Admissions
University of Toronto
Rosebrugh Building (RS), 164 College Street, Room 407
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G9 Canada



  • Tuition is determined each academic year by the School of Graduate Studies — refer to the Student Accounts website for more information.
  • Fees are shown in Canadian Dollars (CAD).
  • Tuition amounts below are inclusive of both the Fall and Winter Terms.
  • A minimum charge will apply for students who cancel their registration in the current session or on/after the published date for the first day of class.
  • Current students should refer to their detailed invoice on ROSI / ACORN for information specific to your enrolment status.

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Last updated: July 31, 2020

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