Timetable and Forms

Year one: Core courses

The main goal for the first year is to work with your mentor (advisor) to identify those courses of most relevance to your area of research, and to take as many core and additional courses as practical during the first 9 months in preparation for your proposal development and oral exam. Some additional courses are offered once every two years and it may be desirable to take some courses during the first year in order to prepare for the qualifying exam at the end of the second year. Students should also participate in a journal club and/or work with their mentor to critically review the scientific literature in their area.

Year two: Complete course requirements and prepare for qualifying exam

Year two
Students should enroll in any remaining required and/or elective courses and Biomedical Engineering seminars to fulfill requirements for taking the qualifying exam. The majority of the student’s time and effort should be in research. A major goal for the second year is to begin to acquire the laboratory skills and conceptual framework necessary for thesis work. The student should also be spending free moments reading the scientific literature. BME students are required to take the qualifying exam during the summer of their second year. Upon successful completion of the qualifying exam, students will become eligible for recommendation for advancement to candidacy. The BME Graduate Program Director will sign the Qualifying Examination form indicating successful completion of all BME requirements for advancement to Ph.D. candidacy. After passing the qualifying exam, the student and advisor should prepare the mentor assignment form.

Details of the Qualifying Exam
Advancement to Ph.D. candidacy form : To be completed by the Biomedical Engineering program.
Mentor assignment form - Ph.D. programs: To be completed by student and mentor then submitted to the Biomedical Engineering program coordinator.

Year three and later

Immediately following passing the qualifying exam, students in consultation with their mentor should nominate a Dissertation Advisory Committee which must be approved by the Biomedical Engineering graduate program director.

  • The committee should be appointed within one term after advancement to PhD candidacy.
  • Students must meet with their Dissertation Advisory Committee within 6 months of passing the qualifying examination.
  • The advisory committee shall meet at least twice annually to evaluate progress toward completion of the dissertation. 
  • About 6 months prior to anticipated dissertation defense, it is useful to meet with the thesis/dissertation Advisory Committee to establish a consensus on items that need to be completed.
  • A dissertation advisory committee meeting summary form should be completed at each meeting and submitted to the BME Program Director and Program Coordinator.

The student must present a departmental research seminar during the third year. It is expected that most Ph.D. graduate students will defend their dissertation sometime in their fifth calendar year. It is a School of Medicine requirement that the student be continuously enrolled until the thesis is bound. Students may not use a leave of absence to make corrections to the thesis.

The following can call be found at the Grad Studies page, Forms and policies.

  • Dissertation Advisory Committee Guidelines
  • Request for Dissertation Advisory Committee form: To be completed by the student and mentor then submitted to the Biomedical Engineering program coordinator.
  • Dissertation Advisory Committee Meeting Summary form: To be completed by committee and submitted to the Biomedical Engineering program director and program coordinator.

How to graduate

One term prior to completing your degree requirements, you should begin to plan for graduation. Start by contacting your Graduate Coordinator to indicate you intend to complete you degree that quarter. By the end of your graduation term, please return your ID card, keys, equipment, lab materials and library books and make sure that payment of tuition and fees is current. OHSU transcripts and diplomas are withheld if these obligations are not met. Below are the steps necessary to apply for your degree.

1. Application for Degree form

One term prior to completing degree requirements please submit the Application for Degree Form (found at the Registrar's website under General Registrar Forms) to the Registrar's office at the location listed at the top of the form. You may fax the form. It is your responsibility to ensure this form has been submitted.

2. Request for Oral Examination form

The Request for Oral Examination form needs to be completed, signed by the Biomedical Engineering program director and submitted to the School of Medicine Graduate Studies office at least four weeks prior to the exam date. Students should complete the form and either obtain all of the committee member signatures or acknowledgement by email, then submit the form to the Biomedical Engineering graduate program coordinator for processing.

3. Oral examination

Ph.D. candidates must present a written description of the research carried out during their course of study in the form of a dissertation. Students must present a public seminar describing the Ph.D. research project, pass the oral examination, edit the dissertation document to the satisfaction of the Examination Committee and meet all other degree requirements specified by the Graduate Council By-Laws.

Ph.D. Dissertation and Oral Examination

4. Submit dissertation to the library

If you are completing a Ph.D. dissertation degree go to the OHSU library's Theses, Dissertations, Capstones, and Portfolios and follow the guidelines found at Preparation and Guidelines for the School of Medicine.

Within 6 months of successfully defending your thesis or dissertation, you must finish all corrections to your written dissertation and receive final approval from your committee. Following your committee's approval, your dissertation must be submitted to the OHSU Library. A minimum of one hard copy and one electronic PDF copy must be submitted.

The original Binding Receipt Form, with library signature, must be submitted to the School of Medicine Graduate Studies Office:

School of Medicine Graduate Studies Office
Mackenzie Hall, 4th floor, Dean's Office

Or this can be mailed to:

School of Medicine Graduate Studies Office
Oregon Health & Science University
Mail code L102GS
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road
Portland, OR 97239-3098

5. Exit Contact and Information form

Please complete the Exit Contact and Information form  for the School of Medicine and fax the form to the Graduate Studies office at 503 494-3400 or email a scanned copy.

6. Survey of Earned Doctorates, for Ph.D. students only

Please complete the online Survey of Earned Doctorates. Print a copy of the 'completion of survey' page and fax the form to the School of Medicine Graduate Studies office at 503 494-3400 or email a scanned copy.