The Combined Degree Program requires that graduate students 1) demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research that results in a novel contribution to their field of study or an original interpretation of existing knowledge, 2) document their findings in a master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation, and 3) defend this scholarly work in an oral exam administered by Biomedical Sciences faculty for the master’s degree and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering faculty for the doctorate. Of the two documents, the former can focus on the fundamental biology of the research project; whereas, the doctoral dissertation can address the engineering applications. Alternatively, both documents can describe bioengineering or biotechnology research. Students are encouraged to defend their thesis by the third year of graduate study and their dissertation by the fifth year.
Both the thesis and dissertation can be under the direction of a single research advisor if the professor is a member of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department and Biomedical Sciences Program. Alternatively, Biomedical Sciences faculty can direct the master’s thesis as long as a Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering faculty member directs the doctoral dissertation. The latter can arise from a research collaboration between two faculty.
More information on M.S. thesis and Ph.D. dissertation requirements are available in the graduate student handbooks on the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences websites.