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UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Biological Engineering Program

Biological Engineering 
Bioengineering Bldg. 
Telephone (805) 893-4326
Admissions inquires email:
General program inquires email:
Program Chair: Beth Pruitt


The Biological Engineering Program offers a Ph.D. in Biological Engineering degree and an Optional Ph.D. emphasis in Bioengineering.

This Biological Engineering Program, at the interface of Engineering and the Sciences, benefits from the strong, collaborative relationships that already exist across these communities at UCSB. The PhD Program provides didactic and research training supporting depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise within Biological Engineering. This program draws interdisciplinary strengths from biophysics, biomaterials, biomolecular discovery, and computational and experimental systems biology.

The application of engineering principles, novel technologies and models is rapidly advancing the science of biology and biomedicine. Similarly, the science of biology provides an increasingly deep and inspiring source of new concepts, mechanisms and materials for application across engineering disciplines. Researchers in Biological Engineering are combining engineering from biology and engineering for biology to make fundamental scientific advances and transition discoveries to applications in medicine and biotechnology.


Candidates for graduate degrees must meet university degree requirements found in the “Graduate Education” section of the UCSB online catalog as well as departmental requirements.

Applicants must fulfill general requirements for admission to graduate status. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test is not required for applicants to the graduate program. Applicants whose native language is not English, are required to take either the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. Exemptions to this requirement will be considered for those students who have completed an undergraduate or graduate education at an institution whose primary language of instruction is English. The minimum TOEFL score for consideration is 550 when taking the paper-based test (PBT),or 80 when taking the internet-based test (IBT). The minimum IELTS score for consideration is an Overall Band Score of 7 or higher. TOEFL or IELTS scores must not be more than two years old at the time of application to UCSB.

Applications are considered for fall admission and must be received with all supporting materials by December 15.


  • Biology (a course covering basic cell biology, molecular biology, genetics and biochemistry)
  • At least 1 chemistry course
  • Math (through differential equations)
  • Programming course or equivalent experience