Postgraduate Programs 2017/18
Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy Programs in Bioengineering
Award Title

Master of Philosophy in Bioengineering
Doctor of Philosophy in Bioengineering

Program Short Name

MPhil(BIEN)
PhD(BIEN)

Mode of Study

Both full- and part-time

Normative Program Duration

MPhil
Full-time: 2 years
Part-time: 4 years

PhD
Full-time: 3 years (with a relevant research master’s degree), 4 years (with a bachelor’s degree only)
Part-time: 6 years

Program Advisor

BIEN PG Programs Coordinator:
Prof. Shuhuai Yao, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Enquiry

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Programs in Bioengineering facilitate the close integration of biological, physical, and computational sciences and engineering in the study of biological processes. The programs adopt a systematic and quantitative approach to the study of biological systems. The aim is to provide students with the necessary knowledge to contribute to the biomedical industry as well as to optimize existing bioprocesses, and to develop new biomedical technologies. The Programs are managed by the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

 

A candidate for an MPhil degree is expected to demonstrate knowledge in the discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making a contribution to the field.

 

A candidate for a PhD degree is expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the chosen discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making an original and substantial contribution to the discipline.

The multi-disciplinary Bioengineering Program allows students to apply the tools of engineering, computer science and physical sciences to their study of biological processes. It addresses several major research foci and is supported with state-of-the-art research facilities.

 

Research Foci

Biological Information

Engineering Investigates issues associated with new computation concepts and tools involved in medical imaging. Research can also be extended to other data-driven areas, such as health analytics, bioinformatics, protein structure prediction, drug design, and systems biology.

 

Bioprocessing and BioProduct Design

The technology of bioprocessing, regulatory, safety and ethical issues involved in biotechnology, and the systematic evolution of production processes using product characteristics to assist in "product-oriented" process design.

 

Biomaterials and BioMEMS

The engineering of physical and biological properties of synthetic polymers, metals, ceramics and other materials, and their interaction with blood, soft and hard tissues; and the application of biological and bioanalytical methods to micro electrical and mechanical systems, such as genechips.


Quantitative Neuroscience and Neural Engineering

Mechanistic understanding of neuroscience from the molecular level (inside a single neuron cell) to a cellular level interpretation where interactions between signaling and transport molecules will be mapped; system-level understanding on how neural systems respond to environment stimulus; and how computations are done by neural systems.

 

Facilities

The School of Engineering's Bioengineering Laboratory provides world-class facilities for research. Advanced equipment is available for bacterial and cell culture, centrifugation separation, protein and DNA manipulation, gene amplification, microscopic analysis, digital imaging, and microarray fabrication and analysis. The Laboratory supports projects on microchip analysis, diagnostic device, tissue engineering, nanobiotechnology, bioproduct processing and bioproduct extraction. Relevant central facilities include the Materials Characterization and Preparation Facility, and the Nanoelectronics Fabrication Facility.

 

belab.ust.hk

To qualify for admission, applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Admission is selective and meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

 

1. General Admission Requirements of the University
  • Applicants seeking admission to a master's degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution, or an approved equivalent qualification;

  • Applicants seeking admission to a doctoral degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree with a proven record of outstanding performance from a recognized institution; or presented evidence of satisfactory work at the postgraduate level on a full-time basis for at least one year, or on a part-time basis for at least two years.

2. English Language Admission Requirements

Applicants have to fulfill English Language requirements with one of the following proficiency attainments:
 

Proficiency Test Minimum Scores
TOEFL-iBT 80
TOEFL-pBT 550
IELTS (Academic Module) Overall score: 6.0 and All sub-scores: 5.5


Applicants don't need to present TOEFL or IELTS score if

  • their first language is English, or

  • they obtained the bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an institution where the medium of instruction was English.

  1. Minimum Credit Requirement

    MPhil: 12 credits
    PhD: 15 credits
     

  2. Credit Transfer 

    PhD students entering with a master’s or equivalent degree in Engineering or related discipline may be granted credit transfer of up to 6 credits. Students entering with a master’s degree in Bioengineering may be granted credit transfer of up to 12 credits, subject to the approval of the Program Director.
     

  3. Core Courses

    MPhil: 3 credits
    PhD: 6 credits
     

BIEN 5010
BIEN 5040

 

  1. Elective Courses

    MPhil/PhD: 9 credits

  1. 3 credits from the restrictive bioengineering electives; and
  2. 6 credits of non-restrictive elective courses selected from students’ chosen area of research.


Students without a degree in Biology or related disciplines may be required to take at least one additional undergraduate course covering appropriate basic knowledge in life science and obtain a passing grade of C+ or above. Subject to the approval of the Program Director, students may be exempted from this requirement.

 

  1. School Requirements on PhD Programs

    In addition to the program requirements, all full-time and part-time PhD students are required to complete the school requirements, which aim to help students gain a wider exposure to multidisciplinary areas, and attain all-rounded learning by broadening their knowledge base.

     

    PhD students are required to take at least a 3-credit course at 5000-level or above outside their programs offered by the School of Engineering. The 3 credits may be satisfied by courses from other Schools upon approval.

     

    In some exceptional cases where students can provide sufficient justifications and obtain prior approval from their supervisors, PG Coordinators, and Heads of Department/Program Directors or designees, they are allowed to take the 3-credit course within their home departments/programs but the course must be in areas outside their specialty.

     

    Details of the requirements are available on the website of the School of Engineering

 

  1. Professional Development Course Requirement

PDEV 6770


Students are required to complete PDEV 6770. The 1 credit earned from PDEV 6770 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.


PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates and have completed PDEV 6770 or other professional development courses offered by the University before may be exempted from this requirement, subject to prior approval of the School.

 

  1. English Language Requirement

LANG 5001


Full-time students must complete LANG 5001. Students may be exempted from taking LANG 5001 with the agreement of the Program Director. The 1 credit earned from LANG 5001 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

 

  1. Postgraduate Seminar

BIEN 6800


MPhil:

Full-time students must take BIEN 6800 every regular term, and present at least one seminar during their study. They must pass BIEN 6800 three times including once in the term when they present their seminar. Part-time students must take and pass BIEN 6800 at least once in the term when they present their seminar.


PhD:

Full-time students must take BIEN 6800 every regular term, and present at least two seminars during their study. They must pass BIEN 6800 five times including the terms when they present their seminars. Part-time students must take and pass BIEN 6800 at least twice in the terms when they present their seminars.

 

  1. PhD Qualifying Examination

To become a doctoral candidate, the student must pass a qualifying examination within the first 1.5 years of study.

 

  1. Thesis Research

BIEN 6990
BIEN 7990


MPhil:

  1. Registration in BIEN 6990; and
  2. Presentation and oral defense of the MPhil thesis. 

PhD:

  1. Registration in BIEN 7990; and
  2. Presentation and oral defense of the PhD thesis.


If an MPhil student participates in an industrial project and writes a thesis on a work-related topic, the thesis will be supervised jointly by a faculty member of the program and a representative from the participating company.

 

Last update: 10 July 2017

Scientific Computation Concentration


In addition to the existing program requirements, students who opt for the Scientific Computation concentration are required to:
 

  1. MPhil:
    Complete a minimum of 7 credits from the following course lists.  
    PhD: 
    Complete a minimum of 10 credits from the following course lists.

    The credits earned under the concentration will be counted toward the total credit requirements of the programs.

    Core Courses
    MPhil: at least 3 credits 
    PhD: at least 6 credits

    All students must take MATH 6915, which can be repeated for up to 2 credits.  
     
COMP 5112
CIVL 5390
orMECH 5930
CSIC 5001
CSIC 5011
CSIC 5031
MATH 5311
MATH 6915

 

Elective Courses

CHEM 5210
CHEM 5220
COMP 5212
COMP 5213
COMP 5331
COMP 5421
CSIC 5190
ELEC 5810
ELEC 5140
MATH 5350
MATH 5360
MATH 5411
MATH 5431
MECH 5230
MECH 5280
PHYS 5410

 

  1. Give a one-hour seminar on computation related research within their first four regular terms of study.
     
  2. Conduct research in the area of scientific computation.

 

Last update: 10 July 2017