Colorado State Offers State’s First Doctorate in Bioengineering as Part of New School

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Colorado State University is now accepting applications for a doctorate program in bioengineering via the new School of Biomedical Engineering – the first of its kind in the state.

The program will begin in Fall 2007.

The new School will involve more than 50 faculty members in four colleges: the College of Applied Human Sciences, the College of Engineering, the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.  

The program will train students in the development of innovative products to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and also to help improve overall health and patient rehabilitation.

Students in this program would, for example, create new orthopedic implants, develop new therapies and imaging modalities for fighting cancer, improve the design of vital medical equipment such as the blood oxygenators used in open heart surgery or work on the next generation of gene therapies or engineered tissues and organs. Graduates are expected to work in industry, the government and academia.

"The field of bioengineering is one of the fastest emerging areas of scientific discovery and represents an enormous opportunity for economic growth within Colorado," said Sandra Woods, dean of the College of Engineering.

The School, which will be based in the College of Engineering, will offer master’s and doctoral degrees. The School will also house the Master’s of Engineering degree and Interdisciplinary Studies Certificate in Biomedical Engineering.

Colorado State is uniquely positioned to offer this program because engineering and biomedical and clinical life sciences – including the only Veterinary Medical Center and Professional Veterinary Medicine program in Colorado and one of the top vet schools in the nation – are located on the same campus.

Bioengineering is defined by the National Institutes of Health as the integration of physical, chemical or mathematical sciences and engineering principles for the study of biology, medicine, behavior or health. The new graduate degree program is expected to attract engineering students interested in doing more biomedical-based research, as well as students with undergraduate degrees in the life sciences, such as biochemistry or molecular biology, interested in engineering-based research.

Susan James, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the School of Biomedical Engineering, said the program aims to have a unified front for students, faculty and the industry.

"The new School and new research master’s and doctoral degrees will help us attract the best students and faculty in biomedical engineering. The new degrees will greatly enhance our research programs in these areas, which will translate to economic growth for Colorado and improved health and wellness for the citizens of Colorado and the world," James said. "We’re also excited about what the new School and degrees will do for our efforts to increase diversity among our students and faculty – studies have shown that there are more women and minorities in bioengineering than many of the more traditional engineering fields."

The new degree programs have been approved by the university system Board of Governors and the state Department of Education.

For more information about the new School, go to