A JOINT PHD PROGRAM WITH UMMS AND WPI

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have created a premier joint PhD program in Computational Biomedical Sciences and Engineering. The program promotes collaborative, multidisciplinary research opportunities for all students. Graduates will be awarded a joint degree from both institutions.

Students in this program will become key partners in collaborative research at the interface between experimental and computational biomedical sciences, bioinformatics and data sciences, and engineering. The research areas of joint program students can span from molecular treatments to population-based studies. 

This program offers an interdisciplinary experience at the intersection of experimental and computational biomedical sciences, bioinformatics and data sciences, and engineering. Located two miles apart, the two institutions have created a hub of biotech and innovation.

To Apply

Students may apply to this program through WPI or through UMMS. Students with biomedical or clinical backgrounds should apply through UMMS, while those with engineering and/or computational backgrounds should apply through WPI. The same committee reviews all applications, and students will have the same PhD awarded.  Applicants should have background in two of the three core competencies listed under Curriculum.

If applicants are not accepted for the Joint Program, they will still be considered for the WPI or UMMS graduate program to which they apply. Students may apply to both programs.

Curriculum

There is no set curriculum for this highly individualized program; however, there are three core competencies expected of all students:

  1. math and statistics (up through integral/differential calculus)
  2. computational techniques and algorithms
  3. molecular biology and physiology

Each student will

  • be advised by two faculty members, one from WPI and one from UMMS, with oversight by the Joint Program Committee,
  • complete the specific requirements for their home program (the program into which they matriculate),
  • complete at least three 8-week lab rotations, with at least one of these at each institution, 
  • complete a course in scientific communication, and
  • complete a course in research ethics.
The range of academic disciplines and the aggregate of faculty from the two universities offer a rich program with abundant opportunities.
Shaimae E., program participant

Research

BioX research clusters at WPI include:

Cellular & Molecular Engineering
Regenerative Engineering & Biomanufacturing
Biological Response Mechanisms & Detection
Healthcare Delivery Institute
Neuroscience & Neuroengineering
Healthcare Cyber Physical Systems

Facilities at WPI’s Life Sciences & Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park include the following:

Computational Cluster
Histology Core
Instrumentation Core
Microscopy Core
Vivarium Core

Faculty Profiles

Research Teams

Researchers in Gateway Park engage in teams around a common goal: advancing science and engineering new therapies, devices, and technologies that improve human health and benefit us all.

Core Faculty

WPI and UMMS core faculty research focus areas for this program can be found in a comprehensive PDF that can be printed for easy reference. In addition to faculty members listed in this document, students may choose from many other faculty research areas across the two universities. 

Associated Faculty

WPI and UMMS have many associated faculty with this program. You can narrow your search to view faculty in the areas of Biomedical Engineering, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Biology and Biotechnology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Chemical Engineering. To explore UMMS faculty, visit the GSBS Faculty page. Use the button below to find out more about WPI faculty members.