PhD in Bioengineering


Program Description

bio eng

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Program in Bioengineering facilitates 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 a Ph.D. 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 by 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 microelectromechanical systems to biological and bioanalytical methods, such as gene chips.

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 an environmental stimulus; and how computations are done by neural systems.


The 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 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.


Admission requirements

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

i. 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.

ii. English Language Admission Requirements

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

  • TOEFL-iBT: 80*
  • TOEFL-pBT: 550
  • TOEFL-Revised paper-delivered test: 60 (total scores for Reading, Listening and Writing sections)
  • IELTS (Academic Module): Overall score: 6.5 and All sub-score: 5.5

* refers to the total score in one single attempt

Applicants are not required 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.

For more program information, please refer to

Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

Located at the Clear Water Bay of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is a research-focused institution that ranks first among top young universities in the world (Ti ... Read More

Located at the Clear Water Bay of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is a research-focused institution that ranks first among top young universities in the world (Times Higher Education Young University Rankings, 2020). With an international outlook and global reputation, the university aims to be a leading university, both locally and internationally, through excellence in teaching and research. Read less