PhD in Bioengineering


Program Description

bio eng

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 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 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 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 signalling 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.


Program information for 2020/21 is now ready at

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 fulfil 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.


Please refer to ("Application") for details.

Last updated Sep 2020

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About the School

Situated at the heart of Asia, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is a young and distinguished research university in Hong Kong. Ranked No. 30 in the World in the QS World Univ ... Read More

Situated at the heart of Asia, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is a young and distinguished research university in Hong Kong. Ranked No. 30 in the World in the QS World University Rankings (2018), HKUST offers a wide selection of research postgraduate studies in Science, Engineering, Business and Management, Humanities and Social Science, Environmental Studies, and Public Policy leading to the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. All programmes are taught in English. Read less