“Over the years, what has impressed me the most about Caltech is the young people I meet; they are there to make a difference in the world that we all live in," says Donna Rosen. “They really do want to make the world a better place, and I find that to be unique among the universities I am involved with. Caltech’s standards are different.”

Graduate Studies

Students interested in pursuing bioengineering-related graduate studies at Caltech may apply for admission to any of the following graduate programs.


Bioengineering research at Caltech focuses on the application of engineering principles to the design, analysis, construction, and manipulation of biological systems, and on the discovery and application of new engineering principles inspired by the properties of biological systems. Areas of research emphasis include: biodevices, bioimaging, bioinspired design, biomechanics, biomedical engineering, cell and tissue engineering, molecular programming, synthetic biology, and systems biology.

Only the PhD degree is offered in BE. The goal of the doctoral program is to prepare students to become leading scientists and engineers in academia and industry.

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Medical Engineering

The research and academic pursuits of the MedE faculty are focused on applying medical sciences and multi-disciplinary engineering principles to the design, analysis, and physical demonstration of micro and nanoscale medical devices and systems for translational medicine, including innovative diagnostics, implants, and therapeutic systems.

Currently, the MedE Department offers the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science, with much heavier emphasis on PhD level study and research. For more information, go to

Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics (BMB) is an interdisciplinary program at the interface of biology, chemistry, and physics that seeks to understand the basic molecular mechanisms of life. Thus, biochemists and molecular biophysicists study the atomic structure and folding of biopolymers, their interactions with each other and with small molecules, and the roles of particular biopolymers and biopolymer assemblies in cellular physiology. The basic building block of life is the cell; the intellectual focus of modern biochemistry and molecular biophysics is to understand how individual parts interact to give cells their wide spectrum of functions. In particular, biochemistry and molecular biophysics addresses the principles through which the individual components of cells combine in an orderly self-association to produce their form, their function, and their dynamic behavior.

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Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering (ChE) focuses on fundamental chemical, biological, and transport processes and their application in understanding, designing, and controlling a broad spectrum of complex chemical, biochemical, and environmental processes. The faculty and students utilize their analytical skills and laboratory resources to study diverse processes and to synthesize new materials. The combination of engineering principles, chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics that characterizes chemical engineering at Caltech enables students and faculty to contribute to the solution of a wide range of critical problems and to aid in creating new areas of science and technology.

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Biotechnology Leadership Pre-doctoral Training Grant Program

Established in 2015, the Biotechnology Leadership Program (BLP) in Pre-doctoral Training brings together 21 outstanding Caltech faculty members from multiple graduate options to conduct interdisciplinary biomedical research at the micro- and nano-scales. The BLP provides trainees unique opportunities to participate in industry-relevant research and exposes trainees to the wide variety of careers available to biomedical leaders.

New BLP trainees join the program after their first graduate year at Caltech. Sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences in the National Institutes of Health (1T32GM112592) with additional financial support provided by the Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center at Caltech, BLP trainees will participate in a 2-3 month industry internship. The BLP Annual Retreat offers trainees a chance to connect with faculty and students from across the Caltech campus, other Caltech resources like the Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Partnership, and with invited industry scientists.

To join, apply to one of the graduate options affiliated with the 21 BLP faculty who participate in the program.

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