3.2 Program of Study

The Program of Study is a plan of course work required to meet a student’s specific degree goals. The Program of Study is developed in consultation with the student’s Graduate Adviser and submitted to the administrative office of the student’s Home Campus by April of the first year. While this form must be submitted in the first year, it can be modified in subsequent years as necessary. In its entirety, the Program of Study includes Major and Minor areas of study, general Area Requirements, a set of required Bioengineering seminars, and an ethics course. These items are detailed below.

Area Requirements

All students must complete the Area Requirements listed in Table 3 at some time during their academic career. Courses may be selected from appropriate offerings at Berkeley or UCSF and are usually completed in the first year. Students may also apply courses taken prior to entering the program toward Area Requirements, if approved by their Graduate Adviser. All proposed courses should be listed on the Area Requirements Form, which must be updated annually to reflect changes. The Area Requirements form must be completed and submitted with approving signatures to the Group Administrator on the Home Campus during the Spring Semester of the first two years.

Some of the courses used to satisfy Area Requirements may also be counted toward the Major or Minor areas (see next section), but they must be taken while enrolled as a student in the UCSF/UCB Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering.

Table 3: Bioengineering Area Requirements


Semester Units

Quarter Units

Anatomy, Physiology and Biology



Biochemistry, and Chemistry beyond General Chemistry



Engineering in a traditional discipline and Computer Science



Mathematics (beyond linear algebra and differential equations) and Statistics



Major and Minor Areas

The Program of Study identifies a Major field in which the student will complete sixteen semester units of graduate level coursework and a Minor field comprising eight units of graduate level or equivalent coursework exclusive of seminars and research. All of these courses should be taken on a graded basis. There are the following exceptions:

1. Students who already hold a Masters Degree or professional degree (M.D., D.D.S., or D.V.M.) when entering the program may use courses from their degree toward their Minor field, if approved by the Head Graduate Adviser. In this case, the Major field must be in an area complementary to the student’s prior training.

2. The major area of study should be composed mainly of graduate course work; however up to six units of undergraduate upper division courses toward the major area of study may be applied. The inclusion of any upper division courses requires approval from the Head Graduate Adviser and must be justified in writing.

3. Whenever possible, courses should be letter-graded. A course with the S/U option is only considered acceptable for meeting the requirements toward the Major field if the student is able to present sufficient justification for the inclusion of the course. A request for exception for such courses must be submitted in writing to the student’s Graduate Adviser and approved by the Head Graduate Adviser.

Students should consult their Graduate Advisers in selecting the Major and Minor Fields of study so that their Program of Study provides a strong knowledge base in biology and engineering. In planning for the Major and Minor, it should be noted that Berkeley is on the semester system and UCSF is on the quarter system and that 1.5 quarter units are counted as equivalent to 1 semester unit.