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Dual and Joint Programs

Students interested in completing more than one graduate degree may be interested in our MD/PhD, dual MBA/MS or joint JD/PHD/MS programs. Please contact bioe_admissions@stanford.edu for questions regarding any of the below programs.

MD/PhD

Students interested in a career-oriented toward bioengineering and medicine can pursue the combined MD/PhD program. Stanford provides two ways to earn an MD/PhD: 

  • US citizens and permanent residents can apply to the Medical Scientist Training Program and can be accepted with funding from both the MD and PhD programs with stipend/tuition. They can then select a bioengineering laboratory for their PhD.
  • Students not admitted to the Medical Scientist Training Program must apply and be admitted separately to the MD program and the PhD program of their choice.

The PhD degree is administered by the Department of Bioengineering. To be formally admitted as a PhD degree candidate in this combined degree program, the student must apply through normal departmental channels and must have earned or have plans to earn an MS in bioengineering or another engineering discipline at Stanford or another university. The MS requires 45 units of coursework, which consists of core bioengineering courses, technical electives, seminars and 6 unrestricted units. In addition, students will be expected to pass the Department of Bioengineering PhD qualifying examination.

For students fulfilling the full MD requirements who earned their master’s-level engineering degree at Stanford, the Department of Bioengineering will waive its normal departmental requirement that the 15 units applied toward the PhD degree (beyond the master’s degree level) be formal course work. Consistent with the university’s PhD requirements, the department will instead accept 15 units comprised of courses, research or seminars that are approved by the student’s academic advisor and the department chair. Students not completing their MS engineering degree at Stanford will be required to take 15 units of formal course work in engineering-related areas, as determined by their academic advisor.

Dual MBA/MS

Stanford offers the opportunity to pursue a dual MS/MBA, which combines its world-leading programs in engineering and business. Admitted students fulfill the degree requirements for each degree with advising from BioE and GSB. Students may choose to pursue the dual MS/MBA concurrently or consecutively.

Candidates interested in pursuing the dual MS/MBA must apply to and be accepted by the other program separately, then notify the BioE program or GSB. Candidates may apply concurrently to both programs or apply to the dual degree program during the first year as an MBA or MS student.

For more information about applying to the MBA and BioE MS program, please consult the MBA admissions website and BioE graduate admissions website.

Joint JD/MS/PhD

The School of Law and the Department of Bioengineering offer joint programs leading to either a JD degree combined with an MS degree in Bioengineering or to a JD combined with a PhD in Bioengineering.

The JD/MS and JD/PhD degree programs are designed for students who wish to prepare themselves intensively for careers in areas relating to both law and bioengineering. Students interested in either joint degree program must apply and gain entrance separately to the School of Law and the Department of Bioengineering and, as an additional step, must secure permission from both academic units to pursue degrees in those units as part of a joint degree program. Interest in either joint degree program should be noted on the student’s admission applications and may be considered by the admission committee of each program. Alternatively, an enrolled student in either the Law School or the Bioengineering Department may apply for admission to the other program and for joint degree status in both academic units after commencing study in either program.

Joint degree students may elect to begin their course of study in either the School of Law or the Department of Bioengineering. Faculty advisers from each academic unit will participate in the planning and supervising of the student’s joint program. Students must be enrolled full time in the Law School for the first year of law school, and, at some point during the joint program, may be required to devote one or more quarters largely or exclusively to studies in the Bioengineering program regardless of whether enrollment at that time is in the Law School or the Department of Bioengineering. At all other times, enrollment may be in the graduate school or the Law School, and students may choose courses from either program regardless of where enrolled. Students must satisfy the requirements for both the JD and the MS or PhD degrees as specified in the Stanford Bulletin or elsewhere.

The Law School shall approve courses from the Bioengineering Department that may count toward the JD degree, and the Bioengineering Department shall approve courses from the Law School that may count toward the MS or PhD degree in Bioengineering. In either case, approval may consist of a list applicable to all joint degree students or may be tailored to each student’s program. The lists may differ depending on whether the student is pursuing an MS or a PhD in Bioengineering.

In the case of a JD/MS program, no more than 45 units of approved courses may be counted toward both degrees. In the case of a JD/PhD program, no more than 54 units of approved courses may be counted toward both degrees. In either case, no more than 36 units of courses that originate outside the Law School may count toward the law degree. To the extent that courses under this joint degree program originate outside of the Law School but count toward the law degree, the Law School credits permitted under Section 17(1) of the Law School Regulations shall be reduced on a unit-per-unit basis, but not below zero.

The maximum number of Law School credits that may be counted toward the MS or PhD in Bioengineering is the greater of: (i) 15 units; or (ii) the maximum number of units from courses outside of the department that MS or PhD candidates in Bioengineering are permitted to count toward the applicable degree under general departmental guidelines or in the case of a particular student’s individual program. Tuition and financial aid arrangements will normally be through the school in which the student is then enrolled.