Course Requirements

All trainees are required to take 10 didactic courses (30 credit hours) for their doctoral degree. These are divided into two groups: 7 core courses and 3 elective courses. Pitt Bioengineering graduate students can freely take courses at Carnegie Mellon University that will count towards their PhD degree without any added costs. The course curriculum described below conforms to the Bioengineering PhD requirements.

We have designed the curriculum with the specified courses to be the core courses for the Bioengineering in Psychiatry Training Program. They are designed to provide a breadth of knowledge in (bio)engineering, life sciences, and mathematics as required by Bioengineering Graduate Program as well as emphasis on neuroscience and mental health subject matter as required by this training program but not required by any of the Graduate Tracks in Bioengineering.

The core courses for this particular training program are: 

  1. MSNBIO 2102 - Systems Neurobiology
  2. NROSCI 2005 - Cognitive Neuroscience 
  3. PSY 2205 - Psychopathology  
  4. MSNBIO/NROSCI 2112 - Neurobiology of Disease 
  5. MATH 3375 - Introduction to Computational Neuroscience (or other suitable math course)
  6. BIOENG 2241 - Societal, Political, and Ethical Issues in Biotechnology
  7. BIOENG 2525 - Applied Biostatistics or CMU 36-746 - Statistical Methods for Neuroscience

The 7 courses defined above will be required for all pre-docs in the training program. Each track will have the ability to develop an additional 3-course curriculum tailored for the student’s research interest in order to satisfy the PhD course depth requirement (neural engineering, neuroimaging, etc.).

Some of the elective courses include:

  • BIOENG 2186 - Neural Systems Engineering 
  • BIOENG 2540 - Neural Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering 
  • BIOENG 2600 - Neuroimaging  
  • BIOENG 2615 - Intro to Neural Engineering 
  • BIOENG 2630 - Methods in Image Analysis 
  • BIOENG 2650 - Learning and Control of Movement 
  • BIOENG 2330:  Biomedical Imaging 
  • BIOENG 2505 - Multimodal Biomedical Imaging Technologies: Functional, Molecular, and Hybrid Imaging Techniques 
  • BIOENG 2005 - RF (Radiofrequency) Medical Devices and Applications of Electromagnetics in Medicine 
  • ECE 2696 - Adaptive Control 
  • ECE 3650 - Optimal Control; Digital Signal Processing 
  • ECE 2646 - Linear System Theory 
  • CMU 10-601 - Machine Learning 
  • CMU 15-883 - Computational Models of Neural System 
  • CMU 42-590 / 18-699 - Neural Signal Processing 
  • CMU 86-595 / 42-595 - Neural Data Analysis

*Note that the participating faculty teach many of the aforementioned courses.*

Clinical Training 

In addition to the didactic coursework, all trainees are required to participate in clinical training, which includes a longitudinal clinical experience, tailored by the Psychiatry mentor and student, and two 1-week intensive observerships. The longitudinal experience starts in the summer after the first year and will continue until the end of the fourth year.