Doctoral Degree - Emphases

Doctoral Degree - Designated Emphases

Doctoral Degree - Designated Emphases

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The ECE Ph.D. program is affiliated with the Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology (DEB) inter-graduate group program, the Designated Emphasis in Biophotonics and Bioimaging (DEBB) inter-graduate group program, and the Designated Emphasis in Neuroengineering (DENE) program, which allow Ph.D. students to receive and be credited for training in these research areas.

Biotechnology Program

The Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology (DEB) uses an experiential learning model to help doctoral students from 29 UC Davis STEM disciplines develop an understanding of the “business of biotech” and acquire transferable professional skills in entrepreneurship, leadership, team science, project management and science communication. Detailed information on program requirements, coursework, professional development opportunities, affiliated federal training programs and current participants may be found on the DEB program website.  Coursework and individualized mentoring ensures that our DEB students are familiar with a wide array of career paths open to STEM doctoral graduates and develop both technical and professional skills needed for success. The cornerstone of our DEB program is a professional internship, typically lasting 3 to 6 months and taking place within the biotech industry, research institute or other cross-disciplinary setting.

Biophotonics Program

Biophotonics is a highly interdisciplinary field that investigates the fundamental principles governing light interaction with biological organisms, tissues, cells and molecules and develops new technology for basic science and clinical applications based on these principles. The Designated Emphasis in Biophotonics and Bioimaging (DEBB) is a graduate program for:

  • Students doing advanced research in optics/photonics with imaging technologies, computational models, and visualization methods with applications in biology and medicine
  • Students in any area of biology or medicine who use or will use optical or imaging technologies ranging from micro- to meso- to macro-scale in their research.

Program benefits include:

  1. Designated Emphasis title on your Ph.D. diploma
  2. Theoretical and rigorous treatment of light generation and light-tissue interactions through coursework
  3. Working knowledge of prevalent optical techniques and how they are applied in other fields (e.g. tissue engineering, neuroscience)
  4. Networking and career opportunities
  5. Distinguished seminars from leaders in the field
  6. Opportunities to participate in summer schools nationally/internationally.

Neuroengineering Program

The Designated Emphasis in Neuroengineering (DE-NE) program addresses the pressing need to train the next generation of engineers, scientists, and clinicians, while engaging the public and policymakers, in the highly interdisciplinary field of neuroengineering. The DE provides the necessary structure, advising, and community for a training in neuroengineering and is an entry point for DE students in acquiring knowledge in key research areas and tools in neuroengineering and on NIH-style proposal writing. The journal club and seminar series expose the students to the related neuroengineering literature and provide networking opportunities with a diverse group of speakers. Participation in the annual Research Symposium on Neuroengineering will give all the DE community an opportunity to showcase their research via poster and oral presentations, and network with other researchers.


Please refer to the Doctoral Degree for additional information and contact our graduate advisors with any questions you may have.