Doctor of Philosophy dual-title in biomedical imaging

During the last ten years, a major effort has been undertaken at Wayne State University to provide a broad range of imaging related courses for all Schools on campus. Some years ago, a number of departments approved a special PhD curriculum focused on imaging by requiring 18 credits from the courses provide in the imaging specialty outline. Today, we are happy to offer the imaging specialization as a formal secondary degree focus in the dual degree program concept. This program will provide a major attraction to new graduate students and at the same time promote interdisciplinary research efforts bringing faculty across departments together.

What is the dual title program in biomedical imaging?

Dual-title areas of study typically are interdisciplinary with courses and faculty housed in various departments. When incorporated into an existing program, they provide students with knowledge and skills that graduates of traditional programs do not have. Dual-title areas often exist in new and emerging fields, such as medical imaging, generally where the most significant advances in research occur. Adding such a dual-title area to an existing program will produces PhDs who can learn the most current knowledge and who have cutting edge research skills.

In addition, the dual-title degree program is different from a degree program with a minor. The minor can be accomplished by choosing a sufficient number of courses in the minor topic. In the case of a dual-title degree program, the student is accepted by the graduate committee, since this is a specialized imaging program. However, as the dual-title area of study does not exist as a separate (graduate) degree program, a student can apply for a dual-title degree only after being enrolled in an existing graduate program, such as Biomedical Engineering. The dual-title area of study requires a substantial amount of course work (in this case in imaging) carried out under the supervision of a faculty advisor from the dual-title area and approved by the special committee. The student should have the dual-title focus as part of (if not the major part of) his/her thesis.

Why choose to join the dual title program?

The degree program gains an advantage in recruiting because it can offer, in addition to its regular program, the dual-title option that likely is not available in competing programs. Students will make faculty contacts outside their home department and will gain knowledge in the intellectual content and research methodologies of the dual-title area. They will also become familiar with professional organizations and funding mechanisms outside their department. As graduates of the dual-title degree program, they will gain a competitive edge in the job market and will enhance the reputation of the degree program. Finally, the dual-title area will be strengthened by the demand for its courses and faculty from the degree program(s) with which it is associated.


Students who have been admitted to any biomedical related Ph.D. program are eligible to apply for admission to the Biomedical Imaging Dual-Title program at the end of their first year.

A three person (or greater) committee will review the applications and decide whether the applicant is eligible to join the program. Upon acceptance, the student needs to choose at least one faculty member who has imaging experience to act as either his research advisor or a co-advisor and who will serve as one member of his/her dissertation committee. The student should incorporate imaging in a major way in their thesis research.

Application needs are:

  1. Cover letter (you will attach)
  2. A statement of interest in imaging
  3. A description of imaging related course work and research and/or the study program
  4. Describe how this dual title program will facilitate the student's own research and enhance his future career path
  5. A copy of most recent Plan of Work  (you will attach)
  6. Dual title program minimum rrequirement checklist You will need to download, fill out and share this with advisor to get signature prior to filling out this application. 

Admission committee members

E. Mark Haacke, PhD, Program Director, Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering
Zhifeng Kou, PhD, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology