Prof. Pruitt is jointly appointed across Biological Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Biomolecular Science and Engineering, with a courtesy affiliation with MCDB. Barriers to doing research across programs and lab are low at UCSB and you should choose your program based on your background and interests in the required courses and qualifying exam process for the degree you seek.
This article written by my colleague Rob Candler, now at UCLA, is an oldie but a goodie with lots of tips about grad school:
- R.N. Candler, “Stuff Most Students Never Ask About Grad School,” IEEE Potentials, vol. 24, pp. 4-10, 2005.
If you are interested in our lab for research, it is a good idea to reach out to current students in the lab to learn more about what they do. I always consult with them first in designing rotation projects for new students. I encourage all new PhD students to do at least two rotation projects before choosing a lab, it helps you get to know us and what we do, to learn a set of new skills, and helps us get to know you and determine if there is a project in our lab that fits your interests for a PhD.