M.S. & Ph.D. in biomedical engineering

Program at a glance

Degrees offered

  • M.S. in biomedical engineering
  • Ph.D. in biomedical engineering

Admissions requirements

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Minimum GRE: 301
  • Minimum TOEFL: 550 

Application deadlines

  • Fall enrollment: February 1
  • Spring enrollment: November 1


This program is part of the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP), a tuition-savings program that makes out-of-state graduate studies more affordable for students. Through WRGP, you will receive a reduced tuition rate, giving you more educational options for your money.

About the M.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering

The interdisciplinary graduate  program in biomedical engineering combines core coursework with focused areas of proficiency that allow you more in-depth exposure to your areas of particular interest. The program's introductory course is team-taught by biomedical engineering faculty from a range of disciplines and outside lecturers are invited to give students a broad exposure to the field.

M.S. in biomedical engineering

You can earn an M.S. in biomedical engineering with a focus on either bioinstrumentation, prosthetic devices, bioelectromagnetics, nanobiotechnology, engineering approaches to integrative cancer biology or computational biology. The master's degree program offers courses that cover the theory and design fundamentals at multiple scales of biological processes, function and instrumentation.

You can choose from two degree options:

  • Plan A: Requires core and specialized coursework and a thesis on an area of interest in biomedical engineering.
  • Plan B: The coursework-only option requires additional coursework credits in lieu of a thesis. Students choosing this option will not be eligible for graduate assistantships.

Both programs require students to complete core coursework as well as classes in three focal areas.

Ph.D. in biomedical engineering

The University's Ph.D. in biomedical engineering is an interdisciplinary program that emphasizes a synthesis of biological processes, developing novel instrumentation, or modeling at different scales of biological or ecological systems. Your area of emphasis may include advanced nanosensors and “lab on a chip” technology, bioinformatics, or integrated techniques in cancer biology. In the Ph.D. program, you are involved in many aspects of original research, advancing scientific knowledge in specific areas.

Doctoral students must complete additional requirements including:

  • A research rotation
  • Communications course
  • Presentation of work at a national or international scientific meeting
  • A one-credit comprehensive examination consisting of writing and presenting a grant proposal

Areas of proficiency

One of the strengths of our program is the wide range of specializations you can choose from.

If you are in the M.S, program, you will choose three areas of proficiency, with at least one coming from the area of life and medical sciences and one from engineering and physical sciences.  

If you are in the Ph.D. program, you will choose four areas of proficiency related to your research. At least one area must come from the life and medical sciences grouping and one area must come from engineering and physical sciences.


Admissions requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering

Applicants to the master's degree program should have a strong undergraduate background in math and science. In general, we recommend applicants meet the following requirements:

  • Two semesters of biology or physiology
  • Two semesters of physics or biophysics
  • Two semesters of chemistry or biochemistry
  • Calculus (including differential equations)
  • Proficiency in at least one computer programming language
  • GPA

    M.S. and Ph.D. applicants: A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0

  • GRE

    M.S. and Ph.D. applicants: A minimum GRE score of 301

  • TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo

    For international applicants to both the M.S. and Ph.D. program: A minimum TOEFL of 79, IELTS of 6.5, or Duolingo of 105 is required.

How to apply

You can start your application through The Graduate School website, which provides detailed instructions on the application process.

The biomedical engineering program also requires an additional page to be submitted with the application that contains the following information:

  1. Name
  2. Brief description of research plans you have discussed with faculty members identified in your Graduate School application
  3. A proposed start date for the program (which can also be the beginning of the fall or spring term, as described in the Graduate School application)
  4. Brief paragraph describing your career goals in the area of biomedical engineering
  5. Sentence describing how you learned about our program

Applicants should identify a general area of research interest prior to submitting an application. The admissions committee considers areas of common interest among students and biomedical engineering faculty during the admissions process. You are encouraged to contact individual biomedical engineering faculty members to discuss research interests.

Application deadlines

The University's BME Ph.D. program does not restrict entry to the fall or spring terms. You may begin your program with a research rotation almost any time of the year. If you wish to begin at the start of a semester, however, applications must be submitted by:

  • Fall semester: February 1
  • Spring semester: November 1

Admission fee-waiver for highly qualified applicants to the Ph.D. in biomedical engineering

Domestic students that have a quantitative GRE score ≥ 165 and international students that additionally have a TOEFL ibt score ≥ 102 (or IELTS score ≥ 7.5) are eligible to have their application fee paid by the Department of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering. Contact the program director for additional information.


Find a faculty advisor

Your faculty advisor will help you outline a course of study for your graduate degree and may be able to help you find research assistantships.

Biomedical engineering faculty

Graduate faculty in the biomedical engineering program can be found in a number of departments around the University.

You can find a complete list of graduate faculty on the Graduate School's website. Search for "biomedical engineering" to find faculty affiliated with our program. 


Program cost and scholarships

Program cost

Information about graduate student tuition and fees is available on The Graduate School website.

Graduate assistantships

Ph.D. students in this program as well as master's degree students pursuing Plan A, the thesis option, are eligible to apply for department assistantships:

  • Teaching assistantships are very limited and highly competitive. International students typically need to complete at least one semester in the program before being considered for teaching assistantships.
  • Research assistantships are offered by individual faculty. Prospective students are encouraged to contact faculty directly to inquire about research opportunities.

Assistantships include tuition and fees as well as a stipend for living expenses. Students will be considered for available assistantships only after they are admitted to the program. You can learn more about graduate assistantships on the Graduate School website.

College of Engineering graduate assistantships

Details on graduate research assistantships funded by the College of Engineering are available on the College website.

Funding resources from the Graduate School

The Graduate School maintains lists of additional funding opportunities from both University and external sources

Funding resources for international students

Information about scholarships and financial aid for international students is also available on the Office of International Students and Scholars website.

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