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Biomedical Engineering Graduate Admissions

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Program and Admittance Requirements

Thank you for your interest in the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering Sciences (SBES)!

All applicants to the SBES program must apply through the Virginia Tech Graduate School's online process.

Admittance Terms

Admittance to the SBES graduate program is for the fall semester only through the online application process at Virginia Tech (regardless of the "home campus" site chosen).

Application Deadline: January 5

The minimal requirements for a complete application consist of the following items:

  • A completed online application
  • Application fee of $75*
  • Scan of official transcript(s) - submitted with the application
  • Official GRE scores - **waived for fall 2021  and 2022 applicants** See note below
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores (if required)
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Résumé

* Explore our options for graduate application fee waivers!

Note about GRE scores for fall 2021 and fall 2022 Applications: In light of the complications in GRE testing created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the GRE test requirement will be temporarily waived for MS and PhD applications to the Fall 2021 and 2022 VT-WFU SBES program. Applicants will have the option to submit GRE test scores when applying, but these will not be required for the application to be considered complete. Applicants will be evaluated for admission based on a holistic application review, with emphasis placed on the applicant’s GPA, prior coursework, letters of support, personal statement, past research performance, and interviews conducted after the application submission.

SBES Degree Programs

Program Degree Location
BME M.S. Either campus
BME Ph.D. Either campus
BME M.D. / Ph.D. Wake Forest University only
BME D.V.M. / Ph.D. Virginia Tech only
BME MBA / Ph.D. Wake Forest University only

Minimum admission requirements for SBES

  • A GPA of 3.0 (3.5 or above is preferred) for students accepted into the program.
  • A GRE score typically of 310 or higher (V+Q) and analytical writing score of 4.0 or higher on the "New GRE Revised Test" is preferred for students accepted into the program. **See note above about GRE not being required for fall 2021 applicants**
  • A TOEFL minimum score of 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer based), and 100 (internet based) is required for international students. IELTS may be used in place of a TOEFL test and have a minimum score of Band 7.0 preferably.
  • Letters of recommendation, previous research experience, and program needs are heavily weighed.
  • A B.S. degree, preferably in engineering, from a recognized university.

Test Requirements

Institution Code: 5859
Dept. Code: None required 
No subject test required 
All three general tests required* (Verbal, Quantitative, Analytical Writing)    

  • V+Q: 310 or higher preferred 
  • AW: 4.0 or higher preferred

*Test scores must not be older than 5 years from the date of application

GRE scores **waived for fall 2021 and 2022 applicants** See note above, nearer the top of this page.
All official GRE scores must be sent to the Virginia Tech graduate school regardless of which campus will be your "home campus" site. If you are applying to the Wake Forest campus, you must send official scores to the graduate school there as well.

TOEFL: (for international students only)
Institution Code: 5859 
Dept. Code: None 
Minimum score required*: 

  • Paper-based: 600  
  • Computer-based: 250   
  • Internet-based: 100

*Test scores must not be older than two years from the date of application.

IELTS: (for international students only, can be used in lieu of TOEFL)
Institution Code: 5859 
Dept. Code: None required 
Minimum score required: Band 7.0

For more information about TOEFL requirements and international applications in general, see SBES international students.

Letters of Recommendation

  • Three letters of reference are required which can be submitted within the application system.
  • It is your responsibility to keep track of the progress of your letter submission to the graduate school through the application site. You can log in to your application, and if necessary, send an additional reminder to the recommender to write your letter or add new recommenders.

Statement of Purpose and Resume

  • A resume is required to be uploaded into the application system.
  • A statement of purpose must also be uploaded into the application system and consist of a one- to two-page document stating your reasons for seeeking graduate work at SBES, as well as an explanation of your research interests and your professional goals.

Choosing a Research Concentration

On the “supplemental” page of the application, you will be asked to specify research concentrations and faculty members with whom you would like to work with. You'll be able to rank, in order of preference your top three (3) research concentrations:

  • Automotive Safety
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomechanics
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Cardiovascular Engineering
  • Nanomedicine & Nanobioengineering
  • Neuroengineering
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Translational Cancer Research

Selecting an Advisor

You may also choose up to three faculty members from the SBES primary/affiliate list. We encourage you to explore each one in order to find those with research interests that appeal to you.

Choosing a "Home" Campus

  • Please note the location of the faculty and/or areas of research you are interested in when deciding campus to choose. This will help you with your decision regarding location.
  • While it is important (and desirable) for you to decide on campus location from the beginning, keep in mind that it is always possible to make a campus change later on in your program, if you and your committee deem it advisable or necessary.

Note: At the beginning of the Virginia Tech application you are asked to choose a campus. However, be aware that Wake Forest is not listed here as one of the choices. You will have to choose Blacksburg as a response to the item. But later in the departmental section of the application, you will have the opportunity to indicate your exact campus choice.  Here you can choose Blacksburg, Winston-Salem, or 'Either’.

Special Requirements

Engineering Applicants

SBES is looking for strong engineering undergraduates. A biology or physiology background is not required, but having some life science background may strengthen a student's application.

Non-engineering Applicants

Consideration will be given to exceptional physical and life science students, particularly to those with a strong background in mathematics and some engineering basics. To be eligible for acceptance, students should meet the scores listed above along with having taken at least the following courses or equivalents:

Required: (with a grade of B or better)

  • 3 semesters of calculus, one of which should be multi-variable calculus
  • 1 semester of differential equations
  • 2 semesters of calculus-based physics


  • 1 or more engineering courses, as appropriate to area of interest
  • Chemistry or biology with lab
  • Computer programming

The Review Process

  • Once an application is submitted, it is available to the department to review. The SBES admissions committee and faculty on both campuses will only review COMPLETE applications. 
  • Please note that the graduate coordinator is NOT part of the admissions committee and does not make decisions on admissions or financial assistance.
  • The admissions review process will take place January through May. Once the decision results are made by the graduate committee and faculty, the graduate schools will be notified, and an official notification will go out to the applicant. The department makes recommendations to both graduate schools for admission or decline, but the official result is rendered by the Virginia Tech Graduate School.
  • Funded offers will be sent in a separate letter should a specific faculty member wish to fund you in their lab. All offers are based on availability of funds through the faculty advisor or through fellowships.

Application Status

Applicants will be able to view their application status at the Virginia Tech Information System's website where they applied. Information on application status cannot be released by telephone.

Estimated dates for the posting of admission decisions are April 1 through May 1 for complete applications received by January 5. 

The online status only indicates if the application is complete at the Virginia Tech Graduate School, not necessarily with the School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences.

NOTE: In order to comply with security regulations and protect your privacy, the department will NOT give out application status information by phone or email!  Please do NOT contact the graduate coordinator about application statuses. You can go to the website where you applied and obtain access to your record to check on the status of your application.

Deferred Admission

Deferrals are granted only for exceptional circumstances, which must be reviewed by the admissions committee. To make a deferral request, email the graduate coordinator at Virginia Tech (Amanda Covey).

Contact Information

Virginia Tech campus

Amanda Covey, Biomedical Engineering / SBES Graduate Coordinator
VT-WFU School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences
317 Kelly Hall, 325 Stanger Street, Mail Code 0298
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Wake Forest campus

Beth Whitsett, Wake Forest Graduate Admissions
Wake Forest Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Medical Center Blvd.
Winston-Salem, NC 27157

Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program Contact

Amanda Covey, Biomedical Engineering Graduate Coordinator
(540) 231-8789