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Department of Biomedical Engineering

Graduate Admissions FAQ

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  • The admissions committee for Biomedical Engineering reviews GRE General test scores (subject scores are not necessary), performance at previous institutions/universities, at least 3 letters of recommendations, and a personal statement. Information on where to submit official transcripts, test scores and letters of recommendation can be found at:

  • Some of our students do not have a BME degree when they entered our program. These students are encouraged to take prerequisite courses in areas they lack. Mostly these courses include Calculus-Multivariable, Calculus-Differential Equations, Cell Biology, and Physiology.

  • Since the department provides funding for all incoming PhD students for their first year, acceptance rates vary significantly from year-to-year for PhD students, depending on available funds. In the past, entering students average to about 5-10 PhD and 10-30 Master's per fall term.

  • The BME graduate program does not offer pre-screening of applicants prior to the application process. The average GPA and GRE scores of our students are provided below. To begin the formal application procedure, please visit the Rutgers Graduate Admissions Website.

  • PhD: GPA 3.4, GRE 153(V), 165(Q), 4.0(A)
    Master's: GPA 3.1, GRE 153(V), 158(Q), 4.0(A)

  • The PhD, MS and ME graduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering are awarded by Rutgers University, through the School of Graduate Studies.

  • There are two types of Masters students in BME: M.S with Thesis and M.Eng Non-Thesis. Both tracks should finish their Masters degree in 2-3 years.

  • Please contact the graduate program if you seek to pursue a part-time PhD degree. We can help evaluate your prerequisites and help position your curriculum and research plans to give you maximum flex-time. The program encourages part-time applicants particularly from regional high tech pharma and healthcare industry. In order to support the work schedules of such applicants, the BME program has recently rescheduled many of its core courses from mornings to mid-to-late afternoons. This should allow most part-time PhD students to register for one or two courses per semester while taking a half-day off from work. Several new part-time PhD applicants have expressed interested in the program or already joined the program, including employees of Johnson & Johnson and Life-Cell. This program should witness an expansion in the years to come.

  • Students should complete their PhD degrees in 5 years with a max of 7 years.

  • Yes, students must keep in mind that the entrance criteria into the PhD program are more stringent than that of the Master's program.

  • Rutgers compares exceedingly well with these department and even exceeds some of those listed in certain important objective categories. There are two main reasons that Rutgers BME is not yet on the top ten list. First, the listing is largely determined by a vague and subjective value called “reputation” which is a complex function of history, public relations, quality, and how elite the sponsoring university is. The second reason is that BME at Rutgers is fairly young; although students have been awarded MS and PhD degrees in BME since the late 1960's, the "department" was established in 1986 and the undergraduate program was established in 1999. Despite our youth, BME department is extremely dynamic and vibrant with a strong and well-funded faculty.

    It is important to note that Rutgers BME was recently evaluated by the NRC (National Research Council) which puts our graduate program in the top 25% BME programs nationally. BME at Rutgers has grown in strength tremendously since the last evaluation in 2010.

  • All first year PhD students are supported by departmental or university fellowships or graduate assistantships, which provide stipend, tuition remission, and sometimes student fees for the first year. After the first year, students will be supported by their advisors through fellowships and graduate assistantships. There are also a number of multi-year fellowships available for advanced students through NSF and NIH training programs. BME also has a limited number of teaching assistantships for graduate students who demonstrate outstanding teaching skills.

  • Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers does not currently offer financial support for MS/ME students. Financial support must be initiated from the student.

  • Through communication! During the first year, the Biomedical Engineering Student Society (BESS) sponsors a lunch seminar series where faculty members present research opportunities in his/her lab. Through these lunch meetings, the graduate student guide, and direct communication with faculty, students are asked to narrow their search to 3 candidate advisors during the first and second semesters of the first year. Students also have the opportunity to do laboratory rotations during the spring and summer of their first year. A final selection is generally made, at the latest, by the beginning of second academic year.

  • PhD students must take 15 courses (3 core BME courses, 1 Advanced Math course, 1 Advanced Biology course, 1 BioStatistics course, 1 Life Science elective, 5 Developmental courses, and 3 Bioengineering electives). The next step is a NIH-like written proposal based on BME literature designed to test the students’ ability to integrate across disciplines along with successful completion of the core BME courses. The third step is the successful defense of a written thesis proposal.

  • In the past 4 years, >90% of students have passed the written qualifiers on their initial attempt. Students who do not pass the first time are given a chance to revise the proposal or take additional courses to make up the deficiency.

  • To date, about 74% of our graduates have taken industrial positions, 14% have taken academic positions, 7% are in government labs, and 5% are self-employed in their own start-up firms.

  • Location, location, location! New Jersey has the #1 pharmaceutical industry and the #5 medical device industry in the country. The biotechnology sector is also very strong and growing. Doing graduate work at Rutgers puts you in the center of more high technology biomedical research than anywhere in the world. A second advantage is our industrious and talented faculty.

  • The student body averages 120 students with the following breakdown:

    • 2/3 are PhD students
    • 1/3 are MS/ME students
    • 1/2 are female
    • over 3/4 are US citizens/Permanent Residents
    • over 20% are underrepresented minorities

    Here is a sample of where our students have come from:

    United States

    Johns Hopkins, Cornell, MIT, U Penn, UCSD, Rutgers, Tulane, U Virginia, RPI, WPI, Case Western, U Rochester, U Toledo, Northwestern U, Princeton, Stevens, Columbia, U Maryland, U Michigan, NJIT, UT Austin, U Minnesota, Cooper Union, Drexel, U Miami, U Arizona, Boston U, Delaware State, U Massachusetts, U Washington, Lehigh


    Kyoto U, Seoul National U, National Taiwan U, Tsingua U, IIT-Bombay, IIT-Madras, Nanyang Tech U, Nagoya Tech, Birla Inst Tech Sci, Huazhong U Sci Tech, U of Poona, U of Madras

*For other information not listed, please email us at Please notethe BME Graduate Admissions committee cannot pre-screen applicants prior to the completion of the admissions application process.