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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the requirements for admission to the BME program?
  2. What are the resources available to underrepresented minority students in the BME program?
  3. Can I waive my application fee?
  4. Do I have to take the GRE SUBJECT Test for admission to the BME program?
  5. What is your GRE/TOEFL institution code?
  6. Do I have to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Test?
  7. What is the deadline for application for admission to the BME program?
  8. How do I apply to UVA?
  9. I’ve submitted my application and all supporting materials. Why does my application status still show as incomplete?
  10. I’ve submitted my online application. How will I know that my materials have been received?
  11. Once I have entered my recommender in the online application, is the email sent to my recommender immediately or is it sent only after I submit the application/pay my application fee?
  12. I have submitted my application but would like to add/change one of my recommenders?
  13. What are the major research areas at UVA?
  14. What is the likelihood that I will be awarded a teaching or research assistantship to support my graduate education?
  15. Do I need to commit to a specific faculty member or lab in advance in order to receive financial aid?
  16. Can I call individual faculty on the phone and discuss mutual interests?
  17. Are there any required core courses?
  18. Is it possible to do an M.D./Ph.D. at U.Va., with the Ph.D. being in BME?
  19. Are there teaching assistantships as well as research assistantships available in BME?
  20. Can a Physics undergraduate go straight into the BME Program, or does he/she have to take several engineering courses first?
  21. Is Organic Chemistry required to enter the BME Graduate Program?
  22. What if my question isn't answered here?

What are the requirements for admission to the BME program?

The general requirements for admission to the Ph.D., M.S., or M.E. programs include a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, GRE General Test scores, a completed application packet with short essay and letters of recommendation. TOEFL scores are required for international students whose first language is not English. Qualified applicants who are deficient in certain prerequisites may be admitted with the expectation that they will remedy the deficiencies during the master's program. Prerequisite courses include introductory chemistry and biology, physics (two semesters based on calculus), mathematics through differential equations and computer programming (Matlab, C++ or Java).

We evaluate each application on its own merit recognizing that a diverse student body has diverse backgrounds. You may find it helpful to know that a typical entering class of graduate students has average GRE scores over 1350 (verbal + quantitative) and an average undergraduate GPA above 3.5 on a 4-point scale. For students whose first language is not English, TOEFL scores of 250 computer-based/600-paper based, IELTS scores of 7.0 or above or iBT scores of 90 to 100 are recommended.


What are the resources available to underrepresented minority students in the BME program?

We strive to recruit a diverse group of students to our graduate program, foster an environment of inclusiveness, and support them in multiple ways throughout their education. We firmly believe that a community of diverse graduate students in our program is integral for maintaining our position as a global leader in research and education. The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs provides a hub of activity for various diversity initiatives for BME graduate students. Center for Diversity in Engineering also organizes events to foster a community of inclusiveness and train the next generation of leaders in engineering. Numerous student organizations, including Black Graduate and Professional Student Organization, Women in Math and Science organize events geared towards BME graduate students.


Can I waive my application fee?

Please review the fee waiver information. If you believe you are eligible for a fee waiver, please complete the Fee Waiver Request and submit it for consideration. You will be notified via email once your fee waiver request has been reviewed. Please allow at least three business days for processing of your request.


Do I have to take the GRE SUBJECT Test for admission to the BME program?

No. Only the GRE General Test is required.


What is your GRE/TOEFL institution code?

The Institution code for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is 5820 or 5836. UVA does not, at this time, use a GRE specific department code.


Do I have to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Test?

Students who do NOT speak English as their native language (language first learned and spoken at home) must take the TOEFL Test.
Exceptions: If you are an international applicant that has a 4 year degree from a US institution then you do not need to send official TOEFL scores. (There is a question in the application that deals with just this.)
If you are an international applicant that has received a master’s degree from a US institution, please submit/enter your unofficial TOEFL scores into the online application (you do not need to send us official TOEFL scores) and 2 letters from English speaking professors which addresses your ability to speak English. You may send these letters to this address:

For US Postal:
Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science Admissions
P.O. Box 400103
Charlottesville, VA 22904

For UPS/FEDEX:
Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science Admissions
918 Emmett Street North
Charlottesville, VA 22903


What is the deadline for application for admission to the BME program?

If you wish to be considered for assistantships or fellowships, you should apply by December 15 for Fall matriculation.


How do I apply to UVA?

Applications must be completed and submitted on-line. Letters of recommendation should be submitted on-line. If your recommender cannot submit a recommendation on-line, recommendations may be submitted by mail to the Graduate Studies Office.

We strongly discourage applicants from mailing in any items that can be uploaded, to avoid delays in your application review and we ask that you not send duplicate copies of previously uploaded materials.

If you still need to mail documents to our office, please send them to:

For US Postal:
Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science Admissions
P.O. Box 400103
Charlottesville, VA 22904

For UPS/FEDEX:
Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science Admissions
918 Emmett Street North
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Please refer to the SEAS site for more information about the application process and all necessary forms.


I’ve submitted my application and all supporting materials. Why does my application status still show as incomplete?

Your application will only show as “complete” when you application has been submitted, your official scores and transcripts have been received and all three letters of recommendations have been received. Please note that all official transcripts, test scores and any hard-copy transcripts are received in our main admissions office and scanned or entered into our system manually. If you feel that your materials should have been received by now, but are NOT showing up when you login to your account, please note that the Graduate Admissions Office processes a very large number of applications and it may take longer than expected for your documents/information to appear online (in your account). It is very likely that your materials have been received, but have not been loaded into our application system yet. We are able to review your application with unofficial test scores and transcripts.


I’ve submitted my online application. How will I know that my materials have been received?

The best way to determine if all of your application materials have been received is to log-in to your account online. As materials are received, you will see them in the system. Please understand that all hard-copy materials and test scores are received in our main admissions office and scanned or entered into our system manually. If you feel that your materials should have been received by now, but are NOT showing up when you login to your account, please note that the Graduate Admissions Office processes a very large number of applications it may take longer than expected for your documents/information to appear online (in your account). It is very likely that your materials have been received, but have not been loaded into our application system yet. We are able to review your application with unofficial test scores and transcripts.


Once I have entered my recommender in the online application, is the email sent to my recommender immediately or is it sent only after I submit the application/pay my application fee?

When you enter the email in the online application, an email is sent out. You do not have submit the application in order for the email requesting a recommendation letter from your recommender to go out.


I have submitted my application but would like to add/change one of my recommenders?

Please email Iva Gillet (iva3@virginia.edu) with your request.


What are the major research areas at UVA?

Please see Research page.


What is the likelihood that I will be awarded a teaching or research assistantship to support my graduate education?

All Ph.D. students are supported with full tuition, fees, health insurance, and a stipend ($26,500 per year for 2012-2013). Funding sources include graduate research assistantships (GRAs), graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs), departmental fellowships, and training grants of the NIH and other federal agencies, as well as private sector support. The department assists students in applying for a variety of individual fellowships.


Do I need to commit to a specific faculty member or lab in advance in order to receive financial aid?

No. Some students participate in a lab rotation program during their first semester of study, while others select a specific laboratory from the outset. We conduct interviews of top candidates as part of the admissions process, and these interviews help both faculty and students identify the best matches between applicants and potential labs.


Can I call individual faculty on the phone and discuss mutual interests?

Certainly. We welcome your call or email. You may want to speak with one or more of our faculty about their research and your specific research interests.


Are there any required core courses?

Yes. The required core courses for all BME graduate degrees (M.E., M.S., Ph.D.) are:

  • BME 6101 Physiology I
  • BME 6102 Physiology II
  • BME 6310 Computation and Modeling in BME
  • BME 6311 Measurement Principles

In addition, each degree has specific course and research requirements, which are outlined in more detail in our Grad Handbook. The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. This publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.


Is it possible to do an M.D./Ph.D. at U.Va., with the Ph.D. being in BME?

Yes, there is an M.D./Ph.D. program at the University of Virginia. This program is supported by a highly competitive Medical Scientist Training Program grant (MSTP) from the National Institutes of Health. The program is run by the Graduate Programs Office in the School of Medicine. Admission to the program is very competitive and includes admission to the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Medicine. For more information, please visit http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/mstp/.


Are there teaching assistantships as well as research assistantships available in BME?

All doctoral students gain teaching experience as a Teaching Assistant for 2 1-semester courses at some time during their studies. During the remainder of their studies, doctoral students are appointed as Research Assistants.


Can a Physics undergraduate go straight into the BME Program, or does he/she have to take several engineering courses first?

Yes. A physics undergraduate can go straight into the BME program. However, he or she will be expected to remedy any deficiencies in the prerequisite coursework during his or her master's program. BME prerequisite courses include:

  • Introductory Chemistry and Biology
  • Physics, two semesters (preferably based on calculus)
  • Mathematics through differential equations
  • Computer programming (Matlab, C++ or Java)

Is Organic Chemistry required to enter the BME Graduate Program?

No.


What if my question isn't answered here?

Contact the Graduate Program Coordinator at bmegrad@virginia.edu.