BME Option Program

Biomedical Option Program Description: (VT Campus Only)

Engineering graduate students on the VT campus may earn a Biomedical Engineering Option while pursuing an advanced degree in another department. Upon completion of certain requirements the option is placed on the student's transcript when the 'home' department degree is conferred.

The ME, ESM, MSE, ISE, ECE, and CHE departments offer concentrations in biomedical engineering in conjunction with their graduate degree programs. These departments have faculty involved in research endeavors of a biomedical nature, and many of them are directly affiliated with SBES by reason of their academic/research interests.

Students from these departments expressing interest in the Option are referred to the SBES Graduate Coordinator's office where the necessary application procedure is begun. The student's entrance into the Option program should take place no later than the second semester of graduate school. Ideally the decision to participate and apply is done during the first semester.


The student declares his/her intent to pursue the Option by completing the SBES Option form which specifies the program requirements. The student collects the signatures of the advisor (who must be an SBES affiliate), and the home department chair (or designee). The form is returned to the SBES Graduate Coordinator who obtains the signature of the SBES chair (or designee).

In order to fulfill the Option requirements the student must:

  1. take a minimum of six (6) credit hours of BMES-designated courses
  2. do graduate level research in the area of biomedical engineering under an SBES-affiliated advisor
  3. attend 5 external speaker seminars every semester (research related) and report them to the SBES Graduate Coordinator using the form found here:
  4. attend and present a poster every year at the annual SBES Research Symposium held in the spring.

A copy of the student's file (obtained with student permission from the home department) is maintained in the SBES Graduate office. The initial SBES Option form is sent to the graduate school to inform them of the student's intent to pursue the option along with the regular graduate degree.

When the student is nearing graduation the BME Option Completion-Data form, is filled out and sent to the Graduate Coordinator. A formal letter of completion is then generated which is signed by all interested parties to indicate that the requirements were met and to so inform the graduate school. The student gathers the signatures of the advisor and the 'home' department head, then brings the letter to the SBES Graduate Coordinator for final sign-off by her and the SBES department head, after which it is sent to the graduate school.

If the student fails to complete the final paperwork steps, the option (if placed on the transcript at the time of degree conferral) will be removed.