M.D./Ph.D. Degree Programs

SBES offers a combination medical and Ph.D. biomedical engineering degree program designed to produce future physician scientists. It is offered through the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, and thus is only available on that campus. The program seeks outstanding and mature students who have already shown aptitude and enthusiasm for research beyond the typical college curriculum. Interested students must first apply directly to the WFU Medical School following the standard medical application procedures required. During the course of the application process, the student can also indicate his/her interest in the combination degree. Admission to the program only occurs if the student is first accepted into the WFU Medical School and also approved to pursue a combination degree. Then the student applies for the SBES Ph.D. through the normal VT Graduate School online process. Interviews are based on the competitiveness of the applicant pool. The average GPA is 3.76 and the average combined MCAT score is 33 for those who have matriculated into the program. The overall length of the program is 6-8 years.

The SBES M.D. / Ph.D. degree requirements follow the requirements established by the existing M.D. / Ph.D. degree at WFUSM. Requirements for the Ph.D. component will be the same as those for the regular SBES Ph.D. degree with the exception that the life science credit requirement and the SBES clinical rotation will be satisfied by courses and clinical rotations done at the medical school. Details regarding this program can be found here: http://www.wakehealth.edu/School/MD-Program/Combined-Degree-Programs.htm

SBES Requirements for the Combination M.D. / Ph.D. Degree Program

Course Category

Course #
(VT # / WFU #)

Course Title / Information

No. Credits Required

Biomedical Engineering
(15 credits)

BMES 5054 / 605

Quantitative Cell Physiology I (required)


BMES 5064 / 606
Quantitative Organ Systems Physiology II (required)
5000 or 6000 level (600/700 at WFU)

Min. 9 credit hours of engineering courses approved by committee


Life Sciences
(3 credits)


Satisfied with MD courses


Mathematics (6 credits - only 3 can be in Statistics)

5000 - 6000 level
(600/700 at WFU)

Min. 6 credit hours (only 3 can be statistics)
(see approved list)


(9 - 24 credits)

5000 - 6000 level
(600/700 WFU)

Approved by advisory committee
Clinical Rotation
Satisfied by MD Clinical Rotations

(0 credits)

Required by graduate schools
At VT: Included in Seminar course
At Wake Forest: Met by enrollment in three required professional courses



Dissertation Research
(40 – 55 credits)

BMES 7994

Research & Dissertation


Total Minimum Number of Credit Hours:
Seminar Credits
BMES 5944/708
Enrollment required every semester enrolled in the PhD BME program (excluding Medical semesters)
# semesters enrolled



** = Course credit hours are the same as for the single SBES Ph.D. degree, but the courses listed to satisfy these credits will be from the medical school, not the BME department..