SBES Program FAQs

Does SBES offer an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering?

SBES does not offer undergraduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering (BME). SBES does, however, offer undergraduate research opportunities.

What degrees does SBES offer?

SBES offers only graduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering. Most students who enroll in the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering & Sciences pursue either a PhD or a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering. Other graduate degree programs are also available. All SBES degree programs are described at this link.

Do I need a biomedical engineering undergraduate degree to apply? What undergraduate degree should I have?

No, you do not have to have an undergraduate BME degree. The requirements normally include a B.S. degree in engineering from a recognized university; however, consideration is given to exceptional physical and life science students, particularly to those with a strong background in mathematics and some engineering basics. Before applying, we strongly suggest that you contact one of the graduate program directors to discuss your background as admitting non-engineering students is decided on a case-by-case basis.

As an engineering undergrad, must I also have biology or physiology courses in my background to be considered for admission to SBES?

No. SBES seeks strong engineering undergrads knowing that life science is not a normal part of that curriculum. However, having some life science in your background may be helpful for your future studies and could strengthen your application.

What courses could I take as an undergrad engineering student to better prepare me for SBES graduate work?

For students at Virginia Tech there are many courses offered through several departments which would offer some solid foundational concepts related to biomedical engineering. A listing of suggested courses is provided at this link.

I'm not an engineering student - I'm in one of the life/natural sciences. What do I need to succeed in SBES?

Non-engineering students need to be sure that they have a strong enough background in mathematics to be able to learn and handle engineering concepts as well as the quantitative expectations for doing biomedical engineering research. More specific information on minimal admission requirements for non-engineers is provided at this link.

Do I need a Master's degree in order to apply for the Ph.D.?

No, an M.S. degree is not required for admission to the Ph.D. program. You may however, earn an M.S. 'along the way' to your Ph.D. if you are accepted directly into the Ph.D. program.

Does SBES offer a non-thesis M.S. degree?

No. All Master's candidates in SBES must do research, write a thesis, and defend it. We do not offer a non-thesis degree.