Washington University in St. Louis is a world leader in research and education. Our No. 14 ranked biomedical engineering program provides the opportunity for graduate students to work across the university's top programs — including the School of Medicine.

The department offers programs leading to the master of science (MS), doctor of philosophy (PhD) in biomedical engineering and combined MD/PhD degrees. The latter degree is given jointly with the School of Medicine.

Learn more about faculty research Learn more about the Application Process 

Our Training Philosophy

Lasting impact will arise from successfully integrating the analytical, modeling, and systems approaches of engineering to the complex, multi-scale problems of biology and medicine. Those trained to do this will be uniquely positioned to address new and exciting opportunities. We are committed to educating and training the next generation of biomedical engineers with this vision in mind. Consequently, we leverage our existing strengths around the seven research themes representing some of the most exciting frontiers of biomedical engineering.


Our core faculty, together with affiliated faculty, comprises a network of mentors, similar to graduate groups at other universities, dedicated and committed to training. The commitment and diverse talent of these faculty members provide a vast array of choices for students. Students can elect to perform their research with any member of the network. Upon completion of training, our graduates are well-equipped to work in multidisciplinary teams tackling cutting-edge and high-impact problems of modern biomedical engineering.

Funding Opportunities

Nearly a third of PhD students studying biomedical engineering the McKelvey School of Engineering receive research support through an external fellowship. The department encourages students to apply for fellowships offered through the university, such as the Chair's Doctoral Fellowship, as well as national competitive fellowships. Learn more about funding opportunities offered by McKelvey Engineering.

Admissions Requirements

A baccalaureate degree in engineering or the physical sciences/mathematics. (A life science degree may be acceptable with evidence of adequate quantitative coursework.) Admitted master’s and PhD students typically have had grade point averages of 3.5 and 3.7 out of 4.0, respectively.

Recommended Courses
  • Advanced Calculus and Differential Equations
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Engineering Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Introductory Computer Science
  • Circuits/ Electrical Networks
  • Basic Courses in Molecular and Cell Biology
  • General and Organic Chemistry
As COVID-19 is making it difficult for some students to be able to safely take the GRE General test, the Department of Biomedical Engineering has decided to make this optional for Fall 2022 applicants. International students must submit TOEFL scores earned within the past two years. Scores of 100 or greater are generally required with no less than 20 on each section.

Undergraduate or postgraduate research experience is highly desirable for admission to the PhD program, but not mandatory for the master’s program. Letters of recommendation from research mentors are a particularly important part of the graduate application. Descriptions of previous research experience or future research goals in the personal statement portion of the application are also important in the admissions decision.

Selected, qualified students residing in the U.S. may be invited to campus to interview with faculty and other students prior to or after being offered admission.