Graduate Program in Biomedical Engineering

As a prospective PhD, MS or Master in Engineering student, you are looking for the best possible fit for your research interests, educational development goals, professional development goals, and preferences for academic and local communities. Let us help you discover if Biomedical Engineering at UVA is a great fit for you.


About UVA Biomedical Engineering

Graduate Degrees and Curricula

  • PhD

    The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is designed for students who wish to pursue research careers. Graduates of the PhD program are well-prepared for careers in academia, government, and industry.

    PhD students take the 3-course "grad core" together with their cohort of BME PhD, MS and ME Students. They additionally complete 15 credit hours of advanced electives, 24 credit hours of thesis research, and a qualifying exam. They TA two courses and propose and defend a dissertation. 

    Included in the 15 credits of electives are two Elective Educational Experiences (EEEs), which begins the process of life-long learning essential to a career in Biomedical Engineering. Each EEE is the equivalent in effort to a three-credit course. EEEs can take a variety of forms, including: An industry internship focusing on a specific skill, including the BME Going Pro internship.  An online course offered through a MOOC such as Coursera.  An intense two-week short course at an institution like Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.  Another graduate course at UVA.

    Graduate Handbook

    Applcation Information

  • MS

    The Master of Science (MS) includes both coursework and research, culminating in a thesis. Graduates of the MS program typically pursue careers in industry or continue their research endeavors in a Ph.D. program.

    MS students take the 3-course "grad core" together with their cohort of BME PhD, MS and ME Students.  MS students take an additional 15 credits of advanced electives and 6 credits of MS thesis research, and they defend a thesis.

    Graduate Handbook

    Applcation Information

  • Master of Engineering

    The Master of Engineering (ME) is a professional degree designed to give students the precise set of skills and hands-on experiences that they'll need to build a successful private sector career in biomedical technology development.  The ME is a 30-graded-credit-hour, 15-month program beginning each fall. 

    ME students take the 3-course "grad core" together with their cohort of BME PhD, MS and ME Students.  They additionally complete a required sequence of courses supporting a specialization in biotechnical empathy and desigs, 12 credits of graded electives, and a major project where they develop a solution, either as an individual or part of a team, to a clinical challenge that they identify.

    BME-ME Program

    Graduate Handbook

    Applcation Information

  • PhD Biomedical Sciences in a BME Lab (including MD/PhD)

    Among our cohort are students who are completing their PhD through the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program ("BIMS") in the School of Medicine. Some are in the Medical Scientist Training Program, and others are PhD-only students in BIMS.  There are differences in the degree requirements between PhD in Biomedical Sciences through the School of Medicine and PhD in Biomedical Engineering through the Engineering School. For more information on becoming a BIMS student in a BME lab:

    BIMS at UVA

    MSTP at UVA

Graduate Student Life

There's always something happening!

We're a tight-knit community where graduate students thrive -- inside and outside the lab. Here is a guide to student life prepared for students by students.

BME Graduate Handbook

Here's where you will find expectations, deadlines, resources and alternatives laid out in a clear and transparent way.

Graduate Program Contacts

  • Shayn Peirce-Cottler, PhD

    Professor and Graduate Program Director


    Dr. Peirce-Cottler leads the faculty in setting the agenda for our graduate program.

    Faculty Profile
  • Kimberly Fitzhugh-Higgins

    Graduate Student Coordinator


    Kim helps BME grad students get the most out of their time at UVA. Contact her with nearly any question... but especially questions about program logistics, academic milestone, the application process, and the student experience: kaf5r@virginia.edu.

  • Craig Meyer

    Professor and Director of Graduate Admissions


    Dr. Meyer sets the agenda for BME graduate student recruitment each spring.

    Faculty Profile