After Graduation

After-graduation planning begins early in the 2nd year. That’s when you start setting in motion the events and opportunities that will make it possible to achieve your goals after graduation.

BME Exit Report

What jobs, which companies? What grad programs and medical schools? Here are BME Majors' first destinations since 2008.

A decade of BME Exit Data (link) shows that Jobs, Graduate School and Professional School are our students' most frequent first destinations. That said, students follow many paths, including entrepreneurship and service.

The Three Common Paths

Job (and Undecided).
Follow this path if you are interested in getting a job or are undecided.
What to do during your second year
Establish a relationship with the Center for Engineering Career Development. Explore getting involved with Undergraduate Research or Design and Clinical Immersion.
What to do the summer after second year
Internship, Research (UVA or elsewhere), NSF REU, or a job that uses STEM skills.
What to do during your third year
Research or design for credit.
What to do the summer after third year
What to do during fourth year
Send resumes and cover letters. Interview.
Considering a masters degree? There's a wide range of specialized masters degree programs available that are designed to prepare you for a private sector career. For example, UVA's 15-month BME-ME degree is focused on biomedical product and process design.
Graduate School
Follow this path if you plan to earn a PhD or MS degree. Broadly, this is also the path to other degrees, such as MPH.
2nd Year
Undergraduate research. Identify labs of interest and shadow.
Summer After 2nd Year
Research (UVA or elsewhere) or NSF or NIH Summer Research Program (REU or similar).

3rd Year
Research or design for credit.
Summer After 3rd Year
Research (if you're thinking PhD, you will most likely stay the summer in your UVA lab). Talk to your mentor and other advisors about schools and programs and individual faculty to target for graduate admissions.
4th Year
Take GREs (if needed), apply to graduate school, and interview with graduate programs.
Gap Year
If you are planning on a gap year, and you are following this path, then for your gap year, you will be competitive for a post-bac research position at UVA or another institution or for a job as a professional research technician in a lab (UVA or elsewhere). BUT if you are anticipating getting a job in industry during your gap year, then you must combine your strategy with our advice in the "Job (and Undecided)" path.

Medical School
If you are a prehealth student, especially if you plan to earn an MD degree.
2nd Year
Design and Clinical Immersion. Visit the UVA Prehealth Advisor. Take Orgo. Shadow clinicians and gain other clinical exposures.
Summer After 2nd Year
Clinical exposures, NSF REU, Research (UVA or elsewhere), or a public health experience.
3rd Year
Consider BME 3030. If your GPA and schedule permits, do research or design for credit.
Summer After 3rd Year
Consider BME Clinical Scholars. Take MCAT. Finish AMCAS by June.
4th Year
Consider taking Biochemistry. Interview with medical schools.
Bridge Year. If like more than half of prehealth students, you are planning on a bridge or gap year, and you are following this path, then you will be competitive for a position that is intended to increase your clinical or public health exposures. The prehealth advising group lists a number of opportunities.

If you have also combined this path with the advice in the "Graduate School" path, then you will also be prepared for a post-bac research or professional researcher position.

But if you are planning an industry job in your bridge year, then review the "Job (or Undecided)" section sooner rather than later. A strict Medical School Path as described above is not what we'd ideally recommend for a position in industry after graduation. It's one reason we suggest that you take your MCATs as soon as feasible (and that you are realistic about your GPA early on), so you can get a handle on you overall chance of medical school admissions straight out of college. There are multiple paths to medical school, and a strategic bridge year is a great way to build your premed resume.

The Center for Engineering Career Development

This team provides advising and programming to prepare students for success both at UVA and in life beyond the Lawn. From exploring careers to accepting a job or graduate school offer, they are there to support you as you envision and create a life you love.

Career Development Resources for Undergraduates    
UVA Career Center Pre-Health Advising
Pre-Health Advising in the UVA Career Center

What kinds of companies hire BME Majors?

  • Industries surrounding medical imaging, medical devices, bioinstrumentation, software, orthopedics, tissue & cell engineering, diagnostics, drug discovery, pharmaceuticals, genomics, bioinformatics and more
  • Universities, hospitals, and academic and medical research institutions, teaching, government, defense, consulting, services, and sales
  • FDA/Regulatory Affairs, US Patent Office, financial services, business development, and marketing and consulting firms working with healthcare and investment group
  • Entry level job titles include Manufacturing Engineer, Quality Engineer, Clinical or Field Engineer, Project or Product Engineer, Staff Engineer, Researcher (in a hospital, university, military or government laboratory), Software Engineer, Sales Engineer, Management or Marketing Associate