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.

Biomedical engineering has become increasingly data driven and is inherently interdisciplinary and collaborative. The undergraduate program at UVA embodies these trends, preparing graduates to make valued contributions from the very start of their careers.

A decade of exit data 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. BME Exit Data

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

The Three 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

    See Undergraduate research. Identify labs of interest and shadow.

    Summer After 2nd Year

    Research (UVA or elsewhere) or NSF REU.

    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

    See 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

    Take Biochemistry. Interview with medical schools.

    Gap Year

    If you are planning on a gap year, and you are following this path, then you will be competitive for a gap year position that is intended to increase your clinical or public health exposures. 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 gap year, then review the "Job (or Undecided)" section sooner rather than later. The Medical School Path is not what we recommend for a position in industry. This is one reason we suggest that you take your MCATs as soon as feasible, that you get realistic about your GPA, and you get a handle on you overall chance of medical school admissions. There are multiple paths to medical school, and a strategic gap year is one. But if a gap year

  • 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

BME Exit Report

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