FAQs for BME Graduate Programs

Q. Are GRE and/or TOEFL required?

A. GRE scores are required for all PhD applications. While not officially required for ScM applications, they are highly recommended. Nearly all successful applicants have taken the GRE. TOEFL is required.

Q. What is the average 1.) GRE; 2.) TOEFL; 3.) GPA scores for students applying to the BME Graduate Program?

A. The average scores are as follows:

  • GRE: Quantitative 85%; Verbal 69%; Writing47%. 
  • TOEFL (or IELTS) Minimum score for admission consideration is 577 (paper-based test); 233 (computer-based test) or 90 (Internet-based test)
  • GPA: 3.5

 Please note: these are the average scores of the entire pool of applicants.

Q. Do we offer financial support for the ScM or PhD Programs?

A. Graduate students who are candidates for the PhD are generally accepted into the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program with a 5-year commitment of financial support while their research and academic studies progress satisfactorily. 

Students in the master’s program are normally not eligible for financial aid.

Q. Does Brown University offer an MS program in BME?

A. Yes, also called the ScM.

Q. What are the requirements for the MS program in BME?

A. A brief overview of the requirements is as follows:

  • Open to students with appropriate backgrounds in biology, biochemistry physics, engineering, or chemistry. 
  • Must complete a graduate school application, include three letters of recommendation and indicate interest in the Master’s Program. 
  • A minimum of eight tuition/enrollment units (e.g. eight courses, not more than three of which are for thesis research) are required. 
  • Must take an approved set of courses, at least five structured (not seminar, not independent study) advanced-level (100 or 200) biology and engineering courses, at least two in biology and at least two in engineering. 
  • Must receive a grade of “B” or better, courses must be taken for a grade rather than credit/no credit. 
  • Credit for graduate level courses taken at Brown or elsewhere not accepted or transferable.
  • Must choose a thesis advisor before state of first semester.
  • Submit a final thesis, present work as a seminar and pass final oral examination by Thesis Committee.

Q. When are the decisions made on who will be accepted?

A. Approximately six weeks after deadline (March for PhD; May for ScM)

Q. What is the deadline for submitting an application?

A. See Admissions.

Q. How can I obtain a complete, updated, and detailed list of courses available?

A. You will need to contact the Registrar’s Office at Box K, Providence, RI 02912, (401) 863-2500 and request a course catalog. Or visit the Banner website (Here).

Q. How many applicants do you receive each year?

A. The average number of applications we receive each year is approximately 200 (150-160 Ph.D., 40-60 Sc.M.).

Q. How many students are accepted into the BME Graduate Program?

A. The number of students accepted into the BME Graduate Program each year depends on lab availability as well as available funding. 

Q. How many students accepted into the PhD Program are foreign students?

A. No current data are available detailing foreign student acceptance into the BME PhD Graduate Program.  However, past studies of the entire Brown University Graduate School show that approximately 35% of acceptances were made to foreign students.

Q. If I’m accepted into another graduate program, such as Physics or Engineering, can I transfer into the BME Program?

A. Under certain circumstances, this is possible for appropriate students.  You would need to speak with the Director of the Program, your advisor and the Dean of the Graduate School.

Q. Where can I find a list of courses for the ScM Program?  Or where can I find the courses offered in the PhD Program?

A. A partial list of BME courses is available on the Center for Biomedical Engineering website. The entire course catalog can be searched through the Brown University Banner website (Here).

Q. Can the application fee be waived?

A. Yes, but only to US citizens or permanent residents who can demonstrate either financial need or participation in certain specialized programs listed on the fee waiver application.  The application can be found on the Graduate School website at: http://gradschool.brown.edu/go/appfeewaiver

Q. When will the online application be available?

A. The online application is usually available in September or October.

Q. What kind of educational background do I need to qualify for the BME Graduate Program?

A.  Entering students are expected to have an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in either engineering or science (with a strong mathematical background). 

Q. Are doctoral students awarded an ScM as part of a normal progress towards the PhD.

A. The BME graduate program has separate ScM and PhD degrees, both of which require coursework and research theses. Master's students receive only an ScM and doctoral students receive only a PhD upon successful completion of the respective programs.

Q. Is Providence, RI, a nice place to live?

A. Yes! For a brief video highlighting some of the great activities available in the city, please follow this link.