Biomedical Engineering

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 7.27 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 13.9 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jan 2, 2024
201–250 place StudyQA ranking:3666 Duration:

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The Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering & Sciences (SBES) is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional graduate program that bridges engineering, science and medicine. The joint program combines the strengths and resources of Virginia Tech's College of Engineering, the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine to produce an environment that fosters graduate education and outstanding interdisciplinary research. 

SBES diplomas carry the seals of both Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University. Graduate students choose a home campus (Blacksburg or Winston-Salem) based on their preferred areas of concentration within biomedical engineering, or their choice of faculty whose research interests them. However, they are able to experience the environments and faculty of both locations through courses taught by video-broadcast and through inter-campus visits and events. Currently SBES identifies seven general areas of concentration.  They are:

  • Biomechanics
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Neuroengineering
  • Nanomedicine & Nanobioengineering
  • Translational Cancer Research
  • Cardiovascular Engineering

Students are encouraged to adhere to the concentration area requirements specified by each faculty group; however, declaring a specific area is not required.  SBES encourages innovative thinking and novel approaches to problem-solving and seeks to tailor students' academic programs to their individual goals and research ambitions. 
Admission to the SBES graduate program is for the Fall semester only through the online application process at Virginia Tech (regardless of the 'home campus' chosen).  The deadline for application submission each year is January 2 for admittance the following fall semester. 

The SBES graduate program on the Virginia Tech campus is administratively under the direction of the Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics (BEAM).  BEAM is comprised of two academic engineering programs; Biomedical Engineering (BME) and Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM).  At Wake Forest University the SBES program is located on the Bowman Gray campus where the medical school resides rather than on the Reynolda (main) campus.

The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 90 total credit hours beyond the baccalaureate. Additionally, a dissertation must be written and defended before a 5-person committee. The Ph.D. plan of study is due by the end of the third semester of study registered as a Ph.D. student. All coursework must be 5000-level and above (VT campus) and 600-level and above (WFU campus). The distribution of required hours can be:

  • 40 - 55 credit hours of research (7994-level only, VT)
  • 35 - 50 course credits

Specific course of study requirements are as follows:

Course Requirements for BME Ph.D. Program

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biomedical Engineering must include the following minimum requirements:

  • 15 credits of engineering courses (BMES or from any engineering department) to include the required courses, Quantitative Cell Physiology and Quantitative Organ Systems Physiology.
  • 6 credits of graduate level mathematics, only 3 of which may be in statistics (see approved lists on website for each campus location)
  • 3 credits of life science coursework from approved courses and/or departments on each campus (see website/handbook for details)
  • 2 credits from the required BMES 6064 Clinical Rotation (available only to PhD candidates)
  • 9-24 credits in elective coursework, remainder of hours up to 90 in research

Ph.D. students must complete training in Ethics, required by the graduate schools, which must be noted on the plan of study. See the SBES Graduate Handbook for details regarding implementation on each campus.  Students are also required to enroll in and successfully complete the SBES Seminar course (BMES 5944 at VT and BMES 694 at WFU) each semester of all the academic years during their degree program.
Ph.D. students must pass a Qualifying Exam no later than the end of the second year for students entering directly into the Ph.D. program or within one year of entering the program after completing the M.S. degree.

ALL students are expected to participate in the annual Research Symposium held each spring, and are required to do an oral research presentation at least once before they graduate.

Ph.D. students may elect to earn an M.S. degree as an intermediate milestone to the Ph.D. with the prior approval of their advisor.  They must file an M.S. plan of study at the end of the second semester of study, and write and defend a thesis.



The following list represents some of the specific research topics offered by the Biomechanics faculty of SBES:

  • Impact injury biomechanics
  • Sports and military biomechanics
  • Cell and tissue injury biomechanics
  • Fluid flow dynamics
  • Musculoskeletal biomechanics
  • Molecular and cellular biomechanics
  • Ergonomics and work physiology: occupational biomechanics
  • Computational modeling in biomechanics
  • Organismal biomechanics
  • Biomechanics: animal locomotor systems
  • Soft tissue biomechanics
  • Micro and macro mechanisms of trauma


Tissue Engineering

The following list represents some of the specific research topics offered by the Tissue Engineering faculty of SBES:

  • Regenerative medicine
  • Tumor engineering platforms
  • Biomaterials
  • Musculoskeletal tissue regeneration
  • Vascular regeneration
  • Tissue engineering and clinical translation
  • Liver tissue engineering
  • Stem cells for tissue engineering
  • Development of engineered tissues and organs
  • Biological response of tissue engineered scaffolds: in-vitro & in-vivo 
  • Biomaterials for targeted drug delivery

Biomedical Imaging

The following list represents some of the specific research topics offered by the Biomedical Imaging faculty of SBES:

  • Medical physics
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional MRI (fMRI)
  • X-ray computed tomography 
  • Image guided therapy / image guided surgery
  • Biophotonics and biomedical optics
  • Multimodality imaging applications 
  • Quantitative imaging techniques
  • Medical imaging software development
  • Biomedical image & signal processing
  • Radiation response modeling
  • Optical molecular imaging for early cancer development

Nanomedicine and Nanobioengineering

The following list represents some of the specific research topics offered by the Nanomedicine and Nanobioengineering faculty of SBES:

  • Bio-MEMs and microfluidics
  • Biotransport
  • Biomembranes
  • Biophysics
  • Cellular Dynamics
  • Cell and tumor microenvironments
  • Biomedical applications of nanotechnology
  • Nanosized contrast agents for non-invasive imaging
  • Bioinspired microdevices
  • Growth & assembly of novel nanostructures
  • Nanotechnology for therapeutics and diagnostics


The following list represents some of the specific research topics offered by the Neuroengineering faculty of SBES:

  • Neuroimaging
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Neural network behavior
  • Neurotrauma and nerve regeneration
  • Fundamental properties of synaptic transmission
  • Neuralfeedback
  • Experimental and computational investigation of neural control
  • Repair strategies for neuronal injury
  • Development of novel MRI techniques to map brain function
  • Role of synaptic signaling in neuro-development

Translational Cancer Research

The following list represents some of the specific research topics offered by the Translational Cancer Research faculty of SBES:

  • Targeted drug delivery
  • Irreversible electroporation
  • Molecular medicine / molecular imaging
  • Cancer detection and treatment
  • Cellular and molecular mechanisms of human disease
  • Comparative oncology of malignant melanoma
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Vascular biology and tumor angiogenesis
  • Using nanomaterials in cancer detection and therapy
  • Dielectrophoretic cell manipulation
  • Cancer cell evolution

Cardiovascular Engineering

The following list represents some of the specific topics offered by the Cardiovascular Engineering faculty of SBES:

  • Cardiovascular fluid mechanics and transport
  • Arterial and coronary disease
  • Left ventricular hemodynamics and heart failure
  • Cellular and molecular mechanisms of connexins
  • Gap junction remodeling in the normal and arrhythmic heart
  • Cx43 assignments in wound healing, scarring, and regeneration
  • Drug development targeting Cx43 function
  • Cardiac electrophysiology and ion transport
  • Cardiac arrhythmia mechanisms
  • Non-traditional bioelectric mapping
  • Transcripts. Include a scanned copy of your college transcripts with your online application, then arrange for an official copy to be sent to us after you receive an offer of admission.
  • Letters of Recommendation. Check to see whether your department requires letters of recommendation from references. If so, you can include their email addresses in your online application, or have them send paper copies directly to your program’s department.
  • Application Fees. Degree-seeking students must include a $75 fee with their application, though check to see if you qualify for a waiver or reduced fee.
  • TOEFL Paper 600.0, Computer 250.0, iBT 100.0
  • IELTS 7.0
  • GRE 
  • Minimum GPA: 3.5
  • Institution code: 5859


  • University Scholarships
  • Global Education
  • Assistantships
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