Graduate Admissions

General Requirements

Biomedical Engineering graduate students come to the department with strong academic records and show a strong potential to succeed at an advanced level. Successful applicants typically have:

  • B.S. in Engineering or the Physical Sciences (Physics, Polymer Science, Applied Math). Applications from closely related disciplines, particularly in the quantitative life sciences, will also be considered.
  • Recommended minimum 3.5 GPA (4.0 scale) for Ph.D. applicants and 3.2 GPA (4.0 scale) for the Master’s Program.

Master’s vs. PhD

Apply to the master’s program if you plan to end your studies at the master’s level. Apply to the Ph.D. program directly if you plan to pursue a Ph.D. ( If you do not currently hold a relevant master’s degree, you will earn it during the first two years of the Ph.D. program.)

  • If you have a Master’s degree from a BME program at another school, you cannot apply to the Master’s program

Typical Course Background

  • Biology Course with Lab or Physiology Course with Lab
  • Biological Science
  • Physics (2 terms)
  • Mathematics (through ordinary differential equations)
  • Minimum of 4 engineering courses

Each applicant’s background and preparation is evaluated during the admissions process.

Apply to the Rackham Graduate School

Applications are accepted for the fall term only. Submit all materials online through the Rackham Graduate School. Do not mail materials to the Biomedical Engineering Department.

Application deadlines

  • Ph.D. Applicants: December 1st
  • M.S. Applicants: January 15th

Prepare your Application

Once an application is submitted, the materials cannot be modified. Please review your application carefully before you submit it.

BME: Graduate Application Assistance Program

The BME Graduate Application Assistance Program (BME GAAP) is a student-run initiative at the University of Michigan that supports prospective applicants from non-traditional paths or historically disadvantaged backgrounds, as described below, by pairing them with current graduate students who can help review application materials throughout the process of applying to a BME Ph.D. program. 

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation from people best qualified to speak to your academic and research skills. For the Ph.D. program in particular, these letters are important parts of the admissions review process to assess your readiness for graduate-level coursework and research.

  • Letters are submitted online.
  • If your recommender does not want to submit their letter online, have them email Tara McQueen (SUGS and Master’s applicants) or Maria Steele (PhD applicant). 


When You Apply: Upload a Scanned Copy of the Official Transcript to ApplyWeb

  • All applicants must upload a scanned copy, front and back, of their official transcript/academic record issued by the Registrar or Records Office, to ApplyWeb for each bachelor’s, master’s, professional, or doctoral degree earned or in progress. The scanned copy of the official transcript is used for initial review by the graduate program faculty.
  • A downloaded transcript from your school portal or system is an unofficial transcript and not acceptable for review.
  • If you are attending or have graduated from a Non-U.S. institution, review the Required Academic Credentials from Non-U.S. Institutions for requirements by country.
  • If you have community or junior college, non-degree, or study abroad coursework, indicate this information on page nine of the application under the “Additional Education Information” section. Do not submit any transcripts from a community or junior college, non-degree, or study abroad coursework to Rackham unless you attended a Non-U.S. institution.

Once You Are Offered Admission: Submit the Official Transcript

After an offer of admission is made, an official transcript sent directly from the registrar’s office must be submitted to Rackham. 

  • Submit an official transcript/academic record, front and back, issued by the Registrar or Records Office for each bachelor’s, master’s, professional, or doctoral degree earned. Attachments from students are not official.
  • Submit only official transcripts/academic records. These bear the issuing institution’s seal and the official signature of the Registrar or Recorder of Records.
  • U-M Ann Arbor Applicants (Current or Previous Students): Do not submit your U-M Ann Arbor transcript. Rackham will obtain your U-M Ann Arbor transcript internally. Submit only degree transcripts from other institutions you attended including U-M Dearborn or U-M Flint.

Complete information is available at  

Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose should include your research interests and the name(s) of the faculty with whom you are interested in working. We recommend a statement length of up to 2 pages.

Personal Statement

The personal statement should include information on your life experiences and background, including what led you to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. We recommend a statement length of up to 2 pages. The 500-word limit that is stated on the application does not apply. 

Curriculum Vitae / Resume

Your resume or curriculum vitae should list your relevant work and research experience and skills. If you have been an author on any conference presentations, publications, patents, or other materials, these should be clearly listed. These types of materials can be important factors in consideration for Ph.D. admissions.


Admission typically requires a 3.5 GPA (4.0 scale). This is a guideline and is not strict.

The minimum GPA for consideration in the Master’s program is 3.2 (4.0 scale).


  • The general GRE is not accepted for the M.S. or Ph.D. programs.


Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency. One way to do so is to meet one of the criteria for an exemption listed below.

If an applicant does not meet one of the criteria below, they may be required by the graduate program to submit scores from tests, like TOEFL, ECPE, IELTS, or MET. Language test scores are valid two years from the test date. The official scores must be received from the testing agency no later than the graduate program application deadline.

Photocopies and/or faxes of English proficiency scores will not be accepted.

Rackham Graduate School’s Minimum Score Requirements for Admission Consideration

Description of TestAssessment ProviderSpeaking TestMinimum Overall ScoreSubmission of Test Scores
TOEFL iBT Including ITP Plus and TOEFL iBT Special Home EditionEducational Testing ServiceYes84TOEFL scores are sent by ETS electronically to institution code: 1839
TOEFL iBT Paper Test Educational Testing ServiceNoAn overall score is not provided for this test. Minimum section scores: Reading = 23; Listening = 23; Writing = 21TOEFL scores are sent by ETS electronically to institution code: 1839
METMichigan Language AssessmentsYes4-Skill test; minimum Overall score = 59Scores are mailed directly to the Rackham Graduate School from the testing agency. Mailing address: Rackham Graduate School, 915 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070
IELTS Including IELTS “At Home:Cambridge, English/IDP/British Council, United KingdomAcademic version6.5Official IELTS scores are sent electronically to the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
ECPECambridge Michigan Language AssessmentsYesCertificate of ProficiencyScores must be sent directly to the Rackham Graduate School from the testing agency. Mailing address: Rackham Graduate School, 915 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070

Rackham English Proficiency Exemptions

You qualify for an exemption from taking an English proficiency examination if one of the following criteria are met:

  • You are a native speaker of English.
  • You are an applicant from Puerto Rico.
  • You completed all of your undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English only. Undergraduate degree requirements must be completed before the start of classes at U-M.
  • You completed all of your graduate education and earned a graduate degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English only. Graduate degree requirements must be completed before the start of classes at U-M.
  • You are a current U-M student.

Does not meet an English proficiency exemption:

  • A one-year graduate degree.
  • If you completed a Master’s degree that was strictly research and no academic classes. This type of Master’s degree is generally awarded at a non-U.S. institution.

Applicants self-assess if they qualify for an English exception at the time of application. Applicants that are recommended for admission will have their files reviewed and will be notified if they do not meet an exception.

Applicants are required to upload the front and back of their transcript. Most universities indicate the language of the institution on the back of the transcript. If it is not indicated on the transcript, applicants can submit a letter from the Registrar’s Office, or equivalent, on university letterhead confirming the language of instruction. When applying, please upload documents confirming the language of instruction along with your transcript document(s).

Examples of meeting the English Proficiency Exemption criteria:

  • You completed the last three years of your undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, and in addition, earned a Master’s degree that was one and one-half years in duration at the University of London.
  • You completed the last two years of your undergraduate degree at the University of Melbourne, and in addition, earned a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan.

An example of not meeting the English Proficiency Exemption criteria:

  • You completed two years of an undergraduate degree program at an overseas institution where the medium of instruction is a language other than English. You then transferred to an institution where all classes are taught exclusively in English and earned a degree from that institution.

Please direct questions to the Admissions Office in Rackham.  

Get Help

If you or your recommenders experience technical difficulty while applying, please see Rackham’s website.  

Admission Decision

Each application is reviewed by at least two faculty members. Applications are reviewed with a holistic perspective, assessing strengths and weaknesses across the full application. Considerations may also be made with respect to the fit of student interests with faculty research areas that are recruiting students in a given year. Graduate admissions, particularly for the Ph.D. program are very competitive. The Rackham Graduate School maintains a dashboard of program statistics which provides information on application selectivity and other factors of interest.

The department typically has one or two recruitment weekends in which students under consideration for admission are invited to campus to interview with faculty, meet with students, and experience our environment and community. The BME Department typically makes final admissions decisions after these visits, no later than the middle of April. Applicants are notified of decisions via email.

If an applicant is recommended for admission, Rackham will contact the applicant if additional information is required to finalize the admission.


Applicants whose admission has been finalized by Rackham may request to defer their admission for one year. The request, which includes the reason for the deferral, should be emailed to Tara McQueen (SUGS and Master’s applicants) or Maria Steele (Ph.D. applicant).