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DEGREE Biomedical Engineering: Research, MS

Master’s degree in biomedical engineering

As a master’s student in biomedical engineering, you’ll apply engineering tools in your research as you solve problems in biology and medicine. An essential component of the MS Research is an individualized thesis project. Successful applicants will have identified a research advisor and project prior to applying.

At a glance

Biomedical engineering department

AIMBE fellows
undergraduate ranking among public universities
graduate ranking among public universities

Learn more about what information you need to apply.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline December 15
Spring Deadline September 1
Summer Deadline December 15
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in engineering (biomedical, chemical, electrical, industrial, mechanical, etc.) or science (biology, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics, immunology, physics, etc.). Each application is judged on the basis of:

All applicants must satisfy requirements that are set forth by the Graduate School. Students admitted to the program may be required to make up deficiency course requirements.

To apply to the BME program, complete applications, including supportive materials, must be submitted as described below and received by the following deadline dates:

  • Fall Semester—December 15 
  • Spring Semester—September 1
  • Summer Session1—December 15 

1Please note that summer admissions are generally limited to continuing BME students at UW–Madison or applicants who have research assistantships already arranged with UW faculty.

Official Academic Transcript

Electronically submit one copy of your transcript of all undergraduate and previous graduate work in your online application to the Graduate School. Unofficial copies of transcripts will be accepted for review. Official copies are required after an applicant is recommended for admission. Please do not send transcripts or any other application materials to the Graduate School or the BME department unless requested. If you have questions, please contact

English proficiency test scores (if applicable)

The TOEFL is required for international students unless a degree from a U.S. educational institution is held. Scores should be sent using institution code 1846.

An applicant whose TOEFL (iBT) score is below 92; TOEFL (PBT) score is below 580; or IELTS score is below 7 must take an English assessment test upon arrival. Depending on the result, an applicant may need to register for recommended English as a Second Language (ESL) courses in the first semester of enrollment.

Any international applicant who will hold a teaching assistantship (TA), and whose native language is not English must take the SPEAK test when arriving on campus.

Three Letters of Recommendation

These letters are required from people who can accurately judge the applicant’s academic or research performance. Students should identify a lab prior to the application process. One letter of recommendation should be from the prospective MS research advisor. Letters of recommendation are submitted electronically to graduate programs through the online application. Applicants should not send any more than three letters (if more than three are sent, only the first three will be considered). See the Graduate School for FAQs regarding letters of recommendation.

Statement of Purpose

In this document, applicants should explain why they want to pursue further education in BME and discuss which UW faculty members they would be interested in doing research with during their graduate study. See the Graduate School for more advice on how to structure a personal statement,


Upload your resume in your application.

Application Fee

Submission must be accompanied by the one-time application fee. It is non-refundable and can be paid by credit card (Master Card or Visa) or debit/ATM. This fee cannot be waived or deferred. Fee grants are available through the Graduate School under certain conditions. 


Tuition and segregated fee rates are always listed per semester (not for Fall and Spring combined).

View tuition rates

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Biomedical engineering is multidisciplinary, bringing together expertise in engineering, physics, materials science, computation, biology and medicine to increase our understanding of diseases, improve diagnosis, and develop treatments that benefit human health. Our researchers are pushing the boundaries of science and technology, developing new tools and techniques to help solve some of the most challenging problems in medicine and healthcare.

View our research

Minimum graduate school requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 15 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School’s GPA Requirement policy (
Other Grade Requirements n/a
Assessments and Examinations There are no degree-specific assessments and examinations outside of those given in individual courses.
Language Requirements n/a

Specific course selection is very flexible and draws upon a variety of courses. The required coursework is designed to complement each student’s interests and background in biomedical engineering.

Research (such as B M E 790)6
Two semesters of B M E 701 Seminar in Biomedical Engineering
At least 12 credits of College of Engineering courses, numbered 400 or above
At least 15 credits, numbered 400 or above, in one area of specialization 1
At least 3 credits of bioscience from the following list (or other bioscience course with advisor approval):
Fundamentals of Human Physiology
Introduction to Biochemistry
Fundamentals of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
Molecular and Cellular Organogenesis
Biology of Heart Disease and Regeneration
Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Cellular Signal Transduction Mechanisms
Prokaryotic Molecular Biology
Eukaryotic Molecular Biology
Introduction to Experimental Oncology
Cellular and Molecular Biology/Pathology
Development of the Nervous System
Neurobiology of Disease
Cell Biology
Total Credits30

Areas of specialization are defined by the student and faculty advisor in relation to each student’s research. Please keep written communication (emails are acceptable) of approvals from your faculty advisor.

Graduate Student Services
3180 Mechanical Engineering
1513 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706

Darilis Suarez-Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Associate Chair of the Master’s Degree Program
Department of Biomedical Engineering

View the Graduate Guide for program-specific information on policies, rules and regulations.

Biomedical engineering news

Research in our department pushes the boundaries of science and technology, covering a spectrum of conditions, and is uniquely situated with access to one of the top-20 hospitals in the country, a veterinary school, and cutting-edge research centers.

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