Program mission

The mission of the Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering program is to educate students to be significant contributors in health care and in research and development in biomedicine and bioengineering. The curriculum closely links technical fundamentals in science, engineering and the life sciences, together with the ability to function on multidisciplinary teams, to communicate effectively and to achieve the knowledge tools necessary for lifelong learning.

Program goals

  1. Provide students with a graduate education that prepares them for current and future challenges in biomedical engineering
  2. Produce graduates who possess the necessary advanced analytical and technical skills in engineering and sciences – responds directly to the higher goals of fulfilling the needs of industry for effective, productive engineers and of providing economic development for the region, state and nation
  3. Produce graduates who possess a facility with both written and oral communications – emanates from the requirement that engineers must be able to interact and share ideas with others in the work environment, and at a higher level, be capable of creative self-expression and leadership
  4. Produce graduates who demonstrate creativity and innovation in solving technological problems – stems from the realization that new knowledge and new solutions to existing problems are necessary to meet the needs of our changing society and to advance the quality of human life

Graduates possess the ability to formulate, analyze and solve problems, analytically and/or experimentally, in the biomedical engineering industry, in the clinical setting or in biomedical research. Graduates can work effectively in teams to solve biomedical and/or clinical problems including the interconnection of engineering and clinical personnel toward the solution of problems of compelling clinical and biomedical interest and need, with particular reference to the biomedical engineering industry, in the clinical setting or in biomedical research. The career paths of BME graduates in these arenas would be enhanced as a result of these skills.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Graduates will demonstrate an ability to apply advanced knowledge of mathematics, biomedical sciences and engineering.
  2. Graduates will demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively.
  3. Graduates will demonstrate an ability to identify, formulate and solve biomedical engineering problems.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

Student handbook is available on the College of Engineering website.

Apply online today.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements
Degree:Semester(s) of entry:Deadline dates:Test requirements:
M.S.Fall (preferred)Jun 1 (Jan 15 for financial assistance)GRE-General; international students require TOEFL
SpringOct 1

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, biomedical engineering has the following admission criteria for all entering graduate students:

  1. Minimum GPA of 3.0 during the previous 60 credit hours (for applicants with a B.S.)
  2. Minimum GRE score of 300 (combined verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning) including a minimum 148 on the quantitative reasoning
  3. Minimum TOEFL score of 101 Internet-based for students whose first or native language is not English

Biomedical engineering will accept a maximum of six credit hours for transfer into the M.S. program if the original grades for such courses are B or higher (or equivalent).

Acceptance of an applicant is based upon the recommendation of the admissions committee with approval of the department chair and the associate dean for graduate studies.

Degree requirements

In addition to the VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, this program is nominally a two-year program leading to the M.S. in Biomedical Engineering. Prior evidence of completion of physiology may result in a waiver of the requirements for this course as determined by the graduate program director and/or the department chair. These credit hours should be replaced by other graduate-level didactic course work reflective of the field of study. Each Master of Science student must successfully complete a thesis describing his or her individualized research project. At the completion of the research, the student must present the research to the advisory committee and undergo an examination of the research results, thesis documentation and underlying educational foundation necessary to have successfully completed the research. Upon successful completion of the examination and thesis, the student may apply for graduation from Virginia Commonwealth University with the Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering.

Curriculum requirements

Required biomedical engineering courses
EGRB 601Numerical Methods and Modeling in Biomedical Engineering4
EGRB 602Biomedical Engineering Systems Physiology4
Select at least three courses from the following:9
Biomedical Electronics and Instrumentation
Human Factors Engineering
Biomedical Signal Processing
Cell Engineering
Elective courses (minimum)6
e.g., EGRB, EGRM, ENGR, PHYS, MATH, BIOL, PHIS BIOC at 500 level or above 1
EGRB 690Biomedical Engineering Research Seminar1
EGRB 697Directed Research in Biomedical Engineering 26
Total Hours30

The six credit hours listed are minimum elective courses required for graduation. However, a student’s advisory committee may require additional electives reflective of the field of study.


Directed research (EGRB 697) is required at a level to be determined by each student’s graduate advisory committee.

The minimum total of graduate credit hours required for this degree is 30.

Accelerated opportunities

The department offers opportunities for qualified undergraduate students to earn both an undergraduate and graduate degree in a minimum of five years by completing approved graduate courses during the senior year of their undergraduate program. See the program page in the Undergraduate Bulletin for details.

Christopher A. Lemmon, Ph.D. 
Associate professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
(804) 827-0446

Additional contact
Henry J. Donahue, Ph.D.
Professor and chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering
(804) 828-7956

Program website: