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BMEBT Admissions Requirements


Applicants from many different science and engineering undergraduate programs are invited to apply. Because the degree brings together biomedical engineering with biotechnology , it is designed equally for students with life sciences or engineering/ physical science backgrounds. 

Applications will be accepted from individuals holding appropriate bachelor’s degrees or master’s degrees (or the US baccalaureate equivalents from a foreign institution). Applicants should have a background in life science, physical science, or engineering. 

However, we are less interested in your specific background and more interested in your: 


  • personal and career goals
  • demonstrated academic ability and research potential
  • commitment to an interdisciplinary, team-work approach 

All applicants must have taken a full year (two semester or three quarter sequence) of calculus, and the successful applicants will normally have had undergraduate coursework in statistics/experimental design and in life science/biomedical science.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact participating faculty to explore how they might fit into a specific specialization option before submitting their application and to report on the results of those contacts in their Statement of Purpose (see below).

It is a principle of the intercampus BMEBT program that applicants apply to the graduate admissions office of the campus that they seek as their “home campus”. Those considering the UMass Dartmouth campus should learn about campus options by contacting the program co-directors. Generally, applicants will apply only to one campus.

Students entering with a BS degree will spend two years taking courses and gaining laboratory experience before qualifying for the PhD program.  The program also welcomes applicants with an MS degree.  They can take the qualifying examination at an early stage and become a PhD candidate.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants submit the following and are expected to meet the standards indicated:

  • In general students with an overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher will be considered for admission. Applicants must present official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all schools attended.
  • Applicants accepted into the program should present a minimum Graduate Record Exam (GRE) combined verbal + quantitative score of 300. Only official GRE scores from the Educational Testing Service will be considered acceptable. The GRE can be waived for applicants with a prior graduate degree from an accredited US institution; an application without the GRE must demonstrate exceptional potential.
  • Applicants must have a minimum of two semesters of calculus and have strong quantitative skills.
  • International applicants should present a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 550 (paper version) or 213 (computer version). Only official TOEFL scores from the Educational Testing Service will be considered acceptable.
  • Three letters of recommendation, from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic ability and potential to conduct original research at the doctoral level, will be required.
  • Applicants will also be required to submit a Statement of Purpose (personal essay). This statement is an important element in the application packet. It has two related roles:
  1. Indication of an applicant’s qualifications and motivation for the program. Applicants should indicate their qualifications for and motivation to undertake this program as well as their personal and career goals. Specifically, the statement should indicate the applicant’s background, research credentials, and career plans as they relate to the multidisciplinary nature of the doctorate, and discuss research experience (academic, industrial) and any publications, grants, or patents;   
  2. Indication of how an applicant will fit into the program. Applicants should indicate their specific areas of interest within Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology, so that a fit between their interests and qualifications and the specific specialization options that the program offers can be determined. If the applicant has a specific interest in working with one or more of the program’s faculty, s/he should describe that specific interest and identify those faculty members. The Statement of Purpose should also exemplify the applicant’s writing skills.
  • We invite applicants also to submit a personal résumé.

Individual circumstances can be taken into account, and extraordinary qualifications in some areas can be used to outweigh weaknesses in others.

Transfer of Credits/Advanced Standing

Students who have previously completed graduate course work may transfer up to six credits, following the UMass Dartmouth graduate transfer policies. The transfer credit may replace core or specialization course requirements. The project/directed studies, seminar, and dissertation research credits will not be accepted for transfer from institutions outside of the UMass system.

Students may also have core courses waived without transfer of course credit. Students would still be responsible for the full credits required of each degree (31 credits for the MS and 63 credits for the PhD), but would not have to take the waived course.

Students who join the program with an earned master’s degree may receive Advanced Standing in the doctoral program. The number of credits required to complete the PhD will be determined in individual advisement, but at a minimum 9 course (core or specialization) credits, the capstone project course (3 credits), doctoral seminar (taken twice, 1 credit each) and 30 dissertation research credits will be required. Advanced Standing students will be required to pass the Qualifying Examination before progressing to the dissertation stage. Students who enter the program with advanced standing will not earn the MS degree.


Students will be assigned a faculty advisor when they are accepted into the program. The initial faculty advisor will either be a co-director or a program faculty member appropriate to the applicant’s Statement of Purpose. After the student’s first year in the program, s/he may want to change to a new advisor who fits the student’s research interest and is likely to become the chair of the student’s dissertation committee. Occasionally, a student may ask to change to a new advisor on a different home campus. The new campus must assent to the move and verify that an advisor is assigned and other appropriate arrangements are made. The transfer should then be presented to the IACC for its approval, and if it does approve, notification will go to the POC so that the administrators for the campuses affected can arrange for transfer of registration and academic records, and address other student status issues.

Registration across Campuses

UMass campuses collaborate to permit joint-program students, like those in the BMEBT, at one campus to take courses at another with a minimum of effort. In brief, UMass Dartmouth BMEBT students go to our Registrar’s Office to register and pay for a course offered at another campus (offered either on that campus or by distance learning). That campus provides evidence of course completion, and grades as well as credit are shown on the UMass Dartmouth transcript.

Financial Assistance

A limited number of assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Applicants desiring teaching or research assistantships should submit completed applications by April 15th. Other assistance, such as loans or work study, may be available to you. Please refer to the chapter in this catalog on “Expenses and Financial Assistance.” Much of the support in this program comes in the form of Research Assistantships. Applicants are invited to contact faculty about opportunities for Research Assistantships

The curriculum of this UMass joint program is organized around common experiences, including core courses, a capstone project, and intercampus graduate research presentations. The program makes some use of distance learning/on-line/faculty exchange for delivery of courses and seminars, and the campuses are close enough to permit commuting between them. The program encourages a multidisciplinary team approach during the Instrumentation and Laboratory Experience, the capstone project, and in the selection of the dissertation committee. Industry representation occurs in an introductory core course, in the capstone project, in the doctoral seminar series, and from an outside advisory group. In addition, each student pursues a sequence of courses and then completes a focused research project leading to a doctoral dissertation in one of the program’s specialization options.

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