Skip to main content

What funding opportunities are available?

Our graduate students are fully funded through the completion of the Ph.D. degree. Funding sources include the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and Department of Defense, as well as private foundations, industry sponsors and the state of North Carolina.

What is the average GPA/GRE for applicants?

*Due to challenges accessing GRE testing facilities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the requirement for GRE testing is temporarily suspended.

The admissions committee considers the entire applicant package and places great weight on the personal statement and recommendation letters. Students with lower GPA or GRE scores but who have strong letters and exceptional personal statements are much more competitive than students with outstanding scores who have mediocre letters and poorly written statements.

The UNC and NC State graduate schools require a minimum GPA of 3.0 and V/Q GRE scores greater than the 50th percentile for admission. In the past, admitted BME applicants had GPAs above 3.33/4.0 and V/Q GRE scores above the 50th/70th percentile, respectively.

I have an undergraduate degree in biology. Will my application be competitive?

An applicant with an engineering degree and at least one undergraduate biology course is the most competitive applicant. Exceptional applicants without engineering degrees have been admitted in the past, but they are expected to make up their course deficiencies. If you have a life or physical sciences degree, plan on taking engineering, advanced math and/or physics coursework before admission and/or during your first year of study in the graduate program.

Can MCAT scores be substituted for GRE scores?

*Due to challenges accessing GRE testing facilities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the requirement for GRE testing is temporarily suspended.

MCAT scores are only considered for admission if the applicant is applying to the MD/Ph.D. program at UNC.

Do I need to take the TOEFL?

All international applicants must submit scores from the TOEFL that are no older than 24 months from the first term of graduate study. A minimum of 80 is required on the iBT (Listening 18, Reading 18, Writing 18, Speaking 20) for admission.

What funding opportunities are available?

The department guarantees all admitted Ph.D. students funding for the first year. This funding comes from one of three sources: internal fellowships, teaching assistantships (TAs), or research assistantships (RAs). Internal fellowships and TAs are funded by department and university resources. RAs are granted by faculty members to students who are interested in working on projects in the faculty member’s lab. After the first year of study, students are expected to transfer to RAs. Regardless of the funding source, tuition and health insurance are paid for the student by the department or faculty grant, as are student fees.

How do I check on my admission status?

You will receive a computer-generated email once your application is entered into the application database. This signifies that the Graduate School has received your application and payment and has forwarded the application to the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. You will receive subsequent emails as materials are added to your file or if you are missing material.

Check the status of your UNC application or NC State application by clicking on the appropriate link.

I do not have a car. How will I travel between campuses?

Students can ride a departmental van, free of charge, that runs hourly, five days per week between UNC and NC State. Total travel time is approximately 40 minutes, depending on traffic.

I have a question that is not listed. Whom do I contact?

The BME Graduate Coordinator, Vilma Berg,, will help you with any admissions questions.


Director of Graduate Studies
Matt Fisher, Ph.D.
(919) 515-5242

Graduate Program Coordinator
Vilma Berg
(919) 445-6051

MS MedTech Program Director
David Zaharoff
(919) 515-6757

MS MedTech Assistant Program Director
Matt Penny
(919) 524-4497