Program FAQ

1. I'm currently in my last few years of my undergraduate education. What courses should I be taking in order to be considered for your program?

Although we do not exclude from consideration students who have not taken a large number of courses in the biological and chemical sciences, we are looking for students who have strong engineering backgrounds. This means that we recommend that you take and receive good grades in courses like biochemistry, organic chemistry, differential equations, and statistics. We also recommend a course in research methods.

2. What GPA and/or GRE test scores should I have?

There are no absolute cut-offs, but applicants who are invited to interview usually have a GPA greater than 3.0. Students with grades below this require special consideration. GRE test scores are no longer required to be considered for admission into OHSU School of Medicine graduate program.

3. What should I include in my personal statement to make it stand out?

We especially want to know about research projects that you have been involved in and the sort of research you imagine yourself doing if you were a student in our program. This might include naming faculty you would be interested in working with and what you see as your long term career plans. Please visit our faculty web pages.

4. What information would you like my recommenders to include in their letters?
Information about how long they have known you and under what circumstances (did you take a class with them or work in their lab?) We'd like to know what you do well and what things you're not as good at, plus how they think these things might affect how you would do in graduate school.

5. Do I need to complete a GRE subject test?
No. There are no GRE subject test requirements.

6. I missed your application deadline. Do you admit students mid-year?
The Biomedical Engineering program considers applications and admits students year round. 

7. I currently have a Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering/Mathematics/Something Else. May I transfer credits to your program?
A petition can be made any time during your first year to transfer credits received for formal course work (not research or independent study). Only courses in which a grade of B or better was received will be considered and a maximum of 45 quarter term credits from an accredited institution can be transferred to the Ph.D. degree at OHSU. Transfer of credits must be approved first by the Graduate Program Director, then the Graduate Council, the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and the Registrar.

8. I have Master's degree. Will I have to get another in your program?
Our Ph.D. program does not require you to also get a Master’s degree.

9. How much will it cost me to be a student in your program?
We provide stipend to all students in our program. The 2019-2020 annual stipend is $30,480 for pre-qualifying exam graduate students. Once a student had passed the qualifying exam and advanced to candidacy, their stipend will increase to $32,004. All tuition and student fees are waived or paid for the student. Students are also covered by the University's Student Health Service.

10. When is the application deadline?
January 15, 2020. The Biomedical Engineering program accepts students all year round.

11. How many people do you admit/interview each year?
Approximately: 10 interviewees and 5 students matriculating.

12. When will I hear if you are going to interview me?
You should hear from us by the second week of February 2020.

13. How long will it take to get my degree?
The typical student will complete the requirements for their Ph.D. degree in 4-6 years. Our current average time to degree is 4.5 years.

14. I am neither a U.S. citizen nor a permanent resident. Will you accept my application?
All students admitted to our program can expect to be supported as graduate research assistants by federally funded research training grants, by departmental funds, or by individual faculty research grants. In order to be eligible for federally funded training grant support the individual must be a U.S. citizen or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible. 

Due to the above-mentioned funding challenges, it is rare that we extend offers of admission to foreign applicants. In order to do so, we would need to identify a faculty mentor with an appropriate funding source that is willing to be financially responsible for the student for their entire training period. Foreign applicants are encouraged to browse our faculty profiles to find one or more faculty members that match their career interests and to communicate directly with them about the possibility of joining their labs prior to applying for admission. Encouraging communications from the particular faculty member should be noted in your application personal statement.

15. English is not my first language. However, my English proficiency is excellent. Will I need to complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) requirement?
The TOEFL is required for all applicants for whom English is not a native language. The applicant may request a waiver of the TOEFL requirement in their personal statement. The waiver is generally granted for applicants who completed their undergraduate degree at an English-speaking American university.

16. I have more questions. Who should I contact?