- What are the admission requirements?
To be competitive, Ph.D. applicants should have a minimum of 3.40 GPA on a 4.00 scale or equivalent. However, this is not a requirement as we review applications holistically. M.S. and M.Eng. applicants should have competitive grades demonstrated by having a GPA greater than a 3.00 on a 4.00 scale or equivalent GPA correlating to a “B or better” at their institution. All applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and transcripts from previous institutions attended. For international applicants, a minimum overall TOEFL score of 85 with a minimum speaking score of 23 or higher is required for those who do not meet the criteria to waive the English Language Proficiency admissions requirement. For IELTS, applicants must have a minimum overall band score and speaking score of 7.0 or higher.
- What is the application deadline, and what is the next available term?
The application deadline for all Bioengineering graduate degree programs for Fall 2024 is Wednesday, November 29, 2023 at 11:59pm PST. The department only offers Fall admission. Admission is not available for Winter or Spring terms.
- Can I apply if I do not have GRE scores?
Yes! Effective Fall 2022 and thereafter the GRE is no longer required for admission, and we do not recommend submitting scores.
- What is the UCSD Institutional Code for TOEFL?
The UCSD Institutional Code is 4836. A department code is not required.
- What degree should I have to apply to UCSD Bioengineering?
By the time of admission, applicants are required to have completed a B.S. and/or M.S. degree in a branch of engineering, mathematics, or quantitative life sciences. Those with engineering backgrounds are considered more competitive.
- I have a non-engineering degree and have not taken engineering courses, can I still apply?
You are welcome to apply, however, those with engineering backgrounds would be considered more competitive. To be eligible for the review process you would need to have demonstrated proficiency in:
- Two years of multivariable calculus (i.e. advanced calculus) and differential equations
- One year of calculus-based physics
- Some mechanics and/ or engineering coursework
- General chemistry (note organic chemistry is NOT required)
- General biology
- I am an international student, will it be hard for me to be admitted?
Admission is extremely competitive for both domestic and international students. Please keep in mind, international students must have a minimum TOEFL speaking score of 23 or an IELTS speaking score of band 7.0.
- I am interested in the Ph.D. program and have a B.S. Can I apply directly to the Ph.D., or do I need to apply to the M.S. first?
Students with a B.S. can apply directly to the Ph.D.
- I do not know which degree option to apply to. What are the differences between the M.Eng., M.S., and Ph.D. programs?
The M.Eng. is a terminal professional degree, and is intended for students interested in going into industry. It requires completion of coursework and an internship (BENG 295). Students are not required to complete research nor a thesis. This degree can be completed in as little as 3-4 quarters of full-time study.
The M.Eng. MDE is a terminal professional degree, and is intended for students interested in going into the medical device industry. It requires completion of coursework, including a core course sequence in medical device design. This degree can be completed in as little as 3-4 quarters of full-time study.
The M.S. Plan I- Thesis is an academic degree, and is intended for students interested in going into research or pursuing a PhD later on. It requires students to complete coursework, research, and write/ defend a master's thesis. This degree is typically completed 6 quarters, and has a 7-quarter time limit.
The M.S. Plan II- Comprehensive Exam is an academic degree, and is intended for students interested in expanding their knowledge base in bioengineering. It requires students to complete coursework and also successfully pass a Comprehensive Exam on the material they learned in said coursework. This degree can be completed in as little as 3 quarters, and also has a 7-quarter time limit.
The M.S. Med is an academic degree, and is intended for students interested in pursuing further studies in the medical field. It requires students to complete coursework, an applied internship or fieldwork, and successfully pass a Comprehensive Exam on the material from the coursework and internship/ field work. This degree can be completed in as little as 3 quarters.
The Ph.D. program is an academic degree, and is intended for students who are interested in pursuing a career in academia, research, and/ or industry. It requires completion of coursework, TAships, ethics, requirement, and research culminating in a dissertation defense. The normative time to degree is 5 years with a 7 year time limit.
- Can I apply to more than one graduate program in Bioengineering?
Unfortunately, no, you may not apply to more than one program within the same department. For example the department offers both Master’s and Ph.D. programs, so you may only apply to one of these programs.
However, you may apply to more than one graduate program at UC San Diego. For example, you may apply to the Ph.D. program in Bioengineering and the Ph.D. program in Nanoengineering as these programs are offered by two different departments.
- What financial support does Bioengineering offer to students?
The Department only offers financial support to Ph.D. students. Financial support is available in the form of fellowships, traineeships, teaching assistantships (TAships), and research assistantships (GSRs). Awarding of financial support is competitive, and includes a stipend in accordance with requirements outlined in the UCOP-UAW Collective Bargaining Agreement for Graduate Student Researchers for the academic year in addition to the coverage of tuition, fees, and health insurance. Sources of funding include university fellowships and traineeships from National Institutes of Health (NIH) training grants. The Department does not offer financial support to students at the M.S. or M.Eng. level. For additional information about funding, please see our Financial Support page.
- What research areas does Bioengineering have and where can I find more information?
Our Department specializes in tissue engineering, biomechanics, bioinformatics and cardiovascular systems biology. For detailed research information, please go to the Faculty tab and Research Groups tab on our website to learn more.