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Chances for PhD at Top 20 Biomedical/Bioengineering Programs


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Hello everyone, 

I wanted to enquire about my chances for a PhD at a Top 20 biomedical engineering program. Here is my profile:


Nationality: American


Undergraduate Degree: Biomedical Engineering from University of Toronto

Undergraduate GPA: 3.33 (steeply upward trend, last two years GPA is 3.90)


MSc Degree: Operations Research/Industrial Engineering from University of Toronto

MSc GPA: 4.00 (10 courses, mostly in optimization and algorithms)



Verbal: 162, Quantitative: 162, Analytical: 5.0


Research Experience:

- I have two papers published as an undergraduate, both are biomedical engineering papers (one as 1st author, the other as 2nd author)

- Looks like I will have 2 published papers from my MSc degree as well

- I have had research experience in 3 biomedical engineering and life science labs for 8 years (mostly focused on cancer)

- 4 poster presentations at a number of conferences 


Work Experience:
- After graduation from undergrad, I worked as a biomedical engineer for a research group focusing on lab-on-a-chip technology for medical diagnostics

- Research Assistant during my time as a graduate student

- Teaching Assistant for a graduate engineering course


MSc Thesis:

- I'm focusing applying operations research to cancer therapy (intensity-modulated radiation beam therapy)


Research Interests:

Considering my background as a BME, my research interest for the future are are tissue engineering, lab-on-a-chip diagnostic devices, drug-delivery systems, application of operations research to medical/clinical settings. 

I know my undergraduate GPA is not the greatest, however it shows a very steep upward trend. I believe my academic capability is proven by my graduate GPA (10 A+'s from 10 courses). 


If you could give me an idea of whether I would be competitive for Top 20 biomedical or bioengineering programs, or what I would have to improve upon, I think it would really provide me with some important guidance. Thank you. 

Edited by falcon31
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Hi, I want to know if I would have a shot at top BME schools as well(Stanford, JHU, UCSD, Mich, Washington, Rice etc)

Since I do not have M.S. degree, I plan to apply for both Ph.D. and M.S. or M.Eng.

Would I have better chance for M.S.?

Thank you.


U.S. permanent resident

English is my second language


Undergraduate Degree: Biomedical Engineering from top 30 BME U.S. univ

Undergraduate GPA: 3.807 (started from 3.5 in first year)


GRE: (took yesterday)

Verbal: 162, Quantitative: 170, Analytical: not received yet


Research/work Experience:

- 1 year research for credit and published b.s. thesis 

- 2.5 year research assistant/lab manager (not BME)

- 2 major poster presentations (not BME)

- paper...in preparation, but not sure when. My prof may say papers in preparation on LOR.

- undergrad teaching assistant for 2 years(stat, calculus)


Research Interests:

tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, targeted cancer therapy

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  • 3 weeks later...

I found the results page very helpful as you begin to see the pattern of GPA and GRE scores. Aside from scores your experience and goals need to be a fit in their lab this season. If their Tissue Engineering lab is full then they won't take anyone with that expertise and

goals etc...so it's kind of a toss up.

Shp9n0108, I did get into JHU and Rice and am in your field. I was rejected from Michigan receiving a letter inferring loss of funding in tissue eng field. So I think your chances are excellent.

Falcon, I think your GPA is lower than most I have seen acceoted by top schools but your research and publications may pueh you over. Good luck!!!

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