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How to Apply

Application Process

Applications to the Bioengineering Ph.D. Program and the One-Year Master’s Program are accepted online only through the Penn State Graduate School’s Online Application Portal.

The following items are uploaded as part of the application process:

A transcript from all institutions attended, both undergraduate and graduate

  • Current Penn State students do not need to upload transcripts.
  • Applicants recommended for admission will be notified by the Graduate School that official/original transcripts/documents and their official English translation must be sent from the originating institutions for review by the Graduate School in order to finalize an admission decision. Notarized copies are not sufficient. This step is only required after the application has been reviewed and if the applicant is offered admission.

Statement of Purpose (and résumé if desired)

  • Write a brief essay of your educational and research background, your area(s) of interest for your graduate studies, your future career goals, and reasons for why you should be admitted to the Graduate School at Penn State.

Three letters of recommendation (please note: only two letters of recommendation are required for the one-year non-thesis M.S. program)

  • The references you list in the online application will be given directions for submitting their letters.
  • We will accept letters by mail in a sealed and signed envelope if your references choose not to submit their letters online.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for international students only

  • TOEFL/IELTS Institution code is 2660
  • ALL international students from non-English speaking countries are required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score
  • A minimum score of 80 overall of the TOEFL is required.
  • A minimum score of 19 on the speaking section of the TOEFL is required.
  • A minimum of 6.5 is required for all sections of the IELTS exam.
  • EXCEPTION: International students who have obtained a degree from an accredited university in the United States are not required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS score.
  • Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements will be considered for admission on a Provisional basis and required to take an English speaking course.

PLEASE NOTE: TOEFL scores are to be sent to Penn State electronically via the Graduate School Online Application. Applicants should send hard copy scores directly from the IELTS testing agency to Penn State’s Graduate School at:

The Pennsylvania State University
Graduate Enrollment Services
114 Kern Building
University Park, PA 16802

Once documents for an application have been received by Penn State, they officially become a University document and cannot be returned to applicants.

Please do not submit information with your application that cannot be used in the admission decision process, e. i., Individual Education Plans (IEP), medical records, statement from physicians or psychologists, or legal documents. Such information will be destroyed and will not be included in the application packet.


The Penn State Department of Biomedical Engineering accepts graduate applications on a continuous, rolling basis. For strongest consideration of funding, the following deadlines apply:

  • Spring Enrollment: July 15
  • Fall Enrollment: December 15


Applications completed by the posted December deadline will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and decisions will be mailed during early February. Applications completed by the July deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis and applicants will be notified if openings remain. Please note that fall enrollment is strongly recommended.

When an application is approved by the Admissions Committee, the following occurs through different Penn State offices.

  1. A letter of recommended acceptance is sent to applicants by electronic mail. An admission recommendation is also forwarded to the Penn State Graduate School by the Department of Biomedical Engineering.
  2. The Graduate School must approve the Department's recommendation of acceptance. If approved, applicants will be notified by the Graduate School.
  3. International applicants will then be notified by the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS), which will issue an I-20 form. Any questions regarding visas, I-20, etc., must be directed to the OISS Office. The Department of Biomedical Engineering is unable to assist with international student visas.
  4. All applicants are considered for research or teaching assistantships and applicable fellowships. Applicants will be notified by the Department of any assistantship offers or fellowships at the time of admission.

The Admissions Committee carefully reviews each application and discusses the potential of each applicant. As such, the decisions of the Admissions Committee are final and not subject to further review.



The Department of Biomedical Engineering administers the undergraduate major in biomedical engineering, and is a part of the university-wide Intercollege Graduate Degree Program, offering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering. Our work combines traditional engineering principles with medicine and technology for the betterment of human health and society. 

Department of Biomedical Engineering

122 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-863-6614