Graduate FAQ


What are the admission requirements?

To be competitive, Ph.D. applicants should have a minimum of 3.40. This is not a requirement as we look at applications holistically. M.S. and  M.Eng. applicants should have competitive grades (greater than a 3.0 GPA). All applicants must submit GRE General Test scores, as well as three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to their academic or professional competencies and to the depth of their interest in pursuing graduate study. A minimum score of 23 on the speaking portion of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all international applicants whose native language is not English and whose undergraduate education was conducted in a language other than English.

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 Biology 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 proficiency in mathematics including two years of college mathematics (i.e., advanced calculus and differential equations), and one year each of physics, mechanics, chemistry, and biology.

I do not have GRE scores, can I still apply?

The University requires that all students must have GRE scores to be considered for admission into a UCSD graduate program.

How late can I take the GRE? 

You will receive your verbal and quantitative scores immediately after you take the GRE. You may self-report those to complete your application for review. So technically, you could take your GRE on the deadline day (not recommended as the web traffic is very high on deadline day). When self-reporting your scores, make sure you report your scores accurately so as not to void your application. Official scores must be received before an offer of admission can be extended (M.Eng offers are extended beginning in mid-January; the earliest MS and PhD offers go out in February).

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 & Research" section of our website.

What is the application deadline, and what is the next available term?

We are only open for admission once a year for fall quarter. The next available term is Fall 2019 and the application deadline is December 2nd, 2019 11:59 PM PST.

Can I apply electronically?

YES. The application is available online at

What is the UCSD Institutional Code, Bioengineering Departmental Code and TOEFL code?

The UCSD Institutional Code is 4836, the Bioengineering Departmental Code is 1603 and the TOEFL Code is 69.

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, and research assistantships. Awarding of financial support is competitive, and stipends average $34,000.  for the year, plus tuition and fees (Non-Resident tuition being covered for the first year only for domestic students). Sources of funding include University fellowships and traineeships from a National Institutes of Health (NIH) training grant.  The Department does not offer financial support to students at the M.S./M.Eng. level.

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 don’t know which degree option to apply to. What are the differences between the Ph.D., M.S. and M.Eng programs?

The Ph.D. program is intended for students who are interested in pursuing an academic and/or research/industry career. The M.S. is intended for students interested in pursuing further studies or pursuing a research/industry career. The M.Eng. is intended for students pursuing a career in industry only and not wishing to pursue further studies.

I am an international student, will it be hard for me to be admitted?

Admission is extremely competitive for both domestic and international students. For Fall 2019, we are pleased to also consider our international PhD applicants for funded offers. International students must have a minimum 23 on the speaking portion of the TOEFL.

Can I apply to more than one graduate program at UCSD?

YES. You will need to submit an application for each of the programs for which you wish to be considered. Only one application fee is required for two programs. You will only need to request one GRE and TOEFL from ETS for UCSD.