CCNY Biomedical Engineering PhD Program Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated 03/06/2024

How do I apply to the program?
Applications for admission are submitted online through the CCNY Graduate Admissions Office. You can read more information here: The direct link for the application is:….

What is the application deadline to be considered for financial aid?
For the Fall admissions you need to apply to the program by January 15. If you apply after this deadline you may still be considered for financial aid, but that is not guaranteed (applications are accepted up until May 1).

Are applications accepted for the Spring semester?
Typically no. Applicants are usually not considered for Spring admission as there is typically no funding to admit students in the middle of the academic year. That may change if a) you have your own funding or b) a faculty member that you would like to work with wishes to admit you and has their own funds to cover your tuition and salary. If an application is submitted for the Spring semester (deadline of November 15) and there is no funding available even though the application is considered strong, the applicant may be asked if they want to be reconsidered for the Fall semester, when more funding is available.

Is there a minimum GPA or GRE?
Although the admissions process is very competitive, we don't have GRE or GPA cutoff scores; with scores being just one component of our holistic review process to determine a student's admissibility, we evaluate the complete admissions application (GPA, GRE, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation). Applicants should demonstrate a strong performance in their undergraduate degree (and master’s degree if applicable). NOTE: GRE Scores have been optional for admission since Fall 2020.

For international students, is there a minimum English Language Assessment score?
Most international students accepted into the program have a score of at least 550 on the TOEFL paper-based test or 79-80 on the TOEFL Internet-based test. Moreover, we accept the IELTS (6.5), PTE (53), and Duolingo (100). English Language Assessment scores are not needed for degrees received in countries where English is the official language.

What kind of financial support does the program provide?
The BME department typically accepts PhD students into the program only if financial support can be provided for them.  Financial support packages include a yearly stipend of $42,500.00 (for Fall 2024), tuition waiver, and health insurance.

I am also interested in the master’s program in biomedical engineering. Do I need to make a separate application to that program?
CCNY PhD applicants are automatically considered for the master's program if the application is considered strong but the applicant is not accepted into the PhD program. In general there is no financial support for incoming students in the master’s program, but there is potential for future funding if you work with a faculty member on a project with research funding. In addition, if you do well you could reapply to the PhD program later; many students have entered the PhD program after being in the master’s program first.

What kind of academic background must a student have for admission?
The following undergraduate courses are suggested to have been completed before entry into the PhD program:

Science (6-7 courses): physics (2 semesters); chemistry (2 semesters); organic chemistry and/or biochemistry; physiology; (recommended but not required: cell and molecular biology)
Math (5 courses): calculus (3 semesters); differential equations; linear algebra and vector analysis
Engineering (6 courses): thermodynamics; electrical circuits; linear systems analysis; engineering mechanics (statics); transport phenomena or fluid mechanics; mechanics or
strength of materials

If admitted to the program, students may be asked to take courses from the above list if they have not completed them; these courses are usually taken before any graduate courses and do not count as graduate credits. Whether a student needs to take any additional courses is decided on a student-by-student basis based on experience and performance in related subjects. The goal is that all graduate students have the minimum acceptable background to perform well in CCNY biomedical engineering graduate courses.

Does the program admit students who do not have an undergraduate degree in engineering?
Students come into the program with a variety of backgrounds, but if your undergraduate degree is not in engineering, there would be several undergraduate engineering courses that you would likely have to take before you could take graduate-level biomedical engineering courses (see above for details). Students with non-engineering degrees must be willing to make the extra effort to build their engineering skills so that they can perform well in the program and successfully complete a dissertation project that has a significant engineering component. (The detailed requirements for the CCNY BME PhD degree can be found on the department’s website.)

I already have a master’s degree – how many credits can I transfer?
Up to 30 credits of graduate-level coursework may be transferred if it is similar to the courses offered in the CCNY biomedical engineering graduate program (see the CCNY Graduate Bulletin at for a list of course descriptions). Once in the program a student must request a transfer of credits that is approved by the BME PhD Advisor and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. Usually graduate degrees in engineering or biophysics can transfer the full 30 credits. For master’s degrees in other disciplines courses can be transferred on a credit-by-credit basis. Transfer credits must typically have been completed in the past five years before the request is made, but exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis.

Do you have campus visits?
Prospective students are always welcome to visit – appointments can be made to visit with faculty, current students, and/or attend a biomedical engineering seminar during the semester (these are usually held on Wednesdays at 3pm). If you are interested in visiting, please contact the BME PhD Advisor. Students who are being considered for admission into the program are typically invited to visit CCNY for an interview. This gives the student opportunity to meet students and faculty and to visit various labs.  This usually occurs in February or March for Fall admissions. Interviews for Spring admissions are handled on case-by-case basis.

Should I contact a faculty member if I am interested in working with?
You are welcome to contact individual faculty members to find out if they anticipate accepting new students into their lab. However, the only way we can evaluate you as a candidate is based on your complete application. After the applications are reviewed, the applicant may be contacted by a faculty member who is interested in working with the applicant. All students that are considered for admissions to the program invited to visit and to meet with faculty, as described above.

Is campus housing available? Where do graduate students live?
Housing is available on the CCNY campus (the CCNY Towers, see Some of the biomedical engineering graduate students have lived in this housing. Another option is the International House ( Many students live in apartments throughout New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Apartments are often found via Craigslist or other online sources. Upon entry to the program, incoming students are linked to current students who can provide tips for obtaining housing.

What if my application is not complete by the deadline given?
Please contact the CCNY Graduate Admissions Office if any part of your application will not be submitted by the application deadline.

I am having a problem with the online application process – what do I do?
If you have any problems with the online application process, please contact the CCNY Graduate Admissions Office.

Do you give application fee waivers?
Unfortunately, we are not able to waive the application fee. Please contact the CCNY Graduate Admissions Office for more information.

For international students, how is a student visa obtained?
If you are accepted into the program, you will receive all the necessary directions on how to obtain a student visa. The BME program will provide you a letter stating the financial support you will be receiving. The CCNY Office of International Students & Scholars Services also provides advice and assistance to students coming from outside the United States. If you have any problem with the visa process, which should be done as quickly as possible, let the BME Administrator for Graduate Studies and the BME PhD Advisor know.

I have been admitted to the program. How do I sign up for classes?
You will receive registration information from CCNY that describes how to register; details about the registration process are also found on the CCNY website, along with course listings (Office of the Registrar, For the first semester, registration is done after meeting with the BME PhD Advisor; after that it is done online. If you do not receive information about registration (which occurs from April through August for the Fall semester or November through January for the Spring semester), contact the BME Administrator for Graduate Studies.

I still have a question not answered in this FAQ. Who do I contact?
For questions related to your application or any other kind of administrative aspect of the process, contact the BME Administrator for Graduate Studies: Brian Aguilar Avila, Administrative Specialist, , 212.650.8426.
For academic-related questions, contact the BME PhD Advisor: Prof. Lucas Parra, , 212.650.7211.

Last Updated: 03/06/2024 13:16