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Applying to the Graduate Program

BRC Front SideWelcome!

We are pleased you are considering the Rice University Department of Bioengineering for your graduate education.

The department offers programs of graduate study leading to a professional Master of Bioengineering (M.B.E.) degree and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. A joint M.D./Ph.D. is offered between the Rice Department of Bioengineering and Baylor College of Medi­cine. 

To encourage close contact between students and faculty and to foster quality research, the Ph.D. program is limited to approximately 20 to 25 entering candidates per year. The typical course of study for a Ph.D. degree in bioengineering is four to five years. In the fall semester of the first year, students select their thesis adviser. A thesis proposal must be completed by the end of summer of the second year. Throughout their course of study, students complete three teaching assignments, generally requiring six to ten hours/week for a semester. For those students planning an academic career, more-involved teaching opportunities are available. An internship in industry, academia, clinical and national or international laboratories provides an opportunity for real-world exposure and/or broadens a student’s research tools and teaching techniques.

There is no limit for the M.B.E., a widely recognized, nonthesis degree designed for individuals with a bachelor's of science. The typical course of study for an M.B.E. is one year and part-time study options are available for individuals who want to continue working.

Few students interested solely in an M.S. degree are admitted, and only under special circumstances.

Annual student enrollment and graduation data 

Enrollments and degrees awarded for degree programs in Rice's George R. Brown School of Engineering are available at: https://engineering.rice.edu/about/enrollment-degrees-awarded

How to apply

Doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) program

The application deadline for the Ph.D. program in bioengineering is December 20. It is best to start the application process before September of the year applying. Apply online by visiting the Web page http://bioegradapps.rice.edu.

Master of bioengineering (M.B.E.) program

Apply for both the Applied Bioengineering track and the Global Medical Innovation (GMI) track online at http://bioegradapps.rice.edu. Applicants must select one of the two tracks, but they may submit separate applications to each track. Students currently in the Rice undergraduate program in bioengineering must contact the academic program administrator (ges2@rice.edu or 713.348.5063) for specific instructions regarding submission of your M.B.E. application. 

  • Applications for the Applied Bioengineering track are due by October 30 for spring admission and April 30 for fall admission.
  • Applications for fall admission to the GMI track are due by January 15 with a potential second round opening on March 15.

More information about each of these tracks can be found at: http://bioengineering.rice.edu/MBE.aspx

What to submit as an applicant to Ph.D. program or the M.B.E. program

When completing the online application, candidates will be asked to electronically submit the following items to the Graduate Admissions Committee by each program's deadline outlined above.    

  • Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended
    • All students must upload an unofficial transcript to the application and also send an official copy of their transcripts.
    • All students should upload a statement of purpose in addition to the “supplemental information” section of the application.
  • At least three letters of recommendation from teachers or advisers

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores - The verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing scores must be reported. (No advanced tests are required.)

  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for students who have not received a degree from a university in the United States or where English is not the official language of instruction. The TOEFL is administered through the Educational Testing Service (ETS), Box 6151, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6151 USA (telephone 609.771.7100). You can also send an e-mail to toefl@ets.org or contact a center in your native country.

    Students whose native language is not English may also use the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). IELTS is owned, developed and delivered through the partnership of the British Council, IDP Education Australia: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations. You can get more information about the IELTS at http://www.ielts.org, or send an e-mail to ielts@ieltsintl.org.

    Applicants whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL test and should score at least 90 on the iBL (internet-based) TOEFL, at least 600 on the paper-based TOEFL or score 250 on the computer-based TOEFL. For students who choose to take the IELTS in lieu of TOEFL, the minimum score is 7.

  • Make arrangements to have all official scores sent to Rice University.The appropriate codes for submitting GRE and TOEFL scores are:  for the Department Bioengineering is 1603, the institution code for Rice University is 6609, and the TOEFL code is 69.

  • The application fee of $85. The fee can be paid either by credit card or electronic check. At this time, the Department of Bioengineering is not considering application fee waivers. Payment of the fee cannot be deferred until time of enrollment. The application can be processed only when the application fee has been received. 

Submit all inquiries/application materials to:

Courier deliveries should be sent to: 

Rice University
Graduate Admissions Committee
Bioengineering Department-MS 142
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892

Rice University
Graduate Admissions Committee
Bioengineering Department-MS 142
6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005

Phone: 713-348-5869  Fax: 713-348-5877 
Email: bioeng@rice.edu







To make sure scores are available when graduate admission decisions are made, register to take the GRE and TOEFL as required a minimum of 90 days prior to the Ph.D. or M.B.E. application deadlines mentioned above. Applicants should also request transcripts at least 30 days before graduate application deadlines to give senders time to get the material to Rice University.

We wish you the best of luck and look forward to reviewing your application!