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M.S. Program

The BSE M.S. program seeks to prepare its graduates to become successful in the practice of biological systems engineering or in the pursuit of Ph.D. degrees in BSE or other complementary disciplines. 

Virginia Tech biological systems engineering undergraduate student observing measurement

The department offers the Master of Science (M.S.) thesis degree. The student in the M.S. program will conduct independent research and will produce a thesis and defend the research findings for fulfilling the requirements of the degree. 

Requirements to apply

Required Application Materials

  • Completed graduate application & application fee
  • Resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • Two (2) references, minimum (see below for instructions)
  • TOEFL scores (if English is not your native language)
  • Scanned official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended

Optional Application Materials

  • Abstracts of articles published in refereed scientific journals, if applicable
  • GRE scores 

Please submit ONLY the items listed above. Extraneous material will be discarded.

How to apply

Complete the online application, following the included instructions carefully:

  1. Include accurate email addresses for your references in the "Letters of Recommendation" section of your online application. Your references will be sent an email with a link to submit their letters of recommendation online.
  2. List up to three BSE faculty members whose research areas may interest you.
  3. Upload your resume into your online application (PDF format preferred).
  4. Upload your statement of purpose into your online application (PDF format preferred).
  5. Upload scans of your official transcript(s), or your unofficial transcript from HokieSpa, into your online application (PDF format preferred). Consult the Graduate School's Applying to Virginia Tech page for more information on uploading a transcript.
  6. Submit your online application and application fee.

Complete the online application, following included instructions carefully:

  1. Include accurate email addresses for your references in the "Letters of Recommendation" section of your online application. Your references will be sent an email with a link to submit their letters of recommendation online.
  2. List up to three BSE faculty members whose research areas may interest you.
  3. Upload your resume into your online application (PDF format preferred).
  4. Upload your statement of purpose into your online application (PDF format preferred).
  5. Upload scans of your official transcript(s) into your online application (PDF format preferred). Consult the Graduate School's Applying to Virginia Tech page for more information on uploading a transcript.
  6. Submit your online application and application fee.
  7. Have your GRE scores transmitted electronically to Virginia Tech, using institution code 5859. Do not enter a department code.

Complete the online application:

  1. Include accurate email addresses for your references in the "Letters of Recommendation" section of your online application. our references will be sent an email with a link to submit their letters of recommendation online.
  2. List up to three BSE faculty members whose research areas may interest you.
  3. Upload your resume into your online application (PDF format preferred).
  4. Upload your statement of purpose into your online application (PDF format preferred).
  5. Upload scans official transcript(s) into your online application (PDF format preferred). Consult the Graduate School's Applying to Virginia Tech page for more information on uploading a transcript.
  6. Submit your online application and application fee.
  7. Have your GRE and TOEFL scores transmitted electronically to Virginia Tech, using institution code 5859. Do not enter a department code.
  8. Submit materials requested by the Graduate School regarding immigration and financial resources directly to the Graduate School. Do not send these materials to the department.

Academic Requirement for Students without a Prior Engineering Degree

A student without a prior engineering degree is required to take the following two courses at either undergraduate or graduate level: Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics. The student needs to obtain a passing grade (P on a P/F scale, or C- (or better) on a letter scale).  If undergraduate level courses are to be taken, the course credits cannot be counted towards the student’s Plan of Study.  These courses can be taken anywhere that is convenient to the student prior to or after joining the BSE graduate program.  For MS students, the courses must be taken before the final MS defense exam.