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Graduate Applicants

The Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering offers the following graduate level degree programs:

Master of Science (with thesis) Program

Applications for the Master of Science program are due December 15  for fall admission and September 15 for spring admission.

The University and program will continue to accept applications after the deadline but because of the number of applications processed through admissions, there can be a significant delay in the materials reaching us for consideration. An incomplete application may mean that the selection committee may not consider your application. Please be aware that later applications may reach us after all positions have been filled. Please understand that the deadlines are for both national and international applicants.”

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Program

The fall application deadline for the Ph.D. program is December 15 and the spring application deadline is for September 15. It is best to start the application as soon as September, prior to the year of expected attendance.

Application deadlines summary

M.S. and Ph.D. applications are considered annually for enrollment in the fall term. In rare cases, an applicant may be considered for spring or summer. However, all prospective students are preferred to consider for fall admissions. The deadline for submission of applications to all regular graduate programs/majors with BME as a home department is January 1 each year. All application materials, including test scores and recommendation letters, are due by this date and submitted through the online application system at the Graduate College.


Application Deadline

Regular M.S. and Ph.D.December 15
Accelerated B.S./M.S.March 1st  (applications are submitted in the students 3rd Year (Junior Year) of the BME Program)
** Spring admissions are made on a case-by-case basis, but generally the deadline is September 15th

Typically, top applicants may be invited to campus for interviews and recruitment in February. Decisions are normally completed by early-March so that prospective students have time to consider other school offers and respond by the standard April 15 response deadline.

Questions about our application process?


Q. How soon will a decision be made if I am admitted?

A. The committee will go through the applications several times to review and select admissions for the projects.  It may be several weeks before selections are made and a decision known.

At various times during the year, our faculty receive grants and other funding for their research projects. When they learn of these, they notify the selection committee of the need for graduate students. The selection committee will then look through the group of applicants and match the project and the student or students. Because each research project is different, the skills and education needed to work on projects vary. An applicant may not match what is needed for a project that is open early in the reviews, but it will continue to be considered as other projects and funds become available.  Because of this, we will notify you as soon as you are selected. If you have not heard from us, this means that your application is being reconsidered as each new position comes open.

Q. What is the minimum GPA needed for admission?

A. The GPA minimum is 3.00.

The scale used is 4.00= A, 3.00 = B, 2.00 = C, 1.00 = D, and below 1.00 = F.


Q. My school does not use this scale, how will my grades be evaluated?

A. A standardized system is used to convert the grades to the A, B, C, D, and F scale.

Our university has access to a service that converts the grade point systems of most schools and universities around the world into a scale that we can use for evaluations. This is used by many other US schools and takes into consideration various factors about the school and the curriculum. Our department does not convert the grades.

Q. Who should the Letters of Reference be from?

A. It is most helpful if the letters of reference are from people you have worked under or who you have taken classes from, such as instructors, faculty you have done research under, and/or managers.

The names, titles, and e-mail addresses of these three people are to be submitted in the application. It is most helpful if they are a faculty member who you have done research for or have gotten to know in a class you have taken. If you have also been employed, a supervisor can also be included. You should contact these people before including their names for their approval to include them in the list. The online system will send them a form to complete electronically and they can attach additional letters or comments.


Q. Can I include more than three Letters of Reference?

A. Yes, but three is usually all that is needed.

Space is only provided for three letters of reference on the application. Additional recommendations can be sent by mail or directly from them by e-mail. A department reference form is available by contacting our office or a regular letter can be sent by the recommenders to us. A letter can also be included with the form.

Q. What transcripts should be sent?

A. Transcripts for undergraduate degrees and associate degrees will need to be sent along with your application.

Transcripts for high schools or secondary schools are not needed.


Q. My transcript is from another country, is that type of transcript needed? Will an English Version be required?

A. Photocopies in English are requested to be sent to the department and an official copy of the transcript from your university and/or college is required by the admission office.

Questions about the admission criteria and forms can be obtained from the Office of Admissions. The address for the Admissions Office is Buchanan Hall, 1000 Asp Avenue, Room 127, Norman, OK 73019. Their telephone number is (405) 325-2251 and their Fax number is (405) 325-7124. Their web page is Questions about transcripts and other admissions related subjects can be answered by email at

Q. I have taken the GRE, should I send my scores?
A. Our program does not require the GRE but will your scores as additional information about your qualifications.

There is a section in the online application to include the scores and percentages. A photocopy or original of the score sheet can be sent and should include both the separate section scores and the percentages, not a total amount.

Q. What is the minimum score for the GRE test?
A. Since our program does not require the GRE, there is not a minimum score requirement. 

Q. What are the GRE codes for the University and the department?
A. The University code for the GRE is 6879 and the department code is 1603.

Q. I took the old GRE test, will I need to retake the new GRE test?
A. While we encourage students to take the new version of the GRE, it is acceptable to send the old GRE test scores.

Q. Is my country listed on OU's approved English-Speaking Countries list?

A. Please review the list on the Graduate College's webpage for Approved English-Speakering Countries.


Q. What is the minimum requirement on the TOEFL test?

A. The department minimum score is 100 on the iBt internet-based test, 250 on the computer-based test, and 550 on the paper-based test. The University minimum score is 79 on the iBt internet-based test, 213 of the computer-based test, and 550 on the paper-based test.

We will occasionally accept an application between the department minimum and the University minimum if the other qualifications are very good. We do not accept applications if the score is below the University minimum requirement. The University code for the TOFEL is 6879.


Q. Is the IELTS accepted? If so, what is the minimum score?

A. Yes, the IELTS is accepted. The program minimum is 7.0 and the University minimum is 6.5.


Q. Can a U.S. bachelor's degree be substituted for the TOEFL?

A. Yes, a U.S. bachelor's degree can be substituted for the TOEFL.

Please indicate this on your application.


Q. Can I send in my application now and send the TOEFL later?

A. You can send in all of the application materials first and the TOEFL later, but the application will not be considered by our program until the TOEFL arrives.

The University application is not considered complete and the application will not be forwarded to us for consideration until the official TOEFL is received in that office.

Q. How many students are selected for admission?

A. We select 4 to 7 students for admission to the Fall semester and 1 to 3 for the Spring semester. This is including M.S. and Ph.D. and U.S. and International students. The number of students accepted each semester is subject to many variables and can change at any time. 

Sometimes applicants ask if we can look at a student's qualifications and tell if they would be admitted to our program. While we can determine if a student qualifies to apply, even if the student meets the minimum requirements, it is not possible to tell ahead of time if a particular student would be admitted. Admittance depends upon several factors such as the projects that have openings for that semester, the number of positions we have available on those projects, and the level of qualifications of other students who apply. 

Q: Who can I contact with further questions?

A: Student Programs Coordinator, Nicole Palmeter

Q: Do I need to have an advisor/supervisor selected or confirmed before applying?

A: You are free to contact our faculty before you apply, but it is not required that you have an advisor/supervisor secured before applying.

Please review SBMEs Advisor Pairing Policy for further details.

Q: Do you provide Application Fee Waivers?

A: Yes! To apply for an Application Fee Waiver, the committee will need you to forward a copy of your CV, Transcript(s), and Statement of Purpose combined into one PDF to Nicole Palmeter, Graduate Program Coordinator.