Admission Criteria

A limited number of student positions are available in the BCB program. In an effort to admit the best-qualified candidates with the greatest potential for success, our Admissions Committee considers many factors in evaluating applications for admission. These include previous academic training (courses taken and grades received), quality of schools attended, statement of professional goals, research experience and publications, and letters of recommendation, as well as GRE and TOEFL scores. We especially encourage applications from women and minorities.

Admission to the BCB program is highly competitive. The raw GRE scores of PhD applicants admitted typically have averaged 161 (older test: 770) for the Quantitative portion, 147 (older test: 580) for the Verbal portion and 4.5 in the Analytical Writing portion; TOEFL scores for admitted international applicants have averaged approximately 620 for the paper based; 260 for the computer based, and 110 for the internet based exam.

We invite and encourage prospective applicants to review the admission criteria outlined below for assistance in determining whether to apply.

Degree Objective and Timeline. The Bioinformatics and Computational Biology graduate program is designed to provide doctoral (Ph.D.) level training. The coursework, research and thesis required for the Ph.D. degree typically can be completed in five years. In special circumstances (such as when a student has a prior Ph.D. degree), students may be admitted as M.S. candidates.

Undergraduate Work. A four-year university degree (the equivalent of a bachelor's degree) is required. Successful applicants typically have an undergraduate degree in molecular biology, computer science, mathematics, statistics, physics or a closely related discipline. Strong computational, mathematical or statistical training is desirable. However, all exceptionally well-qualified applicants who present strong evidence of research potential will be considered for admission.

A description of prerequisite and background courses, as well as our curriculum and training program is located here. First-year students in this program typically do take some prerequisite and background courses.

Academic Performance. Applicants should have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) comparable to at least a "B+" average or 3.30 out of a possible 4.00, and rank in the top quartile (25 percent) of their graduating class. Strong performance in relevant science, computer and math courses is especially valued.

Examinations. The general Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is required (requirement waived for applicants who hold a Ph.D.). See average scores of past applicants above. Subject GREs are not required. International applicants must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). See average scores of past applicants above.