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Application and Admission

We are accepting applications for graduate students for the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB) graduate program for next Fall (applications must be received by January 1). Although applications can be submitted at any time, applications should be completed by January 1, for full consideration for fellowships and assistantships.

The BCB graduate program offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. An M.S. degree is not required for Ph.D. applicants. BCB uses the following guidelines to help identify acceptable applicants.

  • A bachelors or masters degree in plant biology or closely related area.
  • Class ranking in the upper 25%, or a GPA above 3.2/4.0.
  • A minimum TOEFL score of 79 (CBT) or IELTS 6.5 is required for international applicants.  Exceptions may apply for those whose native language is English or those who have earned a degree in a country where English is the only official language.
  • Research experience is preferred.

Applications:

Admission to BCB at ISU is a two-step process; you should submit a pre-application to the BCB program to be considered for admission. If you are accepted, then you must also submit the Graduate College Application to be formally admitted to the University. Admission to both BCB and to ISU is required. If you have any questions about the application process, please email us (bcb@iastate.edu) or phone (515) 294-5122.

Step 1: Complete the on-line BCB pre-application

(There is NO FEE for submitting a pre-application.)

Pre-applications will be evaluated to determine if applicants meet our qualifications for admission. Applicants who meet the qualifications will be notified by the BCB program and instructed to submit a formal application as described in Step 2 below.

Step 2: ISU Graduate College Application

If you are acceptable to the BCB major, the next step is to complete the ISU Graduate College Application and provide some additional information to the BCB program.

Required by Office of Admissions

  • Required Electronically:
    • Fill out an Iowa State University Graduate Application.  Enter "Bioinformatics and Computational Biology" for major.
    • Application Fee.
    • Official TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo scores (for international applicants only)
    • Official academic transcript(s)

Admissions Office Address:

Office of Admissions
100 Enrollment Services
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2011
USA

admissions@iastate.edu

Required by BCB

In addition to the graduate college application, we request that the following items be submitted a long with your application:

  • Copy of the ISU Graduate Application
  • Resume
  • Description of research experience at all previous institutions/industry
  • Statement of research interests (by area and faculty) at Iowa State University
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Copies of Transcripts of your Grades and Credits of your undergraduate and/or Master's degree(s).

International Admission:

  • When your pre-application has been received, it will be evaluated immediately to determine if our academic qualifications are met.
  • If your application meets our academic qualifications, the BCB program will contact you to request that you complete the formal application process by submitting an application to the ISU Graduate College and by providing additional materials to the BCB program. This shall not be considered to be an offer of admission to the BCB program.
  • Full and complete applications will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Comments by the Admissions Committee are forwarded within two weeks to the Director of Graduate Education (DOGE).
  • The Chair, based on the Admissions Committee comments and review of your application, will decide whether or not to conduct a teleconference interview via Zoom, Teams or WebEx.
  • The DOGE will make offers to international students via e-mail communication between February 15 to March 21, based on ranking, outcome of the interview, research interest, and funding availability. You are required to notify your acceptance by April 15.
  • Students who are not offered Admission will be advised no later than May 30.

Domestic Admission:

  • When your pre-application has been received, it will be evaluated immediately to determine if our academic qualifications are met.
  • If your application meets our academic qualifications, the BCB program will contact you to request that you complete the formal application process by submitting an application to the ISU Graduate College and by providing additional materials to the BCB program. This shall not be considered to be an offer of admission to the BCB program.
  • Full and complete applications will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Comments by the Admissions Committee are forwarded within two weeks to the Director of Graduate Education (DOGE).
  • The Chair, based on Admissions Committee comments and review of your application, will decide either
    • To invite you for a visit to Iowa State University to meet with faculty and present graduate students. This is a chance for us to get to know you and for you to see if our program will meet your research interests and needs. We will pay all reasonable travel and lodging costs associated with the visit. A decision regarding admission and funding will be made immediately after the visit. You will be notified around the first week of February.
    • To place your application into HOLD status until February 28, before a final decision is made. You will be notified no later than March 15.
    • To deny admission. You will be notified no later than May 30.