MS in Bioinformatics

Admission Requirements

  1. Graduation from an accredited institution with bachelor's degree requirements substantially equivalent to those of the University of Illinois.
  2. A grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in master's-level coursework and in the last two years of undergraduate coursework, in which case GRE scores are not required. If an applicant's GPA is below a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, then GRE test scores are required. However, if an applicant has a JD, MD, or a PhD degree they would be exempt from the GRE requirement.
  3. Letters of reference from three individuals, with at least one from a librarian/information scientist or biologist and the remainder from employers or teachers.
  4. Please submit a one- to two-page personal statement concerning your interest in pursuing a Library and Information Science focused biological informatics degree. While you may highlight aspects of your academic and professional experiences, use this space to describe your interests beyond what you include in your resume.
  5. International applicants whose native language is not English must submit evidence of having passed the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of 620 or higher (or 260 or higher for the computer-administered version; 104 or higher [at least a 25 in each section] for the IBT). The test can be administered in the student's home country but should be arranged at least one year before the applicant expects to begin the program. The IELTS test is also accepted with a minimum score of 7 in each section.

    Note: The University's Division of English as an International Language offers courses to help currently enrolled Illinois graduate students whose native language is not English. These courses may be used to improve a student's language proficiency so that he or she is able to function as effectively as possible within the university environment. They are NOT counted towards the degree. The division also operates an Intensive English Institute and the LinguaCenter, where other kinds of help may be obtained.

Prerequisite Knowledge

Applying students are required to have strong backgrounds in information science, including undergraduate computing and mathematics at the level of the following courses. This level of background is necessary to take the required core courses, and must be remediated without credit if lacking. Appropriate preparation is also required in the chosen biology area of application.

  1. CS 225 (Data Structures) and introductory programming (LIS 452, CS 400)
  2. MATH 225 (Matrix Theory) and introductory statistics (STAT 100, PSYC 235)

Submitting Admission Materials

Prospective students will need to apply to the Graduate College using the Web-based electronic application (APPLY NOW). To apply to our school, you will select "Information Sciences." NOTE: As this application is used by applicants to all of the graduate departments, we are tailoring it to fit our needs. After completing the online application (within which are instructions for how to submit your letters of reference electronically), you are given two upload sections:

  • In the first section, upload your resume.
  • In the second section, upload your essay described in #4 above.

As your transcripts come directly to the School from the University, you should not have to mail anything in. Have your educational institution(s) send your transcripts to us directly at:

School of Information Sciences
501 E. Daniel St.
Champaign, IL 61820-6211

Information about assistance for domestic underrepresented applicants is available from the Graduate College.