Apply to our MS in Bioinformatics

What are the requirements for admission?

At the iSchool, we want you to succeed. We make every effort to assess applicants on their probable degree of success in the program, rather than relying only on how well they meet the formal requirements listed below.

  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 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, applicants who hold JD, MD, or PhD degrees are 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. If you graduated within the last three years of your proposed graduate program start term, one letter of recommendation must be from a faculty member with whom you have taken a class. The remaining letters should be professional in nature, written by faculty, employers, supervisors, professors, or others who are able to comment on your professional and educational goals as well as your aptitude for success in a graduate program. 
  4. A one- to two-page personal statement concerning your interest in pursuing a library and information science-focused bioinformatics degree. While you may highlight aspects of your academic and professional experiences, please use this statement to describe your interests beyond what you include in your resumé.

International applicants whose native language is not English must submit evidence of having passed an English proficiency test. The University accepts the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and Duolingo tests.

While our English proficiency requirements are higher than those set by the Graduate College, all applicants are encouraged to apply to the iSchool; however, those who meet or exceed our requirements have a greater chance for admission to our program.

Note: Our School's Institution code is 1836.

Test Grad. College Min. for Limited Status Grad. College Min. for Full Status iSchool's Recommended Scores
TOEFL 79 103 104 total
26 in subsections
IELTS 6.5 7.5 7.5 total
7.5 in subsections
Duolingo 115 135 135 or higher
135 in subsections

The University's Department of Linguistics serves as a resource for currently enrolled Illinois graduate students who wish to improve English-language proficiency.

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 (IS 452)
  2. MATH 225 (Matrix Theory) and introductory statistics (STAT 100, PSYC 235)

How do I apply?

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 resumé.
  • 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

To promote the academic success of incoming graduate students, we ask that all admitted students accept their admissions offer on or before the deadline listed.

When are applications due?

Spring 2024 Admission
Application portal opens: June 1
Final application deadline: September 15
Decision notification date: October 20
Last day to accept admission offer: November 1

Fall 2024 Admission
Application portal opens: August 1
Final application deadline: January 15, 2024
Decision notification date: March 15, 2024
Last day to accept admission offer: April 15, 2024

How will my application be evaluated?

Our Admissions Committee will evaluate your application as a whole, taking into account all submitted information. Only completed applications will be reviewed, and application materials will not be returned to the applicant.

Note: Admitted students may defer their enrollment for a maximum of one year, and files will be kept for one year after date of admission. After a one-year period of deferment, students must reapply.

What if I have questions?

For more information, contact us! You can e-mail for answers to your questions.