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 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, 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.
  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.
  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 applicant'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: Our School's Institution code is 1836.

The University's Department of Linguistics offers courses to help currently enrolled Illinois graduate students whose native language is not English. These courses may be used to improve language proficiency so that a student is able to function as effectively as possible within the university environment. They are NOT counted towards the degree. 

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 (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

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

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 Admission
Application portal open: June 1
Final application deadline: September 15 (application closes at 11:00 p.m. CST)
Decision notification date: October 15
Last day to accept admission offer: November 2

Summer/Fall Admission
Application portal opens: August 1
Final application deadline: December 1 (application closes at 11:00 p.m. CST)
Decision notification date: February 8 
Last day to accept admission offer: April 15

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 ischool-apply@illinois.edu or call Kim Fleming (217-300-9111) or Dimitria Johnson (217-300-6646) for answers to your questions.