Applying for MS/PhD Studies

The Bioengineering Department provides competitive training in biomedical research at the University of Illinois. Students may choose to work with any of more than 50 faculty in cutting-edge research and at prestigious centers such as the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, the Institute for Genomic Biology, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. The College of Engineering currently is ranked one of the Top 10 U.S. engineering schools by U.S. News and World Report.

Links to application details

Applying to Bioengineering

The Bioengineering Graduate Program provides educational and research experiences that integrate the sciences of biology and medicine with the practices and principles of engineering. The program prepares graduates to become leaders in research, academia, industry or government.

The Graduate Program in Bioengineering admits few M.S.-only students because it is a research-oriented training program. If you are interested in pursuing an M.S., we encourage you to contact the bioe-gradprograms [at] illinois [dot] edu (Graduate Programs Coordinator) before applying.

Admissions Criteria

Admission to the Bioengineering Graduate Program is very competitive. Successful applicants typically have GPAs above 3.5 (on a 4.0 = A scale), Quantitative GRE scores above the 85th percentile, and Verbal and Analytical GRE scores above the 75th percentile. The Department seeks students with strong analytical skills, demonstrated motivation, and experimental research experience or volunteer experience in bioengineering. Competitive applicants are encouraged to find Bioengineering Graduate Program Faculty research advisors prior to beginning graduate studies at Illinois.

Applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree in bioengineering or a related field. Engineering students must have prior training in life sciences. Biology students must have strong mathematical and quantitative preparation, including calculus and differential equations. For more information, see Preparation for Graduate Studies in Bioengineering.

Financial Aid for Graduate Students

Graduate students admitted to the Ph.D. program receive financial support with a combination of department teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and graduate fellowships.

Application Process

The application process is entirely online. The University uses the ApplyYourself web-based application system, which allows applicants to track their admission progress and conduct most of the process electronically. APPLY ONLINE

  • Ph.D. applicants: Select “Bioeng” as the Proposed Program, and enter “10KS0408PHD” for Program Code.
  • Terminal M.S. applicants: Select “Bioeng” as the Proposed Program, and enter “10KS0408MS” for Program Code.

Application Deadlines

Beginning each September, applications will be accepted for the following fall term. All materials, credentials, and test scores must be received by December 15 for the M.S. and Ph.D. programs.

As early as possible in the admissions process, applicants should contact faculty directly whose research is of interest.

Additional instructions can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Application Requirements

  • Transcripts of all completed university coursework.
    NOTE: Official transcripts are not required for application purposes but ARE required after an offer of admission has been extended.
  • Three letters of reference — The letters will be submitted online, and letter writers will receive instructions about the upload process via email.
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Résumé
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) — general aptitude test scores (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical portions). A GRE subject test is not required. These scores must be submitted through ETS, the company that administers the GRE. The institution code for the University of Illinois is 1836. For the department code, use "00" or "0000". (ETS records are held by the central administration, so no department code is required.)

International Applicants

In addition to the above documents, international students need to provide:

  • Certification of Degree for all academic degrees obtained. (If you have not yet graduated, you do not need to submit this certification until you arrive at the University of Illinois.)

  • TOEFL scores — All international applicants whose native language is not English must submit a TOEFL score. There are some exemptions to this requirement, for instance, if you have attended a university in an English-speaking country for two years or more. The Bioengineering department's standards are higher than the Graduate College standards. All applicants must submit a TOEFL score of at least 590 (paper-based), 243 (computer-based), or 97 (iBT). Applicants with TOEFL scores below these numbers cannot be considered for admission. TOEFL scores below 610 (paper-based), 253 (computer-based), or 103 (iBT) indicate the need for further English study. This consists of enrollment in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses based on an English Placement Test (EPT) taken upon arrival at the University. The University of Illinois now accepts IELTS scores in place of TOEFL. Applicants with scores below a 6.5 overall or below a 6.0 on any subsection cannot be considered for admission. Students who score below a 7.0 overall will need to enroll in ESL courses based on an an English Placement Test.

  • Rank in graduating class or in major. (Include rank only if your university maintains these records.)

If you have questions regarding any aspect of the Bioengineering Graduate Program, please e-mail them to bioe-gradprograms [at] illinois [dot] edu .


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New Graduate Concentrations: Biomechanics and Cancer Nanotechnology.

Graduate Info

Hyun Joon Kong
Interim Graduate Programs Director
bioe-gradprograms [at] illinois [dot] edu

Krista Smith
Graduate Programs Coordinator
bioe-gradprograms [at] illinois [dot] edu

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