How to Apply

What we need from you:

The application period for UChicago Biosciences programs starting in Autumn Quarter 2025 will open in early September 2024. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all materials are submitted by the December 3, 2024 deadline. Our approach to the evaluation of candidates is holistic; applications are reviewed as a whole. The admissions committee takes into consideration the entire application package, including submitted transcripts and scores, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and, especially, academic and research background. Evidence of a sound background in the applicant’s intended field of study is important, as are academic credentials suggesting that the applicant has the ability to successfully pursue advanced study and research. The University of Chicago recognizes that standardized test scores may not be good indicators of ability or potential for all candidates; submission of GRE scores is therefore optional. Previous research experience is considered a strong asset. Candidates are assessed in the context of the opportunities that have been available to them. Additional guidance to applicants is provided on our FAQ page.

  • All postsecondary education transcripts from which a degree was awarded

Transcripts must be scanned and uploaded to the link provided in the online application. Transcripts must be in the original language (with an authorized translation if that language is not English). Unofficial transcripts obtained from the school’s registrar are acceptable for the application review, but an official transcript displaying the seal of the degree-granting institution will be necessary before matriculation for admitted students. 

  • Candidate Statement

Your statement should discuss your previous research projects and other relevant professional activities, and how these experiences have prepared you for graduate studies. Tell us about your future objectives; what kind of questions you are interested in and why, and what kind of expertise you would like to gain in graduate school. If relevant, you may also discuss any challenges you have faced or road-blocks you have overcome during your preparation and the personal strengths and/or unique characteristics that make you a qualified applicant.  

The candidate statement instructions on the application are: 

  1. Tell us how you became interested in research: we would like to know about your previous research projects and other relevant professional activities and accomplishments, and how these experiences have prepared you for graduate studies.
  2. Tell us about your future goals and what motivates you, especially what areas of research you are interested in and why, what kind of expertise you would like to gain in graduate school, and why the University of Chicago is the right place for you to pursue these goals.
  3. Include relevant details about who you are as a person; to speak to your unique skills and character traits that will contribute to your success in graduate school. Topics you may wish to include are: (i) relevant leadership or organizational experiences such as efforts to address societal problems, (ii) non-academic accomplishments, and/or (iii) challenges you have faced or obstacles you have overcome during your preparation.

We highly recommend that the statement highlights key attributes that we will consider in our review process; see Holistic Review & Application Guidance. Your statement is an important part of your application. It should be clear, concise, well-crafted, and maximum of 2 pages.

Consider attending one of our Virtual Open House Events to learn more about the application process.

  • Three letters of recommendation

Submit letters electronically via the online application. Please see the Holistic Review & Application Guidance section for additional recommendations regarding your letters. If using a recommendation letter service such as Interfolio, the service must include the ability to upload each letter individually to the unique link provided. We cannot accept a single upload containing all of your letters.

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores

GRE test scores are optional. If submitted they must be from within the last five years. The University of Chicago's institution code is 1832. The majority of our graduate programs have elected not to use submitted GRE scores as part of the review process.  The PhD programs in Public Health Sciences, Medical Physics, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biophysics do consider submitted GRE scores.

  • $90 application fee

A non-refundable application fee of $90 is required. 

  • Original notification of English language competence

Applicants to the graduate schools and divisions of the University of Chicago who do not meet the criteria below must submit proof of English language proficiency. This policy applies to all graduate programs; the score level required for admission varies by program. Only the TOEFL iBT or IELTS Academic tests are accepted as proof of proficiency.

Waiver criteria:

English has been a primary language of communication and schooling for you since childhood; or you were enrolled for at least one academic year in full-time status in a course of study at an accredited English-medium post-secondary institution in one of the following countries or territories within the past ten years: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States.

Education in English-medium institutions in other countries or territories does not qualify for the exemption.  Please visit the UChicago Grad site for more information on the English language proficiency policy. 

Additional Information

If you are seeking advice or wish to make a visit before applying to our programs, please contact the individual program. We encourage you to seek information and advice from any of our programs or their faculty members. Because of the volume of applications and requests for status updates we receive, we are not able to evaluate individual credentials or resumes.

UChicago Biosciences does not release information regarding the number of applicants, number of students accepted, number of international applicants, or any other statistic pertaining to our applicants; however, some programs may share statistics for their individual programs.

The average time to degree is ~5.8 years across all our programs; additional data on time to degree and other metrics in specific programs can be accessed here.

International Students

We welcome international students to share their unique perspectives and expertise with our diverse student body. For admissions and aid purposes, an international applicant is defined as one who holds, or hopes to enter the United States on, a nonresident student visa. International applicants submit the same application as US citizens, permanent residents, and refugees, but are subject to additional requirements with regard to financial resource viability and demonstrated English proficiency.

Our financial package is available to all students. International applicants are given equal consideration for all awards and sources of University of Chicago support for which they qualify, but because they are not eligible for federal training grant appointments or student loans, the available sources of tuition and stipend aid are limited and competitive. International applicants are thus urged to seek aid from other areas (e.g., fellowships awarded through their native country) before seeking admission to graduate programs at the University of Chicago.

Prior to being offered formal admission, the international applicant must document the ability to meet the financial requirements necessary to obtain a student visa.

There are many campus resources for international students, including the Office of International Affairs and the English Language Institute.

Transfer Students

Transfer students are accepted and follow the same application procedures as new applicants. To be considered for transfer, students must have a valid reason for the move and must provide a letter of recommendation from an appropriate faculty member from their current institution. If the student is accepted for transfer, the degree-granting unit in which the student matriculates will decide whether the student can matriculate with advanced standing.

Recruiting Events

Representatives from UChicago Biosciences will be available to meet you and talk more about our programs at our recruitment events. If you are not able to meet with us at a recruiting event, you are always welcome to send questions to