Admissions Requirements for Bioinformatics Ph.D. Program

Admission is in accordance with the general requirements of the graduate division. Candidates ought to have a quantitative or computational track record and an inclination to work in interdisciplinary areas across biology, medicine, computational sciences and engineering. The most competitive applicants have an undergraduate degree majoring in any of the disciplines in the biological sciences, the physical sciences, computer science, or mathematics, and a strong background in the complementary disciplines.

Applicants indicate their priority interest in the Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Track or the Biomedical Informatics Track; please see this page for further information on each track.

Admission review will be on a competitive basis based on the applicant's undergraduate track record, Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE) scores, and other scholastic achievements. Special attention will be given to the quantitative and analytical section scores of the GRE and the formal education in quantitative methods. Attention will also be given to the motivation and career plans of the applicant candidates. The applications will be screened and evaluated by the Admissions Committee with input from program faculty. Applicants must apply online at and must submit a completed UC San Diego Application for Graduate Admission (use major code BF76) to include official transcripts (English translation must accompany an official transcript written in other languages), TOEFL scores (required ONLY for international applicants whose native language is not English and whose undergraduate education was conducted in a language other than English), and three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the academic competence and to the depth of the candidates' interest in pursuing graduate study. Typically applicants are only considered for admission after interviews at UCSD.

Online Application

UCSD offers an online application for the Bioinformatics & Systems Biology Graduate Program. Hard copy applications are not available. Apply online at (use major code BF76). The online application system opens mid-September.

Students are only admitted during the fall quarter. The Fall 2020 Application Deadline is Monday December 9, 2019. Applications with fee waiver requests are due a week earlier.

Please send test scores to

  • Institution Code 4836 (UC San Diego)
  • GRE Department Code 0224 (Bioinformatics)
  • TOEFL Department Code 69 (Engineering, other)

For further admission information, students should see the Admissions FAQ or contact the Bioinformatics and Systems Biology graduate coordinator via e-mail at or at (858) 822-0831.

Application Status

To check the status of an application that you have submitted, please email the Graduate Coordinator with your Name, Date of Birth, and Email Address used on your application. An email containing the status of your application will ONLY provide information verifying receipt of supplementary materials (transcripts, letters, etc.). Official notification of admission is distributed directly from the Office of Graduate Studies.

Email the Graduate Coordinator