Application Process and Requirements

The bioengineering M.S. and Ph.D. graduate programs provide 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.

Admissions Criteria

Admission to the bioengineering M.S. and Ph.D. graduate programs is very competitive. Successful applicants typically have GPAs above 3.5 (on a 4.0 = A scale) and GRE scores above the 80th percentiles. However, the admissions committee takes a holistic approach in reviewing applications in their entirety, not only focusing on grades or test scores. They would like to see a well-written person essay and statement of purpose, relevant research background, as well as solid letters of recommendation. The Department seeks students with strong analytical skills, demonstrated motivation, and experimental research experience or volunteer experience in bioengineering. Although not required, competitive applicants are encouraged to speak with bioengineering graduate program faculty to learn more about their research and how it aligns with the student’s interests.

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 preparing 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. For additional information, visit the financial aid page.

Application Process

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

M.S. and Ph.D. applications for the following Fall term are due December 1. Extended to December 8, 2023 for Fall 2024 applications.  As early as possible in the admissions process, although not required, applicants are encouraged to contact faculty directly whose research is of interest.

Application Requirements

  • Transcripts of all completed university coursework.
    NOTE: Official transcripts are not required for application purposes but ARE required if an offer of admission is accepted.
  • Three letters of reference— The letters will be submitted online, and letter writers will receive instructions about the upload process via email. The letter of reference should comment on the applicant’s abilities and past experiences that may have prepared them to succeed in our Bioengineering graduate studies at Illinois. It should include the name of the person providing the recommendation, along with their title and signature. If possible, it should be submitted on an institution or company letterhead.
  • Statement of Purpose— Two- to three-page essay that outlines your interest and applicable skills, especially those relevant to research, that have prepared you for the rigors of a thesis- and research-based graduate program.
  • Résumé or CV
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) — For Fall 2024 admission consideration only, GRE scores will be optional and not required.

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit proof of English proficiency with an acceptable TOEFL or IELTS score or by qualifying for an English proficiency waiver. Score and waiver requirements are listed here.

Additional instructions can be found on the frequently asked questions page.

Learn about what is different with the Master of Engineering in Bioengineering program admissions.