Preparing for Your Application

Because of the highly competitive admissions process for the Department of Bioengineering, it is important that students submit a well-thoughtout application packet that highlights their accomplishments and provides evidence of strong academic rigor.

I. How to Prepare in High School

a. Required High School Coursework

b. Academic Achievements

II. Essays

a. Sample Essay Questions

b. Factors to Consider When Writing Essays

How to Prepare in High School

Required High School Coursework

Subject Recommended Years of Coursework
English 4
Math 4
Social Sciences 4
Lab Sciences (Chemistry, Biology, Physics) 4
Foreign Language 3

Academic Achievements

Evidence of academic rigor is demonstrated in:

  • Number of honors
  • Advanced Placement (AP)
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • College-level courses included in the student's four years

When the admissions committee is reading applications, the high school's course offerings are taken into account. Different high schools provide different levels of opportunity and rigor, yet applicants are expected to challenge themselves with the best offered at their school. Please note: Courses that are in progress are included in the reviews.


Sample Essay Questions

  1. How have your past circumstances and experiences impacted who you are, your future goals, and your choice of major? If you haven't decided on a college or major, briefly explain your intentions and aspirations for your first year at Illinois.
  2. Tell us something about yourself that isn't covered elsewhere in this application -- some interest or experience of yours that you think the University of Illinois should know about as part of the admissions review.

Factors to Consider When Writing Essays

  • How to tie your academic interests to the desired major:
    • If your interest is Bioengineering, demonstrate an understanding of the field and a desire to pursue the degree in your application.
    • Showcase your passions through experiences and activities, work experience, research, or course selection in high school.
    • Ensure your essay reveals maturity and growth through past experiences, evidence of character development, cultural insight, community awareness, and leadership.


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