Graduate Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

When is the application deadline?
The application deadline for Fall 2020 is Monday December 9, 2019.

Does the program offer ONLY Fall admissions? When is the next admission window?
Yes. Fall 2020.

Is there an online application available?
Yes. Please apply online at using major code BF76. The online application system opens mid-September.

  • Please read What You Need to Apply on the Graduate Division site.
  • Three letters of recommendation (either electronically at or hard copies). Hard copies should be mailed to the Bioinformatics & Systems Biology Graduate Program Office address listed below.
  • The TOEFL or IELTS exams are required of all foreign applicants to UCSD whose first language is a language other than English. Exemptions from this requirement are made when an applicant has studied full-time for a minimum of one year in a university program in an English-speaking country, such as, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand or Australia.
    • The minimum TOEFL score accepted by UCSD is 85 (Internet-based exam), 213 (computer-based exam) or 550 (written exam).
    • The minimum of IELTS score accepted by UCSD is 7.
    • We do not receive IELTS results electronically as we do TOEFL so students must direct IELTS to send an official hard-copy of their results to UCSD.
    • Prospective students should take the general GRE and TOEFL in time for scores to arrive by the application deadline.
    • Request ETS to send official GRE scores to UC San Diego institutional code 4836 and department code 0224 (if you already submitted scores under the previous department code, 1603, it's fine). The TOEFL department code is 69.
    • More information: Graduate Division Admissions FAQ
    • Graduate Division Guidelines and Procedures for International Applicants
  • Official transcripts of prior institutions attended. Your scanned and uploaded version of your transcripts will suffice for our review process. Those that are invited for an interview will be asked to send your official transcripts to the Bioinformatics & Systems Biology Graduate Program Office address listed below:

Contact Information

  • Graduate Program Coordinator: Jade Hermes
  • Email:
  • Phone: (858) 822-0831
  • On campus: Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall, Room 141
  • Mailing Address:
    Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Graduate Program
    University of California, San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive, Dept. 0419
    La Jolla, CA 92093-0419

Do I apply through one of the seven participating Departments to get into the Bioinformatics & Systems Biology Graduate Program?
No. You may apply directly to the Ph.D. Bioinformatics & Systems Biology Program (major code BF76). If you are interested in one of the majors with a Specialization in Bioinformatics, please contact the department and apply through the respective department. Please note that other programs/departments have different application deadlines. For more information on the degrees with a specialization in Bioinformatics see here.

What are the UC San Diego Institutional and Department codes?
Please send test scores to UC San Diego (Institution Code 4836).
GRE Department Code 0224 (Bioinformatics).
TOEFL Department Code 69 (Engineering, other).

Does UC San Diego offer a master's program in Bioinformatics? If not, are there any plans of having a master's program?
No. We currently do not offer a master's program, nor do we intend to establish a master's program.

Can one enter the Ph.D. program and receive a terminal master's degree?

In applying for the Bioinformatics Graduate Program, does an applicant need to supply any particular GRE Subject test score?
No, the subject GRE is not required; only the general GRE is required.

How long are GRE scores valid?
Educational Testing Service (ETS) will report GRE scores for 5 full years, only. For specific information, visit the GRE website.

Is it possible to pursue the Ph.D. in Bioinformatics on a part-time basis?
Currently we are only accepting students into the program on a full-time basis.

Is there any supplementary application form that I should fill out in addition to the online application?
No, there is no supplementary application needed when applying to the program, just the online application and submission of all official documentation is needed.

What is UCSD's application fee?
The non-refundable application fee is:
US Citizens and Permanent Resident Applicants: $120.00
International Applicants: $140.00

What are the past average scores for accepted applicants?
V: 570.41
Q: 770.20
Adv: 4.54
Undergraduate GPA: 3.67