Master's | In-person

Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics

Frequently Asked Questions

Find frequently asked questions about the master's in bioinformatics program below. Please contact our admissions team if you don't find the information you're seeking.

Should I schedule a meeting or call as a part of the application process?

We welcome the opportunity to speak with all prospective students and applicants. Please contact the MScBMI admissions team to schedule a call or meeting.

Does the MScBMI program conduct applicant interviews?

Interviews are conducted on a case-by-case basis. If required, the program admissions team will contact you to arrange an interview. Whether through an interview or an informal call or meeting, we encourage you to reach out and have a preliminary conversation before or during the application process.

Are there special forms for letters of recommendation?

When completing the online application to the program, there is a section to enter recommenders’ contact information. The online application system will automatically send them instructions. We suggest that you notify your recommenders in advance and ask them to look out for the email.

What is the deadline to submit an application?

Please see the How to Apply page for current deadlines.

Do I need to take the GRE or GMAT exam?

No. Standardized test scores, like the GRE or GMAT are not required for admission to the Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics program. The only exception is for students who may be required by university policy to submit evidence of English language proficiency.

What materials do I need to submit to accompany my application for admission?

Please carefully review the list of application materials to ensure your application file is completed on time.

Once I upload my unofficial transcripts to my application, do I still need to provide an official transcript?

Yes. One unofficial transcript from each university attended must be uploaded within the application. Please do not mail transcripts as part of your admission application; we only require unofficial uploads for application evaluation. If you are offered admission, one official transcript for each university attended will be required at least one month prior to matriculation. An unofficial transcript for undergraduate coursework is still required for the application even if you hold an advanced degree(s).

Does the MScBMI's program admit foreign students?

Yes, international students are encouraged to apply to the program. Multiculturalism is an integral part of daily life at the University of Chicago. The University community is composed of a rich mix of individuals who, with their own distinctive viewpoints, contribute to the intellectually challenging culture of the University. GRAD Development and Diversity leads efforts within UChicagoGRAD to create, sustain, and coordinate practices throughout the University that support:

  • the academic, scholarly, and career development of graduate students and postdocs from historically underrepresented and marginalized groups
  • all graduate students and postdocs in incorporating diversity in their scholarly lives

International students that require a F-1 or J-1 Visa are required to apply as full-time students. Those requiring a student visa will receive help from the University in securing an F-1 or J-1 visa through our Office of International Affairs. Please review the application deadline for international applications. We suggest that applicants begin the visa process as soon as possible.

Do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS?

Applicants to the graduate schools and divisions of the University of Chicago who do not meet the University’s waiver criteria must submit proof of English language proficiency. The requirement may be waived 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.

If I apply to the MScBMI, can I get financial support?

View options about financing. We also encourage applicants to look for external scholarship options. Opportunities may include scholarships designated for STEM programs or other related disciplines. Scholarship opportunities may be available. Please contact BMI admissions team for more information.

What is the duration of the MScBMI Program?

The program is self-paced so students can attend classes on a full-or part-time basis. Full-time is considered three courses per quarter and part-time is a minimum of one course per quarter. Full-time students complete the program in one year. Part-time students complete the program in at little as eighteen months up to a maximum of five years. To earn the degree, students must complete twelve courses: five core courses, four elective courses, and a capstone project that consists of three courses.

Can I switch from full-time student to part-time student or vice versa?

Students with F1 and J1 visas are required to attend full-time. Other students may go at their own pace and switch between full- and part-time status.

Does the MScBMI program accept transfer credits from other universities?

We do not accept transfer credits from other universities. However, in some cases, required courses may be waived if a student has taken a similar course previously. Students who waive out of a class must identify an additional elective to take in place of the waived course. Also, students who have taken MScBMI courses in the University of Chicago’s Graduate-Student-At-Large Program can transfer one course to the MScBMI degree if admitted to the program. This is subject to the approval of the program administration.

Are there any prerequisites for admission to the Program?

Background competency in biostatistics and clinical care are required for incoming students. For those that do not meet the prerequisite, we offer the following boot camp courses:

  • Introduction to Biostatistics: This is an intensive course designed for students who have little to no background in biostatistics. It is also intended to be a refresher course for those who may have some statistical background and may or may not have recently been engaged in statistics related work or activities. If a student previously took statistic courses or they use statistics in their everyday work, they may fulfill the prerequisite and will not need to take this boot camp. The faculty director makes the final decision based on the information provided.
  • Overview of Clinical Care Systems: This course provides non-clinicians with the knowledge of how clinical settings work. This boot camp is recommended for students that are not clinicians.

Can I take classes as a non-degree student?

Yes, students may be able to take courses through the University of Chicago’s Graduate-Student-at-Large (GSAL) or Returning Scholars program. Please see the GSAL program page for more information.

What is the course schedule?

In general, classes meet once per week for three hours. Class time is either on a weeknight from 6:00-9:00 p.m. or on Saturdays (9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. or 1:30-4:30 p.m.). Each class meets for ten weeks. 

Where do classes take place?

Classes take place at the downtown UChicago campus at the NBC Tower at 455 North Cityfront Plaza Drive. There is discounted parking for UChicago students in parking garages nearby.

Are COVID-19 vaccinations required to return to campus?

The University announced that it will no longer require students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to be on campus. The most up-to-date information about returning to campus may be found on the GoForward website.

When should I complete the capstone project?

Students will complete their capstone project over the course of the last three quarters of the program. Full-time students usually start identifying their project in their second quarter.

How does the capstone work?

Students are welcome to consider and research potential capstone projects from the moment they enter the program. Officially, however, students choose a project and institutional partner during the first capstone course. Staff and the proposal instructor will help students match with their preferred partner. After the Proposal course is complete, students proceed to Capstone Implementation (MSBI 39902) for a quarter. Student projects include a wide range of topics including data analysis, designing and building informatics tools, conducting research, and applying skills gained in the program. In the final quarter, students write up the project and prepare a public presentation in Capstone Writing and Presentation.

Upon completion of the Master’s program, what degree will be awarded?

You will receive a Master of Science degree from the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies.

All students must have a laptop with an updated operating system (OS). Students may need laptops with more memory and/or storage based on the courses taken. Most of our instructors use a Windows OS and may not be able to help troubleshoot software issues on other OS machines.

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