Graduate Admissions

Thank you for your interest in our program!
Please visit the Rackham Graduate School webpages for additional information on applying. Information is also available on how to respond to an offer of admission, plus tips and materials required for international applicants and incoming students.

PhD admissions

For prospective Ph.D. students, there are two path options.

Apply through the Program in the Biological Sciences (PIBS). Most students are encouraged to apply through this path. PIBS is an umbrella program that offers first year graduate students’ flexibility in exploring opportunities from fourteen graduate programs including our own. An advantage of PIBS is that if you are unsure of your academic focus, you have a much larger pool of faculty in whose labs you can rotate before making a final selection as to which program you will join. For example, if you are also interested in the Biophysics or Human Genetics program, you may spend a semester in the lab of someone who is a faculty member in those programs. After 10 months in PIBS, you then work with a primary advisor and select which program you will permanently join.  Visit the PIBS website for more complete information. Even if you do not have a strong background in biology, you can still apply to Bioinformatics through PIBS!

Apply directly to the Bioinformatics Program. If you already have identified your mentor and/or are transferring from another U of M program, apply directly here

The Ph.D. application deadline is December 1. All materials are due at that time. The deadline applies to all international and domestic applicants.
Please note that applications submitted early will not be reviewed prior to the deadline. 

Diversity Information for Applicants

The Bioinformatics Graduate Program encourages applications from traditionally underrepresented minorities, students with disabilities, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. There are numerous funding opportunities and resources on campus to contribute to students overall well-being while pursuing studies. Several resources available to students can be found on the Rackham Graduate School Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion website.

In addition, the Bioinformatics Program regularly has faculty participation at events around the country, such as the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students.

Application Materials

All application materials should be submitted electronically when possible.
Applicants must meet Rackham's Minimum Requirements for Admission.
The online application form can be found on the Rackham Admissions webpages. The application is available in early September through the deadline.  

  1. GPA, minimum 3.2/4.0 (exceptions may be made if deemed appropriate)
  2. Letters of recommendation (3 required)
    Please be aware that submitting only the Rackham Recommendation for Admission Form is insufficient; forms must be accompanied by a letter from the recommender. All letters are due by the application deadline. Without them, applications will not be considered complete or reviewed by the Program Admissions Committee.
  3. Statement of Purpose
    The Statement of Purpose should be a concise, well-written statement about your academic and research background, your career goals, and how Michigan's graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.
  4. Personal Statement
    The Personal Statement should be a concise, well-written statement about how your personal background and life experiences, including social, cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan. This is not an Academic Statement of Purpose, but a discussion of the personal journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree.
  5. Resume/CV
  6. Transcripts
    Please submit transcripts electronically with your online application. 
  7. Submission of the GRE is optional. If you wish to submit scores, the codes you need are:
    - University of Michigan Horace Rackham Graduate School (R1839) 
    There is no Department Code. Rackham Application Program Code (5199)
  8. Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency via the TOEFL exam. Other exams may not be substituted. Rackham Graduate School offers a full explanation of this requirement, including exemption criteria. Please contact Rackham directly (rackadmis@umich.edu) with questions regarding the TOEFL.

Funding Sources

The Bioinformatics Graduate Program will provide tuition, healthcare coverage, and a stipend on a 12-month basis. This level of support will be maintained throughout a student's tenure in the Program, provided s/he remains in good academic standing and makes reasonable progress towards the degree as determined by the Graduate Directors, with faculty input. It is expected that the student will be supported directly by the mentor's laboratory, beginning in the second year. The expected time to degree is typically 5 – 6 years. 

MS admissions

Prospective Master’s students should apply directly to the Bioinformatics Program through the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan.

If you have any questions, contact the Bioinformatics Graduate Program at dcmb-gradbioinfo@med.umich.edu.

The M.S. application deadline is March 1. All materials are due at that time.

The deadline applies to all international and domestic applicants.
Please note that applications submitted early will not be reviewed prior to the deadline. 

Diversity Information for Applicants

The Bioinformatics Graduate Program encourages applications from traditionally underrepresented minorities, students with disabilities, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. There are funding opportunities and resources both from the program and other campus units to contribute to students overall well-being while pursuing studies. Several resources available to students can be found on the Rackham Graduate School Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion website.

In addition, the Bioinformatics Program regularly has faculty participation at events around the country, such as the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students.

Application Materials

All application materials should be submitted electronically when possible.
Applicants must meet Rackham's Minimum Requirements for Admission.
The online application form can be found on the Rackham Admissions webpages. The application is available in early September through the deadline.

  1. GPA, minimum 3.2/4.0 (exceptions may be made if deemed appropriate)
  2. Letters of recommendation (3 required)
    Please be aware that submitting only the Rackham Recommendation for Admission Form is insufficient; forms must be accompanied by a letter from the recommender. All letters are due by the application deadline. Without them, applications will not be considered complete or reviewed by the Program Admissions Committee.
  3. Statement of Purpose
    The Statement of Purpose should be a concise, well-written statement about your academic and research background, your career goals, and how Michigan's graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.
  4. Personal Statement
    The Personal Statement should be a concise, well-written statement about how your personal background and life experiences, including social, cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan. This is not an Academic Statement of Purpose, but a discussion of the personal journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree.
  5. Resume/CV
  6. Transcripts
    Please submit transcripts electronically with your online application. 
  7. Submission of the GRE is optional. If you wish to submit scores, the codes you need are:
    - University of Michigan Horace Rackham Graduate School (R1839)     
    - There is no Department Code. Rackham Application Program Code (5199)
  8. Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency via the TOEFL exam. Other exams may not be substituted. Rackham Graduate School offers a full explanation of this requirement, including exemption criteria. Please contact Rackham directly (rackadmis@umich.edu) with questions regarding the TOEFL.

Funding Sources

Please be aware that the Bioinformatics Program does not guarantee financial support to Master’s students. There are occasional work opportunities available which may help defray your expenses; however, we cannot guarantee the availability of such opportunities, and most will not cover tuition and living expenses in full.

Sources of Aid on Campus 

PhD/MS dual degree admissions

Ph.D. students who wish to pursue a dual Master’s degree in Bioinformatics must apply August 1 directly to the Bioinformatics Program through the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan.

If you have any questions, contact the Bioinformatics Graduate Program at dcmb-gradbioinfo@med.umich.edu. All students are encouraged to make an appointment with either a Bioinformatics Master’s Guidance Advisor (Stephen Guest or Alla Karnovsky) or a Bioinformatics Program Director to discuss balancing your curriculum.

Interested students should consult with a Graduate Program Director or a Master’s Advisor before enrolling in classes, as applicants with limited computer programming may be required to take preparatory courses in their first year. Grades obtained in these first-year bioinformatics courses will be considered during evaluation of applicants for suitability for the MS Program.

If a PhD student applies after August 1 of their first year, a written justification of why the student waited before applying is required. Applications from candidate-level PhD students are discouraged, as ability to take additional classes is limited for candidates. 

Application Materials

All application materials are due by the deadline and should be submitted electronically when possible. 

Please note that applications submitted early will not be reviewed prior to the deadline.

The online “add a degree” application form can be found on the Rackham Admissions webpages. The application is available in early September through the deadline. 

The Bioinformatics Graduate Program also requires the following:

  1. GPA, minimum 3.2/4.0 (exceptions may be made if deemed appropriate)
  2. Letters of recommendation (1 required)*
    Submitting only the Rackham Recommendation for Admission Form is insufficient; forms must be accompanied by a letter from your advisor(s).
  3. Statement of Purpose
    The Statement of Purpose should be a concise, well-written statement about your academic and research background, your career goals, and specific to the Bioinformatics Program.
  4. Resume/CV
  5. UM Transcripts*

If you are unable to upload your recommendation letter and/or current transcripts via the online Rackham application, they may be sent to dcmb-gradbioinfo@med.umich.edu and will be included with your application. 

Please be aware that your home unit must support this request. The Bioinformatics Program will not consider applications otherwise, plus an application without home unit endorsement will not be approved by Rackham. 

AMDP admissions

The Accelerated Master’s Degree Program (AMDP) is for current UM undergraduates who wish to also obtain a Master’s in Bioinformatics.

Students must apply in their JUNIOR year; late applications will not be considered. Students in this program start taking Bioinformatics graduate-level courses while they are in their senior year of UM undergraduate study. Students complete both their undergraduate degree and a Bioinformatics Master’s degree within five years of study.

Complete program details can be found on the DCMB program website.

The application deadline is April 1. Students must submit an online Rackham application. Applicants should be in their junior year or approximately 18 months before finishing undergraduate degree requirements.

We highly recommend to contact the program for advising before applying.
Contact Dr. Stephen Guest, Master’s Guidance Advisor, to set up a session. You’ll want to discuss course options, what courses from your undergraduate studies may be transferred or double counted, and other general information about the program. Undergraduates who are pursuing a dual degree are ineligible for the Bioinformatics AMDP.

Accepted students enroll in the Bioinformatics AMDP during the last year of undergraduate study. For the 5th year, AMDP students enroll in Rackham as an M.S. student.

Application Materials

When applying, use Program Code 02161 and Academic Plan Code 4740MS1. 

The Bioinformatics Graduate Program requires the following:

  1. GPA, minimum 3.2/4.0
  2. Letters of recommendation (1 required)
    Please be aware that submitting only the Rackham Recommendation for Admission Form is insufficient; forms must be accompanied by a letter from the recommender. All letters are due by the application deadline. Without them, applications will not be considered complete or reviewed by the Program Admissions Committee.
  3. Statement of Purpose
    The Statement of Purpose should be a concise, well-written statement about your academic and research background, your career goals, and how Michigan's graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.
  4. Personal Statement
    The Personal Statement should be a concise, well-written statement about how your personal background and life experiences, including social, cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan. This is not an Academic Statement of Purpose, but a discussion of the personal journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree.
  5. Proposed Course of Study

This should outline what courses you anticipate taking in the upcoming two years to satisfy both your undergraduate and Bioinformatics MS requirements.

  1. Resume/CV
  2. Current UM Transcripts
    Please submit transcripts electronically with your online application.