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Admission Requirements

Applicants to the program must hold a bachelor’s degree in biological, computational, or other disciplines from an accredited four-year college or university. Applicants are expected to have competence in mathematics, computer science and/or biology.


Application Deadlines

For optimal consideration for Spring admission, all application materials should be completed by October 1st (July 15th for PhD), although applications will be considered until December 1st if there are remaining positions in the program.

For optimal consideration for Fall admission, all application materials should be completed by April 1st (February 15th for PhD), although applications will be considered until July 1st (April 15th for PhD) if there are remaining positions in the program.

Certificate applications are accepted up to the first day of classes.

All admission deferrals should be requested through the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology by reaching out to bioinformatics@udel.edu.


A minimum grade average of 3.0 on a 4.0 system is considered competitive

GRE Test Requirements

*The Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology is waiving the GRE requirement and not considering GRE scores for our graduate program applicants through at least Fall 2024*

We require the following minimum scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE):

  • Verbal: 153 *Waived*
  • Quantitative: 155 *Waived*
  • Analytical Writing: 4.0 *Waived*

The GRE subject test is not required.


Students from non-English speaking institutions are required to have the following minimum test scores on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam:

  • Internet test: 79 (100 for PhD), with a minimum Speaking Score of 18
  • Old paper test: 550 (600 for PhD)
  • IELTS: 6.5 (7.5 for PhD with no sub-score below 6.0)

The TOEFL is waived for approved English speaking countries.  We do not currently accept Duolingo test scores.

Students needing further English training may apply for admission through the University of Delaware’s ELI-CAP: English Language Institute’s Conditional Admission Program

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation (two for certificate applications) are required from professors (preferably), employers, or others who have had a supervisory relationship with you and are able to assess your potential for success in graduate studies.

Resume and Personal Statement

A resume/CV outlining work and academic experience is required, along with a personal statement that addresses the following questions:

  • What educational background and scientific research or employment experience prepare you for this bioinformatics certificate program?
  • What are your long-term professional objectives?
  • What specific attributes of the bioinformatics program make you feel that this certificate is appropriate to help you achieve your professional objectives?
  • relationship with the applicant and are able to assess the applicant’s potential for success in graduate studies.

Admission to the graduate program is competitive. Those who meet stated requirements are not guaranteed admission, nor are those who fail to meet all those requirements necessarily precluded from admission if they offer other appropriate strengths. Admissions are made on a case-by-case basis. Students can be admitted for full-time or part-time studies.

Newly Admitted Students

If you are visiting for the first time or arriving to start classes, here are directions to the UD Campus. The CIS Department is in Smith Hall on the Central Campus, at the corner of South College Ave. and Amstel Ave.

Admitted students should look for housing options right away. Visit the University’s page on university housing for graduate students and their families. There are also many private apartment complexes near the campus or accessible via the University’s free shuttle bus service. Here are several options for searching for them:

The University tries to help incoming students with temporary accommodation if requested. Or, try the list of Departmental and University-wide student groups.

A good resource for foreign students is the International Students and Scholars Services. Or, try the list of Departmental and University-wide student groups.

The University maintains a Career Center with information about on- and off-campus jobs for UD students. Periodically, job opportunities of special interest to CIS students are posted. Research assistantships in the department are not centrally advertised and are generally only offered by individual professors based on a student’s proven aptitude in courses and/or independent projects.

Academic requirements for graduate students are outlined on the Graduate Programs page.

Transfer of Credits

Students may request up to 9 credits (3 courses) earned in graduate courses taken at the University of Delaware or elsewhere be applied toward their degree requirements in Bioinformatics Data Science. Once the student has successfully completed 9 approved graduate UD credits and been admitted to the degree program, then a maximum of 9 graduate credits, but not the grades or quality points, can be transferred into the Ph.D. program from another institution with the approval of the Graduate Committee.

Students who complete graduate credits with the classification of CEND (Continuing Education Non-degree) at the University of Delaware may use a maximum of 9 graduate credits earned with this classification toward their graduate degree.

All requests for transfer credit should be directed to the student’s major department using a Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit form. Transfer credits will be accepted provided that such credits:

  • Were earned with a grade of no less than B
  • Are approved by the student’s adviser and the chair of the student’s major department
  • Are in accord with the specific degree program of the student as specified by the unit’s Graduate Program Policy Statement
  • Are not older than 5 years
  • Are graduate level courses
  • Were completed at an accredited college or university

Graduate courses counted toward a degree received elsewhere may not be transferred into a degree at the University of Delaware. Credits from institutions outside of the United States are generally not transferable to the University of Delaware.

Funding Opportunities

Admission to the Bioinformatics Data Science program does not automatically entitle an applicant to financial aid. Aid is awarded on a competitive basis from the pool of admitted applicants. Interested students should check the Graduate College for the most current opportunities. Generally speaking, most of the financial aid awards are made to PhD students and occasionally to strong MS students. Admission to the master’s program is not accompanied by financial aid and students are expected to secure their own financial support. There are very limited opportunities for department positions such as research and teaching assistantships once beginning the program and upon completion of the Bioinformatics Data Science core courses. The University of Delaware’s policies apply to all forms of financial aid. Please refer to the University Policies for Graduate Funding.

Students in the MS, PSM, and PhD degree programs may apply for Graduate Assistantships:

  • Research Assistantships (RAs) are generally funded by research grants and contracts. In general, admissions into the PhD program requires an RA. During the admissions process, we routinely show the applications of our topmost applicants to faculty in the appropriate research areas to be considered for possible RA positions. Applicants may contact Affiliated Faculty members directly. A research assistantship provides full tuition and a stipend. The RA’s advisor is responsible for defining the student’s responsibilities and for evaluating the student’s performance. The amount of service or research may vary from week to week but the average is usually expected to be 20 hours per week.
  • Industry Internships – students in the BINF-PSM program may apply for Industry Internships. Paid internships may be available from industry, government agencies or other participating institutions in the program.
  • Tuition Scholarships and Competitive Awards – are available to qualified applicants on a competitive basis. Explore tuition and competitive award opportunities.