Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions

Applying to the Program

Do I need to take the GRE exam?

No, applicants are not required to take the GRE exam. Reporting test scores is optional. If test scores are reported, they will be considered in the application review process. The University’s code is 1832.

Are interviews required during the application process?

Interviews are generally not conducted as part of the application process. However, in special circumstances the application review team may request an interview to learn more about an applicant.

How do I submit letters of recommendation?

Contact information for recommenders will be entered into the online program application. The application system will automatically email instructions to recommenders. We suggest that applicants let recommenders know in advance to expect the email.

What is the application deadline?

Application deadlines occur on January 15 and March 18 for enrollment in the fall quarter. Application reviews will be conducted following each application deadline; therefore, for the greatest likelihood of acceptance, students are encouraged to apply early. Late applications may be accepted if space permits. International students must meet the March 18 deadline to allow sufficient time for obtaining necessary visas.

Can I get an application fee waiver?

In order to request an application fee waiver, you must first submit an application. Once an application is submitted, your application status portal will display the option to request a fee waiver by filling out a short form and providing documentation, if required. If you are applying to one of the schools or divisions which allows multiple applications, you will need to ensure you are on the status page of the correct application; a separate waiver request must be submitted for each application.

Application fees are non-refundable. If you intend to submit a fee waiver request, do not pay the application fee until you receive a decision about your request. If you pay the application fee, and later have your waiver request approved, the fee will not be refunded.

Fee Waiver Categories and General Eligibility Criteria 

  • University of Chicago degree program students and alumni

This waiver category is available in most programs to any applicant who has received or expects to receive a degree from another UChicago program.

  • Current or recent participants in qualifying programs

This waiver category is available if you have participated in one of the following:

  • CIC Applicants
  • Fulbright/IIE Fellowship Recipient
  • Gates Millennium Scholars
  • Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program
  • Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC)
  • McNair Scholars Program
  • Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)
  • Project 1000
  • Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
  • Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
  • U.S. armed forces or uniformed services: currently serving (active duty or reserves) or honorably discharged
Who is required to submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores?

Applicants to the graduate schools and divisions of the University of Chicago who do not meet the criteria below must submit proof of English language proficiency. This policy applies to all* graduate programs; the score level required for admission varies by program. Only the TOEFL iBT or IELTS Academic tests are accepted as proof of proficiency.

Waiver Criteria

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.

Education in English-medium institutions in other countries or territories does not qualify for the exemption.

Please Note

High school or secondary school does not qualify an applicant for exemption; nor do part-time or research-based programs that did not involve full time coursework in English.


How long does it take to complete the program?

Biomedical Sciences is a one-year program and can be completed in as few as 3 full-time quarters. All students will choose to focus their studies in one of three concentrations: Science Communication, Biomedical Data Science, or Health Systems.

May I change my concentration during the program?

Prospective students will be asked to select a tentative concentration at the time of application. Once admitted, students will work with their academic advisor to select a concentration that best aligns with their career interests and goals. The concentration can be changed during the program with approval of the academic advisor.

What is involved in the MS Independent Project?

The MS independent project provides students the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge and skills they learned during their coursework. The independent project is highly customizable and will differ depending on the individual student’s chosen track, interest, and career objectives. For example, students in the Biomedical Data Science track could complete a research thesis, while students in the Science Communication track could complete an applied project. All students will be required to produce an independent project write-up. For students who choose to take the ‘MS Writing and Research’ course, the grade for their project will be reflected on their academic transcript. 

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