Are you ready to become a Banana Slug?  Apply now to the Biomolecular Engineering & Bioinformatics graduate programs at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Undergraduate Preparation for Admission

Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics (BMEB) is inter-disciplinary and accepts students from a wide-variety of backgrounds. A typical cohort includes incoming students from molecular biology, genetics, computer science, engineering, and mathematics. The unifying theme of our research training program is using quantitative approaches to addressing fundamental questions in biology and biomedical science. BMEB coursework is designed to provide the technical skills in programming and other technical skills required for independent and advanced scientific discovery.

Admissions Criteria

The Admissions Committee evaluates applicants based on numerous indicators of potential, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Evidence of research potential and commitment to research in the statement of purpose
  • Previous research experience
  • Evidence of research potential as described in letters of recommendation
  • GPA
  • Grades in relevant undergraduate courses
  • Evidence of quantitative and analytical skills
  • Evidence of ability to communicate in writing
  • Indications of special expertise, experience, or cultural perspectives that you might contribute to our program
  • Performance in interviews (PhD applicants)
  • NOTE: GRE scores are no longer required
Admissions Process

After evaluation of each file, the Admissions Committee ranks the applicants. The number of offers made can fluctuate from year to year, depending on the relative strength and size of the applicant pool, and resources available.

The BMEB program is committed to supporting all of its PhD graduate students for the 5 years of a normal degree. Therefore, our total number of PhD offers is also guided by the resources (e.g. Teaching Assistantships (TAs), Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) positions, Fellowships, etc) that we expect to have available. The top-ranked PhD applicants are invited for a formal interview visit organized by the Admissions Committee prior to any offer. Interviews for all recruits are held over a 2-day period in late January, where prospective students meet with PBSE faculty, current students, and recruits.

Applicants to the Masters program do not receive any guaranteed funding. Thus, admission decisions to the MS are determined based on the strength of the application and applicant pool alone.

Application Materials

Application Fee (Domestic): $135
Application Fee (International):  $155

Application Instructions & FAQ

For more information, please contact the Graduate Admissions Office at