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How to Apply to GEMS

Application Process for Graduate Education in bioMedical Sciences Program

Deadline and Timeline Heading link

Students apply to the GEMS umbrella program beginning August 1st of the year prior to their admit to the program. Their applications are reviewed annually by a committee of GEMS faculty and student representatives.

Please note, we accept applications for the Fall term only. Deadlines for applying are:

  • Domestic: December 15th/ Mar 15, 2024 (only if cohort hasn’t been filled)
  • International: December 15, 2023
  • Recommended for guaranteed review: December 1, 2023

Online Application Heading link

You must apply via the UIC Graduate College’s on-line application process– enter Biomedical Sciences in the search bar.

When completing the application, under “Graduate and Professional Programs” chose “PHD BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES” from the drop down menu. The Program Code for GEMS is 20FS6047PHD.

You have the option to list up to FIVE UI College of Medicine faculty members whose research interests you. Reference our list of faculty in the six research concentrations.

Please indicate research areas that interest you, choose up to THREE categories from the following list:

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Cardiovascular Biology
  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Genetics and Gene Regulation
  • Immunology
  • Informatics and Genomics
  • Lung Biology
  • Metabolism and Metabolic Disorders
  • Microbiology
  • Neurobiology and Neurodegeneration
  • Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
  • Structural, Computational Biology, and Biophysics
  • Systems Physiology
  • Virology

Required Documents Heading link

Along with your online application, you must submit the following documents

Personal statement of purpose, relevant experience and goals

Applicants will provide a written statement communicating their interests and aptitudes in biomedical sciences at large and any special interest they may have in becoming part of the GEMS PhD program. The statement should articulate the applicant’s goals as they relate to biomedical research. An applicant’s previous research experience is often an important component, which is given particularly high consideration in the evaluation process. A brief description of those experiences and how they relate to the applicant’s interest in the GEMS PhD program is encourages, if applicable. Combined with the reference letters (below), the personal statement can be important to highlight strengths that may not be apparent by transcripts or test scores.

Standardized Tests (if applicable)


The GRE is not required for the GEMS PhD program. Not submitting scores will not be held against your application. If however, you would like to submit your scores the Institution Code for UIC is 1851.

Similarly, subject tests are not required but will be considered.

For information about the GRE, you may contact Graduate Record Examination, Box 955, Princeton, N.J., or the Minority Graduate Student Locator Service, Box 2615, Princeton N.J. 08541.


Applicants from countries in which English is not the principal language must demonstrate proficiency in English by taking the TOEFL Examination. Request that the Educational Testing Service send TOEFL scores to the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Institution Code for TOEFL scores is 1851. You cannot self-report.


Applicants should not send official paper academic credentials by mail unless the department expressly requests that you send credentials directly to them. You must still upload an unofficial copy electronically to satisfy the institutional requirements.

Official, sealed academic credentials will be requested from applicants admitted to a degree-seeking program. The request for official paper academic credentials will be noted on the official admission letter from the Office of Admissions. Failure to submit official, sealed academic credentials will result in a registration hold after the 10th day of the admission term, but will only affect registration for the second term at UIC.

Letters of recommendation

Please submit 3 letters of recommendation

Application Fee Heading link

The application fees are as follows:

  • Domestic students: $70.00;
  • Foreign students: $70.00 + a mandatory, non-refundable $100 International Credential Evaluation Fee.

With the web application you may choose to pay with a credit card at the time you submit your application on-line, otherwise send a check or money order to the University. If you defer payment you will need to send the fee to the University by check or money order. Send checks or money orders to:

Tim Sullivan
GEMS Director of Administration
c/o College of Medicine Dean’s Office (MC 784)
1853 W. Polk Street Room 131
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL 60612

Interviews Heading link

Applicants chosen for an interview will be contacted by Tim Sullivan ( to schedule an interview date, preferably at UIC during one of our scheduled recruitment events.

Alternatively, teleconferencing interviews will be conducted when hosting an applicant at UIC is not possible. The interviews are an important part of the admissions process, as they allow prospective student the opportunity to learn about GEMS. To make these interviews most productive, it is helpful if the applicant identifies research areas of interest and GEMS faculty members.

Contact Us Heading link

Please direct all questions or concerns to GEMS Director of Administration, Tim Sullivan.

Tim Sullivan Heading link

GEMS Director of Administration, c/o College of Medicine Dean’s Office (MC 784)

1853 W. Polk Street, Room 131, Chicago, Illinois 60612