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Biological and Medical Informatics - Bioinformatics, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 60 months
University rank #15 (BCR) San Francisco, CA, United States
Graduate studies in Bioinformatics (BI) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) equip PhD students with the skills and knowledge in applied mathematics, informatics, statistics, computer science, physics, chemistry, and biology needed to study biological composition, structure, function, and evolution at the molecular, cellular, and systems levels.
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PhD Students are involved with gathering, storing, analyzing, predicting, and disseminating the corresponding information. The goal of the BI pathway is to train the next generation of bioinformatics researchers for academia and industry.

The Bioinformatics pathway focuses on three research areas:

  • Bioinformatics and computational biology
  • Genetics and genomics
  • Systems biology

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 60 months
    • Duration description

      Typically it takes five to six years to earn a PhD degree.

  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Within the curriculum, core courses provide training in bioinformatics, algorithms, and statistics with optional courses in macromolecular structures, cellular biophysics, and computation of biological molecules.

The program faculty members come from a variety of fields that employ biophysical and computational techniques.

The BI pathway also offers two optional designated emphases in:

  • Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CBBI).
  • Complex Biological Systems (CBS).

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks.

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 3

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements

The minimum requirement for application is a bachelor’s degree with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.

Submit the following information through the UCSF Graduate Division application:
  • General and demographic information
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Statements
  • Upload transcripts (instructions can be found on the application)
A non-refundable fee of $105 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents or $125 for international applicants is required to finalize your application.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    33095 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 33095 USD per year and a duration of 60 months.
  • National

    33095 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 33095 USD per year and a duration of 60 months.
  • In-State

    17993 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 17993 USD per year and a duration of 60 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for San Francisco

  • 2206 - 4120 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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