Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences

College of Pharmacy
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BPS Graduate Program Admissions FAQ

In addition to this document, the Graduate College maintains a full FAQ as well.

Questions
General Admissions
Can I get more information about the BPS Ph.D. program?
Does BPS admit students to the Masters of Science program?
Does BPS have a terminal Masters of Science program?
Will the BPS Ph.D. program admit students in the Fall Semester?
Will the BPS Ph.D. program admit students in the Spring Semester?
Will the BPS Ph.D. program admit students in the Summer Semester?
How do I stand compared to those admitted in the past?
What are the chances for admission with a score (GRE/TOEFL/GPA) below the recommended minimum scores?
Do I need to contact a faculty member before admission?
How many students will the BPS Ph.D. program admit?
Will the BPS Ph.D. program consider international students?
What scientific background is preferred for admission?
Does the Ph.D. program admit students directly after the B.S. degree?
Is prior research experience (e.g. publications) or a M.S. required for admission to the BPS Ph.D. program?
Does the BPS Ph.D. program offer financial aid if I am admitted?
Does the BPS Ph.D. program accept transfer students?
Does the BPS Ph.D. program require a subject GRE score?
Is the TSE or TWE necessary for admission to the BPS Ph.D. program?
Does the BPS Ph.D. program accept "Pharmaceutics" students?
Does the BPS Ph.D. program accept "Pharmacology" students?
Application Procedure
What is the procedure for applying to the BPS Ph.D. program?
Is the deadline January 1 for Fall (August) admission?
What does "priority deadline" mean?
What is the deadline?
Will my application be considered after the deadline?
Can I be admitted without the GRE?
Will my application be considered if it is started before the deadline, but incomplete and completed after the deadline?
To what address should official transcripts and proofs of degrees be sent?
Should I include other information, such as award documents, secondary school transcripts, resume, other support letters?
What information should be included in the Statement of Purpose and how long should it be?
If I am applying to multiple departments, do I need to send multiple copies of documents?
If I applied last semester/year, do I need to re-send information, i.e. transcripts, marksheets, statement of purpose, CV, GRE Scores, TOEFL scores, and letters of recommendation?
Post Application
I have received a letter from the Office of Admissions and Records indicating that my application is incomplete. What should I do?
When should I hear about the decision concerning my application?
I have been denied, can you tell me why my application was denied?
Answers
General Admissions
Can I get more information about the BPS Ph.D. program?
At this point, we do not have brochures or other documents that describe the BPS Ph.D. program. We decided to only use the Internet so that we can keep information up to date. Please visit our departmental website (http://www.bps.uic.edu/) for information about the BPS Ph.D. program (http://www.bpsgrad.uic.edu/).
Does BPS admit students to the Masters of Science program?
No.
Does BPS have a terminal Masters of Science program?
Yes. Occasionally, a student is admitted into the Ph.D. program and can not or decides not to complete the Ph.D. requirements. In that case, the student is typically moved to the M.S. program and completes a M.S. thesis.
Will the BPS Ph.D. program admit students in the Fall Semester?
Yes.
Will the BPS Ph.D. program admit students in the Spring Semester?
Not in most years, but this may change under the exceptional circumstances. It is advised that students apply for Fall admission unless specifically instructed to do so by the Director of Graduate Studies. If a position comes available for Spring and the applicant has indicated a desire for Spring admission in the Statement of Purpose or a separate coverletter, exceptional applicants will be contacted when a position is available.
Will the BPS Ph.D. program admit students in the Summer Semester?
No.
How do I stand compared to those admitted in the past?
This can not be answered and does not have a bearing on your application. Applicants vary from year to year. This prevents direct comparison with prior years. GPA and standardized scores (GRE and TOEFL) are not the only factors in assessing applicants. Since the entire application must be completed and all portions are weighted equally, no information can be ascertained about your position without fully applying. For recommended minimum scores, please see our graduate program webpage.
GPA and standardized scores (GPA, GRE and TOEFL) are not the only factors in assessing applicants, but these scores are used. Students that have scores below the recommended minimum scores may still be competetive for admission, but the remainder of the application must be signifcantly strong. The lower the scores and more scores below the mimimum suggested scores, the stronger the remainder of the application must be (other scores, letters of recomendation, publications, ...). Students with scores below the Graduate College minimums (which are lower than the BPS Program suggested minimums) are probably not very competetive for admission. Since the entire application must be completed and all portions are weighted equally, no firm information can be ascertained about your potential without fully applying.
Do I need to contact a faculty member before applying?
No, all students are admitted to the BPS Ph.D. program and not a specific laboratory. If you have specific questions that are not answered on this FAQ or that of the Graduate College, please contact the DGS at any time. Most program faculty forward emails from prospective students (regardless of scientific or other content) to the DGS to be answered. If the questions are answered on the FAQ, the DGS will simply refer the student to the information on the webpage.
How many students will the BPS Ph.D. program admit?
This varies from year to year with a goal of meeting the needs of the current research laboratories. An exact number is not determined until after the admissions deadline.
Will the BPS Ph.D. program consider international students?
Yes. the BPS Ph.D. program will consider students of any nationality for admission. The number of students does not hinge on nationality. Please see the BPS student list and alumni list to get a feel for our current and past student population.
What scientific background is preferred for admission?
Any scientific background, but some first degrees may mandate remedial work to meet minimum requirements. Any student with an interest in research in the areas described by the faculty are encouraged to apply.
Does the Ph.D. program admit students directly after the BS degree?
Yes, but preference is given to applicants with a M.S. degree, particularly one with a thesis and publications generated from this degree.
Is prior research experience (e.g. publications) or a M.S. required for admission to BPS Ph.D. program?
No, but it is encouraged. The Graduate Admissions Committee does weigh graduate work (e.g. M.S.) in science fields and publications in international journals when admissions are ranked. However, we admit 'competitive' students without M.S. or publications.
Does the BPS Ph.D. program offer financial aid if I am admitted?
Yes, but you are encouraged to apply for any scholarships and fellowships for which you are eligible. Students who have received funding for their education will receive special consideration for admission. The funding mechanisms within the Ph.D. program typically include full tuition remission and a stipend. By applying to the BPS Ph.D. program, you are applying for aid through Teaching and Research Assistantships and nothing further is necessary. It is the policy of the BPS Ph.D. program that all students admitted to our program are funded through one of various mechanisms, that include Teaching Assistantship, Research Assistantship, University Fellowship, or Traineeship through one of several Training Grants. The mechanism of financial aid is based upon the credentials of the student. However, no student is guaranteed funding.
Does the BPS Ph.D. program accept transfer students?
The Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences does not typically consider students who are enrolled in other Ph.D. programs for admission to our Ph.D. program. We do not discourage you from applying, but you should outline precisely why you are considering moving from your current program in your Statement of Purpose. Under the appropriate circumstances, we have accepted such students in the past, but the circumstances must be appropriate. To determine if we will accept a student, please submit a full application and include the rationale for the transfer in the Statement of Purpose. All requests for information will be referred back to this FAQ and instructed to apply.
Does the BPS Ph.D. program require a subject GRE score?
We do not require subject GRE, but if one is available, we will consider it.
Is the TSE or TWE necessary for admission to the BPS Ph.D. program?
No. We will use this in our evaluation if it is available, but it is not necessary.
Does the BPS Ph.D. program accept "Pharmaceutics" students?
Yes, but there is no specialization or concentration in "pharmaceutics" per se. All students graduate with a degree in "Biopharmaceutical Sciences" which is an interdisciplinary program. Students should use the "Statement of Purpose" to outline their specific research interests as this document is used by the admissions committee to correctly recruit students with research interests in the laboratories that project openings in the coming terms. However, due to many factors, admission does not guarantee placement in a laboratory of the student's choice. Mandatory research rotations are used to determine labs for incoming students.
Does the BPS Ph.D. program accept "Pharmacology" students?
Yes, but there is no specialization or concentration in "pharmacology" per se. All students graduate with a degree in "Biopharmaceutical Sciences" which is an interdisciplinary program. Students should use the "Statement of Purpose" to outline their specific research interests as this document is used by the admissions committee to correctly recruit students with research interests in the laboratories that project openings in the coming terms. However, due to many factors, admission does not guarantee placement in a laboratory of the student's choice. Mandatory research rotations are used to determine labs for incoming students.
Application Procedure
What is the procedure for applying to the BPS Ph.D. program?
Please refer to our application requirements for suggested qualifications for applicants.
Is the deadline January 1 for Fall (August) admission?
The priority deadline is January 1. We will determine the class size shortly after January 1 and begin the admissions process. The admissions process will continue through the UIC deadlines for domestic and international students or the class is filled whichever is first.
What does "priority deadline" mean?
Priority indicates that these applications will take priority over applications received after this date. All other aspects equal, an early application will be preferred. In addition, if sufficient high-quality students are identified, we may fill the class only with priority applicants without examining any later applications. Finally, priority applicants will be considered for fellowships such as the University Fellowship. Only priority applications will be considered for fellowships.
What is the deadline?
Our application deadlines are currently the general deadlines listed for the University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate College. The international applicant deadline is typically much earlier than the deadline for US citizens. As long as our class is not complete, we will examine applications.
Will my application be considered after the deadline?
All deadlines are final and will not be extended.
Can I be admitted without the GRE?
No, we believe the GRE is an excellent predictor of success in graduate programs. Therefore, we do not admit students without the GRE test.
Will my application be considered if it is started before the deadline, but incomplete and completed after the deadline?
No, an application must be complete to meet a deadline.
To what address should official transcripts and proofs of degrees be sent?
All information should be sent to the BPS program through the DGS.

Biopharmaceutical Sciences Director of Graduate Studies
833 South Wood Street (MC 865)
Room 335, College of Pharmacy Building
Chicago, IL 60612-7231

Should I send two copies of documents?
No, only one copy is sufficient.
Should I include other information, such as award documents, secondary school transcripts, resume, other support letters?
A resume (or CV) and publications are helpful and are encouraged. All other documents that are sent are not examined in the process, and therefore, should not be sent.
What information should be included in the Statement of Purpose and how long should it be?
The Statement of Purpose (SOP) should be no more than 1 page (single spaced) or 2 pages (double spaced); however, there is no absolute requirement and all will be read. Applicants are encouraged to be succinct in writing the SOP. The more succinctly written SOP will better reflect upon the student and their suitability for the BPS graduate program. The SOP is personal, and therefore, much variability in content is expected. Generally, the applicant should address how their background (degree, research experience, and/or personal experience) qualifies them for graduate study and specifically the BPS Graduate Program. In addition, the applicant should include information describing their research interests (either general research areas or specific faculty). This information will be used to make sure that the students admitted meet the needs of the program. Finally, applicants should discuss what they would like to do after the Ph.D. degree is received. This may be as simple as what type of job the student wishes to pursue (academia, industry, regulatory, other) and why, but it may include other information as well. If these three issues are addressed in the SOP, the SOP will best help to place the student in the BPS graduate program.
If I am applying to multiple departments, do I need to send multiple copies of all documents?
Yes, the DGS of a particular program only receives copies of transcripts (and/or marksheets) from an applicant mailed to the department. In addition, the BPS Program encourages to submit a copy of your GRE and TOEFL (if applicable) scorecard to expedite your application.
If I applied last semester/year, do I need to re-send information, i.e. transcripts, marksheets, statement of purpose, CV, GRE Scores, TOEFL scores, and letters of recommendation?
You must re-apply and send all information again. We do not keep applications from term to term. The office of admission and records may be able to return documents submitted in prior terms, but that will not be known until you submit your online application as they too are not mandated to maintain documents from term to term. It is advised that you resend information, but if you re-apply online you can wait a time (the exact time depends upon the time in the "application season") and check status of the application online. It may take several days-weeks to find the prior application if it is still on campus. The only way to be sure the information will be received is to re-send the information. The DGS will only confirm that previous documents are received once they are received. The DGS will not contact the Office of Admissions and Records to determine what information is remaining from prior terms.
Post Application
I have received a letter from the Office of Admissions and Records indicating that my application is incomplete. What should I do?
Contact the Office of Admissions and Records (OAR) of the University of Illinois at Chicago (http://www.uic.edu/depts/oar/contact/). The BPS program can not determine what needs to be done if the OAR sends such a letter. The letter is generated at specific time periods following your online application. If any materials are not received by OAR or if it just isn't processed yet, a letter may be generated. If the BPS program indicates that an application is considered complete, this does not mean that the OAR must accept documents. The OAR makes all final decisions as to the status of an application.
When should I hear about the decision concerning my application?
Our graduate committee meets several times between January 1 and the deadline for accepting students set by the University. In each meeting, we identify applicants that will be accepted or denied. The DGS will notify accepted student by email shortly after each meeting. Students who are not accepted will receive notice from the University of Illinois at Chicago. For international applicants, the final day to accept a student is May 1. For US citizens, the date is later. The program has set the early deadline to allow us to complete the process as early as possible.
I have been denied, can you tell me why my application was denied?
Beyond the minimal suggested requirements listed on our website (http://www.bpsgrad.uic.edu/ApplicantReq.php), it is our policy not to discuss specifics of your application and why we elected to act in one way or another. Due to differences year-to-year, an applicant may not be admitted in one year but an equally credentialed candidate may be admitted the next year. We receive more than 110 applications for a small number of admissions. Therefore, at least 95% of applications were denied regardless of the strength of the application. Although your application may not be weak in many ways, there are just applicants that better fit our program this year in the opinion of the admissions committee.