General Admissions Questions

How do I apply?

How many students join the program each year?

On average, 25-30 students join the program each year.

When does the application close?

For Fall 2024, the application will close Monday, November 20th, 2023 at midnight (PST). 

Do you offer admission every quarter?

No. We only offer admission in the Fall quarter of each year.

If I applied last year do I need to submit a new application?

Yes. Applicants must submit a new application (and supporting materials) each year they apply.

Can I make changes to my application/upload documents after it's been submitted?

Yes, you can make changes to your application and/or upload materials once it's been submitted. We strongly recommend however that all required materials are uploaded and any changes are submitted by the deadline.

How can I see the status of my application?

You can check the status of your application by visiting the application website and logging in to your account. If your application status says "Submitted", then your application has been received.

When will you make decisions?

Admissions decisions are ongoing and are made from December through March.

Do you have any admissions statistics?

What is SHORE and how do I apply for it?

SHORE stands for Student Housing Opportunity Recruitment Enhancement.

In the Winter and Spring quarters prior to the next Fall quarter, admitted graduate and professional students are nominated by departments to this priority Housing program. Based on availability, SHORE offers are made to nominated students by the Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs. This is a very limited program and all spots are filled by the early Spring quarter. No additional spots are available after Spring quarter. SHORE students are housed without having to wait on the waitlist.

If you are interested in being considered for SHORE, mark Yes to either question on the Student Housing section of the application. Answering Yes to question #2 will allow you to explain why you're interested.

International Applicants

Do you accept international students?

Yes, the Biomedical Sciences Program is able to accept a few international students each year.

Am I required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores?

Non-native English language speakers may be exempt from this requirement if they have earned or will be earning a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from either:

  • A regionally accredited U.S. college or university where English is the sole language of instruction, or
  • A foreign college or university which provides instruction solely in English. You may verify whether your institution meets this requirement by looking up your institution in the IAU World Higher Education Database (WHED). If English is not the sole language of instruction listed, if no language is listed at all, or if the institution does not appear on the WHED website, you are required to submit English proficiency exam scores. No other documentation (e.g. letters, language certificates, school websites) may be used in place of WHED as a means to obtain an exemption from the English proficiency requirement. 

Where should I send my TOEFL Scores?

Contact Education Testing Services (ETS) and request that your scores be sent to UC San Diego electronically at institution code 4836. Further information about the GRE and TOEFL, is available on the ETS website,

Once the electronic scores are received, they will upload to your application automatically as long as the information received from ETS matches the information on your application.

If you have sent your official scores to institution code 4836, they will be reviewed with your application. However, they may not post to your application until you are offered admission.  As long as you have self-reported the scores in your application this is not a problem and will not affect the application review.

Where should I send my IELTS scores?

To submit official test scores to UC San Diego Division of Graduate Education, applicants must contact the IELTS test center where they took the test to request their official test results to be sent to the address below. UC San Diego does not accept unofficial copies of IELTS Test Report Forms from students. An instruction code is NOT required.

UC San Diego Graduate Admissions is register to receive IELTS scores using the IELTS Results Service E-Delivery, so please send scores to: 

University of California, San Diego Graduate Admissions
9500 Gilman Drive #0003
La Jolla, CA 92093-0003

What are the minimum acceptable TOEFL/IELTS scores?

The minimum acceptable score for TOEFL iBT is 85. The minimum acceptable score for TOEFL Paper-delivered test is 64

The minimum acceptable IELTS score is 7

Do I have to have my transcripts evaluated?

Yes, beginning with the Fall 2023 admissions cycle, admitted international students are required to submit a WES Course-by-Course Evaluation to UC San Diego in order to have their admission finalized. More details around this requirement can be found here

Letters of Recommendation

How many letters of recommendation are required?

Three Letters of Recommendation are required.

Can my recommenders submit their letters after the deadline?

Yes, recommenders can submit Letters of Recommendation (LORs) after the deadline. Recommenders are strongly encouraged to submit their letters by the deadline, to ensure that they are considered during review. 

Can I submit more than 3 Letters of Recommendation?

Yes, you can submit more than 3 Letters of Recommendation (LORs). Submitting more than 3 letters will not negatively impact your application, though it is not recommended that you submit more than 5.


Do I need to upload official transcripts?

Unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended [since high school] should be uploaded to your application.

Applicants will be required to scan and upload transcripts directly into their graduate application when completing their application. Do not send official transcripts until they been requested by the Program or the Graduate Admissions office. Official transcripts will be requested when/if you are admitted into our program.

What form of transcripts are accepted?

Can I send hard copy transcripts?

No, please do not send hard copy transcripts. Only electronic transcripts are accepted for application purposes.

What is the minimum GPA for admission to BMS?

There is an institutional expectation of a minimum scholastic average of B or 3.0 GPA (or its equivalent).  Departments evaluate applicants based on all aspects of the application. Some exceptional applicants with lower GPAs may be recommended for admission. Additionally, a GPA of 3.0 or higher does not guarantee admission.  

Provisionally admitted students with academic work in progress are expected to continue to maintain a 3.0 or better GPA after admission. Admission may be rescinded if the final GPA drops below

My school's GPA does not use a 4.0 grading scale. Do I need to convert my grades to a 4.0 scale?

It is not necessary to convert your school GPA into a 4.0 scale. You may report your grades as is and indicate the scale that your institution uses. Uploaded transcripts should also contain a grading legend for your school's grading scale.

Fee Waiver Questions

Can I get a fee waiver? (US Citizen and Permanent Resident Applicants)

U.S. citizens and permanent residents may request a campus fee waiver for the application fee within the application. Please note all fee waiver requests must be submitted at least one week prior to the application deadline. Your application must be fully submitted for your fee waiver to be processed. For more information regarding fee waivers, please visit the Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs' (GEPA) page on Application Fee and Fee Waiver or email

Can I get a fee waiver? (International Applicants)

Each program at UC San Diego is only able to offer a very limited number of departmental fee waivers (typically 5 total). If you would like to be considered for a fee waiver, please submit your request to If you are not chosen for a departmental fee waiver, and would still like to submit an application, you will need to pay the application fee. Please note that the application fee is non-refundable.