Frequently Asked Questions

Program and Degree Information

Does the BSP offer a master’s degree?

No, the BSP is a PhD umbrella program that feeds into the seven participating subprograms.

How and where do I find faculty and research areas that interest me?

Search the BSP faculty profiles on our website by name or subprogram. You can also explore our 7 PhD degree-granting subprograms.

Does the BSP provide career development services?

Yes! We support our graduate students’ professional, academic, and personal success while students are here at Iowa and beyond. For details regarding career exploration and planning services visit our Grad Success Center website.

Application Process

How do I apply?

Applicants to the Biomedical Science Program submit the University of Iowa Graduate Admissions Application and indicate Biomedical Science as their intended program of study. Detailed application procedures are posted on the BSP website.

What is the application deadline for the Biomedical Science Graduate Program (BSP)?

December 1

What is the application fee?

The $60 application fee ($100 for international students) is payable by Discover, MasterCard, or Visa.

Can I get a fee waiver?

Fee Waiver: Some applicants may be eligible for a waiver. Visit the Graduate Admission website for more information on graduate fee waivers. International students do not qualify for an application fee waiver.

The University of Iowa is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance FreeApp. For more information and to request a graduate application fee waiver, please visit their website. Please note that in order to receive the Big Ten Academic Alliance FreeApp you must submit a request to the Big Ten Academic Alliance well in advance of submitting your University of Iowa application.

Reimbursement: Applicants to the Biomedical Science Program will have the application fee reimbursed by the Carver College of Medicine if (1) The applicant receives an interview invitation, and (2) The applicant completes the interview.

Are admissions on a rolling basis?

BSP applications are reviewed over several weeks starting December 2. You want to make sure your application is submitted and complete by December 1. Only complete applications will be reviewed.  

Select applicants will be invited to participate in interviews in January through the end of February.

Do I need to submit official transcripts?

No, we accept unofficial transcripts in evaluating your application. If you are offered admission and you accept the offer, you will then submit official transcripts.

Academic and Testing Requirements

What type of degree is required?

A bachelor's degree from a Regionally Accredited American College of University, or an equivalent degree from another country as determined by the Office of Admissions.

Is there minimum score requirements for your program?

A minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00/4.00, or the foreign equivalent as determined by the Office of Admissions.

International applicants submit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores to comply with the university's English Language Proficiency Requirements.

Can I qualify for a TOEFL or IELTS waiver?

Applicants will be given a waiver if they are a citizen, or have earned the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree, master's degree, or Ph.D. in the United States, or any of the countries listed on the UI’s Graduate Admissions waiver eligibility website.

What is the institution code for TOEFL scores?

Send via ETS using institution code 6681 and leave department code blank.

Do I need to submit GRE scores?

No, BSP does not require the GRE.

Preparing Your Application

What should I include in my statement of purpose?

Share your story (word limit: 750):

  • Your reason for pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Science.
  • Challenges and opportunities that you have encountered and overcome during your academic training and student life.
  • Why did you choose the Biomedical Science Program (BSP) for your graduate training? And why the University of Iowa?
  • Your short and long-term career goals.
  • Training in which specific BSP subprogram(s) would be most relevant towards achieving your professional career objectives.

What should I include in my resume / curriculum vitae (CV)?

This is your opportunity to provide evidence of your extensive research experience, relevant academic experience, research projects, publications, and awards. Be sure to include:

  • Research Experience 
    • Institution
    • Program/Position Title
    • Dates
    • Mentor
    • Brief explanation of the experience
  • Teaching / Tutoring Experience 
  • Publications
  • Presentations
  • Conferences Attended
    • Include if you presented a poster or an oral presentation.
  • Relevant Academic Awards and Prizes
  • Professional Memberships

From whom should I request letters of recommendation?

We require three letters of recommendation. One letter of recommendation is typically from a primary research mentor. Other letters may be from professors, the director of your academic program, or a research supervisor at work.

It is important your letter writers know you well and speak to your potential in research. Do not request letters from postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, from non-research-related employment supervisors or from personal/family friends.

Interviews and Admissions Offers

How do you notify applicants invited for interviews?

We send an email and request you respond to our invitation.

Will interviews be virtual or in person?

We will conduct interviews in person for Fall 2024. BSP hosts interview weekends towards the end of January/early February. Invited applicants will be notified as soon as possible.

If invited to interview, you will be given instructions on how to make your travel plans. The BSP incurs the cost of travel, lodging, and meals.

Financial Support

Do graduate students in the BSP receive any funding?

Yes, Graduate students admitted to the Biomedical Science Graduate Program are fully
supported (stipend, tuition, covered fees) contingent on satisfactory progress. Details regarding compensation are posted on the Financial Support website.

Continued support beyond the first year is guaranteed, provided that progress toward degree completion of the degree requirements is satisfactory.  Sources of support include departmental funds, training grants, research grants and individual fellowships.

How does the stipend compare to stipends at institutions across the United States?

Our stipend is comparable to the amount provided at institutions across the US when adjusted for the cost of living. Navigate to the Cost-of-Living Calculator to compare the overall priced of goods and services between different area of the US.

Admissions Numbers and Outcomes for Graduates

How many students enroll in the graduate program each year?

On average the BSP enrolls 20 – 25 new students each fall.

What is the current class profile?

2023 class profile compact

What are the outcomes for BSP graduates?

The first cohort of BSP students entered fall, 2021 so the program does not yet have graduation data. Admissions and outcome data from all of our graduate programs, including subprograms of the BSP umbrella before its formation, are available on the UI Graduate College’s PhD Program Data website

Academic Accommodations

How does the University of Iowa accommodate applications from students with disabilities?

Student Disability Services (SDS) serves the University of Iowa’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by providing support and academic accommodations for students with disabilities. SDS collaborates with students, faculty, and staff to create an accessible educational environment for all. To apply for Student Disability Services (SDS) accommodations follow the SDS Application process.

For information regarding workplace accommodations for Graduate Teaching and/or Research Assistantships, please visit the Graduate College’s Health Accommodations website.

Additional Questions

Do not hesitate to contact us with more questions at 319-335-8306 or email: