Our admissions committee has developed the following information for prospective applicants regarding concerns related to the impact of COVID on their experiences.
How will the BIMS program assess the research experience of students whose summer program and/or academic year research was impacted by COVID?
If you missed out on research experience(s) over the summer or during the school year due to COVID-19, please use the optional personal statements in your application to include information about experiences you had scheduled. This would be a good place to tell us if you were committed to attend a summer program that was then cancelled (or you weren’t able to participate for other reasons) and/or had a Spring or Fall research experience planned with an investigator that then didn’t happen because of COVID. If you participated in some virtual or other alternative activities with an investigator with whom you had planned to work, please discuss this in your application and consider asking that individual to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. In addition, if your research experience was limited due to the pandemic, please include information about your experiences with the laboratory components of classes that you have taken. It will be very important that one or more of your letters come from individual(s) who have worked with you in a research context, even if that experience was from your first, second, or third year. Please keep this in mind when identifying those who will provide your letters of recommendation. When requesting your letters of recommendation, please ask that they speak to your drive, motivation and scientific curiosity, particularly in the time of COVID.
My institution chose universal Pass/Fail (or Credit/No Credit) grading for Spring (and/or Fall) of 2020. How will BIMS assess my academic preparation?
Many institutions (including the University of Virginia) made the decision to move away from graded coursework in the Spring 2020 semester. Many applicants may have been taking courses that semester that are core to their degree program and/or that are central to their future interests. Please use the optional personal statement to address your experience any of these courses. In addition, if one or more of those who will be providing your letters of recommendation is well-positioned to comment on your engagement with and/or performance in these courses, please ask them to do so.
I faced other significant hardships during the COVID response. Is there an opportunity to share this with the admissions committee?
If you encountered particular challenges during the COVID pandemic that may have affected your academic performance or research experiences, please use the optional personal statement as an opportunity to share any information that you feel may be helpful to our admissions committee as they evaluate your application. This information will not be shared beyond those faculty and staff who read and evaluate applications.
How can I Iearn more about how the University of Virginia is responding to COVID?
We encourage you to follow the news on UVAToday and our School of Medicine homepage. In addition, please follow our BIMS program on social media using the info from our website. If you have questions that were not addressed above, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will BIMS be conducting interviews for the coming admissions season?
Our admissions group has made the decision to plan for virtual interviews in early 2021. More info on these plans will be available when interview invitations are extended.
The requirements for admission to the BIMS Graduate Programs are rigorous, as it is our goal to recruit the very best students who will go on to be leading scientists in academia, industry, and other areas. All applicants should have earned or should be in the process of earning an undergraduate degree at an accredited institution. Although strong weighting is given to a student’s grade point average, the most important criterion for admission is a student’s passion and commitment for research and aspiration for a professional career conducting pioneering biomedical research.
The application form must be completed online. The following materials must accompany the application in order for it to be considered complete.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
GREs are no longer considered for admission into our program and applicants will not be requested to submit scores on the application.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
All international students must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Applicants are required to record their scores from the TOEFL/IELTS exam on their online application. Official scores are not necessary for the review process, but will be required if the applicant matriculates as a student.
If your scores will expire prior to July of the coming year (TOEFL/IELTS scores are valid for two years), then you should have official scores submitted prior to their expiration. The BIMS Graduate Programs receive TOEFL scores directly from Education Testing Services (ETS). Please enter the institution code B875. The BIMS Graduate Programs do not utilize the department code that ETS requires applicants to select. You may choose any department code, as it will have no effect on the review of your application. IELTS scores should be sent electronically to the University of Virginia. No department or code is needed. Official scores sent from ETS/IELTS are automatically matched to the application at the time they are received.
The minimum internet-based (iBT) TOEFL score requirement is 90 (including sectional minimums of 22 in speaking, 22 in writing, 23 in reading and 23 in listening). The minimum paper-based TOEFL score requirement is 600. Applicants may submit scores from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as an alternative to the TOEFL exam. The minimum IELTS score requirement is 7.0 in each section. In any case, the date of the reported test must fall within two years of the application deadline. The BIMS Graduate Group will consider applications with scores that do not meet the minimum requirements.
The TOEFL is not required of applicants who have or will have obtained an undergraduate or Master’s degree entirely at an institution where the primary language of instruction is English. The TOEFL requirement will be waived for an applicant who submits evidence of these circumstances (such as a transcript or primary language certificate) as part of the electronic application.
Applicants must upload unofficial transcripts of their entire post-secondary academic record to the online application, including all undergraduate- and graduate-level coursework. Applicants are expected to have achieved a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their undergraduate programs.
Transcripts that are not stated in English must be accompanied by a translation into English.
Please do not request and mail official transcripts as part of the application process. Unofficial transcripts are sufficient for the review of your application. If you are offered admission to the BIMS Graduate Programs, you will be asked at that time to send official transcripts from the undergraduate institution you attended to the Central Graduate Admission Office.
If you must request official transcripts during the application process, we strongly recommend that you have your transcripts delivered electronically to email@example.com. If transcripts cannot be sent electronically, then please have transcripts sent to one of the following addresses:
For U.S. Postal Service:
Central Graduate Admission Office
PO Box 401110
Charlottesville, VA, United States of America 22904
For Courier Service (DHL, FedEx, UPS, etc.):
1001 North Emmet Street
Room 209B, Carruthers Hall
Charlottesville, VA, United States of America 22903
The BIMS Graduate Programs require three letters of recommendation. Applicants are encouraged to obtain letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with their research experience and potential. Letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically by the recommendation providers through the online application system. Once you have saved the contact information for a particular reference within the online application, that individual will receive instructions via e-mail for submitting a letter of recommendation on your behalf.
Applicants to the BIMS program will be asked to provide two short personal statements that describe their prior experiences, their passion for research, their motivation for pursuing admission to graduate school and their interest in the UVA BIMS program. These statements are an essential component of the application that are designed to help the admissions committee understand the applicant’s preparation, motivation and goals.
Essay prompts are as follows:
Please describe your passion for research, ability to overcome obstacles, and experience with managing multiple projects. Please limit your submission to between 500-1000 words.
Please describe your motivation to pursue an advanced degree, discuss your future career aspirations, and explain why you believe that the UVA BIMS graduate program will help you achieve your goals. Please limit your submission to 300 words.
(OPTIONAL) Feel free to share any additional information that you would like our admissions committee to have when considering your application. Please limit your submission to 100 words.
Please Read Before You Begin The Application Process
Make note of any differential between your time zone and the Eastern time zone on which our application deadline is based and allow ample time in advance of the deadline for uploading materials and submitting your application. Any number of unforeseen circumstances affecting electronic, web-based access to the online application system could cause the application process to take longer than anticipated and lead you to miss the deadline. Once the application system closes after 11:59pm Eastern time, you will not be able to submit your application, even if you initiated completion of the application prior to the deadline.
Application review will begin in mid-November, so early applications are highly encouraged. After review of the application, competitive applicants will be invited by one of our Admission Committee Chairs for an expense-paid interview and recruiting visit. The applicant’s choice of research interests, as indicated by selection of up to three research interests on the online application, will be used to coordinate interviews with faculty from the BIMS Graduate Group.
If you have questions about the BIMS Graduate Programs during the admission process, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions about the online application or admission requirements, please contact email@example.com.