PhD Admission

Successful candidates must be admitted by one of the participating units within the College of Engineering, College of Science, or College of Computing and designate the Bioinformatics Program as the degree program of application.

The admission decision is made jointly by the admission committee of the Bioinformatics program and the home unit admission committee.  For best chances of admission, prospective students should make contact with faculty members whose research interests match their own.

A copy of the original application is forwarded from the home unit to the Bioinformatics committee if the student indicated interest in the Bioinformatics program. If the Bioinformatics committee gives recommendation for the student admission (with or without Bioinformatics program financial support attached) the home unit makes the final decision based on the student's credentials and the Bioinformatics committee recommendation.

Once admitted the student should have all the rights a full-fledged PhD student within the home unit. If a student having entered the PhD program chooses a thesis advisor outside of his/her home unit, the student may request and complete a transfer within a semester to the school of the advisor with permission of the graduate committee of the new home unit.

All Bioinformatics Home Schools accept applications for fall admission, but the deadlines vary:
School of Biological Sciences:  December 1
School of Biomedical Engineering:  December 1
School of Chemistry:  December 15
College of Computing:  December 15
School of Industrial and Systems Engineering:  December 15
School of Mathematics:  December 15

We strongly recommend you prepare your application materials early, since the Georgia Tech campus closes for a holiday break in mid-December and fewer faculty and staff are available to answer questions during that time.  Answers to frequently asked questions related to graduate admission at Georgia Tech may be found on this page.

Requirements and Prerequisites

The successful applicants are expected to meet the following requirements:
    •    General GRE scores above the cut-off level established by the home college.  (Some home schools have waived the GRE.)
    •    GPA of at least 3.2 and/or top 5% in class standing.

Also the applicants are suggested to have one of the following qualifications:
1.    MS in Bioinformatics

2.    BS or MS in Bioengineering, Plus:
    •    programming skills relevant to Bioinformatics

3.    BS or MS in Biology, Plus:
    •    programming skills relevant to Bioinformatics
    •    two semesters of Calculus, one semester of Linear Algebra

4.    BS or MS in Computer Science, Plus:
    •    two semesters of Biological science or equivalent 
    •    two semesters of Calculus, one semester of Linear Algebra

5.    BS or MS in Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Mathematics, Engineering, Plus:
    •    programming skills relevant to Bioinformatics
    •    two semesters of Biological science or equivalent 

Funding Sources

Ph.D. students obtain stipends either via GRAs, GTAs, or fellowships such as the NSF GRFP.  The tuition is covered via tuition remission by the thesis advisor’s grant(s) or via a tuition waiver for GTAs.  The Ph.D. student is responsible for fees (Fall: $753, Spring: $753, Summer: slightly less than fall, spring semesters, subject to change annually. Please visit the Bursar’s website for details).

The current stipend for 2024-2025 is $35,500/year (~$2,958/month) for the College of Sciences.  It is important to us to pay the same stipend to all students.  Exceptions occur only for external fellowships or internal awards such as the Presidential Fellowship.

The majority of our Ph.D. students are supported by GTAs during their first year, unless they have obtained a fellowship or are funded via a GRA.  Beyond the first year, 70-80% of Ph.D. students are supported on a GRA, 20-30% as GTAs, and 10-15% via fellowships and other funding sources.  The decision between a GRA and GTA is discussed with the thesis advisor for subsequent semesters. Occasionally industry or government employers will fully fund a PhD student.  Additional information about Graduate Assistantships, fellowships, loans, and off-campus employment options is available on the Office of Graduate Education site.

For more information on demographics, admissions, and time-to-degree for doctoral students in our program, go to Doctoral Student Statistics.