Interdisciplinary PhD Program

Requirements & Eligibility

The requirements for admission to the Bioinformatics Primary Discipline are governed by the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics at the UMKC School of Medicine and the UMKC School of Graduate Studies. An admissions committee within the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics is composed of faculty from the department who screen applications and determine which students will be considered for admission. The committee may deem a phone conference or interview necessary to determine admission, and this is at the discretion of the committee members.

Applicants offered admission to the Bioinformatics Primary Discipline begin their IPhD coursework in August of each year.


Applicants for admission to the Bioinformatics Primary Discipline within the IPhD studies must have earned, or soon will earn, a baccalaureate degree from a nationally accredited college or university. Baccalaureate degrees must be in a scientific discipline, or the applicant should hold a health-related professional degree. A master of science or master of arts degree is preferred, but not required.

Applicants must meet both the general and the discipline specific criteria for admission and be recommended for admission by the doctoral faculty review groups in at least two disciplines. Upon approval by the graduate dean, students are admitted to the School of Graduate Studies.

The general criteria for admission for Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program study include:

  • Recommended undergraduate grade-point average of at least 3.0
  • Recommended graduate grade-point average of at least 3.5

Preferred Pre-Requisite Coursework*:

  • Calculus (2 semesters),
  • Introductory Biology (2 semesters),
  • Introductory Computer Science (2 semesters),
  • Statistics or Probability (1 semester).

*If students have successfully completed a professional doctoral degree (e.g. MD, DDS, DO, PharmD), these pre-requisites may be waived.

Applicants not admitted to UMKC will not be considered for admission to the Bioinformatics Primary Discipline.

GRE Score
  • The GRE exam is required from all applicants to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs*.
  • GRE scores must have been earned within five years of the application deadline.
  • A minimum combined score of 300 (GRE Revised General Test) on the Verbal and Quantitative sections is required.
  • UMKC GRE code: 6872

*The GRE is not required for admission If the applicant has attained a Master of Arts, Master of Science, or a professional degree from a U.S.-accredited institution.

**In the event that an applicant is not able to sit for the GRE due to COVID-19 test cancellations, they will still be eligible to be reviewed for the IPhD program. Applicants will need to send documentation of the test cancellation to, which will be added to their application file. If an applicant does have a GRE score on file, but it is below the minimum score for consideration, the applicant will not be eligible for review.

  • The TOEFL exam or IELTS exam is required for international applicants whose native language is not English*.
  • TOEFL Scores: A minimum score of 550 (paper-based exam), 213 (computer-based exam) or 79 (Internet-based exam) is required.
    • UMKC TOEFL electronic code: 6872
  • IELTS Scores: A minimum score of 6.0 is required for graduate level study at UMKC.
    • IELTS scores should be sent to:

UMKC International Student Affairs
Student Success Center, G-04
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO  64110

*Applicants who have earned a Master of Arts, Master of Science or a professional degree from a U.S.-accredited institution, or applicants who are currently participating in a graduate medical residency or fellowship and have passed USMLE Step II – Clinical Skills, are not required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score.


Interviews for the Bioinformatics Primary Discipline may be deemed by the admissions committee on an individual basis. The interview may take place in person or as a phone conference with the admissions committee and may be waived if the committee sees fit. If you would like to meet with a faculty advisor prior to applying for the Bioinformatics Primary Discipline, please contact the Office of Admissions, and we would be happy to connect you with a program advisor.