PhD in Physiology and Biophysics

Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

  • Baccalaureate Field No restrictions. Prior academic work should include college mathematics through calculus, physics, biology, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry.
  • Other Requirements At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study.
  • Tests Required GRE General. Preference is given to applicants with a combined verbal and quantitative score above 299, and an analytical writing score above 4.5.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL The TOEFL score cannot be more than two years old. UIC’s Institutional Code is 1851. 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Test); 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (revised Paper-Delivered Test), OR,
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores, OR,
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three required.
  • Personal Statement Required. One page summarizing past academic and research experience (if any) and motivation for pursuing a PhD in Physiology.
  • Other Requirements Preference is given to applicants with a documented record of research accomplishment who intend to complete the doctoral program.
  • Nondegree Applicants Nondegree applicants must show adequate preparation to enroll in desired courses and must obtain the permission of the director of graduate studies.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 96 from the baccalaureate.
  • Course Work
Course Title
Required Courses
Essentials for Animal Research
Human Physiology I
Human Physiology II
Clinical Applications of Physiology I
Clinical Applications of Physiology II
Cell Physiology
Departmental Seminar a
Journal Club and Seminar in Physiology
Ph.D. Thesis Research
Two additional 400- or 500-level courses in consultation with the advisor.
Students must take or show proficiency in:
Cell Biology
Research Methods I
Research Methods II
GEMS Research Rotation
  • Preliminary Examination Required.
  • Dissertation Required.
  • Other Requirements All graduate students must participate in the teaching programs of the department. Candidates must present a midthesis seminar as a scheduled departmental seminar.

Interdepartmental Concentrations

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in select concentrations after consulting with their graduate advisor. Interdepartmental Concentrations available for this degree include:

Medical Scientist Training Program

Students with an MD degree earned in the United States or who are working toward one at UIC may use medical science courses to fulfill the 500-level course requirements. Such students must take PHYB 586, and 5 semester hours of elective 500-level didactic courses. The elective courses are chosen in consultation with the advisor. Students must also register for PHYB 591 and PHYB 599 each semester. Other courses may be required as determined by the advisor and the graduate committee based on the student’s area of interest.