The faculty of The Graduate College encourages diversity among the student population and therefore, seeks to admit persons from various backgrounds. The Graduate College uses the following guidelines to evaluate candidates for admission. Individual divisions within the college may have additional requirements and criteria for admission. Applicants are encouraged to first check with the division of interest. The College's requirements are as follows:
- All applicants must have earned at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent.
- A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or equivalent, from the most recent degree is required.
- All applicants (except those admitted to Rush Medical College) are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) aptitude test and have their scores submitted. Medical students enrolling in the Graduate College can substitute MCAT scores for the GRE. The MCAT must have been taken within five years of the planned quarter of enrollment. In most cases, students with advanced degrees (e.g., MD or PhD) are not required to take the GRE exam.
- All applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
- Each applicant is required to submit three letters of recommendation
- Specific admission requirements may be waived by The Graduate College Council. These will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Applicants who consider themselves to have special or unique qualities that make themselves strong candidates for graduate education are also encouraged to apply. Research and related job experience are valued highly in the admissions process and will be taken into account. Interviews with applicants are generally required and can play a significant part in the admission decision. Beyond these measures, the faculty attempts to determine the applicant's motivation and potential for advanced study and a research career in the sciences. Once The Graduate College admissions office has received all required documents, including the application fee, it forwards the application to the division for review. If the division does not wish to offer admission to the applicant, the division makes that recommendation to the Dean, who notifies the applicant. If an applicant meets all the college and division admission criteria and the division agrees to admit the student, the admissions office is notified and the Dean notifies the applicant. If an applicant does not meet the college criteria as outlined above, but the division wishes to admit the student, the applicant's admission materials are sent to The Graduate College Council, where a review of the applicant takes place and an agreement to accept or reject is made following a presentation of the candidate to the Council by the division. The Dean then notifies the applicant of the Council's decision.