Student-at-Large Program

The Rush tower with Chicago's skyline in the background

Do you not have time to commit to an entire degree program? Would you like an opportunity to enroll in classes to help build a stronger application to either a Master’s degree or PhD program? The Graduate College at Rush University can provide you the foundational knowledge to succeed and invites you to apply for Student-at-Large (SAL) status and take for-credit classes.


About the Program

Designed for working professionals or students looking to gain experience in clinical and translational research in a healthcare environment as well as a competitive edge in their application to graduate or professional programs of their choice.

Located in the Illinois Medical District near Chicago’s Loop, Rush University’s Graduate College is part of a hub of leading-edge patient care, research and education. Students are instructed in an environment that fosters innovation through an interdisciplinary approach to scientific discovery. Our students not only learn leading-edge scientific techniques but also, perhaps more importantly, critical thinking and analytical problem-solving skills. 

Credit earned as an SAL may be applied toward a Rush University degree if the student is subsequently admitted to a program. Students may accumulate up to 12 course credits as SALs; the college Dean/Associate Dean must authorize the accumulation of additional hours. Enrollment to the course(s) is at the discretion of the instructor(s).

Fall Course Offerings
  • BMC-500: Musculoskeletal Biology 
  • BTN-523: Career Planning
  • CRE-561: Introduction to Epidemiology 
  • GCC-519: Introduction to Neuroscience  
  • GCC-546: Principles of Biostatistics I  
  • GCC-548: Bioinformatics 
  • GCC-571: Human Centered Health Systems Integration  
  • GCC-611: Cancer Biology I 
  • GCC-900: Independent Study: Biomedical Entrepreneurship  
  • GCC-900: Independent Study: Design Health Innovation 
  • IMM-507: Basic Immunology I 
Spring Course Offerings
  • BMC-508: Techniques in Ortho Biomechanics
  • BTN-550: Introduction to Forensic Science
  • CRE-562: Advanced Epidemology
  • GCC-570: Social Entrepreneurship in Health Sciences 
  • GCC-612: Cancer Biology II  
  • GCC-652: The Changing Nervous System  
  • GCC-900: Independent Study: Business of Science 
  • GCC-900: Independent Study: Human Centered Design  
  • IMM-510: Advanced Immunology I
Student Information

Students accepted to the GCSAL program must have already completed their bachelor’s degrees, and international applicants must meet our English language requirements.

Some GCSAL students come to the program with strong research foundations in biological sciences, while others have no research background. Some use GCSAL to prepare for entering a master’s degree, while others go on to a professional program, or choose to enter one of the four Graduate College STEM programs.

Benefits of the GCSAL Program

More than just being a traditional Student-at-Large, the GCSAL Program enables students to deliberately engage in the academic culture of Rush University. Graduate courses taught by world-class faculty will not only provide leading-edge scientific techniques but, perhaps more importantly, critical thinking and analytical problem-solving skills that will serve you no matter your next steps.

The GCSAL Team works closely with Rush University’s Registrar and Admissions office to ensure that each student has access to courses. Our Program Coordinators will help you build a strong academic transcript as well provide support and resources to make you a competitive candidate for the Graduate College, other academic program, or professional setting. You will also have access to our Recruitment Manager who can assist with topics such as whom to get letters of recommendation from, what to cover in a personal statement, and how to address weakness in your application. Also available are opportunities to attend workshops and seminars such as the Graduate College Research Retreat which showcases the breadth and depth of research being conducted by Graduate College students and faculty.

Application Deadlines

Your student-at-large application must be completed at least three weeks prior to the start of the academic semester for which you are applying. Admission decisions will be sent on a rolling basis soon after all the required credentials have been received.

Semester Application Due Date
Spring December 8, 2023
Fall August 18, 2023