The MS in AICD3 degree program at UCSF provides a welcoming environment for a wide range of diversity in its student population, including students with disabilities. Typically, qualified applicants will have diverse backgrounds with an undergraduate degree in the biological sciences, genetics, chemistry, bioinformatics, pharmacology, engineering or pharmacy. We encourage applicants with a strong quantitative background and an interest in computational drug discovery and development to apply.

Criteria for evaluation

Our program is committed to increasing equity in our application process and will be as transparent as possible.

The following categories are used by the admissions committee to evaluate and rank candidates during the application review process.

The committee reviews all categories and academic accomplishments in the context of diversity, equity, and inclusion for a more equitable selection process. For example, scholarly potential is evaluated in the context of the applicant’s access to resources and opportunities. Letters of recommendation are carefully interpreted given the implicit biases present when describing people from different demographic backgrounds or gender.

Academic preparation

  • Found in transcript

  • Typical standard of competitive applicants in this category:

    • Science/STEM classes with rigorous coursework, or (as a proxy) rigorous institution/program

    • High GPA in STEM (last two years)

    • Relevant scientific, biological, computational, or bioengineering experience that aligns with computational drug discovery and development areas

Scholarly potential

  • Found in CV/resume, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose

Life skills

  • Found in statement of purpose and letters of recommendation

  • Excellent self-management

  • Clear evidence of leadership

  • Initiative

  • Extracurricular accomplishment (service, engagement, or outreach), commitment, or mentorship

  • Relevant life skills acquired from personal distance traveled or adversity overcome

Program fit or match

  • Found in statement of purpose


Since this is the first year of the program, the following dates are estimates and subject to change depending on application volume and other factors.

For entry in fall 2024:

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Application window opens

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Application window closes

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Virtual interviews begin

Friday, June 28, 2024 Virtual interviews end

Early July 2024

Decisions announced

Monday, July 15, 2024
Tuesday, July 30, 2024

Admitted applicant in-person visit

Thursday, September 12, 2024

Classes begin

Fees and scholarships

Didactic coursework (quarters 1 to 3):

  • Fee per quarter: $15,000
  • Total for 3 quarters: $45,000

Capstone project (quarters 4 and 5):

  • Fee per quarter: $15,000
  • Total for 2 quarters: $30,000
  • Potentially covered through scholarships funded by our industry partners

Total program fee (5 quarters): $75,000



The minimum degree requirement for application is a bachelor’s degree.

The following materials are required:

  1. General and demographic information

  2. 3 letters of recommendation, preferably from recommenders who are familiar with your research experience

  3. Personal statements

  4. Transcripts

  5. A non-refundable fee is required. This fee is set by the Graduate Division. Need-based fee waivers are available for domestic applicants. Details are provided in the application.

There are other requirements as specified by the Graduate Division.

General GRE

We no longer require or accept GRE scores.

International applicants

  1. Submit TOEFL score: International applicants must also submit TOEFL (administered by ETS or the IELTS) scores to institution code 4840. Exemptions to this requirement are available. Details: minimum scores and exemptions.

  2. Submit WES report by mid-point of first term: Once you have been granted admission to UCSF, any transcripts you submitted in support of your application from institutions outside of the U.S. must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES), an accredited third-party credential evaluation service. Students are responsible for submitting an official WES transcript evaluation report to UCSF by the mid-point of the first term enrolled. Do not send physical copies of your WES evaluation through the mail.

  3. Translations: International transcripts that are translated into English from another language may be used only to make preliminary admission decisions. WES does not translate documents and requires precise, word-for-word translations when your academic documents are not issued in English. Be sure to allow enough time for your institution to translate and provide your documents to WES in English.

Deadline: Wednesday, May 1, 2024