Graduate Programs

Graduate education in the Department of Pathobiology provides unique opportunities for future research scientists to become competent in various disciplines of infectious diseases in humans and animals. The Pathobiology graduate program provides a broad range of research opportunities in both master’s and PhD degrees in the following areas:

  • Bacteriology
  • Epidemiology
  • Immunology
  • Parasitology
  • Virology

Additionally, interdisciplinary training is available.

A minimum of required core courses allows curriculum flexibility. Graduate programs can be tailored to meet the goals and expectation of the individual student and their research goals.

Students who are accepted will formally join a Pathobiology faculty research laboratory. Applicants should explore faculty research profiles available on the website and contact individual faculty for further information regarding their lab. For specific requirements and admissions processes, contact the graduate program coordinator. Applications are accepted for the Spring or Fall semesters.

With a degree from the Department of Pathobiology, our graduates are well prepared for a research position in academia, government, industry, or a post-doctoral position at any major institution. Recent graduates have accepted positions at Harvard University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, University of California Los Angeles, University of Michigan, the US Department of Agriculture, Senti Biosciences, and others.


Students accepted into the program receive financial support through research assistantship, teaching assistantship, training fellowship, or government fellowship, which provides a generous stipend with a full tuition and partial fee waiver. The department guarantees financial support to students as long as they make satisfactory progress toward their degree. Students are also encouraged to attend scientific conferences to present their research. Conference expenses are typically covered by travel fellowships, research advisors, or the department.

Award winners from the 2020 Voss Graduate Student Research EXPO: Chia-Ming Su, Xuejin Zhang, Maria Nava, Sabal Chaulagain, Jaishree Sharma, Myung Whan Oh (missing from the photo Yvette Tien)

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How to Apply

Application Deadlines

Fall semester deadline: January 15th

Spring semester deadline: July 15th

For full consideration, ALL application materials must be received by January 15th for fall semester admission, and by July 15th for spring semester admission. Off-cycle applications are limited to prior arrangement between an individual applicant and a specified research advisor and will be reviewed by the full Pathobiology graduate faculty on a rolling basis.

The Department of Pathobiology does not request any program-specific questions on the application. All requested documents should be uploaded to the online application. Do not send original documents to the department office.

International applicants must meet minimum GPA requirements based on their country of origin. See the list of countries on the Graduate College website.

Admission Fees

  • Domestic applicants are required to submit a $70.00 application fee.
  • International applicants are required to submit a $90.00 application fee.

Application Process

  1. Review the Graduate College ‘Before Beginning’ process
  1. Apply to the University of Illinois Graduate Program
    • or click APPLY NOW  from the Before Beginning page and follow the directions
    • Indicate Program as VMS-Pathobiology
    • Indicate Degree as MS or PhD
    • It is also highly recommended that applicants include faculty member(s) of interest in the Proposed Program of Study section of the online application
  • Submit a CV or resume as part of the application
  • Submit a personal statement as part of the application
    • Please describe any experiences and/or challenges that may have shaped your intellectual and personal development.
    • Provide insight into your potential to contribute to a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect in which scholars with diverse perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn and collaborate productively and positively.
    • Please address any concerns you may have in your application. If, for example, you do not believe that your academic credentials demonstrate your true capabilities, please explain why. Also, describe any gaps in your academic career and work experience or any extenuating circumstances in your profile of which the admissions committee should be made aware.
    • If there is something that you would like to highlight that you have yet to discuss in other areas of the application, please do so here.
  • Submit a academic statement as part of the application
    • Your academic statements of purpose should answer the following questions (1,000 words max):
      • How has your academic background, including any training, research, or other educational experiences, prepared you for graduate study?
      • What are your intellectual interests, and what scholarly questions are you interested in exploring in graduate study?
      • Are there any specific faculty members whose research interests align with your own with whom you would like to work?
      • How will our program help you achieve your academic and professional goals?
  1. Provide the names and emails of 3 references
    • Letters of reference will be submitted electronically in the application system.
    • Select letter writers that are familiar with your academic qualifications and/or your research experience(s).
    • Each reference letter writer will receive an email asking them to submit their letters in our online system. A secure link will be provided to each reference writer.
  1. Submit transcript(s) online as part of the application.
    • Upload unofficial transcripts for each degree-granting institution attended.
    • If you have been awarded a degree, then the transcript we receive should list the degree conferred and conferral date.
    • For institutions that do not print degree conferral information on transcripts, a separate certificate of degree or diploma should also be uploaded. This may be true for international institutions.
    • If you attended an international institution and the academic credentials are not written in English, you must include a translation of all documents.
  1. GRE policy effective for entering in 2021 season
    • Pathobiology does not require GRE scores as part of the application for graduate school. You may submit them as part of the package if you like.
  1. Submit TOEFL scores if required
    • All applicants whose native language is not English must have a minimum TOEFL iBT score of 79, TOEFL CBT (computer-based exam) score of 213, or TOEFL PBT score of 550.
    • TOEFL scores must be less than 2 years old from the proposed entry in order to be valid.
    • Students are exempt from the TOEFL requirement if they have completed at least two academic years of full-time study at an institution where the language of instruction is English during the five-year period prior to the proposed date of enrollment.
    • If students are admitted as a Teaching Assistants, they will be required to take additional language tests.
    • TOEFL scores should be sent electronically from ETS to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign using institution code 1836 (no department code required).

Additional Information for International Students

  1. Proof of Funding and Declaration Finances Form
    • International applicants do not need to provide financial details as part of the application process. Students accepted into the program receive financial support through research assistantship, teaching assistantship, training fellowship, or government fellowship, which provides a generous stipend with a full tuition and partial fee waiver. The stipend and tuition waiver exempt applicants from needing to provide financial information.
    • Should international applicants have dependents they will bring with them, the Graduate College may ask for some financial information. However, this will occur at the time of admission and applicants should wait until it is requested.
    • If international applicants have extramural funding, the Graduate College will ask for financial information. However, this will occur at the time of admission, and applicants should wait until it is requested.
  1. Passport
    • International applicants will need to submit a valid passport as part of the application before admission can occur; however, it does not need to be provided at the time of application submission.
    • For additional information on passport requirements, please visit the Graduate College FAQ for International Applicants.

Contact Information

Keith Jarosinski
Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies

Karen Nichols
Graduate Program Coordinator

PATH Graduate Program
Department of Pathobiology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2001 South Lincoln Avenue, 2522 VMBSB, MC-002
Urbana, Illinois 61820
Phone: (217) 333-2449

Graduate Students and Staff