Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the advantages of enrolling in the UW–Madison Biophysics Graduate Degree Program?

As one of the truly interdisciplinary programs on campus, students in the Biophysics Graduate Degree program are at the cutting edge of research conducted on this campus. Students have a choice of over 50 faculty members associated with 12 departments on campus to work with and build collaborations with. Biophysics is a growing field, as more and more researchers are discovering the benefits of biophysicists. Biophysicists are uniquely trained in the quantitative sciences of physics, math, chemistry, and computing and they are able tackle a wide array of biological topics of interest. A Ph.D. degree from UW-Madison in Biophysics will well prepare you to enter a variety of fields.

Will I be fully funded?

All students, both US and international, receive an annual stipend and tuition remission for the duration of their studies, provided satisfactory progress is made toward their degree. Comprehensive medical coverage is also offered.

Does Biophysics admit international students?

Yes! Approximately half of the graduate students in our program are international students and we love meeting new biophysicists from anywhere in the world.

Do all my supporting documents and TOEFL scores need to be submitted by the application deadline?

We encourage timely submission of all application materials, including letters of recommendation and test scores. It is suggested that you provide your letter writers ample time to craft and submit a letter for you. Three to four weeks is recommended. Regarding TOEFL or IELTS scores, please request that ETS send your scores to the Graduate School no later than November. Incomplete applications may be considered, but they will be at a disadvantage.

Is the GRE required?

We do not require the GRE. If you submit scores, we’ll look at them, but a lack of scores will not impact consideration of your application. The most important parts of your application are your personal statement and your letters of recommendation.

Should I contact faculty prior to applying?

It is not necessary to contact specific faculty trainers prior to submitting an online application. If you are invited for an interview, you will be asked which faculty you are interested in, in order to pair you for interviews. However, we certainly encourage you to review the work of our trainers before applying so you can highlight research you are interested in.

How can I check my application status?

To check your application status, log in to MyUW using your NetID and password. If you have forgotten your NetID or password, please visit the DoIT page on recovering a forgotten NetID password or contact the DoIT Help Desk at 608-264-HELP for assistance.

How do rotations work?

Incoming Biophysics students participate in orientation during the last full week of August. As part of orientation, faculty trainers in the program that are interested in accepting new students will give a brief research talk. If you are interested in rotating with the faculty member, you contact them to arrange a rotation. There are three rotation periods in the fall semester that each last approximately 4 weeks. At the end of rotations, you will work with the professors you rotated with to choose a thesis lab.

How many courses will I be expected to teach as a graduate assistant?

The Biophysics Graduate Degree Program has no formal teaching program. For students that are interested in teaching, there are many resources on campus to provide training and opportunities, but given the varied nature of our field, we do not make teaching a requirement for earning a Ph.D.