Interdisciplinary PhD in Structural and Computational Biology and Quantitative Biosciences

Student life

The graduate students in the Biophysics Program are part of a friendly, diverse, inclusive, and collaborative group. They come from all over the world and form lifelong friendships and develop research collaborations as part of our community.

The program offers numerous opportunities for connection and professional growth. Social events in the program include the Biophysics Colloquium and an annual Student Retreat. Students in the program have also founded a local chapter of the Biophysical Society.

Beyond professional life, Madison is an enriching and stimulating place to live. It is easy to find entertainment with a large variety of sports, arts, and music events, amazing farmers markets, and festivals. The city and its surrounding parks and lakes provide endless opportunities for outdoor activities (hiking, running, cycling, canoeing, sailing, ice skating, skiing, snowshoeing) during all four of our beautiful seasons. Affordable housing near campus, plus excellent transportation and bike paths, make it easy to commute and move around the city.

Students night out
Students night out
Hiking at Devil's Lake
Hiking at Devil's Lake

Professional Development

  • Invited speaker panels representing science careers
  • Tours of local biotech companies
  • Participation in organizations on campus including the Badger Business Solutions
  • Science Outreach, such as the Wisconsin Science Festival

Social and Community

  • Biophysics Colloquium
  • Biophysics Student Retreat
  • Biophysics Seminar
  • Recruitment/interview weekend for future students

Representation on the Biophysics Steering Committee

Student Communities on Campus

Student Groups on Campus

Many students in the Biophysics program are involved with other student groups on campus. There are more than 1,100 registered student groups on campus and the best way to seek out current organizations is to visit the Center for Leadership and Involvement (CfLI) and the Wisconsin Involvement Network.

Here are a few groups that bring together graduate students across different departments:

  • Association of Asian American Graduate Students (AAAGS): Brings together Asian-Americans for fellowship, education, and a better understanding of what it means to be Asian-American.
  • Black Graduate and Professional Student Association (BGPSA): Supports black graduate and professional students through personal development experiences, exploring career and networking opportunities, building a strong network, and serving the community at large.
  • Catalysts for Science Policy (CaSP): Educates graduate students about science policy and emphasizes the importance of increasing scientist participation in science policy issues, both local and national.
  • Community: Provides social, academic, and professional support to underrepresented graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) at UW–Madison.
  • Graduate Women in Science (Sigma Delta Epsilon), Beta Chapter (GWIS): Provides a local support network for women scientists through a variety of events, such as monthly seminars about issues faced by women scientists.
  • Indian Graduate Students Association (IGSA): Promotes Indian culture on the UW campus and helps new Indian graduate students to get settled into life in Madison.

Intramural and Team Sports

University Recreation & Wellbeing oversees club sports, fitness classes, intramural sports, and programs on campus. It also offers personal training. You will need to show your UW student ID to enter athletic buildings. There are lockers available, but you will need to provide your own lock.

University Recreation & Wellbeing offers Group Fitness classes for a small fee at the Nicholas Recreation Center on campus to currently enrolled students, faculty/staff, and spouse/domestic partners that have paid the recreation membership fee. Classes include floor classes, aqua, yoga, Pilates, cycling, and specialty courses. Some classes are very popular, so you might want to arrive early to guarantee a spot or reserve your spot online for certain classes.

You can also meet grads from all over campus by playing an intramural sport. Some teams get together to play outside of the league or meet socially after games. One grad student volunteers to captain, which requires registering the team and communicating with players.

Team sports can be a great way to meet new people or spend more time with people in your cohort! Many graduate students participate in team sports through non-university groups: