How to Apply

A. Applying

As you apply to a UW-Madison graduate degree program, you need to be aware of two different sets of requirements:

1. Graduate school minimum admissions requirements, and
2. Department or Program admission requirements

Application Materials

A complete application requires following both the Graduate School and the Biophysics Graduate Degree Program requirements. Submit only the materials requested to the two respective organizations.

To the Graduate School:

  • Complete the
  • $75 non-refundable application fee - payable by credit card, debit/atm card, check or money order drawn on a United States bank. Do not send cash. (The UW Graduate School offers a limited number of application fee grants to eligible students. If you are not eligible for a fee grant from the UW Graduate School, but you participated in a pipeline program designed to prepare students for graduate studies, please contact to inquire about the possibility of obtaining a fee waiver from the Biophysics Program.)

       *Please note: The application fee pays for up to 3 different programs

       Send checks or money orders to:
       Office of Graduate Admissions
       228 Bascom Hall, 500 Lincoln Drive
       Madison, WI 53706-1380 USA

       Do not send any additional materials to the Graduate School.

       International students: Financial Information will be requested by the Graduate School after the Biophysics
       Program makes a recommendation for admission. 

       Follow this link for information on typical international student expenses to attend UW-Madison.

To the Biophysics Degree Program:

  • Transcripts must be submitted from each institution that you have attended and listed on your graduate school application (undergraduate and graduate). Records from international institutions must be in the original language with an official English translation. Copies of transcripts must be uploaded to the online application. If there are issues uploading the transcript to the online application, please email them to: The program no longer requires mailed hard copy transcripts for the initial screening. If accepted to the program, an official hard copy will be requested.
  • Reasons for graduate study (address in narrative essay form your reasons and goals for graduate study) uploaded as part of the online application.
  • List of awards, honors and publications, separate or included in the resume, uploaded as part of the online application.
  • Three letters of recommendation:
    Qualified references include faculty and/or supervisors, who have familiarity with the applicant's intellectual, academic and research oriented capabilities, accomplishments and temperament. Recommendations are included as part of your online application.
  • GRE scores sent electronically to UW-Madison (use code 1846); copies of the GRE scores may be uploaded by the applicant for initial review but this does not substitute for official electronic submission using the institutional  code
  • TOEFL scores (if applicable) sent electronically to UW-Madison (use code 1846); copies of the GRE scores may be uploaded by the applicant for initial review but this does not substitute for official electronic submission using the institutional code. Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose previous undergraduate/graduate instruction was not in English must provide official scores from the TOEFL exam or alternatively the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)
  • CV or Resume: Not required but strongly recommended

       Send to:
       Biophysics Degree Program
       413 Bock Laboratories
       1525 Linden Drive
       Madison, WI 53706 USA

       Deadline: December 15. Applications received after the deadline may not receive consideration.

B. GPA, GRE, TOEFL Guidelines

      GPA: A minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 (75%) is required for admission; students recently admitted to the Biophysics
      Program have had GPA's of 3.25/4.0
(82%) or higher.

      GRE: Graduate Record Exam scores are required as part of the application submitted to the Biophysics
      Program. Taking an Advanced GRE test in a relevant topical area is recommended but not required.
      Percentile scores on the GRE for students admitted to the program are typically equal or greater than 60
      Verbal, 80 Quantitative, 80 Analytical and 85 Advanced.

      TOEFL: International applicants from countries with an official language other than English must take and
      submit a score for the TOEFL Exam. A TOEFL score of 600 (250 on the computer based test scale; 92 on
      the internet based (iBT) scale or 82 on the MELAB) or greater is preferred for admission to the Biophysics

C. Financial Assistance & Health Insurance

All offers of admission to the Graduate Degree Program in Biophysics come with a waiver of tuition and stipend support as a research assistant, fellow or trainee. Application for admission makes the applicant eligible for each of these forms of University provided support - no separate application for these forms of financial assistance is required. Scholarships, fellowships and aid provided through external organizations are subject to the requirements and deadlines of the respective organization. Applicants are encouraged to explore and apply for external forms of financial assistance since this may expand the number of research laboratories that can accept the student for the thesis research. Graduate students, research assistants, fellows, and trainees at UW-Madison are eligible for health insurance plans offered  by the University. Both single and family plans are offered at very reasonable cost. For more information please contact:

D. Recruiting

Applicants will be notified of the admissions committee's decision soon after their on campus recruiting visit. In order to receive acceptance into the program, students must participate in the Biophysics recruiting weekend. Invitations will be extended in late December for the recruiting visit scheduled for February 8-10, 2018.