How to Apply


All applications to the Biophysics Graduate Degree program are through the University of Wisconsin-Madison's graduate school application portal. The graduate school has guidelines for the general application process and will also review all submitted applications. Graduate school admissions decisions are made by the Biophysics Admissions Committee. The application deadline is December 15. Applications received after the deadline may not receive consideration.



Application Materials

A complete application requires following both the Graduate School and the Biophysics Graduate Degree Program requirements. A complete application includes:

  1. A completely filled out personal information section
  2. A resume or CV
  3. Reasons for graduate study. Address in narrative essay form your reasons and goals for graduate study; how will earning a Ph.D. help you achieve your goals? Why specifically are you interested in joining the Biophysics Ph.D. program?
  4. 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:
  5. 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. You may submit more than 3 letters of recommendation (up to 10) if you feel they help your application.
  6. TOEFL scores (if applicable) sent electronically to UW-Madison. 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 an alternate
  7. A $75 non-refundable application fee. The application fee covers an application to three different graduate programs at UW-Madison. We encourage you to apply for the programs that best encompass your research interests, but you need to keep in mind that you will need to submit all application materials by the first program deadline (for example, if a program has a December 1st application deadline, you need to submit all Biophysics application materials by December 1st as well, even though our application isn't due until December 15th). The UW Graduate School offers a limited number of application fee grants to eligible students. If you have questions about application fee grants, feel free to contact the Biophysics program at


       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.      


GPA, GRE, TOEFL Guidelines

GPA: The graduate school wants a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 (75%) for admission; however, we encourage students with strong research experiences to still apply. We look at the whole application when  making admissions decisions.

GRE: Graduate Record Exam scores are NOT required as part of the application submitted to the Biophysics Program. You can choose to include scores if you wish, but a lack of scores will not impact consideration of your application.

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 Program.


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:


If you are ready to apply, please click here! We look forward to reviewing your application!


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 currently in the United States must participate in the Biophysics recruiting weekend. Invitations will be extended in late December for the recruiting visit scheduled for January 23-25, 2020.