New Student Information

A. Overview
There are many things that new students must complete before and soon after arriving at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. New students will receive an email notification instructing them to activate their UW email address, NetID, and to register for some courses prior to arriving at UW-Madison. If there are any questions, please feel free to email the Biophysics office:
B. Wiscmail and NetID

  • To establish a UW email account (Wiscmail), visit, click on "My UW"
  • Students will need a student ID number and their date of birth to activate their Wiscmail account
  • Follow the instructions to create a NetID and password
  • Students should notify the Biophysics Office ( of their email address
  • If problems occur, contact the DoIT Office (608-264-4357)

C. Registering for courses
Incoming rotation students will register for credits of Physiology 990 research with Dr. Meyer Jackson (Biophysics Program Chair). Incoming students will also be advised if they need to sign up for Chem 668, Biophysical Spectroscopy in the fall semester of the first year. Additionally, all students are encouraged to enroll in an ethics seminar their first semester in the program. Students will receive a detailed email in late July letting them know which classes to sign up for with the appropriate class numbers. Please note that you will need to be signed up for 8 credits of classes to be able to get a UW ID card (Wiscard).
D. Health Insurance

  • In the summer, incoming rotation students will be sent benefits information with instructions and application forms
  • Benefits packets must be completed and submitted to the Biophysics Office within 30 days of the start of your appointment

E. UW ID Card

  • A UW ID card (Wiscard) is a student's campus photo ID
  • To obtain a Wiscard, students must be registered for at least eight credits
  • Students will be able to pick up obtain their Wiscard during Orientation
  • Personal ID (drivers license, passport, or state issued ID) must be presented when requesting an initial or replacement Wiscard

F. Bus Pass

  • Graduate students are eligible for a free City of Madison Metro unlimited ride bus pass
  • A valid Wiscard must be presented in order to pick up a bus pass
  • New fall bus passes are typically available the last week of August.  Visit the link for details about where to pick up your bus pass.

G. Biological Safety at UW-Madison
There are various safety trainings that a student may need to take when working in a lab on campus. If a student is working with animals or radiation, UW-Madison requires that the student complete the necessary training. For each lab rotation, the student should check with each faculty trainer about which training sessions he/she will need to attend for that specific lab. Below are the various training courses offered by the UW Office of Biological Safety. 

  • Biological Safety Training:
  • All training is administered through the UW Office of Biological Safety
  • For more information, see the Biological Safety Training website
  • Additional training is offered for lab animal certification, chemical safety training, hazardous materials, and radiation safety