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Biomedical Graduate Program Consortium

Application Process

What is the Biomedical Graduate Program Consortium?

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Thank you for your interest in pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This website outlines the admissions process for the four degree-granting programs in the Biomedical Graduate Program Consortium at the School of Medicine and Public Health.

  • Endocrinology - Reproductive Physiology
  • Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology
  • Molecular and Environmental Toxicology
  • Physiology

Our programs welcome and seek a diverse student body, and we uphold the university’s equal opportunity and affirmative action policy. We work in partnership with the Graduate School’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Funding.


Apply separately to each program of interest. If you apply to more than one program in the consortium, the programs will consult with one another during the admissions process. If you are interested in coursework and/or a laboratory rotation in other consortium programs but do not wish to apply to those programs, you may indicate these additional areas of interest on your application.


The deadline for Fall 2018 entry is December 1. Applications received after this date may be considered; please contact the program coordinator. We do not offer spring or summer admission. The admissions committee will only review complete applications received by the deadline.


When applying to multiple programs at UW-Madison, upload a complete set of application materials to each program. Materials are not shared among programs.


Please visit each program’s website for more information. Program profiles, which include information about acceptance rates and time to degree completion, are available from the Graduate School.


After reading this website, if you have questions about the admissions process or need further assistance, please email the program coordinator.

Apply Here

Checklist for Completed Application


checkboxComplete the Graduate School Application, available online beginning September 6, 2017. Within the Graduate School Application:

  • Transcripts must be uploaded in the application system (“Education” section)
    • For the purposes of your application, you need only upload unofficial transcripts (it is acceptable to upload an official transcript in electronic format, as long as it is not “secured”).  
    • Please include transcripts for all post-secondary coursework you have completed.
    • The file should be a PDF no larger than 4MB. Do not print secured transcripts and then scan as PDF.
    • Programs no longer require mailed hard copy transcripts and will accept only electronic versions for the initial screening.
    • If accepted into a program, official transcript(s) will be requested.
  • A personal statement should be completed in the application system (“Statements & CV” section). The personal statement is a place for you to communicate to the admissions committee such things as:
    • Your research interests and future career goals
    • Why you have chosen to apply for this particular graduate program at UW-Madison
    • Previous research or research-related experience
    • Any extraneous information or discrepancies in application materials including, but not limited to: information regarding low GPA during a specific semester(s), low GRE scores, time off from school, or a career change
    • Information about yourself regarding character, work ethic, etc.
  • A CV or resume must be uploaded in the application system (“Statements & CV” section). This document will highlight the exemplary aspects of your background, including:
    • Educational training
    • Honors and awards received
    • Authored publications
    • Scientific presentations
    • Research or research-related experience (including name of PI and description summary of work performed)
    • Any other information you feel will contribute to your application.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required and must be submitted electronically. The instructions for submitting electronic letters of recommendation can be found on the Graduate School Application (linked above). More than three letters may be submitted. References should be familiar with your research experience or academic background, such as research advisors and/or professors.
  • It is not necessary to send copies of manuscripts as these materials are available through online databases. These items are not circulated to the admissions committee during the review process.

checkboxSubmit the $75 non-refundable application fee to the Graduate School. (An additional $6 fee for administrative processing is required for international applicants only.) You can apply for up to three programs with a single application fee.


checkboxHave all Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores electronically reported to institution code 1846.

  • GRE test date must be more recent than December 2012
  • GRE scores are to be reported directly to the University of Wisconsin, institution code 1846 (DO NOT USE A DEPARTMENT CODE)
  • Allow at least two weeks for GRE scores to be received by the University of Wisconsin
  • Under special circumstances, MCAT scores will be accepted instead of GRE scores, although GRE scores are preferred.

checkboxEnglish proficiency test scores are required if you are an international applicant or if your undergraduate instruction was not in English. The Graduate School lists minimum test score requirements.

Program Requirements

The Graduate School requires a minimum undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours (approximately two years of work) or a master's degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00. Applicants from an international institution must demonstrate strong academic achievement comparable to a 3.00 for an undergraduate or master's degree. All GPAs are based on a 4.00 scale. The Graduate School will use your institution's grading scale. Do not convert your grades to a 4.00 scale.


The Graduate School requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or a comparable degree from an international institution. International applicants must have a degree comparable to a regionally accredited U.S. bachelor's degree. For specific information about comparable degrees in your country, and which academic documents are required, refer to the Graduate School’s admission requirements.


As the programs in the Biomedical Graduate Program Consortium are at the intersection of several basic sciences, students entering the programs generally have degrees in animal sciences, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, pharmacy, or related fields.


International applicants are required to have adequate financial resources to cover their expenses for the duration of their studies at UW-Madison. General information for international students is available from the International Student Services website.


The admissions committee considers the above criteria, as well as current availability of program resources, in recommending acceptance into the program.


In January, the most promising candidates are invited to Madison for a winter recruitment weekend, which includes interviews with faculty and students. (Note: Different arrangements are made for students who do not live in the U.S.)


Offers of admission are typically made in February and March.


Students are required to notify the program of their decision by April 15.


Applicants who meet the standards but are not initially recommended for admission are placed on a waiting list until the initial recruitment process is completed, typically in April.

Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you assess my chances of admission based on the following criteria (GRE scores, class rank, etc.)?


A: We cannot provide preliminary evaluations of chances for admissions based on any one or two qualifications. The admissions committee carefully reviews the entire application package (personal statement, GRE scores, recommendation letters, transcripts, etc.) to determine admission decisions.

Q: Should I send my application to a specific faculty member with whom I am interested in working?


A: No. In order for an application to be part of the admissions process, it must be sent to the program via the process described above. Admission decisions are made by a pre-determined committee of program faculty.

Q: What if I cannot afford the application fee? Can I defer the payment of the fee until I am admitted?


A: The Graduate School has introduced a new electronic application system for spring 2016 admissions and beyond. With this new system, an application cannot be submitted unless the application fee has been paid. We understand the financial difficulties associated with application to graduate programs. The Graduate School offers a limited number of application fee grants, which are directed to 1) applicants who have participated in pipeline programs specifically designed to prepare students for graduate studies, and 2) domestic (non-international) applicants who have grown up in a low-income family.


If you have further questions about application fee grants, please contact the program coordinator as a limited number of additional fee grants may be available based on criteria set by the individual programs. Please know that it takes a week for a program to process an application fee grant request so that an application can be submitted. Please plan ahead so that you can meet the program's application deadline to ensure full consideration.

Q: How can I learn more about costs and funding?


A: All consortium students pursuing a PhD receive a competitive stipend, and are guaranteed support so long as they remain in good academic standing. Tuition remission and health insurance are also provided. See each program’s website for more details. The Graduate School also provides information about costs and funding.

Q: I am interested in the Endocrinology – Reproductive Physiology program and I’m unsure if I should pursue an MS or a PhD. What should I do?


A: ERP offers an MS program as well as a PhD program. Commitment to graduate education is a significant investment of both time and resources on your part. Indicating an interest in both the ERP MS and PhD degrees provides you with the most opportunities for financial support and long-term flexibility. A change of degree goal can be accomplished by contacting the ERP program coordinator. It should be noted that individuals who pursue an MS have difficulties finding a laboratory because some of the program’s funding can only be used for PhD candidates and because many faculty are not willing to mentor a student who will leave after two years.


A complete list of Application FAQs, including information about costs and funding, is available on the Graduate School website: Grad School Application FAQs

Application Process

Last updated: 08/31/2017
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