How to Apply to Our Ph.D. Program
We sincerely hope that after examining our Ph.D. program in Genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and judging its strength, you will choose to apply for admission.
If you choose to apply, first review the Graduate School Admission Requirements, then apply online.
Below is a summary of the components that must be included in your application and how to submit them. We must receive all application components by December 1.
- Reasons for Graduate Study (submit online)
Because our graduate program is strongly oriented toward research, we need to be able to relate your background and interests to ongoing research projects. To help us do this, please discuss your experience and prospective research areas as specifically as possible in your Reasons for Graduate Study. For example, if you are interested in human genetics, consider specific areas within that discipline. In preparing this portion of your application, you may wish to refer to information about the members of our training program and the areas of research of the specific laboratories. We carefully evaluate your statement, so it is important that you prepare it thoughtfully.
The Reasons for Graduate Study document (personal statement) can be included in your online application. If you are applying for more than one program, please mail your personal statement for Genetics to Genetics Graduate Admissions (address below).
- Official Transcript(s) (send to Genetics Department)
Please mail two sets of official transcripts from each institution you attended or are attending directly to Genetics Graduate Admissions (address below). International academic records must be in the original language accompanied by an official English translation. Documents must be issued by the school with the official seal/stamp and an official signature.
- Three Letters of Recommendation (see instructions for online letters)
Three Letters of Recommendation are to be sent online by your references. Letters from researchers or teachers are preferred. Letters of Recommendation should assess your potential for a career in genetics research at the Ph.D. level. They should address your aptitude and performance in intellectual and creative pursuits pertinent to scientific research.
- Science GPA (send to the Genetics Department)
To help us evaluate your academic record, please use the online Science GPA form to list the science and math courses you have taken, and compute your grade point average for these courses. (Please use a browser other than Internet Explorer for this purpose).
- Graduate Record Examinations (send to UW-Madison)
We require the GRE verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections of the general test, and we recommend the GRE subject test. The area of the subject test should be biology, biochemistry, or the area of your undergraduate major. You should arrange to take the GREs by October so the results reach UW-Madison before December 1. When you take the GREs, please indicate to the examiners that you wish to have the scores sent directly to UW-Madison (Institution Code 1846).
- TOEFL (send to UW-Madison)
Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
- Resume (upload to the supplementary application section of your online application)
Be sure to include in your resume a complete list and details of your research experience, work experience, publications and posters, honors and awards, and interests.
Transcripts should be mailed to:
Genetics Graduate Admissions
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1432 Genetics-Biotechnology Building
425-G Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706
Because of the high cost of graduate training, all Ph.D. students in Genetics receive financial support as fellows or research assistants, or as trainees on our NIH Genetics Training Grant. We normally do not admit students without financial support, and all students are considered for financial aid. Financial aid is also available through the University of Wisconsin Advanced Opportunity Fellowship (AOF) Program for targeted minorities and educationally disadvantaged graduate students who are U.S. citizens. If you wish to be considered for the AOF program, please indicate this on the Graduate School application materials. We also encourage you to apply to outside granting agencies (such as the National Science Foundation) for predoctoral fellowships. Such fellowships are not only prestigious, but they often provide a higher stipend than that of our institutional support.
Applicants are thoroughly evaluated by our Admissions Committee. Normally, a candidate with a GPA in science of 3.3 or above, and with percentile scores of 90 or above on two of the four GRE sections has an excellent chance of being invited to interview for admission to the program. The final decision to offer admission is based on all evidence available including the application, personal statement, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, GPA, Science GPA, the interview, and the number of open positions. To be considered, applications must be received by December 1, although early submission is strongly recommended.
If you are selected to interview for admission to our program, we will notify you as early as possible and schedule interviews during February. We provide a travel allowance that covers the costs of your travel.
If you have questions, please contact Marj Haanstad of Genetics Graduate Admissions.