Admissions & Application Requirements

The Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBMS) Graduate Program offers a path to the MS or PhD degree. To qualify for admission, you must meet the minimum requirements of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School and of the CBMS Graduate Program.

NOTE: GRE SCORES ARE OPTIONAL

Comparative Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program Requirements:

  1. Graduate School Requirements: All applicants to CBMS meet (and preferably exceed) the requirements of the UW-Madison Graduate School.
  2. Grade Point Average: Although grade point averages (GPA) of 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) meet the requirements of the Graduate School, most applicants accepted into our program have at least a 3.2 GPA.
  3. Graduate Record Examination: GRE Scores are Optional.  If you would like to have your GRE scores considered as part of your application materials, please enter your scores on the Graduate School application and have your official GRE scores sent by ETS to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Use institutional code 1846. No department code is needed.
  4. TOEFL: Students who received their bachelor degree in a non-English speaking institution must provide evidence of English proficiency. Additional details may be found on the Graduate School Admission Requirements page.
  5. Coursework recommendations: To ensure that all students have the background to complete the coursework required for the CBMS Graduate Program, we recommend that you have completed undergraduate coursework in the following three areas:
    • Biology:  Four courses distributed among three of the following areas:  biochemistry or physiological chemistry, genetics, structure and/or function of organisms, and populations or ethology of organisms.
    • Chemistry:  Two semesters of general chemistry including laboratory, plus one semester of organic chemistry with laboratory. The lab may be waived if biochemistry or physiological chemistry has been taken.
    • Mathematics:  Three courses distributed among at least two of the following: physics, statistics, computer science, or calculus, including differential and integral.

How to Apply

  • Complete the online application form from the Graduate School and pay the required fee.
  • Compile the following materials for the Comparative Biomedical Sciences Graduate  Program:
    • A statement of your personal goals. Please describe both your immediate and long-term professional goals as well as your personal accomplishments thus far in the pursuit of those goals. Also, since the CBMS Graduate Program is strongly oriented toward research, provide details about your research background and interests.
    • Three separate online letters of recommendation are required. Please follow the instructions from the Graduate School. The letters should be written by individuals who can accurately evaluate your potential for graduate study, and should also include current or previous research advisors.
    • GRE scores are optional: If you would like to have your GRE scores considered as part of your application materials, please enter your scores on the Graduate School application and have your official GRE scores sent by ETS to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Use institutional code 1846. No department code is needed.
    • TOEFL scores, if applicable, should be sent to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Use institutional code 1846. No department code is needed.
    • Transcripts: You must upload transcripts to the application site. Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) institutions will be required upon acceptance and matriculation. International applicants must also provide official English translations of transcripts as well as proof of degree.
    • CV or resume that lists any academic awards, honors, and scholarships you received as an undergraduate, types and length of research experiences and authorship on any publications or posters and presentations should also be uploaded on the application site.
  • All completed applications will then be reviewed by the CBMS Academic Committee.
  • You will be contacted by the Graduate Coordinator and informed of the Academic Committee’s decision.
  • NOTE: You must choose and be accepted by a major professor in the CBMS Graduate Program before you can be admitted to the program. Please check the areas of research and the faculty trainers web pages for information on the various research areas in our program. Although the Graduate Program Coordinator will assist you in identifying a major professor, we have found that students can be placed more readily if they have contacted the professors themselves.

After you have been accepted by a major professor and have met all the requirements of the University’s Graduate School, you will be officially admitted to the CBMS Graduate Program. A letter notifying you of your official admission will be sent at this time. The majority of our graduate students (both international and domestic) are funded by research assistantships provided by the individual major professors. These students receive an annual stipend as well as health care benefits and paid tuition.

Application Deadlines

  • January 1 for the following fall or summer semester
  • June 1 for the following spring semester