Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

Are application fee waivers available?

  • The UW Graduate School offers a limited number of application fee grants to eligible students. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide fee waivers.

How much does the UW-Madison graduate school application fee cost?

  • UW-Madison charges a non-refundable $75 application fee that must be paid by credit or debit card in the online application system. In addition to the $75 application fee, non U.S. citizens will be charged a $6.00 international document processing fee. Both fees will be processed during the submission of your application.

Does CMB offer a Master’s Degree?

  • No. The final degree objective for all admitted students to the CMB Program is a PhD.

Does the CMB program offer spring or summer admission?

  • No. The CMB program only offers fall semester admission.

What financial support do CMB students receive?

  • Provided that they make satisfactory progress towards their PhD, all CMB students are guaranteed a competitive stipend and tuition remission for the duration of their graduate studies. The benefits package also includes the opportunity to purchase excellent University of Wisconsin health insurance at a reasonable price. Current stipend and health insurance rates can be found in the Financial/Health Insurance section of the CMB Handbook. Students will need to pay segregated fees each semester, and international students must pay an international services fee.

Are international applicants required to have a certain amount of money saved upon admission?

  • No. Students who receive funding through their program (including CMB students) are NOT required to provide bank information. If admitted, international students who join our program will instead submit a funding letter (provided by the CMB program) to show that they are financially supported by the program.

Should I contact specific faculty trainers prior to applying to the CMB program?

  • It is not necessary to contact specific faculty trainers. Students must submit all application materials via the Graduate School online application. If you are invited for an interview, the CMB program will ask you which faculty you are interested in, in order to pair you for interviews.

How are students placed in labs?

  • Admitted students complete three laboratory rotations in labs of CMB faculty trainers before choosing a faculty advisor. More information can be found in the Lab Rotations section of the CMB Handbook.

Does the CMB Program allow students to directly join a faculty member’s lab as direct admit students?

  • Students who matriculate into the program are required to complete three laboratory rotations before joining a lab. A small number of highly qualified applicants who are not invited for interviews are placed on a Direct Admit List and may be eligible for the direct admit option provided they receive an offer of financial support directly from a CMB faculty member.

What are my chances of admission?

  • We cannot provide preliminary evaluations of chances for admission. The Admissions Committee reviews each application carefully using a holistic process, considering all application materials including personal statement, recommendation letters, transcripts, etc., and weighing applications against others in the applicant pool each year. Admissions statistics can be found under the appropriate tab on the CMB Admissions page.

Are GRE scores required?

  • No. CMB no longer requires GRE scores, nor will the Admissions Committee use any GRE scores submitted as part of its review. This decision was made following a careful review of data indicating that the GRE significantly disadvantages certain groups, such as women, students from underrepresented minority groups, and students of lower socioeconomic status.

What is the Supplemental Application? Should I still address my interest in the program in my personal statement?

  • Under the Supplemental App portion of the CMB application, applicants are required to answer the question: “Briefly describe why you are interested in the CMB Program, UW-Madison, and living in Madison.” (400 words or less) We encourage applicants to address their interest in the CMB Program in their personal statement as well, but this supplemental app section is a chance to elaborate on that interest.

Do all my supporting documents and English proficiency scores need to be submitted by the deadline?

  • Yes, all application materials including supporting documents and test scores must be received by December 1. Therefore, applicants should plan to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam (if applicable) early enough so that the scores will reach the CMB Program before the December 1 deadline. English proficiency scores must be received electronically from ETS (institution code 1846; no department code is required).

Do I need to take the TOEFL exam? Will you accept IELTS instead of TOEFL?

  • Please refer to the Graduate School Admissions English proficiency requirements. We will accept either TOEFL or IELTS scores. UW-Madison’s institution code is 1846. No department code is needed.
    • Minimum IELTS requirement: 7.0
    • Minimum TOEFL requirement: 92 internet (iBT); 580 paper-based test (PBT)

How can I check my application status?

  • To check your application status, log in to MyUW using your NetID and password. If you have forgotten your NetID or password, please visit the DoIT page on recovering a forgotten NetID password or contact the DoIT Help Desk at 608-264-HELP for assistance.

Additional Questions?