Transfer Students

Applications for transfer are considered any time of year for those students who are already in another UW-Madison graduate program.  The requirements and application procedure for transfer students are outlined below.  Any student outside of UW-Madison who wishes to apply to the CMB Program should follow the How To Apply procedure.


All UW-Madison transfer applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • The student’s profile must meet the criteria of the CMB Program and be of similar quality as students who were admitted with the previous round of CMB applicants
  • The student must currently conduct research in the lab of a CMB faculty trainer OR must intend to conduct research in the lab of a CMB faculty trainer
  • If the student intends to conduct research in the lab of a non-CMB faculty trainer, the professor must first apply and be accepted as a new CMB faculty trainer

Process for students currently enrolled in a UW-Madison Masters or PhD Graduate Program:

  • Submit all required application materials listed below to the CMB Program Coordinators at

Process for students who have received a Masters degree from a different UW-Madison Graduate Program within the past year:

  • Submit all required application materials, EXCLUDING the Change/Addition of Major form, to the CMB Program Coordinators at
  • Apply as a re-entry student by submitting a Graduate School application online


All transfer applicants must submit the following materials to the CMB Program Coordinator, for review by the CMB Admissions Committee and the CMB Program Chair:

  • A copy of the original UW-Madison Graduate School application materials
  • A current UW-Madison Graduate School transcript requested from the Office of the Registrar
  • A letter from the transfer student applicant describing the following:
    • Previous laboratory experience
    • Reason for transfer
    • A brief description of future research projects
  • A letter from the prospective advisor stating the following:
    • Reason for transfer
    • The applicant’s qualifications
    • A brief description of future research projects
    • Commitment of financial support at the current CMB stipend rate
    • Justification of why CMB is the preferred option instead of the prospective advisor’s home department graduate program
  • An Addition/Change of Program form which can be completed online through the Graduate School website


Upon entering the CMB Program, transfer students operate under the title of a Direct Admit Student since there are no lab rotations.  After the admission is finalized, the student must complete all course requirements and yearly progress requirements as listed in the Timeline for Progress Towards the PhD Degree section of the CMB Handbook.