Admissions FAQ

Are application fee waivers available?

  • The UW Graduate School offers a limited number of application fee grants to eligible students. If you are not eligible for a fee grant from the UW Graduate School, but are a domestic student who is a member of one of the following groups: African American/Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic/Latino, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Laotian, Hmong, Native Hawaiian, or Other Pacific Islander, the BDS Program will provide you will a fee waiver code that will cover the cost of your application fee. Please contact admissions@biostat.wisc.edu at least one week before the application deadline to receive a fee waiver code.

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 BDS offer spring or summer admission?

  • No. BDS only offers fall semester admission.

What financial support do BDS students receive?

  • Provided that they make satisfactory progress towards their PhD, all BDS 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.

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

  • No. Students who receive funding through their program (including BDS 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 program) to show that they are financially supported by the program.

Should I contact specific faculty trainers prior to applying to BDS?

  • It is not necessary to contact specific faculty trainers. Students must submit all application materials via the Graduate School online application.

How are students placed in labs?

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

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.

Are GRE scores required?

  • No, not for 2021 Admissions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BDS will not require GRE scores in 2021, nor will the Admissions Committee use any GRE scores submitted as part of its review.

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

  • Yes, all application materials must be received by December 1. Therefore, applicants should plan to take the TOEFL exam (if applicable) early enough so that the scores will reach the BDS Program before the December 1 deadline. TOEFL 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?