Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the advantages of enrolling in the UW–Madison Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB)?

The Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB), which is ranked in the top ten best biochemistry programs (U.S. News and World Report), is a phenomenal training environment to earn a Ph.D. in biochemistry. Our highlights include:

  • A large number of faculty who serve as thesis advisors
  • A diverse array of research areas
  • Access to research facilities
  • A committee of faculty (our New Student Orientation Committee) responsible for coordinating your rotations
  • Annual stipend and tuition remission
  • Opportunity to be considered for university fellowships and training grants
  • Collegial, collaborative and engaging environment

Learn more at our Why IPiB page

What are the requirements to be a part of IPiB?

View the requirements and prerequisites at our Admissions page.

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

Yes, all application materials, including letters of recommendation and test scores, must be received by December 1. It is suggested that you provide your letter writers ample time to craft and submit a letter for you. Three to four weeks is recommended. Regarding TOEFL or IELTS scores, please request that ETS send your scores to the Graduate School no later than November. This will allow the Graduate School to process your scores and forward them to IPiB.

What kind of financial assistance is available?

All students, both US and international, receive an annual stipend and tuition remission for the duration of their studies, provided satisfactory progress is made toward their degree. Comprehensive medical coverage is also offered. In addition, some of our students are supported on fellowships or training grants. Students are chosen based on criteria specified by the different training grants. Our students are currently supported by seven different NIH training grants. Some also receive support from the National Science Foundation and related agencies.

Does IPiB admit international students?

Yes, the program prides itself on admitting international students each year from all over the world. The program, university, and city of Madison as a whole have a vibrant international community. View requirements and prerequisites at our Admissions page. If international students reside abroad, Zoom interviews are conducted with IPiB faculty trainers of the candidate’s choosing. After the interview, each prospective student will be paired with a current IPiB graduate student. Wherever possible we will introduce the prospective student to one from their own country. The student host serves as a resource and speaks to the candidate about the program, life in Madison, shares their IPiB experience, and more. If an international student is attending school in the United States, then there is an opportunity for a visit to campus on one of the designated recruitment weekends and have an in-person interview.

Learn more at our International Students page

What kind of resources are offered in IPiB and on campus for students from underrepresented backgrounds?

The program and campus as a whole work to support diversity in the sciences and provide numerous mentoring, funding, and professional development resources. See more at our Resources page.

Learn more at our Diversity page

Should I contact faculty prior to applying?

It is not necessary to contact specific faculty trainers prior to submitting an online application. If you are invited for an interview, you will be asked which faculty you are interested in, in order to pair you for interviews.

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.

What happens after I apply?

The IPiB Admissions Committee, composed of faculty members from both the Biochemistry and Biomolecular Chemistry departments, will review your application and supporting materials. Our Student Services Staff will communicate with you regarding the status of your application throughout the application and review process. Applicants receiving invitations to visit can choose from one of our recruitment weekends. During our recruitment weekends, you will have the opportunity to interview with our IPiB faculty, meet our graduate students, and tour our campus and city with our faculty and graduate students. Offers of admission are made after your visit. Our IPiB Admissions Committee will contact you via email, followed by a formal letter outlining our offer package.

How do rotations work?

Our NSOC (New Student Orientation Committee) oversees the rotation process and offers guidance throughout the rotation period. Students rotate through 3 labs during their first semester; each rotation period is approximately 4-5 weeks. The laboratory assignments are based on student preference with the goal of providing each student with his/her first choice. The final lab preferences are based on both student and professor input, with the majority of our students receiving their first choice.

How do I select a minor?

IPiB does not require a minor; instead, we have a breadth requirement of at least six credits in at least two of the three breadth areas (biological, physical, and quantitative science). Students who wish to pursue an Option A (external) minor must meet the minor requirements of that department/program.

How many courses will I be expected to teach as a graduate assistant?

Graduate students are required to teach for one semester (second year) and then have the option to either teach for a second semester (third year) or fulfill an equivalent (~60 hrs.) approved professional development plan. This allows students to gain valuable teaching experience in accordance with their professional goals, and the option to receive recognition for their professional development in ways that align more closely with their professional interests.

How long will it take to earn my Ph.D.?

Our students earn their degree in 5-6 years.