FAQ’s

Why Should I study QBio at UW–Madison?
UW-Madison is an exceptional place to study quantitative biology.  UW-Madison harbors many top-ranked departments in physical, quantitative and biological sciences, with world-class faculty and students conducting cutting edge-research across a diverse spectrum of topics.  UW-Madison is routinely ranked among the top five institutions in the country in terms of research spending.  A fundamental feature of UW-Madison is the extensive level of inter-departmental and cross-college collaboration, providing students unique opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.
Who should apply?
We welcome motivated students interested in gaining new skills that will allow them to cross disciplines in order to pursue cutting-edge research in quantitative biology. The QBio program was designed in consultation with existing PhD programs on campus; therefore students in any program can fulfill the requirements for the QBio PhD minor without adding time to their degree.

Students should indicate their interest in the QBio minor option in their application or when communicating with their home program upon acceptance. Once the minor coursework has been completed, students submit their transcript to the faculty director (Dr. Pamela Kreeger) for verification and submission to the graduate school.

My background is strictly quantitative (or biological) - is that OK?
Yes!

We aim to attract the best and brightest students in computer science, statistics, math, biology, and engineering – and we recognize that many of these talented students will not have had the opportunity to be trained in both quantitative and biological sciences. Students who enter with skills primarily in one area will benefit from the minor’s distribution of coursework across complementary areas in order to gain skills critical for interdisciplinary quantitative biology research.

How do I apply?
Students can apply to their desired home PhD program(s) through the single UW-Madison graduate application page listed on our Application Page. Note that students can apply to up to three PhD programs with one application fee. Some programs have additional application requirements – students may also wish to check the application pages of the specific home PhD program(s) they’re interested in.
How do I choose the best host graduate program to join?
Students can choose from a range of PhD programs on campus.  We encourage students to choose the program that best meets their interests and backgrounds, and includes QBI faculty trainers that students are interested in conducting their research with.  Please note that students can apply to up to three PhD programs with one application fee.
Find participating faculty by PhD program.

Which faculty or what types of research can I get involved with?
Students will do their thesis research with faculty approved as trainers in their home PhD degree program.  Thus, it is important that students consider this information when deciding which PhD program to apply to.  Some programs do lab rotations during the first year, while other programs utilize other mechanisms to match students to research PIs. See curriculum requirements and the QBI affiliates of popular training programs.

How are students in the program funded?
Most students are supported by grants from their lab or PhD programs. Additionally, there are several NIH or NLM training grants on campus that are appropriate for students in the QBI community, including the Genomics Sciences Training Program (GSTP), Computational Informatics in Biology and Medicine (CIBM), and BioData Science (BDS). Finally, many of our students are awarded nationally competitive fellowships, including the NSF GRFP, NIH NRSA F31, and NDSEG. Assistance for preparing these applications is available through the Delta Program and the UW Writing Center.

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