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Prerequisites

Students with undergraduate majors in microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, chemistry, genetics, or other biological sciences should apply. We also welcome applications from students in disciplines such as chemical engineering, physics, mathematics or the liberal arts who meet the entrance requirements or are willing to make up deficiencies*. The Admissions Committee considers many aspects of the application, including grades, GRE scores (the subject test is optional), letters of recommendation and prior research experience. The applicant's reasons for graduate study essay is important and should be written thoughtfully to reveal one's scientific and career interests, research experiences, and abilities that otherwise may not be obvious from the academic record. Strong letters of recommendation, a well-crafted statement of purpose and extensive research experience often aid students with below-average grades or scores on national entrance exams.

Minimum Coursework Required for Admission

Students may correct deficiencies (up to six credits) after admission, but these credits do not apply toward major and minor coursework requirements.

  • Biology: two semesters
  • Genetics: one semester
  • Chemistry: four semesters, including 2 organic with lab component
  • Biochemistry: one semester
  • Physics: two semesters
  • Mathematics: two semesters of calculus or one semester each of calculus and statistics

Admissions Standards for the Microbiology Program

Students admitted to graduate training in microbiology at Madison generally meet the following criteria:

  1. Undergraduate coursework as detailed above.
  2. An overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
  3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores at or above the 70th percentile in quantitative, verbal and analytical tests (see below).
  4. Strong letters of recommendation from three persons who are familiar with your academic ability and who can assess your potential for a research career.
  5. Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB). An admitted applicant whose TOEFL (paper-based) test score is below 580; TOEFL computer-based test (CBT) score below 237;TOEFL internet based (iBT) test score below 92; IELTS score below 7;or MELAB below 82 must take an English assessment test upon arrival. You must then register for any recommended English as a Second Language (ESL) course(s) in the first semester you are enrolled.
  6. Evidence of a personal commitment to scientific research at the highest level of accomplishments.

Entering Class Statistics

Year GRE Verbal GRE Quantitative GRE Analytical GPA
2015 85 79 77 3.76
2014 72 78 78 3.83
2013 72 72 60 3.66
2012 80 77 63 3.69
2011 73 73 51 3.55
2010 79 77 70 3.72
2009 76 76 55/4.5 3.72
2008 84 81 84 3.52
2007 85 77 4.8 3.8
2006 76 72 71/5 3.74
2005 74 73 83/5 3.55
2004 67 74 88/5 3.6
2003 71 73 75/5 3.63
2002 76 75 85 3.63
2001 78 77 83 3.71
2000 86 84 89 3.63
1999 69 75 77 3.66
1998 76 76 80 3.51