As a student in MDTP, your time will be spent in two main areas: coursework and research. In addition, MDTP is committed to career enrichment outside of this traditional training model in the form of both teaching opportunities and a professional development requirement which provides an opportunity for students to explore careers ranging from academia, public policy, patent law, private industry and many others. Read on below for an overview and check out our program requirements for more details.
Our goal is to provide you and all our students with:
- A strong foundation in microbiology.
- Research tools to enable you to ask and answer questions.
- Connections and experiences to launch your career.
- A fun and engaging environment, fully supported by the faculty and program.
Interested in learning more about MDTP and life in Madison? Check out our YouTube channel. Curious about admissions and enrollment data? See the UW Madison Grad School data portal.
Questions? Contact the MDTP office.
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The MDTP recognizes that students have rich, full lives outside of their academic work. We stand in support of students who serve as caregivers during their time in MDTP, and are committed to providing the accommodations necessary to ensure that all students can further their academic careers while maintaining their family obligations. See here for more information on childcare and family resources for UW-Madison grad students.
RESEARCH TRAINING IS THE MAIN FOCUS FOR OUR STUDENTS
You should look for a graduate program and eventually a thesis lab that can provide you with interesting scientific questions, approaches for answering those questions, people to teach you how to use those approaches, and resources for doing the work. UW MDTP encompasses over 80 faculty trainer labs covering a considerable range of scientific questions and approaches. Entering students identify rotation labs for short projects before joining a thesis lab where you will learn and develop your scientific stories before moving on in your scientific careers. Each student prepares a thesis proposal that serves as the basis of his/her/their preliminary exam usually in the 2nd year, does the research, writes papers that comprise most of the dissertation, and graduates which typically occurs 5-6 years after entry into the program. Some graduates continue their research training in academic or governmental post-docs, while others use their skills in teaching, private industry or non-profits.
COURSEWORK PROVIDES THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR GRADUATE CAREER
A wide range of excellent courses is available – increase your knowledge in your scientific focus area to facilitate your research, or learn about other areas that may interest you and provide future research possibilities. MDTP has major and minor requirements, 10 credit hours each. Most students complete their coursework in their first 2 years: 1-3 courses per semester for 3-4 semesters.
TEACHING AND LEARNING ARE INTERTWINED
You learn as you teach, both about the course subject material and about the teaching process. Nearly all careers that students may pursue involve teaching: academia, industry, government service, private foundations, etc. You will likely have several one-on-one mentoring experiences in graduate school, being mentored by your faculty advisor(s) and also mentoring more junior graduate students and undergraduates as you progress and gain independence. In addition, MDTP has a 1-semester teaching practicum requirement, usually performed in the 2nd year. The teaching practicum is designed to provide you with valuable teaching experience under the direction of a faculty member while also contributing to the teaching missions of the core departments. There are a wide range of Bacteriology and Medical Microbiology & Immunology courses available spanning different formats: large lecture, small discussion, and lab; undergraduate and graduate. As with the courses you take, you may want to teach in your research focus area, or learn a new area while making a teaching contribution.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES TO BROADEN YOUR CAREER OPTIONS AND GAIN VALUABLE SKILLS
In order to better train MDTP students for microbiology-related professions, students need a chance to gain knowledge and experience not just in academic research, but also in other fields where their microbiology education may be put to good use. Your opportunities for professional development can consist of coursework, an internship, a summer workshop, outreach experiences, or a second teaching practicum experience.