Primary cortical cultures from mouse brain. Cells that are stained green, yellow, and red are astrocytes. The nuclei of the cells are stained in blue (Hoechst stain) This is a 40X image taken using a Nikon epi-flourescent microscope. Courtesy of Johnson Lab.

Student Experience

There are multiple ways that the School of Pharmacy and UW–Madison support our students’ training and wellbeing, some of which are highlighted below. We also encourage you to explore the Madison Life and Housing and Transportation areas to learn more about our community and living in Madison.

A Pharmsci grad student shares her thoughts in a meeting with other students. Photo by Todd Brown, Media SolutionsPharmaceutical Sciences PhD students have a voice in shaping their program, campus, and community through several mechanisms.

Our students serve on several committees in the School of Pharmacy. We have student representatives on the following committees: Admissions, Safety, Assessment, Graduate Studies, Student Climate and Inclusivity, and Student Wellbeing.

Student organizations and other groups on campus provide our students with opportunities for social connections, professional development, and outreach activities. A few examples of such groups and organizations are provided below. A more complete list of student groups and events at UW Madison can be found at Information about additional professional development events can be found at

UW-Madison Chapter: American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS)

The Pharmaceutical Sciences Division houses an active chapter of AAPS that organizes both social and professional development events. Visit AAPS’s website

Fun-loving AAPS members pose together at the start of a kickball match

Graduate Women in Science

Learn about the Beta Chapter of Sigma Delta Epsilon – Graduate Women in Science at UW-Madison:

Active UW–Madison Postdoctoral Association

The Postdoctoral Association’s programming/events are often open to grad students:

SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science)

Visit the UW–Madison chapter’s website:

Catalysts for Science Policy (CaSP)

CaSP provides leadership, career development, and outreach opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows interested in public policy.

The McBurney Disability Resource Center serves students with physical, learning, sensory or psychological disabilities.

Paula Maciolek, a sign-language interpreter with the McBurney Disability Resource Center, gestures as she translates a conversation for Phu Duong, a doctoral student in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Cellular and Molecular Pathology Graduate Program who is deaf, in a neurology research lab in Bardeen Medical Laboratories on Sept. 30, 2015. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

The Graduate School has multiple entities that promote diversity, inclusion, and student success. Some examples include The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Funding (ODIF), The Science and Medicine Graduate Research Scholars (SciMed GRS) Program, and the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society.

There are several campus centers and services that provide support to people on campus and offer opportunities to connect, share experiences, and engage with the greater Madison community. Examples include the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center, the Multicultural Student Center which is home to several identity centers, University Veterans Services, International Student Services, and the Office of Child Care and Family Resources.

The Dean of Student’s Office is also available to assist and support students.

Standing and wearing a traditional Tang suit, Gan Zhao Yang, president of the Malaysian Student Association (MSA), talks with guests enjoying snacks as more than 120 people participate in a Lunar New Year celebration hosted by the Malaysian Student Association (MSA) in the Multicultural Center Lounge in the Red Gym (Armory and Gymnasium) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Feb. 5, 2022. A campus and county health mandate requires people to wear face mask indoors - except while eating or drinking - as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues. (Photo by Jeff Miller / UW-Madison)

Graduate students listen to Torsheika Maddox, administrative project manager and researcher in the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement, during a "Building Your Networking Confidence" workshop at Union South held by the UW Graduate School Office of Professional Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)There are many excellent professional development resources available to all graduate students at UW–Madison. Additional professional development activities and events are also held within the Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD program. For example, the program often engages our alumni for career discussions with our students at our biennial student retreat and other events through the year, and our students have opportunities to network at local biotech or pharmaceutical companies. Other pharmaceutical and biotech companies visit campus to hold information sessions and interview students on-site. Some students choose to pursue internships at local, national, and international companies to further their career preparation. Pharmaceutical Sciences students have participated in the inaugural year of the Graduate School Industry Internship Program.

Participation in student groups can provide leadership and career development opportunities, see the Student Involvement section for some examples. Examples of professional development opportunities are further described below.

The Forward Fellows program is a funded, transition program designed to broaden participation in science and engineering.

The Graduate School’s Office of Professional Development offers free resources for the university’s graduate students including:

  • DiscoverPD – a database system that provides students with customized recommendations for development activities on campus and beyond
  • Individual Development Plan – helps students assess their skills, interests and strengths; create a written plan for developing skills; and share the plan with their mentor(s)
  • Free memberships, tools, and live workshops to help graduate students build their skills, explore career options, and more

The Delta Program promotes the development of a future national faculty in the natural and social sciences, engineering, and mathematics that is committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices and mentoring activities.

The UW-Madison Postdoctoral Association’s programming/events are often open to grad students.

David Shaffer, professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, teaches during an Educational Psychology 551 course in the Educational Sciences Building on March 3, 2023. Shaffer is a recipient of a 2023 Distinguished Teaching Award. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW–Madison)

As part of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Seminar series, graduate students can network with invited speakers over lunch to engage in career and scientific discussions. The Principles in Pharmaceutical Sciences (718-780) course taken by all 1st year students also provides connections with industry leaders through guest presentations and lunch roundtables.

Pharmsci alum and School of Pharmacy Board of Visitors member Roger Tung gives a roundtable talk to graduate students

WARF Ambassadors enhance the important connection between research on campus and technology transfer at WARF. Both graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in Pharmaceutical Sciences are active in the WARF Ambassador program.

The Morgridge Entrepreneurial Bootcamp (MEB) is a one-week intensive training program in technology entrepreneurship for graduate students in the sciences, engineering, and math. MEB students work with case analyses, lectures, expert panels, and exercises in market assessments, and participate in lively social events.

Pedestrians and students walk among the colors of the fall leaves on the Howard Temin Lakeshore Path at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during autumn on October 19, 2021. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)PhD students in Pharmaceutical Sciences are eligible for benefits, including comprehensive health insurance. Please see our Financial Information page for more details. Students also have access to University Health Services (UHS).

One of the services available at UHS are mental health services, including 24-7 crisis services, individual counseling, spouse/partner counseling, and group counseling, where students can connect with peers with similar lived experiences. UHS also offers Let’s Talk, which are no-cost, informal, confidential consultations that occur in person and virtually. Remote health experiences are also available for both mental and physical wellbeing. School of Pharmacy students, including graduate students, have access to free psychotherapy services through the Psychology Research & Training Clinic (PRTC).

Additional campus resources available to support graduate students include the Dean of Student’s Office and the Graduate School. Please see our Student Involvement section to read more about groups and activities that provide social and other opportunities for students.

Students take a first run on the treadmills overlooking University Bay on the forth floor of the Bakke Recreation & Wellbeing Center during its grand opening at the University of Wisconsin–Madison on April 24, 2023. Members tour the new facility, use strength and cardio equipment, skate in the Sub-Zero Ice Arena, shoot hoops in the basketball courts, participate in open recreational offerings, or take a lap around the indoor running track. (Photo by Althea Dotzour / UW–Madison)Graduate students have access to campus recreational facilities including the new state-of-the-art Bakke Recreation and Wellbeing Center, which is located just a short walk, bike ride, or campus bus ride from Rennebohm Hall. The Bakke has many opportunities for recreation including a pool, multipurpose courts and studios, an ice center, a climbing/bouldering wall, an indoor jogging track, sports simulators, and more than 29,000 square feet of fitness space. The Bakke also houses the Wolf Teaching kitchen, restorative studios, and rooms for massage therapy, peer wellness coaching, and meditation.

Rennebohm Hall is in close proximity to Lake Mendota and students can easily take advantage of walking, running, and biking along the Lakeshore Path and exploring the nearby Lakeshore Nature Preserve, among many other outdoor recreation activities available on campus and in Madison.

Questions about our program?

Check our FAQ page for detailed answers to common questions

Visit FAQ page

Contact Us

We’re here to help – send us your questions at any time!

Send us an email