Financial Support

Comparing Funding Offers

Financial support is provided to all graduate students in Pharmaceutical Sciences through a combined mechanism of fellowships, research assistantships (RA), and teaching assistantships (TA).  Some students may qualify for predoctoral campus-based traineeships on a variety of federally funded training grants.

Funding packages for first-year graduate students in the Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD Program are provided by the School of Pharmacy (for the first academic year), and typically consist of a mixture of fellowship and/or TA support.  In addition, first-year students may receive a $1500 relocation allowance typically paid in October; this money may be spent at the student’s discretion.  Beginning in the summer of the first graduate year, students are supported by their faculty advisor via RA appointments, or via a combination of RA and TA appointments.  Some project assistantships are available in the school’s Analytical Instrumentation Center and in the Zeeh Pharmaceutical Experiment Station.

All Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate students receive a stipend (the recommended level for graduate students in the division is $27,500 for 2019-20), full tuition remission (i.e. tuition is not the student’s responsibility), and low cost options for individual or family comprehensive health insurance, life insurance, and supplemental medical coverage.

2019-20 Minimum Annual Stipend Level First Year Flexible Fund Award Value of 2018-19 Tuition
assumption for value provided is that of a non-Wisconsin resident
Comprehensive Health Care
(single student)
Annual amount covered by the School of Pharmacy
TOTAL Offer Value
$27,500 * $1,500 * $28,486 $5,201 $62,687

* direct student support

Is Tuition Covered?

YES.  Tuition is covered for every semester (fall/spring/summer) that you are enrolled throughout the duration of your PhD studies, as long as you remain in good academic standing and retain a faculty advisor.  You are responsible for the payment of “segregated” university fees for fall and spring semesters unless you are on a fellowship.

How much of the health insurance premium is covered?

At UW-Madison, the monthly premium deduction for a graduate student is currently (2019) $45.50 for single coverage and $113.50 for family coverage (family being defined as two or more persons).  See  The School of Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty pick up approximately $430 of the premium monthly on the behalf of the employee, or about $5205 a year for single coverage.

What type of coverage is included with the health insurance?

The State Group Health Insurance plan provides comprehensive medical and prescription coverage; prescription drug benefits are administered by Navitus.  The insurance plan also provides individuals with a choice to elect or decline uniform dental coverage.  Uniform dental benefits allow you to see in-network dentists for diagnostic, preventative, and restorative services (such as fillings).  A feature to note of uniform dental is the ability to receive two teeth cleanings annually at no additional cost.  Uniform dental does not include coverage for major dental services, such as crowns, root canals, or implants.  If you choose to decline uniform dental, your monthly premiums will be less than the amount quoted above (it would be $42.50 for single coverage and $105.50 for family coverage).  For complete details on health insurance, see  The health plans available to School of Pharmacy graduate assistants are Dean Health Insurance, GHC of South Central Wisconsin, and Quartz-UW Health.

Does the program offer any travel grants to facilitate attendance at professional conferences?

From the generosity of alumni and friends of Wisconsin’s Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program, three categories of student travel awards are available annually. Nominations are sought from faculty in late May/early June, and awardees are notified in June. Awards must be used in the July to June time period, corresponding to the UW-Madison fiscal year. Preference is given to senior graduate students (i.e., dissertators) planning to make a presentation (poster or platform) at a meeting, but other situations and students with pre-dissertator status are considered.

  • The Witiak Travel Award, named in honor of former Dean and Professor Donald Witiak, is awarded to two Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate students in Drug Discovery. Each Witiak Travel Award provides up to $1,000 in travel support.
  • The Robinson Travel Award, named in honor of the late Professor Joseph Robinson and his wife Bonna, is awarded to two Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate students in Drug Delivery. Each Robinson Travel Award provides up to $1,000 in travel support.
  • The Drug Action Travel Award (supported by the Pharmacology Graduate Student Support Fund), is awarded to three Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate students in Drug Action. Each award provides up to $1,000 in travel support.

What is the cost of living in Madison?

Check out the website to compare Madison with other cities (a percentage is offered on the right side of the results illustrating the amount that one city is more expensive than another). For example, using the website on 3/6/19, reported that a salary of $30,000 in Madison would be equivalent to a salary of $49,753 in Boston. The site highlighted that the cost of housing is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference between the two cities, with Boston being 136% higher in housing costs.  Ann Arbor, Michigan, yields $34,822 in this same example (i.e., equivalent to $30,000 in Madison), as Ann Arbor is evaluated as 16% more expensive than Madison.