Graduate Study

UW Madison is home to an interdisciplinary network of researchers studying all aspects of evolutionary biology, ranging from cellular and molecular genetics to evolutionary ecology. While the university does not currently offer graduate degrees in Evolutionary Biology or EEB, we hope to launch such a program in the near future. There are many current opportunities for graduate students to study evolutionary biology at UW-Madison and to connect with the large number of other evolutionary biologists on campus. Although distributed among several departments and programs, students come together through seminars, the Evolution Seminar Series, biweekly happy hours, and various other events throughout the year.

There are several graduate programs associated that allow for excellent research and training in evolutionary biology, including, but not limited to:

Agronomy, Anthropology, Bacteriology, Biochemistry, Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, Botany, Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Entomology, Forest and Wildlife Ecology, Genetics, Horticulture, Integrative Biology, Microbiology, Plant Pathology, and Statistics.

You can also contact current Evolutionary Biology graduate students from various departments for a student perspective.

If you are considering studying evolution at UW-Madison, you may wish to first identify possible advisors (see the Faculty Directory) and then contact them about which program would be the most appropriate for you. Because the Evolution Institute is cross-college and cross-department, you might find potential advisors in several different programs with interests that coincide with your own. The faculty members are your best resource for determining which department or program you should apply to. Plans are afoot to offer a joint PhD in Evolutionary Biology, which would allow graduate students to simultaneously obtain a PhD in evolution and another field. Watch this space….


We recommend that students make an effort to get involved in outreach efforts. There are many ways to do this, including helping with Darwin Day, participating in Science Expeditions, or getting your lab to do activities with the community.