The UW-Madison has one of the largest university biological research communities in the world, with more than 700 faculty, 1,500 academic staff, 700 postdoctoral fellows, 2,500 graduate students, and thousands of undergraduates. Relevant departments at the UW-Madison that rank among the top few in the country include Bacteriology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Biomolecular Chemistry, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Sciences, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Oncology and Statistics, Biostatistics and Medical Informatics. In addition, the UW-Madison houses a number of internationally recognized research centers and facilities, including the Center for Predictive Computational Phenotyping, the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Genome Center, Biotechnology Center, Laboratory for Optical and Computational Instrumentation, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility, the UW Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the National Center for Quantitative Biology of Complex Systems.
The University is consistently rated as one of the top 10 universities in the nation in overall teaching and research excellence and in the ability to attract federal research funding. The Medical School, the School of Veterinary Medicine, and a basic science-oriented College of Agriculture and Life Sciencee (CALS) are located on the Madison campus, resulting in a strength in the biological sciences that is unsurpassed anywhere. Research scientists on the campus are located in over 125 academic departments and may also participate in a number of interdisciplinary programs The attractive physical location of the campus, the diversity of the student population, and the wide range of social, athletic, and cultural events available on a large campus make the UW-Madison a very pleasant place to carry out graduate studies.
The University of Wisconsin–Madison has extensive state-of-the-art campus facilities for hiking, biking, and sailing, as well as indoor swimming, tennis, racquetball, squash, and ice-skating. Students live in all parts of the city, although they are concentrated near the campus; more than half live within one mile of campus. Madison has an excellent bus system with frequent service to the campus from all directions, and many students commute by bicycle.
The City of Madison is the state capital and, with a population of nearly 240,000, is the state's second-largest city. Located mainly on an isthmus between two lakes, it is located 150 miles northwest of Chicago, and about 80 miles west of Milwaukee. The Madison community offers a wonderful diversity of cultural activities ranging from classic opera, theater, concerts, and dance, to progressive music, art, and local entertainment. Many events are free or affordable for students
Madison and the Southern Wisconsin area offer excellent facilities for extracurricular activities. Access to the four lakes within the city provides for ice-boating, ice-skating, and ice-fishing in winter, and boating, sailing, canoeing, swimming, water skiing, and fishing in the summer. Tennis, biking, and golfing are popular summer sports, and cross-country and downhill skiing are common winter activities.