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Student Life and Expectations

Magnetic Resonance Biophysics

In the MR Biophysics track, students will take the following courses in the first two years of entering the program:

  • Instrumentation: Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Functional MRI Contrast Mechanisms and Applications
  • Fourier Transforms
  • Functional MRI Journal Club

During a student's first two years, each semester consists of one course in biophysics, one in neuroscience, and one in a related area to compliment his or her strengths and interests. This allows students to gain experience in both technical and applied areas. Since students are supported as described below, their time is not occupied by teaching requirements, and they will get involved with a research area under the direction of a faculty member. Students typically coauthor several refereed journal publications prior to graduation. Directed studies and research courses are available to students, as are classes at two area universities: Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. An oral dissertation proposal defense, in addition to a written comprehensive qualifying exam, is expected to be completed by the end of the third year or at the beginning of the student's fourth year in the program. A final dissertation defense is expected to occur by the fifth year of study.

Molecular Biophysics

In the Molecular Biophysics track, students will take the following courses in the first two years of entering the program:

  • Graduate Biochemistry
  • Advanced Protein Chemistry
  • Biophysical Techniques in Biochemistry
  • Techniques in Molecular Genetics
  • Electron Paramagnetic Spectroscopy (Theory and Practical Applications)
  • Free Radicals in Biology

 In addition to the introductory core classes listed above, students have the opportunity to take more advanced classes specific to their chosen area of research. A dissertation proposal defense and qualifying exam are expected to be completed by the end of the third year of the program. A final dissertation defense is expected to occur by the fifth year of study.


The Biophysics Graduate Program has approximately 15 to 20 graduate students at any given time. This smaller program allows for an informal atmosphere where students are able to work closely with faculty members in addition to other graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

All graduate students admitted to the program work toward a Ph.D. degree. All full-time students receive a stipend ($28,141 in 2014-2015), full tuition coverage, and exceptional, full health-care coverage. In addition, there are no teaching requirements. Provided that the student remains in good academic standing and makes continual progress, the stipend will be paid for at least five years.



List of Current Students

© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 08/05/2014