The Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology (ERP) Program is a multidisciplinary degree-granting program designed to promote research in both endocrinology and reproductive biology, to provide training and experience for pre- and post-doctoral students interested in these fields, and to provide training in problems of endocrine physiology and reproductive physiology in animals and humans. The program trains Master's and Ph.D. candidates for teaching and research careers in all aspects of the interrelated fields of endocrinology and reproductive physiology—basic, clinical and translational. Students have access to a full range of research facilities throughout campus.

Students that join ERP for a master's degree range from those pursuing their first postgraduate degree to those with terminal degrees seeking additional training (i.e., Ph.D graduates and M.D. fellows). 

The multidisciplinary research and the diverse interests of the faculty make possible many approaches to the study of both endocrinology and reproduction, providing the individual student with a wide selection of research training experiences. Research opportunities are available, but not limited to: endocrine molecular signaling, endocrine physiology in body function and dysfunction, stem-cell programming, gamete and embryo biology, pregnancy, lactation, neuroendocrinology and placenta development. Research models range from molecular and cellular all the way to whole animal including nonhuman primates and humans.

All M.S. students complete a core set of courses including participation in the weekly seminar program. After fulfilling core course requirements, students have the ability to design a curriculum that meets individual research and career interests. Students also have multiple opportunities to present research work in courses, seminars and symposia, and at regional, national and international scientific meetings. Upon concluding the M.S. degree, students will have general knowledge of endocrinology and reproduction, will have expertise in their research areas, and will have developed technical and analytical skills.

All students are required to form a thesis committee during the first year of study and have an annual meeting with the members. A written progress report must be submitted annually to the program administrator.

Admission to the program is competitive; applications are due December 1 of each year for fall semester. Potential applicants will have a major in the biological sciences, a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.3/4.0, and appropriate preparatory courses in physiology, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, physics, calculus, statistics, organic chemistry, and genetics. Prior laboratory research experience is strongly recommended.

The application process includes the completion and submission of the online Graduate School application, payment of the application fee, submission of a personal statement for graduate study, receipt of GRE scores and TOEFL or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores (TOEFL and IELTS are for international applicants) by Educational Testing Service, receipt of three letters of recommendation, an unofficial transcript, and a current curriculum vitae. Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the online reference feature in the Graduate School application system.

Completed applications for fall entry are reviewed by a panel of faculty. Applicants who pass this first step will be invited for a campus visit to interview with faculty and learn more about the program. Applications for spring or summer term are rare but possible, but only with the approval of the admissions committee. Please contact the program coordinator in advance of submitting an off-cycle application.

Graduate School Admissions

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet requirements of both the program(s) and the Graduate School. Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.  

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Program Resources

More than 95 percent of the program's enrolled students are supported by a research assistantship or fellowship. Incoming applicants are considered for competitive fellowships during the admissions process; no additional application is required. Additional fellowship support for minority and educationally disadvantaged students is also available (prospective students should contact the program administrator at the time of application). Teaching assistantships are discouraged until the student has passed the preliminary exam. Financial support generally includes tuition remission, monthly stipend check, and participation in the State of Wisconsin health insurance program. Benefit costs change on an annual basis; contact the program administrator for current rates. Support for international students varies by faculty advisor. International students offered admission will be required to submit a notarized financial statement prior to visa documents being issued.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (15 credits out of 30 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (https://registrar.wisc.edu/course-guide/).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
Assessments and Examinations Contact the program for information on required assessments and examinations.
Language Requirements Contact the program for information on any language requirements.

Required COURSES

AN SCI 875 Special Topics (Endocrine Physiology)3
STAT/​F&W ECOL/​HORT  571 Statistical Methods for Bioscience I4
or STAT/​B M I  541 Introduction to Biostatistics
BIOCHEM 507
BIOCHEM 508
General Biochemistry I
and General Biochemistry II
3
or BIOCHEM 501 Introduction to Biochemistry
OBS&GYN 955 Responsible Conduct of Research for Biomedical Graduate Students2
OBS&GYN/​AN SCI/​ZOOLOGY  954 Seminar in Endocrinology-Reproductive Physiology1
Electives—additional statistics, biochemistry and advanced topics courses as determined by the thesis committee

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

Courses taken that fulfill equivalent program requirements may be considered to exempt a class. Exemptions must be discussed with the program director. One course may be substituted for another due to background and interest. Statistics courses may be considered by the student’s advisory committee for exemption; however, students are still strongly encouraged to have this refresher. Decisions of the director are final.

These exemptions do not waive a student from any credits, merely from taking the courses. The student will still need to accumulate 30 credits for their degree.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

Courses taken that fulfill equivalent program requirements may be considered to exempt a class. Exemptions must be discussed with the program director. One course may be substituted for another due to background, interest, or program-related career relevance. Statistics courses may be considered by the student’s advisory committee for exemption; however, students are still strongly encouraged to have this refresher or choose one with different emphasis (e.g., clinical). Decisions of the director are final.

These exemptions do not waive a student from any credits, merely from taking the courses. The student will still need to accumulate 30 credits for the degree.

UW–Madison University Special

Courses taken that fulfill equivalent program requirements may be considered to exempt a class. Exemptions must be discussed with the program director. One course may be substituted for another due to background, interest, or program-related career relevance. Statistics courses may be considered by the student’s advisory committee for exemption; however, students are still strongly encouraged to have this refresher or choose one with different emphasis (e.g., clinical). Decisions of the director are final.

These exemptions do not waive a student from any credits, merely from taking the courses. The student will still need to accumulate 30 credits for the degree.

ProbatioN

The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.

An advisor generally serves as the thesis advisor. In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies.

A committee often accomplishes advising for the students in the early stages of their studies.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

12 credits

Time Constraints

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

Other

Most ERP students are 100% funded through research assistantships and/or fellowships, which include tuition, health insurance, and a monthly stipend.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

1. Articulates, critiques, or elaborates the theories, research methods, and approaches to inquiry in the field of study.

2. Identifies sources and assembles evidence pertaining to questions or challenges in the field of study.

3. Demonstrates understanding of the primary field of study in a historical, social, or global context.

4. Selects and/or utilizes the most appropriate methodologies and practices.

5. Evaluates or synthesizes information pertaining to questions or challenges in the field of study.

6. Communicates clearly in ways appropriate to the field of study.

7. Recognizes and applies principles of ethical and professional conduct.

Faculty: 

Professors Ian Bird -director- (Obstetrics and Gynecology), David Abbott (Obstetrics and Gynecology), Elaine Alarid (Oncology), William Bosu (Medical Sciences/Veterinary Medicine), Ted Golos (Comparative Biosciences), Colin Jefcoate (Cell and Regenerative Biology), Hasan Khatib (Dairy Sciences), Pam Kling (Pediatrics), Jon Levine (Neuroscience), Bo Liu (Surgery), Thomas Martin (Biochemistry), James Ntambi (Biochemistry/Nutritional Sciences), Jon Odorico (Surgery), Jon Parrish (Animal Sciences), Manish Patankar -associate director- (Obstetrics and Gynecology), Bret Payseur (Genetics), Francisco Pelegri (Genetics), Richard Peterson (Pharmacy), Linda Schuler (Comparative Biosciences/Veterinary Medicine), Dinesh Shah (Obstetrics and Gynecology), Ei Terasawa (Pediatrics), James Thomson (Cell and Regenerative Biology), Watters (Comparative Biosciences/Veterinary Medicine), Milo Wiltbank (Dairy Science), Wi Xu (Oncology), and Jing Zheng (Obstetrics and Gynecology)

Associate Professors Craig Atwood (Medicine), Anjon Audhya (Biomolecular Chemistry), Dawn Davis (Medicine), Theresa Duello (Obstetrics and Gynecology), Laura Hernandez (Dairy Science), Joan Jorgensen (Comparative Biosciences), Chad Vezina (Comparative Biosciences/Veterinary Medicine)

Assistant Professors Reid Alisch (Psychiatry), Lisa Arendt (Comparative Biosciences), Sebastian Arriola Apelo (Dairy Science), Barak Blum (Cell and Regenerative Biology), Derek Boeldt (Obstetrics and Gynecology), Michael Cahill (Comparative Biosciences/Veterinary Medicine), Ricki Colman (Cell and Regenerative Biology), Feyza Engin (Biomolecular Chemistry), Michelle Kimple (Medicine), Pam Kreeger (Biomedical Engineering), Matthew Merrins (Medicine), Bikash Pattnaik (Pediatrics), Aleks Stanic-Kostic (Obstetrics and Gynecology)