Resources for Current Bridge Students


Bridge Program Orientation for students starting in fall 2020 will start the week of August 10. Exact dates are not yet finalized.  Note that most apartments in Madison have a “move-in” date of August 15th, so this is often a convenient date for a rental to start. Please see the “housing” section below.

A variety of social and professional activities will be scheduled between approximately August 15 and the first day of classes,  Wednesday, Sept. 2.  During the orientation time, Bridge Fellows will meet many of the faculty and staff and will also participate in hands-on workshops in areas such as NMR, Mass Spectroscopy, X-ray,  glass-blowing,  high-performance computing, machine shop and electronics shop.  Fellows will also meet their individual peer mentor and participate in other social events, departmental and campus tours, and greater Madison area excursions!   Many of these activities are designed an implemented specifically for Bridge Fellows. 

Bridge Fellows will participate in many activities in conjunction with students entering the Ph.D. program.There are no entrance exams.


Bridge Students will be part of the Catalyst mentoring program. Catalyst is a peer mentoring program targeted toward first-year graduate students. More information about Catalyst can be found here.

Local transportation

Madison has a reasonably good bus system, and students can get a free bus pass as part of their registration.  Parking on campus is very difficult, and we strongly recommend that all Bridge fellows plan on getting to/from campus by walking, bus, or bicycle


          We will work with you to find appropriate housing.  Madison has reasonably affordable housing within a bus ride or walking distance, but it is helpful to know what the different neighborhoods are like and what kind of transportation options you’re likely to have in each one.  The majority of apartments turn over on August 15th.   We will be happy to pay for a hotel for up to 1 week as needed to ensure you find appropriate housing. You have at least two options:

  • If you prefer to wait until you are in Madison before you start looking, you should plan on arriving as early as possible (around Aug. 12); we will be happy to pay for you to stay in a hotel.
  •  If you prefer to begin your housing search now, we have included details below about different neighborhoods in the Madison area. Again, if you prefer this option, please also let us know.

Some incoming students are finding roommates via the UW-Madison Chemistry Fall 2019 Facebook group.

There is additional information about Madison and housing opportunities on the following links: tenant resource center , UW Housing,   and International Students and Scholars.

Information about housing and neighborhoods can be sent to you upon request. Please contact Desiree Bates for more information. 

If you need verification of your enrollment or stipend to rent an apartment, please have the apartment management contact Marc Willadsen at


As noted above, your stipend includes student health insurance and tuition costs. If you would like more information about the benefits that you will have as UW-Madison employees, here is a link to a video explaining your options. A summary of those benefits can be found here, as well as another overview information link here.

If you have questions about benefits, please contact Marc Willadsen at


Parking around campus is very limited during the week, and you should not expect to be able to drive to campus. Public transportation is by far your best option.

More information about parking and transportation around campus can be found here.

If you would like more information about residential parking, contact Rebeca Fernandez (

 Info from the Graduate School

Checklist from the Graduate School

Graduate student life brochure

Miscellaneous Resources

Thriving in graduate school, information from the UW-Madison Graduate School that includes eating right, food resources, achieving balance and dealing with stress, family resources, and information for partners of graduate students

Being a Badger, information from the UW-Madison Gradate School that provides details about various student organizations, the Morgridge Center for Public Service, diversity and multiculturalism on campus, University Health Services (UHS), safety, sports and recreation, and sustainability on campus.

How to succeed in science: a concise guide, an essay by Johnathan W. Yewdall published in Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology.