CHOPs group photo 2017

Chemistry Opportunities (CHOPs)

Applications will be accepted until June 12, 2021 for this event. Once you submit a completed application, please allow a few weeks for a response. Questions may be directed to Desiree Bates at


The Chemistry Opportunities (CHOPS) program invites approximately 20 highly qualified prospective students to the UW-Madison Chemistry Department for an all-expense-paid weekend to explore the chemistry Ph.D. graduate program. CHOPS was first launched fall 2012 at the UW-Madison Chemistry Department.

Applying for CHOPs

Applications are now open.  The deadline is June 12, 2021, which may be extended depending on if the event is held in-person or virtually.  Those selected to participate will be notified during the summer.

Information on the CHOPs Application


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Why apply for CHOPs?

During the CHOPS preview weekend, you will have the opportunity to explore the UW-Madison graduate program in chemistry. You will not only get to interact with faculty, staff, and current graduate students in an informal setting, but also will get the opportunity to explore the friendly and diverse city of Madison. Learn more about applying for CHOPS.

Who can participate?

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are recent college graduates, or students with junior or senior status who will graduate no later than spring 2023. Preference will be given to students who are African American, Hispanic, Native American, Southeast Asian, Native Alaskan, or Native Pacific Islander; students from low-income homes; or students who are first-generation college students. All applicants must intend to apply for admission to the UW-Madison graduate program in chemistry for the 2022-23 or 2023-24 academic year.

What to expect during the CHOPS weekend

Through CHOPS, you will get a great sense of what it’s like to be a graduate student in the Chemistry Department at UW-Madison, as well as what it’s like to live in Madison. During the weekend, participants have the opportunity to:

  • Take tours of the research facilities in the Chemistry Department and across the UW-Madison campus
  • Meet with the research faculty and current chemistry graduate students
  • Get an overview of the chemistry graduate program
  • Ask questions about how to prepare a competitive graduate school application
  • Take part in planned Madison activities

CHOPs (in-person) weekend schedule (Virtual event schedule to be announced)

Thursday Evening

  • Arrive at Dane County Regional Airport
  • Check-in to hotel
  • Welcome dinner with graduate student hosts and an overview talk about UW-Madison


  • Breakfast and welcome talk with the department chair
  • Faculty research presentations
  • Microscopy workshops/facility tours
  • Individual meetings with faculty
  • Lunch with faculty
  • Poster session and social hour
  • Dinner


  • Breakfast and presentation on attending graduate school at UW-Madison and the application process.
  • Tour of Madison
  • Dinner


  • Depart for home

Cost to attend

All visit expenses — including travel, lodging, and on-campus meals — will be covered for students selected to participate in CHOPs.

Timeline for application and participant selection

Applications are accepted until June 12, 2021. The CHOPS 2021 event will be held in Fall 2021.  Applicants selected to participate will be notified by email.  We have not yet determined if the event will be virtual or in-person.

CHOPS participants also receive an application fee waiver for the UW-Madison Graduate School online application.


Applications will be accepted until June 12, 2021 for this virtual event. Once you submit a completed application, please allow a few weeks for a response. Questions may be directed to Desiree Bates at

Enter your information below to receive information about CHOPS 2021 and a link to the application.


The CHOPS program is possible because of generous support from the UW-Madison Department of Chemistry, P&G and The Dow Chemical Company.