Chemistry Opportunities (CHOPs) Program

What is CHOPS?

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 PhD graduate program. CHOPS was first launched fall 2012 at the UW-Madison Chemistry Department.

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 2020. 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 2020-21 or 2021-22 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 activities around Madison.

View a detailed weekend schedule for CHOPs.

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

The application for CHOPS 2019 is now open. The dates that CHOPS 2019 will be held are September 12-15, 2019. Applicants who are selected to participate in the program will be notified by summer 2019. Enter your email address to receive information about CHOPS 2019 and a link to the application.

Applications are due May 18, 2019.

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


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