New Student Info

We hope the following information is helpful to you as you relocate to Madison and adjust to the Neuroscience Training Program. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the NTP office at or current graduate students.

Resources and information regarding the city of Madison can be found below.

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Financial Institutions

You may find information on services, rates, and locations for local financial institutions using the links below:
Associated Bank
BMO Harris Bank
Chase Bank
Old National Bank
Summit Credit Union
UW Credit Union
US Bank

All of these banks provide outstanding service and have branches throughout the city.


The majority of NTP students rent apartments/houses while a few decide to purchase a house. We have asked students for some feedback and suggestions on housing and their responses are below.


Some of the average rent prices are below, please note these prices are the total price for a unit rented by one person, therefore if you have a roommate, your cost could be much lower; it really depends on location and amenities.
$1350 per month for 1 bedroom
$2500 per month for 2 bedrooms
$2800+ per month for 3 bedrooms+

It is certainly possible to find cheaper and more expensive places, and if you’re okay with a studios or efficiencies you can also get housing pretty cheap. The most expensive utility is likely to be heat in the winter, so if you can find a reasonable place with heat included that’s always a plus! Parking is also often not included especially in the downtown and near east side locations, it is sometimes available for an additional price or street parking is available though a city permit is needed (often still cheaper than paying for parking).

Rental Companies:

Here are just a few of the management companies our students recommend:
Birwood Property Management
JD McCormick Properties
McBride Companies

If you find a company that you’re unsure about feel free to pass the name our way and we can see if anyone has used them before.

Quite a few people also use Craigslist and a website called Padmapper to narrow down the search. Madison Apartment Living is also a decent website that lists a lot of apartments and may be a good starting point.

*Disclaimer, these are purely recommendations based on student feedback not views or recommendations of the NTP or UW-Madison.

Buying a home:

Occasionally, graduate students decide to purchase a house in Madison. A few recommendations of good realtors are Ronda Lawry from Keller Williams Realty (, Rachel Whaley from Liz Lauer and Associates (, and Anna Trull from Stark Company Realtors ( If you’d like more information please contact the NTP office and we will connect you with the students who recently bought homes via these realtors.

*Disclaimer, these are purely recommendations based on student feedback not views or recommendations of the NTP or UW-Madison.

Moving Companies:

Check with your alumni association, AAA, or your credit cards; some offer discounts and include insurance. Students have used national, reputable moving companies and also rented trucks from U-Haul, Ryder, and Penske. They recommend obtaining written estimates if using a moving company.

If you choose to rent a truck:
– reserve the truck as far in advance of your move as possible; summer is a very busy time
– check prices of different rental companies
– confirm your reservation (dates using the truck and size of the truck) prior to your departure

Once you have found a place to live please contact the NTP office with your Madison address!

Setting up UW Information

Student ID Cards

Student identification cards may be obtained by following instructions on the website ( Before an ID card may be issued, students must register for at least one credit. For ID card validation, fees must be paid. The Wiscard functions as both a student ID card and building access on nights and weekends.

My UW Portal

This is your personalized gateway to campus. To access, use your NetID (the part of your e-mail address prior to and password to login ( If you haven’t obtained a NetID yet, you can click on the link to activate your NetID. Students must use My UW-Madison to register for courses.

UW E-mail Address & Enrolling for Classes

All students should set up e-mail accounts. These are available automatically once you sign up for your NetID through My UW ( You will receive an admissions letter from the Graduate School that includes information on how to activate your NETID and e-mail address (Wiscmail).

Enrollment is done online in July. Information on enrollment will also be available in your admissions letter.


Most graduate students live off-campus. An excellent bus system (graduate students receive a FREE bus pass!) and bike path system are available which make travel to campus, and around Madison, easy year-round.


Retailers you may wish to check out are:
Budget Bicycle Center
Machinery Row Bicycles
Trek Bicycle Store
Motorless Motion Bicycles

Some companies also have used bike sales in the late summer/fall like Revolution Cycles.

ASM Bus Pass

The Associated Students of Madison Bus Pass Program makes a free semester bus pass, valid on any Madison Metro routes, available to all registered students. For more information see the ASM Bus Pass website. Lost bus passes can be replaced for a small fee.


Parking for students is not available on campus except in unusual circumstances. For more information on parking visit the Transportation Services website.

Resources and information regarding the Neuroscience Training Program can be found below.

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Chalk Talks

Chalk talks are held each year during NTP Orientation. These are short talks by faculty members who are interested in having students rotate in their laboratories. All first-year students are required to attend the chalk talks regardless of whether they have selected a major professor or not.

Laboratory Rotations & Thesis Advisor

All incoming students are strongly encouraged to complete at least three laboratory rotations before choosing a laboratory for their thesis research. Students doing rotations have the highest priority for funding on the NIH training grant for the first year.

A laboratory rotation lasts 6-8 weeks, which should be adequate to sample the research that is being done as well as the laboratory’s style and environment. The first laboratory rotation should begin in the fall, soon after entering the Program, and the third rotation should be completed by the end of March.

Because they have considerably more course requirements, N&PP students have the option of delaying their first rotation until the start of the spring semester of their first year and to finish three rotations by the end of the first year. Neuro/Law students have the option of beginning their rotations during their second year. At the completion of each rotation, both the faculty member sponsoring the rotation and the student will complete a short report about the rotation and submit these reports to the Program Office.

Peer Mentoring Program

The NTP Peer Mentoring Program was created to foster reciprocal relationships between mentors and mentees where both can learn and grow from each other’s knowledge and experience. The goals of the NTP Mentoring program are as follows:

  • Increase student satisfaction and retention.
  • Contribute to a holistic student support system.
  • Develop meaningful connections between new and more experienced students.
  • Facilitate more opportunities for social and networking interactions within the wider NTP community.

All incoming students will be paired with senior students in the program for the year. The senior students will serve as mentors to provide new students with a variety of perspectives on everything from life in Madison, grad school, transitioning to a new town, lab rotations, etc. Current students are also invited to participate as mentees if they so choose.

Mentors and mentees are expected to meet at least once per month, preferably in person but e-mail, phone, or other forms of contact are acceptable when necessary. All mentors and mentees are required to attend the welcome event each Fall semester.

For additional information regarding the NTP Peer Mentoring Program please refer to the NTP Peer Mentoring Program Handbook.

Watch the video on the right to see what life in Madison is like from the perspective of an NTP student!