Undergraduate Instruction & Research Opportunities

Our faculty are dedicated to educating and training the next generation of cancer scientists– and that starts by engaging undergraduate students in the classroom and in the research laboratory.

Undergraduate Oncology Courses

We strongly encourage undergraduate students exploring future study or a career  in cancer research to enroll in Oncology 401: Introduction to Experimental Oncology (ONC 401/Fall/2 credits).   ONC 401’s objective is to introduce students to the biological processes and mechanisms associated with  characteristics of neoplasia, the formation or presence of new, abnormal growth of tissue– cancer.

Undergraduate Laboratory Research Opportunities

The availability of research opportunities in laboratories at the cutting edge of biology is an important feature of undergraduate education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The early research experience is crucial to the development of undergraduates who wish to pursue further graduate or professional training in science or medicine. The Department of Oncology does not offer an undergraduate degree program. However, McArdle faculty provide research training to undergraduates who enter the laboratory as students in the Independent Study course or in order to complete a Senior Thesis. Every year, 15-20 undergraduates carry out independent study/senior theses under the direction of McArdle faculty. Each year several of those students and their faculty mentors are awarded Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships to support their work. Students should contact faculty members directly to arrange an independent study project. With the consent of a faculty member, students may register for Oncology 699: Special Research Problems (research credits) for 1-3 credits each semester.

Awards for Undergraduate Research

The University offers three programs designed to encourage and recognize excellence in undergraduate research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships provide support for collaborative research projects. Students must have at least junior standing at the time of application. The Holstrom Environmental Scholarships are awarded for collaborative research on environmental issues. Applications for these programs are due each year in February or March. For additional information contact the Undergraduate Academic Awards Office, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 271 Bascom Hall, 500 Lincoln Dr., Madison, WI 53706; Telephone: (608) 265-2428.

Jobs at McArdle for Undergraduates

A large number of undergraduates gain research experience by working part-time in the laboratory. On average 60 undergraduates are regularly employed as student help in the research laboratories at McArdle. Responsibilities and duties vary depending on the experience of the student. Jobs are posted on the UW Student Job Center (http://jobcenter.wisc.edu).