Steps To Apply
Timeline for Application Due Dates
Prepare to Apply
Start thinking about your future educational plans approximately two years before the term in which you intend to enroll. Graduate programs often ask for writing samples; try writing an article for publication. Get some relevant employment or research experience and become involved in a community effort to build your resume.
Prepare a file to retain all documents pertaining to your future plans so that they will be together when needed, and to create a record of correspondence with graduate programs. Feel free to print this guide for future reference and include it in your portfolio of documents.
Research our academic programs to choose that program which best matches your interests. Identify program application and funding deadlines. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has 150 degree programs from which to choose.
Check for deadlines if interested in financial aid. Programs may have a separate deadline for applicants who wish to be considered for program funding such as department fellowships, teaching, research, or project assistantships. Research external funding opportunities.
Prepare for GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB by taking the practice tests. Schedule the GRE , TOEFL, IELTS, and MELAB to meet academic program application deadlines. Arrange to have your GRE and TOEFL scores sent directly to the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Institutional code 1846).
Identify references. This is an important time to strengthen your relationships with those who will be writing reference letters for you.
Prepare a draft Statement of Purpose/Reasons for Graduate Study. This should be a concise essay indicating your background and career goals. Check with your program's admissions coordinator to find out what should be included in a statement of purpose for your program. Share your draft with an advisor, mentor or writing expert to obtain feedback.
Contact your references. Provide them with a copy of your Statement of Purpose/Reasons for Graduate Study and a relevant resume.
Contact the schools you have attended to have official transcripts mailed directly to the program to which you are applying. If you are an international applicant more time may need to be allowed.
In addition, the following documents should be mailed to the appropriate recipient:
Send To Department
- Official transcripts or academic records from each institution attended.
- Letters of recommendation are submitted electronically to graduate programs through the online application.
- Test Scores:
GRE and TOEFL scores are sent electronically from Educational Testing Service. Use ETS institution code 1846. TOEFL/IELTS/MELAB scores are required of all applicants whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English
- Reasons for Graduate Study not submitted through the on-line application.
- Portfolios, tapes, CD's, publications.
Send To Graduate School
- Application Fee (Non-Refundable) $56.00 US. If you haven't paid online by credit card, you can send a personal check, cashiers check or money order drawn from a US bank.
- Mailing Address:
Office of Admissions
228 Bascom Hall, 500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706
After You Apply
Admission processing time depends upon when you apply, when your file is complete at the academic program, and when the program's admission committee meets.The admission process is as follows:
Your application data is entered into a central database.
You will receive an email containing a unique URL and campus ID number to track the progress of your application, receipt of fee and test scores, and demographic information.
The academic program's faculty admission committee reviews your application material and makes an admission decision. Your academic program will inform you of their decision.
The academic program forwards your supporting materials to the Graduate School's Office of Admissions if a positive admission decision is made.
The Graduate School's Office of Admissions reviews your application materials to ensure that the Graduate School minimum academic requirements are met.
International applicants need proof of financial support. Your online status check will provide specific information required to finalize admission.
The Graduate School makes the final admission decision.
Your residency (Wisconsin resident or non-resident) is determined by the Office of the Registrar's Tuition Residency Counselor's Office.
Continue to monitor your progress through the online status check.
After You Have Been Admitted
You will receive an official letter and I-20 if applicable.
Continue to monitor your online status check for missing final academic records, orientation, and other information.
Newly admitted graduate students will receive an 'invitation to enroll' email from the Registrar's office approximately six weeks prior to the start of classes. If you are new to UW-Madison, you will not be able to access the My UW Portal or activate your NetID until you have received this enrollment invitation.
Making Your Decision
Many of the same criteria that you considered when making your decision to apply to a specific graduate program(s) will be factors when you decide to which program(s) to enroll. You will ask yourself many of the same questions. Certain actions can help you make your decision.
- Schedule a campus visit and be prepared to discuss your research interests
with the faculty and current graduate students. A campus visit is an excellent
opportunity to network and clarify the variety of research interests of
the faculty and their graduate students. Ask lots of questions.
- Does the program emphasize theory or practice?
- Where do their graduates go after graduation and does the program offer placement information?
- Will the faculty member with whom you hope to study be on sabbatical your first year in graduate school?
- Are there opportunities to teach?
- Are there opportunities for professional development?
- Is there an institutional graduate student organization or does the program encourage a graduate student organization?
- Does the program have a graduate student handbook that describes satisfactory progress?
- Does the program publish time to degree and graduate student funding statistics?
- Are there opportunities to present at conferences and is funding for travel available?
- Talk to your mentors. If you have not already done so, ask where they went to graduate school and why they chose that particular program and institution.
- Compare your offers. Review the cost and funding page for graduate study at UW-Madison.
- Take some time to review class offerings in the Schedule of Classes or Graduate School catalog to determine if there are classes that particularly appeal to you. You should also check on the frequency those classes are offered.
Meet the April 15th Council of Graduate School (CGS) deadline for financial offers.
- Accept or decline admission by contacting your academic program.