Frequently Asked Questions

Application Changes and Fees

How much is the application fee?

The application fee is $56.00 U.S.  It is non-refundable and can be paid by credit card (Master Card or Visa), Debit/ATM. In addition, starting for applications to summer 2016 term, non US citizens will be charged a $6.00 international document processing fee.  Both fees will be processed during the submission of your application.

Am I eligible for a fee waiver?

The Graduate School offers a limited number of application fee grants.  Fee grants are directed to 1) applicants who have participated in pipeline programs specifically designed to prepare students for graduate studies, or 2) applicants who have grown up in a low-income family.  For more detailed information, please see the Application Fee Grants page.

My program will not consider my application because the deadline has passed for that term. Can I get a refund?

No. The application fee is non-refundable.

How do I add, change a program, or make a correction after submitting my application?

Email the UW-Madison Graduate Admissions office with your request: An admissions examiner will determine whether or not a change can be made.

How do I update/correct my mailing or email address?

Log into the MyUW portal. Enter your NetID and password (use the links underneath NetID and password if help is needed.) Click on the “Student Center” link. Click on the information you would like to change, and then edit. For assistance contact our Division of Information Technology (DoIT) at
Also, please make your academic program aware of the change.

Can I change the term that I originally applied for?

You can change the term you wish to apply for by submitting a new application and fee.

When is the application deadline?

Application deadlines vary from program to program. Before starting your application, it is very important to check the deadlines on your academic program’s page.

Can I apply to more than one program with one application and one fee?

Yes, you can apply to three programs on with one application and one fee.

Can I create two applications?

Not for the same term. If you create another application, it will not be processed. Only the first submission will be processed. If you have any questions or encounter any problems with your application, please contact

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Checking your Application Status

What if I do not receive the link to check my status after I submitted my application?

The link to set up your MyUW account and net ID is sent automatically after you submit your application. The submission process is an overnight process, so expect your email within 24 hours. It is very important that you set up your MyUW account to check your application status. If you do not receive this link, please contact

My status check indicates that I must provide notarized documents. What does “notarized” mean?

Notarization means having your signature officially witnessed and affirmed.  The person must have the official capacity to authenticate signatures.  A notary can typically be found at a government, accounting or lawyer’s office, or can be a Commissioner of Oaths. The official notary seal or stamp must denote the position the official witness holds. A signature stamp or chop mark will not be accepted.

My online status check page is “locked”.  What can I do?

This requires technical assistance.  You must contact the Division of Information Technology (DoIT).  You should begin by calling 608-264-4357 or sending an email to  Have your 10-digit campus number ready.

Why doesn’t the status page list the application materials that I sent to my program?

The program receives all of your materials and updates your status page. Contact your program directly.  You can find the specific program contact information by drilling down at the academic programs page.

When will my test scores sent from ETS show up on my check list?

Scores are typically sent from ETS to UW-Madison electronically within two to three weeks.  UW-Madison then uploads them.  The total process can take up to 60 days to complete. 

Why aren't my test scores from ETS showing up on my check list?

If you did not use the same demographic information for both the application and test, they will not match up.  It is possible that the name is backwards or the birthdate is incorrect.  Contact your program for assistance. 

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International Students/ ESL/ English Proficiency

How much funding will I need to show?

I am an International applicant. I have only one transcript/academic record. Do you accept photocopies?

We can begin processing with photocopies if they are legible with appropriate stamp(s)/signature(s) of a school official.

I don't have a transcript with a degree posted. When do I submit my final transcript?

We require that an official final transcript which includes the bachelor degree (or equivalent) and date conferred be received by the end of the third week of classes.

I am an international student. I am required to submit my official academic documents to the UW-MadisonGraduate School. When do I do this?

When you arrive on the UW-Madison campus, go to the International Credential Evaluators office, Room 228 Bascom Hall . Please bring the required documents with you. We will make copies here and return the originals to you.

I am an international student. When I check my status, a “hold” has been placed on my enrollment. What does this mean?

When you were admitted to the UW-Madison Graduate School, some academic documents were missing. The “hold” prevents future enrollment but will not affect the term you were admitted. To remove this hold, you must present the documents that were requested in your online status check.

If I take an English proficiency test, will I be required to take ESLAT?

Any admitted student whose score is lower than the scores listed below will be required, by the Graduate School, to take the English as a Second Language Assessment Test upon arrival at UW-Madison.

  • TOEFL: 92 for internet based test (IBT) and 580 for paper test
  • MELAB: 82
  • IELTS: 7

Depending on your test result you may be required to register for an English as a Second Language (ESL) courses in the first semester you are enrolled.  Note:  Academic Programs may ask any admitted graduate applicant to take the English Placement test and ESL course after he/she arrives if English proficiency is in doubt.
For more information on English proficiency test requirements, click here.

If I enroll in the English as a Second Language Program, am I guaranteed admission to the university?

No. Enrollment in the English as a Second Language program (ESL) does not ensure admission to a graduate program at UW-Madison. You will not be able to register for courses outside the ESL curriculum during your enrollment in ESL.

If I take English as a Second Language, will I be required to take TOEFL?

If you are not a native English speaker, or your undergraduate institution’s language of instruction is not English, an English proficiency test (TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB) is required. All electronic test scores should be sent to institution code 1846.

Why do I have to show a permanent home address?

In order for an I-20 or DS-2019 to be printed, the SEVIS system requires that you list a permanent address in your home country.  It must be a residence address.  No post office box numbers are allowed.

Does the UW-Madison Graduate School offer “conditional admission”?

UW-Madison does not offer conditional admission.  All students must apply at .  Check the Graduate School’s website for information regarding TOEFL/admission requirements, and the program’s website for specific requirements. 

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Financial Aid/ Financial Documents/ Tuition Costs

How do I apply for financial assistance?

Programs are a main source for funding. Fill out the “additional funding” section of the online application. If you are interested in a Fellowship, Project/Program, Research, or Teaching Assistantship, contact your academic program

Financial Aid: Loans and Work Study are available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Check the loans/work study box in the application information section to receive information from the UW-Madison Office of Student Financial Aid.  

How much is tuition for the UW-Madison Graduate School?

Tuition rates for the current term are located on the Registrar’s website. Tuition costs for future terms may not be available.

I am an international applicant.  Do I need to send my financial documents with my application materials?

Do not send any financial documentation until requested to do so by the Graduate School.  The request will be made on your online status page when your academic records are approved.

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Letters of Recommendation

How do I submit letters of recommendation?

All letters of recommendation are submitted electronically through the admission application.

Can I request recommendations before I submit my application?

You may send the request to your recommenders at any time during the application process. The recommendation section of the application remains accessible after you submit your application.

Who sends the requests to the recommenders?

The applicant has control of when each recommender receives the request. Be sure the email address for each recommender is correct. If you are applying to multiple programs, be sure to check the box for all of the program(s) you want the recommender to respond to. Check the box that requests an email be sent, located at the bottom of each person’s section, then save the page. Your recommender will receive an email that contains the program(s) specific recommendation form. After you save your work, please allow 24 hours for the recommender to receive the message.

What happens to the recommendations if they are completed before I submit my application?

If your recommenders send their recommendations before you submit your application, they will be stored in our database. Once you submit your application, they will be matched up and made available to your program.

My recommender has not responded.  Can I send him/her another request?

To send another request to your recommender, you should go back into the recommendations section of your application and check the “send reminder” box for the one that has not submitted.  Please be sure to save your changes.  An email should be sent within 24 hours.  You should contact your recommender to let them know to watch for the new message to arrive.

What if my letters of recommendation are stored at a file service (a career service center) and are sent out by request?

Contact your academic program to inquire if this method is acceptable.

Can the recommendations be sent by paper or pdf file?

This is at the program’s discretion. Please contact your academic program directly.

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What are the requirements for admission? 

Am I eligible for consideration if my GPA is less than 3.0?

Your program may choose to consider your application if you have less than a 3.0 GPA on the last 60 credit hours of your bachelor’s degree.  Contact them directly to find out their policy.

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Final Steps:  Accepting or Declining Enrollment

How do I accept or decline the admission offer from my program?

Contact your academic program.

When do I enroll for classes?

Newly admitted graduate applicants will receive an invitation to enroll email from Enrollment Services approximately six weeks prior to the start of classes.

When do classes begin?

Check the Academic Calendar.

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