Student works on her laptop under a historic bur oak tree near Nancy Nicholas Hall.

A student seeks out a quiet spot to study under a historic bur oak tree near Nancy Nicholas Hall

Requirements for Admission

The Graduate School sets only the minimum requirements.  Academic program admission requirements are often more rigorous than those set by the Graduate School.  Please check your program’s website for details. 

Grades

A minimum undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours (approximately two years of work) or a master’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 is required. Applicants from an international institution must demonstrate strong academic achievement comparable to a 3.00 for an undergraduate or master’s degree. All GPAs are based on a 4.00 scale. The Graduate School will use your institution’s grading scale.  Do not convert your grades to a 4.00 scale.

Degree

A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or a comparable degree from an international institution is required.  International applicants must have a degree comparable to a regionally accredited U.S. bachelor’s degree.

For specific information about comparable degrees in your country, refer to this list:

Your school should provide an official translation of your documents, or you must have a translation done by your school or an official translator. In some countries these people are also notaries. Do not submit an evaluation from a credential evaluation service in lieu of a translation.

English Proficiency

Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide an English proficiency test score. Your score will not be accepted if it is more than two years old from the start of your admission term. Country of citizenship does not exempt applicants from this requirement. Language of instruction at the college or university level and how recent the language instruction was taken are the determining factors in meeting this requirement.

Applicants are exempt if:

  • English is the exclusive language of instruction at the undergraduate institution; or
  • you have earned a degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university not more than 5 years prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment; or
  • you have completed at least two full-time semesters of graded course work, exclusive of ESL courses, in a U.S. college or university, or at an institution outside the U.S. where English is the exclusive language of instruction.  Completion of graded course work cannot be more than five years prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment.

Choose your country from this drop down list for specific information about English proficiency:

The required proficiency scores are: 

Minimum TOEFL requirement: 92 internet (iBT); 580 paper-based test (PBT) 
Minimum IELTS requirement: 7.0
Minimum MELAB requirement: 82

Under certain circumstances, with program approval, admission may be granted with the following scores. However, in order to be admitted, an English assessment test (ESLAT) will be required upon arrival, and any recommended English as a Second Language (ESL) course must be completed successfully in your first semester. Below are the ranges in which an ESLAT will be required:

TOEFL (iBT) 80-91
TOEFL paper based 550-579
IELTS 6.5
MELAB 77-81

International Financial Information

International applicants are required to have adequate financial resources to cover expenses for the duration of their studies at UW-Madison. Do not send any financial statements to the program.  The Graduate School will request the documents through your online status check page.