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University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI

Learn about the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI. Read about its admission info, financial aid, and degree programs to make an informed education decision.

About the University of Wisconsin - Madison

The University of Wisconsin in Madison (UW - Madison) was established in 1848 and opened its doors in February, 1849. This large public university's main campus is comprised of 936 acres along Lake Mendota in Wisconsin's capital city of Madison.

In 2012, U.S. News and World Report ranked UW - Madison 42nd among national universities and also the tenth top public school in the nation. Wisconsin - Madison's noteworthy alumni include Frank Lloyd Wright (1890), Charles Lindbergh (1924) and Dick Cheney (1968). UW - Madison offers students a variety of sports and recreational activities, including the Wisconsin Hoofer Sailing Club.


UW - Madison has 21 colleges and schools, including the Wisconsin School of Business, College of Engineering, College of Letters and Science, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, School of Medicine and Public Health, School of Music and School of Ecology. Institutes at UW - Madison include the Arts Institute and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.

Students can choose from 157 undergraduate programs, 150 master's programs and 108 doctoral programs. The average class size and student-to-faculty ratio at UW - Madison is 22:1. Some of the more popular bachelor's degree fields of study are biology, economics, history, political science and psychology.

Master's degree programs that are popular at UW - Madison include library and information science, business and social work. Law degree programs top the list for most popular doctoral-level programs, followed by the fields of medicine and pharmacy.


Students seeking fall admission to UW - Madison can apply for early admission by November 1 and learn the admissions decision by the end of January. The regular deadline is February 1 and students receive notification by the end of March. The deadline for students who want to enroll in the spring is October 1, and students are notified by the end of December.

Official high school transcripts should be sent directly to UW - Madison's Office of Admissions. Students may complete their admissions application online. Applicants must send official ACT or SAT test scores. A personal essay in response to two questions provided by the school is a required component of the application package. The university suggests that a letter of recommendation be included with the application, although it is not a requirement.

UW - Madison awards credit for high scores on the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams. UW - Madison had 21,689 applicants for the Fall 2010 term. Of that number, 66% of the applicants were accepted and 41% of those accepted chose to enroll.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate tuition and fees for the 2012-2013 academic year for Wisconsin residents was $10,380. Tuition for undergraduate Minnesota residents was $13,100, and tuition for non-resident students was $26,630. Undergraduate business and engineering students can expect an additional $1,000 and $1,400 respectively added on to their tuition costs. Additional estimated costs for all undergraduate students included $1,190 for books and supplies and $8,080 for on-campus room and board.

Tuition and fees for graduate students during the 2012-2013 academic year were $11,840 for Wisconsin residents, $25,170 for non-residents and $15,530 for Minnesota residents. Additional estimated costs for all graduate students included $1,190 for books and supplies and $9,790 for room and board.

Types of financial aid available to students include federal loans, grants and scholarships, university loans, work-study programs and private loans. UW - Madison also offers additional types of financial assistance, such as special programs for veterans, vocational rehabilitation grants and grants provided by donors as gifts to the university.

School Type 4-year, public**
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's, doctorate**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semesters*
School Setting Midsize city**
Student Body Roughly 30,000 undergraduate students and about 12,000 graduate students in 2011**
Student Housing 18 residence halls and graduate student apartments available*
Schools and Programs 21 colleges and schools; 415 degree programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 22 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
Bachelor's: Biology (370)
Master's: Business (170)
Doctorate: Law (250)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 52% in four years
82% in six years
83% in eight years**
Admission Rate 50.5% admitted in Fall 2011*
Entering Class Size 5,828 in Fall 2011*
First-Year Retention Rates 94% for full-time students
100% for part-time students**
Average ACT Scores of Admitted Students In 2010, the middle 50% had an ACT Composite score between 26 and 30**
Undergraduate Application Due Date November 1 for fall enrollment*
Decision Notification Date Early notification mailed by end of January; regular notification mailed by end of March*
Tuition $23,820 for Wisconsin residents; $26,870 for Minnesota residents and $41,050 for non-residents (cost for the 2012-13 academic year; includes tuition, fees, room and board and meals)*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) 2010-2011: Federal grants (15%), state and local government grants/scholarships (18%), institutional grants/scholarships (40%), federal student loans (40%), other student loans (5%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 67% in 2010-2011**

Sources: *University of Wisconsin - Madison; **IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admissions and Recruitment, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Cleary Center, 702 West Johnson Street, Suite 1101, Madison, WI 53715-1007
  • Phone: (608) 262-3961
  • Website:

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