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Colleges / University of Wisconsin-Madison

UW Madison Admissions

If you are thinking about applying to UW Madison, the deadline for Fall 2022 admissions is February 1 and the fee for the application costs $60.

Application fees can add up, but some schools do have free applications and students with financial need may qualify for for an application fee waiver.

Students who submit their applications for Fall should receive an admissions decision no later than March 31.

UW Madison Admissions Stats at a Glance

UW Madison 2021 Admissions Statistics
Mean Unweighted GPA 3.9
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 51%
Admissions Test Policy Optional
Applicants Who Submit SATs 27%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 78%
Waitlist Yes

Applying Early to UW Madison?

University of Wisconsin-Madison does not offer early decision but does offer early action.

Mark your calendar!

The Early Action deadline is November 1, which is coming up fast! UW Madison will release EA admissions decisions no later than January 31.

Some students apply to college early because they believe it will help their chances. Early deadlines may increase the chance of being admitted, since applying early shows your are very interested in a school, and your application is being considered before all the regular decision applicants apply.

See a list of some selective colleges that admit significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

How Hard Is It To Get Admitted to UW Madison?

Getting into UW Madison is very difficult. UW Madison evaluates applicants carefully based on multiple criteria to decide who to admit, and who to deny or waitlist.

In 2021, UW Madison accepted 57% of all applicants, around 26,289 of the 45,941 students who applied.

Schools that are very difficult to get into, like UW Madison, accept fewer than 60% of all applicants. At least 50% of all admitted students have GPAs in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1230 on the SAT and over 26 on the ACT.

Transfer student admissions is moderately difficult.

In 2021, UW Madison waitlisted 8,913 students. Of those, 5,085 eventually got in.

What Does UW Madison Look For in an Applicant?

Colleges consider a range of factors when choosing who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college determines which factors are they consider most important when choose which applicants to admit, and which to deny. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and apply to colleges that put the most emphasis the admissions factors where you stand out.

Admissions Factors at UW Madison

Admissions Factor Level
Academic GPA Important
Alumni/ae Relations Not Considered
Character/Personal Qualities Considered
Geographical Residence Not Considered
Class Rank Considered
Work Experience Considered
Extracurricular Activities Considered
Level of Applicant's Interest Not Considered
Application Essay Very Important
First Generation Considered
Interview Not Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Recommendation(s) Important
Religious Affiliation/Commitment Not Considered
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
State Residency Important
Talent/Ability Considered
Standardized Test Scores Considered
Volunteer Work Considered

UW Madison Application Requirements

To apply, all applicants to UW Madison must submit the following items. Double check with UW Madison's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for Some Details (If Any)
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Letter(s) of Recommendation 2
Transcript of High School Record

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into UW Madison?

Students admitted to UW Madison have an average unweighted GPA of 3.9.

Out of all students that were admitted, 33% submitted a class rank. At UW Madison 51% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school, 88% were in the top 25% and 99% were in the top 50%.

Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0.

At University of Wisconsin-Madison, student GPAs fall in the following ranges
4.0 GPA 33%
3.75 and 3.99 37%
3.50 and 3.74 15%
3.25 and 3.49 4%
3.00 and 3.24 1%
2.50 and 2.9 0%
2.00 and 2.49 0%

UW Madison does look at standardized tests scores during the admissions process.

UW Madison is a test optional school. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2021, 27% of UW Madison's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 78% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What's a Good SAT Score for UW Madison?

To be competitive with other UW Madison applicants, you should strive to earn between 1300 and 1440 (or higher!) on the SAT. At UW Madison 25% of admitted students scored higher than 1440 and 25% of scored lower than 1300, but the majority of students scored somewhere in between these two numbers.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of UW Madison students scored 770 or higher and 75% of students scored 610 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of UW Madison students scored 690 or higher, and 75% scored a 610 or higher.

Want to increase your SAT Score?

Preparing for the SAT can help raise your score, but it doesn't have to take up a lot of time.

Learn how to increase your SAT score 200 points or more in just 10 minutes a day.

What's a Good ACT Score for UW Madison?

To be most competitive at UW Madison, you should strive to earn between 27 and 32 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 32 means you fall in the 75th percentile for UW Madison's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 32, and three out of four students scored lower than 32 on the ACT.

A 27 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for UW Madison students. Only one out of every four students scored below 27.

Want To Bring Up Your ACT Score? Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

Transferring to University of Wisconsin-Madison

For transfer students, it is moderately difficult to get admitted to UW Madison.

For transfer students wishing to start in the Fall, the deadline to apply is March 1. Applicants should hear back by April 30.

Transfer students can enroll in UW Madison during the following terms: - Fall Term - Spring Term - Summer Term

UW Madison Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to UW Madison?

Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to UW Madison.

Does UW Madison accept transfer credits?

UW Madison accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions. UW Madison accepts:

  • CLEP subject tests

Does UW Madison accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

UW Madison accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits and Advanced Placement (AP) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to UW Madison?

No, UW Madison is test optional, so you can choose whether to include your ACT or SAT scores. If your scores are higher than the school's average, you may want to send them. If your scores are average or below average, you may want not want to include them in your application..

What is UW Madison's acceptance rate?

UW Madison's acceptance rate is 57%.

Want To Learn More About UW Madison?

Click below to find out more about the admissions requirements and deadlines, student life, academics, majors and more.

Overview

Student Life

Academics

Tuition & Aid

Visit the College Confidential forums to join the conversation about UW Madison

Explore other colleges in Wisconsin or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

UW Madison Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty

Very Selective

57%

How hard is it to get into UW Madison? UW Madison is a very selective institution. The UW Madison acceptance rate is 57%. This means that the institution accepts 57 out of every 100 applicants.

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UW Madison Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Feb 1

Transfer Applications are Due

Mar 1

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to UW Madison is Feb 1.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to UW Madison is Mar 1.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

UW Madison ACT Scores

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ACT Range

27 - 32

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

32 and Above

Good

27 to 32

Avg

27 and Less

Low

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UW Madison SAT Scores

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Composite SAT Range

1300 - 1440

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Math SAT Range

650 - 770

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Reading SAT Range

610 - 690

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UW Madison GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)

3.87

GPA Needed to Get Accepted

At UW Madison, the average unweighted high-school GPA for admitted students is 3.87. This is the average, which means that some applicants submit GPAs lower than this and some applicants submit GPAs above this level. If your GPA falls below the average, strong test scores or other qualifications may help you make you a more competitive applicant.

© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment

45,540

Campus Setting

Urban

Acceptance Rate

57%

Tuition and Fees

In State

$10,742

Out-of-State

$38,630

Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Feb 1
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