University of Wisconsin-Madison

Transfer Applicants: Requirements and Expectations - Office of Admissions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Transfer Applicants: Requirements and Expectations - Office of Admissions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison


Requirements and Expectations

Our transfer admission counselors review each application individually and are looking for students who demonstrate strong academic ability. Toward this end, we evaluate candidates based on both their high school and college records, valuing applicants who demonstrate strong performance in a challenging curriculum.

Academic Course Preparation

Prior to applying for transfer admission, students must have completed (or be completing) at least 24 semester hours of transferable course work. This essentially equates to one year of college-level study. We do not accept transfer students at the freshman level.

When reviewing applications, we pay particular attention to the college-level course work you have completed, and specifically:

  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA). Competitive not only for admission to the university, but for your intended major as well. Most transfer students have a GPA of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Please note: GPA calculations will include all grades received for repeated courses; the initial grade, as well as grades received in second and subsequent attempts will be included in the GPA calculation.
  • Rigor of course work. Appropriate for continued study at UW-Madison and increasing in difficulty.
  • Course breadth. Showing a combination of English, math, science, literature, social science, and foreign language.
  • Grade trends and patterns. Steady or improving trends and patterns that show consistency across all academic areas.
  • Required courses. Applicants must have completed one year each of high school algebra, plane geometry, and college-preparatory math, and two high school years or two college semesters of a single foreign language.

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High School Record

Your academic performance in high school will be more or less important to us depending on how many college credits you have earned. Generally speaking, students who are in their first two years of college-level course work will have their high school records more carefully analyzed. The more college-level work you have completed, the less we will rely on high school performance criteria such as rigor of course work, academic GPA, grade trends, and class rank.

Regardless of the number of college credits earned, your high school transcript (supplemented in some cases by your college transcript) must show that you completed the following required course work:

  • Algebra: One year in high school
  • Plane Geometry: One year in high school (cannot be modified, basic, or informal)
  • College-Preparatory Math: One year in high school, or 1 college course at the level of Algebra 2 or beyond
  • Single Foreign Language: Two years of the same language in high school or two semesters of the same language in college

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Test Scores

Results from the ACT Plus Writing or the SAT are not required of transfer applicants. However, if you've taken either test, we encourage you to provide us with your scores. Your results will be considered as supplemental academic information and may help strengthen your application. Test scores should be sent directly from the testing service. Our test code is 4656 for the ACT and 1846 for the SAT.

Transfer applicants from non-English speaking countries must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score, unless they have completed a college level English composition course at a U.S. college or university. Generally, admitted students have an Internet-based TOEFL score in the 95-105 range (587-620 on the paper-based test) or an IELTS score of 6.5-7.5. Our TOEFL test code is 1846. Please request that official IELTS scores be sent by paper to the Office of Admissions & Recruitment.

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Extracurricular Commitments

Numbers alone do not determine admissibility. Nonacademic factors may also be considered. We look for students with special or unique talents, who bring significant extracurricular or employment experiences, and those who give of themselves and who will enrich our campus community. While nonacademic factors will make a good applicant strong, they will never make an academically weak applicant admissible.

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Integrity in Applying

Academic integrity as a student here, and in the admission process, is valued in our community. As an applicant to UW-Madison, by signing your application, you certify that your application is complete and accurate. We hold you accountable to ensure the authenticity and honesty of your application, written statements, and additional materials subsequently submitted.

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