Application Deadlines and Decisions

The fall term application opens August 1, and the spring term application opens February 1. The following deadlines pertain to both domestic and international applicants.

Decision Plan Application Deadline Material Receipt Deadline Decision
Spring 2017 Regular Decision October 3 October 10 End of December
Fall 2017 Early Action November 1 November 8 End of January
Fall 2017 Regular Decision February 1 February 8 End of March

*Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on the noted deadline dates.

Freshman Fall Decision Plans

Students who apply by November 1 and complete their application in a reasonable time will receive a decision by the end of January. Those who apply by February 1 and complete their application in a reasonable time will receive a decision by the end of March. Please note: It may take 5-7 business days after receipt of an item to update the status to "Received" in your Student Center. Applicants are notified by email if they are missing items. To ensure you receive important email notifications add the email address onwisconsin@admissions.wisc.edu to your approved senders list.

Application Decisions

We cannot begin to review your application until all required materials are received. Review our requirements to ensure you submit a complete application.

Types of admission decisions applicants can receive in our Early Action competition:

  • Admit: Admission to UW–Madison is competitive and selective, and we review applications using a holistic process. We admit students based on academic strengths who will thrive in our rigorous curriculum and who also add unique perspectives to our student body. We consider essays, extracurricular involvement (both in and outside of school), letters of recommendation, talent, and interests to consider how students may contribute to our campus community.
  • Defer: Applicants who are deferred are neither admitted nor denied upon initial review. Deferred applicants have the potential for success at UW–Madison, however, we would like to review midyear grades and other supporting material prior to making a final decision. Decisions on deferred students will be made by the end of March.
  • Deny: Students who are not competitive for admission or who fail to complete their application are denied admission.

Types of admission decisions applicants can receive in our Regular Decision competition:

  • Admit: Admission to UW–Madison is competitive and selective, and we review applications using a holistic process. We admit students based on academic strengths who will thrive in our rigorous curriculum and who also add unique perspectives to our student body. We consider essays, extracurricular involvement (both in and outside of school), letters of recommendation, talent, and interests to consider how students may contribute to our campus community.
  • Wait List: Students who are offered a spot on our wait list are neither admitted nor denied. If space becomes available after May 1, admission may be extended to some students who have accepted the wait list offer. Every effort will be made to inform students if there is space for them or not by the end of June.
  • Deny: Students who are not competitive for admission or who fail to complete their application are denied admission.

Appealing a Decision

Every application denied has already been through an extensive review. For an appeal to have merit, it must bring to light new compelling academic and/or personal information, as well as details pertaining to extenuating circumstances that were not addressed in the initial application. Essentially, the appeal must present information that clearly shows the student to be stronger than had been earlier evidenced.

Appeal letters must be written and submitted by the applicant within 30 days of the deny decision to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Email is an acceptable format for submission. Be sure to clearly outline the reasons for appealing and present new and compelling information. Do not simply repeat information that was presented at the time of application. At the time of appealing, the letter should accompany any other appropriate documentation as needed.

Defer and wait list decisions cannot be appealed. Any application that is incomplete will not be eligible for an appeal. Applicants can only appeal once and decisions resulting from an appeal are final. We will not accept appeals filed on behalf of the student by a parent, counselor, teacher, friend, etc.

It is our usual practice to respond to appeals within four to six weeks of the date we receive them. While all appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, the rate of a decision being reversed based on an appeal has historically been very low. Application fees are nonrefundable regardless of the result of an appeal. Appeals should be sent directly to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.