Freshman Application Materials

Take note of our deadlines and notification periods. Submit the following to apply:

1. Admissions Application

The online application allows you to save your work as you complete it and ensures secure delivery to our office.

2. Application Fee

The application fee is $50.00 US and is non-refundable.

  • The fee can be paid by credit card (MasterCard or Visa) or Debit/ATM card via the application portal.
  • Alternately, the fee can be paid by check or money order, drawn on a US bank and payable to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Send the check or money order to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Please include the applicant's name with payment.
  • Do not send cash.

A limited number of application fee waivers are available for applicants with financial hardship. To request a waiver of the application fee, print this form PDF and submit it to your school official for verification of hardship and signature. Send the completed form to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Your request will be reviewed and a decision will be made regarding waiver of the fee. We also accept fee waivers granted by the College Board and ACT.

3. Official Transcripts

We require transcripts for all high school and college-level work. Official transcripts should be sent directly from each school attended.

An official transcript must be delivered to our office in a sealed envelope or through an electronic secure document sending service. If a paper copy is delivered, the transcript must bear an official school seal or be printed on the school's custom watermarked/security paper. If an email is sent with a transcript as an attachment, it will not be accepted as official.

If you earned your General Educational Development (GED) certificate or a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED), submit your official score report in addition to all high school or home school transcripts.

International applicants can find country-specific official transcript requirements here.

4. Official Test Scores

Scores from either the ACT or the SAT are required and must be sent directly from the testing agency. Please note that the writing portion of the ACT is no longer required. Our test code is 4656 for the ACT and 1846 for the SAT. Do not send your results rush (SAT) or priority (ACT); we receive all scores electronically on a daily basis so there is not an advantage to rush or priority delivery.

Freshman applicants from non-English speaking countries must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score, unless English was the language of instruction for all courses in all years of secondary school. Our TOEFL test code is 1846. TOEFL must be submitted electronically from the testing service. We do not accept the IELTS electronically. Please have a paper copy of your results sent to our office through the mail. If you feel that you qualify for a TOEFL or IELTS waiver, please send an email to our office and a counselor will determine if the waiver criteria are met.

We do not accept scanned or emailed copies of A-level results. In order to have your advanced standing credits posted, you should have the official certificates sent to you through the mail. You will need to hand-deliver them to our office, and we will make a copy, which will be considered official. During the application review process, we will ask to see your provisional results slips, along with official results from IGCSE or AS level exams if applicable. These can be sent to our office from your school.

5. Two Written Statements

We ask you to answer the following questions on the online application, each in the form of a short essay. Review our list of tips for the written statements as you prepare your responses. Both are required for all domestic and international applicants.

  1. Consider something in your life you think goes unnoticed and write about why it's important to you.
  2. Tell us why you decided to apply to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In addition, share with us the academic, extracurricular, or research opportunities you would take advantage of as a student. If applicable, provide details of any circumstance that could have had an impact on your academic performance and/or extracurricular involvement.

6. Letter(s) of Recommendation

While not required, we encourage you to submit one or two letters of recommendation. A letter written by someone who can attest to your academic ability can be helpful in our review of your application. Consider asking a school counselor, employer, coach, research mentor, or community leader. Remember to have a discussion with them first to see if they are willing and able to provide a letter. Request that your recommenders use our online recommendation form. If they choose to email or send your recommendation by postal mail to our office, please make sure they include your full name, birth date, and campus ID number (if known). Additionally, letters of recommendation from a staff member of your school may also be sent through Naviance.

Prospective Dance and Music Majors

Students interested in majoring in dance or music must complete an additional application and schedule an audition for admission. Visit either the School of Music or the Dance Program website for audition dates and application information.

Additional Materials

Even after your application is complete we may request additional supporting materials such as self-reported grades, academic performance statements, and course change documentation.

Self-Report Grades

Applicants are expected to self-report their mid-year grades when prompted by email during the application process. In order to self-report, applicants must report their grades exactly as they appear on an official transcript or grade report that was issued by their school.

Academic integrity is valued in our community and in the admission process. By signing your application, you certify that it is complete and accurate. We hold you accountable to ensure the authenticity and honesty of your application, written statements, and additional materials subsequently submitted.

How to Self-Report

If you have been prompted to self-report your grades, you will need to log in to My UW. Once you enter the My UW student page, click on the "Student Center" link at the top right of the page.

Image with arrow pointing to Student Center link

A new window will open to reveal the Student Center. You will need to access the blue "Admissions" tab and select the "Report Grades" link. Once you access the "Report Grades" link, enter your courses in progress as well as the grades that correspond with those courses. If there is text in the "Grade/GPA" field, please erase this text and enter your grades before submitting.

If you are not enrolled in any coursework, please select the "I am NOT enrolled" check box at the top left of "Courses in Progress".

If any changes were made to your schedule, please provide a brief explanation in the "Reason for Change" text box at the bottom of the self-reporting page.

Once you have completed the self-reporting form, select the "Submit Final Grades" link at the bottom of the page.