Application Deadlines and Decisions

Application Deadlines

The fall and spring term applications open August 1. The following deadlines pertain to both domestic and international applicants. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on the noted deadline dates.

Decision Plan Application Deadline Decision
Spring 2020 Regular Decision October 1 End of December
Fall 2020 Priority Decision February 1 End of March
Fall 2020 Regular Decision March 1 End of April

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:

  • 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 final term grades and other supporting material prior to making a final decision. Decisions on deferred students will be made 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.

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. If you wish to submit an appeal, please click here for further instructions.

Deferred Enrollment

In most cases, transfer and reentry students cannot defer enrollment. The University of Wisconsin–Madison provides reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities, chronic medical conditions, and for active-duty military personnel.

Transfer students who have confirmed enrollment and are unable to enroll at UW–Madison in the term specified on their acceptance letter due to one of the reasons listed above may request to defer enrollment.