Information for International Students

Over 4,000 international students from more than 130 countries choose to study at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and our university is consistently ranked among the top 20 universities in the United States with the largest number of international students. In 2014, the University of Wisconsin–Madison ranked 24th among world universities in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Admission Application Process

Information regarding the admission process, deadlines, and application instructions is different for freshman students and transfer students. If you are applying from a school that does not use a US curriculum, we have provided information about necessary documentation.

Required Transcripts/Academic Documents


Freshmen: 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.

Transfer students: 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 US college or university.

Waiver: If you feel that you qualify for a TOEFL or IELTS waiver based upon the requirements above, please submit all required transcripts to our office as soon as possible. Once your transcripts are marked as "Received" in your Student Center, please send an email to our office and a counselor will determine if the waiver criteria are met.

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. 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.

Financing Your Education

The cost of attendance is the total amount of tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, and other estimated school expenses. Scholarships@UW–Madison features a list of academic and merit opportunities offered by schools and colleges within the university. Students applying for the fall term do not need to submit financial documentation at the time of application. Enrolling students requesting documentation for an F-1 visa must submit the Financial Verification Form.

Transfer Credit

Our international admissions counselors review all international academic records for transfer credit. Once a student has been admitted and has confirmed enrollment, our counselors evaluate international course work and appropriately transfer all transferable credit to UW–Madison. Admitted international students requesting transfer credit must submit detailed course descriptions in both the original language and English when confirming their enrollment.

All incoming international transfer students will be asked to complete our ESLAT (English as a Second Language Assessment Test) placement test before attending orientation. The Office of Admissions and Recruitment will only grant credit for previously completed English coursework in the US if the student tests into or places out of our English 118 course, which fulfills our Communication A requirement.

Please be sure to read the Transfer Credit section of our website for more information on transfer credit policies.

International Student Services

The International Student Services website provides information about transitioning to UW-Madison, visa and immigration policies, and on-campus programming. Explore the guide for international students, which features student testimonials about academics, student life, and life in the city of Madison.