Timeline for Applying
The UW-Madison graduate school application portal for the following fall semester opens. Students should start putting together their application information, working on their resumes/CVs and deciding who to ask for reference letters. We recommend giving references at least 4 weeks to provide a letter that describes why you are well suited for graduate school.
- Applications are due. Check individual program websites for actual date (usually 12/1 or 12/15). You can always submit the application early. Many programs will evaluate applications when they receive them.
- Generally, admissions committees meet to evaluate applications. Committees focus on the whole application and very often focus on the personal statement and the reference letters. Most meetings happen in December, but there are some committees that meet later in January.
- Selected students are invited for an interview. Some programs send out offers of admission at the same time as an interview invitation, but most programs don’t make their final decisions until after the interview process is completed.
- Some programs require that incoming graduate students already have a faculty mentor who has agreed to take them on as a student. This is to ensure funds for the students are available for the duration of their graduate studies. These arrangements are very often student initiated and start over emailing professors you are interested in working with.
- Interviews with programs. These can be done entirely virtually with Zoom interviews, or entirely in-person. We have also seen movement towards hybrid interview processes where the interviews with faculty members are conducted virtually, with students invited for a showcase weekend on campus. We expect that students will have interviews with multiple schools and even multiple programs here on campus.
- Final offers of admission are sent. If you haven’t heard back from a program you interviewed with by mid-March, you should email the program to ask for an update.
- On April 15th, all decisions are required for students who will be starting in rotator positions (https://cgsnet.org/resources/for-current-prospective-graduate-students/april-15-resolution/)
- Students are still eligible for direct admit positions on a rolling basis after April 15th. Not all program accept direct admit students; you should check individual program websites.
Towards the end of June, newly admitted graduate students are matriculated in the system and will start receiving emails from the Graduate School and the program they are joining to help with the transition to graduate school.