Skip to main content

Admissions FAQs


Admissions Requirements

Within the program, each candidate is evaluated individually based upon their own merits. Every piece of the application is reviewed and considered within the context of the whole application. The minimum admissions requirements include:

  • International applicants are required to have the equivalent of a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree. View the minimum degree equivalents for different countries.
  • Standardized test scores (GMAT or GRE) or a qualified test waiver
  • English proficiency test (TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE for applicants whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English)
  • Essays (one required, one recommended, one optional)

Read additional details

No prerequisites are required. However, if you would like to take a course prior to starting your Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program, the admissions committee suggests that you consider taking a statistics and/or an economics course. Both have proven beneficial to incoming MBA students. MBA Math offers an online, self-paced course as a good option.

No, we like to see all types of majors represented. Many Wisconsin MBA students have undergraduate degrees in science, engineering, math, law, humanities, social science, and other majors. To learn more about the student population, please view the recent Class Profiles.

There is no minimum GPA requirement. Students who are admitted with a GPA below a 3.0 are admitted on a probationary status and must maintain a 3.0 or higher in the fall semester in order to continue with the program.

The answer depends on your degree and university. In general, applicants with three-year degrees will need additional coursework to demonstrate equivalency to a U.S. bachelor’s degree. Additional information about international degree equivalents can be found here. It is recommended to get an evaluation from World Education Services (WES) to ensure you meet the four-year bachelor’s degree equivalency requirements.

Anyone can apply to the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program. We prefer that our candidates have at least two years of professional work experience before starting the program. However, strong internship or co-op experience may also be considered.

Though many of our students have professional work experience and we prefer at least two years, it is not required. To learn more about the class, view the Class Profile.

Formal admissions interviews are by invitation only, after your application has been reviewed.

Yes, although this will not take the place of your official admissions interview. To set up a consultation appointment, contact the MBA Admissions Team.

Yes. A candidate is able to submit their application with unofficial transcripts. However, certified copies of transcripts from the institution where the degree was conferred are required for all admitted students. For detailed instructions on how to submit official transcripts, please see Admissions.

Standardized Test Scores

The GMAT score distribution for recent classes is available in our Class Profile.

Be sure to study the material and understand how to apply it. Research shows when you take the time to prepare for the test, your score will reflect that. Numerous resources can be found through mba.com (the official website of the GMAT), your local bookstore, and in-person GMAT courses. We don’t recommend one over the other; you should go with the preparation process that best fits your learning style.

The program will accept the GRE or the GMAT standardized test. These scores may be entered directly into the online application. If you are admitted to the program, official test scores will be required; if you have authorized the University of Wisconsin–Madison to have electronic access to your test scores, no further action on your part will be needed.

While there is no minimum score requirement for the GMAT or GRE, the admissions committee looks for candidates with strong verbal and quantitative skills. We prefer that you submit a GMAT score when applying to the Wisconsin School of Business. You may wish to compare your GMAT scores to our student population as represented in the Class Profiles.

The highest GMAT or GRE score will be used when evaluating your application. However, we do look at all scores to see your improvement between exams.

For the GMAT, please direct the testing service to allow the Wisconsin School of Business to access your test results. The institution code is 79K-2S-72.

For the GRE, please direct the testing service to allow the University of Wisconsin–Madison to access your test results. The institution code is 1846.

You may qualify for a test waiver for the GMAT or GRE if you meet one of two sets of criteria.
However, if you qualify for a waiver, you may still choose to take the GMAT or GRE as a way to enhance your application. Candidates who receive a test waiver may not qualify for all merit aid opportunities

Admissions Process

We suggest you apply when you feel you have the most competitive application and are ready to begin an MBA program. Application deadlines can be found here. If you have questions about the admissions cycle and deadlines, contact the MBA Admissions Team.

No. The Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program is built around each new student group that moves through the program as a cohort. As a result, we only offer admission for the fall semester.

You should select a recommender who is qualified to evaluate your potential as a manager or business leader. They should have a strong understanding of your abilities and be familiar with solid examples of your accomplishments. This individual may be a current or past supervisor, a client or vendor, or a representative of a volunteer or community organization in which you are involved. Professional recommendations are strongly preferred. One recommender is required; however, the admissions committee will accept up to two recommendations.

You will enter your recommender’s name and email address into your application. The recommender will then receive an email with a link to your recommendation form. The recommendation forms are submitted separately from your application upon its completion. You should not wait for your recommender to submit their recommendation before submitting your application; however, your application will not be reviewed without the recommendation form.

You must submit the required Wisconsin School of Business application and all supporting materials. A full list of application requirements and deadlines can be found here. If you are then admitted to the MBA program, you should complete and submit an “Addition and/or Change of Major Form,” available through the Graduate School.

Admissions Decisions

The program focuses on individual students and their career goals. The class size is typically around 80-100 incoming students each year. See Class Profile.

The admissions committee includes representatives from the admissions team and career specialization directors. Additional staff in career management and student services may also have input in decisions.

Applications are reviewed in multiple cycles. If your application is complete by one of the application deadlines, you will be guaranteed a decision by the date listed.

Conditional admission is not offered. The first step of the admission process is to apply online.

We do not automatically defer admission; however, you may contact the MBA Admissions Team to discuss your options.

Yes. If you applied to the Wisconsin MBA within the last year and would like to re-apply for the current enrollment term, some information from your previous application can be carried over.

Please contact a member of the MBA Admissions Team for additional information about the re-application process.

Other MBA Degree Options

Students who wish to pursue an MBA while they continue to work should consider the Wisconsin Professional MBA Program or Wisconsin Executive MBA Program at the Wisconsin School of Business. Students admitted to the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program are required to take a full credit load associated with their career specialization.

The program does not offer online or remote classes. All coursework is located on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus in Madison, Wisconsin.

Yes, a joint JD/MBA degree is offered. Applicants to the JD/MBA program must apply and be admitted independently to both the University of Wisconsin–Madison Law School and the Wisconsin School of Business. It is recommended that you apply to both programs within the same year. Admission to the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program will be deferred for one year while you complete your first year of study in law. Please contact the MBA Admissions Team with any questions.

Any two programs at the University of Wisconsin–Madison can be pursued as a dual degree. A dual degree is two degrees, one of which is granted in a graduate program, and the other in a professional school (e.g., MD, JD, DVM, D.Pharm., MPH). You must apply and gain admission separately to each program. Once you are admitted, an advisor from each program will assist with the development of a comprehensive degree plan. Additional details are available from the Graduate School.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Learn more about the program’s tuition and living expenses here.

No. All assistance offered through the Wisconsin School of Business is based on merit. U.S. citizens and permanent residents whose personal and family resources are not adequate to cover tuition and living expenses are eligible for loans through the U.S. government. The Office of Student Financial Aid at the University of Wisconsin–Madison offers information about need-based financial aid for graduate students.

Merit-based financial aid is available to domestic and international applicants in the form of scholarships, fellowships, teaching assistantships, and tuition awards. All candidates who apply to the program will be considered for these awards. Awards are made on the merits of the candidate and their application materials.

Thanks to the generosity of our alumni and donors, the Wisconsin MBA has historically been able to offer more than 80 percent of all students some merit-based aid.

As merit-based financial aid is based on the competitive nature of a prospective student’s application, all applicants are automatically considered for merit-based financial aid during the review process. You are not required to complete an additional application. Financial aid awards come in the form of scholarships, fellowships, teaching assistantships, and tuition awards. Apply early for your best chance of receiving merit-based financial aid, as this type of aid is limited. Applicants receiving a test waiver may not be eligible for all merit-based financial aid opportunities. More information about tuition and merit-based financial aid is available here.

Applicants will receive decisions about most scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, and tuition awards with their letter of admission. However, since teaching assistantships are based on the changing needs of the various departments, these appointments may be offered throughout the year. Many students secure teaching assistantships in their second year of the program.

To be considered for both loans and work study, students must first submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the University of Wisconsin–Madison by including our school code, 003895. Only U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens may apply. You are encouraged to be proactive in this process, and to contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for information about important dates and deadlines.

International students are not eligible for federal student loans and should look to other options in their home country to assist with covering costs. Information about funding options is available from International Student Services at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

No. Neither the Wisconsin School of Business nor the University of Wisconsin–Madison will co-sign a private loan.

A limited number of incoming MBA students are awarded teaching assistantships. More often, TA positions are typically filled by doctoral candidates or second-year MBA students who have demonstrated competency in the course in question.

No. Residency for tuition purposes is determined upon admission and remains constant throughout your program. The Office of the Registrar for the University of Wisconsin–Madison offers information on residency status in Wisconsin.

Visiting Campus

A campus visit is one of the best ways to gather information about the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program. We suggest you plan a campus visit during the school year when classes are in session, although modified campus visits are available during the summer. Get started here to arrange for a hosted visit.

Visit the campus

Transfer Students

Due to the specialized nature of the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program, transfer credits from other graduate programs are not accepted. Please follow the regular application process.

International Students

International applicants are required to have the equivalent of a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree. View the minimum degree equivalents for different countries. These are general guidelines; requirements may vary. You may wish to have your transcript evaluated by World Education Services (WES) to ensure you meet the four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree equivalency requirements. Please contact the MBA Admissions Team if you need assistance.

See our admissions requirements for further information about degree equivalencies. If you have additional questions, You may wish to have your transcript evaluated by World Education Services (WES) to ensure you meet the four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree equivalency requirements.

Applicants whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was in a language other than English must achieve a score of 100 or higher on the Internet-based TOEFL (or score of 600 on the paper-based TOEFL) within two years of the intended start.

Please direct the Educational Testing Service to release your test results to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The institution code is 1846.

An international applicant whose four-year undergraduate degree and/or master’s degree (minimum of eight semesters total) instruction was in English or who will complete such a degree prior to matriculation at the University of Wisconsin–Madison may request a waiver.

To request a waiver for the language test requirement, please select the TOEFL test type in your online application and select “Request a Waiver” for the English proficiency test. We will confirm that English is the language used at the academic institution where your degree was conferred.

Merit-based financial aid is available to international applicants in the form of scholarships, fellowships, and teaching assistantships. All candidates who apply to the program will be considered for scholarships and fellowships. Awards are made on the merits of the candidate and their application materials.

Yes, results of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or PTE (Pearson Test of English) will also be accepted. An IELTS minimum score of 7.5 or higher, or a PTE Internet-based score of 73 or higher or paper-based score of 80 or higher, are required. For the PTE, please have your test results directed to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, code NML-ZH-25.

International students are not eligible for federal student loans and should look to other options in their home country to assist with covering costs. Information about funding options is available from International Student Services at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

International students will come in on F-1 or J-1 student visas. Once you are admitted to the program, the Wisconsin MBA Admissions Team will walk you through the Form I-20 process. For additional information about student visas, please visit the Office of Visa Services at the U.S. Department of State. The University of Wisconsin–Madison International Student Services can also be a helpful resource for visa information.

If you will transfer to the University of Wisconsin–Madison directly from another school within the U.S., please verify your transfer eligibility and schedule the transfer of your SEVIS record with your former school. Then complete and return the Transfer Notification form to the Wisconsin School of Business. You will receive a transfer pending a Form I-20 from the Wisconsin School of Business. After arriving in Madison, you will be required to attend an International Student Services orientation in order to complete the transfer-in process. Failure to complete your transfer to UW–Madison will result in loss of F-1 visa status. If you plan to leave the U.S. before transferring to Madison, check your passport and F-1 visa stamp to be certain that they are valid. Present your UW–Madison Form I-20 and financial support documents to the immigration officials at the border.

International Student Orientation, scheduled for August, is required for all international MBA students at the Wisconsin School of Business. The activities and workshops will include an opportunity to interact with second-year international MBA students.

The Consortium

The Wisconsin School of Business is committed to fostering a diverse learning community where inclusiveness is a core value. The School is a founding member of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, an alliance of business organizations and schools that fosters a network of top-tier students, MBA programs, and leading corporations. Benefits of The Consortium for participating students include mentoring, career management services, and financial assistance.

Prospective MBA students who are eligible can apply to the Wisconsin MBA through The Consortium and be considered for a Consortium fellowship.

Every year, current MBA students who are Consortium participants serve as liaisons on the MBA Admissions Team. These individuals are available to answer your questions and share their experiences with The Consortium.

Women

The Wisconsin School of Business is committed to fostering a diverse learning community where inclusiveness is a core value. The School is a member of Forté. Please see below for more information on Forté.

Forté is a nonprofit organization powered by an alliance of women, universities, and corporations. It provides support for women at all stages of their careers to enhance their business acumen. Forté strives to increase the number of women applying to and enrolling in MBA programs by providing educational opportunities, networking and mentoring events, as well as professional conferences.

Women entering the Wisconsin MBA may participate in Forté events such as the MBA Women’s Leadership Conference and MBA Financial Services FAST Track. All Wisconsin MBA students should explore professional development opportunities through webinar topics on leadership, communications skills, and personal finance, as well as career exploration and opportunities through the Forté Job Center.

All applicants who identify as a woman are considered for a Forté fellowship. Forté fellowships help defer the cost of a full-time MBA at UW–Madison.

Every year, current MBA students who are Forté fellows serve as liaisons on the MBA Admissions Team. These individuals are available to answer your questions and share their experiences.

Military Students

The Wisconsin School of Business welcomes applications from veterans of all branches of the military. Additional information is available here. Note that the application fee is waived for military veterans who have served on active duty in the U.S. Military within three years of applying.

Please contact a member of the MBA Admissions Team to discuss your needs and options as a military veteran who wishes to apply to the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program.

The Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay all tuition expenses for military veterans who qualify.

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, both in-state and non-Wisconsin-resident veterans will receive in-state tuition rates. This means that veterans who qualify for Post 9/11 GI Bill funding will have all of their tuition covered, whether they are Wisconsin residents or not. Those who do not qualify can receive financial assistance with tuition costs under the Yellow Ribbon Program.

The Veteran’s Choice Act of 2014 provides for in-state rates for certain veterans. To qualify for in-state rates while using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, a student must be a veteran (no longer on active duty) or on terminal leave (final leave or vacation being used up prior to their actual end date). Students must also enroll within three years of leaving active duty.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has streamlined the Post 9/11 GI Bill payment timeline. University of Wisconsin–Madison students have been getting their tuition costs paid before the semester even starts. Refer to this blog post written by a VA representative for an explanation of the Post 9/11 GI Bill payments.

As a Yellow Ribbon School, the University of Wisconsin–Madison has an agreement with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to supplement the Post 9/11 GI Bill when needed. Jointly, UW–Madison and the VA cover the nonresident fees for those students who do not already qualify for in-state tuition and fees under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, making the cost of the Wisconsin MBA more affordable.

Yes. Military veterans will be considered for merit-based financial assistance awarded by the Wisconsin School of Business; no separate merit-based financial aid application is required. In the past, more than 80 percent of all students have received some merit-based aid in the form of scholarships, fellowships, or teaching assistantships. The Veteran Services & Military Assistance Center can also provide assistance with financial aid questions.

Connect With Us

Chat With Admissions

Schedule a 30–minute consultation with a member of our admissions team.

Attend an Event

Check out our admissions events, information sessions, webinars, and more.

Join our Mailing List

Sign up to get the latest information about the program, hear about upcoming admissions events, receive application tips, and more.