University of Wisconsin - Madison Requirements for Admission

What are University of Wisconsin - Madison's admission requirements? While there are a lot of pieces that go into a college application, you should focus on only a few critical things:

  • GPA requirements
  • Testing requirements, including SAT and ACT requirements
  • Application requirements

In this guide we'll cover what you need to get into University of Wisconsin - Madison and build a strong application.

School location: Madison, WI

This school is also known as: UW, Madison


Admissions Rate: 49%

If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.

The acceptance rate at University of Wisconsin - Madison is 49%. For every 100 applicants, 49 are admitted.

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This means the school is moderately selective. The school expects you to meet their requirements for GPA and SAT/ACT scores, but they're more flexible than other schools. If you exceed their requirements, you have an excellent chance of getting in. But if you don't, you might be one of the unlucky minority that gets a rejection letter.


University of Wisconsin - Madison GPA Requirements

Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.

The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.

Average GPA: 3.85

The average GPA at University of Wisconsin - Madison is 3.85.

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(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

With a GPA of 3.85, University of Wisconsin - Madison requires you to be near the top of your class, and well above average. Your transcript should show mostly A's. Ideally, you will also have taken several AP or IB classes to show that you can handle academics at a college level.

If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.85, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.


SAT and ACT Requirements

Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.

You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to University of Wisconsin - Madison. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.

University of Wisconsin - Madison SAT Requirements

Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.

Average SAT: 1931 (New: 1370)

The average SAT score composite at University of Wisconsin - Madison is a 1931 on the old 2400 SAT scale.

On the new 1600 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 1370.

This score makes University of Wisconsin - Madison Moderately Competitive for SAT test scores.

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University of Wisconsin - Madison SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1280, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1470. In other words, a 1280 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1470 will move you up to above average.

Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math710650780
Reading323035
Writing353336
Composite137012801470

University of Wisconsin - Madison SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)

The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 1790, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 2110. In other words, a 1790 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 2110 puts you well above average.

Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math688630760
Reading602560660
Writing641600690
Composite193117902110

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.

University of Wisconsin - Madison has the Score Choice policy of "Highest Sitting."

This means that you can choose which SAT tests you want to send to the school. Of all the scores they receive, your application readers will consider the SAT score from your single highest test date (the sum of math, reading, and writing).

This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and University of Wisconsin - Madison only considers your highest score on a single test date, you can take the SAT as many times as you want, then submit your strongest score. Your application readers will only see that one score.

Therefore, if your SAT score is currently below a 1931, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the SAT and retaking it. You don't have much to lose, and you can potentially raise your score and significantly boost your chances of getting in.


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University of Wisconsin - Madison ACT Requirements

Just like for the SAT, University of Wisconsin - Madison likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.

Average ACT: 29

The average ACT score at University of Wisconsin - Madison is 29. This score makes University of Wisconsin - Madison Moderately Competitive for ACT scores.

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The 25th percentile ACT score is 27, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 31.

Even though University of Wisconsin - Madison likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 27 or below, you'll have a very hard time getting in, unless you have something else very impressive in your application. There are so many applicants scoring 29 and above that a 27 will look academically weak.

ACT Score Sending Policy

If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.

Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.

This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 29 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.

ACT Superscore Policy

By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.

We weren't able to find the school's exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to University of Wisconsin - Madison, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 29.


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SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements

Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.

University of Wisconsin - Madison requires you to take the SAT/ACT Writing section. They'll use this as another factor in their admissions consideration.


SAT Subject Test Requirements

Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.

We did not find information that University of Wisconsin - Madison requires SAT subject tests, and so most likely it does not. At least 6 months before applying, you should still doublecheck just to make sure, so you have enough time to take the test.



Final Admissions Verdict

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Because this school is moderately selective, strong academic performance will almost guarantee you admission. Scoring a 2110 SAT or a 31 ACT or above will nearly guarantee you admission. Because the school admits 49% of all applicants, being far above average raises the admission rate for you to nearly 100%.

If you can achieve a high SAT/ACT score, the rest of your application essentially doesn't matter. You still need to meet the rest of the application requirements, and your GPA shouldn't be too far off from the school average of 3.85. But you won't need dazzling extracurriculars and breathtaking letters of recommendation to get in. You can get in based on the merits of your score alone.

But if your score is a 1790 SAT or a 27 ACT and below, you have a good chance of being one of the unlucky few to be rejected.



Admissions Calculator

What are your chances of admission at University of Wisconsin - Madison?
Chances of admission with these scores:

Here's our custom admissions calculator. Plug in your numbers to see what your chances of getting in are.

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Application Requirements

Every school requires an application with the bare essentials - high school transcript and GPA, application form, and other core information. Many schools, as explained above, also require SAT and ACT scores, as well as letters of recommendation, application essays, and interviews. We'll cover the exact requirements of University of Wisconsin - Madison here.

Application Requirements Overview

  • Common Application Accepted
  • Universal Application Not accepted
  • Electronic Application Available
  • Essay or Personal Statement Required for all freshmen
  • Letters of Recommendation 2
  • Interview Not required
  • Application Fee $60
  • Fee Waiver Available? Available
  • Other Notes

Testing Requirements

  • SAT or ACT Required
  • SAT or ACT Writing Required
  • SAT Subject Tests
  • Scores Due in Office February 1

Coursework Requirements

  • Subject Required Years
  • English 4
  • Math 4
  • Science 3
  • Foreign Language 3
  • Social Studies 3
  • History
  • Electives 2

Deadlines and Early Admissions

  •  
    • Offered? Deadline Notification
  • Regular Admission
    • Yes February 1 Rolling
  • Early Action
    • No November 1
  • Early Decision
    • No

Admissions Office Information

Our Expert's Notes

We did more detailed research into this school's admissions process and found the following information:

There are two application periods -- the first with a deadline of November 3rd and the second with a deadline of February 2nd. If you apply to the earlier deadline you will get a decision by late January. Learn more about deadlines here.

All admitted students will receive an invitation to apply to the Honors College, which has a separate application. You can apply to scholarships through the UW application system, though different scholarships have different deadlines. You can search available scholarships using their database.

Source


Other Schools For You

If you're interested in University of Wisconsin - Madison, you'll probably be interested in these schools as well. We've divided them into 3 categories depending on how hard they are to get into, relative to University of Wisconsin - Madison.


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Reach Schools: Harder to Get Into

These schools are more selective and have higher scores than University of Wisconsin - Madison. If you improve your SAT score, you'll be competitive for these schools.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 1450 2080 31
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY 1420 1376 30
Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA 1440 2050 32
Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA 1370 1315 30
Boston University Boston, MA 1370 1946 29
Villanova University Villanova, PA 1370 1940 31
Binghamton University Vestal, NY 1360 1929 29

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Same Level: Equally Hard to Get Into

If you're competitive for University of Wisconsin - Madison, these schools will offer you a similar chance of admission.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX 1350 1904 29
United States Military Academy West Point, NY 1340 1898 28
University of Georgia Athens, GA 1330 1879 29
University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA 1330 1874 27
University of Florida Gainesville, FL 1330 1874 28
American University Washington, DC 1320 1858 28
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA 1300 1239 28

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Safety Schools: Easier to Get Into

If you're currently competitive for University of Wisconsin - Madison, you should have no problem getting into these schools. If University of Wisconsin - Madison is currently out of your reach, you might already be competitive for these schools.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY 1310 1849 28
University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX 1310 1846 28
University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA 1290 1226 27
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY 1290 1815 29
Penn State University Park University Park, PA 1270 1786 27
Syracuse University Syracuse, NY 1270 1775 27
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 1230 1726 26

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