University of Wisconsin MadisonThe University of Wisconsin-Madison was established in 1848, when Wisconsin was first designated as a state. It is the first public university in the state and is the largest institution in Wisconsin. The campus is located in an urban setting on 900 acres. University of Wisconsin conducts a significant amount of research, with annual expenditures of more than $1 billion (often placing them at the top of research and development with U.S. public universities).

Wisconsin is also one of 30 sea grant colleges in the country, so it focuses on research, education, and training for the conservation of coastal areas, the Great Lakes, and other marine locations. There are more than 100 research programs on campus, and the University of Wisconsin has made important discoveries in embryonic stem cell research. The school enrolls over 33,000 undergraduate and nearly 12,000 graduate students. Graduate students can earn degrees through well-renowned programs like the School of Education, Robert M. LaFollette School of Public Affairs, and the College of Engineering.

University of Wisconsin admissionsThere are 13 schools and colleges. The largest is the College of Letters and Science, which enrolls around half of the undergraduate population. This college covers areas as diverse as economics, geography, linguistics, and zoology. There are 125 undergraduate majors and 9,000 courses. The most popular majors for undergraduates are biological/life sciences, business/marketing, engineering, and social sciences. The student to faculty ratio is around 17.4 to 1, and 44% of classes have fewer than 20 students.

University of Wisconsin admissionOutside of the classroom, Wisconsin has the reputation for being a party school (most notably being a campus with a high level of alcohol consumption). However, there are many ways to get involved on campus other than partying. With nearly 900 student organizations, students can definitely find activities that interest them. There is a significant Greek scene at UW; about 8% of men and women are affiliated with a fraternity or sorority. Some students choose to participate in public service; school officials have deemed education as a way of influencing people’s lives, calling it the ‘Wisconsin Idea.’ Individuals can also participate in school publications. University of Wisconsin is the only university with two daily newspapers: The Daily Cardinal (founded in 1892) and The Herald. The Journal of Undergraduate International Studies (JUIS) is also one of only two US undergraduate international studies journals in the country.

University of Wisconsin Madison applicationThe University of Wisconsin competes as the Badgers in 22 NCAA Division I sports. The school competes in the B1G, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges. Students interested in this flagship should not mind a large student population, and should be okay with an overly-active social life on campus. University of Wisconsin’s academics are challenging, but students have plenty of opportunities to blow off steam with the many social activities offered to them.


Acceptance Rate

University of Wisconsin acceptance rate

Academic Qualifications

Wisconsin average GPA and top 10% in high school

SAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)

Wisconsin Madison SAT range

ACT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)

UW Madison ACT score range

Admissions Information

Freshmen Admissions
Number of 2020 (Class of 2024) applicants: 45,941
Enrolled: 7,306
Yield: 32.4%
Acceptance rate: 53.0%

In-state acceptance rate: 73%

Transfer Admissions
Number of transfer applicants: 3,464
Number of transfer applicants admitted: 1,584
Transfer acceptance rate: 45.7%

Academic Qualifications
Average GPA: 3.87
Top 10% of High School: 57%

Middle SAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
SAT Composite: 1330-1450
SAT Critical Reading: 630-710
SAT Math: 680-780

Middle ACT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
ACT Composite: 27-32
ACT English: 27-34
ACT Math: 26-32

Standardized Test Requirements

Wisconsin does not require the SAT/ACT SAT/ACT not required

UW Madison does not require the writing portion Writing portion not required

UW does not require the SAT subject tests SAT Subject Tests not required

Score Card

Graduation Rates

Wisconsin Madison acceptance rate

Loan Defaults and Rhodes Scholars

Salary After Attending

R&D Expenditures

Campus Safety

Score Card Information

Graduation Rates
4 years: 62.7%
5 years: 85.6%
6 years: 87.6%

Loan default rate: 0.8%

Total Rhodes Scholars: 32

Salary after attending: $56,200

R&D Expenditures: $1.193 million

Campus Safety
Sex offenses: 24
Robberies: 1
Aggravated assaults: 6
Burglaries: 46
Car thefts: 1

Financial Aid

Net Cost and Total Expected Cost of Attendance

University of Wisconsin financial aid

Average In State Net Price By Income

Student Debt

Additional Information

In-state tuition, room and board (2020-2021): $22,946

Total Estimated Cost of Attendance (2020-2021)
In-state: $27,228
Minnesota residents: $31,840
Out-of-state: $55,640

Net Cost (in-state)
Average: $16,103

By income
$0 to $30,000: $4,367
$30,001 to $48,000: $6,860
$48,001 to $75,000: $13,227
$75,001 to $110,000: $21,860
$110,001 and more: $24,574

Graduates with student debt: 44%

Average student debt at graduation: $27,973

Student Body

Student Residence

Undergraduate Class Sizes

U Wisconsin Madison undergraduate class sizes

Student to Faculty Ratio

Student Population

Additional Information

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17.4 to 1

Women: 52%

Undergraduate Class Sizes
Under 20: 44%
20 to 39: 28%
40 to 99: 18%
100+: 10%

Student Population
Total: 45,317
Undergraduate: 33,456

Student Residence
In State: 53%
Out of State: 39%
International: 8%

University of Wisconsin

university of wisconsin madison

University of Wisconsin-Madison

This page was last updated in November 2020.