Apply as a Transfer Student

Transfer Application and Material Deadlines

Decision Plan Application & Materials Deadline Decision
Spring Regular Decision October 1 End of December
Fall Priority Decision February 1 End of March
Fall Regular Decision March 1 End of April

ACADEMIC COURSE PREPARATION

Prior to applying for transfer admission, students must have completed (or be completing) at least 24 semester hours of transferable course work. This essentially equates to one year of college-level study. We do not accept transfer students at the freshman level.

When reviewing applications, we pay particular attention to the college-level course work you have completed, and specifically:

  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA). Competitive not only for admission to the university, but for your intended major as well. Please note: GPA calculations will include all grades received for repeated courses; the initial grade, as well as grades received in second and subsequent attempts will be included in the GPA calculation.
  • Rigor of course work. Appropriate for continued study at UW–Madison and increasing in difficulty.
  • Course breadth. Showing a combination of English, math, science, literature, social science, and foreign language.
  • Grade trends and patterns. Steady or improving trends and patterns that show consistency across all academic areas.
  • Required courses. Applicants must have completed one year each of high school algebra, plane geometry, and college-preparatory math, and two high school years or two college semesters of a single foreign language.

HIGH SCHOOL RECORD

Your academic performance in high school will be more or less important to us depending on how many college credits you have earned. Generally speaking, students who are in their first two years of college-level coursework will have their high school records more carefully analyzed. The more college-level work you have completed, the less we will rely on high school performance criteria such as rigor of coursework, academic GPA, grade trends, and class rank.

Regardless of the number of college credits earned, your high school transcript (supplemented in some cases by your college transcript) must show that you completed the following required course work:

  • Algebra: One year in high school
  • Plane Geometry: One year in high school (cannot be modified, basic, or informal)
  • College-Preparatory Math: One year in high school, or one college course at the level of Algebra 2 or beyond
  • Single Foreign Language: Two years of the same language in high school or two semesters of the same language in college*

* Students who have studied a foreign language using only Rosetta Stone have not fulfilled the foreign language requirement.
American Sign Language (ASL) may be accepted to meet the foreign language requirement for admission if it is taken through the student’s school and is reflected on an official transcript.

Required Transfer Application Materials

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1. ADMISSIONS APPLICATION

Transfer students can apply using the UW System Application.

Please note that we do not start processing fall term applications until September 1.

Applicants will be asked to identify both a first and second choice major when completing the application for admission. If we are unable to offer you admission to your first choice major, your second choice will be considered in our application review to assess interest and preparation. Due to the competitive nature of some of our programs, admission expectations may be different for students pursuing majors in business, engineering, dance, and music. We encourage you to visit our direct entry page to learn more.

2. APPLICATION FEE

The application fee is $60.00 US and is non-refundable.

Electronic payment is preferred. If you apply using the UW System Application, the fee can be paid by check or money order, drawn on a US bank and payable to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Send the check or money order to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Please include the applicant’s name with payment. Do not send cash.

Application fee waivers are available for applicants with financial hardship. Students who apply using the UW System Application can print this form and submit it to their school official for verification of hardship and signature. Send the completed form to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

3. COURSE AND GRADE INFORMATION

We require official high school transcripts, which need to be sent to us by your school. We review your high school record to check for proof of graduation, the completion of core preparation requirements, and to learn more about your educational background. High school grades will play a more important role in the admission review for applicants who have completed fewer transferable college credits. If you earned your General Educational Development (GED) certificate or a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED), submit your official score report in addition to all high school or home school transcripts.

Request official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you attended. The transcripts should include all college-level coursework completed to date, including your current term in progress, and (if applicable) college classes taken while in high school.

Electronic transcripts must be sent through a secure document sending service to etranscripts@admissions.wisc.edu. Transcripts sent through email, as an attachment, will not be accepted as official. Paper transcripts sent to our office must bear an official school seal or be printed on the school’s custom watermarked/security paper.

Students applying from outside the United States can find country-specific official transcript requirements here.

4. TWO ESSAYS

As part of our holistic review, we refer to the essays you submit to understand more about you. What you choose to share gives us an idea of who you are and what you want to accomplish as part of our community. Tell us about you and your unique story to help us know you beyond your GPA and test scores. Your essays might also be used for campus program and scholarship review.

You will need to answer the following prompts:

  • Tell us about your academic and personal achievements. What have you learned from your successes and/or challenges, and how will this influence you as you pursue your college education?
  • Tell us why you would like to attend the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In addition, please include why you are interested in studying the major(s) you have selected. If you selected undecided, please describe your areas of possible academic interest.

5. ONE REQUIRED LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION

We require you to submit one letter of recommendation written by someone who can attest to your academic ability, such as a teacher, school counselor, or faculty member. Students with an interest in engineering are encouraged to obtain a letter of recommendation from a math or science teacher. Remember to have a discussion with your chosen recommender first to see if they are willing and able to provide a letter.

We encourage applicants who have been away from formal classroom teaching for an extended period to request a letter of recommendation from someone who can speak to their academic potential, such as an employer (preferably a supervisor or manager), a program or departmental trainer, or some other individual in an official instructional capacity.

Your recommender should select the link that best describes your situation:

Recommendations that are mailed to our office must include the applicant’s full name, birth date, and campus ID number (if known). Additionally, letters of recommendation from a school staff member may also be sent through Naviance. Please note that letters of recommendation expire after one year from the date it is written.

6. OFFICIAL TEST SCORES

Transfer applicants from non-English speaking countries must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score, unless they have completed and received a passing grade in a college level English composition course at a US college or university. 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 directly from the testing agency to our office through the mail. Be sure to give additional time for this process.

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. Once your transcripts are received in our office (are no longer displayed on your to-do list in your Student Center), we will determine your waiver eligibility.  Waivers will not be processed prior to receipt of both the admissions application and transcripts.

UW–Madison accepts the Duolingo English Test (DET) as supplemental information but it does not fulfill the TOEFL/IELTS requirement.
Scores from either the ACT or the SAT are not required of transfer applicants. However, if you’ve taken either test, we encourage you to provide us with your scores. Your results will be considered as supplemental academic information and may help strengthen your application. We do not require the writing portion of either the ACT or the SAT. Test scores should be sent directly from the testing service. Our test code is 4656 for the ACT and 1846 for the SAT. Do not send your results rush (SAT) or priority (ACT); we receive all scores electronically on a daily basis so there is not an advantage to rush or priority delivery.