What Is UW Madison Known For?

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Looking for a great school in the Midwest with a focus on faculty and student research? Consider applying to UW Madison, a public land-grant university with a focus on solving modern-day problems. 

 

UW Madison is located in the city of Madison, with all the conveniences of city life in addition to scenic lakes and woodland just on the outskirts. It’s also only a two-hour drive from Chicago, making it accessible for travel adventures!

 

In this post, we’ll give you the important details about UW Madison, including admissions requirements, majors, extracurricular activities, housing, and how to calculate your chances of acceptance.

 

Overview of UW Madison Admissions

 

Location: Madison, Wisconsin 

Undergrad Enrollment: 31,700

Acceptance Rate: 63%

Middle 50% SAT: 1060-1230

Middle 50% ACT: 18-23

 

UW Admissions is moderately selective. Students can choose to apply using the Common App or the UW System Application. All students need to write two essays, one about themselves, and another “Why UW Madison?” essay. To get accepted, you’ll need a strong “Why This College?” essay that emphasizes what attracts you to UW Madison, your own personal goals, and how UW Madison in particular will help you reach your goals. 

 

The admissions timeline for UW Madison has three deadlines:

  • Spring Regular Decision – October 1
  • Fall Early Action – November 1
  • Fall Regular Decision – October 1

 

In addition to the application, all materials have a deadline of one week after the application deadline (for example, if you’re applying during the Spring Regular Decision, you’ll need to have all your materials in by October 8). 

 

If you’re looking to apply to UW Madison, and want to see where you stand it’s a good idea to find out what your chances are. Learn more about UW Madison and see your chances of acceptance.

 

Unique Aspects of UW Madison

 

Location

 

Madison, the capital of Wisconsin is just west of Milwaukee. It is on an isthmus between Lakes Mendota and Monona. Madison is a mid-size city with a small city feel, with a population of 254,977. 

 

The city boasts a number of bicycle paths, lakeshores, and green parks. There’s a seasonal farmers market and other events like concerts at the park surrounding the State Capitol. State Street is also a popular attraction, a pedestrian mall with stores, restaurants, and art galleries. 

 

Academics

 

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has eight undergraduate schools and colleges within the larger undergraduate university. Each school and college has specific resources, faculty, and academic programs. Within those schools, there are 125 undergraduate majors. 

 

Each program and school has its own requirements in terms of GPA, prerequisites, and audition or portfolio requirements. Popular majors include Economics, Computer and Information Sciences, Biology, Psychology, and Finance. 

 

If there’s one thing UW Madison does well, it’s research. The school ranks 8th in the nation for volume of research, with the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education providing 17 Research and Service Centers. The University has invested over $1.3 in research. For example, the Center for Genomic Science Innovation utilizes genomic strategies to solve real-world problems in medicine, agriculture, and other fields. New faculty members like Donna Werling are studying genome sequences of autism patients.

 

Beyond the opportunities available on campus, UW Madison has a strong study abroad program. Students can even study abroad the summer before starting as a freshman, or their first year through the UW Global & Summer Launch. As a whole, study abroad programs at UW Madison are accessible through a variety of fully-funded programs and fellowships through the UW Global Gateway Initiative. 

 

Extracurriculars

 

UW Madison students love their sports. With 23 sports and almost 900 student-athletes, you can get together with friends to cheer on the Badger’s football or basketball teams. In 2019, the Women’s hockey team won the NCAA Tournament. UW Athletics also boasts the 2020 Big Ten Champion Badger Men’s Basketball team.

 

If you’re not a competitive athlete, there are still so many clubs to join at UW Madison. You can also get involved with a number of recreational sports like softball, ultimate frisbee, rock climbing, or kayaking. 

 

Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission—and how to improve them.

 

Traditions

 

On the top of Bascom Hill, where the campus quad is located, there’s a statue of Abraham Lincoln in a chair. Students like to rub the statue’s foot for some good Abe luck on the first day of their finals each semester. 

 

The tradition continues but in a different form later in your college career. When you graduate you can tell Abe your goals and he’ll grant you the best of luck in your endeavors. Make sure to check out the amazing views of the campus and the city from this vantage point. 

 

Dorms

 

UW Madison has 21 residence halls, with designated learning communities and affinity communities. Learning Communities are a great way to stay connected with those who share similar interests to you. UW Madison has 11 learning communities:

 

  • BioHouse
  • Bradley 
  • Business Connect
  • Chadbourne Residential College 
  • GreenHouse 
  • International 
  • Multicultural
  • Open House
  • StartUp
  • The Studio
  • Women in Science & Engineering

 

The housing is very affordable. Over 90% of freshmen chose to live in the dorms, proving just how integral the dorms are to the UW Madison experience. Some sophomores even chose to return to dorm life, although it’s not required by the university.

 

Each residence hall is composed of “houses”, which are groups of students in residence halls with a “house fellow” assigned to them. UW Madison sees this as a great way to boost students’ community-centric attitudes while they’re living on campus.

 

Financial Aid

 

UW–Madison offers both need- and merit-based aid. Students need to complete the FAFSA to be considered for financial aid. Through Becky’s Tuition Promise, students with a familial income of $60,000 or less receive a period of free tuition. The Badger Promise is reserved for Wisconsin residents who are first-generation college students; these students receive a period of free tuition and segregated fees when they transfer from a 2-year program. 

 

Resources

 

UW Madison is home to a Geology Museum with corals, glowing minerals, and fossil collections. There are guided tours and the staff love to share their passion for the artifacts with small groups and individuals. The University also has the Chazen Museum of Art, home to over 23,000 pieces of art. It was founded in 1885 and still houses some of the original works of art.

 

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance at UW Madison?

 

When you’re applying to colleges, it’s helpful to know where you stand. Depending on your academic history, grades, test scores, and extracurriculars, your chances of getting accepted can vary. 

 

It’s helpful to get a second opinion. We recommend taking out the guesswork and using our free admissions calculator to see what your chances might look like. We factor in your grades, test scores, and extracurriculars to estimate your chances of getting accepted. We’ll also give you tips to improve your profile, so you know what to do to increase your chances of acceptance moving forward. 

 

You’ll also have the option to search for schools that are a great fit for you, and match your own needs in terms of size, location, majors, and more. This free tool is invaluable as you move forward in the college application process.

 

Meghan Lavin
Blog Writer

Short Bio
A teacher, food blogger and avid reader, Meghan is an expert at all things writing and literature. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching, and is pursuing a Master of Arts in Irish Literature and Culture at Boston College currently. Meghan enjoys coffee and cooking.

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