University of Wisconsin–Madison

Prospective Students

Given the broad nature of the Zoology Graduate Program, there are no strict prerequisites for admission. Interested applicants should identify and contact potential faculty advisors. Admission to the graduate program is contingent upon being accepted by an individual faculty advisor. Applicants should contact potential faculty advisors by email early in the application process to discuss mutual interests and to determine if the faculty member is actively recruiting graduate students.

All applicants for admission are considered for departmental funding. Most graduate students receive an appointment with their admission offer (either a research assistantship or a teaching assistantship), which provides tuition remission, health insurance, and a stipend.

On average, the Zoology Graduate Program receives over 50 applications each year, and between 5-10 applicants matriculate. Successful applicants typically have an excellent undergraduate GPA, competitive GRE scores, outstanding letters of recommendation, and undergraduate or graduate research experience. More information and an overview of the Zoology Graduate Program is available on the Graduate School website.

The application deadline is December 1. No late applications will be considered for admission. Applications are reviewed in January and selected applicants are invited to campus for an interview weekend in February. Final admission decisions are made by the end of March, and in accordance with the Council of Graduate Schools Resolution, applicants have until April 15 to respond to an offer of admission.

Application Checklist

1. Graduate School Requirements. Before applying, please consult the UW-Madison Graduate School website to verify that you have met the minimum requirements for admission.

2. Online Application. Applications must be submitted electronically. To access the UW-Madison Graduate School online application: Click Here

3. Reasons for Graduate Study. A personal statement (one to two pages) that includes areas of research interest and names of prospective faculty advisors must be uploaded in the online application.

4. Transcripts. Transcripts must be uploaded in the online application from each institution that you have attended (undergraduate and graduate), even if no degree was received. Unofficial transcripts are accepted for the application process, but upon acceptance to the Zoology Graduate Program, official transcripts will be required. Please note that international academic records must be in the original language accompanied by an official English translation. Do not send hard copies of your transcripts to the UW-Madison Graduate Admissions Office — we will not receive them by December 1 and your application will be incomplete.

5. Three Letters of Recommendation. Letters should be from persons familiar with your academic and research abilities. Instructions for letters of recommendation are on the UW-Madison Graduate School website. Please track your application status through MyUW to see if letters of recommendation have been submitted on your behalf. You may send reminders to your recommenders to ensure the letters are submitted by December 1.

6. Official GRE Scores. The GRE General Test is required, but the Subject Tests are not. The Zoology Graduate Program does not have a minimum score requirement for the GRE. On the GRE registration form, use code number 1846 for “Institution”. GRE scores must be received by December 1.

7. Official TOEFL Scores. The TOEFL is required for applicants who have not completed at least two full-time semesters of graded course work, exclusive of ESL courses, in a U.S. college or university, or at an institution outside the U.S. where English is the exclusive language of instruction. The Graduate School’s minimum TOEFL requirement is 92 for the internet-based test or 580 for the paper-based test. On the TOEFL registration form, use code number 1846 for “Institution”. TOEFL scores must be received by December 1.

8. Resume or CV. A resume or CV is required and must be uploaded in the online application.

9. Application Fee. UW-Madison charges a non-refundable $75 application fee that must be paid by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or debit/ATM card in the online application system. In addition to the $75 application fee, non-U.S. citizens will be charged a $6 international document processing fee. Both fees will be processed during the submission of your application.


For questions or if you have trouble uploading any of the required documents, contact:

Kayla Pelland
Student Services Coordinator
B154 Birge Hall
430 Lincoln Dr.
Madison, WI 53706