Puddles of rain water dot the Memorial Union Terrace chairs and tables following a passing summer thunderstorm at University of Wisconsin-Madison at sunset on June 28, 2017. (Photo by Jeff Miller / UW-Madison)

PhD Program: Prospective Students

Application Process

Application Due Date

Applications for fall 2023 admission are due December 1, 2022.

Applications are to be submitted online directly to the Graduate School.

How to Apply:

To apply for admission to our PhD program, you will need to complete the Graduate School’s online application. This application includes the Department’s Supplemental Application, which will provide us with more detailed information about your research interests. Below you will find guidance for filling out the application and a description of the materials you will be asked to submit. Once you have read the following information carefully, go to the Graduate School’s Apply Now page.

  • Preferred Faculty Advisor. Provide the names of up to three faculty members with whom you would like to work. We encourage you to explore the research specializations of individual faculty members. Be sure that the expertise of the faculty you list is consistent with your research interests.
  • Personal Statement. The personal statement is a place for you to communicate your reasons for attending graduate school, what your career goals are, and why you think the University of Wisconsin—Madison is the best place for the training that will help you meet your goals.  Be sure to tell us in your personal statement if you have prior research experience and your role in that research. Explain the research area or topics that you want to pursue for your PhD (maximum 1,000 words).
  • Writing Sample. Please include a 10 – 20 page writing sample with your application materials (should not exceed 25 pages).
  • Planned Concentration. Indicate the concentration you plan to pursue. See the list of concentrations here and be sure that your planned concentration aligns with your research interests as described in your Personal Statement.
  • Transcripts – Upload an unofficial copy of your transcript from all institutions attended, showing any undergraduate and graduate degrees awarded. If accepted, you will be required to send an official transcript from each institution.
  • CV or Resumé – This should highlight your accomplishments and qualifications including academic honors or distinctions; professional, research, and/or teaching experience; and any publications.
  • Letters of recommendation – Provide contact information for the three individuals who will furnish recommendations on your behalf. (They will receive an upload link by email.)
  • Application fee waivers – The Graduate School offers a limited number of application fee waivers so that the application fee ($75) is not a barrier for domestic students (find more information about fee waiver criteria on the Graduate School’s website). The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies offers a limited number of fee waivers for international applicants. International applicants should complete the Department’s fee waiver application (fee waivers for international students are no longer available for the fall 2023 application cycle). Please note: international students will be required to pay a $6 processing fee even if granted an application fee waiver.