How to Apply

Step 1: Understand the Graduate Application Process

UW SoHE common Area

Graduate education in the School of Human Ecology is similar to undergraduate studies in many ways but is distinctive in terms of opportunities, expectations, and processes. All graduate students, for example, must have an advisor who not only assists with such things as course selection, but also mentors students in research and/or creative scholarship.

To ensure that your application reaches those who can be of greatest help in achieving your goals, it is important to carefully reflect on your personal and professional objectives in relation to a graduate program’s options and faculty scholarship. By its nature, graduate education assumes a good deal of self-directedness on the part of the learner. SoHE faculty and students think of themselves as a community of scholars focused on generating, articulating, and applying carefully founded original and creative insights.

Suggestions for Getting Started
  • State Your Purpose Outline your initial reasons for pursuing graduate study, thinking about the problem you wish to examine, why this area of inquiry is important to you, and the personal and professional goals you wish to achieve. If you can, tell how this focus will build on your past experience and how it will complement or extend efforts others have made to date.
  • Research Our Programs Learn more about our degree options and our academic departments, faculty research and engaged scholarship here at SoHE.
  • Learn About Our Centers Examine the work SoHE’s research and development centers, which provide additional opportunities for networking and support among our faculty and students.
  • Visit Us Arrange to visit us and meet with the graduate contact for your program of interest regarding offerings and opportunities that may match your goals.
  • Refine Your Purpose After doing the above, refine reasons for pursuing graduate study (to submit with application), if appropriate, and complete the application process.
Know Who Makes the Decision

Graduate admission is a shared process at UW-Madison. The faculty in the option to which you apply evaluate your application and make a recommendation to the UW Graduate School regarding admission. The final decision is made by the UW Graduate School.

Step 2: Review the Minimum Admission Requirements

For admission to any of the Human Ecology graduate degrees, applicants must complete the online UW Graduate School application and pay the $75 application fee. Applicants should refer to both the UW Graduate School Requirements and to the requirements of the academic option within the School of Human Ecology.

  • The Graduate School sets minimum admissions requirements, including grades, undergraduate degrees required, and English proficiency requirements. At this link you can also find financial information requirements for international students, details about the application process, and the online application.

Step 3: Apply!

Each Human Ecology named option sets additional minimum requirements and may require additional application materials. Click on an individual program option to view admission requirements:

Step 4: Admission Notification

By mid-February at the latest you will be notified of your admission decision. This notice may come via email or postal mail so be sure to update your online application if your address changes between the time you apply and mid-February.

SoHE Graduate Visit Day

The School of Human Ecology hosts a visit day for prospective graduate students who have been offered admission to its programs, typically the last Friday in February.

Contact Info

For general questions about our graduate programs, application process, dates and deadlines, and events, please individual department contact.

Director of SoHE Graduate Studies: Associate Professor Sigan Hartley

 Graduate Program ChairDepartment Chair
Civil Society and Community StudiesBrian McInnesCynthia Jasper
Consumer ScienceJ. Michael CollinsNancy Wong
Design StudiesJung-hye ShinJung-hye Shin
Human Development and Family StudiesKristin LitzelmanHeather Kirkorian
Master of Science in Human EcologySarah Halpern-Meekin