Starting the Graduate Application Process
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 degrees and certificates 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.
For general questions about graduate study in the School of Human Ecology, please contact Eric MacKay, the Graduate Program Coordinator.
Graduate Application Process
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.
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.
How to Apply
Each Human Ecology named option sets additional minimum requirements and may require additional application materials. See individual program option for admission requirements:
- Civil Society & Community Research (PhD)
- Consumer Behavior & Family Economics (PhD)
- Design Studies (MS, MFA, PhD)
- Human Development and Family Studies (PhD)
- Master of Science in Human Ecology (MS)
Human Ecology accepts applications once per year for fall admission. The deadline for Fall 2017 admission is closed. Applications for Fall 2018 will open around October 1st. The deadline* to apply is December 1st, 2017.
*Design Studies MFA Applications are due the 1st Monday after January 1.
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 in late February.