Graduate Application Process

Application Deadline

December 15

Please note that there are no spring/summer admissions.

Application Process

For more information visit The Graduate School's Frequently Asked Questions.



The University of Wisconsin—Madison is widely regarded as one of the best public universities in the country, and the Geography Department is considered strong, not only on campus, but also within the discipline. The minimum grade point average (GPA) for admission required by the Graduate School is 3.00 (4.00 scale). Because of strong competition within the Geography Department, our standards are somewhat higher. Applicants with less than a 3.25 GPA should have particularly impressive letters of recommendation and/or scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Other types of excellence may also help a student who lacks a high GPA

Geography is broad and we welcome students with different backgrounds into our graduate programs. We have found that students from different backgrounds do very well in our graduate programs once they have completed breadth requirements in geography.

Proficiency with the English language is vital to functioning in the University classroom. Students whose native language is other than English need to submit the TOEFL scores along with the application. The TOEFL score for students admitted into this department is much higher than that required by the Graduate School, typically over 615 (paper based test), 260 (computer-based test), or 105 (iTOEFL). An international student whose native language is not English but wishes to be considered for teaching assistantships will need to have taken the speaking part of the TOEFL test and have the score reported on the application. See Frequently Asked Questions for exceptions.

Prospective graduate students who have thought about the details of their graduate study, such as the names of individual faculty members with whom they might want to work, courses they might take, and research that they might pursue, are often at an advantage over students who have not given these matters any thought.

The University has special funds for fellowships for U.S. students from minority groups and we encourage such individuals to apply to our program. Applications from international students are also welcome.

More Information

More information about admission or the application process, please contact the Graduate Program Director (gradschool[at] or at (608) 262-3861.


See Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Graduate Study Applications Process.