The University of Wisconsin–Madison's La Follette School of Public Affairs seeks candidates who demonstrate the ability and experience to engage in a rigorous public affairs graduate program. The faculty Admissions Committee looks for evidence of strong academic achievement, relevant experience, potential for success in the public affairs graduate programs, commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion, and capacity to do well in a public service career, through a holistic review of each student's application, transcripts, GRE, references, resume, and statement of purpose.
All applications that are received by January 1 will be given priority consideration for admission and funding. Applications will be considered after that date on a rolling admissions basis.
Application Steps and Requirements
- Please read all the admission requirements before proceeding.
- Complete the online application for fall admission to the UW-Madison Graduate School.
Please upload a current resume to the online application.
- Statement of Purpose
The statement of purpose provides you the opportunity to demonstrate your motivation to pursue a Master of Public Affairs (MPA) or Master of International Public Affairs (MIPA) degree and your commitment to a career dedicated to public service. Reflect on the experiences shaping your decision to apply and how a degree from the La Follette School of Public Affairs will help you make progress toward your personal and/or professional goals. You also can use this opportunity to share what or how you will contribute to the diversity of the La Follette School community. The essay, no more than two double-spaced pages, should be uploaded to the online application.
If you have faced unusual or extenuating circumstances that may impact your application to the La Follette School, you may choose to describe how they have impacted your academic record on a separate page but in the same document as your statement of purpose. This section should not exceed 150 words. It will not negatively impact your application whether you include this section or not.
- Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
The admissions committee prefers at least two references from previous professors who can speak to your potential as a graduate student. Recommenders will receive an email from UW-Madison after you enter their name and email address into the online application and they should submit letters electronically by following the directions in the email. Letters must be received by January 1 in order to you to be considered for priority admission and funding.
Applicants must submit undergraduate transcripts in pdf format as part of the graduate school application. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. If you are accepted to La Follette and decide to attend, you will then be required to submit official transcripts to the UW-Madison Graduate School. However, to be considered for priority admission and funding, you only need to provide unofficial transcripts by January 1.
- GRE Scores
All students must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores before they can be considered for admission. It normally takes two to four weeks for the Educational Testing Service to download GRE scores to UW–Madison. Applicants should plan to take the GRE by early November to make the January priority consideration deadline. The UW–Madison institution code is 1846. The LSAT, MCA, and GMAT cannot be used in place of the GRE. The GRE must have been taken within the past five years.
- English as a Foreign Language Testing
Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose entire undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB). TOEFL information can be found at www.ets.org. The La Follette School requires a TOEFL paper-based test score of 580 or above, TOEFL computer-based test score of 237 or above, TOEFL Internet-based test score of 92 or above, IELTS score of 7 or above, or MELAB of 82 or above. The admissions committee may ask a student regardless of their English test results to take a University of Wisconsin–Madison English assessment test upon arrival, and the student must register for any recommended English-as-a-second-language course(s) in the first semester of graduate study.