Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

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 that a candidate will successfully complete the program through a holistic review of each applicant's application, transcripts, GRE, references, resume and the statement of purpose.

Cohorts start each fall term. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions. 

Deadlines

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 

  1. Please read all the admission requirements before proceeding.

  2. Complete the online application for fall admission to the UW-Madison Graduate School. 

  3. Resume
    Please upload a current resume to the online application. 

  4. Statement of Purpose
    The statement of purpose provides you the opportunity to demonstrate your motivation to pursue the Master of Public Affairs (MPA) or Master of International Public Affairs (MIPA) and your commitment to a public service career. You can use this opportunity to explain how you might contribute to the diversity of the La Follette community. The essay, no more than two pages, double-spaced, should be uploaded to the online application. If you have faced unusual or extenuating circumstances that you would like the admissions committee to be aware of, we welcome you to describe how these challenges have impacted your academic record on a separate page but in the same document as your statement of purpose. This section should be no more than 150 words. It will not impact your application negatively if you leave this section blank. 

  5. 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. 

  6. Transcripts
    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. 

  7. 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. 

  8. 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.

If you encounter any technical difficulties with the application, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Application Fee (submitted with online application)

A $75.00 non-refundable application fee is required when you apply. It can be paid by credit card (Mastercard or Visa) or by debit or ATM cards. Non-U.S. citizens must also pay an additional $6 international document processing fee. 

MPA Prerequisite Courses

(A strong MPA applicant has taken these courses and earned a B or above.)
Introduction to microeconomics or course equivalent to Microeconomics 101
Introduction to statistics or calculus or course equivalent to Statistics 301 or Calculus 211 or Math 221
Introduction to American government or course equivalent to Political Science 104

MIPA Prerequisite Courses

(A strong MIPA applicant has taken these courses and earned a B or above.)
Introduction to microeconomics or course equivalent to Microeconomics 101
Introduction to macroeconomics or course equivalent to Macroeconomics 102
Introduction to statistics or calculus or course equivalent to Statistics 301 or Calculus 211 or Math 221
Comparative politics or international relations or course equivalent to Political Science 120 or Political Science 140
Three semesters of language study (or a year or more experience of living abroad)

Accelerated Program Applicants

Application for admission to the accelerated program for MPA or MIPA is only open to undergraduates currently enrolled at UW-Madison and must be made directly to La Follette after five semesters of undergraduate study. Applications received by January 1 will have priority consideration; later applications will be considered on a rolling admissions basis. Applicants to the accelerated program do not fill out the online application to the UW-Madison Graduate School. 

The following items are required for consideration for the accelerated degree and materials should be sent directly to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applicants do not need to resubmit them when seeking formal Graduate School admission:

Students enrolling in the accelerated program must formally apply for regular Graduate School admission after completing their first year in La Follette's accelerated program by filling out the online application to the UW-Madison Graduate School and submitting an updated resume.

Application Requirements for Reapplicants

Students who began the program and take a semester or more off (not including summer terms) must resubmit the online application and email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with notification of reentry, a resume, and an updated statement of purpose.

Application Requirements for Deferred Applicants

If you were offered admission for the previous year and deferred your enrollment for the allowed one year, you must contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. directly to inform us of your intent to enroll. To be considered for funding, you must complete the online application, pay the fee, and submit an updated resume and statement of purpose by January 1. 

Contact Information

Office of Admissions and Student Services
Phone: 608-262-9163
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.