International Students

Information for international students applying to our graduate programs.  We welcome applications from international students.

International Student Services provides information, workshops, support, and assistance concerning visas.


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Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or a comparable degree from an international institution is required. International applicants must have a degree comparable to a regionally accredited U.S. bachelor’s degree. For specific information about comparable degrees in your country, and which academic documents are required, refer to the Grad School Admissions Requirements web page.

Test of English as a Foreign Language

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) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). TOEFL information can be found at  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, or an IELTS score of 7 or above.  The UW–Madison institution code is 1846. Tests should be completed to ensure scores are received by January 1.

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.

Meet UW-Madison Graduate School Minimum Requirements

Financial documents

The Graduate School does not request financial documents from international applications until a recommendation for admission has been received. Students wishing to learn more about the cost of attending the University of Wisconsin–Madison should consult the office of Financial Aid.

Office of Financial Aid

Summer school

International students are strongly advised to improve their language skills before beginning a La Follette School degree program. The University of Wisconsin–Madison offers two English-as-a-second-language courses during the eight-week summer session:

  • English 110 Intensive English as a Second Language
  • English 118 English as a Second Language: English Composition

For more information about these courses, students should contact the ESL program directly.

Contact admissions staff

Phone: 608-262-9163

Contact students and alumni

  • Portrait of Haoyan Wang.

    Haoyan (Ken) Wang, MIPA

    "I was drawn to La Follette mainly because of its faculty expertise, alumni network, and most importantly, many professional opportunities offered to its students."

  • Portrait of Andrew VanderMeer

    Andrew VanderMeer, MPA

    "The professors, students, and alumni of the La Follette School are part and parcel of so much of government here in Madison, which makes for a wonderful array of career opportunities"

  • Photo of Karina Virrueta Running holding her son, Roman.

    Karina Virrueta Running, MPA ’17

    "The workshop course was as challenging as it was rewarding. I also made lasting friendships with my peers and the professors."

  • Photo of Hilary Shager

    Hilary Shager, MPA ’05

    "La Follette is the epitome of the Wisconsin Idea. And it’s certainly not just about Wisconsin—the staff and faculty have done so much to connect students with alumni and new, real-world opportunities."

  • Photo of Sophia Rogers

    Sophia Rogers, MPA ’19

    "La Follette has prepared and empowered all of us to do amazing things."

  • More student and alumni contacts