International Students

Information for international students considering applying to La Follette School of Public Affairs.  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

  • Photo of Master of International Public Affairs student Ben Vargas

    Ben Vargas, MIPA

    "I was drawn to the Accelerated MIPA program when I learned that I could gain skills and earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years by the age of 22."

  • Photo of Jessie Martin

    Jessie Martin, MPA

    "While shaping and improving public policy is still a major interest of mine, I took an increasing interest in how government policies and programs are administered."

  • Photo of Elizabeth Johnson

    Elizabeth Johnson, MPA, MPH

    "If you are looking to create a better future for yourself or the world, you will have the opportunity to learn how to do that here at La Follette."

  • Photo of Liliana Keomanivong Teniente

    Liliana Keomanivong Teniente, MPA

    "As a true believer in 'The Wisconsin Idea,' I have always sought to take my own learning beyond the boundaries of this campus, help others, and create positive change."

  • Nichole Springer is a Master of International Public Affairs student.

    Nichole Springer, MIPA

    "One of the most rewarding experiences at La Follette is being surrounded by a great cohort. Their talent, passion, and hard work also lifts me up as I continue to study."

  • More student and alumni contacts