Admitted graduate students connect with La Follette community during Visit Day

Aerial photo of UW–Madison's campus.

In March, the La Follette School hosted 25 in-person and 21 remote attendees at its annual Visit Day, which gives students who have been admitted to the school’s master’s programs the chance to gather information to make an informed decision about earning an MPA or MIPA degree at UW–Madison.

During the visit, attendees got to know some of the school’s faculty members through an introduction from La Follette School Director and Professor Susan Webb Yackee and a panel with La Follette faculty members Mariel Barnes, Jason Fletcher, and Jon Pevehouse. New this year, several outstanding alumni then joined the group to share their career paths and how they use their La Follette School degree in their current work.

Admitted students also got a window into the student experience through breakout groups with current students, attending Professor Greg Nemet’s class Public Affairs 873: Introduction to Policy Analysis, and a social event at Union South hosted by the La Follette School Student Association (LSSA). MPA student Carlos Puga served as co-presenter and collaborator in the planning of the day. Throughout the day, attendees were given essential context around curriculum, student life, and support while engaging with the La Follette School community. Many students, alumni, and staff generously shared their time, which allowed many small group and one-on-one connections to be made.

“Our goal is to plan a very intentional Visit Day experience that gives a sense of what admitted applicants could expect should they choose to join us in the La Follette School this coming fall,” said graduate program manager Mo O’Connor.

Several students accepted the La Follette School’s offer to attend immediately following the visit. Students cited the prestige of the La Follette School, the excellent faculty and staff, a personalized education, the community feel, and the quantitative focus of the program as some of the reasons they chose to pursue their MPA or MIPA degree at UW–Madison.

Students also noted the great value a La Follette degree provides. “La Follette offered me by far the best funding package,” commented one student. “As someone from a low-income background, I would not be able to attend grad school without such generous financial support. It also shows me La Follette truly believes in its students and wants us to succeed without insurmountable debt. The school’s talk matches its walk in terms of equity and inclusion. I also greatly appreciated how welcomed and valued I felt throughout the application process.”

Recruiting an excellent class of graduate students and sharing information and experiences to help them make an informed admission decision is truly a team effort, led by O’Connor and student services associate David Wright-Racette. The La Follette School looks forward to welcoming the 2025 MPA/MIPA cohort this fall.

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