University of Wisconsin-Madison: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a public research university with an acceptance rate of 53%. UW-Madison is the flagship school of the Wisconsin university system. The waterfront campus occupies over 900 acres between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. Wisconsin has a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and it frequently ranks among the top public universities in the country. It is well respected for the research conducted in its nearly 100 research centers. In athletics, most of the Wisconsin Badger teams compete in the NCAA's Division 1-A as a member of the Big Ten Conference.

Considering applying to UW-Madison? Here are the admissions statistics you should know, including average SAT/ACT scores and GPAs of admitted students.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, University of Wisconsin had an acceptance rate of 53%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 53 students were admitted, making UW-Madison's admissions process competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2018-19)
Number of Applicants 43,921
Percent Admitted 53%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 32%

SAT Scores and Requirements

University of Wisconsin-Madison requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 28% of admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 630 710
Math 680 780
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that most of UW-Madison's admitted students fall within the top 20% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to University of Wisconsin-Madison scored between 630 and 710, while 25% scored below 630 and 25% scored above 710. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 680 and 780, while 25% scored below 680 and 25% scored above 780. Applicants with a composite SAT score of 1490 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at UW-Madison.

Requirements

UW-Madison does not require the optional SAT essay section or SAT Subject tests. Note that UW-Madison does not superscore SAT results; your highest total SAT score from a single test date will be considered. UW-Madison encourages students to submit all scores.

ACT Scores and Requirements

UW-Madison requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 79% of admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 27 34
Math 26 32
Composite 27 32

This admissions data tells us that most of UW-Madison's admitted students fall within the top 15% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to UW-Madison received a composite ACT score between 27 and 32, while 25% scored above 32 and 25% scored below 27.

Requirements

UW-Madison does not require the ACT writing section. Note that UW-Madison does not superscore ACT results; your highest composite ACT score will be considered. 

GPA

In 2019, the average high school GPA for incoming University of Wisconsin-Madison freshmen was 3.87, and over 80% of incoming students had average GPAs of 3.75 and above. These results suggest that most successful applicants to UW-Madison have primarily A grades.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

University of Wisconsin Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph.
University of Wisconsin Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph. Data courtesy of Cappex.

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to University of Wisconsin-Madison. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

The University of Wisconsin-Madison, which accepts approximately half of applicants, has a selective admissions process. If your SAT/ACT scores and GPA fall within the school's average ranges, you have a strong chance of being accepted. Keep in mind that UW-Madison has a holistic admissions process involving other factors beyond your grades and test scores. A strong application essay and glowing letters of recommendation can strengthen your application, as can participation in meaningful extracurricular activities and a rigorous course schedule. The university looks for applicants with four years of English and math; three to four years of social studies, science, and a single foreign language; and two years of fine arts, or an additional academic course. Applicants should note that admissions expectations may be different in majors and programs such as business, engineering, dance, and music.

In the graph above, accepted students are represented by the green and blue dots. You can see that the majority of students who were admitted to Wisconsin had a high school average of B+/A- or higher, an ACT composite score above 24, and a combined SAT score (ERW+M) of above about 1150. The chances for admission increase as grades and test scores increase.