Admission Requirements for Visiting International Students

Requirements for admission to the Visiting International Student Program at UW-Madison differ depending on your level of education.

Undergraduate Level Students

If you have not completed your college, undergraduate, or postsecondary degree by the time you arrive to study in Madison, you will need to submit your most recent college transcript showing your grades through your last complete semester. In general we are able to admit undergraduate students who are in good standing at their home university and who have at least a 3.0 grade point average (B average) on the U.S. 4.00 scale. View this conversion guide to see how your country’s grades may convert to the U.S. system. English language requirement: see below.

Graduate and Dissertator Level Students

If you have already completed your undergraduate degree, you do not need to submit any college transcripts, but you will need to indicate on your application where you earned your undergraduate degree and whether you are currently working on graduate coursework or a dissertation. Most graduate students at UW-Madison have earned at least a 3.00 B average on their college-level work prior to admission to graduate degree programs here. English language requirement: see below.

You do not need to be a current graduate student to apply as a graduate-level student. Many international students in our program are working on graduate school pre-requisites to be able to apply for graduate programs in the future. Check with the UW graduate program department office to see if credit courses taken as a nondegree University Special student will later count toward graduate degree credit in a program at UW-Madison. You may be assessed additional fees in the future if this credit is later accepted into the program.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

If you are not a native speaker of English or if you did not complete your undergraduate degree from a college in which English was the language of instruction, you must provide evidence that you meet the minimum level of proficiency.

We accept the following tests and require the minimum score indicated next to the test:

  • TOEFL: 80 for Internet (iBT) and 550 for paper test or 213 (computer-based)
  • MELAB: 77
  • IELTS: 6.5

Please contact our nondegree international student advisors ( if you have other English credentials.

Once you arrive on campus we can offer you a free English placement test (ESLAT) before the start of classes which may help you learn whether taking additional English at UW-Madison might be beneficial. Many of our degree-seeking international students take ESL classes while they take other courses. NOTE: ESL credits count toward your minimum credit load requirement.