Admissions Requirements

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Standardized Test Scores (GMAT or GRE)

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  • What test scores are required for admission?

    Applicants may submit either Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. The GMAT institution code for Wisconsin School of Business Ph.D. applicants is 79K-2S-02. Official GRE scores ordered from Educational Testing Service (ETS) should be sent to code number 1846.

  • Is there a minimum GMAT or GRE test score requirement?

    There is no minimum score requirements for the GMAT or GRE, but students scoring lower than the 90th percentile will typically be less competitive applicants. Average test scores for the current Ph.D. class are detailed in the class profile.

Residency Requirements

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Admissions Process

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  • What is the acceptance rate for the Wisconsin Ph.D. Program in business?

    The program is selective and competitive in nature. The average acceptance rate for the five-year period from 2012–2016 is 12 percent.

  • What type of applicant does the Wisconsin Ph.D. Program in business seek?

    The Wisconsin School of Business seeks future scholars who will have the capacity to increase intellectual understanding of business theory and practice, and who can effectively transmit this knowledge to fellow business scholars, professionals, and students.

    The emphasis of the Wisconsin Ph.D. in business is on academic research and preparation for tenure-track positions at the top research universities in the nation and the world. Although some graduates will find options available to them in private industry, those whose primary interest is a career in business or industry may wish to consider alternative degree programs.

  • What is the deadline to apply?

    The annual application deadline is December 15. Applications must be complete and submitted no later than December 15 in order to be considered for admission and financial aid.

  • What do I need to submit to complete my application?

    All parts of the application are submitted online. They include the following:

    • Completed online admission application form
    • Statement of purpose for graduate study
    • Two essays in response to the application questions, and one survey response
    • Standardized test scores (GMAT or GRE, as well as TOEFL or IELTS for international students only)
    • Transcripts from each institution attended
    • Three letters of recommendation, preferably from academics
    • Current résumé or curriculum vitae (CV)

    For additional details about application requirements, see How to Apply.

  • How are admissions decisions made in the Wisconsin Ph.D. Program in business?

    Each application is considered holistically by the admissions committee, with consideration given to academic background, written essays, standardized test scores, and academic recommendations.

    Admission decisions are made by the appropriate independent department admission committee. Each department offering a Ph.D. has its own committee of faculty members, and they review applications independently and by methods determined within that department. Specific criteria and standards of applicant competitiveness vary by department.

  • When are admissions decisions made in the Wisconsin Ph.D. Program in business?

    Each academic department has its own independent admissions committee and admissions process. Some departments consider all applications in a group only after the December 15 deadline, when all applications are complete; other departments consider applications on a “rolling basis,” or as they are designated complete throughout the admissions season.

Admissions Decisions

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  • When can I expect a decision on my application?

    There is no predetermined time frame in which you may expect a decision. Most decisions are made in February or March, and you should expect a decision no later than mid-April.

  • How are admission decisions communicated?

    Decisions of each independent department admission committee are posted to the online application website, where only the applicant may view the decision. The applicant will receive an email notification that the decision has been posted. Decisions are never communicated over the telephone. If an applicant is admitted, the offer of a financial package will be communicated with the admission decision.

  • How can I check the status of my application?

    Once you have established an online account with the Wisconsin School of Business, you may check the status of your application for the Ph.D. program in business online. Please be aware that there may be some delay between receipt of the materials and application status updates.

Financial Assistance

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  • How do I apply for financial aid?

    All applicants to the Wisconsin Ph.D. Program in business are automatically considered for funding packages. Academic departments strive to create the most competitive financial award packages possible each year. In general, all students admitted receive a full funding package. See Financing Your Ph.D. for additional details.

  • What does a funding package typically include?

    Typically, admitted students will receive full tuition remission, as well as a monthly stipend as compensation for a teaching or project assistant position. Wisconsin Ph.D. students at the Wisconsin School of Business also receive a comprehensive health insurance plan for themselves and their eligible dependents. See Financing Your Ph.D. for additional details.

  • Is any supplementary assistance available from specific academic departments?

    Academic departments may offer summer teaching, research appointments, or other forms of scholarship support to supplement the academic-year package. In addition, several departments offer funding for research presentations at major conferences.

  • Are scholarships or fellowships available?

    Yes. Applicants with strong potential for achievement in an academic setting may be awarded scholarships or fellowships as part of their funding packages.

  • How long is funding support available?

    In general, students are guaranteed four academic years of support and may receive additional research or teaching support if needed. Packages may vary from year to year and from department to department. Funding for the student’s fifth year is usually available as long as the student is making progress toward degree completion. 

  • What are the teaching expectations and responsibilities in the Wisconsin Ph.D. Program in business?

    Teaching will be an integral part of your training to become a tenure-track university professor. Teaching expectations and responsibilities vary by academic department. Each doctoral student will serve as the professor in charge for at least one course during their time in the program.

    Most students also work as teaching assistants. Duties will vary, and might include helping a faculty member with grading and class preparation, leading discussion sections, and holding office hours to support undergraduate students.

International Applicants

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  • Do international applicants have special test requirements?

    All applicants whose native language is not English or whose four-year undergraduate education was not completed in a country where English is the native language must complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), administered through the Educational Testing Service. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is also accepted. The test must be taken within two years of the date you begin classes.

    Our recommended TOEFL score is 106 on the Internet-based test.

  • Am I eligible for a TOEFL or IELTS waiver? How do I request one?

    Individuals who have completed a four-year (minimum of eight semesters) bachelor’s degree in a country where the official language is English are not required to submit test scores and may request a waiver on the online application. Individuals who will complete such a degree by June prior to matriculation may also request a waiver of the test requirement.

    A master’s degree alone from an English-speaking institution does not qualify for a waiver of the test requirement. Being a citizen or permanent resident of the United States does not automatically exempt an applicant from the test requirement.

  • What are the requirements for international students when submitting academic transcripts?

    After receiving an admission offer, international applicants must provide the Wisconsin School of Business with official documentation (referred to as “official transcripts”) of all courses taken and grades received from each previous undergraduate or postgraduate institution, including proof of degree or diploma. Academic transcripts must have a seal and signature in ink of the registrar, recorder of records, or other authorized official of the institution(s). Documents in another language must be accompanied by official (notarized) English translations.

  • When should I submit the International Student Financial Statement?

    Applicants should wait until they receive an admission decision before submitting the International Student Financial Statement and documentation. This document is not required as part of the application for the Wisconsin Ph.D. Program in business. Evidence of adequate financial resources for the anticipated duration of the program (including support for any family members who accompany the student to the United States) is required for visa documentation by the federal government. Only original, signed copies are accepted.

Underrepresented Populations

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Information for Families

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Admissions Events and Visits

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