Selecting the right MBA program for your career goals can be challenging. Our admissions team helps you navigate it all—from defining overall program fit to deciding which specialization is the best match. Our team’s mission is to work with you at every stage, from inquiry to application.

How We Help

  • Discuss your values and career aspirations to get the most value from your MBA
  • Explore general areas of business—marketing, finance, operations, or strategic management—to set you on your path to a tailored career
  • Zero in on the specialization that is your best fit, and show you the many ways you’ll get access to industry professionals, key mentors and advisors, and top corporate partners in your area of interest with our distinctive career specialization model.

How to Learn More

  • Schedule a consultation. Whether you know exactly what specialized area you want or you are exploring options, our staff is experienced and passionate about walking through the decision process with you. Email us at mba@wsb.wisc.edu to schedule a phone, Skype, or in-person appointment.
  • Read. Our Admissions FAQs cover a wide range of topics.
  • Watch. Watch webinars on admissions topics.
  • Call or email. Contact the Wisconsin MBA Admissions Team.

And, if you are ready to apply, review the requirements below.

Overview of Application Requirements

Documents You Need to Provide

  • Completed Wisconsin Full-Time MBA admission application form
  • Transcripts validating completion of a four-year degree or equivalent
  • Standardized test scores (GMAT or GRE, as well as TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE for international students)
  • Current résumé
  • Personal essay(s) responding to the application question(s)
  • One letter of recommendation, preferably from a professional colleague or supervisor

Other Requirements

  • Admissions interview (by invitation of the admissions committee)
  • Application fee

Good Study Habits Lead to Stronger Results

For those who want to know how to get a good GMAT score, preparation is very important. Statistics from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) show that a higher number of study hours correlates with higher scores.

Taking a GMAT practice test is an effective way to replicate the testing environment and familiarize yourself with the types of questions asked on the GMAT. You can experience what it is like to take the GMAT exam with a free mini quiz from GMAC and the Wisconsin School of Business.

Take a sample GMAT test

Application Requirements in Detail

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  • Degree Equivalent

    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 equivalent to a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree. Minimum degree equivalents for some countries can be found here.

  • Degrees/Transcripts

    A bachelor’s degree from an approved (accredited) institution is required. International applicants must have a degree comparable to an approved U.S. bachelor’s degree. You are able to submit your application with unofficial transcripts; certified copies of transcripts from the institution where the degree was conferred are required for all admitted students.

    Official transcripts must be received by June 15 and can be submitted in one of two ways. Official transcripts may be mailed directly from your undergraduate institution in a sealed and stamped envelope sent to the Wisconsin MBA Program Office. Official transcripts may also be submitted electronically via email to ryan.schwenn@wisc.edu.

  • Standardized Test Scores (GMAT or GRE)

    A Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score is preferred and should be taken within five years of the term for which you are applying. Please direct the testing service to forward your test results to the University of Wisconsin–Madison (institution code: 79K-2S-72).

    The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) will also be accepted. Please direct the testing service to forward your test results to the University of Wisconsin–Madison (institution Code: 1846).

  • Résumé

    A one-page résumé outlining your professional, academic, and personal achievements. You may find the following resources helpful as you prepare your résumé.

  • Essays

    Required Short Answer Questions

    The short answer questions are required, and are an opportunity for you to share more information about your career goals. Please answer the question in full.

    1. Why have you selected your specialization of choice? What actions have you taken to better understand your intended specialization?
    2. What are your career goals immediately following the completion of your degree? In the event that your career goals change or shift from your original intentions, what is your alternative plan?

    Recommended Essay

    The recommended essay is an opportunity to share more of your unique experiences with the Admissions Committee; it is not required to submit your application.

    Please choose one of the prompts below, and answer the question in full. You may discuss personal or professional examples; however, if you choose to speak about a personal experience please discuss the impact that experience has had on your professional life. Also, please indicate at the top of your essay which prompt you have chosen to answer.

    1. Tell us about a time you stepped out of your comfort zone. What did you learn about yourself and how have you used that knowledge since?
    2. Tell us about a time you demonstrated leadership in a way that made an enduring impact. What did you learn about your strengths and weaknesses as a leader from that experience?
    3. Tell us about a time when your opinion evolved through conversations with others. How did you use this experience to adjust the way you work when a part of a team environment?
    4. Tell us about a significant obstacle you have encountered and its impact. What did you learn about your ability to persevere and successfully face challenges head-on?

    Optional Essay

    Please use this optional essay to communicate additional information about yourself that is not otherwise represented in the application, and that you feel would benefit the admissions committee.

  • Letter(s) of Recommendation

    One recommendation is required; however, the admissions committee will accept up to two recommendations. Select a recommender who is qualified to evaluate your potential for leadership or management. He or she should have a strong understanding of your abilities and be familiar with solid examples of your accomplishments. This individual may be a current or past supervisor or manager, a client or vendor, or a representative of a volunteer or community organization in which you are involved.

    You will enter your recommender’s name and email address into your application. The recommender will then receive an email with a link to your recommendation form. The recommendation forms are submitted separately from your application upon its completion. You should not wait for your recommender to submit his or her recommendation before submitting your application; however, your application will not be reviewed without the recommendation form.

  • Admissions Interview

    Admission interviews are by invitation only once you have submitted a completed application. The interview will be conducted either in person, by phone, or by videoconference. If you would like to meet with a member of the admissions team to learn more about program, discuss your specific application, and ask questions, you can arrange a time to meet in person or by phone. Contact the MBA Admissions Team to get started.

  • Prerequisites/Suggested Courses

    There are no prerequisite courses for students in the MBA program. If you would like to take a course prior to starting your Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program, a statistics and/or an economics course would be beneficial.

  • Application Fee

    The application fee is $75 for both domestic (non-international) and international students. There is an additional processing fee of $6 for international students. Fee waivers are available to those who have served on active duty in the U.S. Military within three years of applying. Payment by credit or debit card is available through the online application system. Admissions decisions will not be communicated to the applicant until the application fee has been received.

International Applicants

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Applicants whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must complete either the Internet-based (100 or higher) or paper-based (600 or higher) TOEFL. The test must be taken within two years of your intended start term. Please direct the Educational Testing Service to forward your test results to the University of Wisconsin–Madison (institution code: 1846).

Results of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or PTE (Pearson Test of English, institution code: NML-ZH-25) will also be accepted. An IELTS minimum score of 7.5 or higher, or a PTE Internet-based score of 73 or higher or paper-based score of 80 or higher, are required.

An international applicants whose four-year undergraduate degree and/or master’s degree (minimum of eight semesters total) instruction was in English, or who will complete such a degree prior to matriculation at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, may request a waiver. To request a waiver for the language test requirement, please select the TOEFL test type in your online application and select “Request a Waiver” for the English proficiency test. We will confirm that English is the language used at the academic institution where your degree was conferred.

Financial Statement

Evidence of adequate financial resources for the anticipated duration of the program is required for visa documentation by the federal government and is only required upon admission to the Wisconsin MBA Program. This document is not required as a part of the Wisconsin MBA application.

Diversity Network (Consortium) Applicants

The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management is the nation’s largest diversity network, linking top-tier students, leading MBA programs, and corporate partners. The organization's mission is to increase the representation of African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic Americans in education and business.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents who can demonstrate a commitment to The Consortium’s mission can apply to the Wisconsin MBA through The Consortium and be considered for a Consortium fellowship. Consortium fellowships are provided by the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program and include, at a minimum, full tuition and fees for the duration of the MBA program. Other Consortium benefits to participating students include mentoring and career management services.

Joint JD/MBA Applicants

The dual graduate degree in law and business is a cooperative program between the University of Wisconsin Law School and the Wisconsin School of Business. In most instances, completing the requirements for the JD/MBA Program will add about a year of study to the three years it usually takes to complete law school, and will save approximately one year of study.

Applicants to the JD/MBA Program must apply and be admitted independently to both the Law School and the Wisconsin School of Business. It is recommended that you apply to both programs within the same year. Admission to the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program will be deferred for one year while you complete your first year of study in law. You pay only one application fee. For assistance, please contact the MBA Admissions Team.