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High School Students

If you are currently in high school and you are interested in studying business as a University of Wisconsin–Madison undergraduate, you will start by choosing from two pathways to the Wisconsin BBA Program.

Starting Out As a UW-Madison Student

The majority of students enroll as first-year UW–Madison students, applying to the Wisconsin School of Business in the spring of their first year. Students who follow this path use the pre-business admission process to apply to the Wisconsin BBA Program. If you choose this path, you will apply to UW-Madison when you are high school.

This traditional path is advantageous because it invites you to explore your options without committing to an undergraduate business degree.

Find your admissions pathway »

Seeking Direct Admission to the Wisconsin School of Business

A very limited number of high school students are admitted directly to the Wisconsin BBA Program using our direct admit process. This option is best suited to seniors in high school who have already demonstrated an exceptional commitment to pursuing a business career. This commitment may be in the form of school involvement (clubs, organizations, courses), entrepreneurial activities, and/or relevant work experience. Every student's experience is different. In the selection process, we look for specific personal qualities that are demonstrated or gained through the student's experiences.

The direct admit process does not place students in an honors program. All Wisconsin BBA students have a similar undergraduate experience, whether they are admitted through the pre-business process or the direct admit process.

If you apply through the direct admit program and are denied admission, but you are accepted by UW–Madison, you can still become a Business Badger in the future. You would enroll in UW–Madison to start, and then use the pre-business admission process to apply for the Wisconsin BBA Program in the spring semester of your first year. A denial of admission through the direct admit process does not influence your chances of being accepted to the BBA program through the pre-business process.

Your Journey to Direct Admission

Here are the steps you should follow if you would like to apply for direct admission to the Wisconsin School of Business. Please note that you are only eligible to apply through the direct admit process if you indicate business as your primary area of interest or major in your application for admission to UW–Madison.

  1. Apply to the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
  2. Indicate business or a specific BBA major as your primary area of interest or major on your UW–Madison application. Applicants who do not select business as their primary area of interest or major will not be invited/eligible for direct admission.
    NOTE: To change your primary interest or major with UW–Madison Admissions, please send an email to onwisconsin@admissions.wisc.edu.
  3. All applicants to UW–Madison who indicate business as their primary area of interest or major will be sent an email invitation to apply for the Wisconsin BBA direct admit process.
  4. Applicants interested in being admitted to the Wisconsin BBA Program through the direct admit process must complete a business-specific application for admission, including the submission of additional materials.
    NOTE: It is important that you use the same email on the application for direct admission as you entered as part of your UW–Madison application.
  5. If you would like to review the qualities of an ideal candidate for direct admission to the Wisconsin BBA Program, click here. You can also review the application requirements and key admissions dates in advance, so that you will be prepared to apply through the direct admit process.

Questions along the way? We’re here to help. Reach out to a Wisconsin BBA Student Ambassador or contact the BBA Program Office.

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