The University of Wisconsin’s Madison campus has never been a more desirable postsecondary destination for top students from around the country/world. As a result, many strong high school students are turned away during the application process. The encouraging news is the fact that UW Madison remains an extremely transfer-friendly institution, welcoming over 2,000 new Badgers every transfer cycle. This blog will share the UW Madison transfer acceptance rate as well as other essential pieces of information like the UW Madison transfer deadline, the requirements/checklist for applicants, the UW Madison transfer decision date, and much more.

UW Madison Transfer Acceptance Rate

Below we present the most current available UW Madison transfer acceptance rate as well as historical data.

In the fall of 2021, UW Madison received 3,528 applications and accepted 2,075 members of that cohort. This means that the UW Madison transfer acceptance rate is 58.8%.

For the previous year, the acceptance rate broken down by gender was:

  • Male transfer applicants: 56.3%
  • Female transfer applicants: 61.4%

When trying to get the complete picture of how difficult it is to transfer into a given school, it is important to also look at historical data. Many schools have wild fluctuations in transfer acceptance rate from year to year. As you can see, the University of Wisconsin has consistently been in the 45% to 59% in recent cycles.

Historical transfer rates are as follows:

Year Acceptance Rate
2020 51.9%
2019 50.6%
2018 45.7%
2017 51.7%

 UW Madison Transfer Deadline

The university offers a fall and spring option. The UW Madison transfer deadline for spring applicants is October 1. Fall applicants have a priority deadline of November 15. The regular deadline for fall is March 1.

UW Madison Transfer Requirements

The UW Madison transfer requirements are as follows:

  • UW Madison uses their own application for transfer applicants
  • Final high school transcripts
  • Official college transcripts
  • SAT or ACT (optional)
  • One required letter of recommendation

Students who have the best chance to gain admission to the University of Wisconsin have done the following:

  • Are in the process of completing at least 24 credits.
  • Have completed rigorous college coursework in courses across English, science, math, literature, world language, and social science.
  • Finished 3 high school years or 3 college semesters of math (algebra, plane geometry, and college algebra or calculus)
  • Earned stellar grades in their first year at a community college or other 4-year university.
  • Earned a 3.0 or better at a UW university of branch campus in order to qualify for a UW System Guarantee Admission Program.

Transfer GPA

The standards vary by intended college/major, but you need a 3.0 at the very low end and more likely a 3.5 or above at your current school to be a competitive applicant.

Transfer Essays

The following prompts on the list below are required for all applicants outside of the University of Wisconsin system.

  1. This part is all about you. Tell us about something you’ve done—academically or personally—and what you’ve learned from it. Was it a success or a challenge? Did it represent a turning point in your life? How did this particular moment in your life influence you, and how will it continue to influence you as you pursue your college education?
  2. Tell us why you would like to attend the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In addition, please include why you are interested in studying the major(s) you have selected. If you selected undecided, please describe your areas of possible academic interest.

Transfer Decision Date

UW Madison transfer decisions for priority fall applicants are made by March 31. Those who apply through the regular process will hear back by April 30. For spring applicants, December 31 is the latest you will receive an acceptance or rejection.

Final Thoughts – University of Wisconsin Transfer Acceptance Rate

We encourage prospective Badger transfer applicants to book a 30-minute Transfer Student Meeting with a UW Madison admissions officer.

In addition to grades and test scores, the admissions committee will consider non-academic factors such as “significant work experience, evidence of leadership, a strong record participation in extracurricular activities, and the presence of special or unique talents.”

If you are looking for information on how to apply to the University of Wisconsin as a first-year student, you may find the following blog to be of interest:

Those searching for application info on other institutions may wish to visit our Dataverse pages/blogs:

Dave has over a decade of professional experience that includes work as a teacher, high school administrator, college professor, and independent educational consultant. He is a co-author of the books The Enlightened College Applicant (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and Colleges Worth Your Money (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).