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Graduate Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions Home | Cost of Study & Financial Aid | Frequently Asked Questions


FAQ Application Procedures | FAQ Academics | FAQ Admission and Financial Aid | Questions about REDA


Questions about Application Procedures

Q The on-line status check shows that you have not received my transcripts even though I mailed them several weeks ago.  Why not?

A One person is responsible for opening and organizing all mailed materials and then updating the checklists by hand.  This takes time.  For materials sent by the December 15 deadline, we hope to have the checklists up to date by mid-January.

Q I can't get my fall grades on a transcript by December 15.  Will I still be considered for a fellowship?

A Yes.  Please try to upload a current transcript by January 2 so that we can use your fall grades in the fellowship review.

Q Is there a minimum grade point average or test score required for admission?

A The Graduate School requires an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for admission. Average grades and GRE scores of recently admitted PhD students appear here.  Averages for Master's students (excluding REDA) appear here.  The admissions committee looks for a TOEFL score of at least 600 (paper exam) or 250 (computer exam) or 92 (internet exam).

Q What are the institution and department codes I should give to ETS so that my GRE or TOEFL scores will come to you?

A The institution code for UW-Madison is 1846. There is no code for agricultural economics, and you don't need to list one because our Graduate School will obtain scores electronically and load them into an applicant database accessible by any department.

Q I am an international student with a Master's degree from a U.S. university.  Do I need to submit the TOEFL score?

A No.  Your U.S. studies exempt you from this requirement.

Q Is there a form for letters of recommendation?

A No special form is required.  Referees should follow emailed instructions for electronically submitting letters.

Q Is there a separate application form for students wishing to be considered for fellowships and assistantships?

A No. We review all applications which are complete by the December 15 and January15 deadlines for financial aid.

Q I cannot remember the titles of my math and economics textbooks needed for the course inventory form you require. What should I do?

A Try to recall the author's name or give us some indication of the level at which the course was being taught (introductory, intermediate, advanced).

Q Do you admit students for the spring semester?

A Generally not. Courses are sequenced such that students entering in the spring will lose a semester or two. Also, financial aid decisions are made in February for the cohort of students entering in the fall. There is rarely new funding available for students entering in the spring semester.

Q Can I apply to both the departments of Agricultural and Applied Economics and Economics? What is needed to do so?

A Yes. Simply submit a complete set of application materials to both the Department of Economics (see www.econ.wisc.edu for details) and the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.  The application fee required by the Graduate School should be sent there directly. Only one application fee is required if you are applying to more than one department.

Q Can I apply to both the traditional Master's program and the REDA option?


Yes.  Simply indicate interest in both degree options in your statement of purpose.

Q I can’t afford the application fee – can I apply for a fee waiver?

A Our Graduate School grants a very limited number of fee waivers.  See this page for details.  Students must submit the application fee before the department will be able to review their application for admission. 


Questions about Academics

Q Can I apply to the Ph.D. program with only a bachelor's degree?

A Yes.  Students who do not have a Master's degree will take Master's-level courses in their first year, followed by PhD-level courses in the second year.  See for more details.

Q What is the pass rate for your microeconomic theory preliminary exam?

A The average pass rate has been around 85% over the past decade or so.  Currently, students who get grades of B or better in the Ph.D. level microeconomic theory courses can elect not to sit for the prelim exam.

Q I'm not yet certain if I want a Ph.D.  If I apply to the Master's program, can I later apply to go on for a Ph.D.?

A Yes.  You can apply at the end of your first year of study, though Master's students are not normally considered for financial aid.

Q How is your program ranked?

A There are many rankings, with Wisconsin consistently placing in the top five to ten programs, nationally. 

Questions about Admission and Financial Aid

Q Can I receive financial aid for the REDA option?

A No.  Financial aid is not available.  REDA applicants may secure their own loans or other outside aid.


Q I am an international student and cannot attend your university without receiving full financial support. Can you tell me how many international students you fund?

A We understand that many international students need full support in order to meet the financial requirements of the university. About half of the entering cohort each year are international students who have received funding from the department.

Q Should I contact individual faculty to speak with them about my research interests in order to be considered for funding?

A No. Faculty wishing to fund a new graduate student are given files of appropriate candidates to review. Therefore, it is important for students to be specific about their research interests in their statement of purpose.

Q What is your acceptance rate?

A  We don't have a "quota," but each year we receive about 200 applications.  Of those, we admit 35-40 and we offer funding to 7-15. 

What is the size of your entering class?

About 12-15 for the traditional program.  We have about 50 students in the traditional graduate program.  We expect to have about 20 students in the REDA program.

Q When will I hear from the admissions committee about my application or financial aid?

A Admissions decisions for the traditional program are made after all files are reviewed in February. Financial aid decisions are also made at that time, but some applicants may receive financial aid offers later in the spring as new sources of funding become available. 

The admissions decisions for the REDA program will be made on a rolling basis until the May 1 deadline.

Questions about REDA


Q Can I apply to both the traditional Master's program and the REDA option?


Yes.  Simply indicate interest in both degree options in your statement of purpose.

Q What majors do you accept?

Students from a variety of majors are welcome to apply.  Introductory economics and statistics are required, but additional courses in math, economics and statistics will be helpful. 


Q Can I receive financial aid for the REDA option?


A No.  Financial aid is not available at this time.  REDA applicants may secure their own loans or other outside aid.


Q Can I take REDA classes if I am not enrolled in the program?


A Five of the classes are reserved only for REDA students.  AAE 531, 636, 643, 671, and Env St 809 are open to all UW graduate students who meet the prerequisites.


Q What other types of careers will REDA prepare me for?  Can I use the skills outside the energy sector?


A Yes.  The quantitative skills taught in REDA will prepare students to work in designing and evaluating many types of programs and management strategies focused on fostering a sustainable economy and protecting the environment, such as those that aim to conserve and manage public land, improve air quality, and manage the quality and allocation of water.


Q Can I be a part-time student?


A This would be difficult and expensive.  REDA is an accelerated 10-month program that emphasizes teamwork. 


Q Can I double major in REDA and another degree program at UW?


A No.  This is a self-supporting program that has chosen to reinvest resources into the program versus the campus as a whole.  Thus, access is limited, and the accelerated curriculum doesn't offer the flexibility to take other classes.  Students who will be finishing UW degrees here can apply for REDA.


Q Can I use this degree to prepare for a PhD?


A REDA is a professional degree that trains students for particular careers.  Students whose eventual goal is a PhD should apply for that track in our traditional program.


Last updated on Wed, September 7, 2016 8:57 PM