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Graduate Admissions - Costs & Financial Aid

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

How Does the Funding Work?

The Admissions Committee meets in the middle of February to review the entire applicant pool for the coming fall semester. Following this meeting, admitted applicants’ files are made available to faculty who have funding offers to make. The majority of these come in the form of Research Assistantships attached to particular projects funded from outside sources, such as USAID, USDA, NSF, private sector groups, and many others. ?We seek a good match between the applicant’s research interests and the projects being carried out in the department.

We invite outstanding applicants to the traditional graduate program to be considered for full funding in the form of stipends, tuition remission and health insurance associated with teaching and research assistantships or fellowships in this field.  No special application is required.

Selected admitted applicants will receive funding offers starting in March. This process continues through April and early May as students make decisions about which programs to attend. ?We regret that we cannot make offers to all admitted applicants, but it is sometimes possible to make a second round of offers after the mid-April deadline for acceptance adhered to by all major U.S. graduate programs.

Fellowship recipients are notified in mid- to late February and have until April 15 to accept offers.

Applicants to the Resource and Energy Demand Analysis (REDA) option are not eligible for department funding.

Research Assistantships

Many students are supported through research assistantships, awarded in the department or in other related units. Research assistants work under the supervision of a faculty member on research related to their areas of interest. For students entering the program, research assistant awards are determined by the Graduate Committee at the same time admission decisions are made. Students who have been recommended for financial assistance will have their files reviewed by faculty who have funding available. Therefore, it is not necessary to contact individual faculty about funding opportunities.  The assistantships provide a stipend, tuition remission and health insurance coverage.

The Graduate Committee seeks to continue supporting those students who are making satisfactory progress in their studies. So, while it is not usually possible for the committee to make multi-year funding guarantees to incoming students, the presumption is that those students will continue to receive financial support.

Teaching Assistantships

The department seeks to provide a structured teaching experience for all students expecting to go on the academic job market.  Several year- or semester-long teaching assistantships are awarded each year.


The department's Ph.D. applicants have competed well for university-wide fellowships, awarded to outstanding students from the U.S. or abroad. The Graduate Committee screens all files completed by the December deadline and selects several candidates for nomination. No special application form is required.

The department is happy to announce a graduate fellowship established in honor of Prof. Willard F. "Fritz" Mueller.  It provides a full stipend, tuition waiver and health insurance for the first year of study. Faculty in AAE will provide subsequent support as a Research Assistant. Applicants to the AAE graduate program should specify their interest in being considered for the fellowship; there is no special application form.

Applicants with international interests are urged to apply for the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships.  They support the study of more than 60 modern foreign languages and provide a full stipend, tuition remission and health insurance.  U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible.  A separate application to the relevant area studies program is required; AAE admissions staff can provide assistance to students wishing to apply for the FLAS.  The deadline is in early February.

The Science and Medicine Graduate Research Scholars (SciMed GRS) Program is a new program on the UW-Madison campus that strives to enhance the experiences of underrepresented graduate students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and the School of Medicine and Public Health. SciMed GRS coordinates professional development opportunities and community gatherings of graduate scholars.  Applicants may be eligible for Advanced Opportunity Fellowships administered through this program.

Agricultural and Applied Economics students have also been successful in obtaining nationally competitive fellowships and research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council and the Fulbright programs. Students are urged to seek help from faculty advisors in obtaining extramural support for their dissertation research.


Students wishing to obtain work-study awards or loans should apply directly to the Office of Student Financial Services.

International Students

International applicants are required to have sufficient funds to cover their expenses completely while attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison before they will be issued a visa.  Financial documentation certifying these resources is solicited following admission.  More information is available here.

Deadlines and Costs

Ph.D. applicants wishing to be considered for a university fellowship must complete their applications by December 15. Others should submit materials by January 15. All students whose applications are complete by January 15 will be considered for departmental funding (no separate application needed).

For current information on tuition and fees visit the Registrar's web site.

Estimates of living expenses can be found here.


Last updated on Wed, February 22, 2017 11:26 AM