How To Apply


The Agroecology Program accepts students from a wide range of undergraduate majors, not limited to the social and natural sciences. The admissions process is highly competitive, so all applicants should have a record of strong grades and GRE scores, Agroecology-relevant interests and experience, and a commitment to learning in a multidisciplinary program.  The deadline for fall semester applications is December 15th. Inquiries at other times may be considered.  

The initial application process is outlined below. All prospective students should keep in mind, however, that this document based application is only the first step in the admissions process.  Student's who are deemed "admissible" on the merits of these documents must then identify an academic advisor and a plan for funding to be fully admitted.  The Agroecology Program will assist students in this endeavor.  More information on the process of seeking out funding and an advisor is available in the Student Handbook.  Please read the applicable sections of the Handbook and contact the Program Administrator if you are interested in applying.

Submit the following to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School:

  1. Complete the on line application at the Office of Graduate Admissions and pay application fee.
  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required for all applicants. International applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS. All test scores must be submitted electronically by the Educational Testing Service to the University of Wisconsin-Madison (ETS code 1846). Copies or faxes cannot be accepted.
  3. Arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to the Graduate School. When you are completing the online application, submit the names and email addresses of three people who will provide letters of recommendation. They will receive instructions on how to upload their letters.  We recommend that at least two of the three letters are from faculty.

Submit the following to the Agroecology Program Administrator:

  1. Electronically submit a one page Statement of Purpose. In your Statement, describe your interests and goals and which faculty members at UW-Madison you would like to work with.  Additionally, identify which program track you intend to pursue -- Research or Public Practice -- and state why you are interested in this option. Knowing your intentions will help us better understand your academic and career goals. Finally, indicate if you intend to pursue a Ph.D. degree after completing the Master's in Agroecology. Although funding isn't guaranteed, some fellowships require that students intend to continue at the Ph.D. level.
  2. Electronically submit your curriculum vitae.
  3. Submit official transcripts for all undergraduate work (and graduate, if relevant).  Many schools are able to send electronic versions of official transcripts directly to the Program Administrator.  Electronic versions are preferred..  Hard copy transcripts are perfectly acceptable, but you must send 2 copies to:  Agroecology Program, Moore Hall-Plant Sciences, 1575 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706.
Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What are the prerequisites for admission?
A: We consider a wide range of undergraduate majors and do not limit majors to the social and natural sciences. Admissions is a very competitive process, so all applicants should have a record of strong grades and GRE scores, agroecology experience, and a commitment to learning in a multidisciplinary program.

Q: The on-line status check in “my UW” shows that you have not received some/all of my application materials even though I submitted them. Why not?
A: One person is responsible for organizing all materials and then updating the checklist. This will be done in the most timely way possible. If you do not see your status updated within two weeks of submission, you can inquire by email.

Q: Should my application materials be submitted to the Agroecology Program electronically?
A: Yes. Your Statement of Purpose, identification of preferred program track (research or public practice), and your curriculum vitae should be emailed as PDFs, however transcripts must be official and should be sent electronically or by mail directly from the academic institution.

Q: Is there a form for letters of recommendation?
A: The recommenders you indicate in your electronic application will receive instructions via the automated system.

Q: When will I hear from the admissions committee about my application?
A: Applications are reviewed in early February. Applicants deemed admissible by the Agroecology Program Admissions Committee will be notified and recommended for admission to the UW-Madison Graduate School once they have a faculty advisor and funding for a minimum of one year. This process can take several weeks and in some cases several months.  Please consult with the Program Adminstrator to help you in this process.

Q: Is there a separate application form for students wishing to be considered for fellowships and assistantships?
A: No. All applicants accepted by the Admissions Committee will be considered for funding though funding cannot be guaranteed.

Q: Should I contact individual faculty to speak with them about my research/project interests and to be considered for funding?
A: Yes! It is the responsibility of the applicant to find a willing faculty advisor and financial support for their studies. Refer to the list of Affiliated Faculty and contact members of this group directly as early in the application process as possible. Remember: applicants will be recommended for admission once they have a faculty advisor and funding for a minimum of one year. Research, project and teaching assistantships should be discussed.

Q: What is the size of your entering class?
A: The average is 8 new students each fall joining 15 continuing students.