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, 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.

*Do not submit an application after the deadlines without checking in with the program directly. Please email the Graduate Program Manager with questions.

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:

  • Complete the on line application at the Office of Graduate Admissions and pay application fee.  Include:
    • A one page statement of interest describing 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.
    • To write the most effective statement of interest, we suggest addressing these questions:
      What is your personal motivation for choosing this field of study?
      What makes it clear that you will thrive in this graduate program?
      What have you discovered and personally gained from your past research, academic or work experience?
      Which areas of Agroecology related research interest you the most?
      Why is UW Agroecology the right fit for you?
      Are there specific Agroecology trainers who you might like to work with? See our Faculty page for information on faculty specific research areas.
    • A 1-2 page resume
    • 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.
    • Transcripts for all undergraduate work (and graduate, if relevant).  Unofficial transcripts are sufficient for the initial application deadline.  Please submit them as a part of your electronic application package.
    • As of 2019, the Agroecology Program does NOT require applicants to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and those scores will not be considered if they are submitted.
    • 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.

Application Fee Waiver Domestic students who meet specific criteria may apply for fee waivers through the graduate school here.

Submit application directly to the Graduate School here.

External Funding information can be found here.

Connect with PSGSC

We encourage prospective students to connect with their Agroecology program representative from the Plant Sciences Graduate Student Council if they are considering an RA offer or visiting campus to interview with faculty.

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, agroecology experience, and a commitment to learning in a multidisciplinary program.

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: The Admissions Committee reviews applications in late December and early January and will notify all applicants if they are”admissible” shortly thereafter.  Please understand that the Committee review is only the first step in the admissions process, however.   “Admissible” candidates must still work to secure 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 Administrator 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. Applicants should reach out directly to faculty members with whom they are interested in working. While the Committee and the Program Administrator do assist applicants in the “match making” process of securing funding and an advisor,  it is ultimately up to applicants to secure an offer.  In the case of Fellowships offered through UW-Madison (E.g. University Fellowships, Advanced Opportunity Fellowships or Franklin Fellowships), the Program provides the nominations;  applicants cannot self-nominate.

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.  The Program Administrator is available to help with this process.

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