Admission (Graduate)

Information on the application process, including a link to the online application, is available on the School of Graduate Studies website. All applications must be submitted electronically. Admission materials become the property of the university and are not returned to applicants or forwarded to other institutions.

All application credentials should be submitted in the online application. Official electronic transcripts can be directed to or mailed to:

School of Graduate Studies
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Roseman Building 2013
800 West Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190

Application to Degree Programs

To apply for admission to a graduate degree program, individuals must:

  1. Submit a completed application, including the application fee.
  2. All requests to transfer and/or apply previously taken graduate course work toward the degree requirements must be submitted at the time of application. Transfer credit forms can be obtained on the School of Graduate Studies website.
  3. Request submission, directly from the granting institution, of an official, degree-bearing transcript showing completion of a bachelor’s degree. If fewer than 60 semester hours of course work were completed at the degree-granting institution, additional transcripts will be required.
  4. In addition to the official bachelor's degree-bearing transcript, submit copies of transcripts for all undergraduate work that was applied to the bachelor's degree, if that course work was not included in the degree-bearing transcript. These transcripts may be unofficial copies and may be submitted by the applicant.
  5. Request submission, directly from the granting institution, of an official transcript showing completion of any master's or higher degrees.
  6. Request submission, directly from the granting institution, of official transcripts for any other graduate work completed, if the work is to be considered for transfer into the student's degree program. If official transcripts for previously completed graduate work are not provided at the time of application to the program, credit for that work cannot be transferred at a later date.
  7. Have official transcripts sent directly from the registrar's office at the institution where the work was completed to: School of Graduate Studies, Roseman Hall 2013, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 800 W Main Street, Whitewater WI 53190.  Electronic transcripts can be sent to (Note: Transcripts from UW-Whitewater will be ordered by the Graduate School.) Transcripts faxed to UW-Whitewater or submitted personally by applicants will not be accepted.
  8. In the case of an institution in a foreign country that does not issue transcripts other than the single official copy presented to the student, a photocopy may be submitted provided that the applicant presents the official document for verification of authenticity at the School of Graduate Studies upon arrival at UW-Whitewater. A hold will be placed on their record until this is provided.
  9. Submit all other credentials (e.g., test scores, letters of recommendation, goal statement, autobiography) required for admission to the particular program for which admission is being sought.

In addition, International students must also:

  1. Submit an official "course-by-course" evaluation of all foreign educational credentials. Contact: Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (, World Educational Services ( or any NACES accredited evaluation service.  Approval for a different evaluator is at the discretion of the School of Graduate Studies.
  2. Arrange for an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score to be sent directly to the School of Graduate Studies if English is not the native language. A TOEFL score of 79 internet-based is required for admission into some degree programs and is strongly recommended by others.


Arrange for an official International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score to be sent directly to the School of Graduate Studies. The minimum required score is 6.0.

or satisfy one of the following:

  • have earned a bachelor’s degree from an English-speaking country.
  • have attended a U.S. college or university continuously for more than one year.
  • have received an undergraduate degree from a foreign institution where English is the language of instruction.
  • have resided and worked in the U.S. for more than one year without being a student.
  1. Send a completed Certification of Finance form to the School of Graduate Studies to demonstrate that there is adequate financial support available during the planned period of study.


Applicants who do not enroll in graduate course work at UW-Whitewater within one calendar year of the beginning of the term for which they were admitted, and students who have not enrolled in graduate course work within a calendar year are considered inactive. Inactive students and students who have completed their degree programs must update and reactivate their files by completing a reactivation form before they will be eligible to register for graduate courses. Forms are available on the School of Graduate Studies website.

Transfer of Credit

All course work, with the exception of up to 12 credits or 40% of the credits required for a program, whichever is lower, must be completed at UW-Whitewater.  Graduate programs can choose to have more restrictive policies and have discretion in determining which transfer courses they accept toward degree requirements.  Additional course work taken at other institutions may allow specific program requirements to be waived; however, no more than 12 transfer credits may be applied towards the credit requirements of a degree program. Some specific consortium arrangements between UW-Whitewater and other institutions may allow more than 12 credits to be completed at the participating institutions.

Credits for a course completed at another institution may be transferred to UW-Whitewater and applied toward a graduate degree provided:

  1. the institution offering the course is regionally accredited at the graduate level,
  2. the course appears as a graduate course on the student's graduate transcript from the institution offering the course,
  3. the course is applicable toward a graduate degree at the institution offering the course,
  4. the course is appropriate for the student's proposed graduate degree program at UW-Whitewater,
  5. the course is not a correspondence course, nor was it taught in a format less rigorous than that for UW-Whitewater courses, and
  6. the student earned a grade of at least B (3.00) for the course (B- is less than a 3.00 and will not be transferable). All requests to apply course work taken by a student prior to being accepted into a degree program at UW-Whitewater toward the degree requirements must be included in the application for admission to the degree program.

Students who have already been admitted to a degree program here and who wish to take a course at another institution and have it transferred to UW-Whitewater, must obtain permission prior to enrolling in the course. Forms for this prior approval are available at on the School of Graduate Studies website. The institution at which the student wishes to earn graduate credit may also require documentation of the student's graduate status at UW-Whitewater.

Questions for the comprehensive examination for the master's degree may be included from courses accepted in transfer to UW-Whitewater. Students should contact their degree program coordinator about this matter.

The 12-credit limit on courses taken prior to program admission does not apply to changes in emphasis within any of the degree programs.

Application Deadlines

Applications will not be processed until all of the above credentials have been received.

Please note: Individual programs may have earlier deadlines. Information on deadlines for specific degree programs is available on the School of Graduate Studies website.

Pending Degree-Bearing Transcripts

Application for admission will be considered during the applicant's last term of undergraduate study; however, admission will be conditional upon the applicant attaining the baccalaureate degree and meeting all the requirements for admission.


After application credentials have been evaluated, students will be notified of their admission status. If accepted into a degree program, they will be sent an admission letter and additional documentation containing an adviser's contact information, assigned student ID number, and information on how to register for courses.


Students are assigned faculty advisers by, and generally within, their major or emphasis department. Advisers are available to help plan each student's program of study and to assist in the selection of courses before students register for classes.

Graduate students who seek state professional education licensure should also contact the program coordinator for current licensure requirements. See section on Admission to Professional Education in this catalog.

In general, all persons who hold a bachelor’s or advanced degree from a regionally accredited school may register in graduate-level courses for graduate credit. Proof of a bachelor’s or higher degree is required.

Students may be admitted to a graduate degree program either in good standing or on a contingent basis. The admission status ("good standing" vs. "contingent") of all applicants from baccalaureate-granting institutions that don't employ traditional grading systems will be left to the judgment and recommendation of the graduate program to which the student is applying. Certain other special categories are established for persons not attempting to complete a degree at this institution. These special categories are "noncandidate for degree" and "guest transfer of credit."

Effective fall 2007, individuals who have earned bachelor degrees created in accordance with the European Higher Education Area (i.e., Bologna Process), or earned bachelor degrees from institutions engaged in a formal agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, will be considered admission eligible providing their academic performance in completing that degree is emblematic of future success in a graduate program (i.e., eligible to be admitted in "good standing").

Effective Fall 2017, individuals who have earned a 3-year bachelor's degree from a non-Bologna process (European Higher Education Area) university will be considered admission eligible upon satisfactory completion of an approved Master’s Bridge program. 

Approved UW-Whitewater international bridge programs:

  • Business Bridge
  • Computer Science Bridge

Deficiencies in Background for Graduate Study

If a department finds that a student lacks the proper academic background for graduate studies, it may specify that deficiencies be made up before the student completes a degree. In some cases, deficiencies may have to be made up by registering in undergraduate courses that do not count toward completion of a master's degree.

Admission in Good Standing

Requirements for admission to a degree program in good standing are as follows:

  1. A baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. At least a 3.001 overall grade point average in all the graduate work previously completed at UW-Whitewater, with no grades of I or IP pending.
  3. One of the following:
    1. At least a 2.75 overall grade point average in the undergraduate degree program.
    2. At least a 2.90 grade point average in the last half of the undergraduate degree program.
    3. A master's degree or higher from an institution regionally accredited at the corresponding graduate level.
    4. At least 12 credits of graduate work completed on a regular grade basis at UW-Whitewater.
  4. Any additional requirements set by individual departments or colleges for admission to specific degree programs.

All grade point averages are on a 4.00 basis.

Contingent Admission

A student who does not meet the requirements for admission in good standing may be admitted to a degree program with contingent admission after furnishing credible evidence of ability to do satisfactory graduate work.

Such credibility is determined by the admitting academic department or individual program coordinator, and could be a creditable postgraduate employment record; active service as a member of the U.S. military; a satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination, GMAT or Miller Analogies Test; or the successful completion of graduate work at a regionally accredited institution.

Students admitted under the terms of contingent admission must earn a GPA of 3.0 for the first nine graduate credits attempted, including repeated courses. Those failing to do so will be ineligible to take further graduate work in that degree program.

Noncandidate for Degree (NCFD)

Persons who hold a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university but do not wish to be admitted to a graduate degree program are classified as NCFD students. This category allows the student to enroll in graduate level courses and to receive graduate credit for this work. Departments and colleges reserve the right to restrict NCFD students from their courses.

Before attempting more than 12 credits as an NCFD, a student is encouraged to file an application for a degree program. Acceptance of any course work toward a graduate degree, including course work completed as an NCFD student, is at the discretion of the department. Because a graduate degree requires that the student complete a program of courses planned in consultation with an advisor, generally two-thirds or more of the course work must be completed after formal admission to the degree program. Consequently, a maximum of 12 credits taken prior to admission to the program may be applied toward the completion of a degree.

Guest Transfer of Credit

Persons attending another graduate school who wish to take graduate courses at UW-Whitewater and transfer them to that institution may do so. For information on how to apply contact the School of Graduate Studies.

Seniors Taking Graduate Courses

UW-Whitewater undergraduate students with senior status may be allowed to complete up to 12 graduate credits at UW-Whitewater provided they have completed at least 90 semester credits with at least a 2.75 overall grade point average (or 2.90 over the last half of their course work), and have a graduate application on file with the School of Graduate Studies

Eligibility for this privilege must be established by the student with the graduate program coordinator and the School of Graduate Studies and is not available to seniors at other institutions or students who already possess a bachelor's degree.

Seniors may use up to 12 graduate-level credits to satisfy requirements for the bachelor's degree. Graduate programs may choose to limit the maximum graduate credits at a lower limit than this university policy.

Courses listed in WINS with a per-credit rate will be billed outside of the credit plateau at the special tuition rate. If a student takes only graduate coursework in a semester, graduate tuition and fees will be charged.

State Residency

Students who have been a bona fide resident of the State of Wisconsin for one full year prior to the beginning of the term of their enrollment are exempt from payment of non-resident tuition. Also, applicants who have been continuously employed full time in this state, and were relocated to Wisconsin by their current employer; or applicants who moved to Wisconsin for employment purposes and accepted current employment before applying for admission to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, may, along with their spouse and dependents, be exempt from the payment of non-resident fees provided the person making the application demonstrates an intent to establish and maintain a permanent home in Wisconsin.

In addition, persons may qualify as bona fide residents if they meet any of the following criteria:

  • non-resident members of the armed forces (family included) stationed in the state, or members of the armed forces who reside in Wisconsin and are stationed at a federal military installation located within 90 miles of the borders of Wisconsin;
  • Members of the armed forces who have served on active duty under honorable conditions in the U.S. armed forces or in forces incorporated in the U.S. armed forces, except service on active duty for training purposes, and meet the conditions to receive WI state veteran's benefits;
  • graduates of a Wisconsin high school whose parents have been bona fide residents of the state 12 months prior to the beginning of the semester of enrollment, or whose last surviving parent was a bona fide resident of the state 12 months preceding his/her death;
  • adult students who have been employed as migrant workers in the state for at least 2 months each year for 3 of the 5 years preceding the beginning of any semester or session for which they register at a university or center, or for at least 3 months each year for 2 of the 5 years preceding the beginning of the semester of enrollment;
  • official refugees who moved to the state immediately upon arrival in the United States and who have resided in the state continuously; or
  • minors or dependent adult students provided one or both parents have been bona fide residents of the state for at least 12 months preceding the beginning of the semester of enrollment.

Intent to become a bona fide resident may be demonstrated or disproved by factors including, but not limited to, filing of Wisconsin income tax returns, eligibility to vote in Wisconsin, motor vehicle registration in Wisconsin, possession of a Wisconsin operator's license, place of employment, and self support.

However, applicants who enter and remain in this state principally to obtain an education are presumed to continue to reside outside this state, and such presumption continues in effect until rebutted by clear and convincing evidence of bona fide residence.

Minnesota-Wisconsin Reciprocity

This agreement* allows Minnesota residents to pay a reduced non-resident fee to attend a Wisconsin university. Arrangements to participate in this program may be made by filing an online application with:

State of Minnesota Higher Education Services Office, Reciprocity Program
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN, 55108-5227
651-642-0533 or 1-800-657-3866

*Please note: online programs typically are not eligible for reduced tuition charges including Minnesota Reciprocity as online tuition rates are the same regardless of residency. Also, the DBA Program does not have a tuition variance based on residency – all DBA students pay the same tuition rate.


Many degree programs allow students to attain Wisconsin teacher licensure within the degree program. However, licensure requirements may differ from degree requirements. Questions about teacher licensure should be directed to the Licensure Program Coordinator in the area of interest.

Criminal Background Checks

Various programs in the College require Criminal Background Checks. Students will be required to conduct Criminal Background Checks (CBC) including all DPI licensure programs using an online service. Please check with your program plan and advisor on when to complete the Criminal Background Requirement.

The results of a student’s CBC may preclude student participation in mandatory field experiences, disqualify students for a license, prevent service or employment in a student’s chosen field, prevent a student from completing the chosen degree plan, or from other program participation.

Teacher Licensure Requirements

The College of Education requires all students seeking endorsement by the Licensure Officer of the College of Education and Professional Studies for Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction licensure to complete the following licensure requirements:

Pre-Student Teaching Clinical Experiences

Each student, under the supervision of professional school personnel and university supervisor, shall complete pre-student teaching experiences working directly with pupils within a school setting.

Student Teaching

  1. All students seeking initial endorsement for licensure by UW-Whitewater must complete a full time, full semester student teaching experience. Additional information about these experiences is available from the Office of Clinical Experiences or the appropriate department in the College of Education and Professional Studies.
  2. The procedures for determining if a student has met the requirements for Student Teaching occur during the semester prior to the student's assigned placement. Students are placed in schools located within the service area of the College of Education and Professional Studies. Placements are made by the university on the basis of quality and other programmatic considerations. Students are responsible for their own transportation and housing arrangements during Student Teaching.

Admission to Student Teaching

Admission to Student Teaching is restricted to students who have been admitted to Professional Education and who have met the criteria below in addition to requirements as identified by the program.

  1. Completion of a Criminal Background Check
  2. 2.75 combined cumulative grade point average
  3. Passing score in the major(s) on Praxis II subject assessment test OR a content GPA of 3.0 or above by the announced deadline date (except for Early Childhood Directed Teaching A and B)
  4. An attempt of the Foundations of Reading Test for the Early Childhood, Elementary-Middle, Special Education, and Reading Specialist Programs by the announced deadline date  
  5. Submission of Personal Information Sheet to Office of Clinical Experience by the announced deadline date
  6. Attendance at required student teaching meeting
  7. Submission of a negative Tuberculosis test result to Office of Clinical Experience (skin test or x-ray) by the announced deadline date