General Requirements for Graduate Applicants

In general, the Agronomy Department follows the University’s minimum requirements for admission.

Candidates for graduate work are required to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an approved institution.  The minimum undergraduate GPA accepted for admission with full standing is 3.0 on a 4.0 basis.

Applicants are required to use the Graduate School’s online application and follow the application procedures.

All applicants are required to have three letters of recommendation from persons who are able to judge the candidate’s ability to satisfactorily undertake graduate studies. If at all possible, two of the three letters should be from academic sources.

All applicants are required to have unofficial transcripts of academic records from each institution attended at time of application. Upon admittance, official transcripts must be sent to the Graduate School (school code 1846) as soon as possible. International academic records must be in the original language accompanied by an official English translation.  Documents must be issued by the school with the official seal/stamp and an official signature(s). Official transcripts are required and non-negotiable.

All applicants are required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (no older than 2 years) to the Department.  Agronomy will receive the GRE scores entered on the Graduate School application.  If the GRE has not been taken, the GRE scores should be sent directly to the Graduate School when available.  Any student interested in competing for fellowship or scholarship awards from the University of Wisconsin must also submit GRE scores to the Graduate School.  Students should check the GRE web site for exam times and locations, or write or e-mail to the following addresses:

GRE Program
Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6000
Princeton, New Jersey 08541

+Help! Did I miss the deadline?

Maybe. The deadline for January (spring) admit is October 1. The deadline for summer/fall admit is February 1. We do not make early decisions, nor do we generally make late admissions. Most decisions have been made by December 1 for spring and March 15 for summer/fall.

+Do I need to do anything besides filling out an application?

Yes! It is essential that you contact directly the professor you wish to work with, as soon as possible. The advisor/advisee relationship is the most important aspect of your graduate career. Your funding will come from the professor, not the department – so establishing a relationship with them is crucial.

+What's the minimum GRE score you'll accept?

Technically… there isn’t a minimum. But we do look at GRE scores, and they are very indicative of a student’s predicted success in graduate school. We expect our admitted students to have competitive scores.

+What should I write in my personal statement?

Whatever you want, really, but we want to hear what specifically you are interested in studying and why, who you want to work with, and why you feel you are a strong candidate. There is no page minimum or maximum, but most applicants write two to four pages.

+Will you consider my application if it is missing some components?

No. We need all parts completed for us to be able to consider you for admission. We strongly urge you to gather as much information about yourself as possible before you start to work on your application.

+Where do I send my official transcripts?

Have your previous institution send them directly to the Graduate School.

All transcripts must be official and sealed.

+How many students are admitted each term?

It varies, but it is generally a small number – one to ten students. Sometimes, none. Admittance is dependent on each professor’s  program, and sometimes there is no funding or space to take on new students. The UW Madison Agronomy program is a competitive program to apply to, and there simply isn’t room for every student.

+How long will it take for you to make a decision?

You will most likely know at least a month before the start of the semester.

+If I'm rejected, can I apply again?

You are always welcome to apply again. Sometimes rejections are simply a matter of space constraints. However, each applicant must judge if it a good use of their time and resources to reapply.

+I have more questions! Who do I contact?

Email Caitlin Collies at Do not contact Sandy!