Admissions

Information Sessions & Office Hours

Talk with faculty and students about their research, learn about funding opportunities, and get all of your application questions answered at upcoming info sessions and office hours. If you are unable to attend, see the slides below and/or contact gradprog@sohe.wisc.edu with your question(s).

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For a recording of this year’s prospective student information session, please see here.

Required Application Materials

  • See here for a list of minimum Graduate School admissions requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resume
  • Unofficial Transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose/Reason for Graduate Study
    • See here for program-specific guidance on the Statement of Purpose
  • International Students Only – English language proficiency test (IELTS or TOEFL)
    • See here for a list of exemptions
    • Please have scores sent to the University of Wisconsin-Madison (institutional code: 1846). You do not need to specify a program or department when sending your scores.
  • The GRE is NOT required for admission

Additional Program Materials

Civil Society & Community Research

Writing sample

Examples of writing samples include prior scholarly work such as term papers, theses, or published articles. All writing samples must be written in English and uploaded to the online application system as a PDF.

Consumer Behavior & Family Economics

Writing sample (optional)

Examples of writing samples include prior scholarly work such as term papers, theses, or published articles. Individual writing samples (instead of co-authored) are preferred. All writing samples must be written in English and uploaded to the online application system as a PDF.

Design Studies

PhD

Writing sample

Examples of writing samples include prior scholarly work such as term papers, theses, or published articles. All writing samples must be written in English and uploaded to the online application system as a PDF.

Personal bio statement

Describe concisely how your personal background and life experiences motivated you to further pursue graduate education. The personal biographical statement is not a statement of purpose that describes your academic plan. This statement should be no more than 500 words and should be uploaded to the online application system as a PDF.

MFA

Portfolio

All MFA applicants must submit a digital portfolio for review. The portfolio should contain no more than 20 images/pages and there is a 5 MB file size limit for each image or page. Applicants will be able to upload portfolios to the University of Wisconsin’s Box cloud storage system. Digital folders will be created for applicants within 48–72 hours after their electronic application has been received by UW–Madison’s Graduate School. Please contact the SoHE Graduate Program Coordinator for more information.

Human Development & Family Studies

NOTE: The GUIDE page for the HDFS PhD currently lists the GRE as required. This is NOT CORRECT–the GRE is not required for admission to this program.

Writing sample

Examples of writing samples include prior scholarly work such as term papers, theses, or published articles. All writing samples must be written in English and uploaded to the online application system as a PDF.

Supplemental Application portion of the online application:

  • Have you completed (or are you in progress to complete) a Master’s degree?
  • If you are coming with your Master’s Degree, what month/year did you earn (expect to earn) it?
    • From where?
    • Did you do a research-based thesis for your Master’s Degree?

The following questions help the Graduate Admissions Committee better understand and contextualize your application. Please keep your responses brief (1-3 sentences or bullet points).

  • Please briefly summarize your research interests or overarching goals.
  • Please briefly summarize any relevant research experience that has prepared you for graduate study (if any)
  • Please provide any additional information about yourself that you feel would be of assistance to the Graduate Admissions Committee in considering your application.
  • Which HDFS faculty member(s) have you been in contact with?
  • Which faculty member(s) do you feel would be a good fit as your advisor and why?
  • How did you hear about the UW-Madison Graduate Program in Human Development and Family Studies?
  • Which other schools/programs are you applying to?
  • Upload research abstract (if applicable).
  • Please upload a writing sample here. Examples of writing samples include prior scholarly work such as term papers, thesis, or published articles. All writing samples must be written in English and uploaded as a PDF.

Human Ecology MS

No additional materials required

Applying from Within UW-Madison

If you are currently enrolled as a graduate student in another program at UW-Madison, you will NOT complete the standard Graduate School application. Instead, you will complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the Add/Change Major form on your MyGrad portal.
  2. Submit your application materials to this BOX folder.
  3. You may choose to submit new letters of recommendation OR use those from your original UW-Madison Graduate School application can be used again
    • If you would like to submit new letters, direct your recommenders to send them directly to the SoHE Graduate Program Office (via BOX folder or gradprog@sohe.wisc.edu)
Any questions about the add/change major process or applying to the Human Ecology graduate programs can be directed to the Human Ecology Graduate Programs Office (gradprog@sohe.wisc.edu). 

Timeline

Statement of Purpose Guidance

The statement of purpose is the most important part of your application. A successful statement is focused, informative, and clearly describes your research interests, qualifications, and motivation. It also describes experiences that shaped your research ambitions, your career objectives, and specifically why this program is appropriate for your intended field of study. Be sure to review the program details and graduate faculty before submitting your statement. Try to limit your statement to no more than 1,000 words, as graduate admissions committee members are reviewing multiple applications in a short time period. 

Additional guidance on preparing your application from the UW-Madison Graduate School can be found here

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Civil Society & Community Research PhD

Be sure to review the departmental web page, program details, curriculum checklist, and graduate faculty before submitting your statement. We also encourage you to learn about our current graduate students. Try to limit your statement to no more than 1,000 words as graduate admissions committee members are reviewing multiple applications in a short time period. 

In your statement of purpose, please address the following items:

  • The research fields and specific research topics you are interested in pursuing as part of your PhD
  • How your research interests align with the existing CSCR Graduate Faculty and the unique aspects of the CSCR PhD program (outlined in our statement of departmental identity at the top of this page)
  • Examples of your research experiences and what additional skills you hope to gain from being part of the CSCR PhD program
  • How your studies will be enhanced by being on the UW Madison campus
  • Your career goals and aspirations 
  • Any special circumstances the review committee should understand

Consumer Behavior & Family Economics PhD

In your statement of purpose for CBFE, please address the following items:

  • What research fields and specific research topics you are interested in pursuing as part of your PhD
  • How your research interests complement with the existing CBFE Graduate Faculty and the unique aspects of the CBFE PhD program
  • Examples of your research experiences and what additional skills you hope to gain from being part of the CBFE PhD program
  • How your studies will be enhanced by being on the UW Madison campus
  • Your career goals and aspirations 
  • Any special circumstances the review committee should understand

Design Studies PhD/MFA

In your statement of purpose for the Design Studies program in Human Ecology, please address the following items:

  • What research fields and specific research topics you are interested in pursuing as part of your PhD
  • How your research interests fit with the Design Studies Graduate Faculty and the unique aspects of the Design Studies PhD program
  • Examples of your research experiences and what additional skills you hope to gain from being part of the Design Studies PhD program
  • How your studies will be enhanced by being on the UW Madison campus
  • Your career goals and aspirations 
  • Any special circumstances the review committee should understand

Human Development & Family Studies PhD

In your statement of purpose for HDFS, please address the following items:

  • What research fields and specific research topics you are interested in pursuing as part of your PhD
  • How your research interests complement with the existing HDFS graduate faculty and the unique aspects of the HDFS PhD program
  • Examples of your research experiences and what additional skills you hope to gain from being part of the HDFS PhD program
  • How your studies will be enhanced by being on the UW Madison campus
  • Your career goals and aspirations 
  • Any special circumstances the review committee should understand

Human Ecology MS

A successful statement of purpose for the Human Ecology MS is focused on describing: 

  • Your reasons for pursuing this particular graduate degree, 
  • Your professional goals, 
  • The area(s) on which you would like to focus your graduate studies, and 
  • The academic, employment, and personal experiences that have prepared and motivated you for graduate school.

In addition, please include any information about special circumstances you would like the admissions committee to know in reviewing your application materials.