How to Apply

Application FAQs

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When do applications open?

Application Open Schedule:

A revised application opening schedule is in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For information on the schedule and updates visit our COVID-19 FAQ page.

We use the following general schedule for opening applications – some programs do not follow this schedule so check the program specific webpage to confirm.

Subscribe to our email list to receive updates from our office, including when program applications become available.

IAP and College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Programs

  • August 1 the year prior
    • Fall term programs
    • Academic Year term programs
    • Summer term programs
  • May 1 the year prior
    • Spring term programs
    • Calendar Year term programs
    • Spring Break term programs
  • March 1 the spring prior
    • Winter term programs

College of Engineering Programs

  • Mid-August the semester prior
    • Spring term programs
    • Calendar Year programs
  • Mid-January the semester prior
    • Fall programs
    • Academic Year programs
  • November/December prior
    • Summer programs

Wisconsin School of Business Programs

  • Find application schedule and process here

When are applications due?

Application deadlines vary by program.  Check the specific program webpage for the application deadline.  Even if a partner application deadline is later, you should adhere to the UW-Madison study abroad application deadline.  Be sure to complete your application by 4:30 p.m. CST on the UW-Madison study abroad application deadline date.

When are applications reviewed?

Applications are reviewed following the application deadline, unless stated otherwise on the program webpage (reference information provided in the “Apply Now” tab).

Some programs have a rolling application review schedule (noted on the program webpage).  This means an application can be reviewed before the deadline, and as soon as it is fully completed and submitted.

Is there an application fee?

We do not charge an application fee.  The program partners and providers we work with often waive their application fees for UW-Madison students.  Before paying an application fee, contact your program Enrollment Specialist Advisor to find out if that fee can be waived for you.  Find their name and email address in the “Contacts” tab of the program webpage.

How many programs can I apply to?

You may only apply to one program per duration, for instance one fall term program in 20XX year.  This is primarily because you would only be able to participate in one program per duration.

The only exception to this is summer term.  You may apply to more than one program in summer if the program dates do not overlap, and you would be able to fully complete each program.  To request a second program application for summer, contact the Enrollment Specialist Advisors for each program.

Although you can only apply to one program per duration, there is no limit on the number of programs or durations you can apply for.  Students can participate in multiple programs during their time at UW.

If I don’t meet all eligibility requirements for a program, can I still apply?

Any student can submit an application for a program, but a program may not be able to accept a student who does not meet all of the eligibility requirements.  Before applying, you should contact the program Enrollment Specialist Advisor to talk about the requirements and your situation.  There may be extra steps for you to do to request an exception to a requirement.  Please know that eligibility requirements can be firm, and exceptions may not be possible.

Eligibility Appeals

To be eligible for a UW-Madison study abroad program, you must be in good academic and disciplinary standing.  If you are not in good standing, it may be possible for you to appeal your eligibility for a program (note: this is not always possible).  You should contact the program Enrollment Specialist Advisor for information and guidance.

How can I submit physical/hard copy application materials (if my program requires them)?

When the Red Gym is open, physical materials may be brought to the Study Abroad Resource Center on the 3rd floor.  Reference: Hours and Location.

If needed, application materials can be mailed to:

International Academic Programs
Attn: [Program Title] – Please use the program title found on the program webpage
301 Red Gym
716 Langdon Street
Madison, WI 53706

When will I learn the result of my program application, and whether I’ve been accepted?

Applications are reviewed following the application deadline, unless stated otherwise on the program webpage.  If a program is reviewed on a rolling basis (and this is noted on the program webpage) an application can be reviewed before the deadline, and as soon as it is fully completed and submitted.

It may take up to 4-6 weeks for your application to be reviewed. You will receive your application decision by email.

How competitive are programs?

We aim to accept as many qualified applicants to a program as possible.  A qualified applicant is someone who, through their application, demonstrates that they meet all eligibility requirements for the program.

A program is considered competitive when there are more qualified applicants than there are spaces available.  Spaces on a program may be limited for a number of reasons: exchange programs require enrollment agreements with the host university, some faculty-led programs can only accommodate a fixed number of students, and some programs have rolling review and acceptance schedules.

If a program has been competitive for multiple durations, a note will be posted to the program webpage about this.  It is possible for any program to become competitive, and all students are encouraged to have a second choice or alternative program in mind when applying.

Find information about application review and competitive selection here.  We encourage all students to review our Tips for a Strong Application.

If you have questions about the competitiveness of a program, contact the Enrollment Specialist Advisor.  Find their name and email address in the “Contacts” tab of the program webpage.

What are my options if I am not accepted into the program I applied to?

Program advisors will contact you with information about why you could not be accepted, and guidance for next steps.  It may be possible to be added to a waitlist.  Students on a waitlist will be notified if a space on the program becomes available.  You may be able to apply to another program for the same duration.  You may also apply to the same program again in the future.

Who can I contact with application questions?

Contact the Enrollment Specialist Advisor for the program.  Find their name and email address in the “Contacts” tab of the program webpage.  You may schedule an application advising appointment through Starfish.

For general questions (not specific to a program), schedule an appointment for Study Abroad Exploration Advising, email peeradvisor@studyabroad.wisc.edu or call us at 608-265-6329.
We are available during our regular business hours Monday – Friday, 8:00AM-4:30PM.

What are the next steps after acceptance?

After notification of acceptance, you generally have 2 weeks to confirm or decline your intention to participate.  To confirm your participation, you will need to complete all required confirmation tasks outlined in your MyStudyAbroad account by the provided deadline, which will include paying a non-refundable IAP Acceptance Deposit.

Your program provider or host institution may require you to confirm your participation with them directly as well, and will provide you with instructions for how to do so – potentially via their own online portal.