Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the Statistics Department and Graduate School addresses?

Statistics Department
1220 Medical Sciences Center
1300 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706

Graduate School Admissions
(Please - Send NO applications materials
to this address except for fees)
217 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison WI 53706

Can I delay or waive the application fee?

No, the fee is required of all applicants with very few exceptions. See for more information.

Is there a separate application form for financial support?

No. All applications that are complete by the December 1st deadline for the following fall will be reviewed for department financial support consideration. You will be notified by the Admissions Committee of their decision as soon as possible.

Supplemental Application

A supplemental application is required as part of the online application. You will be asked to answer the following questions and provide the following information:

  • Are you applying to the Biostatistics option? Yes/No
  • List any major competitive honors, awards, and/or fellowships you have received.
  • List any undergraduate or graduate research experiences.
  • List the most advanced math and statistics courses you have completed, are currently taking, or plan to take before coming to UW-Madison. So that we can better evaluate your quantitative training, please list all the economics, math and statistics courses you have taken. Include the textbook(s) used, course number, course title, and your grade for the class. If possible, cite the corresponding Math or Stat department course at UW-Madison. Put this in a list or table format and upload your document as a pdf.

What kind of background is suitable for admission to Statistics?

Students holding a bachelor's degree in statistics or in mathematics with some scientific background are encouraged to apply. Also students holding a bachelor's degree with a natural science, social science, or engineering major and strong mathematical background are encouraged to apply. Students are advised to undertake graduate work in statistics only if their undergraduate grades in mathematics were uniformly high.

What kind of math courses are required?

Applicants need a minimum of three semesters of calculus and a course in linear algebra (similar to UW's Math 340) to be considered. In addition, a course in real analysis/advanced calculus that covers calculus of several variables (similar to UW's Math 521) is highly recommended for both MS and PhD. A widely used textbook that covers Math 521 material is Rudin (Principles of Mathematical Analysis). [A lower level course such as UW's Math 421 is a good start for MS applicants, but Math 521 should be taken here to build technical skills.]

PhD students are expected to have had an introduction to measure and integration theory with proofs (similar to UW's Math 629). Books that cover Measure & Integration Proofs are Royden (Real Analysis) and Ash (Real Analysis and Probability).

How do these courses prepare me for UW's graduate program in statistics/biostatistics?

Math 340 and Math 521 are sufficient for our MS program. Math 521 is important training for the Stat 609-610 math stat sequence, while Math 340 helps with the Stat 849-850 linear models sequence. PhD students need a proof-based course that goes beyond the real line to include more general measure theory. Successful PhD students should perform at A-level in Math 521 and Math 629. Motivated students may build the Math 629 training while here, but gaps in Math 521 material are difficult to overcome at the PhD level.

How many transcripts must I send to the department?

Do not send official transcripts (paper copies) to the department at the time of application. Instead, as part of the online application, please upload a clear and easy-to-read PDF copy of your transcript from each institution of higher learning (post High School) that you have attended. If we offer you admission, you will be asked to provide an official (paper) copy of your transcript to our department at that time. Admission will be contingent upon our receiving the official (paper) transcript. However, for purposes of evaluating your application, all that is required is the electronic copy. If courses at the institution were not taught in English, we will need an electronic copy of both the transcript in the original language, and the transcript in English.

GRE scores

Can I use GMAT in place of GRE scores?

No, we accept only general GRE scores that are less than five years old. Send official scores to institution code 1846.

Is the subject GRE required?

No. We require the general GRE which includes verbal, quantitative and analytical writing assessment.

Is there a minimum GRE score required?

No. Your score will be evaluated comparatively with all the applicants for any given term. The higher the score, the better your chance of being accepted, although your score is only one facet of your total application packet used to determine admission.

Am I required to submit TOEFL scores?

Some applicants are required to submit TOEFL (or IELTS) scores. The department follows the Graduate School guidelines. To determine if you need to submit TOEFL scores, please see "English Proficiency" section at

Should I mail recommendation letters with my application materials?

No. Recommendation letters are now done electronically, along with your application. See more detailed instructions on this process on our "How to Apply" page at

I am interested in Biostatistics. Where do I apply?

You apply through the Statistics Department and indicate your interest in Biostatistics in your Statement of Purpose and on the supplemental application.

When and how will I find out if I have been accepted?

Depending on the number of applications the process normally takes until the end of February for all decisions to be made. According to the Council of Graduate Schools you have until April 15 to return your response.

Will you email me the results of the Admissions Committee decision?

Yes, you will receive the decision via the email address you listed in your application. If we recommend your admission to the Graduate School, you will also receive a letter in the mail. We do not give results over the phone due to privacy rules.

When can I expect my I-20?

For international students the I-20 is mailed from the Graduate School only after it has received the Statistics Department recommendation for admission AND after the Graduate School has reviewed your file to check for validity of undergraduate education degree, as well as receipt of all of their required paperwork, including a certified financial statement, residency verification, etc. Please respond promptly to the Graduate School's individual request in their correspondence with you after acceptance by the department.

In the initial stage of application, send only the application fee directly to the Graduate School. They will inform you when you need to send additional material.

Where can I get information on housing, transportation, directions, financial aid, etc.?

Please see the website to explore this information.

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