students in a field

How to Apply

Priority deadline: December 1
Secondary deadline for international applicants: February 1
Secondary deadline for domestic applicants: April 1

For questions regarding applications, please contact us.

Although applications for the professional master's in Environmental Conservation will be accepted on a rolling basis, applications received by Dec. 1 of each year will be given preference for admissions purposes. Applications are submitted online through the UW-Madison Graduate School. You will need to create a username and password to access the application system. For current or former UW students, this will be a new account that does not use your NetID. When applying for our MS program make sure you select the summer term for the calendar year you are applying for, and Environmental Conservation in the drop down tabs. Prospective students will be informed of their admissions status by late January.

Prospective students will be informed of their admissions status by late January.

Ideal candidates for our program will have approximately two to five years of professional work and / or field experience, preferably in the conservation sector, though candidates with diverse professional and academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Applicants must have received a bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year institution with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants with GPAs below 3.0 may be considered for admissions under special circumstances. No additional prerequisite classes are required for the Environmental Conservation MS program.

Complete applications will include all items below. For applicants who have a GPA below 3.0, the GRE is required. For those who have GPAs at 3.0 or above GRE scores are not required for admissions to our program. Admissions decisions will be based on the entirety of each applicant's credentials.

  1. Professional credentials/resume
  2. Reasons for Graduate Study/statement of interest
  3. Two letters of professional recommendation; one letter from a current or former employer and one letter from a former university advisor are preferred; Although the online UW-Madison application gives you the option of adding 3 references, only 2 references are required for our program
  4. One copy of undergraduate transcripts submitted electronically in the application
  5. Supplemental Application (found in UW-Madison online application)
  6. GRE scores (dependent on undergraduate GPA)

For foreign students, TOEFL or IELTS scores are also needed. Minimum TOEFL score required is 92 for internet-based test (iBT) and 580 for paper-based test (PBT). Minimum IELTS score required is 7.0. Applicants with language scores below these requirements may be considered under special circumstances. The UW-Madison Graduate School also requires proof of sufficient tuition funds for foreign applicants accepted into the program.

Read more about Graduate School requirements.

Steps for Applying as an International Student

The timeline from notice of admission to the program in mid-January to securing your student visa can take several months. Our programs start on the first Monday in June every year. Plan ahead and stay organized to make the process of securing your student visa easier. The following steps provide an overview of the process. Please communicate with the program coordinator if you have any questions or issues during this process.
  1. Apply to the program following the specific guidelines for each program (application window is July 1 through December 1 for priority admission)
  2. Receive decision from the EC or EOI program about your admission status (mid-January)
  3. If admitted, the UW-Madison Graduate School will request that you send your official transcripts*
  4. The UW-Madison Graduate School will also require that you show financial proof in the form of official bank statements or funding letters, to secure your I-20 for student visa purposes*
  5. UW-Madison Graduate School will confirm your admission to UW-Madison (if you are admitted to the EC or EOI program on probation this final confirmation may take longer)
  6. Once the UW-Madison Graduate School receives your proof of sufficient funds they will process your 1-20 (make sure you use the express mail/eShip Global option the UW-Madison Graduate School offers so you receive your I-20 as quick as possible)
  7. Once you have your I-20, schedule an appointment for your visa interview and pay the required SEVIS fee*
  8. Pick up your visa and get ready to come to Madison
*Please have your official transcript and bank statements or fellowship papers ready to send to UW-Madison after your notice of admission from the program. Once you receive your 1-20, be prepared to pay the SEVIS fee at schedule your visa interview.