How to Apply

The following dates and deadlines are the annual timeline for applying to the Environmental Conservation and Environmental Observation and Informatics programs.

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Applications are submitted online through the UW-Madison Graduate School. When applying, select the summer term for the calendar year you are applying for (e.g., summer 2020), then choose either Environmental Conservation or Environmental Observation and Informatics in the dropdown tab.

Prospective students who apply by December 1 will be informed of their admissions status by mid to late January. Applications received after the December 1 priority deadline will be reviewed at the end of each month. If you are inquiring after the secondary deadlines, please contact the program coordinator to see about available spots in the cohort. International applicants should contact the program coordinator as soon as possible to ensure all paperwork and documents are included. For questions regarding applications, please contact us.

Our programs are committed to building and supporting diverse cohorts and strongly encourage applications from candidates of color, historically underrepresented communities and first-generation college students.

Qualifications and Requirements

Required Qualifications

Applicants with diverse life experience, professional and academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. This program is fitting for those who wish to advance, shift, or grow their career in conservation.

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.

Application Requirements

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 admission. Admissions decisions will be based on the entirety of each applicant’s credentials.

  1. Resume or CV
  2. 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. Unofficial undergraduate transcripts (official transcripts will be requested prior to final acceptance)
  5. GRE scores (dependent on undergraduate GPA)

For international applicants whose bachelor’s degree is not in English, IELTS or TOEFL scores are required. Please view the UW-Madison Graduate School requirements for complete information.

Required Qualifications

  • Applicants with diverse life experience, professional and academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. This program is fitting for those who wish to advance, shift, or grow their career in conservation.
  • 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.
  • Because introductory GIS is not taught in this program, applicants should have introductory GIS skills prior to the start of the program. This experience can be demonstrated through course work, professional experience, a portfolio (in the supplemental application), or a GIS certificate/degree. If an applicant does not have this experience, they should state this in their letter of interest and explain how, if accepted, introductory skills will be developed before the start of the program.

Application Requirements

  1. Resume or CV
  2. Statement of interest
  3. Two letters of recommendation (submitted via the online application)
  4. Unofficial undergraduate transcripts (official transcripts will be requested prior to final acceptance)
  5. Professional portfolio (see below)
  6. IELTS or TOEFL scores (if applicable, see below)
  7. GRE scores (if applicable, see below)

Professional Portfolio

As part of the online supplemental application, applicants will submit a portfolio that showcases their quantitative or GIS experience. The portfolio should consist of documents that will help assess each applicant’s proficiency and readiness for the program. Examples of these documents can include:

  • Maps developed in a GIS software or through remote sensing image analysis
  • Figures from analysis and reports, selected slides from professional presentations
  • Copies of certificates, awards, and completed trainings

IELTS or TOEFL Scores

For international applicants whose bachelor’s degree is not in English, IELTS or TOEFL scores are required. Please view the UW-Madison Graduate School requirements for complete information.

GRE scores

Scores are requested only if applicants do not meet one of the following requirements:

  1. Minimum GPA of 3.0 for the last 60 credits
  2. Undergraduate degree with a quantitative component, such as a bachelor of science degree
  3. Professional quantitative experience

Please contact the program coordinator if you are unsure if you meet these requirements.

Information for International Applications

The timeline from notice of admission to the program to securing your student visa can take several months. 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 guidelines above (application window is July 1 through December 1 for priority admission)
  2. Receive decision from the program about your admission status (mid-January)
  3. If admitted, the UW-Madison Graduate School will become the primary point of contact for the rest of the admission process. You must check your application status and email for important messages.

Helpful Websites and Resources for Joining UW-Madison as an International Graduate Student