University of Wisconsin

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Updated August 6, 2020

The University of Wisconsin is one of the oldest college campuses in the Midwest. Officially founded in 1848, the university opened for classes not long after Wisconsin became a state. Located in Madison, the university is now the flagship campus in the University of Wisconsin School System, which includes regional and satellite campuses across the state. It was at the center of a concept called the Wisconsin Idea, which focuses on teaching students how to help others in the community in their future careers. The school still uses this idea, which requires that students take courses from outside their primary field of study to become more well rounded individuals.

Wisconsin, as its students call it, ranks on both national and global lists. Forbes ranked the university as the 70th best college in the country, while U.S. News and World Report placed it at number 41. Both Washington Monthly and ARWU ranked Wisconsin within the top 20 colleges in the United States. ARWU and Times both called it one of the top 50 colleges in the world, and it ranked just outside the top 50 on a similar list created by QS. Many of its programs rank quite highly for the research that it requires all students to complete during their studies. Some of its graduate programs and its online programs rank high as well.

University of Wisconsin Accreditation Details

The primary accreditation given to the University of Wisconsin comes from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. This organization first granted accreditation to the university during the later part of the 19th century. The Higher Learning Commission also granted accreditation to the online programs offered by Wisconsin. Wisconsin also has something called specialty accreditation or program accreditation, which refers to the separate accreditation granted to some of its specific programs. Accreditation of this type comes from a number of different organizations, including:

  • The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • American Psychological Association
  • National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Lab Sciences
  • American Dietetic Association
  • American Library Association Committee on Accreditation
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • National Association of Schools of Theatre

A complete list of all the program accreditation at the University of Wisconsin is available through its bulletin, which includes a list of all programs and the requirements for each program. Students can request a copy of the bulletin before classes start or view a PDF version of the bulletin on the university website.

University of Wisconsin Application Requirements

Applying for admission to the University of Wisconsin Graduate School isn't as easy as filling out the online application. The university follows a shared program, which gives each department in the graduate school the right to accept or decline students. When students apply, their applications and all necessary paperwork goes to the department that offers the program they listed on their applications. If that department approves of the information listed on the application, the department will send a notice to the university. The university admissions board will go over that application a second time to determine if the student is a good candidate.

There are four key steps associated with the application process at Wisconsin. The first is a simple online application that students fill out and submit. They will then need to submit the necessary documents, which typically include a score from the GRE or a similar test, letters of recommendation and an official transcript. The university will contact students and alert them of any missing materials. Students must then log into the university website and ensure the department received everything it needs. The last step requires that students log back into the website and wait a final decision from the university regarding acceptance or rejection.

Tuition and Financial Aid

As a public university, Wisconsin attempts to keep costs down, but attending its graduate school will cost more than taking undergraduate classes. Tuition rates vary based on whether students live in Wisconsin, Minnesota or another state. Students living in Wisconsin pay around $11,000 every year for tuition, but the university charges more than $25,000 a year in tuition for students from other states. Those living in Minnesota pay tuition rates of around $15,000 per year. All students taking classes online are responsible for their own personal expenses, including textbooks, a place to live, food and miscellaneous supplies.

The University of Wisconsin allows all students to search for scholarships through the school's website that will lower their overall costs. In addition to gaining access to a complete list of scholarship opportunities, students can also find out how to apply and complete their scholarship applications online. As not all scholarships are open to online students, those applying for graduate admissions should also complete the FAFSA. The federal government allows graduate students to borrow more than $10,000 every year in unsubsidized student loans to pay their tuition and other fees. Some students may also want to look into alternative student loans that come from private lenders.

Master of Psychology

Founded more than 100 years ago, the Department of Psychology is one of the oldest departments at the University of Wisconsin. The program gives students experience in clinical work, research, writing and other fields. Though some students use the skills they developed to complete a PhD program, other students find jobs working in the public or private sector. More than 400 students apply to the program every year, but Wisconsin accepts fewer than 30 students. It looks for the best and brightest and pays special attention to students who have high grades and some practical experience working in the field.

The graduate program ends with students earning a Master of Psychology, but the program strives to make the transition into a PhD program a little easier for students. Much of the program focuses on intensive research and independent thinking, and students will typically do some clinical work in the second year of the program. All students entering must agree to meet with faculty at the end of the first year to determine if they can continue with the program. The University of Wisconsin may place students on academic probation or remove them from the psychology program when they receive lower grades in their psychology classes or when they fail to meet the requirements of the program.

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