HomeWhy URPL at UW-Madison?How to Apply

How to Apply

All applicants who are applying to either the MS or PhD program must start by submitting an electronic application to the Graduate School online here


After completing this step, applicants are required to submit all of the following:



Descriptions of each part of the application can be found below:


Reasons for Graduate Study

This should be a thoughtful, reflective, one or two page statement discussing why you wish to go into the field of planning and what you expect to do professionally. If you have an interest in a particular concentration, you should discuss that; if you have planning or planning related experience, this should also be discussed. 


The statement of purpose should be attached to the electronic application to the Graduate School.


Three (3) Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of reference from people who know your academic or professional work. Letters are submitted through your electronic application to the Graduate School. When you put in the names and email addresses of your recommenders, they will receive an email instructing them how to submit their letter. You can send reminder emails through the electronic application portal to your recommenders if for some reason they misplace this email.


Official Transcripts

Send official transcripts or academic records from each institution attended. **International academic records must be in the original language accompanied by an official English translation. Documents must be issued by the school with the official seal/stamp and official signatures. Documents issued to the student are not considered official.


Transcripts should be sent to the Department of Urban and Regional Planning – NOT to the Graduate School. The Department of Urban and Regional Planning at UW-Madison only requires you send one official copy of your transcripts.


Please have each academic institution send official transcripts to:


Admissions Coordinator

110 Music Hall / 925 Bascom Mall

Department of Urban & Regional Planning

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, WI 53706


GRE Scores

Submission of results from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required. GRE scores can take six weeks to transfer from ETS to the department, so take the test well in advance of the application deadline. The department only accepts electronic GRE scores sent directly from ETS. Use ETS institution code 1846. There is no department code. For information on the GRE, go to:http://www.gre.org/ttindex.html


Test of English Ability

Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). TOEFL scores must be sent electronically from ETS. Use ETS institution code 1846. There is no department code. Paper copies of the TOEFL are not acceptable. Official IELTS scores should be sent by mail to the department at the same address transcripts are sent to (above)

UW-Madison requires that an admitted applicant whose TOEFL (paper-based) test score is below 580, TOEFL computer-based test (CBT) score below 237, TOEFL Internet-based test score below 93, or MELAB below 82 take an English assessment test upon arrival. You must then register for any recommended English as a Second Language (ESL) course(s) in the first semester you are enrolled. 


Supplemental Materials

Optional, supplemental materials, like a resume, curriculum vitae, or writing sample, should be emailed to the Admissions Coordinator.