students in caps and gowns at a commencement celebration

Apply for Admission

If you haven’t seen all the places an SJMC degree can take you, check out our alumni stories.

We accept applications in fall and spring semesters. Here’s what you need to be eligible:

  • Completion of JOURN 201, Introduction to Mass Communication (you can apply during the semester you’re enrolled in JOURN 201, rather than waiting for the next semester).
  • Completion of 24 credits by the time of admission, including what you’re enrolled in when you apply (this usually means freshmen can apply in your second semester at UW-Madison and transfer students can apply during your first semester here). AP credits do not count towards the 24 credits required to apply.

The application requires a few things to help us get to know you:

  • Resume – be sure to include all relevant experiences, including any jobs you’ve had, regardless of whether they’re in communication (in other words, we like hard workers in any field, from waiting tables to lifeguarding to interning at an ad agency). Resumes may include high school experiences – please try to keep your resume to one page. You can check out SuccessWorks resume resources: 
  • Transcript – Unofficial UW transcript (if you transferred in from another college/university, you must submit official transcripts). For the unofficial UW transcript, you can request this here.  For official transcript requests from your transfer college/university, we recommend reaching out to their Registrar’s Office for an initial inquiry.
  • Statement of interest in the major – this is 550 words (or less) one-page statement telling us why you want to be in the SJMC and how the degree can help you meet your goals (we’ll be looking at your interests but also at your writing, so focus on being clear, concise and clean). We recommend statements of interest be reviewed by the Writing Center for feedback prior to submission.
  • A few short survey questions – all the things you’re used to in admissions forms – name, hometown, year in school, etc.

**If you are offered admission to the SJMC, you are required to take JOURN 202 and JOURN 203 in your first semester in the program. Students are not eligible to study abroad during their first semester in the SJMC (students frequently go abroad in later semesters). Students may finish their major requirements in as few as three semesters (this does not count a study abroad semester, as most students do not take Journalism-specific courses abroad). 

We recommend students enroll in a full schedule of courses before they find out if they are accepted into the program. One recommendation is to pull a “What If?” DARS for the JBA or JBS program to see what other degree requirements could be enrolled in as you await admissions decisions. After decisions come out (which will occur after registration begins), students would remove some of their previously-enrolled classes to make room to take the required JOURN 202 and JOURN 203.

Undergraduate Academic Advisor Sandra Kubat is happy to meet with students to give guidance on what classes to take during the first semester in the SJMC (generally we do not recommend students exceed 14 credits in the first semester). Examples of courses students enroll in while waiting to hear on admissions decisions include: Natural Science breadth, Literature breath, Humanities breadth (intermediate), Social Science breadth (intermediate) and 500/600 JOURN classes (open to all majors of junior credit standing). 

Any questions?

We have admission information sessions scheduled on the following days:

  • Check back in August for future admissions info session dates!

The admissions info sessions are geared towards current UW students. You’re also welcome to contact your JOURN 201 instructor or any of the JOURN 201 guest lecturers of interest to you if you want to know more about how you might find your future in the major. Contact information for everyone is here.

Finally, you can meet with our undergraduate advisor for any and all questions. Contact Sandra Kubat at