To be eligible to apply, you must meet the following requirements:
- Completion of Journalism 201: Introduction to Mass Communication, by the end of the current semester.
- Completion of at least 24 credits by the end of the current semester excluding advanced placement (AP) or retroactive language credits. Transfer students must also have completed at least one academic semester at UW-Madison by the end of the current semester.
- A minimum UW-Madison GPA of 2.0.
Assemble your online portfolio
An online portfolio will be evaluated by a five-member committee of the SJMC faculty and staff. The portfolio should reflect applicant’s interests, experience and writing ability. You will be asked to enter or upload the following information online through a secure application website:
- Your name, student ID and phone number
- How many times you’ve applied for admission to the program
- Indicate your area of interest as journalism or strategic communication
- Your TOEFL/IELTS score if you are an international student
- A transcript from any previous college if you are a transfer student
- Your wisc.edu email address
- Your UW-Madison transcript
- A PDF file with the following items in this order: 1) a personal statement: one-page, single spaced; 2) your resume; 3) two writing samples and/or letters of recommendation (the combined length of these two items may not exceed 10 pages)
Notes on submitting your application
The online program will not allow incomplete applications to be submitted. You should submit all documents in PDF format. The school does not take responsibility for documents that are unreviewable due to improper formatting. The school also does not have computing resources for you to fill out your application in-house. Campus librarians can teach you how to save and scan documents in PDF format. You may also use campus library computer labs to submit your application, but the system doesn’t allow you to save and continue your application at a later date.
Admissions decisions are based on all of the required materials. Students have been admitted into the program with GPAs as low as 2.2 and as high as a 4.0. Conversely, students with GPAs as high as 3.8 have been turned down because of weak elements in other areas.
Students who present applications with evidence of academic success, strong writing skills, commitment to the field of communication (through student activities or internships) and a compelling personal statement stand the best chances for admission.
Application Review Criteria
The Undergraduate Admissions Committee reviews each application carefully and bases its decisions on the following factors:
While professional in nature, the school is still an academic program and needs to see evidence of academic success before admitting a student. Overall grades as well as work done in courses specifically relevant to journalism are considered.
Experience can be gained through campus outlets, volunteer efforts or internships. Experience need not have been with a communications organization in order to be relevant. For example, previous applicants have served on special events committees for their sororities, written newsletters for community organizations and even helped market a friend’s baseball lessons.
The school expects to see evidence of strong basic writing skills such as spelling, grammar and sentence structure.
Through a one-page personal statement, students may articulate their career goals, attitudes about the industry and general desire to pursue a journalism education.
Admissions Information Workshops
The application for fall 2020 admission is due Friday, May 1 at noon.
Information sessions for interested applicants will be held in March and April. This page will be updated with the location and times of these sessions once they are scheduled.