Admissions - Graduate

Applying to graduate study

Students seeking admission to graduate study must apply electronically by completing the UW System application.

Application fee

In accordance with the University of Wisconsin System policies, graduate students applying to a graduate degree program must submit an application fee. The application fee is non-refundable, does not apply to graduate tuition, and cannot be waived. If enrollment is delayed, the application fee can be applied to the next two consecutive terms including summer session. 

Academic records

It is the student's responsibility to make arrangements for official transcripts of previously established academic records (undergraduate and graduate) bearing the official seal of the institution(s) where course work was taken to be sent directly from the registrar of each institution to the UW-La Crosse Admissions Office. This includes college level courses taken while in high school. If a student enrolled in fewer than 10 undergraduate semester credits at an institution, they do not have to send an official transcript unless the courses completed are prerequisites for the graduate program. Study abroad transcripts are not required if a student attended an international university for one or fewer semesters. Additional transcripts may be required at the university's or graduate program's discretion. All graduate transcripts must be submitted.

UW-La Crosse accepts transcripts sent directly from the issuing institution(s) or through an electronic secure document sending service. Transcripts that are marked “Issued to Student” or that are hand delivered by a student will not be accepted unless the transcript remains sealed in the original envelope from the issuing institution(s). Application fee and transcripts can be sent to:

Graduate Admissions Office
2320 Student Union
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601 

Admission criteria

Admission consideration to graduate study will be given to students who meet the following requirements:

For those seeking master's degrees:
  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • An overall undergraduate grade point average on required transcripts of at least 2.85 on a 4.0 scale, an average of at least 3.00 in the last half of all undergraduate work, or an average of at least 3.00 for no less than 12 semester credits of graduate study at another accredited graduate school. Applicants who do not meet grade point average requirements may be considered for admission on probation. Some programs have higher grade point average admission requirements.
  • Departmental or school/college admission to enter the graduate program. Many graduate programs require additional supplemental application materials. Please refer to the website of the specific program for details.
  • Satisfactory scores in any tests required by the program, department, or college. Please refer to the program website for test requirements. The UW-La Crosse GRE Institutional Code is 1914.
For those seeking doctorate or post-master's degrees:
  • A baccalaureate degree and/or a master's or doctorate degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • An overall baccalaureate, master's, post-master's, or doctorate degree grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required for admission to the Ed.S. (on-campus), Ed.S. (online), and DPT degree programs. The Ed.D. requires an overall grade point average of at least 3.25. 
  • Departmental or school/college admission to enter the graduate program. Many graduate programs require additional supplemental application materials. Please refer to the website of the specific program for details.
  • Satisfactory scores in any tests required by the program, department, or college. Please refer to the program website for test requirements. The UW-La Crosse GRE Institutional Code is 1914.

For more information, including a list of graduate programs, please visit the graduate education webpage. For questions about admission to the university, contact the Admissions Office.

Admission on probation

Students may be admitted on probation if they do not meet the minimum academic or graduate program admission requirements. Upon completion of nine graduate credits or two terms (whichever comes first) with a grade point average of 3.00 or above, the student will be removed from probation. Students admitted on probation will be dismissed from graduate study if their cumulative GPA is below 3.00 after completing nine graduate credits or two terms (whichever comes first).

Conditional admission

Students may be conditionally admitted to a graduate program while they are in the process of completing their undergraduate or master's degree. Final admission is contingent upon maintaining their cumulative grade point average and submission of an official final college transcript from the college they are attending showing the conferment of their degree. The final official transcript is due 15 days after the degree is posted.

International student admissions

International applicants seeking graduate admission to UWL should follow the instructions below.

Application: Complete the UW System online application for graduate study and pay the graduate application fee.

Academic records: Official, certified or attested copies of academic records from all post-secondary institutions attended are required, even if the program was not completed. Documents issued in languages other than English must be accompanied by certified English translations.

Proof of English language proficiency: Applicants for graduate study who are not native speakers of English must meet one of the following for admission:

  • Official TOEFL score of at least 79 iBT or 550 pBT - Institution Code: 1914.1
  • Official IELTS score of at least 6.0. 1
  • Official PTE (Pearson Test of English) score of at least 60.1
  • Official DET (Duolingo English Test) score of at least 110.1
  • A bachelor’s or higher degree from UWL or another approved institution where English is the sole language of instruction may also fulfill this requirement.
    • Degree must be earned within two years of expected enrollment at UWL.
    • Applicant must have attended the institution for a minimum of two years.
  • Other examinations and educational experiences considered on a case-by-case basis and approved through university governance.

Scores cannot be more than two years old.

Program specific requirements: Many graduate programs require additional application materials. Applicant should contact the graduate program directly about additional requirements.

Proof of funding: Bank statement and signed affidavit of support. Funding must be equal or greater than International Education & Engagement’s estimated costs for one year (two semesters) of graduate study. Students who require F-2 visas for dependents (spouse and/or children) must submit additional proof of funding and passport copies for each dependent.

Passport copy: Submit a photocopy of the biographical data in the applicant's passport. If the applicant is admitted to a program, this will ensure that immigration documents are issued accurately.

Application materials can be sent to:

Admissions Office
2342 Student Union
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601

For more information on international student admissions, visit the Admissions Office.

Special non-degree graduate students

Students with a bachelor's degree seeking to enroll in graduate courses for which they are qualified but not wishing to pursue a graduate degree may be admitted with special non-degree graduate student status. Special non-degree graduate students either may receive academic credit for courses successfully completed or may choose to audit. Auditors usually are not responsible for attendance or exams and therefore do not receive academic credit or grades for completed courses.

To apply for special non-degree graduate admission, complete the appropriate UW System application. Application fees and transcripts are not required. Students admitted as special non-degree graduate students register for classes after graduate degree seeking students and are not eligible for financial aid.

If special non-degree graduate students seek admission to a degree program at a later date, they must complete and submit a new application as a degree-seeking student. They may be considered for admission provided they have maintained a "B" average in graduate work and have met all other program requirements. No more than 12 credits earned as a special non-degree graduate student may be applied toward a degree program at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Further, deans and/or program directors/coordinators may accept or reject credit taken as a graduate special non-degree student.

University undergraduate enrollment in graduate courses policy

Undergraduate students with senior status (at least 90 credits) who have at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average, may enroll in a maximum of six graduate credits. These graduate level credits may not be used to satisfy requirements for a bachelor’s degree. Exceptions to these requirements must be approved by the Graduate Council.

Maximum student credit load for dual enrollment (graduate/undergraduate) is 15 credit hours for a semester and eight credit hours for a summer term (standard university overload approval process applies). 

Students must submit a graduate special non-degree application to the Admissions Office prior to registering for a graduate course. Undergraduate tuition and fees are charged. Students in dual-degree programs must complete the graduate program application process and pay graduate tuition fees. Students are expected to purchase texts for graduate courses.

Graduate students admitted with academic course deficiencies

Students with course deficiencies, who have been provisionally admitted to a graduate program, may be classified with the appropriate special student designation and, at such time as the deficiencies are removed, may be admitted to the graduate program with the appropriate graduate classification. Such students would be exempt from the "12 credits earned as a special student" restriction.

Graduate re-entry

If students voluntarily interrupt university enrollment for one semester or longer (excluding summer) while in good academic standing, re-entry status may be granted by applying through the Admissions Office. Applications should be made as early as possible but not later than one month prior to the beginning of the planned term of re-enrollment. Applications will be accepted until the enrollment limits have been reached.