University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering

Information for
future graduate students




Fall:  Received by December 30
Spring: Received by October 15




Graduate Program Office
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1607

Tel: 608/263-3138





FAQ - Grad School


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Degree requirements

Financial support

Graduate catalog

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Program profile


Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Why UW-Madison?

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Students with a strong background in chemical engineering or related disciplines and a serious interest in research are encouraged to apply for admission to our graduate program. Applications for Fall (September) admission must be received by December 30. (Early submission is encouraged.) The Spring (January) application must be received by October 15. Historically most students start in the Fall, seldom is admission offered for Spring semester.






1.   A minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (4.0 scale) on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours (approximately 2 years of work). A GPA of 3.25 is required of students with majors other than chemical engineering. Most applicants accepted into the program have a GPA well above 3.5.


2.  Complete an on-line Graduate School application form.  It is extremely important that you check your MyUW portal as frequently as possible. Here you will find an application check list, as well as any communication from the Graduate School. You can access your checklist and application updates through the MyUW portal ( You will first need to activate your NetID by visiting the NetID Account Activation site at You will need to enter your 10 digit UW-Madison campus ID number and your date of birth to complete the NetID activation process. Your campus ID number was provided in the confirmation email when you originally applied. It is the 10-digit number starting with 90.


3. The application fee is $56.00 U.S.  It is non-refundable and can be paid by credit card (Master Card or Visa), Debit/ATM. Non U.S. citizens will be charged a $6.00 international document processing fee.  Both fees will be processed during the submission of your application.


4.  Submit official Graduate Record Examination (GRE ) General test scores sent by ETS (institution code: 1846, department code 1001). The Subject test is not required. Average scores of students admitted last year were: Verbal - 158, Quantitative - 166, Analytical – 4.0.


5.   Recommendation letters submitted electronically on your electronic application by three persons who are familiar with you and your work.


6.  Applicants whose native language is not English must provide scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The TOEFL is preferred. Minimum required TOEFL scores are 92 (internet-based test, IBT),  or 580 (paper based test). The average TOEFL score for students admitted last year was 106 (IBT).

Applicants who have completed a minimum of two full-time semesters of graded course work, exclusive of ESL courses, in a U.S. college or university where English is the only language of instruction at the undergraduate level, not more than 5 years prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment, are exempt from the TOEFL requirement.  For more on the TOEFL, see Graduate School Admission Requirements and scroll down to English proficiency.






1.  A bachelor’s degree with a strong background in chemical engineering from an approved (ABET accredited) institution. International applicants must have a degree comparable to an approved U.S. bachelor’s degree.


2.  Statement of purpose, an unofficial transcript and resume saved in one document and uploaded


3.  At the conclusion of your statement of purpose please include brief responses to the following:

    -Which research areas interest you most (Materials, Bio, Catalysis, Systems, Transport, Thermodynamics)?

    -How many months of research experience do you currently have (including REU, independent study, co-op, internship, paid positions)?

    -How many research papers have you contributed to?

    -How many public research presentations have you made?

    -What is your SKYPE name?


4.  An unofficial transcript from each undergraduate and graduate program (if applicable) attended. Transcripts should be saved in the same document as your resume and statement of purpose and uploaded.  International applicants must provide academic records and official certificates and degrees in the original language accompanied by official English translations. Once admission is offered, applicants must send official copies of the transcripts and documents issued by the school with the official seal/stamp and official signatures submitted in sealed envelopes or sent directly from the college or university. Full admission is contingent upon receipt of these materials.


5. Your resume should be saved in the same document as your statement of purpose and transcript and uploaded.


Applicants must meet both department and Graduate School requirements for admission and are formally admitted by the Graduate School upon recommendation from the department.



Specific questions not answered on these pages or the FAQ-CBE page may be sent to