Admission to M.P.A./Ph.D. Track

To be admitted to the M.P.A./Ph.D. degree track, student must be accepted by both the Neuroscience Training Program and the La Follette School of Public Affairs simultaneously. The programs work together to review applicants and applicants must meet the application requirements for both programs. Requirements are outlined below.

Graduate School
The Graduate School's minimum requirements for admission, which apply to the M.P.A and Ph.D. degrees can be found at: at

Applications for fall admission must be completed no later than December 1st of the year preceding intended enrollment. The program does not offer spring or summer admission.  All application materials need to be received by that date to ensure consideration, this includes letters of recommendation, official GRE scores and transcripts.  Applications are reviewed in December and selected applicants are invited to campus for an interview weekend in January or February. Final admission decisions are made by the end of March and, in accordance with the Council of Graduate Schools (website) national deadline, applicants have until April 15 to respond to an offer of admission.

N&PP Course Prerequisites:
The minimum course prerequisites are mathematics through calculus, one semester of microeconomics, one semester of American government and a year each of chemistry, physics, and biology. Prior laboratory research experience, while not required, is strongly recommended.

Electronic Application
Applications must be submitted electronically. On the electronic application form, under intended major field of study, enter both Neuroscience and Public Affairs MPA. Information describing the admissions requirements for the Neuroscience Training Program is available at: The admissions requirements for the La Follette School are posted at: Please consult the UW-Madison Graduate School's web page for more information regarding electronic applications at:

Reasons for Graduate Study
The Neuroscience and Public Policy Program prepares students for a variety of careers at the intersection of neuroscience research and public policy. Therefore, applicants must write a thoughtful statement that integrates their interest in pursuing both degrees and how they will connect the two fields of study. Successful applicants will prepare a statement of that demonstrates an understanding not only of research techniques and methods but also the importance and end goal of the research they are doing. Applicants also should explain in detail their interest in public policy, describing past experience, if any, in public affairs, why they wish to combine graduate training in public policy with training in neuroscience, and how they foresee integrating training in neuroscience with training in public policy in building a career.

Applicants who fail to address both programs and the integration of both into their degree path will not be considered for admission to the Neuroscience and Public Policy Program. An identical statement of purpose should be uploaded in the applications to the Neuroscience Training Program and the La Follette School of Public Affairs.

Official Transcripts
Transcripts must be uploaded in the online application from each institution that you have attended (undergraduate and graduate), even if no degree was received. Unofficial transcripts are accepted for the application process but upon acceptance to the program, official paper transcripts will be required. Note: International academic records must be in the original language accompanied by an official English translation. Do not send your transcripts to the Graduate School because we will not receive them by the Dec. 1st deadline.

If you have trouble uploading transcripts in the system due to file size or other concerns, please contact us at

Three Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation are submitted online and should be from persons familiar with an applicant's academic and research abilities. Instructions for letters of recommendation are posted at: No late letters will be accepted. Track your application status on MyUW to see if letters of recommendation have been submitted. Send reminders, ask another person for a letter of recommendation, just make sure to have at least three letters submitted on your behalf by December 1st!

Graduate Record Examination Scores
The GRE General Test is required The test should be taken in early fall at the latest (we recommend no later than end of September) so that scores will be available by December 1. In order to expedite the receipt of test scores directly to UW-Madison, the Educational Testing Service has established specific transmittal codes. On the GRE registration form, use code number R1846 for "Institution". If GRE scores are not received by December 1st your application will not be reviewed.

**According to ETS, if you take the computer-delivered GRE revised General Test, your official scores will be available in your My GRE account and sent to the institutions you designated approximately 10–15 days after your test date. If you take the paper-delivered test, your official scores will be available in your My GRE account and sent to the institutions you designated within six weeks after your test date.

Resume/Curriculum Vitae
A resume or CV is required and must be uploaded in the online application.

International Applicants
Please write via email to to discuss your intention to apply to the Neuroscience and Public Policy Program before doing so.