The Kinesiology Department reviews applicants and has the right to recommend an applicant’s admission to the UW-Madison Graduate School. The Graduate School retains the right to make the final admission decision. To apply for admission, you must submit, via the UW Grad School, your online graduate admission application. The Kinesiology Department reviews your application after you complete and submit it online to Grad School. Kinesiology decides whether to ask Grad School to certify your official admission.
Please NOTE that there is usually substantial time, sometimes months, between application completion and notice-of-outcome. During this time our faculty members do their review. For further discussion, see deadlines below.
Your statement is your formal application’s most consolidated, direct, intensive, and personal communication with the Kinesiology faculty. It tells them why you think they should admit you for graduate study and outlines your specific areas of interest. Your statement is a significant intellectual exercise, so we hope you will use considerable care and thought in making it compelling and persuasive.
Graduate Program Named Options
You are able to apply for up to 3 named options, but you will only be admitted into 1 named option, should you be admitted to the program. Please click the links for each area of specialization to see the advisors and a description of the named options. We encourage students who are interested in performing research to contact faculty advisors within their area of interest to inquire about specific requirements and lab openings prior to submitting the application.
The Graduate School Application will require you to select an area of specialization from the drop down menu in the supplemental application section. You should also discuss your specialization area of interest in your Personal Statement to explain to the Kinesiology faculty reviewers why you want to be considered for the area of speculation identified. If you are interested in more than one area, be sure to discuss the different areas during your personal statement.
Research-based Named Options:
In a research track, you eventually must develop and apply an experimental methodology in which you hypothesize results about a narrow experimental question in consultation with your faculty advisor. You then evaluate and report actual experimental results in an effort to contribute new knowledge to the expertise in that research area (or to develop new hypotheses for further research).
Non-Research Based Named Option
The Applied Exercise Science named option is designed for students who have a broad general interest in Kinesiology and would like to receive graduate-level training across all areas of Kinesiology rather than focusing on one specific area. This is a coursework-based degree and no research or capstone project is required. Students may choose from a variety of electives, including internship experiences, to tailor their MS to their specific educational and career goals.
A bachelors or master’s degree in Kinesiology or related field generally satisfies all the prerequisite requirements. If the bachelor or master’s degree was completed in an area outside of Kinesiology, the applicant must complete an Anatomy and Physiology course (either separate courses or combined) in addition to two courses from within one of our areas of specialization (see the list of named options).
Applicants who lack some prerequisite courses may still be considered for admission and would be admitted with deficiencies. The deficiencies must be made up before a graduate degree will be granted. Often the deficiencies are made up during graduate study, but early applicants with few deficiencies and access to an institution of higher education can sometimes take and document their deficient courses prior to graduate matriculation.
Letters of Recommendation
At least three letters of recommendation are required for an application to the Kinesiology graduate program. The UW-Madison Graduate School requires online letters of recommendation, and the online application includes a section that you may use to request online recommendations.
Do not submit paper letters or other paper application materials to the Graduate School or to the Kinesiology Grad Program. If you do, they are likely to be delayed, sometimes substantially; or lost/ unidentified.
All university-level educational transcripts are required for an application to the Kinesiology graduate program. The Kinesiology graduate program strongly prefers online uploads of transcripts at the application stage (can be unofficial transcripts). We hope the unofficial upload of transcripts is cheaper, easier, faster and more efficient for applicants, especially those applying to multiple institutions. If the Kinesiology Department ultimately recommends your Grad School admission, then we will need your official transcript(s) so we can send them to the Grad School for their final review. When we require official transcripts, we will notify you.
Bachelor’s Degree & Minimum GPA
The UW Graduate School requires all graduate students to have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) prior to entry into a graduate program at UW-Madison. Applications may be submitted while the bachelor’s or other undergraduate degree is still in progress, but the undergraduate degree will need to be completed by the start of graduate study. If the bachelor’s or equivalent degree will be conferred (officially granted, listed on transcript) after graduate study begins, the UW Graduate School will allow a short grace period for proof-of-degree.
The Graduate School’s official minimum GPA for undergraduate work is 3.0 (if the grading scale was A=4.0 as a maximum). A department may seek a waiver of the GPA minimum if it feels that the applicant has a particularly compelling qualitative background.
Applicants whose undergraduate work was evaluated on a grading scale other than A=4.0 may submit transcripts with the original institution’s grades, marks, or scores, and UW will do its own conversion.
Applicants whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not exclusively in English, must provide evidence of English competence on the TOEFL or accepted alternate assessment. Please see the page on Graduate School Admission Requirements for more information.
International students must comply with United States law that requires a showing of adequate funds to cover all expenses, including tuition, for the expected duration of studies here. The Graduate School enforces this requirement. See the international applicant financial information page for details. If you are an international student (required to make a showing of funds), please do NOT submit financial documentation until the Graduate School specifically instructs you on when, where, and how to do so.
That will occur: a) after you complete your application; and b) only if you are recommended by a department for admission. A showing of funds is unnecessary when you first apply. It can be counter-productive to submit funding information too soon. The amount of funding that an international student must prove is offset by any offer-of-support that the department might make (for example, a teaching assistantship).