Closeup of three, gray, felt pinwheel lamps in the Dorothy O'Brien Innovation Lab.

AcademicsGraduate Admissions

Human Ecology Graduate Programs provide a rich, interdisciplinary experience, exploring the human condition in relation to ecological settings.

Apply to the Grad School

Getting started

State your purpose
Outline your initial reasons for pursuing graduate study, thinking about the problem you wish to examine, why this area of inquiry is important to you, and the personal and professional goals you wish to achieve. If you can, tell how this focus will build on your past experience and how it will complement or extend efforts others have made to date.

Research our programs
Learn more about our degree options and our academic departments, faculty research and engaged scholarship here at the School of Human Ecology.

Learn about our centers
Examine the work School’s research and development centers, which provide additional opportunities for networking and support among our faculty and students.

Visit us
Arrange to visit us and meet with the graduate contact for your program of interest regarding offerings and opportunities that may match your goals.

Refine your purpose
After doing the above, refine reasons for pursuing graduate study (to submit with application), if appropriate, and complete the application process.


For more information, email the director of the School’s Graduate Studies: Associate Professor Sigan Hartley

Understand the application process

To ensure that your application reaches those who can be of greatest help in achieving your goals, it is important to carefully reflect on your personal and professional objectives in relation to a graduate program’s options and faculty scholarship. By its nature, graduate education assumes a good deal of self-directedness on the part of the learner. The School of Human Ecology faculty and students think of themselves as a community of scholars focused on generating, articulating, and applying carefully founded original and creative insights.

Know who makes the decision

Graduate admission is a shared process at UW–Madison. The faculty in the option to which you apply evaluate your application and make a recommendation to the UW Graduate School regarding admission. The final decision is made by the UW Graduate School.