Tuition is the part of your college expenses that pays for your academic experience: the courses you take, the administration of academic departments and programs, and so on.
For University of Wisconsin schools, including UW–Madison, tuition is determined by the UW System Board of Regents, based on budgets approved by the Wisconsin governor and Legislature.
The Madison Budget Office on campus works out the rates for each academic program (Undergraduate, Law School, etc.). Our role is to calculate your specific tuition, based on the factors that affect your rate.
Tuition rates are published in early August
Because our campus’s tuition rates are tied to the timing of state budget approval, the Madison Budget Office is generally able to set and publish rates for the upcoming Fall and Spring semesters in early August. We publish tuition rates for some academic programs shortly after that. Tuition rates for Summer Term are usually posted in March.
How tuition is calculated
First, we look at your academic program (also called a “career”). Are you an Undergraduate? Earning an MBA? A student enrolled in both the Graduate School and Law School? Dissertating? A “Guest” student? These careers have different tuition rates.
Capstone Certificate programs are charged at Graduate rates unless otherwise approved.
Most academic programs have tuition rates based on the number of credits of the courses you’re taking in a semester. Some programs have a range of credits that share a “full-time” student rate: if you’re enrolled for a number of credits in that range, you’ll be assessed that rate. For Undergraduate students, it’s 12 to 18 credits in a Fall or Spring semester, or 6 to 9 credits in Summer Term.
Tuition surcharge over 165 completed credits. Wisconsin resident Undergraduate students who have completed more than 165 credits will be assessed a 100% tuition surcharge on any credits over 165, with some exceptions.
UW–Madison tuition rates are also assessed depending on your official “residence for tuition purposes” status. All students are required to establish their residence status as a part of admission or reentry to the University.
Wisconsin. — The Wisconsin State Legislature allows a special rate for students who are classified as Wisconsin residents. We officially call this resident tuition; it’s also commonly called “in-state” tuition.
Minnesota. — If you are a Minnesota resident, you may be eligible for the special Minnesota rate, based on a reciprocal agreement with Wisconsin. Application and approval is managed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, not UW–Madison. However, if you are approved for the Minnesota rate, we receive that information from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, and use that for your tuition assessment.
International. —International tuition rates are assessed for students with an active F-1 or J-1 visa on record with the University. Visa status for international students is maintained by the International Student Services office and the Office of the Registrar.