UW-Madison Art Department - Undergrads



Main Office

UW-Madison Art Department
School of Education
6241 Humanities Building
455 North Park Street
MadisonWI  53706

Tel: 608/262-1660
Fax: 608/265-4593

Email: artinfo@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form

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Carlos_Gacharna, glass

Undergraduate Admissions

The Art Department offers two professional programs, Studio Art and Art Education. Studio Art majors may pursue either the Bachelor of Science in Art degree or the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Art Education majors receive the Bachelor of Science in Art Education degree and eligibility for licensure to teach in elementary and secondary schools. Our programs offer an expansive list of art disciplines, and attract and admit students who excel artistically as well as academically.

Why major in Art? This charming video answers that question: "Uncle Henry" video, compiled by SNAAP (Strategic National Arts Alumni Project)

Undergraduate Degree Application

To apply for admission, visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison application for undergraduate admission.  It is important to select ART or PRE-ART ED as the intended major so the Art Department can follow the progress of the application. This selection does not obligate students to major in art, once accepted.

Portfolio Submission

  • Portfolio submission is not currently required for undergraduate ART applicants, but is strongly encouraged, as it enables the Art Department to make a recommendation on the applicant's behalf. The UW-Madison Office of Admissions makes final acceptance decisions.   

    Submit portfolio (8-12 images) through SlideRoom - Portfolio Submission for Incoming UNDERGRADUATE FRESHMEN and TRANSFER STUDENTS (Program 3).

    Students working primarily in digital media should include a minimum of 4 hand-created works (drawings, paintings, prints or sculptures) in their portfolios. Make sure images are sharply focused and well-lit. Our program prioritizes original ideas in art-making. Select images that show us who you are as an artist!

    ​Deadlines for Portfolio Submission 
    (different than application deadlines)

    Early Action Decision, Art Department must receive portfolio before November 10, 2016*.
    For Regular Decision, Art Department must receive portfolio before March 1, 2017*. 

Scholarship Applications

Once students are notified of acceptance by the Office of Admissions, a representative of the Art Department will invite the accepted student to apply for a scholarship. Art Scholarships are awarded in amounts between $1,000 and $8,000, with $2,000 the typical award.  A portfolio is required as part of the scholarship application package - submit through SlideRoom. Students must declare BS-Art, BFA or Art Ed to be eligible for an Art Department Scholarship and if just starting out in art, must participate in the First Year Interest Group Program (Art FIG). Incoming freshmen and transfer students declare the major during their registration and orientation (SOAR). Most, but not all, applicants will receive an award.

  • 2017-18 Scholarship Competition not yet open. Check back here after receiving admission notification.


Programs in the Department of Art allow students to build on existing academic and technical abilities while fostering a thorough understanding of the societal and cultural conditions underscoring the current creative landscape. Students enjoy the close-knit atmosphere of a department that prides itself on having a very low teacher-to-student ratio, with an average class size of 10-12 students.

Studio Offerings
Students complete a rigorous foundation program prior to branching out into one or more specialized area such as ceramics, cultural studies, digital art, drawing, glass working, graphic design, metalworking/jewelry, painting, performance, photography, all types of printmaking, theory, video, and woodworking. Literacy in, and mastery of, a chosen area of focus enables our students to become leaders in numerous creative fields as art educators, graphic and media designers, photographers, entertainment industry professionals, artisan specialists, community arts directors, as well as world-class fine artists.

Our degree programs are NASAD accredited and highly ranked both at the national and international level, attracting students with excellent academic credentials and a love of art and design. The Department of Art believes that hard-working students who learn to harness and nurture their creative energies today will be the people influencing progress tomorrow. 

Please email Undergraduate Advisor Julie Ganser with any questions.

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