Typical Qualifications for Graduate Program Admission

Department of Chemistry minimum requirements for admission are:


Your bachelor’s degree must be completed before you begin the graduate program in chemistry. Our graduate students usually hold a bachelor’s in chemistry or in a related science with a strong background in chemistry. International applicants must have a degree comparable to an approved U.S. bachelor’s degree. Prospective graduate students are expected to have satisfactorily completed the equivalent in course and lab of the fundamental courses in chemistry offered at UW-Madison, one year of physics, and mathematics through calculus. Students who have not completed all the prerequisites may be admitted in exceptional cases, but any deficiencies must be made up in the first year of graduate study.


The Graduate School requires an undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). However, if there are strong reasons for admitting an applicant with a lower GPA, the student can be admitted on probation.

English Proficiency

Applicants whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate institution instruction was not in English, must provide official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS.  TOEFL scores must be submitted electronically via ETS. IELTS scores can be submitted electronically or by paper. An admitted applicant whose TOEFL score is below 92 (iBT); below 580 (paper-based); below 237 (computer-based (CBT)); or whose IELTS score is below 7 must take an English assessment test upon arrival. You must then register for any recommended English as a Second Language (ESL) course(s) in the first semester you are enrolled.