Apply to Human Ecology

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Prospective high school students or college transfer students

All prospective students applying to UW–Madison must do so through the central Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

Follow these steps when applying for a human ecology major

  1. Be sure to indicate your interest in a specific human ecology major as your first choice on your application
  2. Clearly articulate how your personal and professional interests relate to that major
  3. Ensure all required documents are submitted in a timely manner (i.e., transcripts and application essays)

Textile and Fashion Design applicants may also submit an optional Design Studies Portfolio to show off your creative and artistic talents for additional consideration for admission to UW–Madison.

Already admitted to UW–Madison

You can also indicate your interest in a human ecology major when registering for SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising and Registration) or while attending SOAR.

Visiting campus & the School of Human Ecology

The school holds monthly campus visits for prospective students and their families and guests. Register now for upcoming Campus Visit days!

If you are unable to attend one of our upcoming visitation dates, please contact the Advising & Career Center to schedule an appointment at or 608-262-2608.

If you would like to speak with a student ambassador, please complete this form.

Students eligible to declare a major

The School of Human Ecology welcomes all First Semester Transfer students, and students with fewer than 60 earned GPA credits, a minimal 2.75 cumulative GPA, and not on probation in their school/college to declare a human ecology major without completing the Major Application.

All other students must complete the Online Major Application to apply to a major within the school. All students interested in either the Certificate in Textiles and Fashion Design or Design Strategy must also apply.

Have questions before declaring?

For an in-depth overview of human ecology and all of our majors complete the online Becoming a SoHE Student (BASS) presentation. For quick questions or concerns, attend drop-in advising (Wednesday 10:00-12:00 and Thursday 1:00-3:00)

Ready to declare a human ecology major

Complete the Human Ecology Major Declaration form today!

Students required to complete major/certificate application

Major and Certificate Application Process

Students with more than 60 GPA credits and/or a cumulative GPA below 2.75 are required to complete the online major application to apply to the following human ecology majors: 

  • Community & Nonprofit Leadership
  • Consumer Behavior & Marketplace Studies
  • Human Development & Family Studies
  • Personal Finance
  • Personal Finance: Financial Planning
  • Textiles & Fashion Design

All students interested in either the Certificate in Textiles & Design or Design Strategy must also apply.

Admission depends both on the quality of the application materials and on the availability of space in the program. 

Online application 

The application is available during the first four weeks of fall and spring semester.  

Apply now! 

Application Policies 

  • Students can apply for multiple majors and certificates, but must fill out a separate application for each program 
  • Applications are accepted twice a year and are open during the first four weeks of each fall and spring semester
  • Students can apply to a human ecology department a maximum of two times 
  • To be eligible to apply, students must be in good academic standing with their current school or college 
  • Students may formally appeal a denied admission decision 
  • No late applications are accepted 
  • Students are notified of admission decision approximately one month after the application deadline 

Criteria for admission 

Faculty Admissions committees will review all applicants and will give preference to students who have some or all of the following: 

  • Experience (paid or volunteer) in work related to the major 
  • Other life experiences that show a commitment to the major 
  • Life experiences and personal characteristics that will enrich our learning community 
  • Career goals that are a good fit with the major 
  • Competitive GPA 
  • Successful completion of some coursework in the major 
  • High quality application materials, including evidence of strong writing skills 

Class standing (sophomore, junior, or senior) will also be considered in admissions decisions as it is necessary to have a balance of students across the different classes in the program. 

Application essay 

The School of Human Ecology application includes an essay addressing the following prompt, “In no more than 500 words, please tell us what you hope to gain by pursuing this major, and what you would bring to the School of Human Ecology. Please note career goals/plans, relevant job or volunteer experience, and/or life experiences related to this major.” 

The admissions committee evaluates the quality of the student’s writing in the application essay as part of the admissions process. Applicants are encouraged to work with The Writing Center. 

Interior Architecture Admissions

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The Interior Architecture program at UW-Madison is a selective admission program with a sequence of Phase 1 and Phase 2 required courses. Prospective students must complete Phase 1 courses to be eligible to apply for admission into Phase 2 of the program. The number of students accepted into Phase 2 of the program is limited to 32 spaces. Applications for Phase 2 admissions are accepted once a year in the spring semester.

Phase 1: Pre-Interior Architecture

Students take introductory design coursework and learn foundations and principles in drawing, two-dimensional and three-dimensional design, and model making. Performance in coursework and demonstration of design ability will be evaluated for admission into Phase 2.

Phase 2: Interior Architecture

Integrated coursework combining design, theory, history, and digital technology. Students deepen their knowledge of design and enhance their professional skills. A professional portfolio is required before graduation.

For students admitted into Phase 2, they are required to purchase a laptop that meets the minimal operational specifications for optimal software functioning.

Contact an advisor to talk about a human ecology degree

Nancy Nicholas Hall
Room 1194
Schedule with Starfish