Living in Madison

Madison is where it all comes together: a Big Ten campus experience in the heart of Wisconsin’s vibrant capital city. Surrounded by five lakes and hundreds of tree-lined parks, Madison is known for natural beauty and year-round outdoor activities. Madison’s lively downtown offers outstanding cultural offerings, distinctive restaurants and shops, and an irreverent spirit of fun.

The city of Madison combines natural beauty, extensive cultural opportunities, and a healthy local economy to produce an outstanding quality of life for graduate students and their families. Madison is a highly livable community of over 220,000.

Madisonians enjoy a robust economy with a balance of industrial, agricultural, service, and governmental sectors. The city consistently ranks among the lowest unemployment rates in the country. It serves as the world headquarters for Promega Corporation and Oscar Mayer Foods. Madison is also the home of leading insurance companies such as American Family Insurance, CUNA Mutual Insurance Group, General Casualty, and over 30 others.

Madison is an all-season playground for the outdoor enthusiast. Residents can enjoy boating, fishing, sailing, or water skiing on one of the city’s four lakes. Madison and the surrounding area offer 250 parks and play areas, 150 miles of bike paths, 40 skating rinks, and 100 miles of cross-country ski trails.

The arts are flourishing in Madison! Enjoy a night out with the Madison Symphony Orchestra or Madison Opera. Spend a summer evening on the lawn of the Capitol listening to the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s Concerts on the Square. Stroll through the Chazen Museum of Art or a local gallery. Enjoy Madison’s stunning $200 million dollar performing arts facility, the Overture Center for the Arts. Whether you are interested in music, dance, theater, or the visual arts, Madison has something to offer you. Click here to watch a video on our award-winning city.