Wisconsin BBA Pre-Business Admission

Becoming a Business Badger begins with admission to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Students are admitted to the university in the College of Letters & Science and complete a one-year pre-business preparatory curriculum. Students should apply to the Wisconsin BBA Program in the spring semester of their first year for admission into the program beginning the fall semester of their sophomore year. Students can apply up to two times prior to earning 86 credits (senior standing), although priority is given to students who apply in their first year. About 90% of current Wisconsin BBA students gain admission through the pre-business process.

Pre-Business Course and Credit Requirements

To be considered for admission, students must complete the following by the end of the spring semester in which they apply:

  • 24 degree credits of coursework in residence at UW–Madison
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • Four pre-business courses. Advanced coursework in high school (AP, CLEP, or IB) can fulfill these coursework requirements:
    1. Communications Part A: English 100, Com Arts 100, OR ESL/English 118
    2. Calculus: Math 211, 217, OR 221
    3. Microeconomics: Economics 101 OR 111
    4. Psychology: Psychology 201, 202, OR 281

Application Components

The Wisconsin BBA Admissions team holistically considers your academic and non-academic strengths, gifts, and talents. In addition to submitting your academic history and GPA through the spring semester, you must submit the following for review:

  • Wisconsin BBA Admission Application: Provide academic and non-academic information via the online application at go.wisc.edu/applybba.
  • Résumé: Convey your leadership, impact, and other significant involvement in campus student organizations, community organizations, and/or jobs through a one page résumé.
  • Essays: Respond to the prompt(s) via essay(s) that are on topic, personalized, and well-written.

Admission Timeline

  • BBA admission application OPENS: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. (CT)
  • Once students begin the essay section of the application (Essay Question #1 and Essay Question #2), they have 24 hours to complete their essays.
  • BBA admission application CLOSES: Friday, March 25, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. (CT)
  • Application decisions announced: late June/early July

Application Resources

For a listing of all pre-business events for this semester, please click here.

BBA Admissions 101 and 102 Sessions

These sessions outline the admission process, highlight strategies to be a competitive applicant, and provide guidance for your résumé and essay preparation. To review the schedule of offerings, click here.

Résumé Resource Guide for BBA Admission Application

This guide outlines best practices for the content and format of your résumé and complements BBA Admissions 102. It is expected that you utilize the guide before seeking a resume review this spring semester. Click here to view the guide.


This two-week event provides pre-business students the opportunity to have their nearly finalized resumes professionally reviewed by BBA staff before submitting an application to the Wisconsin School of Business. Make sure you utilize the Résumé Resource Guide before coming in to have your resume reviewed!

Drop-in times available Monday-Friday from 11am-4pm February 22-March 4, 2016 in 3150 Grainger.

UW Writing Center

The writing center offers drop-in meetings and appointments to help you prepare for your admission essays. Learn more here.

Essay Preparation

This document is meant to help you begin preparing for the essays. Click here to view the document.

Pre-Business Advising

Pre-business advisors are available to help you throughout the admission process. See your advisor for help with:

  • Questions about the admission application
  • Feedback on your résumé (follow strategies in the Résumé Resource Guide for BBA Admission Application before meeting)
  • Finding other campus resources to help you improve your current academic performance and your GPA
  • Exploring and choosing a major

To make an appointment with a pre-business advisor, click here.

Transfer Student?

Click here for more information about applying as a transfer student.

High School Student?

Click here for more information about applying through our direct admit program.

Ready to apply?