The M.S. degree is currently designed for students who wish to pursue very specialized studies within one of two specific fields: global real estate and finance (with a specialization in quantitative finance). With previous undergraduate exposure to the functional areas of business, students are able to gain a more extensive focus in one of these two specific areas of business.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Business seeks to equip candidates with the broad business background, major specialization, and analytical skills necessary to make sound management decisions. To gain expertise in these areas, the curriculum combines traditional lecture-style delivery with case analysis, project work, team interaction, and hands-on/practical experience in the business community.

As a result, graduates of the School of Business possess highly sought after technical/specialized expertise in a functional area of business as well as general leadership, problem-solving, analytical, and decision-making skills. Utilizing these skills, many of the school's 30,000 alumni have achieved remarkable success in business, government, service, and academic arenas worldwide.

The high scholarly productivity and leadership of the school's 84 faculty are regularly noted in national rankings. Recent studies of U.S. and worldwide scholarly research productivity rated UW–Madison School of Business faculty among the top 20 graduate business schools in the country. In addition to world-renowned recognition for research, the School of Business faculty bring a variety of real-world experience to the program.

Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress

To make progress toward a graduate degree, students must meet the Graduate School Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress in addition to the requirements of the program.

Master’s Degrees

M.S.

Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement

30 credits

Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement

16 credits

Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement

Half of degree coursework (15 credits out of 30 total credits) must be completed in courses numbered 700 or higher.

Prior Coursework Requirements: Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison Undergraduate

No credits from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison University Special

With program approval and payment of the difference in tuition (between special and graduate tuition), students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of coursework numbered 700 or above taken as a UW–Madison University Special student. Coursework earned five or more years prior to the master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Credits per Term Allowed

15 credits

Program-Specific Courses Required

Contact the program for information on any additional required courses.

Overall Graduate GPA Requirement

3.00

Other Grade Requirements

The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.

Probation Policy

The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

Advisor / Committee

Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.

An advisor generally serves as the thesis advisor. In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies.

A committee often accomplishes advising for the students in the early stages of their studies.

Assessment and Examinations

Contact the program for information on required assessments and examinations.

Time Constraints

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

Language Requirements

Contact the program for information on any language requirements.

Admission consideration requires a four-year undergraduate degree or the equivalent, in any discipline, from an accredited institution. Work experience is not required. Applicants should have an undergraduate minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. In addition to academic credentials, test scores, personal achievements, motivation, communication skills (written and oral) and recommendation letters are considered in the admission process at both the master's and doctoral levels.

Note: The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), taken within five years of the starting term, is required of all applicants to the Ph.D. and M.S. Programs. Also, all domestic (including Puerto Rico) and international applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A recommended minimum TOEFL score of 106 (New iBT), obtained within two years of the intended starting term, is needed for admission consideration. International applicants who have completed a four-year bachelor's degree in a country where the official language is English may request a waiver of the TOEFL requirement. A master's degree from an English-speaking institution does not qualify for a waiver of the TOEFL. The school accepts IELTS and Pearson Test of English as substitutes for TOEFL.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Students demonstrate ability to diagnose and solve problems by drawing on accumulated knowledge, understanding correlation vs. causation, integrating inductive and deductive reasoning, and being aware of perceptual and conceptual biases that can affect individual and group decision-making and knowing how to correct these biases.
  • Students demonstrate ability to synthesize data and inputs from multiple sources to analyze business problems.
  • Students demonstrate ability to derive valid inferences from data and make recommendations based on marginal analysis of costs and benefits.
  • Students communicate clearly and effectively as managers in professional settings to meet organizational goals.
  • Persuasive skills in verbal and written communication.
  • Utilize a variety of media and technologies.
  • Manage the message and its flow through an organization.
  • Students develop multi-disciplinary approaches to frame and analyze complex business problems and situations.
  • Students understand perspectives on the role of business in society, e.g., shareholder value as its sole objective and corporations having a social responsibility.
  • Students can explain how these views are shaped by globalization, environmental and social circumstances, technology, law, and the role of government.
  • Students analyze the cultural, economic, and legal/regulatory issues that impact international business activities and relationships.

Professional Conduct

  • Students understand that a leader motivates and inspires people while a manager manages processes, that leader and manager roles are distinct and complementary, and that both roles are necessary for success in complex, multifaceted organizations.
  • Student can explain and contrast the different systems of behaviors for leaders and managers within the organization.
  • Students frame, reflect on, and respond to the ethical dimensions of business decisions.

Additional Learning Goals

  • Students demonstrate the skills and know processes to maximize team performance to successfully meet goals, both as an effective team member and leader.
  • Students understand the advantages of a diverse and inclusive workforce, and demonstrate the cultural competencies necessary to manage such a workforce.
  • Students analyze the impact of laws and regulations on their decisions.