Dear Future Colleague,
We are honored that you are thinking about applying to our program. As (or before) you do, please be aware of the following:
In admission decisions, we consider (a) the applicant’s academic qualifications; (b) whether we believe that an applicant’s research interests match the expertise of our faculty; (c) whether the faculty member/s whose expertise supports an applicant’s interests has/have the resources (especially in available time) to take on a new student; and (d) the availability of financial support.
We only admit students whom we believe we can support financially over the course of their doctoral studies (a minimum of four years), through a mix of Teaching Assistantships, Project Assistantships, and Fellowships, which are important components of building professional expertise and connections. Benefits provided with assistantships are explained here. However, Teaching Assistantships especially depend on the resources of other academic departments as our graduate program has no undergraduate students that would need TAs.
As an interdisciplinary program that serves as well as supports a broad variety of research interests and methods and includes expertise in a large number of different languages, we attract an equally broad array of applicants. We truly thrive on diversity in perspective, thought, provenance, objectives, and trajectories.
But it is a challenge to match diverse applicants with diverse – and unpredictable – resources. Please know that we are restricted in the number of new students that we can take in each year – and that the number fluctuates with available funding and faculty, which may not become apparent until after the application deadline. We are further limited in whether and when we can support students with specific skills and needs. Sadly, while we always do our best to arrange for the most comprehensive and suitable support package for new students, we have had to – and will need to in the future – turn down highly qualified applicants because we cannot offer the support that they need at the specific time.
It is likely that our program is not alone in these challenges. We did want you to be aware of them as you prepare your application. More specifically, we wanted to let you know that the Graduate School processes applications to up to three academic programs for one (the same) application fee. More information can be found here. If you feel that your interests intersect with more than one academic program at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, you might want to make use of the option to apply to multiple programs at the same time. Some applicants may qualify for an application fee grant.
Please also know that while you are always welcome to contact us with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org please understand we are limited in the type and extent of information that we can offer without a complete and submitted application.
We do assure all applicants that their application dossiers will be given our full consideration.