Tuition (in-state)
$26,653 ($10,403)
Admission Difficulty
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5 College Junior

Athletics: The sports teams themselves and the atmosphere at the events are both fantastic. Facilities for students are mediocre at best, but a huge initiative just passed to redo all of them.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Athletics: Game days are the best days to be in Madison! It's a time for the whole school to get together and show off badger pride.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: Almost all of the varsity sports teams here are very good. Football and basketball games are huge here and are a must to go see.

4 College Junior

Athletics: Football and basketball are popular and awesome here.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Athletics: Athletics at UW-Madison are a huge part of daily life. Whether you are going to be drafted into the NBA or if you are the star of your intramural basketball team, you always have a good time.

1 person found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 29th
    Most Active Varsity Sports
  • 622nd
    Best Intramural Sports

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Marie Puissant
Green Bay, Wis.
Marketing and English
View all previous student authors

Nobody denies the intense role athletics play at UW. For Saturday Badger Football games, any number of houses will start the athletic support by throwing parties and getting decked out in Badger wear, complete with body paint and large posters, all before nine a.m. The football stadium has a special student seating section that is crowded with supportive, sometimes intoxicated students. While football is probably the most viewed and attended sport, there are many other athletic events. Intramurals are offered through the athletic department and even different resident halls. IM sports are taken relatively seriously, though viewed more as a social activity than a true athletic event.

Overall, UW does not lack in providing athletic opportunities. For those needing serious and heavy competition, varsity sports are the place to be in. Many of UW's teams are successful and will travel for conference and tournament events. Students wanting something more low-key should check out intramurals. You form your own team and compete against other teams on campus. Lastly, if you're looking for something a little different, check out the club sports. Students can pick-up aikido, figure skating, or wakeboarding.

Facts & Statistics

Athletic Association
  • NAA
  • NCAA
Athletic Division
NCAA Division I-A
Athletic Conferences
Football: Big Ten Conference
Basketball: Big Ten Conference
School Colors
Cardinal and white
School Nickname
Bucky the Badger
Men Playing Varsity Sports
370 - 3%
Women Playing Varsity Sports
416 - 3%
Men's Varsity Sports
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Ice hockey
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Wrestling
Women's Varsity Sports
  • Basketball
  • Golf
  • Ice hockey
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
Club Sports
  • Aikido
  • Archery
  • Baseball
  • Budo
  • Capoeira
  • Cycling
  • Dance team
  • Eagle Claw Kung Fu
  • Fencing
  • Figure skating
  • Frisbee
  • Ice hockey
  • Japanese karate
  • Kendo
  • Lacrosse
  • Racquetball
  • Rugby
  • Running
  • Shorin Ryu karate
  • Softball
  • Table tennis
  • Tae Kwon Do
  • Tennis
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Waterskiing and wakeboarding
  • Wrestling
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Broomball
  • Dodgeball
  • Flag football
  • Floor hockey
  • Golf
  • Ice hockey
  • Racquetball
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
Athletic Fields & Facilities
  • Camp Randall Sports Center
  • Field House
  • Lathrop Hall
  • McClain Center
  • Natatorium
  • Nielson Tennis Stadium
  • Porter Boathouse
  • Shell
  • Southeast Recreational Facility (SERF)
Most Popular Sports
Football, basketball, hockey
Most Overlooked Teams
Rugby, water polo, badminton
School Spirit
School spirit is at a continuous high at UW. State Street alone offers at least five school paraphernalia stores. The University Bookstore also houses a large section of school wear, posters, keychains, and other necessary badger gear. Football games bring out the most amount of school spirit. Students attend these events decked out in red and white. Even if you're not at a sporting game, you will see students everywhere sporting their Badger-wear.
Getting Tickets
Getting tickets depends on the sport and the competition. Football games are very popular, and many students buy season tickets. Getting season tickets was recently changed to a lottery system. Students apply online in June and are notified in July. Not everyone is able to get season tickets, but there are other ways to see a game. If you are only looking to attend just a few weekend games, it's easiest just to find someone with season tickets who can't make that weekend's game. Another great way to get tickets to a game is to volunteer beforehand and hand out playbooks.
Best Place to Take a Walk
Lakeshore Path, State Street, Capital Square

Student Polls

How popular are varsity sports on campus?    Based on 123 responses

  • 3% No one pays attention to varsity sports.
  • 6% Varsity sporting events are attended, but not a huge part of campus life.
  • 60% Varsity sports are a big part of campus life.
  • 31% Almost everything on campus revolves around them.

How would you describe the athletic facilities?    Based on 123 responses

  • 3% The athletic facilities are relatively subpar for the demands.
  • 12% The athletic facilities are good for athletes, but only mediocre for the average students.
  • 58% Sports are important, and the quality of facilities shows that-for both athletes and non-athletes.
  • 27% The athletic facilities are some of the best in the country.

How popular are intramurals and club sports?    Based on 124 responses

  • 1% Almost no one participates in them.
  • 22% Some people participate in them, but they aren't a big part of campus life.
  • 66% They are overshadowed by varsity sports, but still a big part of campus life.
  • 11% They are just as popular as varsity sports (or even more so).


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