Tuition (in-state)
$26,653 ($10,403)
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5 College Freshman

Diversity: Diversity is really promoted on campus - when we came in for orientation, they flat out told us that it was expected that we accept everyone for who they are. It's great!

3 College Senior

Diversity: I would love to have a more diverse friend group, but most ethnic groups tend to co-mingle without interacting with other groups...

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Diversity: The ethnic heritage may not be super diverse on campus but everyone is accepted and treated equally

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: There is a lot of ethnic and racial diversity on campus.

4 College Junior

Diversity: There are people from all over the world.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 35th
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 1100th
    Most Open-Minded Schools
  • 1360th
    Most Conservative Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

When it comes to campus diversity, for students, it’s more about how you define the term diversity. For those addressing differing personality and lifestyles, Madison is the leader of diversity. This is partly the result of campus-size. With over 45,000 students and hundreds of academic programs, people with every type of quirky element are drawn to UW. More so, many different organizations and clubs are set up to foster and nurture such contrasting people.

Racially, though, UW is less diverse. In the past two years, UW has gone up two percent in terms of diversity, as approximately 12.5 percent of students fall into minority categories, up from 10 percent in 2006. There is a growing trend of more international and study abroad students as well. Some students still find this statistic unfortunately low, however, and link it to the university’s Midwest location. But though UW's minority student population may be small, it is very strong in terms of presence. Many of the diversity clubs at the university are the ones offering the most activities and opportunities to students. These clubs will often hold information fairs, social gatherings, debate forums, and educational seminars. One downside is that students don’t feel minority groups spend much time on recruitment.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Foreign countries
  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • New York
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 0%
18-19: 30%
20-21: 32%
22-24: 18%
25+: 19%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 2%
Asian American: 9%
Hispanic: 3%
International: 3%
Native American: 0%
White: 81%
Unknown: 2%
Gay Pride
There is a high acceptance for those who are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender. LBGT is an organization geared specifically towards this student population. They hold information fairs, dances, and activity nights, as well as offering counseling services and support groups to students.
Political Activity
Due to the University’s liberal nature, UW and political activity share a long and colorful history. Since the school’s opening, students have been notorious for forming political rallies and protests. The presidential election between Obama and McCain was a prominent and heavily debated topic on campus. After the election, students spontaneously marched from the Capitol to Bascom Hill. There are several student organizations on campus like the College Republicans, Africa without Borders, the Central Asia Student Association, and the European Union Club.
Economic Status
While students’ financial backgrounds are as varied as the students themselves, a majority of people do come from middle- to upper-class families. Even so, many students depend on loans, government aid, part-time jobs, and scholarships to lessen the financial burdens of college expenses.
Most Common Religions
It’s hard to say that any one religion is more ‘popular’ than another. The student population is filled with those who are Lutheran, Catholic, Jewish, non-denominational, and anything else you can imagine. As a result, there are worshipping facilities for almost every religious sect.
Minority Clubs on Campus
Student organizations exist everywhere at UW and for almost any cause. Notably, 150 of those groups fall into the culture/ethnic category. There are groups for those who want to share their love of hip-hop, to those of Middle Eastern descent. The Multicultural Student Coalition is one of the more prominent groups on campus. They offer informational fairs, guest speakers, educational forums, and have massed a large student base. However, many of these clubs do not spend much time recruiting others. In the end, it is really up to the individual to find their cause or club.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 96 responses

  • 5% Progressive/very liberal
  • 33% Liberal
  • 21% Moderate
  • 10% Conservative
  • 5% Very conservative
  • 11% Libertarian
  • 14% Not sure

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 95 responses

  • 19% Progressive/very liberal
  • 54% Liberal
  • 14% Moderate
  • 3% Conservative
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 3% Libertarian
  • 7% Not sure

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 99 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 98 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 96 responses

  • 53% Very accepting.
  • 41% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 2% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 4% It's hard to be a minority here.


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