For Fall 2018, we received nearly 7,000 applications for a freshman class of 2,150. Students completing rigorous courses, including senior year, will be stronger candidates for admission. The admission decision is determined by the primary and secondary factors in the application.

Primary Factors for Admission Consideration

  • Course Rigor See chart below
  • Class Rank*/Cumulative Grade Point Average
  • Official ACT or SAT Scores (ACT code: 4672, SAT code: 1914)

*If a high school does not provide class rank, then cumulative grade point average will be considered in the admission decision.

Middle 50% Range of Admitted New Freshmen

A total of 25% of students we admit are above this range and 25% of students are below this range. 
ACT composite score: 23-27
New SAT: 1130-1270 
Class rank: 68th - 90th percentile 

Secondary Factors for Admission Consideration:

While academic preparation is the primary criterion used in the admissions review process, we consider other nonacademic secondary factors that may contribute to the strength of an application, including:

  • Demonstrated leadership 
  • Extracurricular involvement
  • Special talent
  • Essays - Please answer both essays in 250-500 words each. The second essay offers two topic choices. Please select only one to answer.
    • Tell us about your academic and personal achievements. What have you learned from your success and/or challenges, and how will this influence you as you pursue your college education?
    • Please respond to one of the following: 
      • 1) How will your life experiences, commitments, and/or characteristics enrich the UWL campus community?  
      • 2) Tell us why you are interested in attending the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and what aspects of campus are especially important to you.
  • Letters of recommendations (optional, not required)
  • Adding a diverse dimension to our campus community

Academic Preparation (Course rigor) for UW-La Crosse Applicants

Course Subject



Average preparation

of an admitted applicant


4 credits

4 credits


Algebra 1, Geometry, Advanced Algebra

3 credits

4 credits

Natural Science

At least 2 credits from biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, 

or advanced courses in these disciplines

3 credits

4 credits

Social Science/History

3 credits

4 credits

Foreign Language

No Requirement

3 credits


Chosen from the above areas, foreign language, fine arts, computer science, 

and other academic areas

4 credits

2 credits


17 credits

21 credits

Applying for fall term? 

Apply beginning August 1. All complete applications received by February 1 will receive full consideration for admission. Applications received or completed after February 1 will be considered on a space-available basis.

Applying for spring term?

Apply beginning August 1. Applications will be considered on a space-available basis.

To Apply, You Will Need to Submit:

  • The UW System application, available online at
  • nonrefundable application fee, which you can pay online during the application or via check to UW-La Crosse. Please discuss with your school counselor if you think you may qualify for an application fee waiver due to family financial hardship.
  • Official ACT or SAT test scores, directly from the testing agency (ACT code: 4672, SAT code: 1914). We cannot accept scores reported on high school transcripts. Applicants who have been out of high school for four years or more may have the ACT requirement waived.
  • Your official high school transcript.
  • Letters of recommendation are not required. 
    • We accept up to two letters maximum. 
    • You can mail, fax (608.785.8940), or email the letters as an attachment to Please do not send cloud-based documents with permissions (GoogleDrive, OneDrive, etc). 
    • You may submit up to two letters of recommendation if you feel they would enhance the quality of your application.

When will you receive an admissions decision?

Once we have received all the materials required for your application, you will receive an admission decision in three to five weeks via USPS. You can also track your application status online through WINGS. Access information will be sent to students after they submit an application.

Postpone List

Some applicants may be placed on a postpone list, in which an admission decision is made at a later date. Review of the postponed students begins in early December and continues thereafter, dependent upon the number of applications received and space available in the freshman class. These applicants are typically contacted after the application priority date of February 1 with an update on their status. They will be notified of a final admission decision no later than May 1.

If you have been admitted to UW-La Crosse, congratulations! Check out our admitted new freshman page to complete your next steps. 


If you are taking college credit during high school through a UW System or Wisconsin Technical College System campus, determine how your credit will transfer using the Credit Transfer Wizard.