Tuition Structures for Degree/Majors and Certificate Programs

This KB page describes the different tuition structures that are available for degree/majors and/or certificate programs.

Tuition Structures:
Standard resident, MN reciprocity, and non-resident tuition for Undergraduates
Standard resident, MN reciprocity, and non-resident tuition for Graduate Programs
Professional-program specific tuition, Regent-approved
Market-Based Tuition (Chancellor- and President-approved)
Online/Distance Program Tuition (Chancellor-designee approved)


Standard resident, MN reciprocity, and non-resident tuition for Undergraduates
This is the most commonly selected tuition type for undergraduate programs. Tuition rates are set for undergraduates annually based on a proposal from the Chancellor to UW-System Administration and the Board of Regents. The legislature also offers perspectives on tuition setting. As a general principle, always select this choice for undergraduate programs. Only rarely should any other choice be made for undergraduate programs; consult with the director of Academic Planning and Institutional Research before making other choices.

Standard resident, MN reciprocity, and non-resident tuition for Graduate Programs
This is the most commonly selected tuition type for graduate programs. Tuition rates are set for graduate programs annually based on a proposal from the chancellor to UW-System Administration and the Board of Regents. The legislature also offers perspectives on tuition setting. As a general principle, this is always the choice for PhD programs and for graduate certificate programs, and usually the choice for master's programs. This tuition type is appropriate for both traditional 101/pooled programs and for graduate certificate programs, and usually the choice for master's programs. This tuition type is appropriate for both traditional 101/pooled programs and for 131/non-pooled revenue programs offered in non-traditional formats. Under certain circumstances master's-level programs or Capstone certificates may meet the standards for either Market-based Tuition or Online Tuition as described below.

Professional-program specific tuition, Regent-approved
This tuition type applies to professional programs for which tuition is approved by the Board of Regents, traditionally in December of even years for the following two academic years (for example, rates approved by the Board in December 2018 were effective for the academic years 2019-20 and 2020-21). Programs included in this category include: Medicine (MD), Law (JD), Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), Master of Physician Assistant Studies, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Genetic Counselor Studies, Master of Public Health, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Doctor of Nursing Practice, School of Business full-time masters programs including the MBA.

Market-Based Tuition (Chancellor-and President-approved)
Under UW-System tuition policy, the UW-Madison Chancellor has the authority to propose to the UW-System President, per-credit market-based tuition for programs that serve non-traditional audiences. For-credit programs seeking market-based tuition must be designed to enhance the professional skills for post-bachelors and non-degree students, be responsive to local and national labor markets, and be delivered in non-traditional formats that include accelerated, hybrid face-to-face/online formats, or part-time, weekend or evening formats. Segregated fees are charged. Program tuition revenue supports the costs of instruction for these programs. For eligible programs, the market-based tuition structure may allow for more competitive market pricing relative to peer and competitor programs and support enrollment growth. Masters and capstone programs that have been approved for 131/revenue program status may apply for a market-based tuition. The program can select one of the specified tuition tiers between $800 and $2500 per credit (as of December 2018). There is no plateau and tuition residency status is not considered. Deadlines apply. See the full policy document and application form: Market-BasedTuitionPolicy_6152019.docx

Online/Distance Program Tuition (Chancellor-designee-approved)
Under UW-System Tuition Policy (SYS 805) and UW-System Policy for Programming for the Non-traditional Market (SYS 130), UW-Madison has the authority to set per-credit tuition for online/distance degree/major programs and Capstone certificate programs if the programs are substantially supported by tuition revenue. Programs must meet the standards for online/distance-delivery (greater than 50% online).  Masters and capstone programs that have been approved for 131/revenue program status may apply for an online/distance-delivered tuition. The program can select one of the specified tuition tiers between $800 and $2500 per credit (as of December 2018). There is no plateau and tuition residency status is not considered. Generally no segregated fees are charged; exceptions may be made but market-based tuition may be more appropriate for programs seeking to include segregated fees. Deadlines apply. See the full policy document and application form:  OnlineTuitionPolicy_6152019.docx

See also:
Tuition rates, Bursar's Office
Tuition rates, Madison Budget Office (more detail and historical information)
UW-System Tuition Policy
UW-System Tuition Policy, Service Based Pricing Guidelines
December 2018 UW-Madison tuition proposal to Board of Regents (starting on page 87 of 121)

See Also: