University of Wisconsin–Madison

Application & Selection

  • Eligibility

    The PREP program is designed to increase opportunities for individuals from groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in academic psychology. Thus, we can only consider applications from individuals who meet one of the following eligibility criteria:

    • From a racial/ethnic minority group: African-American, Latino/Hispanic, Native Alaskan or Native Pacific Islander, Native American, Southeast Asian (Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, or Vietnamese, admitted to US after 12/31/1975), Biracial/Multiracial
    • From a low-income household (income cutoffs can be accessed on the application to determine if your household qualifies)
    • First in their family to attend college
    • Affected by a documented disability

    In addition to the above, to be eligible applicants MUST also:
    • Be a US citizen or permanent resident
    • Have completed their sophomore or junior year at an accredited college or university (but note that students who will have graduated by the start of the program are not eligible)

    For applicants who meet the eligibility criteria, the following factors are taken into consideration in evaluating applications:
    • University grade point average of at least 3.0/4.0
    • A strong interest in a career in psychology research. (Note that PREP is not intended for students interested in a career in an applied profession, such as clinical practice, counseling or school psychology, forensic psychology, etc.)
    • Goodness-of-fit between an applicant’s research interests and those of a faculty mentor who will be participating in the program during the summer in question. (The roster of faculty mentors changes on a year-to-year basis, and is typically not finalized until the Spring semester prior to each summer’s program.)
    • Enrollment in an institution that does not offer the research infrastructure and opportunities that are available at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Application Procedure


    To apply to the PREP program, please visit the UW-Madison Summer Research Opportunities (SROP) online application. There, you will be able to complete Part One and Part Two of the application.

    Please note that it is the applicant’s responsibility to provide the Selection Committee with all the completed application parts, consisting of the following:

    Part One:

    A.    The online application form

    B.    Rankings of up to 3 summer program(s) at UW-Madison you’d like to apply to, in order of preference.  If PREP is your first-choice program, be sure to select it as such.  You may apply to as few as 1 or as many as 3 summer programs.

    C.    Two letters of recommendation obtained from your college professors or advisors who are familiar with your academic abilities and potential to do research. Please ask that they refer to your interest in a career in psychology, as well as the level of opportunities for comparable research at your home institution. Once you submit your application, your references will each be emailed a link to the online recommendation form. Please be sure that the email information you enter for each reference person is correct, and that they are expecting an email from PREP.  Recommenders who are having difficulty using the online system may mail or e-mail their letters.

    D.   Three brief statements.  These statements are part of your application to all UW-Madison summer programs you choose in the ranking section.
    1.  Please write a statement of 3900 characters or less describing how your participation in a summer research program at UW-Madison would contribute to your future goals and career plans.

    2.  Please write a statement of 3900 characters or less describing which area(s) of research are of interest to you.

    3.  Although previous research experience is not required to be considered for participation in our summer program, please describe in 3900 characters or less any research experience you may have had in the past.

    E. Official college transcript(s) from the undergraduate academic institution(s) you

    attend/have attended.  Uploaded digital transcripts MUST be in PDF format. Non-PDF

    transcripts may be e-mailed to

    Part Two:

    After you have submitted Part 1, a link to the Part 2 essays will appear.  These essays are PREP-specific and MUST be included with your application for you to be considered for PREP.  Successful applicants do not repeat their Part 1 essays in Part 2.

    1.    If you have had prior research experience, how has it contributed to your desire to participate in PREP? If you do not have prior research experience, summarize why. What other factors led you to be interested in PREP?

    2.    Which Department of Psychology faculty member’s research ( interests you most, and why? (Listing more than one is acceptable.)

    3.    How would participation in PREP contribute to your long-term career plans in psychology?

    You can save and return to the online application as many times as you need to complete the process before the deadline of February 15. Your application will be submitted only after pressing the “submit” button.

    If needed, transcripts and letters of recommendation may also be sent to:
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Department of Psychology
    Attn: PREP Program
    1202 West Johnson Street
    Madison, WI 53706-1611

    Incomplete applications will not be considered.

  • Selection and Placement

    After receiving a complete application (including all required support materials), the PREP coordinating committee will review this information for admission to the program. Criteria for selection will be based on academic qualifications as determined by academic record and prior course work, letters of recommendation, and the three statements regarding research experience, interest in PREP, and future career goals.

    If selected as a program finalist, the committee will match the applicant to a faculty mentor according to the fit between the applicant’s research interests and available research opportunities. Selection and mentor match of students will take place during January, February, and March. Applicants who are not selected will be notified by April.