Welcome Weekend for Prospective Graduate Students

February 28-29, 2020

Welcome Weekend Schedule

Each spring, the CS Department and the Student ACM grad students host a Welcome Weekend for visiting prospective graduate students. Prospective grad students who have been offered admission to the program will learn about faculty research, meet with professors, socialize with current grad students and experience the beautiful UW-Madison campus.

The visit weekend has an action-packed schedule all day Friday and Saturday. If possible, plan to arrive in Madison Thursday, February 27 and leave on Sunday, March 1. The Friday sessions are about the Computer Sciences department, its research and our faculty. Check in and continental breakfast begin at 8:00 a.m. Faculty research talks will start promptly at 8:30 a.m.

Saturday activities are led by current graduate students. The goals are for participants to experience Madison, mingle with current grad students and get “insider information’ on grad student life in the UW-Madison CS department.


Admitted students will receive a detailed email invitation around February 1 that will include the registration forms and additional information. Double occupancy hotel rooms for Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening will be provided to all Welcome Weekend attendees who register by February 13. The hotel requires the information by that date.

If you can’t make it on the 28th but would like to visit on a date after Welcome Weekend, it’s possible to visit the department any weekday from March 4 until April 15 except during UW-Madison’s spring break, which is March 14-22.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should I fly? Most of the major airlines have a flight into Madison (MSN) every few hours from all of their hubs. It is possible to fly direct into Madison from at least 10 major US cities. To save a bit of money, you may want to check prices to fly into Chicago and take the Van Galder bus or fly into Milwaukee and take the Badger Bus to Madison.

How do I get to campus from the airport?

You can take a taxi, city bus or Uber.

What are some other sources of information about UW-Madison?

Try the UW-Madison main page and the Department of Computer Sciences web page.

What about my lodging?

We have reserved a block of double rooms at the Union Hotel, adjacent to the CS Department for Thursday, Friday and Saturday for Welcome Weekend visitors. This lodging is paid for by the department. Please register by February 13 if you need hotel accommodations.

What should I wear?

Dress casually: slacks, skirt, or jeans with a nice shirt or blouse, and comfortable walking shoes. If you’re interested in using the university’s athletic facilities, you might want to bring exercise clothes bathing suit for swimming.

What’s the weather like?

Weather in Madison in late February is unpredictable: 20-45 degree range is typical. Snow or rain is possible. So plan for any conditions.

Can I talk with specific faculty during visit weekend?

Many faculty will be available in their offices Friday afternoon to meet with prospective students. The department will schedule meetings with faculty. You can request to meet with faculty in specific areas on the registration form. You will also have the opportunity to interact with faculty at meals on Friday.

I can’t make visit weekend. Can I visit another time?

Yes. The department will arrange meetings for you with 2-3 faculty of interest as well as lunch with some grad students if time allows. In order to meet with faculty you will need to be in Madison at least one weekday. You may visit any time after March 4th and before April 15th, except for the week of spring break, March 14th – 22nd.

Where can I find more information about living in Madison?

You’ll have plenty of time to talk to us about this during your visit, but if you want to read up on it before you get here, we’ve got some links for you. Graduate students live all over the place and have a wide range of living expenses. Living close to campus has the advantage that you’re at the center of life. If you are willing to live further from campus and commute, you can pay much less for a nicer place. There’s almost no parking close to the department, but there are very good bus connections to many areas away from campus. So it all depends what is important to you. You should also look at the Campus Area Housing site.

Where can I find more information about life in Madison?

Try these sites:
Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau
City of Madison

Where can I find information about women in Computer Science at UW-Madison?

UW-Madison Computer Science has an ACM organization for women in Computer Science, called WACM. WACM will be hosting a breakfast for current and prospective women of the department on Saturday morning (see the schedule for location and timing).

Where can I find information about LGBT issues at UW and the Madison area?

The Ten Percent Society and the LGBTQ Campus Center are good resources.

Where can I find information about alternative funding?

We’ll have a good deal of information about this at welcome weekend.

Direct any other questions you have to Angela Thorp (thorp@cs.wisc.edu) , the graduate program coordinator.