Transportation in the city and on campus (http://transportation.wisc.edu/):

Madison Metro – Students can receive a free bus pass for each semester for unlimited bus rides on Madison city buses. City buses have room to carry bicycles. There is also a free campus bus.

Bicycling – There are designated bike lanes on campus and throughout Madison and many bike racks on campus. The City requires you to register your bike with the city (good for theft protection)

  • Sheltered secure bike lockers and bike cages are available to rent on a semester or annual basis.
  • B-cycle is an urban bike sharing program. Memberships are available online or at the station kiosks. Members have full access to check out a bike at any station in Madison. Use of one bike at a time with unlimited number of bike checkouts in the membership period.

Mopeds – Designated parking areas require general permit purchase

Driving/Parking –Limited parking on campus. Lot options range from pay-as-you-go to purchased permit depending on location.

  • Some areas off campus have two-hour parking limits, but it can still be difficult to find a spot and then one would have to walk a distance from those locations..
  • Community Car cooperative allows you to use a shared car as needed (rates for time and membership fee apply).
  • Handicap parking: UW employees with a disabled permit from the Department of Transportation may purchase a University disabled permit (UW DIS) which allows parking in unreserved permit stalls, unreserved meters or designated disabled stalls anywhere on campus. These are not valid for special events. The UW permit is required for some parking spaces on campus.

Walking – Probably easiest method for getting around campus,. Generally can get from m ost places to another in 20 minutes.

Taxis – Taxi services available. Usually call to set up a ride. Some are shared cabs.


There is a UW– Madison Police Department in addition to the city police department.SAFEwalk provides walking escorts throughout the entire campus except the far west side (UW graduate housing area). (http://transportation.wisc.edu/transportation/safeservices_walk.aspx)

Practice common sense (walking with buddies at night, well lit areas, etc.)


There is UW housing available for graduates with or without families located just beyond the central campus area. www.housing.wisc.edu/universityapartmentsThere are many areas around campus with housing typically for students. The campus area housing website is a good place to search www.housing.civc.wisc.edu

Craigslist is even a good source for available apartments. Of course you have to be smart about it.

Here are some considerations when choosing to live in non-UW housing:

  • Areas near the sports centers ( Kohl Center, Camp Randall) will have more activity, especially during sporting events.
  • Parking often is not included in the cost of rent.
  • Check the area bus routes: how close, how often.
  • Students seem to start looking for housing in December and January, so search early for more options.
  • Neighborhoods typically more popular for graduate students: Near West, Near South, Isthmus, West Madison
  • Many sublets available in the summer.

Child care:

Office of Child Care and Family Resources: http://occfr.wisc.edu/index.htmlThere are several on-campus options for child care, as well as opportunities for financial aid.

Steps to Finding Child Care

  1. Research your options
    • Campus Facilities
    • UW Family Child Care Network 
    • Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C’s), (608) 271-9181 or (800) 750-5437
      4-C’s can provide information about certification for child care, resources and referral for certified/licensed child care centers and family based care in Dane County, and written materials to help parents select quality child care.
      The Resource and Referral Department will talk with you about your child care needs and provide you with a customized listing of resources.
  2. Select a provider
    Choose a provider that not only suits the needs of your family, but also the values that you have as a parent. Please read “Selecting a Provider.”
  3. Look for child care financial assistance to determine if you qualify. (See “Financial Assistance“)
  4. If you need help with this process or have any other questions, please contact the Parent Resource Specialist, (608) 265-9123.

Health Care:

All students may utilize services at University Health Services (UHS). This includes Counseling and Consultation Services and crisis intervention services. UHS also has a Women’s Clinic.


Graduates with qualifying research assistantships, project assistantships, teaching assistantships, or trainee appointments are eligible for the State of Wisconsin Health Insurance.Otherwise UW does offer the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) through University Health Services. You will receive info about enrollment after committing to UW.

McBurney Disability Resource Center:

Once accepted to UW–Madison, students with a disability/special needs should contact the McBurney Center, as eligibility determination and setting up services can take time. The first step is to call to register with McBurney (608-263-2741).Documentation of the disability as well as requests for accommodations will be required. Specifics about these documents can be found at http://www.mcburney.wisc.edu/students/howto.php

After an intake interview eligibility determination will be decided and the process of setting up services will begin.

If you need an eligibility determination before you pay your enrollment deposit, please send a written request to McBurney.


You will receive information regarding your student ID number and NetID. Your NetID usually is some form of your last and/or first name and is your online access for UW–Madison, including your email address.When you arrive on campus, you should get your student ID card (Wiscard) at Union South Student Center. This will have your picture and student ID number on it. (Usually you can pick up your free bus pass at Union South shortly after getting your ID at the start of the semester.)

Other Resources:

Women – University Health Services has a Women’s Clinic. There is also a Campus Women’s Center.LGBT – There is also a LGBT Campus Center.

Racial and Ethnic Minorities – Multicultural Graduate Network, as well as more specific campus groups.

Campus Entertainment:

There are two campus student centers on campus.

  • Memorial Union is a historic building home to several dining options and the following services and activities: Craftshop, outdoor Terrace, Mini Courses, Outdoor Rentals, Wisconsin Union Theater
  • Union South has several dining options as well as Badger Market, The Marquee movie theater, Sun Garden—a common area with three-story windows, ideal for studying, meeting or just hanging out; Wisconsin Union Hotel

The UW-Madison Hoofers outdoor recreation program is one of the oldest and largest organizations on campus.  Hoofers has five collegiate teams, six clubs and hundreds of members, which exist for outdoor activities such as mountaineering, hiking, camping, riding, scuba, sailing and ski and snowboarding.

Look up student organizations at: http://cfli.wisc.edu/student_organizations.htm