Wisconsin Experience

The Wisconsin Experience was first articulated in 2007 to describe what students might expect, and then pursue, during their time at UW-Madison. From the beginning, the Wisconsin Experience had ties to the Wisconsin Idea, co-curricular activities and certain inquiry based high-impact practices. The original articulation referred to that ineffable “something” that is unique to UW-Madison.

As a public, land-grant university and a prolific research institution, our students, faculty and staff have contributed to a campus culture that values a deep commitment to the truth, broad participation in decision-making processes, and a commitment to serving our local and global communities. These institutional values, highlighted below, have served as a catalyst for success and have been reinforced in specific ways throughout history.

    • Integrity: Academic Freedom - “...fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found”
    • Inclusive Engagement: Shared Governance - Keeping real power in the hands of as many people as possible
    • Connection and Community: Wisconsin Idea - “Education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom.

Wisconsin Experience Dimensions

The recently revised and enhanced articulation of the Wisconsin Experience highlights four dimensions that emerge from our unique institutional values. These dimensions represent areas of intellectual growth for our undergraduate students.

Empathy and Humility
    • Develop and demonstrate cultural understanding of self and others
    • Engage locally, nationally, and globally in respectful and civil manner
    • Appreciate and celebrate one another’s abilities, views, and accomplishments
Relentless Curiosity
    • Actively learn with expert teachers, scholars, and peers
    • Engage in creative inquire, scholarship, and research
    • Develop resilience and foster courage in life and learning
Intellectual Confidence
    • Develop competence, depth and expertise in a field of study
    • Integrate ideas and synthesize knowledge across multiple contexts
    • Exercise critical thinking and effective communication
Purposeful Action
    • Apply knowledge and skills to solve problems
    • Engage in public service, partner with others, and contribute to community
    • Lead for positive change