University of Wisconsin–Madison

Wisconsin Experience

The Wisconsin Experience is UW-Madison’s vision for the total student experience, which combines learning in and out of the classroom. Tied to the Wisconsin Idea and steeped in our long-standing institutional values – the commitment to the truth, shared participation in decision-making, and service to local and global communities – the Wisconsin Experience describes how students develop and integrate these core values across their educational experience.

Through the Wisconsin Experience, we hope our students engage in the following areas of intellectual and personal growth.

  • Empathy and Humility
  • Relentless Curiosity
  • Intellectual Confidence
  • Purposeful Action

Wisconsin Experience Core Concepts and Expectations for Undergraduate and Graduate Students


Empathy and Humility

  • Develop and demonstrate cultural understanding of self and others
  • Engage locally, nationally, and globally in respectful and civil manner
  • Appreciate & celebrate one another’s abilities, views, and accomplishment


Relentless Curiosity

  • Actively learn with expert teachers, scholars and peers
  • Engage in creative inquiry, 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