The University of Wisconsin Law School welcomes the opportunity to host visiting scholars from the U.S. and other countries. Each year, we accept a limited number of self-funded scholars whose work is of interest to our faculty. Scholarships or other funding support are not available. However, accepted visiting scholars receive an honorary appointment, which provides access to extensive library resources and legal databases at UW. Visiting scholars also have many opportunities to participate in academic events at the Law School and elsewhere on campus. 

How to Apply

To apply to our Visiting Scholars program, please follow these simple initial steps:

  1. Complete and submit our Visiting Scholars program application form.
  2. Email the following items, as attachments in PDF format, to visitingscholars@law.wisc.edu:
    • your current CV 
    • one-page statement describing your proposed or current research 

Please allow 4-6 weeks for processing and review of your application. If you are to be admitted into the Visiting Scholars program, you will receive an email containing next steps.

Fees

* To learn more about partner institutions, see the Global Legal Studies Center's partner institutions and East Asian Legal Studies Center's list of partner institutions. 

** To learn more about LDCs, view the List of Least Developed Countries.

Scholar Category Up to 3 months     4-6 months     7-12 months    
Visiting Scholars (general) $500 $1500 $3000
Scholars from partner institutions* $250 $750 $1500
UW Law School alumni waived waived waived
Scholars invited by UW Law School 
faculty (with prior written confirmation)
waived waived waived
Scholars from LDCs** waived waived waived


J-1 Visa Information for International Visitors

U.S. federal regulations apply to international visitors at UW-Madison, with regard to their visa and English language proficiency. International visitors typically require a J-1 visa, proof of English language proficiency, and documentation of funding during entire length of stay. UW-Madison's International Faculty and Staff Services (IFSS) office oversees the J-1 visa requirements and is authorized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to issue the DS-2019 document required to obtain the J-1 visa. Please note that federal regulations may change suddenly and/or frequently. Additionally, it is the visitor's responsibility to provide all necessary documentation in a timely manner. 

DS-2019 english Proficiency Requirement

The UW Law School is required to verify the English language proficiency of visiting scholars in at least one of the following ways:

  • Copy of diploma/degree from a U.S. or foreign institution where the instruction occurred in English
  • A signed letter from an academic institution or English curriculum school (internationally recognized) that states the prospective visitor’s level of English proficiency. This letter cannot be from the UW-Madison hosting department. The letter must be dated within the last two years, state the visitor’s affiliation with the school, and affirm the visitor achieved at least intermediate skills.
  • Copy of official score report from an English language proficiency test, such as TOEFL or IELTS, taken within the last year and meeting the stated minimum scores below. No other testing scores or certificates from other centers or English language schools will be accepted. If the TOEFL or IELTS score does not meet IFSS standards, the scholar must retake the TOEFL or IELTS and receive a passing score before their application will be considered. An interview will not be accepted.
    • Minimum TOEFL score of 65 (with the speaking portion scoring no less than 17)
    • Minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (with no portion scored less than 5.0)

documentation of Funding and Mandatory Health Insurance

The U.S. Department of State requires J-1 scholar visitors and any accompanying dependents have adequate financial support for the duration of their J-1 program. Please review the J-1 Scholar and J-2 Dependent Expenses information from IFSS.

Visitors on a J-1 visa and any dependents on a J-2 visa are required to obtain health insurance while in the United States. Enrollment into the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) for International Scholars is required.

Information about Dependents and J-2 Visa

Dependents who may qualify for a J-2 visa are the spouse of the J-1 primary and any unmarried children, under the age of 21. If you are planning to bring dependents on a J-2 visa, please review this IFSS webpage.

B-1 Visa vs. J-1 visa

Visiting scholars who plan to stay at UW-Madison for up to 6 months or less, may be interested in applying for a B-1 visa instead of a J-1 visa. However, there are some guideline differences between B-1 and J-1 visa status at UW-Madison. IFSS has created a chart to identify these differences, which can be viewed here.

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