Sun rising over a Wisconsin field

Wisconsin Idea

One of the longest and deepest traditions surrounding the University of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Idea signifies a general principle: that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom.
See more than 1,000 examples of the Wisconsin Idea in action

The Wisconsin Idea in action

Four dancers in traditional Latin dress perform outdoors during a South Madison event

UW serves the Madison community

Guided by our commitment to public service, we are active participants in the Madison area. This strong bond is reinforced through UW–Madison’s involvement with schools, cultural organizations, non-profits, and more.

A farmer tends grape vines

And the state of Wisconsin as a whole

UW–Madison is a powerful economic engine for Wisconsin, generating $15 billion annually in economic impact. Our contributions make Wisconsin financially stronger and more competitive across all industries.

A researcher studies a petri dish she is holding up to the light.

Our impact spans the nation

The UW is home to many of today’s top thinkers, researchers, and leaders, who are frequently sought out to help with the nation’s emerging challenges.

A person wearing a Peace Corps T-shirt holds a makeshift barbell over their shoulders.

And the world

UW–Madison's history of collaboration gives us a global perspective on pressing issues facing our world. We recruit the best, and we generously fund projects that seek to improve lives far beyond our borders.

Origins of the Wisconsin Idea

Are you searching for something specific?

This search returns up to five matches as you type. The matches can be found immediately after the search input field.