Graphic with a bullhorn drawing inside a cartoon speech bubble with bold black and white words reading "Campus Climate Survey"

Campus Climate Survey 2021

In the fall 2021 semester, more than 13,000 UW–Madison students — a 28% response rate — shared their thoughts, experiences, and concerns about campus in the university’s student Campus Climate Survey. The results will build upon the university’s 2016 survey to help us better understand our students’ campus experience and enhance programs and services that foster a campus environment where everyone feels like they belong.

Survey Details


Oct. 19, 2021 Survey opens; invitations sent to all students via email
Nov. 8, 2021 Survey closes at 11:59 p.m. CST
December 2021 UW Survey Center delivers raw survey data to Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement (DDEEA) for analysis
March 2022 DDEEA reports high-level, preliminary results
Late spring 2022 DDEEA publishes technical report
Summer 2022 Campus Climate Survey Task Force publishes key findings and recommendations
Fall 2022 Campus Climate Survey Implementation Team begins carrying out recommendations

Have questions?

  • Check out our frequently asked questions section below
  • If your answer isn’t there, use the button below to email Campus Climate Survey administrators


Having an Impact

In fall 2016, UW–Madison fielded the first all-student Campus Climate Survey in response to recommendations presented in Forward Together: A Framework for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence. One out of five students participated.

The survey found that while most students view the campus climate positively, that’s not true for everyone. In particular, students from historically underrepresented and disadvantaged groups reported a less favorable campus experience than majority students.

Campus leaders made seven recommendations for ways to improve campus climate in response to those findings, and the campus has been working to implement those recommendations for the past five years. Below are a few examples of recent campus initiatives.

Student Cultural Centers

The university has worked with student leaders to create cultural centers for students with marginalized identities. These centers help students from similar backgrounds find one another and create a sense of community on campus.

Two students smile for a photo at the Black Cultural Center

Target of Opportunity Program

The Target of Opportunity (TOP) program provides funding to deans and department heads to help them recruit and retain new faculty who will greatly enhance the quality and diversity of an academic department.

Our Wisconsin

Our Wisconsin is an inclusion education program created to raise awareness of the diversity within our student population and to encourage an environment where students are free to share their experiences and identities.

A large group of students walk outside on the UW campus

Frequently Asked Questions

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Who are we asking to take the survey?

All enrolled students (undergraduate, graduate, professional and special) received an invitation to take the 2021 Campus Climate Survey.

How long will the survey take to finish?

You should be able to finish the survey in about 10 minutes. If you can’t finish the survey in one session, you can save your progress and finish it later using the link in your email.

Why should I take part in the survey?

The Campus Climate Survey is your opportunity to make your voice heard and tell university leaders what your experience of our campus has been like. Your voice, your perspective, and your experiences of this campus are important to us. The more students participate, the deeper our understanding becomes about our students’ experiences. The results of this survey will help university leaders make decisions and create policies to foster a campus environment where everyone feels like they belong. This is your campus — help us make it better for the generations of students to come.

Why is UW surveying students?

UW–Madison is committed to creating a community where every person feels they are safe, valued, and able to succeed. The Campus Climate Survey serves that mission by helping us understand students’ experiences with and perceptions about campus climate and diversity, including how people of different backgrounds and identities experience life at UW. The university first surveyed students in 2016. The 2021 survey will provide us with critical information about what has changed in the last five years, and what changes may need to be made to ensure everyone who comes to UW feels like they belong.

What did the university do after the 2016 survey?

In 2016, UW–Madison fielded the first campus climate survey. Since then, the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement (DDEEA) has produced reports every fall and spring semester detailing our efforts to improve campus climate in response to the findings of that first survey. You can find those reports as well as details about the Diversity Framework and our other efforts to improve campus climate on DDEEA’s Reports & Policies page. 

Where can I find the link to the survey?

You received an invitation to the survey in your campus email on Oct. 19, 2021. You can find it by searching your email for “Campus Climate Survey.”

Why does the survey invitation come from the "" email address?

UW–Madison uses Qualtrics Survey Hosting Service to create and distribute surveys. Campus Climate Survey invitation emails from the address are legitimate and can be trusted. 

Who can I contact for help with the survey form?

You can email with questions or concerns about the survey form. Please describe the problem clearly and include screenshots if possible. 

Will my survey response be anonymous?

Your answers are confidential and will be combined with the responses of other students in a way that will prevent you from being identified.