Interested in applying?

Apply now

*Applications are now open for the Class of 2025 (classes starting Sept. 2024). Priority deadline is June 1, 2024.

Questions about applying

How much does it cost?

The course is free to students admitted because of UW-Madison support, grant funding, and private donations. Books and child care are provided without charge as well.

Who can apply for the program?

To be eligible to participate, students must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • possess a high school diploma or GED/HSED
  • demonstrate financial need (income at or near the federal poverty level)
  • possess the ability to read books in English
  • make a commitment to attend classes regularly and complete weekly assignments

If I meet those requirements, how do I apply?

There are several ways to submit an application:

  1. Download an Odyssey brochure with application materials, OR
  2. Fill out this form and your Odyssey application will be e-mailed to the director OR
  3. Pick up an application at the UW South Madison Partnership Space located at 2238 S. Park Street

Where and when are Odyssey Project classes offered?

Classes start in early September at the UW South Madison Partnership Space, located at 2238 South Park St. in Madison. Classes meet on Wednesday evenings from 5:30-7:30 pm through May, with holiday breaks. Dinner is served at 5:00 pm.

What kind of material is covered in the class?

See the course description for a partial list of works we explore in Odyssey.

What difference could this class make to me?

A good account of the transformative power of the class can be found in a story written by one of our graduates (See Denise’s story in Illumination).

If I’m accepted into the class, does this mean I’m admitted to UW-Madison?

Students admitted to Odyssey enter UW-Madison as special students. Special students take classes at the university but are not enrolled in a degree program. Like other special students, Odyssey students receive UW-Madison photo IDs and have many of the same benefits as students in degree programs (for example bus passes and access to campus athletic and other facilities). Upon completing the Odyssey course, some students choose to apply to UW-Madison in degree programs.

Who can I call with questions?

Please contact Emily Auerbach at 608-262-3733 or by e-mail at 

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