First Destination Survey

The First Destination Survey helps L&S learn about the post-graduation plans of our bachelor’s degree recipients, and understand how their UW experiences prepared them for their next steps. When students apply for graduation they receive an email invitation to complete the survey via Handshake.

What’s Included in First Destination?

First Destination shows much more than simply whether students have jobs when they graduate. The survey shows that 35% of L&S majors graduating in ’21-’22 planned to pursue further education, and 2% planned to enter volunteer or military service. 

It also shows how many students completed important activities while at UW-Madison like internships, volunteering and research.

Read First Destination Survey questions here

Why First Destination Matters to L&S

First Destination data is essential to informing work being done at every level of the College to ensure students get the greatest possible benefit from their L&S degrees, and reach graduation ready to take their next steps with confidence. 

This information helps the College and departments better serve our students through programming and outreach to those who can benefit most from tailored support. 

Encourage Your Students to Complete the First Destination Survey

College of Letters & Science faculty and staff are important partners ensuring all L&S graduates complete the First Destination Survey. Higher response rates result in more accurate data, and a better ability to understand and improve the experiences of students from specific populations.

For students who graduated in December, 2023, the survey is open until June 17, 2024. For students graduating in May or August, 2024, the survey opens April 4, 2024. Students can complete the survey or update their responses for up to six months after graduation.

Letters & Science departmental, major and program-based faculty and staff can use the sample email and social media messages below to encourage upcoming and recent graduates to complete the First Destination Survey. 

Feel free to customize with language specific to your major, department or program, and thank you for supporting this effort!

Sample Email to Students

SUBJECT – Take the post-graduation survey to help future Badgers


Dear Students,

Please help future Badgers by sharing info on your post-graduation plans and your experience while at UW-Madison! 

The information you share in this short survey can help future students explore career options and gain greater support from the College of Letters & Science. 

Take the 5-minute post-graduation survey here.

Whether you have updates on a job, internship, graduate school, volunteer or service opportunities, military service, or are still searching or are in application stages – we want to hear from you.

If your employment or continuing education status changes, it’s quick and easy to use the survey link above to update your response in the future.

Thank you, and congratulations on your upcoming graduation!

Sample Social Media Posts

Have you applied for graduation? Congrats! And remember to take the post-graduation survey. Sharing info on your experience at UW and your plans for next steps helps  future badgers explore career options and gain greater support at UW–Madison. Take the survey:

Graduating and want to help future Badgers? Take the 5-minute post-graduation survey! Information shared by the graduating class helps us support the success of current and future students. Take the survey:

Explore First Destination Data

UW–Madison staff can learn more about the First Destination Survey results here. You can access internal data through the FDS Tableau visualization. UW-Madison staff must have access to Internal Student Data and access the visualization from the UW-Madison campus or via VPN.

FAQ & Support

For more general info about First Destination, visit the First Destination FAQ for students, faculty and staff.

For further support in the College of Letters & Science, contact Nancy Kujak-Ford, SuccessWorks Director of Strategy & Impact: