Office of Admissions and Recruitment

Students seeking to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison will apply for admission through the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Undergraduate admission is competitive and selective; professional admissions counselors review applications using a holistic process. We focus on academic excellence, reviewing high school and college coursework (when applicable), the courses students have chosen to take, the rigor and breadth of the curriculum, and how the student has performed in their coursework. We also consider written essays, letters of recommendation, extracurricular involvement, and test scores when applicable.

Our review process is designed to help us identify students who are not only academically stellar but also have qualities such as leadership, concern for humanity, and achievement in the arts, athletics, and other areas. We also seek diversity in personal background and experience for potential contribution to the University of Wisconsin–Madison community.

We invite and encourage all students considering the University of Wisconsin–Madison to join us on campus for a tour. There are many options to explore and discover what UW–Madison has in store.


To submit an application for admission review the application dates and deadlines as well as the required application materials listed on our website.

Dates and Deadlines
Freshman Applicants
Transfer Applicants
Reentry Applicants


Competitive freshman applicants have taken advantage of the rigor offered at their high schools, performed well in challenging courses, and have strong ACT or SAT scores. Beyond academic excellence we are looking for students who demonstrate leadership, community engagement, and passion.

Students are considered freshman applicants if they have not yet completed high school (secondary-level education); have not earned a GED/HSED (but will by the time they enroll at UW–Madison); or have not enrolled in a college or university in a degree-granting program since graduating high school or earning a GED/HSED. For more information about admission requirements and expectations of freshman applicants please see our website.

Transfer Students

Successful transfer applicants will have a consistently high or upward grade trend; a strong cumulative grade point average; and rigorous coursework in English composition, college-level math, science, social science, humanities, literature, and foreign language. Admission to the university does not guarantee acceptance to an intended major, which is a separate process from undergraduate admission.

Students are considered transfer applicants if they have enrolled in an accredited college or university in a degree-granting program after graduating from high school or earning a GED/HSED. Students must have 24 transferable credits earned at a college or university after high school graduation to be eligible for admission as a transfer applicant. For more information about admission requirements and expectations of transfer applicants please see our website.

Prospective transfer students can begin satisfying UW–Madison general education and degree requirements before transferring. Transfer credit is generally given for college-level courses taken at a degree-granting institution accredited by a CHEA-recognized organization. Courses must be similar in nature, level, and content to UW–Madison undergraduate courses and apply to a UW–Madison academic program. Students may wish to consult the UW–Madison Transfer Credit Policy for more details.

Reentering Students

Students previously registered at UW–Madison in an undergraduate degree program who wish to resume undergraduate study after an absence of a semester or more are considered reentry students. Reentry students must file an application for readmission but are not subject to the application fee.

To guarantee an early enrollment appointment time, reentry students should submit the complete application by February 1 for the fall term or by October 1 for the spring term. In addition to submitting an application, reentry applicants must submit official transcripts for any work completed elsewhere since last enrolled at UW–Madison, a list of courses in progress (if applicable), and an academic action from the dean's office if they are in "dropped" or "must obtain permission to continue" status.

Nondegree University Special and Guest Students

Undergraduate students visiting from other universities or recent UW–Madison graduates may desire to enroll at UW–Madison as nondegree University Special and Guest students. Contact the Division of Continuing Studies, Adult Career and Special Student Services.
21 North Park Street
Madison, WI 53715

Placement Tests

Each student comes to UW–Madison with a unique set of skills and academic preparation. To asses where each student stands in beginning to meet their General Education Requirements, placement tests provide academic advisors with the tools to help determine in which courses students should enroll. Placement tests are required of all incoming freshman and some transfer students depending on college course work. Other exams such as ACT, SAT, SAT II, TOEFL, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), etc. do not satisfy the requirement of placement tests, however, scores on these exams may assist in appropriate course enrollment advising.

UW Placement tests are developed by faculty and instructional staff from various UW System campuses and led by Testing and Evaluation Services (T&E). T&E conducts studies to support the development of these tests and effectively uses the results to place incoming students into appropriate levels of English, math, and foreign language.

Outlined below are the situations typical for requiring placement tests. The Office of Admissions and Recruitment determines which placement tests are required. After students are admitted to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, they will receive an email from the Office of Admissions and Recruitment indicating which placement tests are required.

Language Placement Exams

Freshmen who have previous experience in Spanish, French, or German and who plan to take coursework in this language at UW–Madison must take a placement test in that language to qualify and enroll in classes beyond the entry level language course. Previous experience may include native speakers and those who have previous coursework in the language. If you are interested in taking a course in another world language, visit the language placement exam web page for more information. Many programs have a world language requirement. Be sure to review the Guide to determine your degree requirements for world language and consult with your advisor at SOAR. UW–Madison offers language instruction in more than 30 languages.  For additional information about placement, see Languages at UW–Madison.

Math Placement Exams

This examination is required for students admitted to undergraduate degree granting programs who:

1. Are admitted as first-year students
2. Are admitted as transfer students and
        A. Have not previously completed the UW System math placement exam.
        B. Do not have credit for the UW–Madison direct equivalent of MATH 112MATH 113MATH 114MATH 211, or any MATH course that is numbered higher than 211.
        (For students who have a course in progress at the time of admission, it is assumed they will complete the course, so they are not asked to take the placement test; if they do not complete or pass the course, they may be required to take the placement test to demonstrate minimum math proficiency.)
        C. Have completed the equivalent of MATH 96 at a UW System institution.


Students must demonstrate minimum math proficiency before they enroll in a Quantitative Reasoning Part A course. Satisfaction of Quantitative Reasoning Part A from a math course that is transferred in does not automatically exempt students from the UW math placement test.
MATH 101 equivalents will be converted to MATH 96, and/or will be reviewed by the math department for possible MATH 96.
See also the Mathematics Placement Chart.

English Placement Exams

Two exams—the UW English Placement Test (UWEPT) and the UW–Madison English as a Second Language Assessment Test (MSNESLAT)—are used to place students into courses focused on development of skills needed for success in college-level communication tasks.

UW English Placement Test (UWEPT)

The UWEPT is taken by students admitted to undergraduate degree-granting programs who:

1. Are admitted as first-year students and are not required to take the MSNESLAT (see next section)
2. Are admitted as transfer students and are not required to take the MSNESLAT (see next section) and
        A. Have not previously completed the UW System English Placement Exam.
        B. Do not have credit for the UW–Madison equivalent of a Communication Part A course.

UW–Madison English as a Second Language Assessment Test (MSNESLAT)

The MSNESLAT is taken by all students who are required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score for admission to UW–Madison.

The MSNESLAT is designed to evaluate English language proficiency, and to place students into English as a Second Language courses that help students improve skills in the written and spoken English used in academic contexts. Students who take the MSNESLAT and obtain a score that does not exempt them from ESL 118 must satisfy the university’s expectation of college-level English language proficiency. This can be done by taking ESL 118 or by achieving a score of exempt on the MSNESLAT.

Departmental Placement Tests

This is a summary of the Departmental Placement Exam policy. Click here to view the official policy in its entirety in the UW-Madison Policy Library.

In cases where a student has acquired knowledge, skills or competencies through experiences that are academic in nature and where there is an equivalent UW-Madison course, a department may offer credit by departmental exam which can then be used to meet course requisites and fulfill degree requirements. However, a student may not need the equivalent course for credit and simply wish to demonstrate competency to take course(s) at a higher level which require that competency. The departmental placement exam is a systematic, documented way that will allow a student to demonstrate the academic knowledge, skills or experience required at a level that replaces the taking of a requisite for-credit course.

Departments must propose and have approved the placement exams they offer.  Listed below are approved placement exams.


Score Placement Into
10 ASIALANG 101 (First Semester Chinese)
20 ASIALANG 111 (Elementary Chinese II)
30 ASIALANG 102 (Second Semester Chinese)
40 ASIALANG 201 (Third Semester Chinese)
50 ASIALANG 202 (Fourth Semester Chinese)
60 ASIALANG 301 (Fifth Semester Chinese)
70 ASIALANG 302 (Sixth Semester Chinese)


Score Placement Into
10 ASIALANG 123 (First Semester Filipino)
30 ASIALANG 124 (Second Semester Filipino)
40 ASIALANG 223 (Third Semester Filipino)
50 ASIALANG 224 (Fourth Semester Filipino)
60 ASIALANG 323 (Fifth Semester Filipino)
70 ASIALANG 324 (Sixth Semester Filipino)


Score Placement Into
10 ASIALANG 133 (First Semester Hindi)
30 ASIALANG 134 (Second Semester Hindi)
40 ASIALANG 233 (Third Semester Hindi)
50 ASIALANG 234 (Fourth Semester Hindi)
60 ASIALANG 333 (Fifth Semester Hindi)
70 ASIALANG 334 (Sixth Semester Hindi)


Score Placement Into
10 ASIALANG 125 (First Semester Hmong)
30 ASIALANG 126 (Second Semester Hmong)
40 ASIALANG 225 (Third Semester Hmong)
50 ASIALANG 226 (Fourth Semester Hmong)
60 ASIALANG 325 (Fifth Semester Hmong)
70 ASIALANG 326 (Sixth Semester Hmong)


Score Placement Into
10 ASIALANG 127 (First Semester Indonesian)
30 ASIALANG 128 (Second Semester Indonesian)
40 ASIALANG 227 (Third Semester Indonesian)
50 ASIALANG 228 (Fourth Semester Indonesian)
60 ASIALANG 348 (Fifth Semester Indonesian)
70 ASIALANG 328 (Sixth Semester Indonesian)
80 ASIALANG 421 (Seventh Semester Asian Language)
90 ASIALANG 422 (Eighth Semester Asian Language)


Score Placement Into
10 ASIALANG 103 (First Semester Japanese)
20 ASIALANG 114 (Second Semester Elementary Japanese)
30 ASIALANG 104 (Second Semester Japanese)
40 ASIALANG 203 (Third Semester Japanese)
50 ASIALANG 204 (Fourth Semester Japanese)
60 ASIALANG 303 (Fifth Semester Japanese)


Score Placement Into
10 ASIALANG 105 (First Semester Korean)
30 ASIALANG 106 (Second Semester Korean)
40 ASIALANG 205 (Third Semester Korean)
50 ASIALANG 206 (Fourth Semester Korean)
60 ASIALANG 305 (Fifth Semester Korean)
70 ASIALANG 306 (Sixth Semester Korean)
80 ASIALANG 405 (Seventh Semester Korean)
90 ASIALANG 406 (Eighth Semester Korean)


Score Placement Into
10 ASIALANG 137 (First Semester Persian)
30 ASIALANG 138 (Second Semester Persian)
40 ASIALANG 237 (Third Semester Persian)
50 ASIALANG 238 (Fourth Semester Persian)
60 ASIALANG 337 (Fifth Semester Persian)
70 ASIALANG 338 (Sixth Semester Persian)


Score Placement Into
10 ASIALANG 129 (First Semester Thai)
30 ASIALANG 130 (Second Semester Thai)
40 ASIALANG 229 (Third Semester Thai)
50 ASIALANG 230 (Fourth Semester Thai)
60 ASIALANG 329 (Fifth Semester Thai)
70 ASIALANG 330 (Sixth Semester Thai)


Score Placement Into
10 ASIALANG 135 (First Semester Modern Tibetan)
30 ASIALANG 136 (Second Semester Modern Tibetan)
40 ASIALANG 235 (Third Semester Modern Tibetan)
50 ASIALANG 236 (Fourth Semester Modern Tibetan)
60 ASIALANG 335 (Fifth Semester Tibetan)
70 ASIALANG 336 (Sixth Semester Tibetan)


Score Placement Into
10 ASIALANG 139 (First Semester Urdu)
30 ASIALANG 140 (Second Semester Urdu)
40 ASIALANG 239 (Third Semester Urdu)
50 ASIALANG 240 (Fourth Semester Urdu)
60 ASIALANG 339 (Fifth Semester Urdu)
70 ASIALANG 340 (Sixth Semester Urdu)


Score Placement Into
10 ASIALANG 131 (First Semester Vietnamese)
30 ASIALANG 132 (Second Semester Vietnamese)
40 ASIALANG 231 (Third Semester Vietnamese)
50 ASIALANG 232 (Fourth Semester Vietamese)
60 ASIALANG 331 (Fifth Semester Vietamese)
70 ASIALANG 332 (Sixth Semester Vietnamese)
80 ASIALANG 421 (Seventh Semester Asian Language)
90 ASIALANG 422 (Eighth Semester Asian Language)

Retroactive Language Credit

In some schools and colleges at UW–Madison, it is possible to earn retro credits for prior work completed in a foreign language. To earn these credits, students must take a course above the first-semester level on the UW–Madison campus in French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Spanish, or any other language in which they have some proficiency and the course is also offered on the UW–Madison campus. The course must be designated with the Foreign Language attribute of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th semester language course and must be the first foreign language course taken by the student after enrolling in the university. Students who take a college-level language course while still in high school may still pursue retro credits at the university.

Students interested in earning retro credits should plan to take the foreign language placement test and consult with the foreign language advisor at SOAR. Students must enroll in the language course prior to earning 30 degree credits (including credits transferred from other colleges but not including AP, CLEP, IB or retro credits in another language) and earn a grade of B or better. UW–Madison honors retro credits earned at previous UW institutions as long as the student enrolled in the course prior to earning 30 credits and earned a grade of B or better. Native speakers of a language are not eligible to earn retro credits in that language. For more information, see Retroactive Credits in the College of Letters & Science section of the Guide.

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB)

Both Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Higher Level examinations offer the possibility of receiving credits at UW–Madison. Many high schools offer courses through the College Board's Advanced Placement (AP) program or the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. UW–Madison offers degree credit based on a student's performance on the AP and IB exams administered in high schools. (AP and IB exams must be taken before entering UW–Madison.) Students who receive credit for a particular course through AP or IB and take the same course at UW–Madison will not receive degree credit twice; however, the grade in the UW–Madison course will be included in the overall grade point average.

GCE Advanced Level (A-Level)

In many cases, students may receive advanced-standing credit for some A-level exams. After a student has been admitted, the Office of Admissions and Recruitment will perform an official evaluation of credit for A-Level exam results. In order to grant the credit, we require an official copy of the A-Level exam certificate from the examination board. Credits will not be posted from Results Slips or internal school transcripts. Review the chart to see how A-Level credit will be awarded. Examinations not listed in this chart will be evaluated by the Office of Admissions and Recruitment for appropriate advanced standing credit.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) allows students who have gained college-level knowledge outside the classroom to take examinations for possible college credit. Each exam is 90 minutes long and is made up primarily of multiple-choice questions. Some exams include an essay; however, UW–Madison does not require the essay for any CLEP exam. Credit will be granted only to those students who have completed fewer than 16 semester hours of college credit when the examinations are taken. Students must earn a minimum score of 65 to receive credit. The scores for awarding credit at the University of Wisconsin–Madison do not necessarily match those recommended by the American Council on Education.

Credit by Departmental Examination

This is a summary of the Departmental Credit by Exam policy. Click here to view the official policy in its entirety in the UW-Madison Policy Library.

Students may acquire knowledge, skills, and competencies through experiences that are academic in nature but may not necessarily correspond to a setting in which UW–Madison awards traditional credit. Credit by department examination is one opportunity for undergraduate students to demonstrate mastery of material that is equivalent to what would be learned in a specific UW–Madison course. The course credits granted through departmental examination are based on a student’s demonstration that they have mastered the learning outcomes equivalent to those for the specified course. Examples of circumstances that will lead students to seek credit by examination may be: they completed preparation for advanced placement exams in high school but were unable to take the AP test; they have placement test scores that place them in a course lower than what they think they are prepared for; they did not get transfer equivalency for a course but they judge that they have completed the material in a course at another university. 

Departments must propose and have approved the exams they offer.  Listed below are the courses that have been approved for credit by exam.

Animal and Dairy Science

AN SCI/​DY SCI  101 Introduction to Animal Sciences4

For more information on how to earn credit by exam for this course, see the exam information.


CHEM 105 General Chemistry I 13
CHEM 106 General Chemistry II 24

For more information on how to earn credit by exam for these courses, see the exam information.


MATH 221 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 15
MATH 222 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 24
MATH 234 Calculus--Functions of Several Variables4

For more information on how to earn credit by exam for these courses, see the exam information.

Explore UW-Madison Undergraduate Opportunities 

What Is Advising?

At UW–Madison advising is a partnership between students and the network of advisors they build during their time here. Advising is one of the most essential resources available to students and can play a pivotal role in the college experience and beyond. Advisors can help students get the most out of their Wisconsin Experience by helping them make well-informed decisions, sharing strategies for success, supporting them as they encounter challenges, connecting them to resources, and providing information about campus policies and procedures.

There are many reasons to see an advisor and advising is not limited to certain subjects or specific months of the year. Here are some of the many topics that advisors can help students with:

  • Setting academic, career, and life goals
  • Connecting a major to a career
  • Creating a graduation timeline plan
  • Selecting courses and fulfilling degree requirements
  • Connecting with tutors
  • Getting involved with campus organizations
  • Practicing for job interviews
  • Choosing a study abroad program
  • Finding an internship
  • Researching volunteer opportunities
  • Understanding university policies and deadlines
  • Talking about graduate school
  • Proofreading resumes and cover letters

To find contact information for advisors, including the assigned advisor, see this link.

School and College Academic Advising Offices

UW–Madison has eight undergraduate schools and colleges. All undergraduates are assigned to an advisor in their area of academic interest, or to a Cross-College Advising Service advisor who specializes in working with students who are deciding on an academic major.

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS)

Academic Affairs Office

College of Engineering (EGR)

Engineering Academic Advising

College of Letters & Science (L&S)

Academic Advising Services

College of Letters & Science, Center for Academic Excellence (CAE)

College of Letters & Science Honors Program
For honors programs outside of L&S, contact the school/college advising office.

School of Education (EDU)

School of Education Student Services

School of Human Ecology (SOHE)

Student Academic Affairs and Career Development

School of Nursing (NUR)

Academic Programs Office

School of Pharmacy (PHRM)

Student & Academic Affairs Office

Wisconsin School of Business (BUS)

BBA Advising Center

Cross-College Advising Service (CCAS)

The Cross-College Advising Service (CCAS) is a campus-wide advising office for undergraduate students who are in the process of deciding on a major and want to explore the many academic opportunities on campus. CCAS also assists students who are considering changing majors or who have not been admitted to limited-enrollment programs and are evaluating other options. CCAS advisors are knowledgeable about all the programs and majors offered by the eight undergraduate schools and colleges on campus. Each year at SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration), nearly 2000 students in the entering class self-identify as "undecided/exploring" and are assigned to CCAS advisors.

In addition to the main CCAS office in Ingraham Hall, CCAS has residence hall advising offices in Chadbourne Residential College, Witte Hall, Ogg Hall, and Dejope Hall. The Dejope office is available to all students in Lakeshore-area residence halls.

Career Planning


Students can find jobs and internships, and connect to campus career centers and events through their free UW–Madison Handshake account. The Handshake app is available on the MyUW dashboard—add the Handshake app by visiting

All students are encouraged to work with a career advisor. Each individual school or college offers career services, and the Career Exploration Center (CEC) works with students exploring different majors and careers. Links to each of the campus career services offices are available online at

Career planning is a multi-year process that includes self-assessment and reflection, exploring academic and career options, gaining experience in areas of interest, and ultimately organizing and conducting a job or graduate school search.

Students work with professional career advisors to engage in a wide variety of career planning activities to prepare for life after earning a degree from UW–Madison: educational workshops, job shadowing, informational interviewing, mock interviews, internships, career fairs and more.  Active engagement in these activities assists students in achieving career readiness, which is “the attainment and demonstration of competencies that prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace.” (National Association of Colleges and Employers).

Career Advising


The Career Exploration Center (CEC) supports undecided and exploring students to make decisions about their futures based on their interests, values, and skills through individual advising appointments, workshops, events, a career library, and campus & community outreach.


Career Exploration Center

School and College

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS)

Career Services:

College of Engineering (EGR)

Engineering Career Services:

College of Letters & Science (L&S)


School of Education (EDU)

Career Center:

School of Human Ecology (SOHE)

Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office:

School of Nursing (NUR)

Career Services:

School of Pharmacy (PHRM)

Student & Academic Affairs Office:

Wisconsin School of Business (BUS)

Pre-Professional Study

At UW-Madison, students interested in pursuing graduate-level health professions and law have access to specialized Pre-Professional Advising resources. Pre-Professional Advising is made up of two co-located and highly collaborative career advising units: The Center for Pre-Health Advising and the Center for Pre-Law Advising. The units share a joint mission of helping to increase access, equity, and diversity within the fields of health and law.


Pre-Health—e.g., Pre-Med, Pre-PA, Pre-OT, Pre-Vet MD—is not an undergraduate major, it is an intention. Students should major in areas of true interest, meet regularly with their academic advisor(s), and proactively utilize the resources offered by the Center for Pre-Health Advising (CPHA) if they are considering further schooling and careers in the following areas: medicine, dentistry, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant, public health, chiropractic, optometry, veterinary medicine, or other graduate-level health programs. Students interested in PharmD are strongly encouraged to access advising through the UW School of Pharmacy, due to the many unique aspects of pursuing this degree.

Center for Pre-Law Advising

Pre-law is not an undergraduate major, it is an intention. Students should major in areas of true interest, meet regularly with their academic advisor(s), and proactively utilize the resources offered by the Center for Pre-Law Advising (CPLA) for support in considering, preparing for, and applying to law school.

Advising Offices and Programs

Adult Career and Special Student Services

Center for Educational Opportunity (CEO)

Mercile J. Lee Scholars Program

International Student Services

Native American Center for Health Professions

Office of Academic Services, Athletics

Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives

People Program

Transfer Transition Program

Undergraduate Academic Awards Office

Study Abroad Advising

School/College Study Abroad

Several schools and colleges have their own study abroad advising locations and offer information about study abroad programs that are directly related to certain areas of study.

  • College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Wisconsin School of Business

International Academic Programs (IAP)

International Academic Programs (IAP) offers more than 200 programs on six continents for students of all majors. Courses through IAP programs can count toward degree requirements, allowing students to stay on track for graduation. Scholarships, grants, and financial aid are available.

International Internships

The International Internship Program (IIP) works with students of all majors looking to gain experience and explore careers through international internships. Students can intern with organizations around the world. Advising, academic credits, and scholarships are available.

Non-Approved Study Abroad

Students considering participating in a study abroad program sponsored by a university other than UW–Madison should review this page: for more information.

Graduating in Four Years or Fewer

UW–Madison encourages, supports, and expects students to work with academic advisors to create, maintain, and plan a graduation timeline. Students should consult with their assigned academic advisor(s) before each enrollment period, and more as needed. Additionally, each major in the Guide includes a four-year plan to help students map out a path to graduation, with help from advisor(s).

To ensure a timely graduation, students should discuss the following topics with their advisor:

  • Exploring interests while making progress on degree requirements
  • Setting and achieving academic and career goals
  • Academic challenges and connecting to resources that support academic success
  • Procedures and requirements for declaring a major
  • Using the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) to check progress toward the degree
  • Any changes to a declared major, as well as alternative plans if applying to a competitive limited-enrollment program
  • A strategic course schedule to stay on track for graduation

Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS)

A  Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) report is an automated summary of a student's degree progress. All schools and colleges at UW-Madison use DARS to audit the progress of most undergraduate degree programs and certificates.

DARS reports indicate which requirements are completed, which are complete with in-progress and planned courses, and which remain unsatisfied. The report may specify courses that meet unsatisfied requirements. For most undergraduate programs, DARS is the tool used to determine completion of the program and/or eligibility to graduate.

Students can request and review their DARS in the Student Center via MyUW, or through the Course Search & Enroll app, and should contact their assigned advisor(s) for help reading and interpreting their DARS report.

The Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) prepares students to become commissioned officers in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, or Marines, as well as for civilian careers. Students may be enrolled in ROTC while pursuing a degree at UW–Madison. ROTC courses are open to all undergraduates who have met the prerequisites. The number of ROTC credits that count toward a UW–Madison degree can vary by department and school or college. Prospective and registered students should contact the military program offices listed in this section of the catalog for information about regular course offerings, summer camp programs, and scholarships.

Air Force ROTC—Aerospace Studies

The Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) program is the primary path available to enter the U.S. Air Force as an officer. Students enroll in the AFROTC program while working toward the bachelor's degree in any major they choose. They attend an aerospace studies class each semester, a hands-on leadership laboratory, and weekly physical fitness sessions, while learning about how the Air Force works and deciding which job fields match their interests. Upon graduating, they enter active duty service as second lieutenants, in leadership and management roles in the Air Force.

Most career fields have an active-duty commitment of four years after college. If students choose to separate from the Air Force at that time, they can pursue other careers with experience and the distinction of "military officer" on their resumes.

AFROTC is designed for students with three or more years remaining until graduation. To receive an officer's commission, AFROTC cadets must complete all necessary requirements for a degree as well as courses specified by the Air Force. Courses are often taken for academic credit as part of a student's electives. The amount of credit given toward a degree for AFROTC academic work is determined by the student's school or college, and major department.

Required Courses for Air Force ROTC/Aerospace Studies

General Military Course, total of 4 credit hours:

A F AERO 101 Heritage and Values I1
A F AERO 102 Heritage and Values II1
A F AERO 201 Team and Leadership Fundamentals I1
A F AERO 202 Team and Leadership Fundamentals II (General Military Course, total of 4 credit hours:)1

Professional Officer Course, total of 12 credit hours:

A F AERO 301 Leading People and Effective Communication I3
A F AERO 302 Leading People and Effective Communication II3
A F AERO 401 National Security Affairs3
A F AERO 402 Leadership Responsibilities & Commissioning Preparation3

Scholarships are available to qualified applicants. Scholarships may provide full tuition, laboratory and incidental fees, and reimbursement for textbooks. In addition, scholarship cadets receive a nontaxable allowance ranging from $300 to $500 per month, depending on academic/AFROTC year. Juniors and seniors automatically receive $450 and $500, respectively.

All AFROTC courses are open to all students regardless of membership in the program. Students are invited to take one of the program's courses to determine if AFROTC is right for them with no obligation to join. For more information, please contact the Recruiting Officer at 608-262-3440 or 608-265-4812;

Military Science—Army ROTC

The Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is the nation's largest leadership and management-development training program. It offers the opportunity to earn a commission as a Second Lieutenant for Active Duty, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard while pursuing an academic degree. It enables young men and women to prepare themselves to be leaders in the Army or the civilian career field of their choice. The traditional four-year Army ROTC Program is divided into a two-year Basic Course and a two-year Advanced Course. A non-contracted student enrolled in the Basic Course does not incur a military service obligation.


This instruction introduces the student to fundamental military and leadership subjects. It is normally taken over four successive semesters, but may be completed in as few as two semesters. Students should discuss available options with the Scholarship & Enrollment Officer before registering for courses if they have fewer than four semesters to complete the Basic Course.

The regular curriculum consists of a lecture and lab each semester. Freshmen are encouraged to take our class and lab with no military obligation. Students can enroll in a lecture without enrolling in the lab, but cannot enroll in a lab without the corresponding lecture. Labs are intended to provide practical leadership experience and military skills training such as map reading, land navigation, field training, and rifle marksmanship. Additionally, students who start in the Aerospace Studies or Naval Science programs can switch to Military Science and continue on toward graduation with no penalty.

MIL SCI 101 Foundations of Officership1
MIL SCI 110 Leadership Lab 1A1
MIL SCI 102 Basic Leadership1
MIL SCI 111 Leadership Lab 1B1
MIL SCI 201 Individual Leadership Studies2
MIL SCI 210 Leadership Lab 2A1
MIL SCI 202 Leadership and Teamwork2
MIL SCI 211 Leadership Lab 2B1


Students who have completed the Basic Course or an equivalency (see Two-Year Program) and have passed all enrollment eligibility criteria continue on into the Advanced Course. This course consists of the following lectures, leadership labs, a military history course, physical fitness training sessions, and a four-week summer camp (Advance Camp) at Fort Knox, Ky. During labs and physical training sessions students are provided practical leadership opportunities to prepare them for Advance Camp and their future military careers. Students normally attend Advance Camp between their junior and senior years of Military Science. Students must complete all components of this course to earn a commission.

MIL SCI 301 Leadership and Problem Solving2
MIL SCI 310 Leadership Lab 3A1
MIL SCI 302 Leadership and Ethics2
MIL SCI 311 Leadership Lab 3B1
MIL SCI 401 Leadership and Management2
MIL SCI 410 Leadership Lab 4A1
MIL SCI 402 Officership2
MIL SCI 411 Leadership Lab 4B1
MIL SCI 491 American Military History3


Students who are veterans, members of the Army National Guard/Army Reserve, or who have participated in the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps Program in high school may qualify for direct entry into the Advanced Course. Students who did not complete the ROTC Basic Course (see above), to include graduate and doctoral students, but have two years of academic study remaining may be eligible to attend Basic Camp. This option compresses the Basic Course curriculum into a four-week summer camp held at Fort Knox, KY prior to starting the Advanced Course. Students who believe they qualify for this program should consult with the Scholarship & Enrollment Officer for more information.


Qualified students may compete for Army ROTC scholarships ranging from two to three years in duration. High school students can apply for a four year scholarship during their senior year of high school. Students must be enrolled and participating in Army ROTC to be eligible for scholarships. Scholarships are merit based and pay full tuition & fees (both in and out-of-state) or room and board (capped at $5,000/semester) but not both, $600/semester for textbooks and laboratory expenses, and a tax fee subsistence stipend of $420 for each month of the regular school year. Interested students should consult with the Scholarship & Enrollment Officer for more detailed information concerning the scholarship eligibility requirements. For additional information about Army ROTC, students may contact Josh Beyerl in the Department of Military Science, 1910 Linden Drive, 608-262-3411,

Naval Science—Naval ROTC


The Naval ROTC Program was established to develop future officers mentally, morally and physically and to instill in them with the highest ideals of duty, and loyalty, and with the core values of honor, courage and commitment in order to commission college graduates as Naval officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in the Naval service, and have a potential for future development in mind and character so as to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.

Program Description

The purpose of the Naval ROTC Program is to educate and train qualified young men and women for service as commissioned officers in the Navy's unrestricted line, and the Marine Corps. As the largest single source of Navy and Marine Corps officers, the Naval ROTC Scholarship Program plays an important role in preparing mature young men and women for leadership and management positions in an increasingly technical Navy and Marine Corps.

Selected applicants for the four-year Naval ROTC Scholarship Program are awarded scholarships through a highly competitive national selection process, and receive full tuition, books stipend, educational fees and other financial benefits. Upon graduation, midshipmen are commissioned as active duty officers in the Navy’s unrestricted line or the Marine Corps.

The four-year Naval ROTC Scholarship Program is available to qualified students who graduate from high school before August 1 of the year they intend to start college, and have earned less than 30 credit hours of college-level courses.

Students may affiliate with the Naval ROTC program, with the approval of the Professor of Naval Science, as College Program midshipmen, but receive none of the monetary benefits of scholarship students.  College program midshipmen may apply and compete for 3-, 2-, or 1-year NROTC scholarships in each of their freshman, sophomore and junior academic years.

Students selected for the Navy ROTC Scholarship Program make their own arrangements for college enrollment and room and board, and take the normal course load required by the college or university for degree completion.

Upon graduation, midshipmen who complete all academic requirements in the Navy ROTC program are commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy or a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps and will be required to serve a minimum of five years of active military service. (Additional service requirements may apply for specific service assignments; e.g., pilot, nuclear power officer.)

Program Requirements

  • Complete all requirements for a bachelor's degree.
  • Complete specified Naval Science courses:

Navy Option

NAV SCI 101 Introduction to Naval Science2
NAV SCI 102 Seapower-Maritime Affairs3
NAV SCI 201 Naval Leadership and Management3
NAV SCI 202 Navigation3
NAV SCI 301 Naval Engineering3
NAV SCI 302 Naval Weapons3
NAV SCI 401 Naval Operations3
NAV SCI 402 Naval Leadership and Ethics3

Marine Option

NAV SCI 101 Introduction to Naval Science2
NAV SCI 102 Seapower-Maritime Affairs3
NAV SCI 201 Naval Leadership and Management3
NAV SCI 350 Fundamentals of Maneuver Warfare3
NAV SCI 351 Land Campaigns3
NAV SCI 402 Naval Leadership and Ethics3
  • In addition (or concurrent) to prescribed undergraduate degree and Naval Science course load, midshipmen must also satisfy these academic requirements:
    • Calculus (two semesters, by end of sophomore year). Not required for Marine option students.
    • Physics (two-semesters of calculus-based physics, by end of junior year). Not required for Marine option students.
    • English grammar and composition (two-semesters).
    • National Security Policy/American Military Affairs (one-semester).
    • World Culture/Regional Studies (one-semester; certain countries or cultures do not satisfy). Not required for Marine option students.
  • Maintain a minimum, cumulative 2.5 GPA.
  • Register for, and attend a one credit Naval Science leadership lab each semester (NAV SCI 175 Introductory Naval Laboratory INAV SCI 176 Introductory Naval Laboratory IINAV SCI 275 Elementary Naval Laboratory INAV SCI 276 Elementary Naval Laboratory IINAV SCI 375 Intermediate Naval Laboratory INAV SCI 376 Intermediate Naval Laboratory IINAV SCI 475 Advanced Naval Laboratory INAV SCI 476 Advanced Naval Laboratory II)
  • Participate in a 4-6-week training period each summer 


A significant portion of a midshipman's professional training during their four-year curriculum is received during summer training.

Navy option midshipmen attend summer training, to include Career Orientation and Training for Midshipmen (CORTRAMID) for rising sophomores, and Fleet Exposure Cruises for rising juniors and seniors.

Marine Corps option summer training includes Career Orientation and Training for Midshipmen (CORTRAMID) for rising sophomores, and Fleet Exposure Cruises for rising juniors. All rising senior Marine option midshipmen attend the 6-week Marine Corps Officer Candidates School in Quantico, VA.

Midshipmen must ultimately make decisions as to which warfare area they will request to be commissioned into; CORTRAMID and the various summer training programs are designed to instill awareness of these areas and provide midshipmen with the background necessary to make informed decisions regarding their career choice. Midshipmen select their order of preference of available warfare communities and are ultimately assigned based on their class rank and the needs of the Navy and Marine Corps.

Possible Summer Training Assignments

  • CORTRAMID: Midshipmen assigned to this training will travel to a Fleet concentration area on either the East or West coast and spend a week with each of the following warfare communities: surface ship, submarine, aviation, and Marine Corps.
  • Nuclear Power: Midshipmen can be assigned to a nuclear submarine or aircraft carrier.
  • Ashore Aviation Option: Selected, qualified midshipmen train with a shore-based Navy aviation squadron, including flight time if feasible.
  • Surface Warfare: Midshipmen can be assigned to a Navy ship in the United States or in overseas ports.


Air Force ROTC—Aerospace Studies: Lieutenant Colonel Eric Visger, Professor of Aerospace Studies/Detachment Commander; Captain Shane Schuelke, Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies/Operations Flight Commander

Military Science—Army ROTC: Professor Lieutenant Colonel Cheney; Assistant Professor Captain Schwartz, Assistant Professor; Assistant Professor Captain Ali; Assistant Professor Captain Schultz; Enrollment Officer: Josh Beyerl

Naval Science—Professor, CAPT Zacharski; Associate Professor CDR Burmeister; Assistant Professors LT Cero, LT Heimke, and Marine Capt. Simonds. The assistant professors act as undergraduate advisors and may be contacted through the department office.

Contact Information

Air Force ROTC—Aerospace Studies
1433 Monroe Street, Madison, WI 53711

Military Science—Army ROTC
1910 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706

Naval Science
1610 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53726-4086

Wisconsin Experience

The Wisconsin Experience is UW–Madison’s vision for the total student experience, which combines learning in and out of the classroom. Tied to the Wisconsin Idea and steeped in our long-standing institutional values—the commitment to the truth, shared participation in decision-making, and service to local and global communitiesthe Wisconsin Experience describes how students develop and integrate these core values across their educational experience.

Through the Wisconsin Experience, our students will engage in the following areas of intellectual and personal growth.

Empathy and Humility

  • Develop and demonstrate cultural understanding of self and others
  • Engage locally, nationally, and globally in a respectful and civil manner
  • Appreciate and celebrate one another’s abilities, views, and accomplishments

 Relentless Curiosity

  • Actively learn with expert instructors, scholars, and peers
  • Engage in creative inquiry, scholarship, and research
  • Develop resilience, and foster courage in life and learning

 Intellectual Confidence

  • Develop competence, depth, and expertise in a field of study
  • Integrate ideas and synthesize knowledge across multiple contexts
  • Exercise critical thinking and effective communication

Purposeful Action

  • Apply knowledge and skills to solve problems
  • Engage in public service, partner with others, and contribute to community
  • Lead for positive change

Student Learning at UW–Madison

Student engagement and activism are deeply rooted in UW–Madison’s rich history of academic and research excellence. Occasionally, students are expected to help the university better understand and improve student learning by participating in evaluative activities, which include surveys, focus groups, and questionnaires, and by providing examples of their work through presentations, posters, demonstrations, and writing samples. We rely on the student perspective when assessing the effectiveness of academic and co-curricular programs. By participating, students help improve their own educational and related experiences and contribute to better educational experiences for future students. 

Academic Enrichment and Honors Programs

UW–Madison offers students many ways to enrich their academic program, regardless of the major field of study they choose to pursue. Engaging in research, studying abroad, being part of learning communities, participating in university honors, becoming a student leader, engaging in service learning—these are all vital components that enhance and strengthen classroom learning. This partnership between in- and out-of-classroom learning form the foundation of the Wisconsin Experience. The university encourages students to take advantage of opportunities to integrate their learning experiences.

Honors Programs

Honors programs, which vary slightly among the schools and colleges, are designed for students who wish to undertake work that is more intensive than regular coursework. High grade point averages are required to maintain honors student standing. Students should refer to Honors Programs for more information including specific school or college programs or to contact an honors advisor.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

One of the most exciting things in life is to discover something new. UW–Madison provides unique opportunities to learn from and work with some of the world’s leading researchers and scholars. Options range from assisting with professors’ ongoing research to designing and directing one's own projects. For many examples, see Undergraduate Research Opportunities. The Undergraduate Research Scholars Program is one opportunity available in the first or second year of study. Students may cap off their undergraduate degree with a senior thesis or senior honors thesis and are encouraged to present their work at the Undergraduate Symposium. For program descriptions, see Undergraduate Symposium. For a sampling of the many grants and awards available to support and honor this work, visit the Undergraduate Academic Awards Office.

Service Learning

Undergraduates have access to more than 100 service-learning courses each year. These courses emphasize hands-on experiences that address real-world issues as a venue for educational growth. More information on service learning is available at the Morgridge Center for Public Service.

Learning Communities

UW–Madison's rich tradition of supporting learning communities means that the traditional classroom is not the only place where students learn. Students may choose to participate in any of the many residential and nonresidential learning communities, where students, faculty, and staff work together as both learners and teachers to pursue their academic interests. For more information about residential options, see this link.

Study Abroad Programs

Studying abroad extends the boundaries of the classroom to the world. It is an exciting way for students to complement and enhance their on-campus learning while earning meaningful credit toward the major and degree. Each year UW–Madison sends more than 2,000 students on study abroad programs around the globe, including domestic study away options within the United States.

International Academic Programs (IAP) serves as the central study abroad office on campus, offering more than 200 programs in over 60 countries around the world. IAP program offerings, available to all majors for students at all levels, range from short-term faculty-led opportunities to intensive language study, internships, a semester or a year at a university abroad, service-learning, and programs with special themes. Students can visit the Study Abroad Resource Center, 301 Red Gym, to meet with returned study abroad students and professional study abroad advisors who can help students prepare and research study abroad options.

Additionally, in partnership with IAP, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the Wisconsin School of Business offer programs geared specifically for their academic disciplines. All approved UW–Madison programs share policies, procedures, and best practices, and are featured on the UW Study Abroad Program Search.

The Value of Study Abroad

Employers are increasingly looking for workers who not only have technical knowledge, but also “soft skills” such as critical thinking, problem solving, time management, and communication skills deemed necessary for success in a global workforce. Study abroad is one of the best ways students can acquire global skills and stand out to potential employers. Study abroad alumni have better job prospects. Based on a survey conducted by IES Abroad, 90 percent of study abroad alumni found their first job within six months of graduation. In addition to being able to experience new customs, cultures, interests, and food, alumni have reported that study abroad increased their confidence and had a lasting impact on their worldview.

Regardless of major, students will find that study abroad has much to offer. The variety of program sites and durations (semester, spring break, summer, winter, year) allow students to select programs based on individual academic interests and personal goals and objectives.

Access and Meaningful Credit for All Majors

In general, credits earned abroad can count toward fulfilling college and major requirements in any UW–Madison school or college. Seniors in most schools and colleges who complete their major and degree requirements while abroad on a UW–Madison program can graduate at the end of their study abroad program.

Each study program has its own eligibility requirements. Students are encouraged to talk with their academic advisors early in their academic careers about how study abroad can fit into their academic plans and future career goals. We are also working with departments to create Major Advising Pages to highlight programs that work best for students' degree plans.

Costs and Funding

Students who are thinking about studying abroad or have already decided to do so may be concerned about how they will fund the experience. We frequently hear from students that the program cost is a primary factor in deciding whether they are able to pursue studying abroad. Instead of tuition, students pay a program fee to cover the actual costs of the experience, which is unique to each program. Programs vary widely in cost, so it is likely that we have a program for every budget. Sometimes studying abroad is no more expensive than studying on campus, and other times the cost can be higher. We work with students to create funding plans for their time abroad.

Students who study abroad in UW–Madison-sponsored programs may be eligible to use federal financial aid toward the costs of the program. Students should meet with the UW–Madison Office of Student Financial Aid to discuss eligibility requirements. In addition, students can apply for scholarships specifically designated for use with study abroad programs. These include UW–Madison, national, and international scholarship opportunities. Students can also use most campus and academic department scholarships for UW–Madison-sponsored study abroad programs.

Diversity and Inclusion

UW Study Abroad is committed to providing quality study abroad and domestic study away programs for every UW–Madison student. We work strategically to identify, address, and remove barriers that may prevent participation and to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for students. Our staff actively engages with students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds and prioritizes the continuous development of our knowledge and cultural competence. We also recognizes the importance of increasing access to study abroad for historically underrepresented student populations. We are committed to diversity and inclusion so that every student can engage with and understand their identity through a new lens and continue to develop and make progress on their personal, professional, and academic goals.

Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees

This is a summary of the Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees policy. Click here to view the official policy in its entirety in the UW-Madison Policy Library.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison sets minimum standards that must be met by all students pursuing an undergraduate degree. The information in the following paragraphs provides general information about study at UW–Madison. Requirements may vary among the schools and colleges, and for specific programs. Students should learn about and understand the specific requirements for their program of study.

Total Degree Credits

To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits (which includes AP, IB and other test credit, transfer credit, and retroactive credit). Requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements. Undergraduate Majors.

Residence Credit

Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats, as credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs. Some schools and colleges may have additional requirements concerning courses taken in residence; students should refer to the specific school or college section of the Guide or consult with an advisor.

Undergraduate Major Declaration

This is a summary of the Undergraduate Major Declaration policy. Click  here to view the official policy in its entirety in the UW-Madison Policy Library.

Undergraduate degrees at UW–Madison presume that students are completing a program of study that consists of a degree program that combines the requirements for the degree with focused study in a discipline, or that combines school or collegewide requirements with an undergraduate major in which they pursue focused study. All undergraduates are expected to have declared or to have been admitted to their focused area of study by the end of the semester in which they have accumulated 86 credits. Students who have not met this expectation may be prevented from enrolling in future terms until they meet with their advisor. Some schools and colleges have additional requirements governing when majors may be declared; students should refer to the specific school or college section of the Guide and consult with an advisor about declaring their major. 

Academic Probation

Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum academic thresholds, including the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.

General Education Requirements

This is a summary of the General Education Requirements policy. Click here to view the official policy in its entirety in the UW-Madison Policy Library.

All undergraduate students at UW–Madison must complete the university-wide General Education Requirements, which are designed to convey the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. These requirements provide for breadth across the humanities and arts, social studies, and natural sciences; competence in communication, critical thinking, and analytical skills necessary for success in college and beyond; and investigation of the issues raised by living in a culturally diverse society. This core is intended to provide students with intellectual and practical skills, basic knowledge of human cultures and the physical world, strategies for understanding these topics, and tools intended to contribute to their sense of personal and social responsibility. General Education complements the work students do in their majors and degrees. Together, these requirements help students learn what they need to know not just for making a living, but also for making a life.

Completing the General Education Requirements is an important part of achieving these competencies, and to do so, students choose from many courses in communication, ethnic studies, quantitative reasoning, and breadth of study across disciplines in the natural sciences, humanities, literature, and arts, and social and behavioral sciences.

Each school and college may choose to allow General Education courses to count toward other degree and/or major requirements. Students should always check with their advisors to discuss any additional degree requirements and determine if students are required to take specific General Education courses or to complete the requirements in a particular order. Students should review their Degree Audit (DARS) report to see how they are progressing toward fulfilling the General Education requirements. Please refer to this website for more information about the requirements.

The university-wide General Education requirements are:

Breadth, 13–15 Credits, Distributed Over Three Areas

All students must complete 13–15 credits of coursework intended to provide a breadth of experience across the major modes of academic inquiry. This requirement encourages students to adopt a broad intellectual perspective, to examine the world through investigative, critical, and creative strategies practiced in the natural (computational, biological, and physical) sciences, social and behavioral sciences, as well as in the arts and humanities.

Learning Outcomes: Students acquire critical and creative thinking skills as well as enhance their problem-solving skills through a breadth of study across the humanities and arts, social studies, computational, biological sciences and physical sciences.

In courses satisfying the Breadth requirement, students will:

  • articulate examples of significant contributions to human understanding achieved through various “ways of knowing” found in the arts and humanities; social and behavioral sciences; and computational, biological, and physical  sciences.
  • recognize and articulate the ways in which different disciplines approach questions that call upon different tools of inquiry, understanding, and creative enterprise.
  • identify ways in which multiple tools of inquiry and understanding can be used to achieve greater insight into resolving “big” questions (e.g., climate change, poverty, global health etc.), evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of those approaches, and understanding which complementary approaches will help achieve meaningful change.
  • evaluate different modes of inquiry across the humanities and arts; social studies; computational, biological, and physical sciences, and identify strengths and weaknesses of those approaches across disciplines when approaching a question.

To achieve these outcomes, students are required to complete courses in the following areas.

  • Natural Science, 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Humanities/Literature/Arts, 6 credits
  • Social Studies, 3 credits

This requirement challenges students to understand that there are many ways to research, understand, communicate about, and interpret creatively the world around us. These "ways of knowing" intersect and overlap, and the ideas presented in one area will often inform and transform what students know and how they think about the others. Students develop skills that help them make informed decisions in a wide range of political, economic, and social contexts, to think critically about the world, to better understand their own and others' experience, and to behave in socially responsible ways. (For more information about how this exposure to breadth of inquiry and expression enriches students’ undergraduate experience and complements intensive study in the major, please see the General Education Requirements website.)

Communication, 3 to 5/6 Credits

The Communication requirement helps to ensure that all graduates of UW–Madison acquire essential communication and research-gathering skills necessary for success in university course work and beyond. Communication–A (Comm–A) and Communication–B (Comm–B) courses train students to gather and assess information from a variety of sources and to present different kinds of information, insight, and analysis to diverse audiences. These courses are essential for students' career success and their preparation for public life in a rapidly changing world. While Comm–A courses focus exclusively on essential communication skills, Comm–B courses provide content instruction in a specific discipline and teach research, writing, and communication skills in conjunction with the course content. Comm–B courses are offered by departments across campus and vary widely in topic, content, and format.

Learning Outcomes:  Students develop skills that enable them to be effective communicators in and out of the classroom.

In courses satisfying the Communication requirement, students will:

  • make effective use of information retrieved, organized, and synthesized from appropriate sources.
  • present ideas and information clearly and logically to achieve a specific purpose.
  • make effective use of communicative forms appropriate to a specific discipline, and adapted to the intended audience.
  • use appropriate style and conventions associated with particular communicative forms, genres, or disciplines.

To achieve these outcomes, students must complete the following Communication requirements:

  • Part A. Literacy Proficiency. 2–3 credits at first-year level dedicated to reading, listening, and discussion, with emphasis on writing. While most incoming freshmen are required to complete coursework to fulfill this requirement, students may be exempted from Part A by approved college course work while in high school, AP test scores, or placement testing. Students are expected to satisfy this requirement by the end of their first year of undergraduate study.
  • Part B. Enhancing Literacy Proficiency. 2–3 credits of more advanced coursework for students who have completed or been exempted from Part A. Students should consult with the appropriate undergraduate advisor about when this requirement should be completed. Courses that satisfy this requirement are offered in many fields of study; although a wide variety of courses fulfill this requirement, students are encouraged to select a course most in keeping with their interests or other requirements of their intended field(s) of study.

Please note: Because English is the language of instruction at UW–Madison, Communication A and B courses are taught in English, and student work in them is also completed in English.

Ethnic Studies, 3 Credits

The Ethnic Studies requirement is intended to increase understanding of the culture and contributions of persistently marginalized racial or ethnic groups in the United States, and to equip students to respond constructively to issues connected with our pluralistic society and global community. Because this increased understanding is expected to have a positive effect on campus climate, students are expected to complete this requirement within the first 60 credits of undergraduate study

Learning Outcomes: Students draw connections between historical and present day circumstances, and consider perceptions and cultural assumptions when examining questions and making decisions.

In courses satisfying the Ethnic Studies requirement, students will:

  • articulate some of the effects the past has had on present day circumstances, perceptions of, and disparities in, race in the U.S.
  • recognize and question cultural assumptions, rules, biases, and knowledge claims as they relate to race and ethnicity.
  • examine questions and make decisions with consideration for the cultural perspectives and worldviews of others.

The skills listed above apply to students' lives inside and outside the classroom, and by pursuing these objectives, students will further enhance their ability to participate in a multicultural society more effectively, respectfully, and meaningfully. Students complete this requirement by taking one course of at least 3 credits that is designated as an Ethnic Studies course.

Quantitative Reasoning, 3 to 6 Credits

Quantitative Reasoning is the process of forming conclusions, judgments or inferences from quantitative information. The Quantitative Reasoning requirement at UW–Madison has two parts: Part A and B. Quantitative Reasoning A courses provide students with skills in mathematics, computer science, statistics or formal logic that are needed for dealing with quantitative information. The acquired skills are broad-based in order to have a positive impact on the readiness of students to take a Quantitative Reasoning B course in a variety of disciplines. Quantitative Reasoning B courses allow students to enhance their Quantitative Reasoning Proficiency in a more advanced setting, where they make significant use of quantitative tools in the context of other course material.

Learning Outcomes:

Quantitative Reasoning Part A:

In an introductory course in college-level mathematics, computer science, statistics, or formal logic that is intended to prepare students for more advanced work in a disciplinary context, students will:

  • solve problems;
  • draw conclusions; and
  • develop models and/or interpret data and/or devise algorithms.

Quantitative Reasoning Part B:

In the disciplinary or interdisciplinary context of a course designed to build on the tools of college-level mathematics, computer science, statistics, or formal logic, students will:

  • manipulate quantitative information to create models, and/or devise solutions to problems using multi-step arguments, based on and supported by quantitative information;
  • evaluate models and arguments using quantitative information; and
  • express and interpret in context models, solutions, and/or arguments using verbal, numerical, graphical, algorithmeic, computational, or symbolic techniques.

The Quantitative Reasoning Part A requirement can be satisfied by:

  • approved college work while in high school, AP test scores, or placement testing; or
  • taking a 3 credit course at UW–Madison with a Quantitative Reasoning A designation.

The Quantitative Reasoning Part B requirement, which enhances students’ proficiency in this domain, can be satisfied by taking a designated QR-B course of at least 3 credits in a variety of fields of study. Students are encouraged to select a course in keeping with their interests or to satisfy other requirements for their major or degree program. 

To ensure timely completion of the undergraduate degree, students must demonstrate minimum math proficiency  before they can enroll in a Quantitative Reasoning Part A course.  They  should complete Part A of the Quantitative Reasoning requirement by the end of their first year, and must complete Part A before they enroll in Part B.

Identifying Courses That Meet General Education Requirements

The university offers hundreds of courses that meet the requirements described above. Students should consider their own interests and check with their advisor when deciding which courses to complete. Please note that many undergraduate programs of study have breadth requirements that go beyond these basic university-wide requirements.

The following language is used in the UW–Madison course listings to indicate how courses count toward satisfying the communication, quantitative reasoning, and ethnic studies portions of the General Education Requirements. Courses that satisfy these requirements are also tagged with a mortarboard symbol. mortar board

  • Communication Part A
  • Communication Part B
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part B

Note: Some Communication Part B courses carry Communication B credit only at the lecture or section level and/or only in certain semesters; these courses will be indicated in the Schedule of Classes.

Course descriptions also include information about whether courses meet General Education Humanities, Natural Science, or Social Studies Breadth Requirements. (Click on course numbers in the Guide to see this information.) Students should also be aware that each school and college may, at its own discretion, designate additional courses that satisfy these requirements. For this reason, students should consult their advisors to obtain information about how these requirements are implemented in the school or college in which they are enrolled.

General Education Policies

Only undergraduate-level college courses may satisfy General Education Requirements

Directed or Individualized Study may not be used to satisfy General Education Requirements.

Because these requirements assume that students are engaged in focused study within the designated area of general education, requirements cannot be met with portions of courses.

Exemption from General Education: All students are required to meet the fundamental degree requirements of the university, which include general education.

Disability-Based Waivers: The university has determined that waivers to the communication and quantitative reasoning portions of the general education component would fundamentally alter the nature of the University of Wisconsin–Madison degree. Students should not expect to obtain disability-based waivers to the communication and quantitative reasoning portions of the General Education Requirements.

Pass/Fail: Effective fall 2012, all courses taken to meet the University General Education Requirements must be taken on a graded basis. These grades are included in students' GPA calculations according to school/college GPA rules.


Declaration of Intent to Graduate

When students expect to graduate, they must indicate their intent by completing the graduation application available in the MyUW Student Center. It is the policy of UW–Madison that all work for the degree must be completed and all degree requirements satisfied before the degree can be conferred.

Conferral of Degrees

When students have been certified as having completed all university general education, degree, and major requirements, the degree will be awarded. When the degree is awarded, a diploma will be issued, listing the degree earned, and the transcript updated to reflect the degree, major, and any other approved academic programs completed. Students who have holds on their records will not receive their diplomas, or be able to order transcripts, until the holds are cleared. 


Students who wish to attend the spring or winter commencement ceremony must indicate their intent by completing the graduation application available via Student Center in My UW by the posted deadline. Students may participate in the commencement ceremony, in which the chancellor and deans symbolically confer the degrees, even if all degree requirements have not been completed. Neither participation in the ceremony nor listing in the program conveys degree conferral. Students will not receive the diploma or transcript notation until all degree requirements are certified as complete by their respective school or college. Should a student’s graduation plans change, updates to the intended term of graduation must be indicated via the graduation application in the MyUW Student Center.

The Office of the Registrar is responsible for maintaining the academic records of students who attend the University of Wisconsin–Madison and for many services associated with these records, including enrollment and grading. The office is located at:

333 East Campus Mall #10101
Madison, WI 53715-1384

Many student services are available online in the Student Center on My UW–Madison (My UW), including viewing grades, ordering transcripts, and updating address and emergency contact information. Students are responsible for the accuracy of the addresses provided in My UW and for the courses selected when they enroll.

My UW is available to eligible students, who gain access by using their Net ID and password. Access to My UW–Madison is available from any device with Internet access. For further information about My UW–Madison, see DoIT (Division of Information Technology).


Students enroll for courses, obtain information about deadlines, view their class schedule, and more in the Course Search & Enroll application on My UW. Information about key deadlines and course enrollment are also available at the Office of the Registrar website. Additional assistance with the course enrollment process is available by calling 608-262-3811 or emailing

Grading System

The general quality of a student's work is expressed in terms of a grade point average (GPA). It is based on the total number of credits taken for which grades of A through F are received. Semester grades are reported by letter only; plus and minus signs are not authorized. The highest possible GPA is 4.0, representing A grades in every course; the lowest possible is 0.0. The following is the official scale of grades at UW–Madison.

Grades with Associated Grade Points per Credit

Grade   Grade Points Per Credit
A Excellent 4
AB Intermediate Grade 3.5
B Good 3
BC Intermediate Grade 2.5
C Fair 2
D Poor 1
F Failure 0

Excluded from the GPA calculation are:

S or U (Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory) in courses taken on the pass/fail basis.

SD/UD (Satisfactory-Disruption/University Disruption-No Credit): special grading option for students in response to the COVID-19 events.

Cr or N (Credit or No Credit) in courses offered on a credit/no credit basis.

Def (Deferred), Ex (Excused), PE (Permanently Excused), formerly used only for required Physical Education. The Physical Education requirement was discontinued effective August 30, 1976.

DR (Dropped), indicates the course was dropped.

I (IN for Cr/N Courses) (Incomplete), a temporary grade used when work is not completed during a term.

EI (Extended Incomplete), a temporary grade for an extended time limit to remove an Incomplete.

PI (Permanent Incomplete), a permanent grade replacing an Incomplete incurred in a student’s last semester in residence and not removed within five years.

NR (No Report), indicates that a grade was not submitted by the instructor. Has no net effect on GPA. Effective Summer 1999.

NW (No Work)…”should be used for students who enroll in a course and then never attend. ‘No Work’ in this context means that the instructor has no evidence that the student ever attended, in that no course work was ever submitted. Any student who does attend for part of the semester, and then stops participating should be given a grade of ‘F’ unless there are grounds for assignment of a grade of ‘I'(Incomplete).” Fac. Doc. 1028; effective 9/94.

P (Progress), a temporary grade used for courses extending beyond one term. The final grade determines the grade for each term and replaces P grades for the course.

Q (Question on Credits or Honors), a temporary grade used during grade reporting to indicate a credit problem. Should only be used when the student is enrolled for the wrong number of credits or their honors indication is incorrect. A Q grade may be represented on a grade report as “?”.

R (Registered), not used after the Summer 1974.

W (Withdrew), indicates the student withdrew from the University while enrolled in the course.

Audited courses, denoted as such by ‘AU’ in place of a number of credits, are graded either S (Satisfactory) or NR (No Report).

Credit/No Credit Courses

Some courses are designated as being offered on a Credit/No Credit basis. The transcript for the course will indicate either CR, meaning the student earned the credits for which the course was offered, or N, meaning that the student did not earn any credit even though enrolled for the course. Students may not take such courses on any other basis.


Policy on Use of Pass/Fail Grading Option for Undergraduates

This policy concerns the use of the pass/fail grading option for degree-seeking undergraduate students. According to the UW–Madison grading scale, grades of S (satisfactory) and U (unsatisfactory) are the transcripted grades that are used for what is commonly known as pass/fail. It applies only to courses that use the default A–F grading scale and that also allow students to choose to take a course on a pass/fail (PF) basis.1

The instructor enters the letter grade earned by students on the grade roster, and those letter grades are subsequently recorded as a pass (S) or fail (U) on the student record. A pass (S) will be recorded when a letter grade of A through C is earned. A fail (U) will be recorded when a letter grade of D or F is earned. In addition to the S or U notation, the student transcript includes the symbol # for courses that were taken on a pass/fail basis. Neither the S nor the U is used in computing the grade point average. Instructors are not informed that a student has elected to take the course pass/fail.

Student Eligibility

Students must be in good academic standing according to their school/college in order to be eligible to request the pass/fail grading option.

Undergraduates may carry one course on a pass/fail basis per term and a maximum of 16 credits during their undergrad career. The summer sessions collectively count as a single term.

Required courses cannot be taken on a pass/fail basis.  The student’s school or college may review the request to take a course pass/fail and reject requests for nonelective work. It may be difficult for the school or college official to determine whether a course is an elective or being used to fulfill a requirement since a student’s enrollment or the way a course is being used in the specific program of study may change. Ultimately it is the student’s responsibility to be sure that the requested course is an elective. Students are strongly advised to consult with an academic advisor before taking a course pass/fail. Courses taken on a pass/fail basis will not count for nonelective requirements even if they would normally count toward such requirements.

Each school or college is responsible for clearly communicating to its students what the definition of “good academic standing” is and what a free elective is.

In each school or college, the office responsible for academic policy exceptions is authorized to make exceptions to the pass/fail policy.

Process for Requesting the Pass/Fail Grading Option

Students indicate that they would like to have a course they are enrolled in graded on a pass/fail basis by completing a course change request via their Student Center (see Course Change Request for detailed information). Students may submit pass/fail requests via their Student Center from the time that they enroll until midnight on the Friday at the end of the fourth week of fall and spring semesters. (For modular and summer session courses, pass/fail requests must be submitted by midnight Friday of the week in which the session is one-fourth completed).

The deadline for requesting the pass/fail grading option is posted on the Office of the Registrar website. These deadlines are based on the idea that the pass/fail option is intended to encourage students to explore educational opportunities that they might otherwise not be willing to attempt. Pass/fail is not intended as a way for students to avoid academic consequences.

Once the student has submitted the request to take a course on a pass/fail basis the request is routed via SIS workflow to an academic dean in the school or college for approval or further communication with the student.  The school/college official must approve the request before the grading option is changed to pass/fail by the Office of the Registrar.

Students can see whether a course is being graded on a pass/fail basis in their Student Center.

1 For study abroad programs operated by the College of Engineering, courses taken abroad toward an engineering major will be posted as pass/fail. This occurs automatically and is not a student option; this practice is not covered or affected by this policy.


Every course grade of F counts as 0 grade points and remains permanently on the transcript. If the course is repeated, the original F will remain on the transcript and will be included in computing the GPA.


An Incomplete may be reported for a student who has carried a subject with a passing grade until near the end of the semester. If a student is unable to take or complete the final examination because of illness or other circumstances beyond his or her control, the student may be granted an Incomplete. An Incomplete is not given to a student who stays away from a final examination except as indicated above. In the absence of such proof the grade shall be F; even with such proof, if the instructor is convinced that the student cannot pass, the grade shall be F.

Undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Letters & Science must complete the course work for which they received the Incomplete by the end of the fourth week of classes of their next term of enrollment at UW-Madison (exclusive of summer sessions). Failure to do so will result in a lapse into a grade of F, unless the time limit has been formally extended. Letters & Science students should see the L&S section on Incompletes for important details.

Undergraduates enrolled in schools or colleges other than Letters & Science must complete the course work for which they received the Incomplete by the end of their next term of enrollment (exclusive of summer sessions). Incompletes incurred in the last term of enrollment may not be removed after five years of absence from the university without special advance permission of the student's associate or assistant dean. Such Incompletes remain on the record permanently but do not lapse into a grade of F.


Students may audit eligible courses with instructor and academic dean consent, and if no laboratory or performance skills are involved. Auditors may not recite or take examinations but are expected to attend classes regularly and do some assigned work. Although courses for which students enroll as an auditor are factored into tuition, such courses do not earn academic credit and do not count in determining full-time/part-time load for enrollment certification in an academic term. Students initiate a request to audit by completing a course change request via their Student Center (see Course Change Request for detailed information). The deadline to change a course from credit to audit is the end of the fourth week of classes. School and college policies may vary from this description. Students are advised to consult with the instructor concerning specific course requirements that must be satisfied.

Class Standing

Students are classified by year according to the number of credits and grade points they have earned:

Freshman: less than 24 credits
Sophomore: at least 24 credits
Junior: at least 54 credits
Senior: at least 86 credits

Tuition and Fees

The UW System Board of Regents sets tuition and fee rates annually. Rates are subject to change without notice.

The tuition and fee schedule is available on the Bursar's Office website. Students who enroll after the first Friday of the official first week of classes are assessed a late initial enrollment fee. Exception: Special and Guest students have until the Friday of the second week of classes to enroll.

Enrolled students can view account charges/payments, financial aid (loans, grants, scholarships) received, and refunds on their My UW Student Center, Financial Account. Students can also access links to view and pay student account eBills, set up Authorized Payers for account access, and enroll for eRefund.

The Bursar’s Office provides the student account bill electronically (eBill). The eBill is published on the My UW Student Center payment portal. Students and their Authorized Payers receive an email when the eBill is available to view.

For questions about tuition rates, student account activity and billing questions, contact the Bursar's Office. (include student ID and name)
333 East Campus Mall #10501
Madison, WI 53715-1383

Making Payments

Student Account payment options include making an online ePayment, mailing a check to the Bursar's Office, or placing a check in the first-floor lobby dropbox. For detailed payment information, see Payment Methods on the Bursar's Office website.

If the balance is not paid by the due date, a late fee is assessed and a hold is placed to prevent future enrollment and release of official transcripts and diplomas, until the account is paid.

Residence for Tuition Purposes

Wisconsin Statutes, Section 36.27(2), governs resident status for tuition purposes at all University of Wisconsin System institutions. All individuals are considered nonresidents unless they meet one of the exemptions from nonresident tuition specified in that law. In determining resident status for tuition purposes, standards are different from those used for voting, paying taxes, applying for various licenses, or other forms of residency. In general, eligibility for resident status requires that an independent student (or the student’s parent, if the student is a dependent) must be a bona fide resident of Wisconsin for at least 12 months immediately prior to enrollment for any term. However, if a student comes to Wisconsin primarily for educational purposes, the student will not qualify after living in Wisconsin for a year, even if the student meets some or all of the remaining eligibility criteria. State law dictates that students who reside in Wisconsin to obtain an education are presumed to be nonresidents of Wisconsin.

There are rare exemptions to the requirement of establishing bona fide residency over a twelve month period. Those exemptions relate to individuals who have recently moved to Wisconsin for full-time, permanent employment (under certain conditions), individuals with certain military or veteran statuses, and refugees residing in Wisconsin under specific circumstances. If you believe you may be eligible for one of these exemptions, you may wish to inquire with a residence counselor, as not all individuals moving to Wisconsin for employment or as refugees or veterans will qualify as Wisconsin residents.

For more information and the full text of Wisconsin Statutes, Section 36.27(2), see the Office of the Registrar website or contact a residence counselor at 608-262-1355 or

In some cases, military-affiliated individuals may be eligible for resident tuition even though they are not eligible for the formal status of Resident for Tuition Purposes (this includes non-resident students receiving resident tuition through the Post-9/11 GI Bill.) If you believe you may be eligible for remission of nonresident tuition based on your or a parent’s military service, you may wish to inquire with University Veterans Services at  608-265-4628 or

Minnesota Reciprocity for Tuition Rates

Minnesota residents who are certified by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education for the appropriate term to attend UW–Madison under the Minnesota–Wisconsin Tuition Reciprocity Agreement will be assessed the approved reciprocity tuition rate, plus the segregated fees assessed all UW–Madison students. Students under this program will be classified as nonresidents of Wisconsin. Minnesota residents must apply to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education for verification of their eligibility for reciprocity.

It is the student's responsibility to inquire about application procedures, deadline dates, and reapplication procedures. Students may apply online on the Minnesota Office of Higher Education website. Questions may be directed to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education:
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55108-5227
651-642-0567 or 1-800-657-3866

They may also be directed to the UW–Madison Office of the Registrar:
333 East Campus Mall #10101
Madison, WI 53715-1384

Student Privacy Rights (FERPA)

Students have the right to inspect and review most education records maintained about them by the University of Wisconsin–Madison and, in many cases, decide if a third person can obtain information from them. Students may challenge information in their records which they believe to be inaccurate, misleading, or inappropriate.

The university has adopted a policy statement implementing all provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). A copy of this statement may be obtained at the Office of the Registrar, 333 East Campus Mall #10101. The university, in accordance with the act, has designated the following as "directory information," which is publicly available unless a student asks to have any or all of it withheld: name; postal address; telephone numbers; e-mail addresses; date of birth; major field(s) of study and number of academic credits earned toward degree; attendance status (including current year, credit load, and full-or part-time status); dates of attendance (matriculation and withdrawal dates); degrees and awards received (type of degree and date granted); previously attended educational agencies or institutions; participation in officially recognized activities; and participation in athletics and weight and height of athletes.

Students wishing to keep some or all of their "directory information" confidential should restrict their information in the Student Center in My UW. Students with questions about the provisions of the act or who believe the university is not complying with the act may obtain assistance from the Office of the Registrar:
333 East Campus Mall #10101
Madison, WI 53715-1384

Students have the right to file complaints alleging university noncompliance with the act with the federal agency that enforces the act. The address is: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office, Department of Education, 330 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201.

Information about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, is distributed during Wisconsin Welcome and is available at:
Office of the Registrar
333 East Campus Mall #10101
Madison, WI 53715-1384

Availability of Academic Record Information to Parents or Guardians or Others

A student may authorize a third party (e.g., a parent, guardian, spouse, potential employer, etc.) access to academic record information. An authorization form is available at the Office of the Registrar's website, or by visiting the Office of the Registrar, 333 East Campus Mall #10101. The authorization form permits release of specified information on a one-time basis to the specified third party. If no authorization is on file, it will be assumed that the student does not wish to give a third party access to academic record information. This policy is designed to give students specific control over the parties to whom academic record information may be released.

Grade reports will not be sent by the university to parents or guardians. Students are urged to keep their parents informed of their academic progress.

Academic Integrity

UW–Madison students have the obligation to conduct their academic work in a manner consistent with high standards of academic integrity. They also have the right to expect they and other students will be graded fairly. Students have due process rights should they be accused of academic misconduct. Therefore, it is important students:

  • become familiar with the rules of academic misconduct (UWS Ch. 14);
  • ask their instructors if they are unsure (for example, how to use sources in a paper or whether to work with another student on an assignment);
  • let instructors know if they think they see misconduct;
  • be aware helping someone else cheat is a violation of the rules

For complete discussion of the rules regarding academic integrity, review the complete text of UWS Chapter 17.  Find additional information, on the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards website or contact the office via phone at 608-263-5700 or room 70 Bascom Hall.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Every member of the University of Wisconsin–Madison community has the right to expect to conduct their academic and social life in an environment free from threats, danger, or harassment. Students also have the responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with membership in the university and local communities.

UWS Chapters 17 and 18 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code list the university policies students are expected to follow and describes the procedures used when students are accused of misconduct. Chapter 17 also lists the possible responses the university may apply when a student is found responsible for violating a policy. The process used to determine any violations and disciplinary actions are important parts of UWS 17. Review the complete text of UWS Chapter 17, and for additional information, review the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards website, or contact the office via phone at 608-263-5700 or room 70 Bascom Hall.

Student Grievance Procedure

Any student at UW–Madison who feels that they have been treated unfairly has the right to voice a complaint and receive a prompt hearing of the grievance. The basis for a grievance can range from something as subtle as miscommunication to the extreme of harassment.

Each school or college has a procedure to hear grievances. Generally the process involves an informal attempt to solve the problem, if appropriate. If not, more formal proceedings can be undertaken until a resolution is reached. Advisors and school or college offices have detailed information. For assistance in determining options, students can contact the drop-in staff member within the Dean of Students Office at 608-263-5700, within Bascom Hall, Room 70, Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

Seeking Assistance

The Dean of Students Office is a primary resource for connecting students who are navigating personal, academic, or health issues, to supportive campus and community resources. The Dean of Students Office also serves as a central location for reporting issues of hate and bias, sexual assault, and hazing.

A student can seek help at many places on campus, for both personal and academic problems. For answers to general questions on many topics, a good place to start is Ask Bucky, which is an excellent general referral service.

For personal problems, Counseling Services, a unit of University Health Services, offers a variety of individual, group and couple counseling services. Experienced counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists are available to assist students in overcoming depression and managing anxiety, and in developing self-awareness and understanding, independence, and self-direction. The counseling staff is experienced and sensitive to students of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Counseling Services is located at 333 East Campus Mall; 608-265-5600. In addition, an on-call dean in Student Assistance and Judicial Affairs is usually available by telephone (608-263-5700) or on a walk-in basis (75 Bascom Hall) Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

For academic problems, many places can offer help. The student should first discuss the problem with the professor or TA. If the problem is not resolved at that time, the student can speak with an academic advisor or the chair of the department. If further assistance is needed, the student should contact one of the academic deans in the school or college.


AlcoholEdu is an online course overseen by University Health Services that educates students about the impacts of alcohol and provides them with the information to make healthy decisions. All incoming degree seeking undergraduate students--including first-year and transfer students--must complete AlcoholEdu. The program consists of two parts, both of which must be completed.

Student Affairs at UW–Madison serves students in areas including health and well-being, identity and inclusion, leadership and engagement, and student advocacy. Its multiple departments collaborate broadly across the many programs and campus units that serve students, such as the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement and University Housing, to enhance UW–Madison as a  welcoming and inclusive community for all students.

Associated Students of Madison (ASM)

4301 Student Activity Center
333 East Campus Mall
608-265-4276 (265-4ASM)
Facebook: Associated Students of Madison
Twitter: @ASMstudentgovt

  • Promotes student voice as it pertains to legislative, diversity, and university affairs
  • Distributes funding for student activities, organizations, and events to maximize student involvement in shaping campus life
  • Supports elected student representatives
  • The Open Seat Food Pantry strives to alleviate the stresses of food insecurity for those who need support.
  • Oversees the Student Activity Center, which offers office and meetings space to student organizations
  • Distributes the student bus pass every semester, which allows students to take unlimited rides on any Madison Metro bus route, in addition to the free campus bus routes

Center for the First-Year Experience

155 Middleton Building
1305 Linden Drive

Facebook: UW First-Year Experience
Twitter: @UWNewStudent

  • Collaborates with campus partners to plan and implement Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) for incoming undergraduates and their families
  • Oversees the Transfer Transition Program, which provides pre-advising services to prospective students and support services to new transfer students on campus 

  • Assists incoming students with the academic and social transitions to the university through direct and indirect programming
  • Offers seminar courses on the Wisconsin Experience and provides consultation and support to faculty and graduate students who work with first-year students

Center for Leadership & Involvement

Third Floor, Red Gym
716 Langdon Street
Facebook: UWCfLI
Twitter: @UWCfLI

  • Facilitates the registration and advising for more than 1,000 student organizations
  • Hosts student organization fairs in fall and spring
  • Supports the Adventure Learning Programs (ALPs), Student Leadership Program, and the Willis L. Jones Leadership Center 
  • Administers and confers UW–Madison Leadership Certificate

Dean of Students Office

70 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive

  • Creates a culture of care so students know the Dean of Students Office is the place to go when you need support
  • Connects students who are navigating personal, academic, financial, or health issues, to supportive campus and community resources
  • Provides walk-in, email, virtual, and call-in assistance meetings to discuss concerns that students have without judgement
  • Supports students who have concerns about their friends and classmates
  • Responds to incidents of hate and bias by providing support and resources to those impacted

Gender & Sexuality Campus Center

123 Red Gym
716 Langdon Street
Phone: 608-265-3344
Facebook: Gender and Sexuality Campus Center
Twitter: @UWGSCC

  • Provides support to LGBTQ+ and ally communities through trainings, workshops, a Discord server, the website, newsletter, and resource library
  • Advocates for LGBTQ+ students through policies and procedures including bias reporting, restroom policy, name and pronoun display, RecWell inclusion, and trans health care
  • Organizes health and identity courses, a peer mentor program, and the Gender Explorers discussion group
  • Coordinates identity-based and community-building events, including Trans Monologues, Rainbow Graduation, and dozens of recurring programs per semester

International Student Services

217 Red Gym
716 Langdon Street
Facebook: International Student Services at UW–Madison

  • Provides non-immigrant F-1 and J-1 student advising, including educational workshops to help students understand how to maintain status
  • Offers transitional support for new Global Badgers, beginning with required International Student Orientation (ISO), and ISS Check-in through the Terra Dotta portal
  • Hosts engagement programs to enrich student’s Wisconsin Experience and celebrate identities, such as the International Reach Cross-cultural Speakers Program and the BRIDGE Peer Mentorship Program
  • Provides advocacy for student needs through our assessment initiatives, work with campus partners, and collaboration with our International Student Advisory Board, also known as ISAB
  • Connects students with resources and recommendations to support academic and career success, mental health and wellness, and life after finishing an academic program

McBurney Disability Resource Center

702 West Johnson Street, Suite 2104
Facebook: McBurney Disability Resource Center
Text:  (608) 225-7956

  • Promotes accessible, open, and welcoming campus community for students with disabilities
  • Works with students with a variety of disabilities such as psychological/mental health, learning, chronic health, ADHD, vision, hearing, mobility, etc
  • Develops individualized accommodation plans for students with disabilities and provides classroom accommodations to students with disabilities taking undergraduate, graduate, and professional school courses
  • Provides information and referral services on disability issues for students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors
  • Offers peer education and campus programming around disability issues and inclusive practices

Multicultural Student Center

716 Langdon Street
Facebook: UW–Madison Multicultural Student Center
Instagram: @UWMulticultural

  • Provides spaces, services, and events for students of color to find community and belonging
  • Celebrates and honors heritage and history through monthly recognitions including Latinx Heritage Month, Native November, Black History Month, and APIDA Heritage month 
  • Organizes “The Meet Up” a welcome week event with cultural performances and student organization fair
  • Develops leadership development opportunities for student leaders through the Multicultural Leadership Summit, and student organization affiliation program in which more than 65 multicultural organizations are recognized
  • Provides opportunities for students of all backgrounds to engage in conversations and dialogue around racial justice and intersectional communities and issues
  • The Multicultural Student Center houses the Black Cultural Center, Latinx Cultural Center, and the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Cultural Center which are all currently located within the Red Gym, and each center has a program coordinator  

Office of Inclusion Education

Office of Inclusion Education
716 Langdon Street

  • The Office of Inclusion Education elevates and prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion for all students at UW-Madison
  • Social Justice Education Programs provides educational opportunities that support exploration and engagement in topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion through requested workshops
  • Our Wisconsin raises awareness of diversity on campus providing education on inclusion and social justice, through the lens of community building at UW-Madison
  • The Social Justice Hub supports students working on social justice issues through action teams, creating educational events, and being engaged in community opportunities

Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards

500 Lincoln Drive


  • Upholds every student’s right to learn in a community that is safe
  • Fosters integrity and accountability
  • Provides leadership in reducing high-risk student drinking
  • Partners with instructors to resolve academic misconduct incidents

University Veteran Services

333 East Campus Mall, Room 10320

  • Certifies both state and federal military/veteran education benefits, advises students on the use of education benefits, and assists with applying for new benefits
  • Develops programming to build community among our military-connected students and campus as a whole
  • Educates the greater campus community and act as a resource for faculty/staf

Academic Calendar

Establishment of the academic calendar for the University of Wisconsin–Madison falls within the authority of the faculty as set forth in Faculty Policies and Procedures. Construction of the academic calendar is subject to various rules and guidelines prescribed by the Board of Regents, the Faculty Senate and State of Wisconsin legislation. Approximately every five years, the Faculty Senate approves a new academic calendar which spans a future five-year period.
The current calendar was adopted by the Faculty Senate in September 2016.