Transfer Resources

UW-Madison students may choose to take courses off-campus during the summer (or on a non-UW-Madison sponsored study abroad program) and potentially transfer credit to UW-Madison. The UW-Madison Office of Admissions handles all transfer course equivalencies.

It is highly recommended that students do not take a course unless they know in advance that it will transfer to UW-Madison for credit.

Transfer Tips for College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Students

  1. Advising is important.
    See your UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) advisor early and often! Many CALS programs limit enrollment and require competitive admissions; most of these limited enrollment programs require prerequisites, minimum credits in the major, or minimum grade-point averages simply to be eligible to apply. Teacher education students must take and submit scores for a basic skills test, often with different timeframes and deadlines than other admission materials.

    Some of our most frustrating advising experiences occur when transfer students arrive on campus with clear academic and career goals but inadequate preparation for their professional program. Some students choose to go to a technical college or UW-System institution to save time and money, only to find that they have actually extended their time-to-completion because they did not seek advising.

    For these reasons, students planning to transfer to UW-Madison should identify an appropriate advisor here on campus as early as possible. We are happy to set up advising appointments by phone. Find detailed advising information here.

  2. You may need to complete two applications, not just one.
    All transfer students must apply to the campus for general admission. Go to the following Undergraduate Admissions website for detailed information on transfer application and admission:

    Many transfer students may also be eligible to apply to their professional program of choice. This means that they must be managing two application/admission processes–one for the campus and one for their professional program in the CALS. These processes are parallel but not related; CALS Office of Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Admissions usually do not share information or materials. Thus, applicants will need to provide transcripts to both Undergraduate Admissions and EAS. Application forms may be time-consuming but very different. Students who apply to campus but fail to apply to their professional program will not be considered for program admission. Likewise, students admitted to their CALS program must simultaneously be admitted to UW-Madison.

  3. How will my courses transfer?
    At UW-Madison, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions determines officially the equivalence of transfer courses, based on decisions by campus departments. See:

    Consult with your Education Academic Services advisor. Most CALS Office of Academic Affairs advisors have access to the course equivalency database used by Undergraduate Admission staff. Advisors may be willing to do an unofficial review of a few courses as an aid in making course choices. Remember that any determinations by CALS Office of Academic Affairs staff are tentative and unofficial; formal equivalency determinations are made by Undergraduate Admissions.

    Note that faculty may legitimately require students to complete UW-Madison professional courses, even if apparently equivalent courses are offered at another institution.

  4. Will my transfer grades count?
    Grades from transfer courses are NOT posted to the UW-Madison transcript. However, the CALS uses ALL attempted transferable course work to determine program admission eligibility and selection. Students should be aware that grades earned at another institution will be included in program and admission calculations. (Courses for which an “F” is earned do not transfer to UW-Madison.) See your UP&S advisor if you have additional questions about this policy.

Transferring courses from a Wisconsin public or technical college? Use the Transfer Information System to determine course equivalencies.

Transferring courses from select technical colleges in Minnesota and Illinois? Use the Transfer Equivalency Database to determine course equivalencies from common feeder technical colleges in neighboring states.

Transferring courses from any other institution?
The UW-Madison Office of Admissions offers a Summer Course Equivalency Service to students who wish to submit courses for transfer equivalency prior to taking a course off-campus.

Transfer credit process

  • Review your DARS report and consult your academic advisor to see what you still need to take and whether the course(s) would be a good option to take at another institution over the summer. It is not advised to take your business major courses off-campus.
  • Research course options at the institution where you plan on taking the course(s)
  • Determine equivalency (use resources listed above)
  • Apply as a “special” or “guest” student at the institution you plan on attending
  • Enroll in the course and pay tuition directly to the institution you are attending
  • After the course is complete, have the institution send an official transcript to the UW-Madison Office of Admissions (702 West Johnson Street, Suite 1101, Madison, WI 53715-1007)

Students with a Previous Undergraduate Degree
Early contact with the Office of Academic Affairs, as well as your intended second degree major home, is vital. Contact us and the home department or major to set up a time to talk about your interests, curriculum and timeline. If the relationship and situation seems to be a good fit, we will ask you to complete an undergraduate application, available online at the Office of Admissions & Recruitment.

Re-Entering Campus
If a student has left campus after the first day of classes of one semester, the student can simply enroll in courses the following semester. Students who want to reenter UW-Madison after an absence of a semester or more must complete a reentry application. This process is relatively simple and is outlined on the Office of Academic Affairs if you have additional questions.