Prospective Students: Frequently Asked Questions

For Prospective Freshmen

Why are some majors offered in multiple schools and colleges at UW-Madison?

Both the College of Letters & Science and the College of Agriculture and Life Science offer Biology and a few other biological science majors. The major requirements are exactly the same, however the general education requirements differ depending on which college a student is a part of. Students can indicate this at the point of admission, at new student orientation (SOAR), and throughout their first few semesters at the university, as long as they remain in good academic standing.

Is there an admission process to become part of the College of Letters & Science?

Students who are admitted to UW-Madison as undergraduates are able, without further application, to claim the College of Letters & Science as their college. They can do this at new student orientation (SOAR).

Where can I learn more about majors and certificates offered by the college?

The undergraduate catalog: http://pubs.wisc.edu/ug/ls_majors.htm

I’ve been admitted to the university and I’m ready to talk with an advisor – how do I get started?

You will meet an academic advisor at new student orientation (SOAR). This person will teach you about academic requirements and opportunities and will help you select and enroll in your first semester courses.

Does the college accept AP/IB credit and how does it count?

More information: http://www.admissions.wisc.edu/APIB.php

For Prospective Transfer Students

Is there an admissions process to become part of the College of Letters & Science?

Students who are admitted to UW-Madison as undergraduates are able, without further application, to claim the College of Letters & Science at their college. They can do this at new student orientation (SOAR). Please note that this does not guarantee admission to a particular major.

What are the graduation requirements to earn a degree from Letters & Science?

A student must complete a minimum of 120 credits, including at least 108 liberal arts and sciences credits. Students also must complete at least 60 intermediate and/or advanced credits in order to graduate. It is important that transfer students pay attention to this “60 credit rule”.

Letters & Science students are required to complete 12 credits each of Humanities, Social Science, and Natural Science. There are also foreign language and math requirements for a Letters & Science degree.

All UW-Madison students must complete the same general education requirements: Communications A and Communications B, Quantitative Reasoning A and Quantitative Reasoning B, and an ethnic studies course.

What majors/certificates are offered at UW-Madison?

A major, around 30 credits, is a student’s main area of focus. A certificate, around 12-18 credits, is like a minor at UW-Madison. A complete list can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Why are some majors offered in multiple schools and colleges at UW-Madison?

There are a number of biological sciences majors offered through the College of Letters & Science and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Similarly, Communicative Disorders is offered through Letters & Science as well as the School of Education. The major requirements are exactly the same, however the general education requirements differ depending on which college a student is part of. Students can indicate this at the point of admission, at new student orientation (SOAR), and throughout their first few semester at the university, as long as they remain in good academic standing.

How will my credits transfer to UW-Madison?

Official Transfer Credit Evaluations are done by the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Students transferring from a UW System campus or a Wisconsin technical college can find course equivalency information on the TIS website (http://tis.uwsa.edu/). L&S Academic Advising Services does not oversee transfer credit equivalencies.

What courses should I take prior to transferring?

Students should take courses that meet general education, breadth, and foreign language requirements if possible. While introductory courses in an intended major may be a good idea, transfer students should be careful not to take too many “upper division” courses in their intended major.

Once I decide to transfer to UW-Madison, how will I know what courses I should take?

All new students are required to attend a Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) session prior to their first semester on campus. At SOAR, transfer students will receive official transfer credit evaluations that will describe how their previous coursework transfers to UW-Madison. Students will work closely with campus advisors who will assist in course selection and enrollment for that first semester. Students will also learn where to go for future advising needs.

If I already know what courses I want to take when I get to UW-Madison, do I have to attend SOAR?

Yes. Surveys of transfer students in the past indicated that those who left “most lost” were those who had not attended SOAR.

How do I declare my major in L&S?

An admission to the University does not guarantee admission to a particular major. A student’s intention does not translate as declaring a major. Each department has its own requirements. Students should check the specific department’s website for information regarding major requirements, advising, and major declaration.

Need more advice?

The Academic Advising Services Office in the College of Letters & Science may be able to answer additional questions that you may have. You can reach this office by calling (608) 262-5858 or by emailing acac@ls.wisc.edu