Students who are undergraduates in good standing at another U.S. college or university are eligible for admission as a University Special student. They are admitted with the understanding that they will either return to their primary institution or attend another university after one term at UW–Madison. Students must have a minimum 2.0 gpa overall and in the previous term. The applicant must submit a transcript from the most recent institution attended before an admissions decision is finalized. Visiting undergraduates are assessed tuition at the undergraduate student rate (Wisconsin resident or nonresident) unless a course has a nonstandard tuition rate.
Visiting undergraduates are admitted for one term only. Those with extenuating circumstances or particular academic needs may appeal to attend UW–Madison for consecutive terms. The appeal must include a statement of support from a dean at the home institution.
It is the visiting student's responsibility to work out a credit transfer plan with the advisor at the college or university which will confer their undergraduate degree. There is no guarantee that credits earned at UW–Madison will apply toward fulfilling degree requirements at another university. Upon completion of a course and verifying that grades are posted in MyUW/Student Center, the student must submit an online order of an official transcript via the Office of the Registrar in order to transfer credits.
Recent high school graduates or graduating seniors who have been admitted and will enroll at another college or university as an undergraduate may apply for visiting undergraduate status for the summer term or semester following high school graduation. It is the student's responsibility to make sure this is permitted by the college to be entered in the next term. To be admitted as a Visiting student without a college record, students must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA in high school. Graduating high school seniors who will enroll as undergraduates at UW–Madison in the fall term and wish to begin their studies in the summer term must contact the Office of Admissions and Recruitment to change their admission term from fall to summer.
How to Get in
There are two steps to become a student: (1) university admission and (2) course enrollment.
There is no application fee. Applying at least one month before the start of the term (early August for fall; early December for spring) is recommended as it can take two to three weeks to review and process an application. Enrollment for summer term usually begins in early April, so applying by early March is recommended. As a visiting undergraduate, a transcript from the home college or university is required to confirm the admissions criteria of good standing and 2.0 minimum GPA are met. The transcript may be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 608-265-2901. ACSSS will send an email confirming receipt of the application and a reminder regarding transcript submission. (Recent high school graduates without a college record must submit a high school transcript.)
There are two options for submitting a University Special Student application:
- First-time students use Applying via the University Special Student application
- Returning students may use the application above or apply as a reentry student via the Reentry application in the Student Center/My UW using a NetID.
By selecting UNVS, the designation for Visiting Undergraduate students, the applicant is directed to provide the required information and documents. Once admitted, an admission letter from ACSSS is sent—typically within two weeks of providing all required information to ACSSS and anything required by the Office of the Registrar, Residence for Tuition Purposes. The letter includes information regarding next steps and deadlines.
University Special students enroll via MyUW/Student Center at an earliest enrollment time—which is a date after most degree students have enrolled. For visiting undergraduates this is typically several days before the beginning of a term, except in April for summer term. Admitted students receive enrollment information and find detailed instructions at the ACSSS enrollment page.
Most courses have prerequisites which are listed in the courses section of the Guide. In order to enroll in a course, students—including University Special Students—must meet these prerequisites and requirements. Visiting undergraduates may have taken prerequisite courses at other colleges and universities which will not be part of the UW–Madison record and recognized by the enrollment system. Thus, it may be necessary for such students to confer with a department or course instructor to confirm a prerequisite has been met at another institution in order for enrollment to be allowed.
ACSSS highlight such issues for University Special students on its enrollment page, as well as provides Enrollment FAQs and Tips.