The School of Business attracts talented, energetic, creative students who are known for their strong work ethic and technical capabilities. Undergraduate students in the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Program experience innovative coursework directed by leading scholars in business. They have opportunities to connect with outstanding alumni for applied learning, mentoring, and general life-experience lessons. Students also enjoy access to an unlimited array of activities, clubs, and life-changing opportunities.
In 1900, UW–Madison established one of the first six commerce programs in the country, beginning as a department in the College of Letters and Science, and receiving separate school status by a 1944 act of the Wisconsin Legislature. The School of Business was a founding member of Beta Gamma Sigma, a national professional business honor society and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the standard-setting organization for collegiate business education. The School's undergraduate and graduate programs were reaccredited by the AACSB in 2017.
Experience a High-Caliber Undergraduate Business Education
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a world-class university, nationally and internationally recognized for academic excellence, incredible students, and inspiring faculty. As a student in the undergraduate business program, you will have access to the academic and co-curricular resources of the entire university, combined with the personalized experience of being a Business Badger. It’s like having the best of both worlds.
The curriculum for the Wisconsin BBA Program incorporates a foundation in the liberal arts with a business education, including focused coursework in ten majors. The liberal arts foundation—including courses taken outside of the School of Business—develops your skills in thinking critically, analyzing problems, generating creative solutions, communicating effectively, and working in diverse teams. These are all skills top employers seek when filling positions with strong potential for advancement.
Ten undergraduate business majors are offered, giving you the specialized knowledge you need to begin a great career. You will graduate with skills gained from top-notch faculty and real-world learning experiences. It all adds up to an educational experience that prepares you for career success. The School of Business also offers a certificate in business, a certificate in entrepreneurship, and a capstone certificate in actuarial science. There are also opportunities for further education through our graduate, master's, and doctoral programs.
Prepare for Leadership and Gain Personal Skills
The Wisconsin BBA Program gives you far more than an academic experience. We offer a comprehensive business education that equips you to have an impact as a business professional, a volunteer, a leader in your community, and a future mentor and role model to others.
Employers value specific characteristics in their new hires, including leadership skills, confidence, communication skills, ethical decision-making, and experience working in diverse teams. Top companies come to the School of Business to recruit year after year because they find these qualities in Business Badgers.
The School of Business has created groundbreaking programs to support the development of leadership, personal, and professional skills in our BBA students.
The Accenture Leadership Center
The Accenture Leadership Center (ALC) was one of the first in-house leadership centers at a U.S. business school. Today, it continues to be student-driven and alumni-supported. The center offers a variety of activities, classes, workshops, and leadership training events, including LeaderShape Institute, a six-day, intensive, leadership training. Wisconsin BBA students graduate with the confidence, self-awareness, and professional skills to lead and inspire others.
Chart Your Path with The Compass Program™
Unique to the School of Business, The Compass Program is a multi-year program designed to help you chart your own path to success in the BBA program and beyond. Every Wisconsin BBA student completes this program, which supports personal, academic, career, and professional growth, as well as the development of leadership skills. Both curricular and co-curricular components are incorporated.
The Compass Program will equip you with a portfolio of business-ready skills and a clear understanding of your individual values and strengths. You will have the leadership abilities, communication skills, and professionalism needed to be a well-rounded business leader.
If you want to make a positive contribution to the world around you, both in your career and beyond, The Compass Program will empower you to get there.
Majors, Specializations, Certificates, and Other Programs
Business: Accounting, BBA
Business: Actuarial Science, BBA
Business: Finance, Investment, and Banking, BBA
Business: Information Systems, BBA
Business: International Business, BBA
Business: Management and Human Resources, BBA
Business: Marketing, BBA
Business: Operations and Technology Management, BBA
Business: Real Estate and Urban Land Economics, BBA
Business: Risk Management and Insurance, BBA
Health Care Management, Specialization
Supply Chain Management, Certificate
Supply Chain Management, Specialization
Additional Major in Letters & Science
With approval from both the business academic dean's office and the appropriate L&S academic department, business students may complete one L&S major in addition to a business major. Interested students should visit this website.
The Certificate in Spanish Studies for Business Students is available through the College of Letters & Science.
For a complete listing of BBA Program staff, please visit our directory.
A Student-Centered Admissions Process
The School of Business boasts a student body that is focused and engaged. Our highly talented undergraduate students, in turn, attract recruiting employers who return to Wisconsin year after year to fill internships and full-time positions.
Although the Wisconsin BBA Program is competitive, we do everything we can to help you prepare for the admissions process. The School of Business strives for a great fit between applicants and what we have to offer. Our focus is on partnering with you to help you make the best choice for your future.
There are three different admission paths to the Wisconsin BBA Program. Prospective high school students may be considered for Direct Admission based on their application to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Students who are already enrolled at UW–Madison can apply through the pre-business admissions process. Transfer students can gain admission through the transfer admit process, which has its own distinct requirements. The right choice for you depends on your current goals and where you are in your journey to becoming a Business Badger.
For more information about these options, including directions for navigating the admissions processes, qualities the Wisconsin BBA Program is looking for in applicants, and tips for submitting a competitive application, please visit the Wisconsin BBA Program website.
Transfer applicants should visit the School of Business website to determine which process fits their situation.
Integrate Classroom Learning with Direct Experience
Wisconsin BBA students are expected to apply learning inside and outside the traditional classroom in ways that have a positive impact on the world. Known as the Wisconsin Experience, this principle draws upon opportunities ranging from conducting research to embracing entrepreneurship to developing multicultural competence, on campus or through study abroad programs. By applying classroom learning in leadership programs or student organizations, you will build your résumé and gain practical experience in using your business skills.
School of Business students as well as pre-business students are responsible for being familiar with the policies that affect them. School of Business policy is subject to change, so be sure to review this website for the most up-to-date information. Questions related to policy interpretation can be directed to your academic advisor for clarification. Please note that pre-business students are subject to the academic policies and procedures of their current school/college. In addition to the academic-related policies below, we strongly encourage prospective/pre-business applicants to review all admission policies listed on the Wisconsin BBA Admission Policies page.
Business Credit Limit
Undergraduate students may not take more than 75 credits of School of Business courses.
10-semester rule (reentry and transfer)
This explains the ten-semester rule regarding business school admissions policy.
Students re-entering after an absence of 10 or more semesters:
A prospective business student seeking admission to the School of Business is responsible for completing all of the current School of Business admission and degree requirements that are in effect at the time of re-entry to UW–Madison.
A business student reentering UW–Madison is responsible for completing all the current School of Business degree requirements that are in effect at the time of reentry to UW–Madison and the School of Business. Students who left the institution as a business student do not need to reapply for admission to the School of Business when they return.
Transfer Students seeking admission to the School of Business:
A transfer student whose first college entry date is ten or more semesters prior to UW–Madison matriculation must complete all of the current School of Business admission requirements that are in effect at the time of UW–Madison matriculation.
A transfer student whose first college entry date is less than ten semesters prior to UW-Madison matriculation, must complete all School of Business admission requirements that were in effect at the time of the student’s first college matriculation date.
The School of Business will graduate a student at the end of the semester (spring, summer or fall) in which all BBA degree and business major requirements are complete. Graduation will not be postponed for any incomplete School of Business certificate(s), specialization(s), or honors program(s); or additional certificate(s) or major(s) outside the School of Business.
It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that graduation requirements have been met. All students should regularly consult their DARS (Degree Audit Reporting System) document in conjunction with their advisor to ensure that all graduation requirements have been met.
Student responsibility for enrollment
Each student is responsible for arranging a course list that will permit satisfactory progress toward degree requirements and a class schedule that (a) avoids class and final exam scheduling conflicts, (b) avoids an excessively demanding final exam schedule, and (c) verifies registration in chosen classes.
The Office of the Registrar publishes university deadlines for adding and dropping individual courses, withdrawing (from all courses), and selection options such as pass/fail and audit. Changing enrollment can have consequences for academic standing, tuition, progress toward degree, etc. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with an academic advisor prior to initial enrollment and before making any changes to enrollment.
The School of Business does not award credit for a small number of courses offered at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Students who take these courses and are subsequently admitted to the School of Business will have the credit removed upon admission. This list is specific to students admitted to the School of Business and is in addition to all applicable university credit policy.
The list of no-credit courses is as follows:
- Failed courses (grade of “F”)
- Repeated courses (except where a repeat is allowed)
- Courses for which a student may not receive credit because of a previously completed course (as indicated in the Course Guide)
- ACCT I S 300 Accounting Principles
- I SY E 313 Engineering Economic Analysis
- CNSR SCI 275 Consumer Finance
- CNSR SCI 665 Household Risk Management
Being enrolled in any of the above courses could impact your application to the School of Business. Before enrolling in and taking any of the above courses, please consult your academic advisor.
To maintain full-time standing, students must be enrolled in 12–18 credits.
Undergraduate students who are considering dropping below full time (less than 12 credits) should make sure they know how it will affect their status. Students are responsible for knowing how part-time status will affect them. Below are some of the more common scenarios to explore before dropping credits:
Dropping below full time as an international student can have serious consequences, up to and including deportation. Please be sure to check with the International Student Services Office before dropping below 12 credits.
Scholarships, Grants, and Other Awards:
Depending on the conditions of the scholarship, a student may be required to be full time in order to remain eligible for an award. Be sure to check the stipulations for any awards you have received.
Be sure to check with the Office of Student Financial Aid to find out if being part time will affect your financial aid package.
Depending on when the credits are dropped, you may be eligible for a tuition refund. Check the registrar’s website for information about refund deadlines.
Varsity athletes are governed by Big Ten and NCAA rules that do not allow them to drop below full time. Be sure to check with your coach and athletic advisor before dropping below 12 credits.
Taking fewer credits or courses than anticipated may delay your graduation. Be certain that if you drop a course, you will still be able to complete all required courses within your desired timeline. If you are not sure, please see your academic advisor.
Undergraduate business students who are in good academic standing (i.e., not on probation) may take only one (1) course as pass/fail per semester including the summer session. A maximum of 16 total credits may be completed as pass/fail to count toward completion of the 120 degree credits required for the BBA.
The pass/fail privilege is for a non-business elective course. The following courses cannot be taken pass/fail:
- All business courses including those designated as “meets with,” “cross-listed,” and those taken during study abroad programs
- Any requirement for the business major or degree, including, but not limited to, pre-business and liberal studies requirements
Note: It is the responsibility of the student to check requirements and policies for non-business majors and certificates prior to requesting the pass/fail privilege.
The pass/fail grade will not be included when computing your GPA, but the pass/fail credits with S (Satisfactory) grades will apply toward graduation. S is the grade for A to C; U (Unsatisfactory) is the grade for D and F.
Students must complete a minimum of 12 graded credits each semester in order to be eligible for the dean’s list.
In order to apply for the pass/fail privilege, students must submit an online request by following the directions below:
- Sign in to your My UW page, and click on the Student Center link.
- Click on Course Enrollment on the left hand side under Academics.
- Select the upper right hand tab entitled “term information.”
- Click on Course Change Request.
- After you select the term, you will see a list of your current courses.
- Check the box to the left of the course that fulfills the non-business elective course requirements as seen above. A list of options will appear.
- Select the “Add Pass/Fail” box.
- Please disregard the message that says “print and obtain necessary signatures to complete this process.” You do not need to do this.
- Scroll down and click Save.
- Your request is then sent directly to the BBA Advising Center. You will be notified by email whether or not your request has been approved.
Once the student has submitted the form, the course may not be changed from pass/fail back to a conventionally graded course after the established deadline. Once a pass/fail grade is recorded as S or U, it cannot be changed to a letter grade.
Students are allowed a total of 8 degree credits of physical education/dance/kinesiology toward a BBA degree.
Repeating a Course
Students thinking about repeating a course should talk with their advisor. Students must do all the work in the repeated course, including laboratory; attend regularly; participate in class discussions; and take examinations. Students will earn a final grade in the course. Such credits are indicated with an X on the transcript. Students should know that:
- the original grade still counts in GPA and remains on the transcript;
- credits in the repeated course do not count toward the degree, unless the course was failed the first time;
- grade points in the repeated course do count toward calculation of cumulative GPA;
- credits carried on courses being repeated count toward the maximum credits permitted in a semester.
Special note: Students cannot take more than one Communication Part A course for degree credit.
Transfer students must be particularly careful to avoid taking courses on the UW–Madison campus that duplicate courses taken at another school. Credit will not be given twice for the same or similar courses, nor will credit be given for a lower-level course in a sequence if students have already received credit for a higher-level course in that sequence. Students should carefully check the Evaluation of Transfer Credits prepared by the UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment and should consult with their advisor. Duplicate courses may include transfer, Farm and Industry Short Course, and Advanced Placement credits coming in as course equivalents.
Residency for Degree
Students admitted to the Wisconsin BBA at UW–Madison who transfer from another college or university must complete a minimum of 30 credits in business courses. These courses must be offered by the School of Business and taken as a UW–Madison student to satisfy degree requirements for the BBA. Students can use a maximum of two courses taken at another school to satisfy requirements of the Wisconsin BBA major that are not part of the Wisconsin BBA core. Individual departments may have a more restrictive policy on transfer courses.
A student who finds it necessary to withdraw during a semester or summer session must drop all their courses and complete the online withdrawal request in the Student Center. Failure to do so may result in a recording of Failure for all courses and a "may not continue" action. Any student may withdraw with permission and without grades being recorded at any time up to the last three weeks of a semester or up to the last two weeks of a summer session.
Courses scheduled for fewer than 15 weeks
Deadlines for sessions and modular courses are listed on the Office of the Registrar's website.
First-year requirements (freshman direct admit students only)
academic probation policy
Direct Admit students will be held to the same academic probation policy as all other business students. The policy is as follows:
Students admitted to the School of Business must maintain all of the following GPA minimums:
2.00 cumulative GPA on all UW–Madison coursework
2.00 semester GPA for each semester
2.00 GPA on business/economics coursework
2.00 GPA on all coursework taken since admission to the School of Business
If a student fails to meet any of these standards, the student will be placed on academic probation. Students continuing on probation for a second, consecutive semester will be placed on strict probation. Students who do not clear the GPA minimums after being placed on strict probation will be placed on academic suspension/dropped from the university.
Students whose GPA places them in dropped status may submit an appeal requesting immediate readmission to the university or reapply on probationary status after a minimum one-semester hiatus.
A student will be cleared of probationary status at the end of the semester or summer session when all of the above conditions are met and the student’s record contains no grade of incomplete.
Academic progression requirements & policies
To progress in the BBA program after direct admission, students must complete the following requirements after their first two semesters of residency at UW–Madison:
- Students must complete a minimum of 24 degree credits in residence.
- Students must complete the following requirements through successful completion of a course, placement test, transfer credit or test credit:
- Communication Part A (complete one):
- Calculus (complete one):
- MATH 211 Calculus (5 cr)
- MATH 217 Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry II (5 cr) (must complete MATH 171 first)
- MATH 221 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 1 (5 cr)
- Economics (complete one):
- PSYCH 202 Introduction to Psychology (3 cr), Introduction to Psychology
- Business course for first-year students
- GEN BUS 110 Personal and Professional Foundations in Business (1 cr) (this course is not repeatable)
Monitoring and communication after fall semester
First-year progression progress will be monitored after the fall semester. Students in jeopardy of not meeting progression requirements after the first semester will receive notification and be required to meet with advisor. This is simply the warning stage.
Action for students who did not meet the First-Year Progression Requirements
Students who do not meet progression requirements after the first year will receive an enrollment hold. To remove the enrollment hold, student who did not meet first-year progression requirements must submit an appeal (see below) and meet with their academic advisor in the BBA Program.
bba first-year progression appeal process
Students who will not meet progression requirements due to University of Wisconsin placement and/or assessment tests (math and ESL) may submit an appeal requesting an extension if they are making satisfactory progress in the degree program. Students who will not meet progression requirements as a result of extenuating circumstances may also submit an appeal for an extension.
The consideration process includes review of a written statement, rigor of completed courses, level of campus engagement, grade trends, a plan for completion of progression requirements and/or documentation supporting extenuating circumstances. Extensions will be evaluated only in cases where it is possible during the extension to meet GPA requirements, degree credit minimums and course requirements for progression.
Final exam times are automatically assigned for both fall and spring semesters. Final exam times can be found in the Student Center at MyUW.
Make-Up Final Exams:
Make-up exams may not consist of more than 10% of the total number of students enrolled. If an instructor needs to give a make-up to more than 10% of students enrolled, they must obtain the dean’s written approval.
Students should attempt to avoid having more than two exams within 24 hours. If a student has more than two exams in 24 hours, the instructor may—but is not required to—offer a make-up final exam or allowable alternative. However, if a student has two exams at the same time and date, one instructor must offer a make-up final exam or allowable alternative.
The department chairs have approved this midterm policy.
The School of Business discourages giving exams outside of regularly scheduled class periods. Exams given outside class—for example, in the evenings—inevitably create conflicts for students who are taking other classes at that time. This problem with conflicts is getting more common as departments are using all available times—especially late in the afternoon and evenings—for scheduling classes.
Exams must be scheduled for either 5:30-7 p.m. or 7:15-9:15 p.m. This allows students with classes that end at 5:15 to make the exam. Any exam longer than 90 minutes should be given in the 7:15-9:15 p.m. time period to conform to university policy. This policy is consistent with the out-of-class exam policy passed by the faculty senate on May 10, 1982.
Any student that has another class that meets at the time the out-of-class exam is scheduled must be given the opportunity to take a make-up at a time convenient for the student.
Instructors of daytime courses who plan to give evening mid-term exams must footnote such intentions in the Schedule of Classes so students will be aware of potential conflicts with evening courses or other commitments. If the possibility of evening exams is not mentioned in the Schedule of Classes, it is usually not a good idea to try to schedule one unless every student agrees. If any conflicts arise, instructors who schedule evening exams should accommodate students with unavoidable conflicts. Whenever possible, times and/or days of evening exams should also be footnoted.
Students should attempt to avoid having more than two exams within 24 hours. If a student has more than two exams in 24 hours, the instructor may—but is not required to—offer a make-up exam or allowable alternative. However, if a student has two exams at the same time and date, one instructor must offer a make-up exam or allowable alternative.
Students admitted to the School of Business must maintain all of the following GPA minimums:
- 2.00 cumulative GPA on all UW–Madison coursework
- 2.00 semester GPA for each semester
- 2.00 GPA on business/economics coursework
- 2.00 GPA on all coursework taken since admission to the School of Business
Failure to meet any of these standards will result in probationary status.
A student will be cleared of probationary status at the end of the semester or summer session when all of the above conditions are met and the student’s record contains no grade of incomplete.
Students continuing on probation for a second, consecutive semester will be placed on strict probation. Students who are not removed from strict probation after one semester will be dropped from enrollment in the School of Business (and UW–Madison) for one semester. Students whose GPA places them in dropped status may reapply on probationary status (after a one-semester hiatus) if they can demonstrate the ability and desire to devote sufficient energy to scholastic work. To reapply, students may complete a reentry application through the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.
GPA deficiencies causing probationary status cannot be removed through coursework at another university or through correspondence study.
Business students who achieve a grade point average of 3.75 for any semester in which they complete 12 graded degree credits will have their names on the dean’s list. A permanent record of this achievement is entered on the student’s transcript. Students with I, P, or U on their grade report will automatically be ineligible for the dean’s list. Subsequent academic action may change eligibility.
If a student is dissatisfied with a grade received in a School of Business course, the following procedure must be followed should the student wish to appeal the grade.
- The student will first discuss the grade appeal with the instructor of the course.
- If the student and instructor cannot come to an agreement, the student will provide a formal written request for grade appeal to the associate dean in charge of the relevant program. The written request must include the class, instructor, grade received, date and conclusion of meeting with instructor, and the specific reason(s) for appealing the grade.
- The associate dean will forward the appeal request to the chair of the department which houses the course in question. The department chair will perform the due diligence necessary (including, but limited to, meeting with the instructor and student) to assess the merits of the appeal request and will provide a decision in writing to the associate dean.
- The associate dean will communicate the decision to both the student and instructor.
- Should the student wish to appeal the decision further, the associate dean will perform the due diligence necessary (including, but limited to, meeting with the chair, instructor, and student) to assess the merits of the appeal request. The associate dean has the discretion to review not only the process that was undertaken in the first review, but also the earlier decision. The associate dean will provide a decision in writing to the chair, instructor, and student.
- The instructor will take action if needed.
Effective Fall Semester 2009:
Core Classes: The mean grade should be no higher than 3.0 in the following undergraduate classes:
- ACCT I S 100 Introductory Financial Accounting
- GEN BUS 301 Business Law, GEN BUS 303 Business Statistics, ACCT I S 211 Introductory Managerial Accounting, FINANCE/ECON 300 Introduction to Finance, MARKETNG 300 Marketing Management, M H R 300 Managing Organizations, OTM 300 Operations Management, R M I 300 Principles of Risk Management
- Exempt from this requirement is GEN BUS 300 Professional Communication
Non-Core Classes: For all other undergraduate courses with class numbers below 600 and 15 or more students enrolled, the mean grade should be no higher than 3.3 and the maximum percentage of As is 30%.
Graduating with Distinction
The Office of the Registrar compiles a preliminary list of business students eligible for distinction. These students are eligible to wear an honors stole with their commencement attire. The BBA Advising Center will notify eligible students via email 2-3 weeks before the commencement ceremony.
Distinction is awarded to graduated business students who meet the following criteria:
- At least sixty (60) credits earned (in residence) at UW–Madison
- A cumulative UW–Madison GPA in the top twenty percent (20%) of the graduating business class
Please note that students on the preliminary list for distinction may or may not receive distinction. The distinction designation is subject to change and is dependent upon official graduation date (semester), number of students graduating, and final grade calculations, including last semester and in-progress courses.
Students who graduate with distinction are eligible to wear a cardinal stole with their commencement attire. The stoles can be obtained from the University Bookstore with a deposit and do not need to be ordered in advance. More information on graduation attire can be found on the site of the Secretary of the Faculty.
“Graduated with Distinction” is notated on official transcripts only.
An incomplete may be reported for a student who has carried a subject with a passing grade until near the end of the semester and then, because of illness or other unusual and substantiated cause beyond his/her control, has been unable to take or complete the final examination or to complete some limited amount of term work. An incomplete is not given to a student who stays away from a final examination unless the student proves to the instructor that he or she was prevented from attending as indicated above. In the absence of such proof, the grade shall be F; even with such proof, if his/her work has convinced the instructor that he/she cannot pass, the grade shall be F.
If an admitted business student earns an incomplete, the work for that course must be completed by the end of the student's next semester in residence (exclusive of summer sessions). Incompletes incurred in the last semester of residence may not be removed after five years of absence from the university without special advance permission of the associate dean. Such incompletes must remain on the record with grades of PI and do not lapse into failures.
See the Office of the Registrar's website for the full incomplete policy, including the policy for students in other schools/colleges.
Letters and Science Major
Business students may declare one additional major in the College of Letters & Science. Additional majors in a school/college other than the School of Business or College of Letters & Science may not be declared. Business students who gain approval to complete an additional major in L&S must complete major requirements prior to or concurrently with their business major/degree. Students who have fulfilled the major and degree requirements for the BBA will be graduated, even if L&S major requirements have not been completed.
To declare a second L&S major:
Meet with the major advisor in the College of Letters & Science and complete the major declaration form or other document students use to declare a major in the department. The form or document must have L&S academic advisor’s signature, and it must be filled out completely. Deliver the completed form to the BBA Advising Center (3150 Grainger Hall). Incomplete or inaccurate forms will not be processed. You will be notified via email if the form is incomplete or if your request has been approved.
Meet regularly with your School of Business academic advisor and College of Letters & Science major advisor regarding major and/or degree requirements.
To cancel a second L&S major:
Students interested in cancelling their L&S major must go to the department to undeclare their additional major. Usually students must fill out a Major Declaration/Cancellation Form provided by the department advisor. The form must be signed and dated by both the student and a representative of the major department. The form must include the name, phone, and email address of the departmental faculty or staff advisor associated with the major. Turn the original form in to the BBA Advising Center (3150 Grainger Hall).
School of Business Major
All students admitted to the School of Business are required to declare a major before or upon the completion of 86 credits (including credits from transfer, AP, test, study abroad, or retroactive credits). Business students may declare or cancel any of the 10 majors offered by completing the major declaration form.
Students interested in declaring a certificate offered through the School of Business should follow the procedures outlined on the Certificates page for the appropriate program.
Please note that first-year students will not receive an enrollment hold in their first two semesters on the UW–Madison campus. In addition, first-semester transfer students will also not receive an enrollment hold.
Courses at other institutions
Common Guidance for Off-Campus Coursework
Wisconsin BBA students are advised to take no more than two courses in their major (or per major if pursuing multiple majors) off-campus. This guidance includes courses taken for transfer credit at another accredited institution as well as courses taken on a School of Business or UW–Madison-sponsored study abroad program. Due to the international emphasis of the major, there is no limit on the number of courses taken towards the International Business major while on a School of Business or UW–Madison-sponsored study abroad program. The academic departments of the School of Business strongly recommend that all BBA students complete the core or initial course in their major(s) on campus.
While BBA students are able to take courses off-campus, the BBA Program reminds students that they should plan to complete all prerequisites for any off-campus course, regardless of its place in the BBA curriculum, prior to taking the course off-campus. Attention to these prerequisites is crucial to ensuring BBA students are prepared for their coursework whether it is taken on or off campus. Advance academic planning is an integral part of a student’s success and ability to remain on track to graduate.
School of Business students are not allowed to enroll concurrently at other accredited post-secondary institutions during any term in which they are enrolled at UW–Madison (fall, spring). This includes enrollment in online, distance education, and physical attendance classes (exceptions may be made for UW–Extension/Independent Learning—see below). Please be aware that if you are taking a course at another university that begins in the summer and continues through the fall and/or spring semester, it will fall into this category of concurrent enrollment, regardless of when the course will be completed.
Students are permitted to enroll in more than one university during summer sessions only.
If it is discovered that a student violated the above policy, this credit will be removed from the student’s record. It is the responsibility of the student to verify with their academic advisor that they are not in violation of this policy.
UW Independent Learning (UW IL) is a branch of UW Extension that offers online and print-based courses. Courses taken through UW Independent Learning are considered concurrent enrollment and require special permission to enroll in the fall, spring or summer.
Students interested in taking a course through UW IL should meet with an academic advisor. If the advisor and student agree this is a good option the student should follow these steps to request permission for concurrent enrollment and request a tuition waiver (if applicable). Forms should be returned to 3150 Grainger.
- Fill out a Petition/Special Consideration Request requesting permission for concurrent enrollment with UW Independent Learning. Be sure to include which class you intend to take.
- Students with full time status at UW–Madison may request a tuition waiver for UW Extension Independent Learning Courses provided that the following conditions are met:
- The student requests the waiver and enrolls in the course by the UW–Madison add deadline (second Friday of the semester).
- The course is taken during the regular academic session.
- The course is completed during the term for which the tuition waiver is requested.
- The student does not exceed 18 credits total between the two campuses.
Students are responsible for the $75 administrative fee for enrolling in a UW IL course.
The minimum length of time to complete an IL course is typically three months. Foreign language courses often require more time. Students should take this into consideration as they are planning the completion of their degree.
UW–Madison students may choose to take courses off campus during the summer and potentially transfer credit to UW–Madison. The UW–Madison Office of Admissions handles all transfer course equivalencies. Please note that UW–Madison students may not take courses at another institution during the fall or spring semester if they are concurrently taking courses at UW–Madison (see concurrent enrollment policy). Students may take no more than one course off-campus during winter recess provided the winter term does not conflict with the UW–Madison fall or spring terms. Students interested in earning transfer credit for a non–UW study abroad program must work with UW–Madison's International Academic Programs well in advance.
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.
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 Course Equivalency Service to students who wish to submit courses for transfer equivalency prior to taking a course off campus during the winter or summer terms.
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 and Recruitment (702 West Johnson Street, Suite 1101, Madison, WI 53715-1007).
The Wisconsin Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program is based on a broad educational foundation combined with courses in business and economics. This curriculum is designed for those students who wish to prepare for careers in business.
The following requirements are for students who began coursework at any institution in summer 2008 and after. Students who began coursework before summer 2008 should consult their academic advisor.
Students need to complete or be in the process of completing these courses in order to apply to the School of Business (with the exception of Direct Admit Students).
|Communication Part A|
|Complete one course designated Communication Part A, preferably:||0-3|
|Introduction to Speech Composition|
|Introduction to College Composition|
|Academic Writing II|
Completion of Communication Part A based on UW Placement Test
|ECON 101||Principles of Microeconomics||4|
|or ECON 111||Principles of Economics-Accelerated Treatment|
|Introduction to Psychology|
|Select one of the following:||5|
|Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry II|
|Calculus and Analytic Geometry 1|
Liberal Studies Requirements
|Communication Part B|
|Select one 3 (or more) credit course designated Comm B (b)||3-4|
|Select one 3 (or more) credit course designated Literature (L)||3|
|Select six credits designated Biological, Natural or Physical Science. Courses that MAY NOT COUNT include: Courses in Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Economics, or courses that are also designated Humanities or Social Science.||6|
|Select 3 units (or more) of the same foreign language 1||0-12|
|Select one of the following:||3-4|
|Ethics in Business|
|Contemporary Moral Issues|
|Select one 3 (or more) credit course designated Humanities (H or Z) 2||3|
|Select one 3 (or more) credit course designated Ethnic Studies (e)||3|
|Select one 3 (or more) credit course designated Social Science (S or Z)||3|
|Select one of the following: 3||3-4|
|Business Analytics II|
|Introduction to Probability and Mathematical Statistics II|
or STAT 312
|Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics II|
One unit of foreign language equals one high school year or one college semester. Therefore, some students may have this requirement satisfied upon matriculation if they took 3 or more years of the same language in high school.
Note: If a student completes an additional Literature (L) course, this requirement will be satisfied
This requirement also satisfies a business prep requirement (more information about this is below), which is required of all business students.
Business Foundation Requirements
All degree candidates in the Wisconsin BBA are required to complete foundation courses in business and economics. The foundation courses, in conjunction with a broad educational base, are designed to integrate the student's specialized training with an understanding of the structure and functions of business and its role in the larger social system. Business foundation courses make up the business preparatory, core, and breadth requirements. During the first semester after admission to the School of Business, students must complete a one-credit course that is the foundation of the Compass Program™.
Business Preparatory Requirement
Preparatory business requirements are typically taken within the first two semesters after admission to the Wisconsin BBA.
All students must take the following:
|GEN BUS 110||Personal and Professional Foundations in Business||1|
|or GEN BUS 120||Personal and Professional Foundations in Business|
|or GEN BUS 130||Personal and Professional Foundations in Business|
|GEN BUS 300||Professional Communication||3|
|ECON 102||Principles of Macroeconomics||4|
|or ECON 111||Principles of Economics-Accelerated Treatment|
|ACCT I S 100||Introductory Financial Accounting||3|
|ACCT I S 211||Introductory Managerial Accounting||3|
|Business Analytics (options for this are found below)||6-9|
Business Analytics Requirement1
The business analytics requirement is part of the business prep courses, but has 3 options to choose from. Most students complete Option 1. GEN BUS 306 & GEN BUS 307 should be taken as soon as possible and in subsequent semesters. Actuarial science and economics majors will fulfill Option 2 or 3. Number of credits for this requirement varies between options:
|GEN BUS 306|
& GEN BUS 307
| Business Analytics I|
and Business Analytics II
|Option 2 (Actuarial Science Majors ONLY):|
|This is a 3-course sequence. Choose one course from each of the three options:||9|
|Introduction to the Theory of Probability|
|Introduction to Probability and Mathematical Statistics I|
or STAT 311
|Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics I|
|Introduction to Probability and Mathematical Statistics II|
or STAT 312
|Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics II|
|Regression and Time Series for Actuaries|
or ACT SCI 655
|Option 3 (Economics Double Majors ONLY):|
& ECON 410
| Statistics: Measurement in Economics|
and Introductory Econometrics
Business Core Requirement
Students in the Wisconsin BBA must complete the preparatory business requirements (above) and at least two Core Business courses prior to enrolling for Advanced Business Courses. All Core Business courses should be completed by the end of a student's junior year. Advanced business courses are all courses at the 300 level or above, and we require all students to take four:
|FINANCE/ECON 300||Introduction to Finance||3|
|MARKETNG 300||Marketing Management||3|
|M H R 300||Managing Organizations||3|
|OTM 300||Operations Management||3|
Business Breadth Requirement
The Business Breadth Requirement includes Business Law, and two Breadth Courses that are outside of a student's major in a different business major department.
|GEN BUS 301||Business Law||3|
|Business Breadth Course 1||3|
|Business Breadth Course 1||3|
|Total Credits 2||3-9|
Students must complete two business courses (3 credits each) that are outside their major area from two separate School of Business departments. Courses taken to satisfy this requirement may not include preparatory or core courses, courses required by or cross-listed with the student's major, general business courses, any 399 (Readings and Research) course, or business courses cross-listed with foreign language departments. Courses taken at another institution must be directly equivalent to a UW-Madison business course and title (i.e. not elective credit which is sometimes given an X10 course number).
Students with two majors in business or students with one major and a specialization in supply chain management need only one course (3 credits) outside their majors/supply chain management specialization to satisfy this requirement. Students with three or more majors (in the business school) or two majors and the supply chain specialization are not required to take additional breadth courses.
Credits for BBA Degree
Candidates for the Wisconsin Bachelor of Business Administration degree (BBA) must meet all of the following credit requirements in addition to completing the required coursework.
120 Degree Credits
All students who plan to graduate from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a bachelor's degree must complete a minimum of 120 degree credits.
52–52 Credit Rule
The minimum 120 degree credits required for graduation must include:
- 52 Business/Economics Credits. This includes all courses offered by, or cross-listed with, a School of Business academic department or the Department of Economics. Additional courses counting toward this requirement include: COMP SCI 301, STAT/MATH 309, STAT/MATH 310, STAT 311, STAT 312, and MATH/STAT 431.
- 52 Non-Business/Non-Economics Credits. This includes all courses not offered by, or cross-listed with, a School of Business academic department or the Department of Economics. Additional courses that do not count toward this requirement include: COMP SCI 301, STAT/MATH 309, STAT/MATH 310, STAT 311, STAT 312 and MATH/STAT 431. For students admitted to the WSB prior to 2008, this also excludes foreign language retro credits.
As a student in the Wisconsin BBA Program, you will work directly with academic advisors who will help you plan your business education every step of the way. The advisors are here to help you explore options, define goals, and accomplish what you set out to achieve during your time as a Business Badger and beyond. Academic advisors also support students in making choices about course enrollment and understanding and interpreting degree requirements and policies.
Advisors in the Wisconsin BBA Program work in partnership with you. They give you the tools and support you need to make your own decisions about the course of your education. Your partnership with the advising team begins early in your academic career at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. When you enroll in the UW–Madison, one of your first steps will be to attend Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR), where you will have your first meeting with an academic advisor.
Admitted students check in with their academic advisor at least once a year. The BBA Advising Center also holds drop-in hours. UW–Madison students who are not yet enrolled in the Wisconsin BBA Program but who expect to apply through the pre-business admissions process receive their business advising at the School of Business.
In addition to providing advising, the Wisconsin BBA Advising Center serves as the academic dean’s office: interpreting policy, administering academic processes, and performing graduation checks for graduating business students. For more information, visit the advising website or contact the Wisconsin BBA Advising Center in 3150 Grainger Hall; 608-262-0471; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wisconsin BBA Career Services team takes a relationship-based approach to working with students throughout the career development process and also consults with top employers to facilitate the recruitment, hiring and career readiness of our students. We offer a variety of services to undergraduate business, certificate in business, certificate in entrepreneurship, capstone in actuarial science, and master of accountancy students including 1:1 advising, career and major exploration and planning, career workshops, mock interviews, career fairs, employer information sessions, on-campus interviewing, job shadow experiences, industry connections and networking events. We will also coach you through the development of a professional resume, cover letter, networking and interviewing skills and job offer/negotiation skills. Through the exploration of your values, strengths and interests, we will help you create a career action plan early on in your collegiate experience so that you can participate in experiences both on and off campus to build your skills and readiness for the workplace or graduate study. Career planning is an ongoing process, and we are committed to helping you determine and achieve your immediate career goals and support you in developing the skills to manage a successful career throughout your lifetime.
For more information about BBA Career Services resources for students and faculty/staff, please see this page.
business learning center
The Business Learning Center (BLC) provides supplemental not-for-credit tutorials, drop-in office hours, and practice materials for select business-related courses. Materials are lecture-specific and tailored to the particular course instructor and textbook in use. BLC teaching assistants are all graduate students in either business or economics.
Drop-in office hours and practice materials are available to all students enrolled in BLC-supported courses. The tutorials are an additional service that requires registration--although BLC tutorials are open to all students, enrollment is limited and registration is required in order to attend. Courses supported through the BLC include mostly quantitative courses required for the BBA degree.
Students interested in the BLC may call 608-262-1186 for more information, or stop by the office, 2240 Grainger Hall. Please check the BLC website for additional information, including the online application.
Wisconsin BBA student life coordinates leadership and involvement opportunities for students to enhance their personal and professional skills.
The Accenture Leadership Center (ALC) offers students unique, hands-on opportunities to develop leadership skills through workshops, guest speaker events, leadership case competitions, and other programs. The ALC also coordinates LeaderShape Institute, an intensive, six-day off-campus leadership training program where students learn to develop a vision and work with others to bring it to life. Students interested in documenting their leadership journey, making connections between their leadership experiences, and reflecting on their leadership development can pursue the ALC Leadership Certificate.
The Wisconsin BBA Program also has its own student government, UBC (Undergraduate Business Council), to unify and represent the student voice on issues of shared governance within the school and to promote community within the BBA program. In addition, there are 40 undergraduate business student organizations, offering plenty of opportunities for students to get involved and put their leadership and collaboration skills into practice. A business student organization fair is held at the start of each semester where potential new members can meet with representatives of organizations.
The student life team also oversees the Personal and Professional Foundations in Business course that all newly admitted BBA students take and coordinates the BBA program requirements to help students develop their professional skills outside the classroom.
For more information about Wisconsin BBA Student Life, see this page.
BBA International Programs
A study abroad experience can complement and enhance every aspect of your business education. The Wisconsin BBA Program makes this opportunity possible by partnering with more than 35 of the top business schools and study abroad programs across the globe. Around 40 percent of each Wisconsin BBA graduating class studies abroad. These students regularly speak of their experience as professionally rewarding and personally transformative. A study abroad experience can be a great way to demonstrate enhanced autonomy, motivation, organization, worldview, and ability to take risks. You, too, can return from study abroad with a developed set of skills (that employers value!), a new sense of self, and a greater appreciation of cultural differences. Learn more about business study abroad opportunities here.