SoHEGeneralChoice2

The School of Human Ecology (SoHE) at UW–Madison is a place where faculty and advisors work closely with students to prepare them for careers that improve the quality of people’s lives. Our majors are: Community and Nonprofit Leadership, Human Development and Family Studies, Interior Architecture, Personal Finance, Retailing and Consumer Behavior, and Textiles and Fashion Design. Each program provides a solid curriculum of practical skills that lead students to exciting professions, a better understanding of people and our world, and a bachelor of science undergraduate degree.

SoHE is located in Nancy Nicholas Hall, a beautiful and newly renovated building that provides first-class, cutting-edge classrooms and studio spaces. Within these walls we connect students to their passions, helping them discover exciting careers and opportunities to make a meaningful impact on individuals, families, and communities. Faculty, students, and staff are dedicated to providing students with solid and meaningful education through coursework, internships, travel, student organizations, community involvement, research, and scholarship. 

Learn more about SoHE and its majors at sohe.wisc.edu

Visit the School of Human Ecology faculty and staff directory

Applying to UW-Madison

All prospective UW–Madison students must apply through the central Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

Students who indicate interest in a SoHE major on their UW–Madison application will be admitted to the SoHE program or pre-program of choice upon admittance to the university. In addition, students may indicate interest in a SoHE major when registering for Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR).

Visiting Campus and SoHE

SoHE holds monthly visit events for prospective students and their families and guests.

View and register for an upcoming visit event.

If you are unable to attend one of these dates, please contact the SoHE Student Academic Affairs and Career Development Office at 608-262-2608 or advising@sohe.wisc.edu to schedule an appointment.

Current UW–Madison students

First-year students in good academic standing and first-semester transfer students may declare SoHE majors upon request. All other students must apply through a competitive application process.

The best way for interested students to receive advising or additional information is by attending a Becoming a SoHE Student Workshop.

Visit On-campus Student Application for application information and deadlines.

Reentering Students

Students previously enrolled at the university who have not attended for a semester or more must complete a reentry application as outlined by the UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Students who were enrolled in a School of Human Ecology program before their absence from UW–Madison will be readmitted to that program, provided they were in good academic standing when they left (i.e., not on probation, strict probation, or dropped by the university). Reentry applicants who were dropped by the university are asked to submit supplemental application materials. Instructions for the supplemental application are sent after the student has submitted the online reentry application.

Students who were previously enrolled in another UW–Madison school or college will not be admitted directly to a School of Human Ecology program. They must apply for reentry to the university with another school or college—usually the school or college in which they were previously enrolled. Once readmitted to the university, students may apply to the desired SoHE program through the application process for that program. For information about the school's programs and application processes, see Applying to Human Ecology as an On-Campus Student.  

It is recommended that students who have been readmitted to a School of Human Ecology program schedule an appointment with an academic advisor in the Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office.

Internships

Internships are a vital part of student career development and a highly valued component of the undergraduate curriculum in the School of Human Ecology. High-quality internships foster student development by bringing theories and classroom-based learning to life in real-world settings. In addition, internships give students the opportunity to explore careers related to their major, gain relevant experience in their field(s) of interest, and develop a better understanding of what is expected in a workplace by performing the tasks of a professional in that field.

As a SoHE major, internships are a requirement of our undergraduate curriculum. Students must have at least a junior standing (54+ credits) in order to pursue a three-credit internship and must complete a minimum of 150 hours at the internship site. To be eligible, an internship must be educational in nature, directly relate to a student’s major and career goals, and be approved by the Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office.

For more information, visit SoHE Internships

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

School of Human Ecology student organizations include:

American Society of Interior Designers - Student Chapter (IDO)
Apparel and Textile Association (ATA)
Association of Fundraising Professionals—UW–Madison Chapter
Community and Nonprofit Leaders (CNLUW)
Financial Occupations Club for University Students (FOCUS)
Phi Upsilon Omicron (National Honor Society in Family and Consumer Sciences)
Students for Families and Children (SFC)
Student Retail Association (SRA)

Scholastic Actions

Failures and Incompletes

Failures. Every course grade of F counts as 0 grade points, and as any other grade, remains permanently on the transcript. A student who fails a required course must repeat the course and secure a passing grade as soon as possible. The failure may not be addressed by repeating the course at another college or university. 

Incompletes. An Incomplete may be granted when a documented illness or other substantiated hardship causes the student to be unable to take final examination or complete a limited portion of the course assignments. Under these conditions, a student who has carried a passing grade until near the end of the semester may request a grade of Incomplete. It is up to the instructor to decide whether an Incomplete is warranted.  If granted a grade of Incomplete (I), the work must be completed and graded no later than the close of the next semester of residence at UW–Madison (exclusive of summer term).  If not completed and graded by the last class day, the grade will lapse into a Failure (F). Instructors have the authority to set an earlier deadline for finishing up an incomplete. With documentation of extenuating circumstances, the student may seek permission to extend an Incomplete beyond the semester in which the course was scheduled to be completed. An extended Incomplete must be removed within the next semester in residence or the grade will lapse into Failure (F). Incompletes incurred during the summer session must also be completed no later than the close of the next semester in residence under the same rules. Students are ineligible for the dean's list for the semester in which a grade of Incomplete is submitted.

Probation and Dropped Status

Failure to earn at least a 2.0 GPA will result in the status of Probation, Continued Probation, Strict Probation, Continued Strict Probation, or Dropped from the university. Such actions are based on

  1. the status of the student as a result of any previous academic action,
  2. the cumulative GPA including the current semester, and
  3. the GPA for the semester just completed.

Academic Actions will appear on the memoranda section of a student's transcript.

Definitions of Scholastic Actions

Probation. A student with no previous action who earns a semester or summer term GPA less than 2.0 but 1.0 or more will be placed on probation.

Continued Probation. A student on probation whose cumulative GPA remains below 2.0 and whose semester or summer term GPA is 2.0 or above will be placed on continued probation.  A student on continued probation whose cumulative GPA remains below 2.0 and whose semester or summer term GPA is 2.0 or above will be placed again on continued probation.

Strict Probation. A student with no previous action but with a current semester or summer term GPA below 1.0 will be placed on strict probation. A student on probation whose semester or summer term GPA is less than 2.0 but 1.5 or above will be placed on strict probation.

Continued Strict Probation. A student on strict probation or continued strict probation who earns a semester or summer term GPA of 2.0 or above but whose cumulative GPA remains below 2.0 will be placed on continued strict probation.

Dropped from the University. A student on probation whose semester or summer term GPA is less than 1.5 will be dropped for one year.

A student on strict probation whose semester or summer term GPA is less than 2.0 will be dropped for at least one year.

Removal from Probation. Students on probation or strict probation will be automatically removed from probation when their cumulative GPA reaches 2.0 or more.

Readmission after Dropped Status

Students who were dropped from the university based on academic performance are eligible for readmission consideration after one full calendar year.  Students dropped for a third time will not be readmitted.

In order to reenter the university after one full year, a student must apply for readmission to the School of Human Ecology and for reentry to the university.  (Please note that a student is never guaranteed readmission after being dropped.  Readmission is most likely if the student has addressed the issues that contributed to being dropped from the university and has been proactive in preparing for a successful return.)

To apply for readmission to SoHE and the University of Wisconsin–Madison after being dropped, a student must:

  1. Complete the SoHE Readmission Request Form.

To ensure readmission consideration, follow these deadlines:
Summer or Fall Term—Apply by February 1
Spring Term—Apply by October 1

2. Complete the university reentry application.

3. Schedule an appointment with a SoHE academic advisor by calling 608-262-2608.

  • Bring a copy of the completed SoHE Readmission Request Form and other supporting documentation (e.g. transcripts from other universities, other documents which support personal, academic, or health progress made during the time away) to the appointment.
  • ​Use this advising appointment to: (re)establish a relationship with your academic advisor, review your enrollment plan for the term you intend to return, and review your degree completion plan.

4. The SoHE academic advisor will forward the Readmission Form, supporting documentation, and enrollment plan to the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs for review. The dean may choose to consult with the student’s previous academic department, Undergraduate Program Council and/or the student to make a decision. When a readmission decision has been made, the assistant dean will contact the student in writing.  Students who are granted permission for re-entry will be readmitted on strict academic probation to the School of Human Ecology.

Declaring Additional Majors 

School of Human Ecology undergraduates can declare an additional undergraduate major in the College of Letters & Science. This is not a second degree. The additional major is noted on the student's transcript if all requirements of the Letters & Science major are completed.

School of Human Ecology students must plan to finish all additional academic programs concurrently with their SoHE degree. The School of Human Ecology will graduate a student at the end of the semester (spring, summer, or fall) in which all SoHE degree requirements are complete. Graduation will not be postponed for incomplete additional major(s), certificate program(s), specialization(s), study abroad, or honors program(s).  

Earning Two Undergraduate Degrees Simultaneously

School of Human Ecology students interested in completing two degrees simultaneously (as opposed to two majors) should consult with their academic advisor early in their academic career to discuss the feasibility of completing requirements for both degrees. Degree combinations may come from two Human Ecology programs or from a Human Ecology program and a degree program in another school or college. Students must complete all of the requirements for both degrees, which include general education requirements, major coursework, and related disciplinary work.

It is the student's responsibility to be aware of any rules or regulations that could potentially impose additional financial responsibilities as a result of attempting to complete two degrees simultaneously. Please note that some campus schools and colleges do not permit dual degrees for their students, thus preventing Human Ecology degree combinations with degrees in these schools and colleges. Students wishing to earn two undergraduate degrees must follow these academic policies:

If the two degrees to be earned are within the School of Human Ecology, at least 30 additional credits and all course and grade point requirements must be completed for the second degree. Thus, a minimum of 150 credits would be required. The two degree programs must differ sufficiently to permit the total credits to be accumulated (for instance, personal finance and retailing & consumer behavior do not differ to the extent that it would take an additional 30 credits to complete the second degree; therefore, earning both degrees simultaneously will not be allowed). Before the start of the senior year in residence, students must meet the criteria for admission to both programs, must be certified to enroll in both programs, and must obtain academic dean's approval. The two degrees must be completed simultaneously. Some courses may satisfy requirements for both degrees, but course substitutions or curriculum exceptions between programs will be prohibited.

If the two degrees to be earned are from two different schools/colleges at UW–Madison, the two degree programs must differ sufficiently so that the combined total requirements for the two degrees are at least 150 credits. Admission into the other school/college shall be based on the admission criteria for that particular school/college. The student must be certified to enroll in both programs/schools/colleges and written permission to complete the two degrees must be obtained from academic deans in both schools/colleges before the start of the student's senior year in residence. The two degrees must be completed simultaneously. Some courses may satisfy requirements for both degrees, but course substitutions or curriculum exceptions between programs will be prohibited for the Human Ecology program.

Residency Requirement

The university requires that the last 30 credits be earned in residence at UW–Madison for students to be recommended for a degree, unless the student's major program requires completion of the degree at a cooperative institution. Permission of the assistant dean of academic affairs must be secured in advance to take any portion of the senior year at another institution or by correspondence. Students should initiate permission through their SoHE academic advisor.

Credit Overload

A full-time student carries a minimum of 12 credits to a maximum of 18 credits, with the usual or average credit load being 15–16 credits per semester. A student requesting more than 18 credits in a semester needs a signed request with approval from the School of Human Ecology academic dean. Students should initiate permission through their SoHE academic advisor. Students requesting this credit load must have earned a grade point average of at least 3.0 during the preceding semester on a program of at least 12 graded credits. "Graded credit" does not include courses taken on the Pass/Fail basis or Incompletes. Requests will be considered on an individual basis.

Pass/Fail 

The privilege of electing courses on a pass/fail basis is extended to undergraduate students in the school. Students who are in good standing academically (not on probation) may elect one course on the pass/fail basis per term. The summer sessions collectively count as one term. A course taken pass/fail must be an elective. A student may not take a required course or a prerequisite to a required course under this privilege. A maximum of 16 pass/fail credits may be counted toward a B.S. degree from the School of Human Ecology. Courses taken pass/fail will count toward degree credits but will be excluded in the computation of grade point average and honors.

Requests to take a course under the pass/fail privilege are initiated through the Course Change Request in the MyUW Student Center. Instructions for making a course change request can be found on the Registrar's website. After making the request in MyUW, the request is routed to the Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office for approval or further communication. 

The registrar will convert final grades submitted by the instructor, who is not informed of the student's pass/fail status, to an S (pass) for grades A, AB, B, BC or C, and to a U (fail) for a grade of D or F. The grade is excluded from the GPA.

Appeals

Appeal of a SoHE Grade

This appeal process is for a student who is dissatisfied with a grade received in a SoHE course.

  1. The student will first discuss the grade appeal with the instructor of the course.
  2. If the student and instructor cannot come to an agreement, the student will provide a formal written grade appeal to the assistant dean in SoHE. The written appeal must include: the class, instructor, grade received, date and conclusion of meeting with instructor, the specific reason(s) for appealing the grade and email address and telephone number where they can be reached for follow-up. Send to saadean@mail.sohe.wisc.edu.
  3. The assistant dean will forward the appeal to the appropriate department chair. The department chair will perform the due diligence necessary (including, but not 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 assistant dean.
  4. The assistant dean will communicate the decision to both the student and instructor in writing.
  5. Should the student wish to appeal the decision further, the assistant dean will forward the appeal to the SoHE Undergraduate Program Council. The committee will perform the due diligence necessary (which may include, but not limited to, meeting with the instructor and department chair and/or student) to assess the merits of the appeal request and will provide a decision in writing to the assistant dean.
  6. The assistant dean will communicate the decision to the student, the instructor, and the department chair in writing.

Appeal of Denial of Admission to a SoHE Undergraduate Program

This appeal process is for a student who was denied admission to a SoHE undergraduate program.

Students who feel they have a compelling reason to appeal their admissions decision may do so in writing by the deadline indicated in the admission letter. Appeals must satisfy one of the following factors in order to be considered:

  • The student believes a factual error was self-reported on the application or made by the admissions committee during review of the application.
  • There is new information regarding academic or non-academic extenuating circumstances.

While admission appeals satisfying the above conditions will be reviewed by the admissions committee, it is important to understand that simply meeting these criteria in no way guarantees acceptance into the program. 

Filing an Appeal

  1. The student will file a letter of program admission appeal to the assistant dean in SoHE at saadean@mail.sohe.wisc.edu, stating the facts of the situation based on one or both of the conditions listed above and the student’s email address and telephone number where they can be reached for follow-up. Any additional documentation or supporting evidence should be titled and attached to the letter of appeal. The deadline by which a student must file an appeal will be written in the denial letter for the undergraduate program in question. For a situation where grades/credits were not posted to a student’s record prior to applying to the program, the student record must be complete with grades and credits on the official UW–Madison record by the time the appeal is filed in order to be considered. 
  2. The assistant dean will forward the appeal to the appropriate departmental admissions committee. The admissions committee will perform the due diligence necessary to assess the merits of the new information for the appeal and will provide a decision in writing to the assistant dean.
  3. The assistant dean will communicate the decision to both the student and departmental admissions committee in writing.
  4. Should the student wish to appeal the decision further in the case of extenuating circumstances, the assistant dean will forward the appeal to the SoHE Undergraduate Program Council (UPC). The UPC will perform the due diligence necessary (which may include, but not limited to, meeting with the admissions committee, department chair, and/or student) to assess the merits of the appeal and will provide a decision in writing to the assistant dean.
  5. The assistant dean will communicate the decision to the student and the admissions committee in writing.

Appeal of Being Dropped by UW–Madison for One Year

SoHE students who are dropped from the university based on academic performance are permitted to appeal for readmission consideration immediately after being dropped.  Students with documentation of special circumstances outside their control, evidence that these circumstances have changed, and realistic strategies in place to improve their academic performance have the greatest likelihood of a successful appeal.

Filing An Appeal

  1. Students wishing to appeal their dropped status must do so prior to the deadline outlined in their dropped status notification.  Students who do not appeal before the deadline must wait at least one full calendar year before being eligible for readmission consideration.  The appeals process is initiated when students complete the online Dropped Status Appeal Form.
  2. The Assistant Dean for Student Academic Affairs will submit the appeal information to the SoHE Undergraduate Program Council (UPC) for review.  UPC will make a decision regarding the appeal before the beginning of the next term.
  3. The assistant dean will communicate the appeal decision to the student in writing.  If the appeal is granted, the student will be readmitted to the university on strict probation.  If the appeal is not granted, the dropped status is sustained and the student is eligible for readmission consideration one full calendar year after the dropped date.

Late Drop Petition

SoHE requires that students follow drop deadlines outlined by the Office of the Registrar. Under certain special situations students may request an exception to drop one or more courses after the drop deadline through a petition.

Late Drop Petitions are only considered when students face significant, unforeseeable circumstances outside of their control that negatively impact their ability to successfully complete a course(s).

Students who believe they meet the requirements to petition must meet with their SoHE academic advisor and complete the online petition form.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires 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. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—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
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

SoHE General Education Requirements

Seven undergraduate majors are available in the school. There are common general education requirements for all SoHE majors, but these are reflected differently in each program. Please review each major requirement page for the specific general education courses needed for the degree. 

Literature3
Select 3 credits designated Literature breadth
Humanities 16
Social Science9
Select 9 credits designated Social Science breadth
Physical, Biological, and Natural Science9
Select 9 credits designated Physical, Biological, and/or Natural Science breadth
Human Ecology Breadth
Select 3 credits in the School of Human Ecology taken outside the major
Major Requirements and Electives
Minimum total for graduation: 120 credits with no fewer than 25 credits taken within the School of Human Ecology.
1

SoHE will accept as humanities credit courses from designated humanities breadth courses as well as the following areas or departments: art, art history, classics, English, foreign languages (including beginning languages), cultural history, history of science, integrated liberal studies, literature (including comparative literature), music (including applied music), philosophy, communication arts, studies of cultures—e.g., African studies, East Asian studies, Hebrew and Semitic studies, South Asian studies, Scandinavian studies.

Requirements for Graduation

The bachelor of science (B.S.) degrees granted by the School of Human Ecology require a minimum total of 120 credits, with a minimum of 25 credits in the school. To remain in good academic standing, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0. A 2.0 cumulative GPA must be earned by the end of the senior year in order to be recommended for a B.S. degree.

The School of Human Ecology will graduate a student at the end of the semester (spring, summer, or fall) in which all SoHE major requirements are complete. Graduation will not be postponed for incomplete additional major(s), certificate program (s), specialization(s), study abroad, or honors program(s).  It is the student's responsibility to prepare for graduation and to ensure that all graduation requirements have been met. Students expecting to graduate and/or participate in commencement exercises should declare their intent through the My UW Student Center in accordance with campus deadlines. 

Student Academic Affairs & Career Development 

The Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office (SAA) fosters undergraduate students' personal, academic, and professional development. Through advising, academic planning, and career education we support students as they navigate the college experience - from exploring our majors as prospective students to becoming SoHE alumni. 

Academic Advising

Each SoHE student is assigned to an academic advisor in the Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office. SoHE academic advisors support academic and personal success by partnering with current and prospective SoHE students as they identify and clarify their educational goals, develop meaningful academic plans, and pursue their own Wisconsin Experience. 

To explore academic advising resources or schedule an appointment with a SoHE academic advisor, visit Advising in SoHE

CAREER DEVELOPMENT

Active engagement in the career development process is a vital component of a student’s personal growth in college and future success as a life-long learner, professional, and global citizen. SoHE career advisors help prepare students for life post-graduation through individual and group advising and integration of career readiness throughout our curriculum.

To explore career development resources or schedule an appointment with a SoHE career advisor, visit Internship and Career Preparation.

SCHOLARSHIPS AND OTHER FINANCIAL RESOURCES

The School of Human Ecology awards many merit and need-based scholarships each year. The deadline to apply for scholarships is typically late in the fall semester. To be eligible for these awards, scholarship recipients must be registered as full-time SoHE students.

Students who experience emergency financial situations may inquire about the availability of short-term loans through the SoHE Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office. In addition, university scholarships, loans, and employment are available through the Office of Student Financial Aid (333 East Campus Mall; 608-262-3060).

Dean's Honor List

At the end of each semester the names of all students with a grade point average of 3.25 or higher in at least 12 graded credits for that semester will be included on the Dean's Honor List. Students earning a grade point average of 3.75 or higher will be given the recognition of Dean's High Honors. A notation of "Dean's Honor List" or "Dean's High Honors" will be entered on the student's transcript.

Graduation with Distinction

"Graduation with Distinction" will appear on the transcripts of students who have earned a cumulative grade point average that places them within the top 20 percent of students graduating that term in their school or college with 60 credits or more at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Students in the top 5 percent will receive the designation "Graduation with Highest Distinction." The Office of the Registrar determines whether students have met these criteria. Notations citing graduation distinction will be made on the transcript.

Honors Program

The School of Human Ecology Honors Program provides an opportunity for students to pursue coursework in greater depth than is possible in regular courses. The honors program is a school-wide program open to students regardless of major. Honors program members are eligible to enroll in courses offered for honors-only credit, to participate in campuswide activities for honors program students, and to apply for special research-funding opportunities. Upon completion of the honors program requirements and degree requirements, the student will receive an honors degree from the School of Human Ecology. The transcript for a SoHE honors student who does not complete all honors degree requirements will have the honors designation next to honors courses completed.

For additional information about the Honors Program including admission, requirements, credits, and honors thesis, contact the Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office.