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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 & 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 eleven 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.

Eleven 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.     

The Business Badger Experience

The Wisconsin Business Badger Experience is about creating strong foundations and exploring student passions. Business Badgers take part in core experiences and amazing opportunities on their path toward graduation. All our Business Badgers gain academic preparation that applies learning in and out of the classroom building both technical knowledge rooted in business school courses and a broad-based liberal arts education. Our career preparation builds skills that don’t just get students a first job, but build a life-long growth mindset. We staff our own Student Life office which supports over 40 student organizations that are integrated into our leadership framework and corporate partners. Our students develop a leadership style that is grounded in personal integrity, inclusive engagement, and community. Nearly all of our students participate in at least one internship and 40% of our students study abroad. These experiences help students develop intercultural competence that prepare them to be global business leaders. Our network of Wisconsin School of Business Alumni  is 40,000 strong—and growing—and fiercely loyal to our students. As students build their Business Badger Experience they are challenged and supported by a team of outstanding faculty and staff. Those faculty and staff teach skills to our students to live the Wisconsin Experience, becoming empathetic, relentlessly curious, intellectual, confident, purposeful business leaders.

The Accenture Leadership Center

The Accenture Leadership Center (ALC) was one of the first in-house leadership centers at a US business school. Today, it continues to be student-driven and alumni-supported. The center offers a variety of activities, classes, workshops, service opportunities and leadership training events. Wisconsin BBA students graduate with the confidence, self-awareness, and professional skills to lead and inspire others.

School of business clubs

There are more than 40 student-run clubs associated with the School of Business. These clubs enable students to connect with peers interested in similar majors or career fields. Clubs also have access to funding to help them go to career and industry-related conferences. 

Personal and Professional foundations in business (General business 110 and 120)

Every student admitted to the School of Business takes GEN BUS 110 Personal and Professional Foundations in Business or GEN BUS 120 Personal and Professional Foundations in Business. This 1-credit course helps students explore their leadership style, who they are as individuals, and how they function in team-orientated tasks. The course also provides career foundations such as resume building and introduction of networking at career fairs.

Business badger badges: leadership pathways to success

The Business Badger Badge program has been created to identify pathways that combine workshops, experiences, and reflection opportunities designed to provide a deeper level of understanding and practice with certain skills/competencies. By completing specific criteria for each track, students can earn digital badges, which serve as credentials that can be showcased via personal profile, social media, and shared with potential employers as a way to help articulate skills gained from completing specific badge criteria. Our initial badges available are Personal Leadership Style and Group Dynamics. Each Badge has specific learning outcomes criteria. Additionally, we’ve collaborated with the campus leadership office to make sure our program is integrated into the campus leadership certificate as well!

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 admission to the Wisconsin Undergraduate Business Program is selective, we provide a variety of informational and workshop events to help you prepare for the admissions process.

Students may apply and enroll into the Undergraduate Business Program through the following pathways:

  • Prospective high school students may be considered for Direct Admission to Business based on their application to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Simply list a Business interest as your top academic area of interest on the University application.
  • Current University of Wisconsin-Madison students can participate in a series of preparatory workshops and apply through the spring-term pre-business admissions process.
  • Transfer students at University of Wisconsin System campuses or Wisconsin Technical Colleges may apply separately for admission to both the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin School of Business during the spring term for fall enrollment.

Once a student knows they have a Business interest, earlier enrollment in the Undergraduate Business Program is encouraged to maximize the use of resources like advising, career coaching, co-curricular engagement, and other enriching opportunities. 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 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. 

Questions along the way? We’re here to help. Reach out to a Wisconsin BBA Student Ambassador or contact the BBA Program Office at 608-890-2490.

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.

Courses/Enrollment

Business Credit Limit

Undergraduate students may not take more than 75 credits of School of Business courses.

10-semester rule (reentry and transfer)

Students re-entering after an absence of 10 or more semesters:

A pre-business  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.

Graduation

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.

No-Credit Courses

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 Search & Enroll App)
  • 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.

Part-time Enrollment

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:

International Students: 

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.

Financial Aid: 

Be sure to check with the Office of Student Financial Aid to find out if being part time will affect your financial aid package.

Tuition Refunds: 

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.

Athletes: 

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.

Degree Completion: 

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. 

Pass/Fail

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 into My UW and enter Student Center.
  • Click on the Manage Classes Tile.
  • Under Course Change Request, select the desired term and click continue.
  • Look for the desired class and check the Select checkbox.  You will now see the various change options.
  • Select the “Add Pass/Fail” box.  Your request is now pending.
  • Click the Save button on the top or bottom of the screen to save your request.
  • Please disregard the message that says “Reminder - print this form and obtain appropriate signatures.”  You do not need to do this.
  • Your request is then sent directly to the WSB Undergraduate Program’s  Academic Advising Office . You will be notified by email whether or not your request has been approved.

Please complete the online pass/fail form by the deadline. See the Office of the Registrar website for deadline information.

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.

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.  The transcript denotes repeated courses with a lowercase ‘x’ appearing immediately before the course description.  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.

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 Credit Evaluation Services 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 School of Business Undergraduate Program, including students who transfer from another college or university, must complete a minimum of 30 credits in business courses in residence.

Withdrawal

Withdrawal indicates that a student intends to stop attending all classes for the current term/semester.  If a student wishes to drop all of their classes for a particular semester or term after the first day of classes, a student needs to formally withdraw from the semester by submitting the online withdrawal request in the MyUW 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 fall or spring semester.   Students should refer to the enrollment dates and deadlines provided by the Office of the Registrar if they are enrolled in summer term and wish to withdraw.   The Office of the Registrar provides additional information regarding withdrawal, including impacts of withdrawal.

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 progression requirements & policies

To progress in the Wisconsin School of Business Undergraduate Program after direct admission, students must complete the following requirements by the end of their first year  at UW–Madison:

  1. Students must complete a minimum of 24 degree credits in residence.
  2. Students must complete the following requirements through successful completion of a course, placement test, transfer credit or test credit:
  • Communication Part A (complete one):
    • ENGL 100 Introduction to College Composition (3 cr)
    • COM ARTS 100 Introduction to Speech Composition (3 cr)
    • ESL 118 Academic Writing II (3 cr), non-native English speakers only
  • Calculus (complete one):
  • Economics (complete one):
    • ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics (4 cr)
    • ECON 111 Principles of Economics-Accelerated Treatment (4 cr, Honors course)
  • 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 will receive an email notification after the fall term informing them whether or not they are on track to meet the progression requirements by the end of their first year.

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, students must meet with their academic advisor in the Undergraduate Program.

Exams

Finals

General Info/Schedule: 

Final exam times are automatically assigned for both fall and spring semesters. Final exam times can be found in 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.

Student Conflicts: 

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.

Midterms

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.

Student Conflicts: 

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.

Grades

Academic Probation

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.

Dean's List

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.

Grade Appeal

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.

Grading Policy

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, 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

 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 WSB Undergraduate Program 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.

Incomplete Policy

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.

Major Declaration

Additional major outside of business

Business students may declare one additional major outside the School of Business in the College of Letters & Science (any major) or in the School of Education (Educational Policy Studies or Theater & Drama). Students who gain approval to complete an additional major in the College of Letters & Science or the School of Education must complete major requirements prior to, or concurrently with, their business degree. Students who have fulfilled the degree requirements for the BBA will be graduated, even if the additional major outside the School of Business had not been completed. 

To declare a second major:

Meet with the advisor for their additional major and complete the major declaration form or other document students use to declare a major in the department. The form or document must have the additional major’s academic advisor’s signature, and it must be filled out completely. Deliver the completed form to the WSB Undergraduate Program’s 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 additional major advisor regarding major and/or degree requirements.

To cancel a second major:

Students interested in cancelling their additional 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 WSB Undergraduate Program’s 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  11 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 for major declaration.  In addition, first-semester transfer students will also not receive an enrollment hold.

Courses at other institutions

Common Guidance for Off-Campus Coursework

WSB Undergraduate 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 WSB Undergraduate students are able to take courses off-campus, the WSB Undergraduate 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 WSB Undergraduate 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.

Concurrent Enrollment

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.

Independent Learning

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.

Transfer Credits

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 the Registrar 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.  The Office of the Registrar provides information regarding how to determine course equivalencies.

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 using Office of the Registrar resources.
  • 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.

Pre-Business Requirements

Students applying through the pre-business or direct transfer process need to complete or be in the process of completing all pre-business courses at the time of application.  In-progress courses must be completed by the end of the application term and cannot be deferred to a later term.

Students admitted through the direct admit process must complete these courses by the end of their first year.  

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
Economics
ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics4
or ECON 111 Principles of Economics-Accelerated Treatment
Psychology
PSYCH 202 Introduction to Psychology3-4
Calculus
Select one of the following:5
Calculus
Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry II
Calculus and Analytic Geometry 1
Total Credits12-16

Liberal Studies Requirements

Liberal studies requirements must be completed prior to graduation. Students may not use courses offered by the Department of Economics or by the School of Business to fulfill liberal studies requirements.  In addition, a single course may not be used to fulfill multiple liberal studies requirements.   
 
Literature
Select one 3 (or more) credit course designated Literature (L)3
Science
Select six credits designated Biological, Natural or Physical Science. Courses that MAY NOT COUNT include: Courses in Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics or Economics.6
Foreign Language
Select 3 units (or more) of the same foreign language 10-12
Ethics
Select one of the following:3-4
Introductory Ethics
Ethics in Business
Contemporary Moral Issues
Environmental Ethics
Humanities
Select one 3 (or more) credit course designated Humanities (H or Z) 23
Ethnic Studies
Select one 3 (or more) credit course designated Ethnic Studies (e)3
Social Science
Select one 3 (or more) credit course designated Social Science (S or Z)3
Total Credits21-34

Business Foundation Requirements

All BBA degree candidates 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.   Sequencing of courses in business preparatory, core, and breadth sections may vary based on a student’s academic plan or major.  Consult with your academic advisor for specific recommendations.

Business Preparatory Requirement

All students must take the following:

GEN BUS 110 Personal and Professional Foundations in Business1
or GEN BUS 120 Personal and Professional Foundations in Business
GEN BUS 360 Workplace Writing and Communication3
ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomics3-4
or ECON 111 Principles of Economics-Accelerated Treatment
ACCT I S 100 Introductory Financial Accounting3
ACCT I S 211 Introductory Managerial Accounting3
Business Analytics (options for this are found below)6-9
Total Credits19-23

Business Analytics Requirement

The business analytics requirement is part of the Business Preparatory Requirement, and has 3 options. 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:

Option 1:
GEN BUS 306
GEN BUS 307
Business Analytics I
and Business Analytics II
6
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
Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics I
Introduction to Probability and Mathematical Statistics II
Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics II
Regression and Time Series for Actuaries
Health Analytics
Machine Learning for Business Analytics
Option 3 (Economics Double Majors ONLY):8
This is a 2-course sequence. Choose one course from each of the two options:
Statistics: Measurement in Economics
Introductory Econometrics
Introduction to Applied Econometrics

Business Core Requirement

Business Core courses are recommended to be completed by the end of a student’s junior year.

FINANCE/​ECON  300 Introduction to Finance3
MARKETNG 300 Marketing Management3
M H R 300 Managing Organizations3
OTM 300 Operations Management3
Total Credits12

Business Breadth Requirement

Business Breadth courses must be completed by graduation.

GEN BUS 301 Business Law3
Business Breadth Course 13
Business Breadth Course 13
Total Credits 23-9

Credits for BBA Degree

Credit Requirements

Candidates for the BBA degree 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:

Academic Advising

As a student in the Wisconsin Business Undergraduate 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 Business Undergraduate 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 Academic Advising Center also holds drop-in hours. UW–Madison students who are not yet enrolled in the Wisconsin Business Undergraduate 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 Business Academic 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 Business Academic Advising Center in 3150 Grainger Hall; 608-262-0471; wibbaadvising@wsb.wisc.edu.

CAREER services

The WSB Career Engagement Team takes a relationship-based approach to working with students throughout the career development process and consults with top employers to facilitate the recruitment, hiring and career readiness of our students. We offer a variety of services to admitted undergraduate business, certificate in business, certificate in entrepreneurship, capstone in actuarial science, and master of accountancy students including 1:1 coaching, career/major pathways exploration and planning, career workshops, mock interviews, career fairs, employer information sessions, on-campus interviewing, experiential learning opportunities, 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 search, offer and negotiation skills. Through the exploration of your values, strengths, skills 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 Career Engagement 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 should check the BLC website for additional information and then choose from one of the available courses listed at that site in order to add BLC content (including the tutorial registration link) to their Canvas Dashboard. Any additional questions can be directed to Dr. Gwen Eudey, Faculty Associate, at gwen.eudey@wisc.edu.

Student life

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 more. The ALC acts as a general resource for all BBA affiliated Student Organizations and coordinates the room reservations for the Undergraduate Lounge space and offices held within.  The ALC can also facilitate tailored leadership workshops upon request, and will plan larger leadership conferences open to all business and pre-business students.

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.  This course introduces students to School of Business resources, helps them develop important leadership skills, facilitates networking, and encourages personal reflection about their time as a BBA student and future goals.

For more information about Wisconsin BBA Student Life, see this page.

BBA International Programs

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 resilience. 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.

The Wisconsin School of Business works in close partnership with International Academic Programs (IAP) to administer study abroad programs geared specifically for undergraduate business students. All approved UW-Madison programs share policies, procedures, and best practices.

The UW-Madison Study Abroad website highlights the portfolio of business specific programs as well as other programs that may have a focus outside of, or in addition to, business (e.g. liberal studies, language learning, engineering, or life sciences).