Policies and Procedures

Continuing as a Special or Guest student
Credit-Load Maximums for Fall and Spring Semesters and Summer Session
Course Changes
Dropping and Withdrawing
Grading
Transcripts and Grade Reports

Can't find what you are looking for? Contact Adult Career and Special Student Services.

Continuing as a Special or Guest student

If you took a course as a Special or Guest student, you will be able to enroll for the next term if you were admitted in one of these classifications: UNDS, UNRS, UGST, UGSR, UNCS, UNIS. If you enrolled for spring and don't take a class in summer, you will still be able to enroll for the fall term.

If you were admitted in one of these classifications—UNHS, UNVS, UNOS, UNPS, UNES—contact advising@dcs.wisc.edu or call 608-263-6960 to see whether you can continue for the next term.

Credit-Load Maximums

Fall and Spring Semesters

For most University Special students credit-load maximum is 18. Check with an advisor in Adult Career and Special Student Services to verify credit-load maximum for your classification.

Summer Session

As a rule, you may carry one credit per week of instruction. Maximum total credit load for summer for University Special students is 12.

Session-specific limits follow the rule of one credit per week of instruction, except: nine credits are allowed in the Eight-Week General Session. Obtain permission from your dean to carry an overload. If you exceed session limits you may be dropped from all courses that exceed limits.

Course Changes

Making Course Changes Before Deadlines

  • Credit changes: Use your Student Center’s Edit a Class to change the number of credits for a variable credit course for which you are already enrolled. Verify your enrollment by viewing your Class Schedule.
  • Section changes: To change sections within a course, use Swap a Class or contact your instructor to make changes on the Class Roster. Do not drop the course and re-add if the add deadline has passed: consult your academic dean.

Making Course Changes that Require Dean’s Approval

You must use the Online Course Change Request Form in the following situations:

  • Before the deadline: Change a course grade status from Credit to Audit or Add/Cancel Pass/Fail.
  • After a deadline for actions in the Student Center-Enrollment: Add/drop a class, change section or credit, add/remove honors, change optional section.

The online form is accessed through the Student Center. Click on Course Change Request in the Enrollment module. Select the requested action for the course, print out the Course Change Request form, and submit the form to Adult Career and Special Student Services, 21 N. Park Street, room 7101. Note: Guest auditors (academic program of UGST or UGSR within the University Special Career) do not use the Course Change Request Form. Guest auditors need a class permission entered in the enrollment system by departments prior to enrolling in the course, and upon successful enrollment the audit credit is automatically assigned.

Dropping and withdrawing

The withdrawal process changed as of fall 2012.  Please read carefully the following information if you plan to drop and/or withdraw.

Withdrawal: defined as dropping all courses in a given term.

If you plan to drop all your courses (even if you have only one course) ON or AFTER the first day of class you will be required to submit an online withdrawal request. Check "Key Deadlines" for the current term on the Registrar's homepage to be sure you are within established deadlines for the current term, then go to your MyUW Student Center and access the Term Withdrawal tab under course enrollment.  For more information see the Registrar's webpage on withdrawals or the Term Withdrawal FAQ page.  

Dropping: defined as dropping one of several courses in a given term. 

To drop one or more courses (while staying enrolled in at least one course) within the established deadlines, you simply need to go to your MyUW Student Center and then drop the class(es) you wish. Check "Key Deadlines" for the current term on the Registrar's home page.  

Refund information: If you are within a refund period, a check will be mailed to you from the Bursar’s office within a few weeks.

Compassionate Refund at UW-Madison

The campus Compassionate Refund policy applies to students who are unable to continue in classes due to compelling circumstances beyond their control and who withdraw from the University after the fourth week.

According to the policy, refunds contingent upon withdrawal may be warranted in two sets of circumstances: (1) a life-threatening or disabling illness/accident for an enrolled student or (2) death of an immediate member of the family or household of an enrolled student. The definition of family or household includes spouses, children, partners/significant others, parents, step-parents, and in-laws. Students seeking a compassionate refund must consult with an academic dean and will be required to provide written verification. PLEASE NOTE: The office of the Academic Dean for all University Special students is Adult Career and Special Student Services, 21 N. Park St., Suite 7101, advising@dcs.wisc.edu, 608-263-6960.

Please understand that if a compassionate refund is warranted after the fourth week of the semester the tuition refund is as follows:

Weeks 5-8: 30%

Weeks 9-12: 20%

Weeks 13 and beyond: 10%

Additional note: For summer session, dates are adjusted according to the length of the session.

Grading

How semester grades are reported

Pass/fail option

University Special students may opt to take courses under the pass/fail privilege until the end of the fourth week of class in the fall and spring. In the summer, deadlines are prorated to the length of the session—with a general rule as Friday of the 1st week for sessions 1 to 7 weeks long, and the Friday of the 2nd week for sessions 8 weeks and longer.

Instructors do not know you are taking the course pass/fail unless you tell them. They submit a letter grade for you at the end of the term. If your letter grade is A, AB, B, BC, or C, an S for satisfactory will be recorded on your record by the Registrar. Letter grades of D or F will result in a U for unsatisfactory on your record.

You declare the pass/fail option for a course through an online process in your Student Center.  You must access and complete the Course Change Request Form by the pass/fail deadline.

  1. Go to your Student Center in My UW.
  2. Click on Course Enrollment and Term Information sub-tab.
  3. Select "Course Change Request."
  4. Select term.
  5. Click the box next to the selected class and choose Add pass/fail (or "Remove" to remove pass/fail before the deadline) from the dropdown list.
  6. Click Save. The Request is sent electronically to your Academic Dean's Office, Adult Career and Special Student Services, for final approval. The request will be approved and forwarded electronically to the Registrar IF BEFORE THE DEADLINE. 
  7. To retain a copy, select Print after you save the action. 

Credit/no credit courses

Some courses in the Schedule of Classes are designated as being offered on a Credit/No Credit basis. The transcript for the course will indicate either "CR," meaning the student earned the credits for which the course was offered, or "N," meaning that the student did not earn any credit even though enrolled for the course. Students may not take such courses on any other basis.

Incompletes

A grade of incomplete may be reported only when a student has been achieving passing grades until the end of a semester and then, because of illness or other substantial cause beyond his/her control, has been unable to take or complete the final examination or to complete some portion of the course requirements. Only the instructor can grant permission for an incomplete.  The instructor may change the Incomplete to a grade (including F) at any time. For University Special students,  the Incomplete will automatically lapse to an "F" at the end of the next semester in which they are enrolled (not counting summer sessions) if a grade has not been submitted by the instructor.  

Transcripts and grade reports

Prior to requesting official transcripts, unofficial student records, or grade reports, verify that grades have been posted at MyUW.

Official transcripts

Order official transcripts from the Registrar's Office.

Request an unofficial student record (cumulative grade report)

Unofficial student records, sent via email, show all coursework completed at UW-Madison but carry neither the official UW-Madison seal nor the Registrar’s signature and are not official University documents.

Currently enrolled UW-Madison students:

Log in to My UW and follow these links: “Student Center,” then “My Academics,” and then click on “Request Student Record.” Another screen will open; click on the yellow “Request Student Record” button. Your unofficial grade report will be sent to your preferred email account within a few seconds.

Previously enrolled UW-Madison students:

Log in to MyInfo using your 10-digit campus ID and PIN. If you do not remember your campus ID or PIN, the MyInfo login page has a "forgot campus ID or PIN" link. Click on the drop down “go to…” menu and select “My Academics,” and then click on “Request Student Record.” Another screen will open; click on the yellow “Request Student Record” button. Your unofficial grade report will arrive to your preferred email account within a few seconds.

Request a semester grade report

Semester grade reports show coursework only from one selected semester.

Currently enrolled UW-Madison students:

Log in to My UW and follow these links: “Student Center,” then “Grades.” Choose either “printable grade report” or “mail grade report” from the tabs. Select the semester you would like and follow instructions to either print your grade report or have it mailed to you.

Previously enrolled UW-Madison students:

Log in to MyInfo using your 10-digit campus ID and PIN. If you do not remember your campus ID or PIN, the MyInfo login page has a "forgot campus ID or PIN" link. Click on the drop down “go to…” menu. Select “My Academics” and click on the grades tab. Choose either “printable grade report” or “mail grade report” from the tabs. Select the semester you would like and follow instructions to either print your grade report or have it mailed to you.

NOTE: Summer grades are only sent in late August; spring and fall grades are sent weekly.