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Additional programs

Regardless of where you are on your educational journey, UW–Madison Continuing Studies is the place to begin your explorations. We are the first point of contact for anyone interested in attending UW–Madison, but not coming here directly from high school. We also provide professional development through conferences, certificates and customized training.

We assist:

  • adults looking to begin or complete an undergraduate degree
  • people exploring online or accelerated graduate-level options
  • professionals requiring certification or in-depth expertise across a wide array of interest areas
  • international students seeking to come to UW–Madison for a few weeks or a semester
  • youth ages 5-18 interested in exploring academic, recreational and other enrichment activities on the UW–Madison campus
  • senior citizens or other adults wishing to expand their horizons, either through credit classes or noncredit classes
  • disadvantaged adults who can benefit from a unique entry point to a university education



Learning opportunities for adults, seniors, international students, youth and others to continue your education in a variety of formats


Taught by highly qualified UW–Madison faculty, researchers, experts and professional practitioners in each program area


Options vary



Continuing Studies' programs

  • Badger Precollege – Student ages 5-18 can learn, discover and grow at UW–Madison, too! Badger Precollege provides transformative learning experiences in all areas of interest — from music and college prep, to STEM and sports. Students get a taste of the college experience and meet new friends. Day and evening programs available.
  • Certificates – Looking to build your expertise and show off your qualifications? Whether online or in person, a certificate from UW–Madison Continuing Studies provides proof of your commitment to your profession.
  • Conferences – With a breadth of expertise spanning many professional disciplines, plus opportunities for personal enrichment, Continuing Studies conferences offer high-profile speakers who provide insight and inspiration.
  • Credit Options –  If you are a returning adult or other nontraditional student looking to take UW–Madison classes for credit — either as part of a degree or not — Adult Career and Special Student Services is your starting point. For example, you may want to take a credit class for enjoyment, audit a credit class (with no tests or grades), or begin your degree. Depending on your needs, UW–Madison has different requirements for participation and different names for your student classification. Most people who take credit courses are admitted as University Special Students. Explore credit classes:
  • Flexible and Online Learning
    • If you already have an undergraduate degree and want to move your life ahead with a graduate-level education, Professional Degrees and Certificates is the place to begin your research. These master’s degrees and graduate-level certificates are offered in online, accelerated, or evening and weekend formats tailored for working adults.
    • If you’re looking to complete an undergraduate degree, UW–Madison Online is designed for people who have earned some college credits or an associate degree, and want to complete their bachelor’s.
    • In distance education courses, all or the vast majority of the instruction and interaction takes place online or through correspondence. UW–Madison students — whether undergrad, graduate, or non-degree University Special Student — may choose distance education courses for a variety of reasons. Through UW–Madison Course Search & Enroll, you can search specifically for distance education courses. Choose General Public or Students, Faculty, and Staff, then search by Mode of Instruction.
  • International Student Programs – Continuing Studies is the access point for a huge array of experiences for people from around the world, as well as for people from other countries who currently live in the Madison area. Options range from short-term study experiences to intensive credit and noncredit English language classes.
  • Odyssey Project – This inspirational project empowers low-income adults to find your voice and take the first steps toward earning college credit. Students admitted to the Odyssey Project attend the course for free, thanks to grant funding and private donations.
  • Senior Learning – Seniors or other adults may audit lecture courses with the instructor’s approval and if space is available. This means you sit in on a lecture course to learn, but do not otherwise participate in recitations, performances or exams. You may not earn credit when auditing a class. Seniors may also enjoy PLATO (Participatory Learning and Teaching Organization), which offers a variety of member-led learning experiences.