Admitted Students

Before Orientation & Registration…

Follow these five steps (in order!) to get you started after you’ve been admitted:

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1. Activate your NetID

This will allow you to access your Student Center app via our My UW portal.  The Student Center is ultimately where you’ll accept your offers of admission and financial aid, where your transfer credit will be posted, and where you’ll enroll for classes, along with other important functions.

Helpful Links: Activation InstructionsGuide to myUW

2. Accept your offer of admission

This option will appear in your Student Center.  Accepting your offer and confirming your enrollment will also require the online payment of $100 deposit, which will be applied to your tuition bill, and it will make you eligible to register for Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR). Be sure to review the appropriate Admitted Student Checklist to make sure you’re hitting all the right steps.

Helpful LinksAdmitted Student Checklists

3. Register for placement tests

The Office of Admissions & Recruitment will notify you via email after your admission decision which (if any) placement tests you need to take.  Testing requirements are decided by Admissions based on evaluations of your coursework. You must sign up for these tests before you will be able to register for an orientation session.

Helpful LinksTesting Information & Registration

4. Make a SOAR reservation

SOAR stands for Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration.  Transfer SOAR is a one-day session where you will receive your first academic advising, learn how to interpret your transfer credit and read your degree audit report (DARS), and enroll for classes. Multiple sessions are available prior to the start of the term. You’ll receive an email letting you know when you can make a reservation, but keep in mind you MUST register for any required placement tests first.

Helpful Links: SOAR

5. Follow us on Facebook & join our group for new transfer students

You’ll receive an email from Admissions with an invitation to join our closed transfer student group shortly after you’re admitted.  We offer one group per year, which is open to students admitted for both the fall and spring terms.  This is a great way to start to get to know other students and ask your questions, and once the semester starts it’s where we’ll advertise a lot of the events we run for transfer students!

In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Facebook at UWMadisonTransferTransition for info and updates relevant to transfer students.

Helpful Links: Transfer Transition Program Facebook

Get Started


Your orientation begins when you come to a Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) session, and continues when you join us on campus with Wisconsin Welcome events and activities.

new student and family at Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) website


Before you arrive on campus, learn more about these important parts about becoming a Badger.

Students talking in a residence hall room

Finance Your Education

Let’s face it. Paying for college is expensive. UW-Madison may be one of the best values in public education, but here’s a list of must-do steps to make sure you’re tapping into all possible avenues of assistance.

FAFSA form

Tips for New Transfers

Learn some tips for adjustment from an experienced source — recent UW-Madison transfer students.

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Get Involved

Transferring to UW – Madison was the best decision that I’ve ever made.  My biggest advice for new transfers is that even though campus can feel large and overwhelming, its size is actually a blessing because it allows students to find the niche where they belong.  It may take some effort, but wading through the lists of student organizations, on-campus job or internship opportunities, and classes is well worth it.  UW – Madison’s breadth of offerings makes it so that students can spend their time here doing things that they love and that interest them.  Don’t take that for granted, and remember that if you try something new and it doesn’t work out, that doesn’t mean that you’ve failed or done anything wrong, it just means that you haven’t quite found your niche yet.  And UW – Madison has a niche for everyone. –Sara Hilliger, UW-LaCrosse

Get involved! By participating in transfer activities, going to the student org fair and finding orgs you would like to join, and attending campus events, you will start to feel like you are a part of the community. –Emma Miller, Mankato State University

It just requires a small amount of effort to find one club, job or research opportunity that fits your passion. After you find something you really enjoy on campus, the rest falls into place. UW-Madison will become your home too. –Alia Paavola, Marquette University

It is so easy to push things off and say “I’ll do that next semester.” Don’t. Join that club, go to the game, go to the Memorial Union Terrace, apply for that research position, ask your professor that question! As a transfer student you may only have two years left, or maybe even one! Jam all that you can into your schedule when you can, because soon you will be sitting on the Terrace a month before graduation wishing that you had more time. –Kelsey Bakken, UW-Fox Valley


Expand Your Comfort Zone

Never be afraid to sit at the front of the class, speak up, or say hello to people you don’t know. Everybody is talented and knowledgeable. The best way to learn from them is to just ask. –Catharine Flynn, Madison College

Step out of your comfort zone. For me, transferring to UW was like entering another world because it was so different from my previous university, but here’s the thing: different doesn’t have to mean scary. Do things you normally wouldn’t, try foods you usually don’t eat, talk to the random people who sit next to you in your lecture. Make the most of your time at Madison because as a transfer student we may technically have less time here than others, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have the same great experience. –Emily Starich, Seton Hall University

In a way, transferring is a fresh start. Take advantage of this. Take a class you would usually pass up. Join a club you always thought about but didn’t have the time for. Go places the old you wouldn’t have bothered going out of your way to. A new start calls for new experiences. Go have them. –Zoe Levine, Kenyon College

Be open to new people and new experiences. Let people know about the unique experiences that you’ve had at your previous university. Take advantage of all of the new, amazing opportunities that UW has to offer. Remember that you are a Badger through and through–a badger with a little extra experience which helps you appreciate everything that makes Wisconsin special. –Joshua Gutzmann, University of Pennsylvania

Make sure you talk to the people you sit next to in class! It may seem awkward, but it really helps to make new friends. Also never miss out on free events, especially if it’s a new activity that you’ve never done before. –Transfer Student, UW-Parkside

Always keep an open mind to people you meet, classes, and opportunities here on campus. You will be surprised to find how much you have grown as a person and how much your interests are going to change. –Lauren Wysocky, UW-Eau Claire

Since I transferred from a giant school from another giant school, the adjustment wasn’t all that bad in terms of the school, what I struggled with was not being integrated into my class.  As an incoming freshmen, you live in the dorms and you take classes together; you’re able to make lasting relationships.  As a transfer student, you don’t have that opportunity.  My advice would be to go out of your way to interact with your classmates and make solid relationships so you can have those support networks.     –Megan Schumacher, Arizona State University

Ease Into Student Life

Use what you gained at your previous school to push you in new directions at UW Madison.  Mariah Klingeisen, Carroll University

I would also suggest spending a summer in Madison, working or going to school or whatever. This is a city that thrives in the summer and it is something to experience. –Sarah Lawinger, Iowa State University

Take time to read your WISC emails about the Writing lab (help with papers), Do IT classes (interactive training on PowerPoint, Photo Shop, WEB design). Computer issues, use Do-IT to fix your lap top/computer for affordable rates.  My software issue was a FREE fix (life saver!). –Karen Singer, Madison College

Just take it one step at a time. Transferring schools was overwhelming for me, especially for the first couple of weeks when I was getting used to the much bigger campus of UW-Madison and having classrooms in different buildings. Try to plan a rough outline of your day so you can balance homework with other activities, and make sure you ask questions! People in Madison are very friendly, so if you’re lost on the street or lost during lecture, just reach out and talk to someone.  -Saige Henkel, UW-Washington County

Find where your classes are before the first day and spend some time on campus grounds getting to know your new home! You’ll be less stressed and be able to ease into life at UW-Madison much faster without the headaches of potentially being late for classes and getting lost. Christie Lord, Madison College

 Pay attention to different clubs and seminars. They can lead you to an idea of what you want to after you graduate. Transfer Student, Madison College

Have Patience. You've Got This.

Be patient with your transfer, it’s a big change that will take some getting used to! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself! –Kayla Smith, Rock Valley College

Remember that you are now a UW-Madison student, and as much as you feel like you may not fit in, you DO belong here. –Transfer Student, UW-Baraboo/Sauk County

Transitioning from a smaller 2-year university to a big 4-year can seem intimidating and stressful but it’s not. If you are stressed about the transition don’t be, UW Madison made transferring easy and painless and made all of the new students feel welcome. –Amanda Richardson, UW-Sheboygan

Academic Success

The professors here that I’ve had have been very friendly and willing to help students and answer questions. Don’t let large class sizes intimidate you or prevent you from asking questions or approaching professors. Matt Wawiorka, UW-LaCrosse

Start off trying harder and more persistent than you have ever done before in school. Jumping into the academic race is hard, but keeping up is the only way the struggle will become success. Abby Kornetzke, Madison College

Go to office hours! Your professors are here to help you, and since the large classes at Madison can be overwhelming, office hours are a great way to become more than just a number! –Samantha Miller, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Find a student in your major that can give you advice [and the student’s perspective] on classes. –Daniel Mataczynski, UW-Stout

Don’t be afraid of everyone telling you the UW-Madison is hard and let it impact your performance. You’re transferring for a reason, so know that you can accept the challenge and take it on. –Kellie Willis, UW-Whitewater

One of the most stressful parts of transferring for me was making sure I was taking the correct classes that would transfer over and count towards my degree. The best advice I can give is to talk to the U.W. Madison transfer advisors ASAP. They are so knowledgeable and definitely put my mind at ease that I was on the right track. They are also extremely helpful in putting you in contact with other advisors that work specifically with your intended major. Best advice: Don’t Wait!   –Emma Lark, Madison College

Take the classes you want to take and most importantly get to know your professors because that in itself can have a big effect on your grade, so don’t be shy like I was in my first year at UW-Madison. Go to classes, study every day or at least most days of the week and you will get the grade you want.  –Annelise Resende, Madison College

Students with Children

UW Child Care options

Centers:  There are five campus childcare centers available. The Office of Childcare and Family Resources (OCCFR) coordinates the application process for all of these centers.badger-kids-reading

Family Child Care Providers: The UW Family Child Care Network, run through Satellite Family Child Care, will provide a list of accredited providers who each care for a small number of children in their homes.

Campus Women’s Center: This student-run organization matches student volunteers with students who have kids to provide free childcare for a few hours at a time.

Kids Kare: A program that subsidizes back-up or mildly ill childcare through UW childcare centers or Maxim Healthcare Services when regular center or in-home care is not an option.

Additional Parenting Resources

Financial Assistance for Child CareThere are a number of financial assistance programs for which parenting undergraduate students might be eligible for, including the Child Care Tuition Assistance Program (CCTAP), Access for Mothers and Infants (AIM), and grants that help cover expenses in emergency situations. OCCFR maintains a comprehensive list of campus options, as well as links to local and state resources.

Lactation RoomsOCCFR maintains a very helpful list of lactation rooms on campus, including details about the contents of each room. To see rooms available to students on a map, visit our handy Resource Map.