Your orientation to UW-Madison begins when you attend a Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) session during the break before your first semester begins.  SOAR is a one-day session where you will meet with advisors, learn about your chosen school or college’s policies, discuss your credit evaluation, decide on courses for your first-semester, and register for those classes.

SOAR registration typically opens in April for fall transfer students, and in November for spring transfer students.  You will receive an email from the SOAR office letting you know when you can register.  Be sure to complete the SOAR checklist before you register and read about Transfer SOAR so you know what your day will look like.

At SOAR, you’ll also have the chance to meet your Transfer Ambassadors.  They are transfer students from previous semesters that will be organizing events and meet-ups for you. They can offer guidance and resources during your transition year, so be sure to connect with them.

After SOAR, your orientation continues when you join us on campus.  At the beginning of each semester, there are lots of welcome events and kick-off meetings that make up what we call Wisconsin Welcome.  Check out the Center for the First-Year Experience blog, YouatUW, for more information and resources to help you get oriented and complete your transition to Badgerhood.


Ongoing Orientation

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An online course required of all incoming students, AlcoholEdu has two parts which take a total of about two to three hours to complete.  The first part is typically completed before the start of your first semester at UW-Madison; the second part is completed after your first couple of months on campus.  You’ll receive an email letting you know when this course is available in Learn@UW, our course management system accessible through your student center.

Violence Prevention

All incoming UW-Madison students must complete a two-part course on sexual assault and dating violence prevention.  The first part is an online course called Tonight, (available through Learn@UW) which takes about 90 minutes to complete and is designed to empower students to make healthy decisions, intervene in difficult situations, and learn about resources available to victims on campus.  The second part is an in-person workshop which will allow students to explore some of the content of Tonight more thoroughly with their peers. Specific deadlines for completing both parts are available at the University Health Services’ (UHS) website.