FAQ for students

The University of Wisconsin-Madison and College of Engineering will welcome students back to campus as scheduled for the start of fall classes on September 2. Resources and information that apply to engineering students are below. These resources will be updated as we have more information. Please check back for more information and continue to check the UW-Madison Smart Restart website,, for the most current information.

If you are experiencing technology challenges, including hardware, software and network issues, we understand. First check if something is slow or not working properly. If you continue to experience challenges, email and we will follow up as soon as we can.

For all other questions, please email us at and we will follow up, if needed, as soon as we can.

Undergraduate Learning Center – Tutoring and Other Academic Support

You can visit for the latest UW-Madison information about grading and academic policies.  In addition, see for additional information from the College of Engineering.

No. Wendt, like all other engineering buildings, has been closed until further notice.  All of the Undergraduate Learning Center programs have been moved to on-line services and resources for spring semester and summer term.

Drop-in tutoring has been moved on-line and is accessible through a Canvas page linked to the ULC website (  The schedule for specific courses can also be found on the ULC website.

Yes. Although housing is not able to offer tutoring for the rest of the semester and summer term, there are other tutoring services available on campus.  The Math Lab and Statistics Learning Center both support courses many engineering students take.  The Computer Sciences department has added additional tutoring/office hours help to their courses through their Canvas pages, and the Chemistry Learning Center has links to many helpful on-line resources on their website.  For details about these services and other learning support offices on campus, see:


You can schedule sessions through the same system as in the past (  You will receive an email when you schedule a session that will explain how to connect with your tutor.

Please contact us at and we will respond as quickly as possible.


All College of Engineering academic advising services are provided remotely. Advisors are available for remote appointments and by email. Use the Starfish app in your MyUW portal to make an appointment.  If you have a need that can be addressed over email, please email your academic advisor (preferred) or If you don’t know who your academic advisor is, you can find your academic advisor in your Student Center via the MyUW portal.

  • Different majors and certificates have different requirements and declaration processes. Check Guide for admissions and declaration information.
  • Send your completed/approved major or certificate declaration form to
    • You can submit a PDF, scanned form, or legible photo of the form
  • Additional majors and certificates are declared for students who have progressed in their major and are in good standing.
  • Questions? Email Megan at
  • Send your completed/approved option declaration form to
    • You can submit a PDF, scanned form, or legible photo of the form
  • Alternatively, you can work with your advisor and/or faculty advisor to generate an email chain that demonstrates your interest in declaring and faculty/advisor approval to add the option. This email chain should then be forwarded to
  • Major options are declared for students who have progressed in their major and are in good standing.
  • Questions? Email Megan at

Yes. As we all are navigating an uncertain and trying time we understand that there may be more extenuating circumstances that students need to navigate. We have implemented a form for these academic requests that serves as a way to collect information from students, then setting up a meeting with an Assistant Dean after students have completed the form. We will reach out to students to schedule the appointment after the completion of the form within 48-72 hours. You can access the online late drop/withdrawal form here:

CoE Disruptive Grading

Details about the University’s Disruptive Grading option, developed as part of the University’s response to COVID-19 for Spring 2020, are included on the Office of the Registrar website. You will find answers to how this grading option applies for engineering programs and progression requirements below.

Yes. Details are on Office of the Registrar website regarding Spring 2020 disruption grades and their distinct rules (academic action FAQ added April 7).

Yes. SD grades count for University General Education, degree/major and certificate requirements and satisfy future course prerequisites. An SD course does not impact GPA.

No. A UD grade does not satisfy any requirements. A course with the UD grade does not count for credit, cannot be used to fulfill a prerequisite for a course, and does not impact GPA. Students may retake a course with a UD grade in a subsequent semester and receive credit in that semester. Both courses will remain on the student’s transcript.

Yes. To be eligible for a Dean’s List, students must have completed a minimum of 12 graded (A-F) degree credits this semester. SD/UD grades do not count towards the minimum of 12 credits. See the Office of the Registrar website.

CoE Disruptive Grading- Progression Requirements

Engineering students must meet first-year progression requirements after direct admission or to switch between engineering degree programs after their first two semesters of residency at UW-Madison. The change in the University’s grading policy has implications for progression requirements for first-year students. To allow for flexibility for students in a wide variety of situations due to COVID-19 related circumstances (e.g., Disruptive Grading option, dropping core courses, COVID-19 illness, or other extenuating circumstances) the following adjustments have been made to progression requirements:

  • Those who meet guaranteed progression requirements still progress automatically. That is, no change to current practice (Regulation #3).
  • Those who do not meet first-year progression requirements to automatically progress in degree (major) due to the SD/UD grading option will be considered for progression after their second semester. If not accepted, students will have an additional semester to meet automatic progression (Regulation #3) or be considered for non-automatic progression (Regulation #4).
  • Those who do not meet first-year progression requirements to automatically progress in degree (major) due to SD/UD-related circumstances (e.g., dropping core courses, COVID-19 illness, or other extenuating circumstances) will have an additional semester to meet automatic progression requirements or to be considered for non-automatic progression. Students currently on an extension, will be evaluated for meeting progression or granting an extension. (Regulation #5).

Your academic advisor. Your advisor can help you understand your situation and all of your options.

Yes. Students who complete the courses and credits specified in the first-year progression requirements and have completed at least four core courses with three of those core courses with standard grades (A-F) will be considered for progression.

Review Regulation #4 in College of Engineering Official Regulations – AMENDED FOR COVID19 GRADING OPTION at Core courses are references in Regulation 3.F.

You will receive an extension and have an additional semester to meet automatic progression requirements or to be considered for non-automatic progression.




Yes. Amendments to the minimum admission consideration requirements are described on the College of Engineering Cross-Campus Students website under the FAQs.

Buildings and Facilities

No. As the university increases the number of faculty and staff who are working remotely in ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, all College of Engineering buildings will be closed and unavailable for your access until you receive communication otherwise.

Engineering Career Services

Yes. You may schedule an online or phone appointment with an ECS staff member using Starfish.  If you would just like a resume review, you may email it to and it will be returned within 24 hours with feedback on how to make it more effective.

All career fairs for fall 2020 will be virtual through your Handshake app.  Students will need to register through the app to attend each of the events.  It is very important that your Handshake profile be updated with your graduation date since invitations will be based on major and graduation date.  ECS will email more detailed information in mid-August.

Health and well-being

How can I support myself and others during this time?

Turn off the television and/or alert messaging on your phone if it is increasing your distress. Exposure to media can be healthy or unhealthy; for some individuals, knowing helps to feel a sense of control over the situation, while for others it may reinforce anxiety and fear. Research has shown that excess media exposure to coverage of stressful events can result in negative outcomes. Use trusted resources to gather the information you need then turn it off if it’s causing stress.

Obtain the latest information during an infectious disease outbreak from credible and reliable sources of information. Up-to-date, accurate recommendations regarding disease prevention, self and family care, and travel guidance can be found at the following websites:

Emotional distress is common and normal in the context of uncertainty and potentially life-threatening situations, such as COVID-19 pandemic.

Stress can present itself in different ways including physical, emotional, or cognitive ways. One common response for young adults is a feeling of invincibility and or emotional detachment which can lead to behaviors that may significantly increase risks.

Some other common reactions include:

    • Excessive worry; having a hard time not thinking about what happened
    • Sleeping Issues; having trouble sleeping or staying asleep
    • Ruminating
    • Hypervigilance; getting up to check the news or check on family
    • Difficulty relaxing
    • Muscle tension
    • Feeling keyed up or on edge
    • Increased alcohol, tobacco, or drug use
    • Irritability with emotional outbursts
    • Wanting to be alone or having difficulty communicating
    • Crying frequently
    • Inability to feel pleasure
    • Feeling detached or numb
    • Changes in energy level

Some common physical responses can be: diarrhea, aches and pains, and appetite changes.

Some common feelings are: sadness, guilt, anger, fear, and excessive anxiety.

Some common cognitive responses can be: memory issues, confusion, indecisiveness, and decreased concentration.

There is no right or wrong way to deal with this stress. What works for you may not work for others. It is important to keep at it and try different things such as:

  • Be prepared (e.g., develop a personal and/or family plan for the outbreak)
  • Educate yourself about preventive measures from hand-washing technique and cough etiquette, to more complex medical recommendations for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
  • Talk to loved ones about worries and concerns. Know that your feelings are normal and others may be experiencing them too. Connect with friends and family in novel ways if you’re isolated. Connect with those you feel closest to for support.
  • Schedule positive activities. Do things that are enjoyable, even if you don’t feel like it. Listening to music, exercising, practicing breathing routines, spending time in nature or with animals, journaling, or reading inspirational texts are some simple ways to help manage emotions.
  • Take time to renew your spirit through prayer, meditation, or helping others.
  • Take care of your body. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Get enough sleep every night. We know sleep is restorative and reduces anxiety, helps learning, helps problem solving, and allows the brain to rest. Even short periods of sleep deprivation can be troublesome.
  • Keep a routine. If possible, create and stick to your new usual daily routine.
  • Keep looking forward. Make some plans for six months down the road.
  • Find your ‘happy’ daily. Infusing happiness and joy everyday should be your own personal homework.

For guided meditations, helpful tips and expert voices check out:  or  Ten Percent Happier

University Health Services (UHS) has compiled a new web page with services and resources to continue supporting students’ health and well-being while they engage in remote learning.

This page includes identity-specific resources for students, short videos from mental health providers, links to webinars, and websites where students can continue to foster interpersonal connections. UHS mental health providers and prevention staff members continue to add content daily.

In-person appointments at UHS are limited; however, many medical, counseling, and wellness services are available by phone and accessible online by calling 608-265-5600 or logging into MyUHS at


We encourage you to reach out to University Health Services (UHS). Students can call the UHS Mental Health Crisis Line 24/7 at 608-265-5600 (option 9). You can also reach out to UHS Mental Health during business hours at 608-265-5600 (option 2) for help connecting to a home provider or options through UHS.

  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has guidance on managing mental health and coping during COVID-19 for children and caregivers.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has information on travel, media resources, and other research on COVID-19.
  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America Psychologist Jelena Kecmanovic provides some science-based strategies and tips for coping with COVID-19 anxiety.

Click here to access SilverCloud, a no-cost cognitive behavioral health resource available 24/7 (learning modules that help w/ stress, anxiety, depression, and body image. You can also download the SilverCloud app for your mobile device. SilverCloud is available for all currently enrolled, full-time students at UW-Madison. You will need to use your wisc email address when signing up, and you will be asked to login using your NetID.


YOU@WISC continues to be a free, online resource for UW-Madison students, faculty, and staff during this time. YOU@WISC now includes specific COVID-19 resources.

New content cards include:

  • Mental Wellness Tips for COVID-19
  • Communicating Your Needs with Faculty During COVID-19
  • Tips to Be Productive when Studying at Home During COVID-19
  • Getting the Most Out of Online Classes
  • How to Show Up While Remaining Physically Distant
  • Science-Based Strategies to Cope with Coronavirus Anxiety
  • And more!

As a reminder, YOU@WISC is an online portal, specifically designed for UW Madison to foster student success in 3 domains: Succeed, Thrive, and Matter.

  • Succeed [Degree & Career Options, Leadership & Professional Development, Academics & Grades, Internships & Career Path, + more],
  • Thrive [ Stress Management, Sleep, Fitness and Nutrition, Alcohol & Substance Use Resources, Loneliness & Depression resources, + more ]
  • Matter [Building relationships, Clubs and Volunteering, Social Resilience, Mindfulness & Balance, + more]

Visit:  for more information.


UW-Madison’s  Center for Healthy Minds, led by Dr. Richard Davidson, has led to breakthroughs in the neuroscience of well-being and how the mind can be trained to be more focused, calm, and resilient through meditation training. Download the free app.

Other apps include:

  • Mindfulness Coach
  • Insight Timer
  • Calm
  • HeadSpace
  • Stop, Breathe, and Think

For most people, stress reactions will lessen over the first few weeks. However, when symptoms are significantly impacting functioning, becoming harder to manage, or are increasing in severity then there is increased need for concern. We encourage you to reach out to UHS. Students can call the UHS Mental Health Crisis Line 24/7 at 608-265-5600 (option 9). You can also reach out to UHS Mental Health during business hours at 608-265-5600 (option 2) for help connecting to a home provider or options through UHS.