Frequently Asked Questions and Forms

Do you have questions on enrollment, credits, regulations, transferring or other degree requirements but do not know where to start?

Frequently asked questions and/or forms about expectations, managing enrollment, dropping a course, part-time permission, transfer credits, calculating GPA, progression requirements, program curricula, liberal studies requirements, switching programs, applying to a program, filing a grievance, graduation, transferring out, academic probation, drops and drop appeals, and re-entry.

Fall 2020 Operations Update

In accordance with the University’s Smart Restart plan, most student services operations and activities will be remote for the Fall 2020 semester. While access to in-person services are limited, we are committed to ensuring a safe, healthy, and successful school year for every student in the College of Engineering. More details and answers to questions specifically about Fall 2020 can be found on the Fall 2020 FAQ page.

Student expectations

YOU are a representative of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Whether you are a member of or leader in a student org; whether you are in the classroom, lab or library; or whether you are on campus or off, we expect you to act with respect, inclusion and integrity.

Expectations of all students:

  • Your consistent practice of civility towards others
  • Your respect for the expression of diverse opinions
  • Your insistence on academic honesty and integrity
  • Your demand that all members of the university be accepted and judged as individuals without regard to their race, sex, religion, color, creed, disability, gender identify or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry or age
  • Your efforts to insure that the community is safe from violence, harassment, fraud, theft, disruption and intimidation. You can and should report incidents of bias/hate to the Dean’s Office.

College of Engineering values:

  • Commitment to quality, professionalism and integrity
  • Educational excellence and leadership
  • Research excellence and leadership
  • Technical and educational innovation
  • An environment that is supportive of a diverse community of students, faculty and staff
  • Being an integral part of UW-Madison
  • Leadership development
  • Interdisciplinary culture

Review the rules and regulations for undergraduate students as well as policies on academic integrity and nonacademic misconduct to learn more about being a UW-Madison College of Engineering student and the policies that follow.

Enrollment and credits

Your best resource in understanding how to enroll and to manage your enrollment is the Office of the Registrar. Visit their enrollment information page for information regarding:

  • How to enroll
  • Dates and deadlines
  • Enrollment preparation
  • Exam schedules

To best answer this question, you need to collect information and reflect on your options. Your engineering advisor can help you make an informed choice. However, the decision to keep or drop a course ultimately lies with you. If you think you need to drop a course, talk to your instructor and advisor(s) right away. The longer you wait, the more challenging it will be to reinvest and recover your efforts in other courses.

Information on Dropping a Course

If you are considering dropping a course after the deadline (check the registrar’s website for semester deadlines), you will need to complete a late drop form and submit this to the Dean’s office which you can find below. Remember, your academic advisor can help you consider this decision.

Late ADD Late DROP form

In the College of Engineering, students are generally expected to carry a full credit load. Those students with extenuating circumstances can ask for part-time permission.

Students must meet with their advisor and review their DARS and transcript to make sure they are on track to meet degree requirements. Once the form is filled out completely, students can turn it in to 2620 Engineering Hall. A dean will review it and let you know the decision.

CoE Part-time Permission Form

If you are considering taking coursework through another U.S. institution and want to learn more about how those credits may (or may not) transfer to UW-Madison, visit one of the following three resources:

*Students in the College of Engineering must achieve a final grade of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better for transfer credits to fulfill degree requirements. See Regulation 12 in the College of Engineering Official Regulations 

**If you take a course through UW Independent Learning, it may be possible to waive tuition for the course. Review the tuition waiver request procedure below for more information.

Visit the Guide to find degree requirements for every major and certificate on campus.


Each College of Engineering student will fulfill the following requirements in order to graduate:

  • One course of at least 3 credits of ethnic studies
  • 3 credits of Social Science (S)
  • 6 credits of Humanities (H) or Literature (L); Foreign language courses count as humanities credits for College of Engineering students
  • Two courses from the same department, with one being intermediate or advanced level
  • A total of 15 or 16 credits (dependent on the engineering program) that carry at least one of the following breadth designations: humanities, social science, and/or literature or foreign language

Some programs require specific courses for the degree that fall into the liberal studies category. The best way to see what requirements you have fulfilled and what you are still missing is to run a DARS for your intended program

After you enroll, you can run a DARS for your major or a what-if DARS for another major to see what requirements the course satisfies.

Before you enroll, you can use the degree planner function in MyCourseGuide in your student center.

Tuition Waiver Request for Independent Learning courses offered through UW Learning Innovations (a collaboration of University of Wisconsin-Extension and UW System)

Students must follow the process outlined below in order to get a tuition waiver request approved by the CoE at UW-Madison for an Independent Learning course offered through UW Learning Innovations. To qualify for a tuition waiver, students may ONLY register for an Independent Learning course during UW-Madison’s FALL or SPRING semester.

  1. Student confirms that their plans are in compliance with the UW-Madison guidelines for tuition waivers for UW Learning Innovations courses.
  1. Student consults the credit transfer wizards on the Transfer Information System (TIS) to determine how the Independent Learning course will transfer to UW-Madison. TIS is located here:
  1. Student confirms with their CoE Academic or Faculty Advisor that the Independent Learning course they wish to take would satisfy a major or degree requirement.
  1. Student must fill out the UW-Madison Tuition Waiver Request Form found on the Office of the Registrar website.
  1. Student takes form to the CoE Dean’s Office in 2620 Engineering Hall. The form will be directed to the assistant dean for review. The waiver form needs to be reviewed and signed by the assistant dean by the last class day of the semester in which the tuition is to be waived. For this to occur, the student will need to get the waiver form to the Dean’s Office at least 5 business days before the last class day in any given semester. No exceptions will be given.
  1. If the tuition waiver is approved, the CoE Dean’s Office will email the form to UW Independent Learning ( for further processing and will email the student the instructions found here
  1. Once the approved request has been processed, the CoE Dean’s Office keeps a copy of the approved form in the student file.
  1. Student registers for their selected course at the UW-Extension website: and selects to pay by mail.
  1. Once the student receives the email from the CoE Dean’s Office, they need to follow up with the UW Extension Office to determine any fees to pay. There is a processing fee for each course. The student will receive a bill for this fee. The student should select the pay by mail option when enrolling. After paying any appropriate fees, the student can start their course in 2-3 business days.
  1. Any credits that exceed 18 during the semester (including Independent Learning credits) will be the responsibility of the student. The student will be billed for these additional credits along with the processing fee.
  1. Independent Learning credits are posted according to the course completion date that appears on the UW-Extension official transcript. Credits are posted to the corresponding semester at UW-Madison. Students must complete the course by the LAST CLASS DAY of the semester AT UW-MADISON for the credits to be posted to that semester.
  1. Once the course is successfully completed, the student requests that an official UW-Extension transcript be sent to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 702 West Johnson Street, Suite 1101, Madison, WI 53715-1007. After the transcript arrives at Admissions, it will take at least two weeks for the credits to be posted.

Students should direct any questions about the transcript status to the College of Engineering. Email CoE Advising at


Independent Learning:

UW-Independent Learning Tuition Waiver Request Form


The Office of Undergraduate Advising on campus has a great resource for calculating GPA in your current semester as well as planning out how you can raise your GPA. Visit their GPA calculator tool to get started.

Progression/admission for engineering students

Review the progression requirements thoroughly to understand what you need to do.

During your second semester on campus as a College of Engineering student, you will need to take action in TIED and declare your intent to progress in or apply to a program before the end of the semester. See the Progression Requirements page for specific application dates and deadlines.

Apply in TIED

Progressed students interested in transferring to another College of Engineering program apply online in TIED. After submitting your online application, you will receive a confirmation email to your account

Personal Statement
As part of your application, you will be asked to submit a short supplemental statement (250 words) describing your interest in the specified degree program. You should include steps you have taken to explore or affirm your academic and career goals.

Admission Consideration

Your grades, grade trends, academic rigor, and personal statement will be considered during admission review. Inter-departmental admission is competitive and dependent on program capacity.

Application Deadline and Decision Notifications

Applications to transfer departments need to be submitted by the end of the semester. Specific application deadlines are posted on the Progression Requirements page. Admissions decisions are sent via Wiscmail.

Student status (i.e. probation, dropped, withdrawal)

You should meet with your academic advisor as soon as possible. It’s important that you discuss the challenges you have faced so that advisors can help you make a plan to regain your confidence and academic success. It will be important to stay in touch with your advisor throughout the semester. You will need to sign an acknowledgement form outlining the consequences of being on probation and what you need to do in order to be removed from probation.

Students who withdraw from UW-Madison are essentially leaving the University for the rest of the semester. If you are considering this as an option, please meet with your academic advisor as soon as possible.

Students considering withdrawal should also consult with the Registrar’s Office  and the Office of Financial Aid for information on the impact of withdrawing from a term.

See these frequently asked questions for more information.

If your academic performance has placed you in “drop” status, you were dropped for one or more of the following reasons:

  • You were a student in good academic standing but passed fewer than half of the credits attempted this semester.
  • You were a student on academic probation this semester and
    • attained a term GPA of less than 2.0 or
    • passed fewer than 12 credits without part-time permission or
    • passed fewer than 3/4 of the credits attempted with part-time permission

The College of Engineering Rules and Regulations explains the drop policy in Regulation 35.

If you wish to appeal your drop status, you may do so in writing.

Procedure for appealing “Drop” status:

  1. Prepare a personal letter of appeal, no more than one, single-spaced page with one-inch margins and 12 point font. This letter should include:
    1. Name, campus ID number, email address and engineering major.
    2. Brief explanation of the academic difficulties that you faced and the circumstances that should be considered.
    3.  Explanation of how you have addressed the issues that led to your poor academic performance.
  2. Attach documentation supporting relevant circumstances.
  3. Email your letter to or fax it to 608-265-8911 by 12:00 PM (noon) on Wednesday, January 8th, 2020.
  4. You will receive an e-mail confirming your letter has been received.  If you do not receive a confirmation e-mail within 1 business day of sending your letter, please contact our office by calling 608-262-2473 during normal business hours or email:

The process for applying for re-entry depends on (1) the academic status in which you left UW-Madison and (2) what college you intend re-enroll in. Students who are in poor academic standing in another school or college at UW-Madison will not be admitted to the College of Engineering. Review the information on our re-entry page understand how the re-entry process applies to you.

Graduation or transferring out of Engineering

Requirements for graduation are outlined in the rules and regulations for undergraduate engineering students. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that graduation requirements have been met. All students should regularly consult their DARS (Degree Audit Reporting System) document in conjunction with their advisor to ensure that all the following graduation requirements are being met:

  • Have fulfilled the published graduation requirements of that curriculum, with all substitutions formally approved, and have achieved a minimum 2.0 gpa overall.
  • Have a PCR (see Regulation 24) of at least 2.0 for those semesters and sessions containing the last 60 credits taken at UW-Madison or for all credits taken at Madison if fewer than 60.
  • Have a departmental PCR of at least 2.0 for all courses taken in the degree-granting department that count toward graduation.
  • Have completed at least 30 credits in residence in the College of Engineering, including 15 credits of work in the degree-granting department.
  • Have completed the last two semesters in residence in the College of Engineering as a full-time student.
  • Have a GPA of at least 2.0 both for the last semester and also for the combined last two semesters.

Students who have earned at least 60 credits on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus and whose total cumulative GPA is in the top 5 percent of the College graduating class will receive the designation “Graduated With Highest Distinction,” or if in the next 15 percent, “Graduated with Distinction.” The appropriate designation is entered as a permanent record on the student’s transcript.


Engineering Career Services is a fantastic resource for engineering students in preparing for a career in engineering and a conduit to hundreds of companies recruiting graduates from the College of Engineering.

Several resources are available to help you make your transition as smooth as possible.

Cross College Advising Service (CCAS):

The CCAS is a campus wide advising service for undergraduates who are undecided about a major and want to explore the many academic opportunities on campus. CCAS also assists students who are considering changing majors or who have not been admitted to limited-enrollment programs and need to explore other options. CCAS advisers are knowledgeable about all the programs and majors offered by the nine undergraduate schools and colleges on campus.

For more information call 608-265-5460. You can also visit CCAS at 10 Ingraham Hall.

Career Exploration Center:

CCAS also provides career exploration activities to help students make decisions about academic direction and future careers. The CCAS Exploration Center, located in 6 Ingraham Hall, offers computerized career planning programs, books and other reference materials, a video career library, and special-interest workshops held throughout the academic year.

For more information, contact the Exploration Center at or 608-265-4497. You can find the Exploration Center at 6 Ingraham Hall.

Office of Undergraduate Advising:

The Office of Undergraduate Advising has great information on how, when and why to declare a major. Keep in mind that there are three common types of programs/majors on this campus:

  • Flexible Declaration Programs
  • Competitive Enrollment Programs
  • Freshmen Declaration Expected

Students in good standing who are interested in a flexible declaration program can find information about transferring to:

Additional resources for transferring out of the college:



In compliance with Title IX regulations, the College of Engineering has a grievance procedure to handle student complaints.