Frequently Asked Questions


This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

A course I want to enroll in is closed or waitlisted. Any suggestions?

While we can offer some general advice for proceeding with waitlisted or closed courses, we do not have control over closed courses nor waitlists. We also cannot grant any enrollment permissions for classes. Each academic department (e.g., Computer Sciences, Political Science, etc.) manages access to their courses.

For courses that have a waitlist option, we recommend adding yourself to the waitlist (more information about waitlists on this page).

If you have additional questions or concerns about this, you will want to contact the appropriate academic department.

I have an enrollment hold on my account. How do I remove it?

AAS advisors do not place nor remove enrollment holds. In most cases, you will need to contact whichever unit/department initiated the hold (e.g., Housing, Office of Student Financial Aid, etc.). You can find who placed the hold, as well as how to contact them, in your Student Center.

Remember to complete your pre-enrollment checklist before enrolling every semester. If you do not, a hold will be placed on your enrollment until you do so. Once you complete it, that hold will automatically be removed.

If you are receiving “validation” errors in Course Search & Enroll about holds, and you are sure you do not have a hold after checking your Student Center, go ahead and try enrolling and/or follow the “revalidation” steps outlined here.

For questions about AlcoholEdu, U Got This!, and Our Wisconsin online programs, including questions about holds, please contact:

Our Wisconsin:
U Got This!:

I have an enrollment hold saying that I need to declare a major but I am not yet eligible to declare. What do I do?

The Mandatory Major Declaration (MMD) hold is placed when an L&S student has reached senior standing (86 credits) and has not yet declared a major. If you are unable to declare your major due to prerequisites, etc., we recommend connecting with the advisor(s) for that particular major to discuss your next steps towards declaration. Once you work out a path forward with the major advisor(s), they can request your hold be removed by e-mailing L&S Academic Deans Services ( You can find contact information for major advisors in the Guide. If you are unable to connect with your intended major’s advisor, please contact your assigned academic advisor.

I have a question about AlcoholEdu, U Got This!, or Our Wisconsin online programs. Who should I contact?

For questions about AlcoholEduU Got This!, and Our Wisconsin online programs, including questions about holds, please contact:

Our Wisconsin:
U Got This!:

Why am I getting an error message in Course Search & Enroll?

There could be a number of reasons why you may be seeing an enrollment error. This “Common Issues and Error Messages” page is a good resource for understanding what those messages mean. It also offers some helpful advice for how to move forward if you receive an enrollment error.


Where can I find semester deadlines?

If I drop a course, there will be a “DR” notation on my transcript. Is that bad?

A “DR” notation is a neutral academic record that a course was dropped. It is not an indication of a student’s success or failure in a course and having a few “DRs” on your transcript over a four- to five-year period is not significant. You can learn more on this DR policy webpage.

It is past the final course drop deadline. Is it still possible to drop a class?

After the final drop deadline (term deadlines), courses can only be dropped in extremely unusual circumstances and only with the approval of an L&S academic dean. You can find more information about late drops on this page.

Is it OK if I drop below 12 credits (full-time student status) in the fall or spring semester?

Maybe. Full-time enrollment means being enrolled in at least 12 credits during the fall/spring semester. Sometimes students are required to attend full-time based on visa status, association with athletics, financial aid, etc. If you are receiving financial aid, we recommend checking in with the Office of Student Financial Aid to make sure that dropping below full-time status would not impact your eligibility. We also recommend connecting with your academic advisor to discuss how taking courses part-time for a semester might impact degree progression. Additionally, it is a good idea to check in with any other campus commitments you may have (i.e. student organizations, UW Housing (if living on campus), campus jobs, etc.) to see if any of those commitments require being full-time. To be eligible for the L&S Deans List, for example, students must be enrolled in at least 12 credits. Many students do take less than 12 credits during the fall/spring semesters without any issue, though it will be your responsibility to make sure there are no reasons you need to be enrolled full-time.

I need help adding/dropping/swapping, etc. courses. Are there any online tutorials to help with this?

The Office of the Registrar has a number of online tutorials for using the Course Search & Enrollment app. If you are still having troubles after looking over these tutorials, we encourage you to connect with your Academic Advisor.

Can I take a course as Pass/Fail (P/F)?

Maybe. There are some restrictions to which courses can be taken as P/F. It’s a good idea to look over this page on P/F policy as a starting point and let your advisor know if you have questions. Note that P/F should not be confused with SD/UD disruption grades, which were grading options that were available for the spring 2020 and spring 2021 terms.

Can a course count towards multiple L&S Breadth requirements?

No. While a course can count towards both General Education and an L&S Breadth category (i.e., Ethnic Studies and Social Sciences), a class cannot count towards two L&S Breadth categories. For example, if a course is listed in the enrollment app as “humanities,social sciences,” it will count towards one of those categories, not both. We encourage you to check your DARS after enrolling to verify how the course is counting towards your degree. If you have more questions about this, connect with your assigned academic advisor.


This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

How do I declare a major/certificate?

All majors and certificates must be declared through their respective academic departments. Steps to declare may vary and you can find specific declaration instructions for each major & certificate in the Guide. Locate the major/certificate you wish to declare and click on the “how to get in” heading.

I am a prospective/newly admitted UW-Madison student. Can I meet with an AAS advisor to discuss L&S academics?

For newly admitted students, if your questions are primarily about course selection and academic options, we will go over this at SOAR and you will be meeting with an academic advisor then. We generally do not meet with incoming students before SOAR, since we will not have all the necessary academic records to properly advise before then. SOAR also includes specific programming and resources to support course selection and registration.

Prior to academic advising at SOAR, we encourage prospective/admitted students to attend one of UW’s prospective/admitted student events and information sessions that take place throughout the year.

If you have additional questions, please e-mail

Can I be assigned an AAS advisor if I am not currently assigned to AAS?

To request an AAS advisor assignment, please carefully read over the guidelines on our advisor assignment request page and, if appropriate, submit the advisor assignment request form.

Can someone else come with me to my advising appointment?

Yes. Though please note that, following FERPA guidelines, we will need you and anyone joining you to sign a release form before the appointment.

What is L&S Academic Advising 101? And do I need to complete it?

L&S Academic Advising 101 is an online tutorial students can complete in Canvas. It provides important information for new students to UW-Madison, including details about enrollment procedures and tutorials on important academic tools to help with degree progression. As such, we ask that all L&S AAS students in their first year at UW-Madison complete it by the designated deadlines.

Where can I find more information about L&S degree requirements?

Your AAS advisor is a great resource if you have questions about degree requirements. In addition to your advisor, the L&S Guide provides helpful outlines of degree and major requirements. You will also find information about the L&S degree on page 5 of the L&S SOAR handbook. You can also run a DARS report to see how you are progressing towards those degree requirements (see below).

How do I run a What-If DARS?

The Office of the Registrar has a number of tutorials on how to access and understand a DARS report. If you have access to our online Canvas course, L&S Advising 101, you will also find DARS tutorials in Module 3.

What does it mean to be on academic probation? And how do I clear it?

Academic Probation is a warning system that is meant to help students take steps to improve their academic standing. If you find yourself on academic probation, we highly encourage you to connect with your academic advisor to discuss your situation, campus resources, and steps for moving forward. You can learn more about probation policy on this L&S academic probation policy webpage.

I'm thinking about taking a course at another institution. Would those credits transfer back to UW-Madison?

Maybe. To determine how those credits might transfer, Credit Evaluation Services’ webpage on transfer credit is a good place to start. It’s also a good idea to connect with your assigned academic advisor to discuss your plans.

Campus Resources

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

I’m having a difficult time in one or more of my courses. Where can I find more information about academic support and tutoring?

UW’s Academic Support website is a great place to start. If you have more concerns about any of your courses, it’s also a good idea to connect with your instructors and your academic advisor.

Where can L&S students access career advising?

There are a number of career advising resources available to L&S students:

  • L&S SuccessWorks helps L&S students with getting jobs, internships, or into grad school. Through one-on-one career advising, events, and resources, they help students explore career options, create application materials, build experiences while at UW-Madison, and get the opportunities they want when they are ready.
  • The Career Exploration Center (CEC) helps students who are unsure about which major and/or career fields might interest them.
  • Some major departments also offer their own career advising resources, so it is also a good idea to check your major’s Guide page.

What advising resources are available to Pre-Health and Pre-Law students?

The Center for Pre-Health Advising and the Center for Pre-Law Advising are both excellent resources for UW-Madison students.

I’m interested in studying abroad. Where should I start exploring?

UW-Madison’s primary study abroad advising hub is International Academic Programs (IAP) and their website is a good place to start. You might also want to look into IAP’s study abroad Major Advising Pages (MAPs) for your intended major.

Where can I find more about health and wellbeing resources at UW-Madison?

University Health Services (UHS) is the UW–Madison student health center, with the goal of promoting, protecting, and restoring health and well-being through integrated medical, mental health, and prevention services.

I have questions about my F1/J1 visa. Who should I connect with?

International Student Services (ISS) is the best point of contact for all things related to student visas. You can find more information about their advising services on this page.

I am planning to transfer to another institution and they ask for a completed “College Report” to confirm my enrollment at UW-Madison. Who should I contact for help completing that form? 

At UW-Madison, “College Report” forms are completed by the Office of the Registrar.