University of Wisconsin–Madison

High School Students

Qualified high school juniors and seniors may apply for admission to UW-Madison as a University Special student to enroll in one course per term for which they may earn high school credit, post-secondary credit, or both.

Read below about the options for high school students to apply and enroll as a University Special student to earn credit.

Contact us:

Adult Career and Special Student Services
highschoolcredit@dcs.wisc.edu
608-263-6960

Already admitted?

Visit our Orientation and Enrollment page for next steps!

 

Early College Credit Program

New for fall 2018, Wisconsin’s Early College Credit Program (ECCP) is available to Wisconsin public and private high school juniors and seniors for fall, spring, and summer terms. Under ECCP, the cost of tuition for approved courses is shared among the school district or private school, the state, and in some cases the students.

  • Admissions eligibility requirements
    1. Be a high school junior or senior with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.000 (overall and in the most recent semester).
    2. Attend a Wisconsin public or private high school.
    3. Have support for your academic plan from your high school guidance counselor or principal, and district (for public schools).
  • Application process

    Complete steps 1 & 2 by the following deadlines:

    • March 1 for summer/fall term
    • Oct 1 for spring term

    1. Talk with your high school guidance counselor to see if ECCP is a good fit for you. Your counselor will consider how the class aligns with your academic plans and whether you meet the prerequisites for taking a college-level class.

    2. Obtain an ECCP participation form from your high school guidance counselor or download the PDF, and submit the completed form to your school officials.

    Complete steps 3 & 4 by the following deadlines:

    • Jun 15 for fall term
    • Dec 1 for spring term
    • May 1 for summer term (**Note: summer enrollment begins in early April, so submit your application as early as possible.)

    3. Apply to UW-Madison as a University Special student using the University Special student application (select High School student – UNHS as your student type).

    4. Submit the following materials via email to advising@dcs.wisc.edu:

    1. Your most recent, unofficial high school transcript
    2. An unofficial copy of your AP Calculus B/C exam score of a 4 or higher
      • This score is only needed for students intending to enroll in Math 234
  • Tuition and fees

    All student enrollment generates a tuition bill. Billing will depend on the type of credit you will be earning (high school, post-secondary, or both). You will receive an eBill  to notify you of the amount of tuition being charged. School districts won’t receive their  tuition statements until near the drop deadline, so your eBill may not reflect their portion as paid.

    Please keep in mind the following:

    • You are responsible for purchasing any textbooks or class supplies that are required for your course and should contact your school district about reimbursement.
    • If you enroll in a course that was not approved by your school district, you are responsible for paying 100% of the tuition and fees as well as any penalties that may accrue due to late enrollment or late payment.

    Your admission letter will indicate whether you are a Wisconsin resident for tuition purposes. If you have questions about your residency status, contact the residency office at res4tuition@em.wisc.edu or 608-262-1355. To check current per credit rates visit the registrar’s fee page.

High School Special

The High School Special option (formerly the Traditional Program) is available to public and private high school juniors and seniors for fall, spring, and summer terms. Students pay full tuition and fees.

  • Admissions eligibility requirements
    1. Be a high school junior or senior with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.000 (overall and in the most recent semester).
    2. Attend a public or private high school.
    3. Receive a recommendation for admission from your high school counselor or principal and their support of your enrollment plan.
  • Application process
    1. Apply to UW-Madison as a University Special student using the University Special student application (select High School student – UNHS as your student type).
    2. Submit the following materials via email to advising@dcs.wisc.edu:
      1. A completed High School Special student agreement form
        • When completing this form be sure to select High School Special (NOT Early College Credit Program)
        • Note: School district approval is NOT required
      2. Your most recent, unofficial high school transcript
      3. A letter of recommendation from your high school counselor or principal
      4. An unofficial copy of your AP Calculus B/C exam score of a 4 or higher
        • This score is only needed for students intending to enroll in Math 234

    Complete all steps of the application process (listed above) by following deadlines:

    • Jun 15 for fall term
    • Dec 1 for spring term
    • May 1 for summer term (**Note: summer enrollment begins in early April, so submit your application as early as possible.)
  • Tuition and fees

    After you enroll in a class, you will receive an eBill notification to your @wisc.edu email; you can view the eBill in your MyUW Student Center.  Your bill will indicate your tuition due date which is typically two weeks after you enroll.

    Your letter of admission will indicate whether you are a Wisconsin resident for tuition purposes.  If you have questions about your residency status, please contact the residency office at res4tuition@em.wisc.edu or 608-262-1355. Visit the registrar’s fee page for the most current tuition rates per credit.

     

Specialized Summer Programs

UW-Madison hosts a variety of specialized summer programs for high school students to earn college credit. These specialized programs are NOT open to everyone, and each program has very specific eligibility criteria.

Interested students should contact the individual programs to learn more about eligibility requirements, tuition costs and fees, programmatic details and next steps. ACSSS is merely the admitting office for these students.

  • LEAP Forward Internship

    Learn, Experience, Advance, and Participate within the LEAP Forward Internship program. LEAP Forward is a 6-week, paid internship hosted by UW-Madison in collaboration with the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and the Personalized Pathways efforts. Rising high school juniors in the Madison Metropolitan School District with an interest in the Health Sciences field will gain hands-on experience at Health Sciences internship sites across UW-Madison’s campus. LEAP Forward Interns will also be exposed to the wealth of opportunities that exists for them beyond high school.

    Eligibility: preselected high school students in the Madison Metropolitan School District

    Application process

    1. Preselected students should complete the University Special student online application by May 1.
      • Select High School student (UNHS) as your student type and LEAP Forward as the program that you intend to participate in
      • Respond to all items to avoid delays in processing your application
    2. Work with the program to complete a Parent/Guardian Consent form. The program will submit this consent form and your most recent high school transcript to our office on your behalf.

    For additional information please visit the LEAP Forward website or contact the program at leapforward@em.wisc.edu / 608-262-3060.

  • Precollege Summer Arts Intensive

    Rising high school juniors and seniors will explore art and experience college life in Imaging Self: School of Education Precollege Summer Arts Intensive, a for-credit, residential course at UW-Madison. Students will study visual art, dance, or theater and drama with world-class faculty and learn about themselves through artistic expression and interactions with practicing artists. This is a unique chance to earn 3 college credits, improve communication and writing skills, develop a portfolio, and prepare for college while living on campus for three weeks.

    Eligibility: current high school sophomores and juniors (entering junior or senior year in the fall)

    Application process

    1. Interested students should complete the University Special student online application
      • Select High School student (UNHS) as your student type and Precollege Summer Arts Intensive as the program that you intend to participate in
      • Respond to all items to avoid delays in processing your application
    2. Submit the following materials via email to advising@dcs.wisc.edu

    The deadline to apply is May 1. Use this guide to help you navigate the application process.

    You will be notified via email of your admission decision within 2 weeks of receiving your application materials.

    For additional information about the program, please visit the Summer Term website or contact Maria Vishnevsky at maria.vishnevsky@wisc.edu.

  • Science Research Internship

    The Science Research Internship program is a partnership between the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Students are partnered with researchers at UW-Madison in order to provide them with an authentic science research experience. During the following fall semester, interns design a scientific poster to communicate their findings to a larger audience. These are presented during a poster session for associates from the university, teachers, friends, and family.

    Eligibility: Preselected high school students in the Madison Metropolitan School District

    Application process

    1. Preselected students should complete the University Special student online application
      • Select High School student (UNHS) as your student type and Summer Science Research Internship as the program that you intend to participate in
      • Respond to all items to avoid delays in processing your application
    2. Submit the following materials via email to advising@dcs.wisc.edu

    The deadline to apply is May 1.

    For additional information please visit the MMSD SRI website or contact Ryan King at sriprogram@madison.k12.wi.us.

Youth Options and Course Options - discontinued

Spring 2018 was the final term for Youth Options and Summer 2018 the final term for Course Options. The new Early College Credit Program (ECCP) legislation replaces both Youth Options and Course Options starting with the fall 2018 term.

Before applying, please consider:

Enrolling in a college course at UW-Madison as a high school student is not to be taken lightly — it’s a big commitment and requires a lot of responsibility. Please carefully consider if taking a class at UW-Madison is right for you at this time. Review the following items to get a better understanding of what it means to be a High School Special student.

  • Commute time

    Depending on where your high school is located, getting to and from campus can take a considerable amount of time. Parking is often difficult to find so build in time for finding a spot (if you intend to drive) and getting to your class from parking. Most courses involve both lecture and discussion and/or lab sections which may meet at different times of day so you’ll want to factor this in as well.

  • Enrollment not guaranteed

    High school University Special students are in the last group of students to enroll in courses; priority is given to degree-seeking students even when enrolling from a wait list. Final enrollment status may not be determined until after the first week of classes. There is no guarantee you will be able to get a spot in a class.

  • Final exams

    Final exams are usually scheduled outside of regular class time. Refer to course details in the Schedule of Classes to ensure you are available for final exams.

  • UW-Madison transcript

    As an enrolled high school student you earn university credit and establish a permanent UW-Madison record. The GPA earned from coursework completed as a high school University Special student would be applied to your undergraduate GPA should you attend UW-Madison as a degree-seeking student in the future.

    Courses taken as a University Special student become part of the permanent University record and may affect subsequent admission to post secondary institutions. A poor or incomplete grade could have a negative impact on a future admission decision.

  • Rights and responsibilites

    Once enrolled, you have all the rights of University students as well as the responsibilities including meeting deadlines for enrollment, adding and dropping courses, and withdrawing. The current Schedule of Classes has deadline information. For questions regarding University Special student policy, contact ACSSS.

Student working with a tutor
  • Meetings outside of class

    Some courses require student group meetings outside of class time which may include evenings. If you have other evening activities and/or live a considerable distance from campus, you’ll want to keep this in mind when deciding if taking a class will work for you.

  • Certain courses rarely available

    Due to high demand from degree-seeking students, the availability of certain courses is limited. Languages, computer science, and sciences are a few examples of the types of classes that are often in high demand from degree-seeking students.

  • Grades

    Enrolled high school students are expected to fully participate in classes and are graded on par with their undergraduate classmates.

  • Placement tests

    Placement tests are available for math and foreign language to help you determine what level course is appropriate for you. For math placement testing, see Testing and Evaluation. For language placement testing, see Languages at UW-Madison. You may also need to work with advisors in the math or foreign language departments to determine the correct placement based upon previous coursework you may have had.

  • Student privacy rights

    Student Privacy Rights (FERPA) rules apply to ALL University students. Communication is expected from students (not parents), and is restricted by law in regards to student record, including course schedule. This includes communicating with faculty, teaching assistants, advisors, and deans.