The online-only University Special student classification is for students who are:
- non-Wisconsin residents (classified as such for tuition purposes)
- not currently in a degree program at UW–Madison
- planning to enroll in stand-alone online courses (see Non-eligible course section of this page) for which they meet the prerequisites.
- contingent on consent of an advisor in the office of Adult Career and Special Student Services (ACSSS)
- for one term only—enrollment in subsequent terms may be possible with the consent of an ACSSS advisor.
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Only *non-Wisconsin residents may apply and applications are welcome from students worldwide. There is no application fee. Apply using the University Special student application at least one month before the start of the term as it can take two to three weeks to review and process an application. UNOL is the designation on the application.
Additional application materials:
- Undergraduates who are applying in the UNOL classification are required to submit official transcripts from all other colleges and universities to confirm good standing and a minimum GPA of 2.0 cumulative and in the most recent semester. Submit transcripts to Adult Career and Special Student Services.
- Qualified high school juniors and seniors who are applying in the UNOL classification are required to submit a high school transcript with a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 overall and in the most recent semester. Submit transcripts to Adult Career and Special Student Services.
- Baccalaureate degree holders who are applying in the UNOL classification do not need to submit transcripts.
- Non-native speakers of English and those who have not recently studied at a university where English was the language of instruction must provide language proficiency scores.
Tuition for UNOL students is currently assessed at $500 per credit regardless of residency, and students are restricted to taking only 6 credits per term. UNOL students do not pay segregated fees as part of their payment and are thus ineligible for any services provided by those fees.
In addition to tuition, the Registrar’s Office will charge students a one-time official document fee of $130 to cover future transcript requests and other documents.
Those students who are current residents of Wisconsin for tuition purposes and who wish to study online should choose from other University Special student classifications as per credit fees are lower than the UNOL rate and include segregated fees which provide access to on-campus services.
Admission is contingent on consent of an advisor in the office of Adult Career and Special Student Services. Admission is for one term only, however enrollment in subsequent terms may be possible with the consent of an advisor in the office of Adult Career and Special Student Services.
Enrollment is not guaranteed and is contingent on there being a space available in the class after degree students have enrolled, completion of all course prerequisites, and consent of the instructor to enroll in a particular section.
Enrollment is limited to 6-credits per term.
UNOL is a one-term only classification. If a student wants to continue beyond the first term, they will need to consult with an ACSSS advisor to see if continuing is appropriate.
Eligible courses include stand-alone UW–Madison online classes that are not affiliated with existing university programs such as (this is not an inclusive list):
- Capstone certificate courses
- Summer intensive language institutes
- Visiting International Student Program
- Early College Credit Program
- certain degree tracks
For questions about eligibility of a specific course, please contact Adult Career and Special Student Services.
Searching for online courses
UW–Madison Public Course Search and Enroll app can help you find online courses at UW–Madison. Select term and ‘Mode of Instruction’ to find ‘Online only’ courses.