Returning Adults at UW-Madison

One of the longest and deepest traditions surrounding the University of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Idea signifies a general principle that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom. Be part of that tradition by expanding your educational experience and returning to school at UW-Madison!

Educational Opportunities

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Undergraduate Degree

Are you a future Badger? Undergraduate admission to UW-Madison is competitive and selective, and the professional admissions counselors review applications using a holistic process. The Office of Admissions and Recruitment is here to assist as you prepare to become a future Badger. Register for an information session and take a tour of campus to explore life as a student. Freshman and transfer admission counselors are available to help you navigate the application and admission process. As a transfer student, the Transfer Transitions Office can assist with additional advising prior to becoming a Badger.

If you have college credit but no degree and it has been a few years since you have been in school, you may want to explore the Badger Ready program. Designed for community adults who may not currently qualify for transfer admission due to previous academic history, this transitional program is for adults 25+ and veterans of any age who typically have a minimum of 24 credits from an accredited institution (excluding UW-Madison) and a cumulative break of at least 2 years. After successfully completing specific academic criteria in the Badger Ready program, participants can be admitted as UW–Madison transfer students. These criteria will likely include, but are not limited to, the completion of at least 12 UW–Madison credits as a University Special student with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA taken over the course of 1-4 semesters.

Graduate Degree

Are you ready to take the next step toward graduate studies at UW-Madison? Whether you are interested in a professional degree, making a greater impact in the world, pursuing a new career, or attaining a personal goal UW-Madison’s Graduate School is here to support you. Graduate admission is a shared process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. While the Graduate School sets minimum admission requirements, academic programs may have additional requirements. As you begin to consider graduate study, be sure to thoroughly research the various degree programs and their individual requirements.

Professional Degrees and Certificates

Online and flexible degrees and certificates available at UW-Madison. Learn more about our Professional Degrees and Certificates.

Professional Program

UW-Madison offers a number of post-baccalaureate professional degrees administered by the individual schools. Do you have aspirations of working in the medical field or becoming a lawyer? There are services to assist you in preparing your transcript, resume, and application to those programs.

Center for Pre-Health Advising

The Center for Pre-Health Advising supports students as they explore graduate and professional programs in healthcare such as Chiropractic, Dentistry, Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, and Veterinary Medicine. They assist with identifying prerequisite coursework, preparing you for involvement in research and service opportunities in addition to providing resources for professional exams and the admissions application process.

Center for Pre-Law Advising

The Center for Pre-Law Advising provides advising and resources to students in the process of considering, preparing for and applying to law school. Learn from experienced professionals to ensure Law School is the right option for you, ways to get involved and suggested Pre-Law coursework. Also, discuss the application requirements such as personal statements, letters of recommendation, resume and not to mention the LSAT.

Special Student

Are you on a path to a UW-Madison degree program but not quite ready to apply for admission personally or academically? Adult Career and Special Student Services hosts University Special (nondegree) students looking to take courses outside a formal degree program. These Special student types range from preparing yourself for undergraduate degree-seeking status, taking prerequisites for a graduate or professional program, or even a Capstone Certificate.

Noncredit/Continuing Education

Everyone can learn at UW-Madison! As a lifelong learner, you are undoubtedly curious about the continuing education options offered through Continuing Studies. No matter your age or interests, everyone is welcome; you do not have to be an alumni or even a college graduate. Whether you are interested in exercising your creativity or training for your job, you will find knowledgeable instructors and a variety of topics ranging from art, writing, languages and music to leadership, management and human services. Courses are affordable, flexible and even offered online if you prefer. Find all the course options, details and registration online.

Online Learning

NEW for fall 2020 UW-Madison’s first online undergraduate degree. Designed for students with some college credit, the online BS in Personal Finance is a flexible option that prepares you for a variety of careers in a growing industry.

Online courses and degree programs can provide the flexibility and convenience you need while juggling the variety of other responsibilities in your life. Find out more about the wide variety of online learning options on our webpage.

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Support Resources

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Financial Assistance

There are a variety of financial resources available to you as a returning adult student. From the Office of Student Financial Aid to tax credits for education to adult awards, grants, and scholarships, we have got you covered!

Orientation - Building Bridges

Are you new to the UW-Madison campus or back after a break from your studies? The Building Bridges orientation will help you learn about campus libraries, student resources, financial resources, and much more! The event is open to all returning adult students newly admitted to undergraduate, special, graduate, or professional studies. Meet fellow adult Badgers and build confidence before the first week of class!

Campus Resources

Take a few moments to look over some additional new student resources once you are admitted to UW-Madison. Review helpful webpages to orient yourself to campus such as obtaining your Wiscard, navigating campus, getting involved and locating additional helpful services.

GUTS Tutoring

The Greater University Tutoring Service (GUTS) connects you directly with volunteer tutors for assistance with your coursework, study skills, conversational English, graduate school preparation and much more! Their tutoring services are free so don’t be shy!

Child Care & Family Resources

Whether you need to locate childcare, have questions about financial assistance or are in need of advice, the Office of Child Care and Family Resources is here to help!

Health Insurance

Do you need health insurance? The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) offers comprehensive health coverage for UW-Madison students and scholars. The plan is available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents, registered at UW-Madison for at least 5 credits as a special or undergraduate student OR 2 credits as a graduate student. Additionally, international students and scholars on any type of non-immigrant visa are also eligible! Check out the SHIP page for benefits and rates!

Academic Advisor

Once you’re admitted to a program, you will be assigned an academic advisor who knows all the details about your program! They can assist with recommending courses, ensure you’re taking them in the right order and answer any questions you have along the way. Make sure you are on track with graduation by meeting with your advisor each semester!