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Transfer Students: Thinking of coming to UW-Madison?

Since transfer students also have to fulfill the General Education Requirements, you should review the requirements (both the basic requirements and any additional requirements imposed by the schools or colleges they are entering). 

Students who are considering applying to UW-Madison are encouraged to visit the Office of Admissions and Recruitment's website. Also, students may contact the Transfer Transition Program for pre-transfer advising services. Students transferring from University of Wisconsin System or Wisconsin Technical College System institutions may refer to the Transfer Information System to see how specific courses transfer to UW-Madison.

If you have questions about the General Education Requirements, please feel free to review the materials on this site to learn more.  You may also want to contact the School or College to which you are applying. 

Information for Students who have already transferred to UW-Madison

Students who have already transferred to UW-Madison are probably already aware that each transfer course is evaluated on an individual basis. To inform yourself about your status, you should be aware of the following documentation:

  • Evaluation of Transfer Credits. For a few students who transfer to UW-Madison, something called the “matriculation date,” or, the date the student first entered college, matters. This date determines whether students are subject to the General Education requirements. Students who matriculated before the implementation of the General Education requirements are exempt, and they will see an exemption action on their credit evaluation.

  • Once transfer courses have been evaluated and equated to UW-Madison courses, in general, if the transfer course is found to be equivalent to a UW-Madison course, it will count in the same way as its UW-Madison equivalent. Thanks to this strategy, students and advisors can use the “Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) to determine which General Education Requirements have been met, and which requirements still need to be completed. 
  • In rare cases, students may ask that transfer courses be re-evaluated. Students and advisors seeking this should remember that courses meeting the University General Education requirements have been carefully curated: there are often specific learning outcomes and content guidelines established for these courses, and faculty committees review course syllabi and oversee assessment procedures to be sure those learning outcomes and criteria are met. This helps to ensure that the learning outcomes for UW-Madison’s General Education program are being honored, particularly in areas where the program has a unique approach. For this reason, we have found that it is highly unusual for transfer courses to satisfy the Communication B requirement unless the course specifically includes a substantial focus on writing instruction in the context of a discipline; it is also rare for transfer courses to support all of the learning goals and content requirements of the Ethnic Studies Requirement.

Each year, students who have satisfied their Communication A requirement with transfer courses (or AP credit) are strongly encouraged to complete the UW-Madison Libraries Sift & Winnow: Libraries@UW tutorial and use student self-enroll directions. This interactive tutorial helps orient students to the campus library systems and it also helps support students information literacy and critical thinking skills, including learning about our “information ecosystem,” scholarly  communication, information-seeking strategies, refining search strategies, evaluating search results, and getting help from research librarians. Since many UW-Madison courses depend upon excellent research via our libraries, databases, learning tools, and expert staff, it’s important that students know how to use these learning centers!