Identifying A Course Equivalent
The Transfer Information System (TIS) lists transfer equivalencies for most freshman- and sophomore-level courses at institutions in the University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Technical College System. If you plan to take a course at one of these institutions, you can refer to TIS to see how the course will transfer to UW–Madison prior to enrolling in the course.
If you plan to take a course at an out-of-state institution, check our Transfer Equivalency Database (TED) for the school you plan to attend. If your school is listed, you will see how courses from this school transfer to UW–Madison.
If you plan to enroll in a summer course that is not pre-equated on TIS or TED, you may request course equivalencies via the Course Equivalency Service (CES) between March 1 and May 15. You may refer to our Guidelines for Choosing Non-UW–Madison Courses when the Course Equivalency Service is closed.
After using TIS, TED, or the Summer Course Equivalency Service to establish whether a course is transferable, you may need to consult with your academic advisor to determine whether the transferable course work will satisfy particular degree or major requirements.
Transfer Credit Policy
Credit is awarded for college-level course work completed at institutions accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Foreign institutions must be recognized by the Ministry of Education in that country. Courses must be similar in nature, level, and content to a course in our undergraduate curriculum and applicable to one of our academic programs. Continuing education courses, graduate-level courses, and courses that are remedial, technical, vocational, or doctrinal in nature are not transferable.
If a course is transferable based on the criteria listed above, it will transfer either as a direct equivalent to a UW–Madison course or as elective credit within the respective department. Both direct equivalents and elective credits can satisfy general education, degree, and major requirements. For example:
- An introduction to microeconomics course taken at another institution would transfer as a direct equivalent to UW–Madison’s Economics 101 Microeconomics.
- A course such as the Geography of Hawaii taken at a college or university in Hawaii would receive elective credit in geography because UW–Madison does not offer a similar course.
Once your transfer credit has been applied to your record, we will email you with information on how to access it via the My UW student portal. If you wish to appeal the evaluation decision, submit a written request with an explanation of the change you desire and your rationale to Credit Evaluation Services in the Office of the Registrar. You must include a detailed course syllabus with your appeal.
Current UW–Madison students sometimes choose to take courses at other higher education institutions while pursuing their undergraduate degrees here. We do award transfer credit for undergraduates who take courses at other colleges or universities during their summer break. Others choose to leave for a semester, or more, to attend another institution before returning to complete a degree at UW–Madison.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison thanks you for your service and in many cases can award transfer credit for education you received while in the military. Evaluation of transfer credit adheres to the guidelines in the Joint Statement on the Transfer and Award of Credit developed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and the American Council on Education (ACE). Transfer credit may include direct course equivalencies and/or departmental electives for work that is similar in nature, level, and content to a course in our undergraduate curriculum. However, the majority of military credit will transfer as general electives and may not reduce your time to degree. A large number of general electives could negatively impact your financial aid eligibility and your admission to competitive programs with credit limits.
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Joint Services Transcript (JST)
Associate or baccalaureate level academic credit from the JST will be awarded based on American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations and on the nature, level, and content as compared to a course in UW–Madison’s undergraduate curriculum. To have your credits reviewed, please request an official copy of your Joint Services Transcript be sent to UW–Madison.
Community College of the Air Force (CCAF)
Associate or baccalaureate level academic credit from the CCAF transcript will be awarded based on the nature, level, and content as compared to a course in UW–Madison’s undergraduate curriculum.
Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC)
Associate or baccalaureate level academic credit from the DLIFLC transcript will be awarded based on the nature, level, and content as compared to a course in UW–Madison’s undergraduate curriculum.
College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Credit is granted for an exam score of 65 if the examination was taken before the student completed 16 semester hours of college credit (review our CLEP Credit Guide for more details).
DANTES Standardized Subject Tests (DSST)
We do not award transfer credit for DSSTs.
Taking Courses At Two Institutions Concurrently
UW–Madison schools and colleges have rules regarding concurrent enrollment. If you are considering taking a course at another institution while you are enrolled at UW–Madison, check first with your academic advisor or dean. This also applies to online courses.
If you have enrolled in a study abroad program that is not approved by UW–Madison, you will need to apply for reentry admission. You can apply directly through the Student Center in My UW with your NetID and password. Once you have accessed the Student Center, you can find the reentry application under the “Academics” section.
All credit evaluations for study abroad programs that are not approved by UW–Madison should be completed through the International Academic Programs office (IAP). Once you have applied to the foreign institution or sponsoring study abroad program of your choice, you will need to sign up for transfer credit services through IAP. You do not need to be accepted by the non-approved program to begin the sign-up process for credit evaluations. More information about transfer credit services for non-approved programs can be found on the Study Abroad website.
Once you have completed your study abroad program, you will need to send your transcript directly to IAP for evaluation. For questions about processing timelines for your study abroad credits to be visible on your DARS report, please contact IAP directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reentry and Study Abroad
If you plan to leave UW–Madison for a semester or more to take courses elsewhere (either at a US or foreign institution), you will need to submit a reentry application prior to returning to UW–Madison. Get more information on reentry admissions and transfer credit for reentry students. Students who study abroad through a UW–Madison sponsored program do not need to apply for reentry admission.