Exchange students can browse potential course listings in the Course Guide and in the public Course Search & Enroll “app”. You will be sent an email from the Office of the Registrar once you are officially accepted for exchange, which will contain an invitation to enroll in courses and a date to enroll.
Your enrollment date will be several months before the start of the semester – in April for fall courses and in November for spring courses. You will be able to enroll in coursework any time after this date and time. As many courses fill up quickly, it is to your advantage to enroll on your enrollment date or as soon as possible afterward. You may enroll for courses online and modify your course schedule through your personal Course Search & Enroll (NetID required) until the deadline to add classes for the term passes.
Some UW–Madison classes are open only to students who have specific qualifications. These conditions are called requisites. Look for requisite information in two places: at the course level (“Prerequisites” in the main course panel) and sometimes at the section level (under “Enrollment Information” in the section detail.) If you plan to take courses with requisites, you will need to receive authorization from the instructor or the department. If you don’t, you’ll get an error message when you try to enroll, and your enrollment in that course will not be successful.
UW-Madison’s Office of the Registrar has excellent information for all students on how to search for courses, enroll, and handle problems like requisites. Be sure to read their Enrollment Help page before you begin searching for classes! This page also has “How to” guides that will help you understand how to complete certain tasks in Course Search & Enroll.
Please note that exchange students are rarely, if ever, allowed to enroll in courses from UW-Madison professional schools (Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Law, Education, etc). Some courses (for example, Economics) are open to exchange students, but are very popular and fill quickly during enrollment time. Within any single department, there may be some courses which are not open to exchange students, or fill entirely with UW-Madison degree-seeking students. Flexibility is key to successful enrollment!
Business Exchange students receive priority enrollment for courses in the Wisconsin School of Business. Therefore, if you are not participating on a Business Exchange Program you may have to wait until after the regular enrollment period is complete or even until you arrive in Madison to enroll in these courses. Many business courses fill up quickly. IAP and Engineering exchange students should not assume they can enroll in business courses when making decisions about whether to attend the UW-Madison exchange program.
Otherwise, exchange students can enroll in any courses at UW-Madison for which they are qualified (completed the course requisites at their home institution) that have open seats available.