There is no one standard “roadmap” for all students. Your journey at UW-Madison will depend on a number of factors, including your personal and professional goals, your graduation timeline, your majors and interests, what you hope to get out of the experience, as well as other commitments related to family or work.
The information below is meant to give you a general sense of the components that can be part of a four-year college experience – it is not meant to be a checklist. Rather, it is meant to be used as a conversation starting point as you work with your advisors to develop your unique Wisconsin Experience.
- Attend Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR), meet your advisor, and register for your first semester classes.
- Sign up for a Residential Learning Community or a First-Year Interest Group (FIGS).
- Explore majors at the annual fall Majors Fair or attend a workshop at the Career Exploration Center.
- Activate your UW Handshake account to connect to your career center, explore career paths, and register for career events or workshops on campus.
- Find community by getting involved with a student organization, or by checking out the Multicultural Student Center, the Black Cultural Center, or the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center.
- Check out campus academic resources (like tutoring, libraries, and the DesignLab).
- Ask any questions you have about scholarships or Student Financial Aid.
- Meet with your advisor to review degree requirements and begin creating your graduation plan (you can do this with or without declaring a major!)
- Meet with your advisor to discuss your degree progress and your bigger picture questions.
- Explore opportunities for study abroad, volunteering or service learning, leadership, or research.
- Meet with your school/college career center, the Career Exploration Center, or other on-campus career resources to begin conversations about your professional development goals.
- Use Handshake to explore students jobs, internships, and co-ops as well as on-campus career events.
- Start exploring graduate school opportunities.
- Get ready to declare your major, or meet with your advisor to explore more ways to test your interests and explore options.
- Check in with Health & Well-Being campus resources like University Health Services, McBurney Disability Resource Center, and Rec Sports.
- Ask your advisor if Summer Term courses make sense for your interests, goals, and graduation timeline.
- If you are undeclared, meet with your advisor to discuss your plans for declaring a major.
- Meet with your advisor to review your graduation plan, and check your degree progress to make sure there are no missing requirements.
- Continue meeting with your school/college career center or other on-campus career resources to continue your professional development (for example, creating or reviewing your resume and cover letter, mock-interviews, building out your Handshake and LinkedIn profiles, creating a portfolio, getting letters of reference, etc.)
- Continue using Handshake to look for students jobs, internships, and co-ops as well as on-campus career events.
- Continue to volunteer or get involved with organizations on campus or in the surrounding community.
- Meet with your major advisor(s) and certificate advisor(s) to confirm you have completed or scheduled all degree requirements.
- Apply for graduation.
- Meet with your school/college career center or other on-campus career resources to talk about your plans for after graduation.
- Join Badger Bridge to stay connected with other alumni and be a resource for future Badgers!