University of Wisconsin–Madison
Providing central coordination for the undergraduate advising and career services communities

General Guidance

Top updates

Updated Deadlines for Fall 2020 (updated 9/10/2020)

The deadline for students to drop a course or withdraw from the university without having the course or courses appear on their transcript has been changed from September 9th to September 11th, to align with the 100% tuition refund deadline. See all updated dates & deadlines

Fall 2020 Advising Modality Guidance (updated 7/20/2020)

Our academic advisors do extraordinary work at UW-Madison. Advisors often form crucial relationships with our students that contribute critically to the academic and life success of our students. We expect the demand for academic advising to be very high in the coming months. Hence, we generally recommend that academic advising appointments be conducted virtually now and in the coming semester. In doing so, academic advisers will have the capacity to serve the greatest number of students while following appropriate health and safety protocols, particularly maintaining social distancing requirements. Within this general recommendation, however, colleges, schools and divisions and even individual advisors have the flexibility to do in-person advising if doing so is needed to meet critical programmatic needs, as long as in-person advising adheres to all State of Wisconsin, Dane County and campus public health guidance. In-person advising will likely require relocating advising offices to spaces where distancing can be maintained, among other changes in normal practice.

This recommendation is unrelated to the employing unit’s decision on the working location of the academic advisor. It is expected that each unit will make those decisions based on their circumstances and HR policies.

Enrollment guidance (updated 7/16/2020)

Please report issues with fall instructional modality/course access by using this form. The form is designed to provide insight to leaders.  Individual submissions will not receive a direct response.  Individual student issues which need a direct response should be handled in the way you normally would handle them.

Advisors should work with first year students seeking in-person courses to attempt to enroll them in at least one in-person section. They should document in advisor notes that the student did have options and they should report a course access issue through this form if they could not find a viable option.

International Student Reopening Message (updated 6/25/2020)

The following message was sent to all continuing international students and incoming graduate and professional international students. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment is modifying the message to send to incoming undergraduate international students.

Read the full message to continuing international students

International Student Services continues to monitor federal government guidance. Their COVID-19 FAQ page is the best place to start for students and campus.

A Smart Return to Campus for Fall 2020 (updated 6/23/2020)

UW-Madison will welcome students back to campus as scheduled for the start of fall classes on September 2. Read the Chancellor’s full message and visit the Smart Restart website for more information on plans for resuming campus activities.

All students who have already enrolled in fall courses will receive additional information in late July about changes to their course schedule for fall. The times, days, location and modality (in person or remote) may be adjusted. Students will have the opportunity, if desired, to make additional changes after reviewing the new schedule, pending course availability.

We are expecting a surge of student contacts in late July and August as students review their finalized fall course schedule. Updated information will be posted soon about how we are planning to communicate with students.

Advising and career services will continue to engage remotely with students this fall. In-person meetings can be arranged if all parties agree and follow appropriate safety precautions.

Spring 2020 Disruptive Grading Option (updated 4/1/2020)

The University is introducing a special grading option for students in response to the COVID-19 events. This policy applies to undergraduate, graduate, capstone, and special students.  Professional School students should consult forthcoming guidance provided by their Dean. At the end of the Spring 2020 term, students may choose to convert their letter grade in any course to one of two new grades that have been created:

SD (Satisfactory-Disruption) and UD (Unsatisfactory-Disruption).  When students choose this option, their letter grade will be converted to one of the two new grades as described below.  The SD grade will count for all University General Education, degree/major, certificate, and PhD minor requirements and will satisfy future course prerequisites. The UD will not count for any credit.  Neither of the new grades will be included in GPA calculations.

See the full disruptive grading option FAQs

Recording Policy (updated 3/31/2020)

While many platforms being used to hold virtual advising appointments have the capability to record, advisors and career services staff should not record their virtual advising appointments with a student. In the unusual case where a recording is deemed necessary, it should be done with the student’s explicit consent. Any recorded appointment would be an official student record, classified as Restricted Data, and governed by FERPA. Read the full Provisional UW-Madison Online Collaboration Session Recording Policy

Deadline to drop a class (updated 3/17/2020)

The new deadline to drop a class that is offered in the regular, 15-week session is April 17, 2020. For more information, visit Dates & Deadlines with the Office of the Registrar.

Working remotely (updated 3/15/2020)

For information on remote work for your position, please contact your dean, director, or supervisor.

Remote appointments (updated 3/15/2020)

It is expected that advisors, advising units, and career services use remote options for appointments/access during the period in which instruction at UW-Madison will be remote. We do not want to unnecessarily expose staff to illness; therefore, virtual services will be our most viable option.

Appointments should be scheduled using normal methods: Starfish, phone, or in some cases email.