UW-Madison has over 230 undergraduate majors and certificates to choose from, and advisors can help you each step of the way, from exploring options, to shaping your college experience with in and out of the classroom opportunities.

See below for more information on exploring or declaring your major, and how to create a plan for graduation.

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What is a major?

A major is a specific area of study to specialize in while in college (like Political Science, Chemistry, or Psychology), that typically consists of 30-40 credits.

What is a certificate?

Certificates at UW-Madison are sometimes compared to “minors” but are not quite the same thing. A certificate can be a course of study that allow students to gain skills or training in a specific subject or can span and integrate multiple subject areas. Certificates are typically between 15-24 credits. You do not need a certificate in order to graduate.

How many credits do I need to complete a major?

You need a minimum of 120 course credits to graduate with a bachelors degree from UW-Madison.

A typical major is about 30-40 credits, but it varies. You can learn more under the Requirements section of each major listed in The Guide.

When do I need to declare a major?

In general, you should be ready to declare a major by the end of your third or fourth semester (usually this is your sophomore year). Some school or colleges will require that you declare once you reach a certain number of course credits.

Exploring Majors & Certificates

There are many ways to explore majors and certificates at UW-Madison. Learn about your options and the resources available to help you make the right choice(s).

Declaring Your Major

Learn about how to declare your major and the ways in which declaring your major can help you progress toward your degree and prepare for life after college.

Staying on Track for Graduation

Information about the benefits, obstacles, and myths surrounding different graduation plans, and how your advisor can support your graduation timeline goals.