SOAR Advising Groups

SOAR Advising Groups are designed to provide you with the advising and enrollment experience that best meets your needs right now. Throughout your SOAR advising experience, you will learn about being a student at UW-Madison and enroll in your first semester classes.

When you make a SOAR reservation, the system will ask you questions that will help choose your SOAR Advising Group.

Below is a list of your SOAR Advising Group Options, as well as some steps to help you make your decision. Remember, SOAR advising is just your first step, and you can continue to talk with advisors from other groups throughout your time at UW.



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Step 1: Explore majors

View a list of undergraduate majors along with their school or college. You can also use the Academic Guide to browse the majors and filter by areas of interest.If you are decided about your major or the school/college you want to work with, skip to step #3.

Step 2: Check - Are you undecided or exploring?

If you want to explore majors and careers before making a decision, you can choose to work with Cross-College Advising Service (CCAS).

Work with Cross-College Advising Service if you are undecided or exploring majors across more than one school or college.

If you are undecided and exploring majors in the same school or college, choose that school or college.

Step 3: Check - Are you in a limited enrollment program?

The SOAR Group options below are only available for students who have applied/auditioned and have already been directly admitted.

If you are interested in one of these programs and have not been directly admitted, please choose the next SOAR Advising Group that best meets your interests and goals, or work with the Cross-College Advising Service to explore majors and discuss options.

Step 4: Check - Are you considering a graduate-level professional program?

New students considering professional programs (i.e. medical school, law school, veterinary school, dental school, occupational therapy or physical therapy programs, etc) can major in any area of study and successfully achieve these professional goals. Major in a field that truly interests you! We encourage you to select an advising group which most closely aligns with your major interests for your bachelor degree.

Depending on your undergraduate academic goals, there is a possible exception to keep in mind:

Pharmacy – Students exploring pharmacy or who are interested in taking the “fast track” into the professional PharmD program after completion of 2-3 years of prerequisite coursework should consider working with our School of Pharmacy at SOAR, which is home to our pre-pharmacy advising program.

In addition to being assigned to an academic advisor in your selected major(s), students interested in health professional programs or law school will work with advisors in the Center for Pre-Health Advising (CPHA) and the Center for Pre-Law Advising (CPLA) throughout your undergraduate careers to help ou reach your professional goals. Make sure to visit CPHA and CPLA at the SOAR Resource Fair!

Step 5: Make your SOAR reservation!

You are now ready to make your SOAR Reservation!

SOAR Advising Group Options

Cross-College Advising Service (CCAS)

CCAS is an advising office for students who want to explore the many academic opportunities on campus before deciding on a major. CCAS advisors are knowledgeable about all majors offered by the University. Each year, CCAS advisors work with approximately one-third of the students in the entering class. Students who are undecided about majors within the College of Letters and Science should advise with CCAS at SOAR.

CCAS also works with students whose primary interest is pursuing admission to the College of Engineering, but were not directly admitted to Engineering prior to SOAR.

For more information, visit

The Mead Witter School of Music

The Mead Witter School of Music offers professional Bachelor of Music degrees as well as a liberal arts major that allows students to combine a Music major with any undergraduate degree at UW. Music majors can choose to focus on classical instrumental or vocal performance, music education (educator certification program), jazz studies, or music composition. Students who auditioned for and have been admitted to the School of Music should select this option for SOAR, even if they plan to earn another major and/or have been admitted to the L&S Honors Program. Students considering music education who are not already admitted to the School of Music should advise with the College of Letters & Science (L&S).

For more information, visit

College of Engineering

The College of Engineering offers twelve undergraduate degree programs for students who wish to make the world a better place through innovative leadership, effective communication, and creative problem solving to tackle society’s grand challenges. You will apply your comprehensive strengths in math, physics, chemistry, additional science and liberal art disciplines to solve practical problems in traditional fields as well as in emerging fields such as nanotechnology, sustainability and renewable energy. Engineering is a limited-enrollment program. Students who were directly admitted to an engineering program should advise with the College of Engineering at SOAR.

Students are also encouraged to visit our web site for a list of degree offerings and detailed degree requirements:

College of Letters & Science (L&S) Honors

The Letters & Science Honors Program supports students who have successfully applied to and been admitted to the L&S Honors Program. First-year L&S Honors students have diverse interests, can be either decided or undecided about their intended major(s), and can take advantage of a variety of programs and certificates across campus while pursuing an Honors degree.

For more information, visit

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS)

The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) offers 24 majors and degree programs focusing on food and agriculture, bioenergy, health and wellness, the environment, and community development. Our academic programs prepare students for careers in all areas of healthcare, research, or going into industry. CALS advisors work with students who are exploring within our college or the biosciences, and any student who is decided on their major in CALS.

For more information visit

CALS welcomes and encourages students who are really interested in biosciences, but still exploring a major to join us at SOAR.

Wisconsin School of Business

The Wisconsin School of Business is a limited enrollment, competitive admission program dedicated to creating a learning environment that responds to the needs of a multicultural society, prepares students for good citizenship in a global economy, and promotes socially responsible and ethical behavior. The curriculum fosters the development of analytical, consultative, communication, leadership, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. Undergraduate business students may choose from 11 majors and a language certificate. Students already admitted to the program through the direct admission process must select this advising option for SOAR. Students interested in applying to the Wisconsin School of Business through the pre-business process once on campus should also select this option for SOAR.

For more information, visit

School of Education

The School of Education offers a wide variety of academic majors/programs including:

  • Education – Elementary Education, Special Education, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Art Education, Music Education, and Physical Education.
  • The Arts – Art, Dance, and Theatre and Drama.
  • Pre-Health – Health Promotion and Health Equity, Kinesiology, and Rehabilitation Psychology.

Prospective students are encouraged to see this website for a list of program offerings and links to detailed program requirements and admission information:

School of Human Ecology (SoHE)

SoHE combines science, creativity and curiosity to improve the quality of human life and formulate new solutions to some of life’s oldest problems. Our students become leaders in multiple industries, building on their understanding of the entire human ecology – individuals, families, communities, and the marketplace.

Find a major in Personal Finance, Consumer Behavior and Marketplace Studies, Interior Architecture, Textiles and Fashion Design, Human Development and Family Studies, or Community and Nonprofit Leadership.

For more information, visit

College of Letters & Science

The College of Letters & Science (L&S) is our liberal arts college and is the home for half of our undergraduates. Our size benefits students in countless ways; and we offer programs and opportunities that will bring you close to people and ideas. Courses offered span the entire spectrum of subjects in the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. These courses provide the foundation of a liberal arts education that allows you to develop breadth of knowledge and skills in a variety of subjects, as well as depth in your chosen major. And, a majority of employers are looking for graduates with this broadening form of education.

L&S embraces the value of exploration. That is why about two-thirds of students admitted to L&S explore majors with Cross-College Advising Service (CCAS). Students who are exploring majors within L&S should seek advising with CCAS. Students who have already decided on an L&S major should seek advising with College of Letters and Science.

For more information, visit

School of Nursing

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program prepares students for professional nursing careers. It is a limited-enrollment program with a separate, competitive application process. Students apply to the nursing school during their sophomore year to begin the two-year nursing major their junior year. At SOAR, nursing advisors will help students select first-year courses, while also reviewing the admission criteria and application process for the nursing school.

For more information, visit

School of Pharmacy

The goal of the School of Pharmacy is to enhance the quality of life through the discovery, development, and appropriate use of medications. Both of our degree programs combine mathematics, chemistry, and biology. If you are interested in these subjects and would like to use them to enhance your ability to treat others and cure disease, consider the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program, a professional degree for students who would like to become pharmacists. Also consider the B.S. Pharmacology & Toxicology program, a science major degree for students who want to learn more about both the beneficial and adverse effects of chemicals and medications. Students interested in applying for the School of Pharmacy should select this option for SOAR.

Students who have applied and been admitted to the PharmD Early Assurance program are strongly encouraged choose the School of Pharmacy for their SOAR advising program.

For more information, visit


More About Your SOAR Advising Group

During your SOAR Advising experience you will:

  • Meet your SOAR advisor
  • Discuss your previous academic experiences
  • Share your academic and career interests
  • Learn more about the requirements for earning a UW-Madison degree
  • Learn more about the requirements for starting your major, or how to strategically choose courses to help you decide on a major
  • By the end of SOAR, you will enroll or sign up for classes for your first semester

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What if I don't know what I want to major in?

It’s perfectly normal, and common, to arrive at SOAR without having decided on a major, particularly for new freshman.

Many students are excited about many interests and subjects. Sometimes students know the general industry they want to pursue, but they want to learn more about their options before declaring a major.

Advisors at UW Madison are able to help you no matter where you are in the decision-making process – and they will be with you every step of the way!

If you want to explore majors and careers before making a decision, you can choose to work with Cross-College Advising Service (CCAS) at SOAR.

Can I change my SOAR Advising Group?

Generally, yes. However, you cannot change to a group that is reserved for admitted students (Music, Engineering, Letters & Science Honors) unless you were admitted to the program.

Can I change my major after SOAR?

Yes, you can change your major at any time when you return to UW-Madison after SOAR.

It’s perfectly normal and common to change your mind. UW-Madison has over 232 major and certificate options, some you may have never heard of!

As you learn more about your interests and create your career goals, you might decide to switch majors. Advisors will help you make sure everything is in order before you switch.

Learn more about Declaring Your Major.