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Incoming Students

Welcome to the Wisconsin School of Business

Start on your path to studying in the U.S. 

Founded in 1900, the Wisconsin School of Business was established as one of the first five business programs in the U.S. That entrepreneurial spirit has remained throughout our history, guiding how we inspire students and the world through our research and learning experiences.

Studying on exchange for a semester in Madison will be a transformative experience that will expand your worldview, engage you in the world of international business, and create a lifetime of memories.

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in studying at the Wisconsin School of Business. If you have been nominated by your home institution, you will receive an email from our office inviting you to complete the application and admission process. 

The application process consists of an online application to WSB Global Programs, an online Special Student application to the University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of Continuing Studies, and uploading supporting application documents. 

A list of the required documents is provided below. Detailed instructions will be provided as part of the application. Several departments are involved, and we will be here to guide you throughout the entire process. 

Application materials are due by March 1 (for fall semester) and October 1 (for spring semester).

Application supporting documents

1. Official home university transcript

2. English proficiency certification: Most students whose home university provides non-English language instruction must submit either TOEFL (95), IELTS (6.5), or DET (115)

3. Copy of your passport ID page

Upload all completed forms to your WSB Global Programs online application by the application deadline. Proof of financial support is also required to qualify for your student visa. Proof of financial support must be in English. You cannot translate the document. If you cannot get the statement in English on your own, your bank should be able to provide a statement in English. After applying to WSB, you will receive instructions to submit documentation to International Student Services (ISS) through TerraDotta (TDS). The application documentation submitted will be used to generate the DS-2019 and other visa documentation, which is one of the documents you will need to bring with you to your visa appointment.


Explore resources from UW Study Abroad.

Health Insurance

Explore resources from UW Study Abroad.


UW–Madison’s campus resources will help you navigate air travel and arranging your flights to Madison.

  • Wiscard is the official UW–Madison identification card. It will give you access to campus facilities. You must present some form of personal photo identification, such as a passport.
  • Bus passes are available for pick up at various locations across campus at the beginning of the semester. You must be registered for courses and present a valid Wiscard to receive a bus pass.


Orientation is typically scheduled for the Friday before the start of classes and your attendance is required. Social events are optional, but they are a ton of fun and are a good way to meet other students and explore the campus.

  • Fall
    • Friday, September 1
    • 2023 details will be emailed to you directly
  • Spring
    • Friday, January 19
    • 2024 details will be emailed to you directly

Grades and Transcripts

Typically, business professors provide students with feedback throughout the semester, which may include a preliminary grade on completed coursework, midterms, and participation. Your grade will depend on a variety of factors, which may include:

  • Your participation in class
  • Homework that you turn in on a regular basis
  • Quizzes taken throughout the semester
  • Formal presentations made in class (individually or as part of a group)
  • Papers
  • Two or three exams taken throughout the semester, including a final

Check in with your exchange coordinator at your home university about transferring your grades.

After the semester ends, professors will report the grades to the registrar’s office, which will post them to your transcript. You may check your grades by logging into MyUW.

Guidelines for Choosing Your Courses

Undergraduate students must take at least 12 credits to maintain visa status, and may enroll for as many as 18 credits. Undergraduate students may only take courses numbered 699 and below.

Graduate students must take at least 8 credits to maintain visa status, and may enroll for as many as 15 credits. Graduate students may take any course numbered 300 or above unless specifically precluded, but should primarily take courses numbered 700 and above.

We encourage you not to take the maximum number of credits while studying here. Remember that some portion of your education is always extracurricular, and this is especially true when studying abroad!

Available and Restricted Courses

As a School of Business exchange student, you have priority in enrolling for business courses: you may enroll in business courses at the same time as matriculated business students. You may also enroll in non-business courses if you meet the particular course requisites, but non-business departments may not allow you to enroll until after their matriculated students.

You may enroll in courses outside the business school if you meet the requisites:

  • To request permission to enroll in an Economics course, please go to Enrollment for Special and Non-Degree Seeking Students and follow the instructions carefully.
  • To request permission to enroll in a Mathematics course, submit a Math Course Fall Term Enrollment Request
  • To request permission to enroll in a Physics course, submit a Physics Course Requisite Exemption Request Form
  • To request permission to enroll in a Computer Science course, go to and:
    • Open the second item, which begins: “I am a visiting international…”
    • Open the Current Term Enrollment Information document, and check the fourth column for the class in which you are interested
    • If a department other than Computer Science (e.g., Math, ECE) is identified as the enrollment “manager,” contact that department to request permission
    • If a different department is NOT listed in column 4, complete the Computer Sciences enrollment request form linked there

To request permission to enroll in any other none business UW course, complete the Course Enrollment Permission Form no later than ten days before your enrollment appointment. You can enroll in any courses that do not have any requisite

Wisconsin School of Business exchange students may enroll for courses in the following departments:

  • Accounting and Information Systems (ACCT I S)
  • Actuarial Science (ACT SCI)
  • Finance, Investment and Banking (FINANCE)
  • General Business (GEN BUS)
  • International Business (INTL BUS)
  • Management and Human Resources (M H R)
  • Marketing (MARKETING)
  • Operations and Technology Management (OTM)
  • Real Estate and Urban Land Economics (REAL EST)
  • Risk Management and Insurance (R M I)

Every course is identified by an abbreviation (e.g., OTM—as above) along with a three-digit catalog number. For example, OTM 300 is the course “Operations Management,” offered through the department of Operations and Technology Management.

WSB exchange students do not need special permission to enroll in any business course which includes the requisite “member of Business Exchange program” (see exceptions below).* However, you are ultimately required to meet all of the requisites included in the “Requisite” statement in order to take any particular course. For example, the requisites for FINANCE 305 “Financial Markets, Institutions and Economic Activity” are:

“FINANCE/ECON 300 or member of Business Exchange program”

As a member of the Business Exchange Program, you would be able to enroll in FINANCE 305 (and thus secure a place in the course before it fills), even if you had not previously completed the equivalent of FINANCE 300 or ECON 300. But if you do not meet the academic preparation requisite, you should not enroll. We will audit your enrollment, and if you have enrolled in a course for which you are not qualified, you will be required to drop that course. If you are uncertain whether you meet all the requisites, you may enroll, but then contact us immediately to discuss.

Please do not enroll for more than three courses in any single department.

If you experience any validation or enrollment issues for business courses, first, please make sure that you are not trying to enroll in one of the restricted courses (you can find the list of restricted courses below on the ‘Restricted Business Courses’ section). If you still have a problem enrolling in business courses that you believe should be open to you, please fill out a request to register.

The following specific business courses are not open to exchange students:

  • ACCT I S: 600, 601, 700, 740
  • FINANCE: 365 (sections 001, 005, 008), 535, 536, 700, 726, 727, 735, 736, 750 (unless you have had 726 or its equivalent), 765 (section 001), 835, 836, 850, 851
  • GEN BUS: 300, 301, 450, 700, 704, 710, 765 (section 022 only)
  • M H R: 701, 702, 704, 706, 723 (unless instructor consents), 728
  • MARKETING: 700, 765 (lectures 001-003, 006-008) 805, 972
  • OTM: 654 (unless department consents), 700, 705, 730, 732, 750

Please do not contact professors about these courses. If you do enroll in any of these courses, you will be required to drop them.

Finally, please remember that we cannot guarantee space in any particular course. You may have to be flexible with your course selection.

Enrolling in Courses

You will be assigned a date and time when the online enrollment system will open to you. If you will be attending UW–Madison in the fall, your appointment time will be in mid-April; if you will be attending in the spring, it will be in mid-November. You should prepare before that time so you will be ready when your appointment time arrives. Many classes fill quickly, and if you don’t follow the instructions and advice below carefully, you may miss your chance to get one or more classes that you want.

The enrollment process can begin as soon as you are admitted, although you may not actually enroll until several weeks later. Here is an overview of the steps you will take:

  1. Activate your NetID and login to your MyUW portal
  2. Use “Course Search & Enroll” to select possible courses
  3. Enroll in courses when your enrollment appointment arrives

You must activate your NetID before you can begin your enrollment preparations. You can activate your NetID the day after you are officially admitted by the Division of Continuing Studies (which happens sometime after you are admitted by the business school).

Here’s how:

  1. Go to and enter your ten-digit ID number and date of birth
  2. Click the Activate button

Upon activating your NetID, you will have a UW email account. Please use this email for all further correspondence with us, and check your account frequently for important notices.

Once you have your NetID and password set, use them to login to your MyUW portal at This is where you will view and select courses using the “Course Search & Enroll” app.

The “Course Search & Enroll” app enables you to browse and search all courses to be offered during your term here. To add the app to your MyUW portal, login to and:

  1. Click on the menu in the top left corner, then “Browse Apps”
  2. Find the app “Course Search & Enroll” and click “+Add to home” on the right
  3. Click “MyUW” at top left to return to Home
  4. Click “Search for courses” in the “Course Search and Enroll” app
  5. Set your term before searching, and then search per subject, keyword, etc.
  • When you see a course that interests you, click on it to see a brief description, eligibility requirements (called “requisites”), number of credits, and more
  • Click on “See Sections” to view times the course is offered and which times have open seats
  • Click anywhere on a section to see the number of open seats, whether there is a waitlist available, textbooks that may be required, and the date and time of the final exam. You must remain in Madison until after your last exam. No exceptions!

When you find a section you would like, click on “Save Section” to add the course to your “Cart.” The system will check if you will be allowed to enroll in that course when you click ‘validate’. If there are problems with non business courses, please follow the instructions in the ‘Non-Business Courses’ accordion item in the “Available and Restricted Courses” section on this page and fill out a enrollment request form for courses you are trying to enroll. If there is a problem with business courses (except restricted courses that you are not allowed to enroll), please fill out the Request to register for class Jira form. Attach a screenshot of the “Course validation failed” message.

If a course has filled and there is a waitlist available, follow the instructions to add yourself to the list. Be sure to check your UW-Madison email account daily for notice of permission to enroll. You must enroll within 48 hours of being offered a spot in the course, or you will lose your place in the queue.

The “Scheduler” at the top will help you see if any of your sections overlap in time. You must resolve any such conflicts before the end of the drop period of the semester. You may not carry and complete courses or sections of courses that meet at conflicting times.

Likewise, you should avoid scheduling courses that have overlapping final exam times. If two courses have final examinations scheduled for the same time, contact the instructors immediately to ask if you may take either one at a different time. If neither of the exams can be rescheduled, you will need to pick a different course.

Immediately prior to your enrollment time, or as soon as possible thereafter, return to the “Course Search and Enrollment” app. At the moment of your enrollment appointment, you may begin to enroll:

  1. Check the box to the left of the first course in which you want to enroll
  2. Click “Enroll”
  3. Click “Enroll” again

You should then see your course under “Enrolled Sections.”

If you received a “validation failed” or “enrollment failed” message:

  1. Check if you are enrolling in the correct semester. (E.g. spring of 23, instead of fall of 23)
    • If not, change your term to the correct term.
  2. Do all of your business courses show validation or enrollment failed messages?
  3. Is the course full? Or says 1 or 2 spots left?
    • If the course is full, then you will be put on a waitlist. If the waitlist is also full, then you cannot enroll. We cannot give you an exception to enroll in a full course. If you are on a waitlist, you have to wait until a spot opens up for you; please make sure to have a back-up course in case you cannot enroll. If the course says that there are 1 or 2 spots left but still put you on a waitlist, that means that the course is actually full, it’s just a delay in the system.
  4. Is the course an economics, mathematics, physics, or computer science course?
  5. Other non-business courses: check the course’s requisite.
  6. Is it a business course?
    • If it is a graduate or restricted course, you cannot enroll. (check what courses count under Restricted Business Courses)
    • Does the course’s requisite say ‘…or declared in undergrad Business Exchange program’?
      • Yes: click on the blue box ‘see sections’ on the upper right corner of the course and select the lecture and/or discussion section that you are trying to enroll in. Under class notes, does it say something like ‘This course is only open to declared (specific major) majors until (specific date)’? If so, you have to wait to enroll until after that specific date. The course is reserved for students declared in that major first. If not, please fill out this jira form to request permission to enroll. Note: this does not guarantee enrollment.
      • No: Please read the course’s requisite carefully. If you believe that you meet the requisite of the course, please fill out this jira form to request permission to enroll. Note: this does not guarantee enrollment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, they can! Please contact the Wisconsin Athletic Ticket Office via email or phone in mid-May for more details. Please note that students with graduate-student standing will have a different timeline for purchasing season student tickets than undergraduate exchange students.

  1. Make sure that you are on the waitlist for that course, if a waitlist is offered.
  2. Enroll in a back-up course that you would be willing to take just in case you are not able to get into your first-choice course.
  3. Email the department or the professor expressing your interest in the course and your unique situation as an exchange student.
  4. Attend the first day of that course and talk with the professor after the lecture.

Please remember that while we would like to accommodate every exchange student’s course preferences, sometimes courses fill up or are reserved for certain student populations. We cannot guarantee that you will get into a class for which you are currently on the waitlist.

If you think your previous coursework fulfills the prerequisite requirements for a course at UW, complete this Course Permission Request survey. You will need to provide the Course ID, the class number of the section you would like to take, your Campus ID, and a list of your previous courses that have prepared you for this course. Global Programs will then contact the appropriate department on your behalf or provide you with instructions about what next steps you should take.

Enrolling in courses is an online process. The UW–Madison Office of the Registrar provides demos and tutorials about searching, planning, and enrolling in classes.

Incoming exchange students are allowed to take a maximum of one pass/fail course per term. The deadline to request pass/fail can be found at Dates & Deadlines. For more detailed information on UW Pass/Fail Policy, please visit the Taking a UW-Madison Course Pass/Fail website.

In lieu of certifying the Certificate of Financial Support, students may submit an official bank statement or letter that includes the following information: the account owner’s full name, bank name and address, and type of account with corresponding balance. The bank letter or statement must be comprehensive.

Yes. Students are allowed to use their own funds and be their own financial sponsor for the purposes of obtaining a student visa. When filling out the Certificate of Financial Support, list your own name and information in the Commitment of Support section.

For information about on campus housing options, please visit the UW Study Abroad Exchange – Housing website.

While the Global Programs office is here to help and will disseminate helpful information and housing offers, exchange students are ultimately responsible for finding their own housing.

There is a deadline set each semester by which all international students should enroll. This is typically the second or third week of classes. You will be able to purchase SHIP once you arrive by visiting their office directly. If you choose to purchase SHIP before you arrive in the U.S., list SHIP’s address as your U.S. address so that you can pick up your insurance card once you arrive on campus.

For information about insurance, please visit the UW Study Abroad Exchange – Insurance website.

For more information, please visit the UW Study Abroad Exchange Students website and read the “Visiting International Student Program (VISP)” section of Becoming an Exchange Student.