Just like degree-seeking students, international exchange students can enroll in courses during the semester directly preceding their stay in Madison. This means that exchange students planning to study at the university in the fall will be able to enroll in courses as early as April, and students coming for the spring semester will enroll in November.

Enrolling for Wisconsin School of Business courses is a relatively simple procedure that you can do on the internet from anywhere in the world. All you need is your online MyUW student account and your enrollment date and you are ready to enroll in courses!

Instructions for activating your MyUW account, selecting courses, and enrolling online are listed below.

Activate Your MyUW Account

Before enrolling, you must activate your MyUW student account. The MyUW web portal is your personalized gateway to the campus services most important to you. Activation is easy and requires only access to the Internet and a University of Wisconsin-Madison campus identification number, which will be provided by International Programs after your application has been processed. Please follow the step-by-step instructions for activating this account.

You will be able to activate your MyUW account beginning in March or April for fall students and early November for spring students. International Programs will send an email with the necessary information.

Activating your MyUW account establishes your university email account. All university communications will go to this address, so check it regularly.

Understand UW-Madison's Course Numbering System

Courses are identified by a departmental abbreviation along with a three-digit course number. For example, MHR 403 is the course ID for Global Issues in Management, offered through the department of Management and Human Resources.

The three-digit course number indicates the level of study. It is very important that you choose courses appropriate to your level.

  • Courses numbered 100-299 are open to undergraduate students only.
    • 100-200 level courses are typically first- or second-year undergraduate courses.
  • Courses numbered 300-699 are open to all students.
    • 300-400 level courses are typically third- or fourth-year undergraduate courses.
    • 500-600 level courses are advanced courses open to both undergraduates and graduate students.
  • Courses numbered 700 and higher are open only to graduate students.

Note that business courses with a number of 300 or 700 are most often introductory classes. Therefore, if you have already taken a course in that field at home, you should not choose a course numbered 300 or 700. For example, a student who has already had an introductory finance course should not take Finance 300 or Finance 700.

Consult the Course Guide and Class Search

The Course Guide is an online catalog of all courses at UW-Madison. You can review course descriptions of undergraduate and graduate business courses by searching the Course Guide. To filter the course offerings to show only business courses, click "Business, School of" under the School or College header.

Class Search is the online listing of courses offered each term. The Class Search shows the meeting time for a course, how many spaces are available, who is teaching, what prerequisites are needed, and if the course is full and therefore closed to enrollment. It also includes the scheduled time of the final exam. If a course is not listed in your Class Search, it is not offered that semester.

Both can be accessed through your MyUW Student Center. To learn how to navigate these tools, view Class Search and other enrollment-related demos. If you do not have a MyUW account, you can access the Course Guide and Class Search through the Registrar’s Course Guide Access webpage.

Check for Course Restrictions

The business courses listed below are not open to international exchange students. If you do enroll in any of them, International Programs will contact you and you will be required to drop the course.

  • Accounting: 600, 601, 700, 740
  • Finance: 535, 536, 700, 726, 727, 735, 736, 750 (unless you have had 726 or its equivalent) 835, 836, 850, 851
  • General Business: 300, 450, 700, 704, 710, 765
  • Management and Human Resources: 701, 702, 704, 706, 722, 723, 727, 728
  • Marketing: 700, 805
  • Operations & Technology Management: 654, 700, 705, 730, 732, 750

Please do not email business professors about restricted courses.

Make (and Check) Your Course Selections

After you have familiarized yourself with the Course Guide and Class Search, you can begin selecting courses for your Wish List. Online demos and tutorials will help you understand how to search for classes, add classes, swap classes, and work the wait list.

Once you decide on the courses you wish to take, answer the following questions before you enroll:

  • Did you check Class Search and then make a wish list in your MyUW to be sure all the courses you selected are offered the semester you will attend UW-Madison?
  • Did you check the list of restricted courses?
  • If you’re an undergraduate student, did you select courses numbered 699 or lower?
  • Did you select no more than three courses in the same department?
  • Did you avoid courses that meet at the same times?
  • Did you check the exam dates and times? (You must stay in Madison until after your last exam. No exceptions will be made.)
  • Have you avoided scheduling courses with exams at the same time?

Validate your Courses

You should be able to enroll in any business course except those in the restricted list above. You are also welcome to enroll in courses outside the business school if you meet the prerequisites. However, there may be certain cases in which you are prevented from enrolling online.To check for potential enrollment issues, add all courses to your Wish List and then validate your courses. Validating your courses will alert you to any potential problems prior to enrollment. Here is a helpful video tutorial that describes the wishlist and validation process.

If you are prevented from enrolling in business or non-business courses, complete the Exchange Student Course Permissions Survey to enlist the assistance of the International Programs office. We will then email you with the department's response and special instructions for enrolling. 

Enrollment in an ESL course may be possible, if space is available, after you arrive in Madison. See https://english.wisc.edu/esl/international-students-placement.htm for further information.

If a course has filled, follow the instructions in your Student Center for adding yourself to the course wait 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.

Upper-level courses have prerequisites you must satisfy in order to enroll. We will check your transcript to confirm that you satisfy all prerequisites. If you do not, you will be instructed to cancel your enrollment.


After your MyUW account is activated, you are ready to enroll online in UW-Madison courses. International Programs will email you with your designated enrollment date and time. You will not be able to enroll before this enrollment date.

Remember that UW-Madison requires undergraduate students to carry a minimum of 12 credits and graduate students a minimum of eight (8) credits per semester in order to be considered full-time students.

Please remember we can never guarantee that a course you need will be available to you; be prepared to be flexible with your course choices.

If you have any questions at all about this process, please contact the International Programs Coordinator for assistance.