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 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.

Guidelines for Choosing Your Courses

• If you have been nominated by your home school as an undergraduate student, you 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.

• If you have been nominated by your home school as a graduate student, you 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 “extra-curricular,” and this is especially true when studying abroad! You may enroll for the maximum number of credits at first if you’d like, and then decide later if there are courses you want to drop.

  • You may drop courses from the time you initially enroll, through the first few days of the semester, and no record of it will appear on your final transcript
  • You may drop a course later in the semester with no academic penalty, but your transcript will reflect the drop
  • You may not drop a course after the final drop deadline

You may also add courses anytime through the second week of class. See https://registrar.wisc.edu/dates/ for specific deadlines, and make a note of these dates.


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.


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 

Helpful Resources for Exchange Students

The International Academic Programs Exchange - Course Enrollment website provides further helpful information about enrolling for courses.

Online demos and tutorials will help you understand how to search for classes, add classes, swap classes, and work the wait list. This tutorial describes the wishlist and validation process.

If you have any questions about enrolling, please contact the International Program Coordinator for assistance.