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Student Guidance for Concurrent Enrollment

This document provides guidance for CALS students enrolled in coursework at UW-Madison who are considering concurrent enrollment at a non-UW-Madison instution.

What is concurrent enrollment?

  • Concurrent enrollment is when a student is enrolled in coursework at UW-Madison and another accredited institution at the same time.
  • While your CALS degree is designed to be completed without enrolling at another institution, in some circumstances courses offered at another institution may complement your UW-Madison course of study.

What should you do if you are thinking about concurrent enrollment?

  • Talk to your advisor before you concurrently enroll.

CALS students are not required to obtain permission to concurrently enroll at another institution; however, the College expects you to talk with your advisor before you do so. Completing coursework at two institutions at the same time is challenging. Your major advisor can help you make an informed decision about concurrent enrollment based on your individual circumstances.

What do you need to know before you concurrently enroll?

  • Think carefully and discuss the following with your major advisor before you concurrently enroll: 
    1. Course and credit transfer to UW-Madison

      • Use Transferology and confirm with your major advisor that the course you plan to take will count toward your UW-Madison degree the way you are expecting.
      • Consider taking sequential courses (e.g., CHEM 103 and 104) at the same institution. Course equivalencies do not ensure that a course will cover 100% of the same material, so taking the first half of a sequence at a different institution may not set you up for the same success for the second half.
      • Once you are finished with the course, you are responsible for transferring your coursework to UW-Madison so it can be added to your transcript.  Use this information for guidance.
      • Students considering concurrent enrollment with UW-IL should review this Knowledgebase: UW-Independent Learning and the Tuition Waiver.
    2. Tuition and Full-Time Status

      • You may be responsible for tuition at both institutions. For courses taken through UW-Independent Learning, students may be eligible for a full or partial tuition waiver in certain situations (UW-Independent Learning and the Tuition Waiver).
      • Credits taken at another institution may not count toward full-time status at UW-Madison.  If you need full-time student status for your visa, athletics, financial aid/scholarships, or other purposes, reach out to that office to talk about how concurrent enrollment will affect you.
    3. Time Commitment

      • Add your UW-Madison credits and the credits for the course you plan to take to get your total credit load for the semester.  Your advisor can help you decide if your credit load is reasonable.
      • Students sometimes believe that completing coursework outside UW-Madison will allow additional time for more rigorous UW-Madison coursework or outside commitments. While enrolling at an outside institution may provide increased flexibility in course scheduling, credit hours are the same across all accredited institutions. Each credit of coursework equals at least 45 hours of work. This means a three-credit course will take approximately 135 hours of work (9 hours per week for 15 weeks). Knowing the hours you should expect to spend on coursework each week is especially important if you are considering an asynchronous course, where you need to stay on track. Even if there are no scheduled class meeting times, you should plan to dedicate at least 9 hours per week over 15 weeks to complete any three-credit course. 
    4. CALS Residency Policy

      • CALS requires that your last 30 credits after reaching 86 credits be completed in-residence at UW-Madison. Failing to meet this requirement will delay your graduation. Confirm with your major advisor that concurrent enrollment will not affect your ability to complete the CALS residency requirement.
    5. Taking Courses in Your Final Semester

      • Concurrent enrollment in your final semester may delay your graduation. If you are considering concurrent enrollment during your final semester, check when you will receive official, final grades from the other institution. Transferring credits takes time, delaying final transcripts and diplomas. To graduate on-time, you must complete all coursework by the UW-Madison Official Degree Conferral date. Students who complete coursework after this date will graduate the following semester. Talk to your advisor before concurrently enrolling during your final semester. They can help you decide if your coursework is likely to be completed and reported to UW-Madison in time for graduation. 

    6. Managing Coursework at Two Institutions

      • Deadlines: You will have to know and follow the dates for adding, dropping, and withdrawing from courses at both institutions.
      • Academic Support Resources: You cannot use UW-Madison tutoring and academic support resources for non-UW-Madison coursework. For example, if you take calculus at another institution, you cannot use UW-Madison’s Math Help Desk or GUTS math tutoring for support with that course. The other institution may or may not have comparable tutoring resources.
      • Multiple Email and Learning Management (Canvas) Platforms: Universities and colleges often require that you open and use institutional email and learning management accounts. Managing multiple email and Canvas accounts can be a challenge. In addition, other institutions may not use Canvas for learning management so you will need to learn a new system to complete your course.

Reviewed by CALS Curriculum Committee May 17, 2024.

See also: CALS Policy on Concurrent Enrollment

Keywordsconcurrent enrollment, transfer credits, UW-Indedependent Learning, UW-IL   Doc ID137543
OwnerDiana A.GroupCALS Academic Affairs
Created2024-05-28 11:42:53Updated2024-05-29 08:50:17
SitesCALS Academic Affairs
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