Topics Map > Student Academic Policies > Courses/Enrolling

UW-Madison Cross-Listed and "Meets With" Course Information

This section provides information on cross-listed courses and how they appear in the Course Guide.

A cross-listed course is a course that is offered under more than one departmental heading.  Cross-listed courses (i.e., courses offered by more than one department) will be assigned the same number in each department in which it is offered.  The course will carry identical L&S course attributes (breadth and level), will have the identical catalog descriptions in each listing, and will have identical course prerequisites.    All cross-listed courses:

  1. Must be approved by the University Curriculum Committee (all departments must submit a letter of support)
  2. Must have the same Course Guide number (i.e., Biology 151, Botany 151, and Zoology 151)
An example of a cross-listed course is African 277 (Africa: Introductory Survey).  This course is cross-listed in the following departments with the same course number:
  • GEOG
  • SOC

All students who enroll in this course, regardless of the subject listing through which he or she may have enrolled, experience the same course.

If one of the departments is in a student's L&S major department, the course will count as part of the major credits even though the student registers for the course in other cross-listed department.  Students completing two L&S majors may count cross-listed courses (i.e., courses listed in both major departments) in partial satisfaction of the requirements for both majors.

Courses listed as "Meets With" another course ARE NOT considered cross-listed courses.  

"Meets With" courses are distinguished from cross-listed courses by the fact that only some portion of the academic experience is common between the classes.  For example, students who enroll in two different courses may attend the same lecture, but have different discussion sections that focus on different topics or require different assignments.  One course in the arrangement may include laboratory time, while another course requires students to take on a service project.  "Meet With" courses are considered distinct courses and may have distinct course requirements described on the syllabus; they may also have distinct course numbers, prerequisites, breadth and level codes, and summary block times.  

Students who enroll in "meets with" courses should not assume that they have earned the same type of credit as students who may have enrolled through a different course with which their course meets;  neither should students assume that they may easily switch their enrollment from one course to another, or attend discussion sections or labs in which they have not enrolled.  This is particularly important when the courses are distinct and students in the different courses are receiving different instruction. 

Sorting out "mis-matched meets with" arrangements requires substantial administrative time.  Departments should avoid creating these situations. When they do occur, departments will be called upon to share responsibility for communicating with students, filing required paperwork, and ensuring that students are treated fairly despite the department's mistake.

The Office of the Registrar has more information about cross-listed and meets-with courses in their "Combined Sections Cheat Sheet."


For specific questions, feel free to contact the L&S Student Academic Affairs office at (608) 262-0617 or

KeywordsCross-listed course, crosslisted, crosslisted courses, "Meets With" course, Courses offered by more than one department, course descriptions, subject listing, partial satisfaction   Doc ID21663
OwnerTori R.GroupL&S KB
Created2011-12-08 23:54:55Updated2023-03-17 10:49:23
SitesL&S KB
Feedback  2   0