Course Search & Enroll - Searching for Classes


This document explains the various search options available using Course Search & Enroll.


The Course Search & Enroll app is accessible at this link: or by logging in to MyUW, then selecting the Course Search & Enroll widget.

Course search & enroll tile

For browsing purposes only, guests can browse Course Search & Enroll through the following link:

Note: You will not be able to enroll in courses through that link; it is for guest browsing purposes. Students, please refrain from searching for classes through that link.

The Various Search Options

Before searching, choose a term

Choosing “All” for the term filter shows all the courses that can be taught at UW-Madison, regardless of term. This filter won’t display individual sections for a course, since these vary from term to term.

You can also choose a term in the My Courses tab.

Select term

Searching with keywords

Type a keyword to find matches in class information (keywords include: subject area, class title, descriptions, instructor-provided content, etc.).

Course Search & Enroll finds both exact and approximate matches: When you search for “cultural,” the results list classes matching “cultural,” “culture,” and “cultures,” among other results. “Game” shows more results than “games,” because it is an approximate match to more keywords.

Search for classes taught by a specific instructor by using their last name as a keyword. Search results may include classes that match the search term in other fields. The results when searching for “Nelson” may include Prof. Adam Nelson and Asst. Prof. Nicole Nelson, but also classes that include “Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies” in the description or details.

Searching for last names that have more than one word (e.g., Prof. Lyn Van Swol) or are hyphenated (e.g., Prof. Mario Ortiz-Robles) may produce many results because of the approximate word matches. Try searching for just one part of their name instead (e.g., “swol” or "ortiz”).

Number searches can include a course number (e.g., 277 or “POLI SCI 277”) or a date (1865).

Searching with keywords

Subject filter

Use this drop-down box to select an academic subject area, such as “Sociology” or “Risk Management and Insurance.”

UW–Madison academic departments and programs offer courses grouped by subject areas. Sometimes these have the same name (the Department of Philosophy offers courses in the Philosophy subject area) and sometimes they are different (the Department of History offers courses in History and also in History of Science).

Subject areas are abbreviated in course titles, such as PHILOS, HISTORY, and HIST SCI.

Subject filter

Seats filter

Your search can be limited to class sections that are “Open,” “Wait listed,” “Closed,” or combinations of these.

Course Search & Enroll looks at seat availability in real time. Your search results may change as sections fill.

Seats filter

open_with Breadth filter

The Breadth General Education Requirements checkboxes can be selected individually (Humanities) or in combination (Humanities and Social Sciences). Combinations will show all classes that meet these requirements.

Breadth filters

school General Education filter

Find classes that meet UW–Madison’s General Education Requirements for undergraduate degrees.

When a class will satisfy the Communication Part A requirement, all of its sections will satisfy that requirement. These classes usually display this requirement at the course level.

General education filter

Communications Part B can be assigned to the entire course or to individual sections. When viewing individual sections, look for the school  GE symbol to find those that meet a General Education Requirement.

General education

show_chart Level filter

This filter finds classes that match the Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced depth designations that some degrees require.

Level filters

computer Mode of Instruction filter

The Mode of Instruction filter was adjusted on December 2020 to reflect the mix of in-person and virtual classes scheduled for the Spring 2021 term. For detailed information on using this filter, see: Course Search & Enroll - Search Mode of Instruction.

Mode of instruction filters

check Credits filter

Use the Credits filter to search for courses offering a specific number of credits. Searching for “1” to “1” credit shows all one-credit courses.

Leaving a credits field empty or unselected means “anything to this point.” Selecting “5” in the first field and leaving the second field empty will match all courses with 5 or more credits. Leaving the first field empty and selecting “3” in the second field will match courses with 1, 2, or 3 credits.

Credits filter

book Honors filter

Honors filter

Honors designation can be assigned to the entire course or to individual sections. When viewing individual sections, look for the book Honors symbol.


language Foreign Language filter

Search for foreign language classes at the first through fourth level. For higher levels, search by keyword or subject area instead. Selecting “All” in the drop-down box just shows all UW–Madison courses, not all foreign-language courses.

Foreign language filter

view_week Session filter

Each term (Fall, Spring, Summer) has sessions with different class start and end dates. The majority of UW–Madison courses in the Fall and Spring are scheduled over a “Regular” session.

This filter lets you choose from specific sessions offered during the term that you have selected.

If a course is scheduled for a session other than “Regular,” the session dates and three-character code will display in the Sections Panel.

Session filter

star Reserved Sections filter

Search for classes or sections offered exclusively to specific groups (like students in certain resident halls).

A term must be selected for this filter to work. The groups displayed may vary from term to term, depending on what classes are offered:

  • Transfer sections
  • First-Year Interest Groups
  • Residence halls and Learning communities
  • Wisconsin Emerging Scholars
  • Community-Based Learning

Reserved sections filter

When viewing individual sections, look for the star symbol to find those that have a reserved section.

Reserved sections star

settings Other Options filter

  • Sustainability 
  • Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement
  • Workplace Experience
  • Community-Based Learning
  • Repeatable for Credit

Other options filter

Keywordsadd, change, course (courses, class), course search and enroll, dars (DARS), degree (degrees, degree planner), drop, gpa (GPA), hold, honors, indicators, name, permission, plan (plans, planner), record (records), requisite (prerequisite), schedule (scheduler), sis (SIS), swap, textbook (textbooks), transcript, transfer, wait (waitlist, wait list), withdraw (withdrawal)   Doc ID15259
OwnerDanielle C.GroupOffice of the Registrar
Created2010-10-11 19:00:00Updated2024-02-02 16:12:04
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Office of the Registrar
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