Course Search & Enroll - Permission and Approval for Course Enrollment

This document explains how to determine and contact the correct campus official to attain permission and approval to enroll/drop courses.


When navigating through the enrollment process at UW–Madison - enrolling in a class, making changes (like drop) to your class schedule, or withdrawing from school for a semester - you may first need to get permission from a campus official.

Permission and Approval for Course Enrollment


Instructor consent

Some courses will include “consent of instructor” (or similar) as a requisite, or requirement that needs to be met before you can enroll in the class. If so, contact the instructor listed for the class to request permission to enroll.

Example with “consent of instructor” set as a requisite for the entire course:

Instructor consent for entire course

Example with “consent of instructor” set as a requisite for a specific section:

Instructor consent for specific section

Find instructor contact information

Select the name of the instructor in the section detail panel.
In the pop-up window, the instructor’s email address will appear.

Find instructor conact information

TIP: When you contact an instructor by email, send the email from your wisc.edu account, include your campus ID number. You may be asked for more information about your qualifications and interest in the class.

If the instructor approves you for the class, they will create a special permission for you in the enrollment system.
You still need to enroll in the class! Go to Course Search & Enroll or Student Center to enroll.
If you still have problems enrolling in the class, see Course Search & Enroll - "Instructor consent or department permission is required" Error.


Department permission

Find department contact information

Departments display their contact information for permission requests in the “Subject Notes” area of the main course panel.

Department contact information

Still need a contact for department permission?
Look up the contact in this table.

When will you need department permission?

Departments/programs manage the enrollment in their courses. You may need to receive department permission:
  • Enroll in a class closed to non-majors;
  • Enroll in a class when your previous courses don’t exactly meet the requisites;
  • Add or drop a class after the deadline to do so has passed;
  • Many other situations.
Examples of “need permission to enroll” messages:

Course enrollment failed: You were not enrolled. This class requires permission to enroll because the deadline to enroll has passed.

Course validation failed: You will need to obtain permission to enroll in this class. If you have a permission number, enter it in the course section details.

If the department approves you for the class, they will create a special permission for you in the enrollment system.
You still need to enroll in the class! Go to Course Search & Enroll or Student Center to enroll.
If you still have problems enrolling in the class, see Course Search & Enroll - "Instructor consent or department permission is required" Error.


Academic dean approval

Students work with the academic dean’s office in their school/college in certain circumstances related to enrollment actions.
Approval from academic deans isn’t typically required when initially enrolling in a class. However, students who want to add or drop a class late in the semester, or withdraw from UW–Madison for a term, will consult with their academic dean’s office, who will ensure that the student gets the advice, planning, and support they need.
You can find lists of important academic deadlines where academic dean approval is required on the Dates & Deadlines web page.

Example of a “contact your academic dean” message:

Drop failed message

Find your academic dean's contact information

Find your academic dean's contact information on this list.

In case you are not sure which school or college to contact, you can look up your school/college:

1. Login to MyUW.

2. Click on the Academic Navigator tile.

Academic navigator tile

3. The school/college will be listed under your name.

Bucky Badger's college

See Also: