Choosing a school/college for advising service

Student Advising at SOAR

School of Education advisor Michael Sullivan (right) works with incoming undergraduate Tucker Atwood to register for his classes during a Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) session at Union South.

Credit: University Communications

UW–Madison has eight undergraduate schools and colleges, which house more than 100 major programs. When you make a SOAR reservation, you will be asked to choose which school/college/advising service you will work with at SOAR.

You can choose ANY school or college to work with at SOAR, unless otherwise instructed on your admissions letter. You do NOT have to choose the same major or college indicated on your application or admission letter.

During the reservation process, you will be asked whether you have decided on a major or an academic interest. (Note: that it is completely acceptable and very common to be undecided on a major at this point in your college career.). If you have decided on a major, you will be presented with a list of all the currently available majors on campus. The full list of majors can be found at Here are guidelines to help you select which group to work with at SOAR.

  • My admission letter requires me to advise with a particular school/college/advising service.
    »Advise with the school/college/advising service you were directed to advise with
  • I am decided on a major.
    »Advise with the school/college that houses your major
  • I am completely undecided.
    » Advise with the Cross-College Advising Service (CCAS)
  • I am undecided about a particular major, but know the school/college that I want to be in.
    » Advise with the school/college where you want to complete a major
  • I have narrowed down my interests, but the majors I am considering are in different schools/colleges.
    » Advise with the Cross-College Advising Service


Advising options available when you make your SOAR reservation

  • I Have Not Decided Yet (Cross-College Advising Service) [Dynamic Link]

    The Cross-College Advising Service (CCAS) is a campus-wide advising service for undergraduates who are unsure about their major and want to explore the many academic opportunities on campus. CCAS advisors are knowledgeable about all the programs and majors offered by the University’s eight undergraduate schools and colleges. Each year at SOAR, CCAS advisors work with approximately one-third of the students in the entering class. CCAS advisors are located across campus in a network of residence hall offices to continue to advise students throughout the academic year. For more information visit

  • Agricultural and Life Sciences, College of [Dynamic Link]

    The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences offers 24 different majors spanning seven areas of study: human health, environment, plant & animal health, food & nutrition, energy, business & community, and, of course, agriculture. Several majors in the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences focus on the basic life sciences, such as Microbiology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Nutritional Science, and Biology. Others focus on the applied side of human or animal health and nutrition, such as Animal Science, Dietetics and Food Science. The management of environmental and natural resources is a possible focus through majors such as Landscape Architecture, Soil Science, Forest Science, and Wildlife Ecology. Opportunities also exist to study business and communications, such as Community & Environmental Sociology, Agricultural & Applied Economics, and Life Sciences Communications, and to prepare for medical, veterinary and graduate school through research, international and internship experiences. For more information visit
  • Business, Wisconsin School of [Dynamic Link]

    The Wisconsin School of Business is a limited enrollment program offering ten business-oriented majors. Students interested in applying to the Wisconsin School of Business should select this option for SOAR. At SOAR, advising staff from the Wisconsin School of Business BBA Advising Center will assist students who are interested in applying. To be eligible to apply to the Wisconsin School of Business, prospective applicants who are incoming freshmen must complete or be in the process of completing 24 credits at UW-Madison, including four pre-business requirements: calculus, psychology, microeconomics, and communications. Prospective applicants who are transfer students must complete or be in the process of completing 12 credits at UW-Madison, including four pre-business requirements: calculus, psychology, microeconomics, and communications.  Students will continue their curriculum with liberal studies, business preparatory, core, major, and breadth requirements. The School of Business admits students once per year. For more information, see

  • Center for Academic Excellence [Dynamic Link]

    The Center for Academic Excellence in the College of Letters & Science promotes the values of a liberal arts education and finds new ways for students to make a difference locally, nationally, and globally by partnering with students to make The Wisconsin Experience a reality. The Center serves first-generation, low-income, and multicultural underrepresented students within the College of Letters & Science. CAE fosters an inclusive teaching and learning environment that helps students reach their academic potential, attain undergraduate degrees, and realize their human promise as they become citizens of a global community. Our vision is to provide an enriching community for our scholars, one that fosters engagement and lifelong learning.

    Students admitted to UW-Madison through the Center for Academic Excellence enter the university through the College of Letters & Science. CAE advisors serve as primary advisors to CAE students and students must be directly admitted into the program to advise with CAE.

  • Education, School of [Dynamic Link]

    The School of Education offers a wide variety of academic programs. These include teacher preparation programs in Elementary Education, Special Education, World Language Education, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Art Education, and Physical Education. Secondary Education is not available at the undergraduate level, but is offered at the graduate level.
    The School also offers fine arts majors in Art and Dance. Students interested in Music Education should select School of Music in the College of Letters and Science.

    Students interested in health-related careers such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, rehabilitation counseling, and medicine may choose from majors in Kinesiology, Athletic Training, and Rehabilitation Psychology. 

    Prospective students are encouraged to see this web site for a list of program offerings and links to detailed program requirements and admission information:

  • Engineering, College of [Dynamic Link]

    The College of Engineering offers twelve undergraduate degree programs for students who wish to make the world a better place through innovative leadership, effective communication, and creative problem solving to tackle society's grand challenges.  You will apply your comprehensive strengths in math, physics, chemistry, additional science and liberal art disciplines to solve practical problems in traditional fields as well as in emerging fields such as nanotechnology, sustainability and renewable energy. Engineering is a limited-enrollment program; students with an interest in engineering are strongly advised to make a SOAR reservation with the College of Engineering. Students are also encouraged to visit our web site for a list of degree offerings, and detailed degree requirements:

  • Human Ecology, School of [Dynamic Link]

    The School of Human Ecology provides an educational experience that is locally relevant and globally prominent.  We are committed to enhancing the development of our students by nurturing the complementary relationship between professional and liberal arts education. This approach prepares graduates to assume leadership positions in their personal, civic, and professional lives. We also encourage our students to assume leadership roles beyond the classroom in student organizations, internships, volunteering, and research opportunities. Generations of students have found an academic home in one of Human Ecology’s majors: Personal Finance, Retailing, Interior Design, Textile and Apparel Design, Human Development and Family Studies, and Community and Nonprofit Leadership. For more information visit

  • Letters and Science, College of [Dynamic Link]

    The College of Letters & Science, largest of the colleges at UW-Madison, is home to dozens of academic departments and majors. Courses offered in the College of Letters & Science span the entire spectrum of disciplines in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. These courses provide the foundation of a liberal arts education that allows students to develop breadth of knowledge in a variety of disciplines as well as depth of knowledge in their chosen major(s). Through the curriculum of Letters & Science, students may explore complexities of the physical world, the diversity of the human experience, and the range of cultural expression. The mission of the College of Letters & Science is to prepare students to be critical thinkers and lifelong learners. For more information visit

    Students who are undecided about majors or degree plans should seek advising with Cross College Advising Services.

    Students who are planning apply to the School of Business, School of Nursing, or School of Pharmacy for admission to their majors should seek advising with those schools at SOAR.

  • Letters and Science Honors Program [Dynamic Link]

    The Letters and Science Honors Program is the advising hub for undergraduate students who have successfully applied to and been admitted to the L&S Honors Program to pursue the Honors in the Liberal Arts (HLA) degree. First-year students pursuing HLA have diverse interests, can be either undecided or decided about their intended major(s), and can take advantage of a variety of programs, certificates, and degrees across campus while also pursuing their honors degrees.  Honors course work completed in the first year can fulfill requirements for most UW-Madison degrees, even outside of L&S, and the entire HLA curriculum will work towards the completion of the core breadth and liberal studies degree requirements in the College of Letters and Science as well as those in the Schools of Business, Education, Pharmacy, and others.  At SOAR Honors advisors work with students admitted to HLA to learn about degree requirements for their areas of interest and to help students find honors courses whenever possible.  First-year students in L&S who did not apply or who were not admitted to pursue HLA but who are interested in completing an honors degree in L&S are encouraged to apply for admission to the L&S Honors Program as continuing students during their second semester on campus and should, therefore, go to the school/college of their choice for SOAR advising.

  • Music, School of [Dynamic Link]

    School of Music advising at SOAR is limited to those students who already auditioned for and were admitted to the School of Music for summer or fall. Students who are considering music as a major but are not already admitted to the School of Music must choose a different school or college.  All students admitted to the School of Music must choose the School of Music for SOAR advising, even if they plan to earn another major in addition to the music major and/or have been admitted to the L&S Honors Program.

  • Nursing, School of [Dynamic Link]

    The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program prepares students for professional nursing careers and licensure as a registered nurse (R.N.) upon graduation. It is a limited-enrollment program with a separate, competitive application process. Students apply to the nursing school during their sophomore year to begin the two-year nursing major their junior year. Students interested in the nursing major should select this option for SOAR. At SOAR, nursing advisors will help students select first-year courses and develop their academic plans, while also reviewing the admission criteria and application process for the nursing school. For more information, visit

  • Pharmacy, School of [Dynamic Link]

    The goal of the School of Pharmacy is to enhance the quality of life through the discovery, development, and appropriate use of medications. Both of our degree programs combine mathematics, chemistry, and biology. If you like these subjects and would like to use them to enhance your ability to treat and cure disease and to help people, consider the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program, which is a professional degree for students who would like to become pharmacists, or the B.S.-Pharmacology & Toxicology program, which is a science major/baccalaureate degree for students who want to learn more about both the beneficial and adverse effects of chemicals and medications. Students interested in applying for the School of Pharmacy should select this option for SOAR. For more information visit

A few notes:

  • Most students are admitted to the College of Letters and Science (L&S) during the admission process. Students do NOT have to advise with L&S at SOAR, and should pick the school/college which interests them the most.
  • Students interested in limited-enrollment programs (i.e. business, nursing, pharmacy, etc) should make a reservation with the school or college they are interested in receiving a degree from.
  • If undecided or still deciding between majors, a student is encouraged to make a reservation with the Cross-College Advising Service.
  • Students who aren't sure which school/college to choose should call or email SOAR information.