Home < Schools, Colleges, and Programs < Division of Continuing Studies

Division of Continuing Studies

21 North Park Street, 7th Floor
Madison, WI 53715
fax 608-265-4555

Adult Career and Special Student Services
Summer Session   
University Special Students
Independent Learning
Continuing Education Program
DCS Faculty

The Division of Continuing Studies (DCS) provides services to adult students, offers continuing education classes and programs, supports evening and online courses, and coordinates Summer Session. DCS fosters professional and personal development by connecting learners of all ages with the resources of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Adult Career and Special Student Services

Adult Career and Special Student Services (ACSSS) serves adults returning to formal education and/or considering a career change. ACSSS provides career counseling, academic advising, and university information to adults. It is also the admitting and academic dean's office for University Special students.

University Special students enroll in UW–Madison credit courses, but are not currently in a UW–Madison degree program. They often are individuals who need to fulfill prerequisites for graduate or professional school, enhance job skills, maintain or earn certifications or licensing, or change careers. Many take courses to satisfy a personal interest. Special students also may be part of pre-selected groups identified by departments for specific courses or programs. Undergraduate students from other institutions who wish to take a course at UW–Madison do so as University Special students in the classification of Visiting student.

Career and education counseling is available to community adults seeking personal or professional development. They do not need to be graduates of the University of Wisconsin to use these services. Through individual discussions, assessments and workshops, individuals may discover a path to a more meaningful and satisfying career or a future educational goal.

ACSSS provides workshops and programs on a variety of topics including career transitions and returning to school. Many of these programs are free and open to the public. ACSSS also maintains a list serve and Facebook page for returning adult students at UW–Madison.

For more information, call 608-263-6960 or visit ACSSS, 21 North Park Street, Madison, WI 53715; 608-263-6960; fax 608-265-2901; advising@dcs.wisc.edu.

Summer Session

During the summer term, students may earn up to twelve credits, enabling them to graduate on schedule or, in some cases, graduate early. Each summer, more than 13,000 undergraduate students enroll in summer courses offered on campus or online. They may choose from more than 1,000 credit classes in sessions lasting from one to 13 weeks. The Division of Continuing Studies provides central coordination for summer term but courses are offered by the individual schools and colleges.  Students should work with their designated advisors within their school or college if they have any questions.

UW–Madison undergraduates enroll for summer courses the same way they would for fall and spring courses.  Students will be assigned an Earliest Appointment Time, which can be viewed through the Student Center module in MyUW, and can enroll in late March.   For more information on course offerings, sessions and summer term, visit summer.wisc.edu or email summer@dcs.wisc.edu.


University Special Students

Adult Career and Special Student Services provides academic advising, admission, records, and other support services for nondegree students enrolling as University Special students in any of the three terms: fall, spring, and summer.

Students with bachelors' degrees may take courses to fulfill graduate or professional school prerequisites, or to satisfy licensing or employment purposes, or to take university classes beyond the regular degree requirements. Undergraduate students visiting from both domestic and international colleges or universities and transferring credits to their home academic institution may enroll in classes for one term as visitors. Early applications are encouraged. Persons who have missed undergraduate deadlines or have been denied undergraduate admission are not eligible for admission as University Special students. In most cases, University Special students pay regular per-credit undergraduate fees and tuition and have access to most of the privileges of all other students enrolling for credit, such as use of recreational facilities, Metro bus pass, and health services.

One distinct classification is Guest auditor, for individuals who wish to audit UW–Madison courses for a reduced tuition rate without earning college credit. This option exists for those seeking personal or professional enrichment through UW–Madison credit courses and who do not need college credits. Qualified Wisconsin residents over 60 years of age may audit lecture courses at no charge.

For more information and application options, contact Adult Career and Special Student Services, 21 North Park Street, Suite 7101, Madison, WI 53715; 608-263-6960; fax 608-265-2901; advising@dcs.wisc.edu.

Independent Learning

Students may earn undergraduate credits through Independent Learning courses arranged through UW–Extension. A wide range of online courses have been developed by UW faculty. Courses are self-paced and may be started at any time. Credits can be applied toward a bachelor's degree from any institution in the UW System. Confirm transferability by checking the Transfer Information System (TIS). Before enrolling in Independent Learning courses, students should check with an advisor in their school or college and gain dean's approval to make sure the chosen course is appropriate for the degree program. Students currently enrolled at a UW System institution should follow the regulations governing Independent Learning. To obtain more information or to request a catalog, call 608-262-2011 (or 877-895-3276) or visit Independent Learning.

Continuing Education Program

Undergraduate students interested in supplementing their university credit classes with noncredit programs will find hundreds of opportunities through the Division of Continuing Studies department of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies. The Continuing Studies Catalog is published three times a year and may be viewed online or requested from the Division of Continuing Studies, 21 North Park Street, Madison, WI 3715-1218; 608-262-1156; fax 608-265-4555; info@dcs.wisc.edu.

DCS Faculty

Liberal Arts and Applied Studies: Professors Auerbach (also English), Campbell, Cox, Goellner, Hora, Orton, Schulenburg (also Women's Studies) and Stommel.