Understanding the Transfer Process

UW institutions have specific admission requirements for transfer students. Check the UW HELP’s Transfer Student Admission Requirements to ensure that you qualify for admission at your desired transfer institution.

To apply to a UW institution, connect to Apply Online.

Visit Apply Now to apply to a Wisconsin Technical College campus.

Find links to the homepages of all UW institutions; or,

Do some major exploration at MajorMania, the searchable website of all UW System undergraduate and graduate programs.

You can search all WTCS programs, or go to the website of the campus you are thinking about attending to see the programs offered at that campus.

You will receive an official evaluation of your transfer courses from the UW institution to which you have applied after you have been admitted. Institutions need an official transcript from all colleges or universities that you have attended before they can produce an official transfer credit evaluation. When you receive your evaluation depends on the UW institution. Some may send your evaluation with your admission acceptance letter (via email); others may send it later but before orientation or registration.

UW institutions have different policies regarding transfer of grades. Some institutions include transfer grades in a student’s overall grade point average (GPA). Others use transfer grades primarily in making admission decisions. In addition, transfer grade policies may differ depending on your major or your school/college at a particular UW institution. Check the Transfer Contacts & Advocates section for information on contacting a UW institution or UW HELP, which provides a toll-free number and advising service, for questions about transfer credit and grade policies.

  1. If you are transferring from a Wisconsin Technical College:
    • Students transferring from the Wisconsin Technical College System Liberal Studies (“college transfer”) program at Madison Area, Milwaukee Area, Nicolet Area, Chippewa Valley, or Western Technical College may generally transfer up to 72 credits to any UW institution. Some UW institutions may accept additional credits.
    • Courses from WTCS Associate Degree occupational programs may be accepted by UW institutions in three ways:
      1. Approved WTCS general education courses in communications, social sciences, behavioral sciences, mathematics, and natural science may transfer. Use the Credit Transfer Wizard to learn how specific courses transfer.
      2. In some cases, UW institutions will accept in transfer occupational/ technical courses from WTCS applied associate degree programs. You may find this information using the Credit Transfer Wizard.
      3. UW and WTCS campuses have more than 500 transfer, or articulation, agreements that permit WTCS students enrolled in specific associate degree programs to transfer additional occupational credit. Follow the link to browse articulation agreements. These credits may transfer to other UW institutions only if a similar credit transfer or articulation agreement exists.
    • You are encouraged to use the advising resources available on all UW and WTCS campuses, as well as the information in Transfer Wisconsin and the Credit Transfer Wizards to plan your transfer. If you encounter unexpected issues, you can contact a transfer advocate for help in resolving transfer concerns.
  2. If you are transferring from a college or university located outside of Wisconsin, you will need to contact the UW institution to which you wish to transfer to find out how your credits will transfer. In most cases, you will need to apply or be admitted to the UW institution before receiving an official evaluation of your transfer courses. Visit the transfer website for the UW institution you wish to transfer to. Here you’ll find lists of people or offices you can contact for help.

In order to attend summer school classes at a UW institution, you need to apply or register as a “special or non-degree” student. Each UW institution has separate procedures for the admission of students who are interested in enrolling in undergraduate level courses without formally entering a degree program. Some institutions use a different application form for students in this category. Consult the appropriate UW campus for specific information about admission, deadlines, and the correct form to use.

You also need to check with the individual UW institution to see what courses are offered and when. Depending on the campus, this information may be titled “Schedule of Classes” or “Timetable”. UW HELP maintains links to UW institution “Schedule of Classes” information.

In some cases, your home campus requires you to get prior approval for the transfer course. This ensures that the transfer course is a good fit for your degree program. Check with your advisor or the Registrar’s Office at your home campus for more information.

You can search for courses offered via Distance Education.

You need to contact the UW institution(s) that you attended. Check UW HELP for transcript request information.

Effective September 2003, unless a student is transferring directly from a UW Colleges campus, an application fee is required.

Some UW institutions require that you earn a minimum number of credits prior to transferring. Check the UW HELP’s Transfer Student Admission Requirements for information about the specific campus admission requirements.

The first step is to apply and be admitted to the UW institution. On your application, be sure to list your intended major and the degree that you are seeking. To apply to a UW institution, connect to Apply Online.

Application procedures and admission requirements for individual schools and colleges differ. Check UW HELP’s Transfer Student Admission Requirements for more information.

If you plan to attend or are attending a UW Colleges’ campus, transfer guides include information about applying to and transferring into specific majors at the UW institutions, or bachelor degree granting, campuses.

If you plan to transfer to a WTCS campus and have unanswered questions, try the Frequently Asked Questions section of the WTCS website.

If you do not find answer to your transfer question in the FAQs, or are having difficulty with the process, check the Transfer Contacts & Advocates to reach the right person.

Using the TIS Credit Transfer Wizards

Yes, the TIS Credit Transfer Wizards currently only report information for public colleges and universities in Wisconsin. This includes the 26 campuses in the University of Wisconsin System, UW-Extension’s Independent Learning courses, and the 16 districts within the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS).

To find out how your credits will transfer from a college outside of Wisconsin or from a private college or university within Wisconsin, you will need to contact the campus to which you wish to transfer. In some cases, you may need to apply or be admitted to the college or university before receiving an evaluation of your transfer courses. You can learn more through these transfer websites:

  1. Transfer Websites – for UW and WTCS campuses.
  2. Transfer Contacts and Advocates – for UW and WTCS campuses.
  3. Apply On-line – to any UW campus using this website.

The Credit Transfer Wizards include information about several transfer options, including:

  1. How courses transfer to UW campuses from:
    • All 13 UW Colleges campuses and UW College Online. The entire UW Colleges institution shares a common catalog, so all UW Colleges courses transfer in the same way.
    • All 13 UW “four-year” institutions. (In some cases, only freshman/sophomore transfer course information has been provided to TIS.)
    • UW-Extension’s Independent Learning program.
    • The 5 Wisconsin Technical Colleges ( Chippewa Valley, MATC-Madison, MATC-Milwaukee, Nicolet, and Western) that offer Liberal Studies (“college transfer” ) courses and programs.
    • The 16 Wisconsin Technical Colleges that offer applied associate degree programs. In most cases, you will find transfer information for general education (communication skills, behavioral/social sciences, math and natural science) courses. In some cases, information is also included for WTCS occupational/technical courses that transfer either as part of a transfer agreement between the WTCS district and the UW institutions or for all students transferring between the 2 campuses.
  2. How courses transfer to Wisconsin Technical Colleges from:
    • Selected UW campuses and UW-Extension’s Independent Learning program (Only selected courses are included.)
    • Other Wisconsin Technical Colleges (Often, you will find only transfer information for general education communication skills, behavioral/social sciences, math, and natural science courses.)

For any course transfer information not in TIS, see Question 3.

There are several reasons why course information may be missing from TIS. They include:

  1. The course is new to the campus. There may be a delay between the time a new course is added at a campus and when the transfer information appears in TIS.
  2. The course is no longer offered at the campus.
  3. The course is an upper level course. In some cases, UW campuses have provided only freshman/sophomore transfer course information to TIS.
  4. TIS includes limited transfer information for occupational or technical courses offered at Wisconsin Technical College System campuses. Check the articulation agreements section to see if these courses transfer as part of a WTCS articulation agreement.

To find out transfer information about a course not listed on TIS, you need to contact a specific UW or WTCS campus: Transfer Contacts.

The University of Wisconsin (UW) System includes:

  • 13 freshman-sophomore campuses and UW Colleges Online known collectively as UW Colleges. The campuses include UW-Baraboo, UW-Barron, UW-Fond du Lac, UW-Fox Valley, UW-Manitowoc, UW-Marathon, UW-Marinette, UW-Marshfield, UW-Richland, UW-Rock, UW-Sheboygan, UW-Washington, and UW-Waukesha. Additionally the entire UW Colleges associates degree is available totally online at UW Colleges Online.
  • 2 doctoral universities – UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee
  • 11 comprehensive universities – UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Stout, UW-Superior, and UW-Whitewater.
  • UW-Extension.

The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) includes 16 technical colleges:

Blackhawk Technical College, Chippewa Valley Technical College, Fox Valley Technical College, Gateway Technical College, Lakeshore Technical College, Madison Area Technical College, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Mid-State Technical College, Moraine Park Technical College, Nicolet Area Technical College, Northcentral Technical College, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, Waukesha County Technical College, Western Technical College, and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.

Every UW campus requires students to satisfy a set of general requirements (in addition to requirements in their major) in order to graduate. General Education requirements (also known as Gen Ed, General Degree Requirements, GE and GER ) may include basic student competency or proficiency requirements, such as English composition, mathematics, and foreign language. They also include distribution or breadth requirements in the arts, humanities, natural and social sciences as a foundation for specialization.

Different UW campuses have different general education requirements. The Gen Ed column on the TIS Transfer Report tells you how the transfer course may be used to satisfy general education requirements at the “Transfer To” campus. You can also use the General Education Wizard to find out what courses at your current campus transfer for general education credit at another campus.

For transfer to a Wisconsin Technical College, the Gen Ed Wizards only show how courses transfer into the applied associate degree System-Wide general education courses. For information on how other courses may be used to meet general education requirements at a particular Wisconsin Technical College, you need to contact the transfer contact at the Technical College you plan to transfer to.

The Credit Transfer Wizards include information on how the Independent Learning courses offered through UW-Extension transfer to UW campuses. Select “UW Extension Indp Learn” as the “From Campus” to find this course transfer information.

Different campuses have different formats for identifying departments. TIS matches the primary format used by a campus in publications, such as transcripts and grade reports.

The Credit Transfer Wizard Tutorial is intended as a demonstration only. It uses “fixed graphics” to walk users through examples of Transfer Wizards requests. The tutorials are not actual searches, so the buttons and menus do not function. It may be helpful to print out a tutorial section and use it to follow the steps in the “live” Wizard. (Note: You may need to set up the pages to print in “landscape” orientation to capture the full width of the page.)

Understanding the Transfer Wizard Results

Each UW campus has different programs, program requirements and courses. Since the level of the coursework and the course content are different, each campus makes its own determination as to how transfer courses fit into its requirements. Campus faculty members are responsible for deciding how a course transfers.

Each UW campus has different programs, program requirements and courses. Since the level of the coursework and the course content are different, each campus makes its own determination as to how transfer courses fit into its requirements. A campus may determine that a transfer course is below its required level of coursework and thus grant no credit or remedial (non-degree) credit in transfer. In addition, a campus may choose to not accept a transfer course if the coursework has no relationship to its courses and/or programs.

For complete descriptions of courses at each UW campus, refer to the undergraduate catalog for that campus.

If a course transfers as either a department elective or as a general elective (with no department specified), it usually means that the “Transfer To” campus does not offer a course that is exactly the same as the course at the “From Campus”. The good news is that many elective credits also meet general education requirements and many also apply toward requirements in majors.

If you have a problem with transferring your credits, you should first contact the campus to which you are planning to transfer. The staff there should be able to answer questions about individual courses and inform you of the process for appealing a course transfer. If you need additional information about a course, contact an advisor or staff member at the campus where you took the course. For unresolved transfer concerns, contact:

Diane Treis-Rusk, Director of Undergraduate Education – UW System Administration
608-261-1115
dtreisrusk@uwsa.edu

A course transfer relationship does not mean that the courses are equal. While Course A may transfer to UW-X as Course B, Course A may be missing an integral part of and may not transfer as Course C at UW-Y. For example, this may happen when Course A is offered for fewer credits than Courses B and/or C.

A course transfer relationship does not mean that the courses are equal. While Course A may transfer to UW-X as Course B, Course B may be missing an integral part of and may not transfer as Course A at UW-X. For example, this may happen when Course B is offered for fewer credits than Course A.

The Transfer Information System (TIS) is an official information and transfer guide for students and staff in the University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Technical College Systems. TIS contains official UW undergraduate transfer information which UW campuses have provided to show how they will award credit for transferable courses. However, courses may change over time and the way a course transfers may vary based upon specific majors or programs. The best policy is to stay in close contact with advisors and other staff – at both your initial campus and your transfer campus.

The transfer course information listed on the TIS Transfer Report is guaranteed for courses taken during the current or immediately succeeding semester and, when students choose to transfer, will “count” as indicated on the report. The transfer equivalencies listed in TIS are accurate but may satisfy different degree requirements depending upon the specific major or program. In addition, course revisions or changes in requirements may cause equivalencies to change. Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to (1) discuss specific circumstances with an advisor, (2) check TIS for periodic updates and (3) retain printed copies of dated TIS reports for the semester the course is taken to ensure documentation if questions arise upon transfer.

If you did not find the answer to your question, check the Transfer Contacts & Advocates section for information about contacting a particular UW or WTCS campus, an advisor at UW Help, or the TIS staff.