Special Student Status Admission

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Main Office

Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis
School of Education
253 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
MadisonWI  53706-1326

Tel: 608/262-3106
Fax: 608/265-3135

Email: elpa@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form
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Education is not the piling on of learning, information, data, facts, skills, or abilities—that’s training or instruction—but is rather making visible what is hidden as a seed. —Thomas Moore


University Special Student Status Enrollment Process

Note:  Special Students Are Not Eligible for Financial Aid

There are four steps to getting UW Madison credit. Please read through the directions for each step carefully. Telephone “Help” numbers are provided for each step if you have any problems. We hope you enjoy your course! 


  Step 1: Getting admitted to UW Madison as a Special Student 

In order to take a class at UW–Madison, you must first be a student. If you were a special student at UW–Madison in a recent term, you might not need to re-apply. To check, call the Adult Career and Special Student Office (608-263-3408). Current UW–Madison graduate students should not become special students. They should just enroll for the class using MyUW (my.wisc.edu). Everyone else should follow the steps below.

  1. Complete the special student web application for the term.
    Application information.
  2. Be sure that you select UNDS as your classification and list the name of the course or workshop for your academic plans (Section 1, Question 4).
  3. Submit the online application.
  4. Wait to receive a letter from Adult Career and Special Student Services informing you that you have been admitted. Admission takes approximately two weeks.

Have questions about the status of your application? Having trouble completing the online application? Contact Adult Career and Special Student Services, 608-263-6960. 

   Step 2:  Activating your NetID and Password 

You can do this as soon as you receive your 10-digit Student ID. 
Previously enrolled UW students may already have completed this step. If you have an e-mail account @wisc.edu, your NetID is the portion before the @ sign.

HINT: The website shows step-by-step instructions of Steps 2 and 3, including images of the web pages.

  1. Go to My UW, http://my.wisc.edu.
  2. Click on the “Activate your NetID” link near the top right of the page. You will need your 10-digit Student ID and your birthdate.
  3. Write down your NetID and password. You will need them to enroll.

Trouble activating your NetID? Forgot your Password? Contact the help desk at the Division of Information Technology (DoIT), 608-264-4357.

  Step 3: Enrolling in your Class 

Enroll early in the term, before the late enrollment date, to avoid having to pay a $25 late enrollment fee.

  1. Go to MyUW, http://my.wisc.edu.
  2. Input your NetID and password. On the “My Front Page” tab, click on “Student Center.”
  3. Click on the green “Academics” arrow near the top left of the page.
  4. Click on “Add a Class” link. A new browser window will open.
  5. Select the correct enrollment term from the list, and click on it.
  6. Input the five digit class number in the “Enter Class Nbr” box, then click “Enter.”
  7. A new screen will pop-up showing the class you have selected. It should identify the class correctly. You may also find some notes regarding the course.
  8. Under the “Class Notes” section, you will find the word “Units”. If the course offers variable credit options, select the desired number of credits for this course.
  9. Click on “Next”. A new screen will pop-up stating that you have added the course to your enrollment shopping cart. The blue box (“term and year Enrollment Shopping Cart”) should appear with the course information.
  10. Click on “Proceed to step 2 of 3”. A new screen will pop-up. Confirm that the course information is correct and then click on “Finish Enrolling”.
  11. If you were able to successfully add the class, a green check mark should appear on the right side of the box under “status”. If you were not successfully able to add the class, a red X will appear under “status”. An explanation of the error is to the left of “status”. You can click on “Fix Errors” to correct any incorrect information.
  12. Verify your schedule by clicking on the “My Class Schedule” tab on the upper left hand corner of the page.

Trouble with Step 3? Contact the Enrollment Help Desk, 608-262-0920 or the Adult and Student Services Center, 608-263-6960

   Step 4: Paying for your class 

The Bursar’s Office will bill you within two weeks of enrolling. The invoice will not identify the class for which you are being billed.

  1. Pay the bill by the deadline, or you will be charged a $100 late payment fee.
  2. You can check the status of your bill and payment via MyUW in the “Student Center” on the “My Front Page” tab.

Trouble with Step 4? Contact the Bursar, 608-262-3611. 


As you go through the steps, keep track of the following information for your records:

Your 10-digit Student ID
Included in your admission letter or email. See Step 1.

Your NetID
Once you get your Student ID, you can activate your NetID by going to my.wisc.edu. See Step 2.

Your NetID Password
You will create a password when you activate your NetID. See Step 2.

The five-digit class number for the course or workshop
You'll find this in the Department's or UW's timetable, or in course promotional materials.

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