University of Wisconsin-Madison

Summer Course Equivalency Service - Office of Admissions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Summer Course Equivalency Service - Office of Admissions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

summer course equivalency service

Summer Course Equivalency Service Web Site

The Summer Course Equivalency Service (SCES) is for UW–Madison students who plan to complete summer course work at another institution. It is an optional service that provides information on how course work will transfer back to UW–Madison. Please submit your request(s) HERE before the May 15 deadline.

Important Notes for 2014

  • Total number of credits
    The total number of credits taken for summer study cannot exceed the total number of weeks the summer session lasts, up to a maximum of 12 credits. Students will not be granted credit for courses that exceed this limit.
  • International study in China
    Students that wish to study in an English-language based summer program in China, must arrange for a verification report of the university transcript with the China Academic Degree and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) before any transfer credit will be granted. These summer programs are often run in third-party collaboration with the campus hosting the program. Because they are not part of a university degree program, they may not be recognized by the Chinese Ministry of Education. UW-Madison will consider summer transfer credit only once the transcript is certified by the CDGDC. For this reason, SCES requests for summer coursework in China will not be honored. Please see for more information.

Non-SCES Situations

There are some UW–Madison students for whom the SCES is not the appropriate course of action. This includes:

  • Students taking a course at a UW System school or at a Wisconsin Technical College
    Obtain course equivalencies from the Transfer Information System (TIS). TIS equates first- and second-year courses for all UW System schools and Wisconsin Technical Colleges. Make an appointment to review the course work with your academic advisor to ensure it is applicable to your degree.
  • Students taking a course listed on the UW–Madison Transfer Equivalency Database (TED)
    Obtain course equivalencies from the Transfer Equivalency Database (TED), which includes courses frequently transferred from two-year schools in Illinois and Minnesota. Make an appointment to review the course work with your academic advisor to ensure it is applicable to your degree.
  • Students taking an internship, independent study, or field study course
    We are unable to provide equivalencies because the transfer of these courses is subject to the approval of both the Office of Admissions and the academic department. To receive transfer credit, submit a detailed description to the appropriate academic department. The department will notify the admissions office if transfer credit is recommended; final credit values will be determined by the Office of Admissions.
  • Nursing majors who plan to take professional nursing courses
    The School of Nursing will need to approve and equate your course work. For more information, go to the dean’s office in the School of Nursing (600 Highland Avenue, K6/228). If you also plan to take non-nursing courses, use the SCES to evaluate that course work.
  • Engineering majors
    The College of Engineering will need to approve and equate your course work. Students should complete the Course Approval Form for Official Off-Campus Study or contact the Engineering General Resources Office (1150 Engineering Hall).
  • Pharmacy majors
    The School of Pharmacy will need to approve and equate your course work. For more information, contact Student Services (1203 Rennebohm Hall, 608-262-6234).

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Additional Considerations

To help ensure a successful equivalency process and credit transfer, be sure to do the following:

  1. Attempt to determine how the course work will transfer by comparing the other school’s course descriptions to UW–Madison’s course descriptions. Since a maximum of four courses will be equated by the SCES, this will help ensure you select courses that meet your needs. Here are some things to keep in mind:

    • If there is not an exact equivalent, but you think it is the type of course taught by a UW–Madison department, review how breadth and level are assigned to similar UW courses. In this case, we will probably equate it to electives in the department (e.g., history electives with social studies breadth at the intermediate level).
    • If UW–Madison does not offer a similar course (such as technical, hotel management, and remedial courses), chances are it will not transfer.
    • If the other school is on a quarter credit system, avoid courses that are part of a yearlong sequence (e.g., Chemistry I, II, and III). A single quarter course will not be equivalent to one of our semester courses.
    • Think about the content of the course that you want to take. Be sure it does not duplicate or overlap the content of a course you have already completed.
    • Most UW–Madison schools and colleges require permission to repeat a course off campus for credit. Ask your advisor.
    • If you are taking an online course during the summer term, you must complete the course by the last day of UW–Madison's summer term or you risk not receiving credit.
    • International students for whom English 118 is required to satisfy GER Communications Part A may NOT substitute other communication/English courses. Very few schools offer a course equivalent to UW–Madison’s 118.
    • Courses taken at a school with a semester system receive the same number of semester credits awarded at the other school. If the course is taken at a school that operates on quarter hours, we multiply the hours by two-thirds to convert them to semester hours. Any other credit system will be converted to semester hours.
    • If you have already transferred 72 credits from a two-year college, you may not be eligible to receive additional degree credits from a two-year college.
    • Grades from courses taken off campus are never recorded on your UW–Madison record. All courses for which you receive a D or higher will be accepted for credit as long as the other school awards credit. Please note: If your transferring GPA is at a level that would place you on academic probation with your intended UW–Madison school or college, it will be noted on your UW–Madison record. If you take a major course pass/fail, your school or college may not count it toward your major (even if we give you both course and degree credit).
  2. Review your general education requirements (GER), school/college requirements, and program/major requirements as stated in the Undergraduate Catalog or on your Degree Audit Report (DARS), to ensure the course work will satisfy the requirements you intend to complete.
  3. Make an appointment with your academic advisor if you are considering course work in your major or course work to satisfy GER. Upper-division courses and sequence courses in the science and math fields may not be acceptable for satisfying a major requirement. (L&S Students: Keep the major courses in residence requirement in mind.)

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