Undergraduate Advising

Advisors work with undergraduate students to select their major, assist in interpreting regulations and requirements, and provide guidance about graduate programs and career opportunities.

Undergraduate Advising Compact

Mutual respect should govern the interactions between advisors and students. Students and advisors have advising responsibilities to prepare for, actively participate in, and take appropriate action following advising sessions.


  • It is the student's responsibility to take advantage of advising services and associated resources. The Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) is part of UW-Madison's commitment to academic advising. A DARS report shows which requirements have already been completed and which remain unsatisfied.
  • Students are responsible for reviewing their DARS on a regular basis. It is the student’s responsibility to make an appointment with an advisor to clarify any questions or concerns about a DARS report. Students must meet with an advisor in person in order to declare their major in Social Welfare and discuss their options, if considering applying to the BSW program.


  • Advising information provided to students must be accurate, accessible, and timely. DARS is not intended to replace students' contact with academic advisors. In the advising meeting, a quick and thorough analysis of the DARS report allows more time during the appointment to discuss course options, research opportunities, plans for graduate school, or issues of personal interest or concern to students.

Social Work Advisors:

  • assist undergraduate students to formally declare the undergraduate Social Welfare major or BSW program;
  • integrate and interpret the rules and regulations of the College of Letters and Science and the major;
  • help students identify appropriate courses both in and out of the School;
  • help students plan their schedules and organize their programs of study to meet L&S requirements and the School’s requirements for the undergraduate major or BSW program;
  • work with faculty to identify appropriate transfer credits for undergraduates;
  • serve as intermediaries between undergraduates and the L&S Deans in the Student Academic Affairs Office to negotiate possible exceptions to College requirements;
  • link students with relevant faculty members for independent study projects;
  • provide students information on career options and resources, and link them to appropriate faculty for additional professional advisement, as appropriate.

Helpful Advising Documents:

UW-Madison Guide

Social Work Sections of the Guide