CCAS Orientation 2021

STEP 1: Virtual Presentation & Website Exploration

Watch our virtual presentation, welcoming students to UW-Madison and CCAS. Learn important information for fall semester, and meet our team.

Review the information on this website, including links at the bottom of the page to explore many of our campus partners and how they serve students.

— If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below on the day of Orientation, or have a known contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please do not attend an in-person station —

Cough, shortness of breath, congestion, sore throat, headache, fever, vomiting, or diarrhea

STEP 2: Advising Stations & Lunch

Come see us! CCAS professional and peer advisors will be set up at stations around campus. Visit us to: grab some free stuff, meet our advising staff, ask our peers student life questions, and get your quick advising questions answered. Choose the location that’s most convenient or you!

Dejope back patio – facing the lake! Look for a pop-up tent and smiling faces.

Ingraham Hall – the home of the CCAS main office! The Career Exploration Center will also have a table and be on-hand to answer your career questions.

Witte Backyard- A great location in the heart of the Southeast residence halls!

Online via Zoom – All CCAS students who would prefer not to meet in-person are welcome to attend quick drop-ins with quick questions.

All CCAS students will receive a FREE lunch hosted on the Gordon Dining & Event Center Lawn at 12:00pm followed by the Chancellor’s Convocation in the Kohl Center.


Every student will have an assigned CCAS advisor, but we are also a team who works together to serve all students! Watch your assigned advisor’s Introduction video here, and while you’re there – check out the videos from our entire team!

CCAS is a community of professional and peer advisors who work together to support all exploring students at UW-Madison. We look forward to working with you – welcome to UW-Madison and CCAS!

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Who is CCAS?

Cross-College Advising Service, CCAS, is an advising office that exists to serve all undergraduate students who are undecided about their major, exploring several major options, and who seek individualized help to explore academic options.

If I'm a CCAS student, which college am I in?

Great question! We know it can be confusing at times. While CCAS itself is not a school or college at UW-Madison, all students assigned to CCAS are students in the College of Letters & Science.

We know that many students we work with may be considering majors in other schools and colleges – and that’s great! CCAS is here to help you find the major path that is best for you. Historically about 40% of the students who begin their college career with CCAS end up graduating from a school or college other than L&S. We’re here to help you find the best “academic home” for you.

How do I know who my assigned advisor is?

You can find information about your assigned advisor in the Academic Navigator app in your MyUW portal. While all CCAS students are assigned a specific advisor, all CCAS staff work to support all of our assigned students.

How do I get advising?

Advising is available through either scheduled appointments, or drop-ins. Scheduled advising appointments will be offered virtually, by phone, and in-person throughout fall semester, while drop-in advising will take place in-person.

Drop-in advising is available Monday-Thursday, 1:00pm-4:30pm in the CCAS office in both Witte and Dejope Residence Halls. Drop-in advising will start on the first day of classes, September 8, and is offered while classes are in session.

CCAS advisors will offer appointments in our Ingraham office location, as well as in our residence hall locations.

Per campus guidelines, CCAS requires all students to wear a face covering. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below or have a known contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please meet with your advisor virtually or by phone.

If you would like to meet virtually, you can contact your advisor directly, or our main office at to make that change.

Symptoms: Fever or chills, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Fatigue, Muscle or body aches, Headache, New loss of taste or smell, Sore throat, Congestion or runny nose, Nausea or vomiting, Diarrhea.

Together we can keep our campus community safe and healthy. Thank you for your cooperation.

Should I attend drop-ins or schedule an appointment?

It depends on your question and the kind of answer you’re looking for. If you have a simple or quick question, and/or a question for which you want an experienced student’s perspective, you’ll want to drop-in with one of our peer advisors. There are no appointments needed for drop-ins and you can meet with a peer advisor in real time.

If you know  that you want to have a conversation about the big picture, choosing a major/career, a question about the rules or policies of the university or want to connect with your assigned advisor, make an appointment to see one of our professional advisors.

What if I need to change my enrollment now?

If you need to add, drop, or swap a course, or make any other changes to your schedule, you can do that on your own; we always recommend speaking with an advisor before dropping a course or making significant changes to your schedule. Questions about this can be addressed in drop-in advising, or by meeting with your advisor.

If you are interested in dropping a course and adding another, we strongly encourage you to swap the courses. Using the swap function will ensure you do not a drop a course before being enrolled in another one.

You can go here to get step-by-step instructions on several enrollment options:

When should I see my advisor again?

You can see your advisor as often or as seldom as you want. We recommend seeing your advisor at least once a semester before you enroll in courses for spring semester.

Help! I'm still on a waitlist!

Take a deep breath – we know this can feel stressful. The most important thing is to make sure that you have a schedule that works if you don’t get off the waitlist. Also make sure you are checking your email daily – if you get admitted off the waitlist, you will have a limited amount of time to enroll in the course.

Feel free to talk to an advisor about your next steps. Attending drop-in advising, or scheduling an appointment can be a good way to get advice. And know that if you do not get into the course this semester, there is a good chance you can take it in the future!

How long can I make changes to my fall courses?

There are a few important deadlines to be aware of, regarding making changes to your spring enrollment.

The deadline to add a course for the spring semester is September 17; after that point you would need instructor or academic dean permission to add a new course.

There are two deadlines related to dropping courses: the first drop deadline is September 15. Until then you can drop any class you want and the dropped course will not be listed on your transcript.

The final drop deadline is November 5 after which courses cannot be dropped for fall semester without dean’s approval. Courses dropped between September 15 and November 5 will be dropped from your enrollment, but stay on your transcript with a “DR” notation, indicating that you dropped the course. In general, having this notation on your transcript is not something to be concerned about.

We encourage you to talk to an advisor about any feelings or doubts you have about changes or their consequences.

When do I enroll in courses for next fall?

Enrolling for spring 2022 courses is planned for mid-November We encourage you to start planning and talking with your advisor about your fall plans in early October.

When do I need to declare a major?

The official deadline to declare a major is when you reach 86 credits (in the College of Letters & Sciences). Many students decide on a major before then; students often declare between their third and fifth semester.

There is a great deal of variation in what timeline works best depending on the majors you are exploring. Again, advisors can help you understand how your specific field of major exploration informs when it’s best to declare a major.

How do I pick the right major?

Whether you have lots of ideas for majors or no ideas at all, the Career Exploration Center (CEC) is a good first destination to help you figure out which majors might be the best fit for you.

Start your major exploration here!

How do I choose my major if I don’t know what I want my career to be?

No matter what major(s) you are considering, there are likely many different career options that are available to you! If you are interested in starting to think about how your major might connect to future careers, the Career Exploration Center (CEC) is a good place to start.

Learn more about scheduling a virtual appointment with the CEC!

I want to start exploring future career opportunities. Where do I start?

Not sure what career direction you want to take? The Career Exploration Center (CEC) can help you kick-off the exploration process.

Have some career ideas and want more information? Check out the Career Communities at Successworks!

Campus Resources here for you!

UW-Madison is home to many student-focused offices, all available for you to utilize in your time as a student.

Offices that help create community around part of your identity, tutoring and help with study skills, to offices designed to help you on your unique academic path.

Browse below to explore, and decide which office YOU want to learn more about!