Students gathered at CCAS Fall Orientation talking with advisors

CCAS Fall Orientation

Welcome CCAS Students!  Join us Tuesday morning, September 5, at Ingraham Hall B10 for our Cross-College Advising Service (CCAS) New Student Welcome & Orientation. 

You’ll attend a live and interactive presentation, gather with fellow incoming CCAS students, and hear from (and talk with) our CCAS team of professional academic advisors & Career Advisors from the Career Exploration Center (CEC).  

You’ll learn about important fall semester deadlines, where/how to access advising, AND you’ll pick up your FREE, clear, UW-facility approved CCAS tote bag!

All new CCAS students (including CCAS transfer students) are expected to attend CCAS Orientation. There will be 3 sessions happening that morning – 8:45am, 9:45am, and 10:45am.  Please arrive ON TIME to attend your specific morning session as there is a strict room capacity in the space.

Pay close attention to your email account for specific details regarding your session time.  See you September 5!

Have additional questions? Can we help with an accommodation need?  Email our office at or call our office at 608-265-5460.

image with text: CCAS Orientation September 5, 2023 Ingraham Hall, B10 Lecture Hall

Fall 2023 Orientation Recap

Thank you to all who attended our CCAS Orientation! It was great to see so many of you again!

A key message we stressed at Orientation is the importance of meeting with your academic advisor at least once per semester to stay on track for your graduation timeline. We hope you’ll schedule an appointment or stop by one of our drop-in locations sometime soon!

We hope you have a great start to the semester! If you were not able to attend our CCAS Orientation, below are recap videos from our event:

Picture of CCAS Orientation presenters i front of screen

CCAS Staff Welcome

CCAS Orientation Highlights

You have questions... and we have answers!

After you have attended CCAS Orientation, you may wish to review some of the information and resources that were shared. Find important information and answers to your academic questions on the drop down menu below.

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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 academic school/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.

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:

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, as well as in My Success Network in the Starfish application. While 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. Drop-in advising is available Monday-Thursday from 12:30-4:30pm in our 5 residence hall locations:

  • Chadbourne (Wednesdays and Thursdays only)
  • Dejope
  • Ogg (Mondays and Tuesdays only)
  • Sellery
  • Witte

All CCAS advisors offer in-person advising appointments in a variety of locations, as well virtual advising appointments via phone or video call You can find more information HERE on how to schedule an appointment.

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.

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.

Enrollment for spring semester will begin in November – meeting with your advisor before enrolling would be beneficial.

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 fall enrollment.

The deadline to add a course for the fall semester is September 15; 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 13. 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 24; courses cannot be dropped for fall semester without dean’s approval. Courses dropped between September 16 and November 24 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 Spring courses?

Enrolling for spring courses will take place in late November/early December. We encourage you to start planning and talking with your advisor about your spring plans in mid-late 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, Cross-College Advising Service (CCAS) 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 tons of 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 an 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!