What to Expect

As of 2023, it has been 4 years since I started the Badger Ready program. I still distinctly remember how scared I was, like, what if I mess this up too? Thankfully, the crew at Badger Ready really do try to set you up for success. Tyler Johnston

Student and guest in "I'm a Badger" frame

1. Application

You will apply to UW–Madison as a University Special student. See our Get Started page for the application link and more details. Here’s a bit of what to expect on the application:

  • The first part includes residency, demographic, and academic information
  • The next section consists of three essay prompts
  • Lastly, you will have the opportunity to apply for financial assistance (scholarship)

Your application is not complete and will not be reviewed until all of the required official transcripts are received.

2. Transcript evaluation

We partner with the Office of the Registrar to generate a preliminary transfer credit evaluation based on your official transcripts. We use this information to build a customized pathway leading toward transfer admission.

3. Consultation

Once your pathway is created, you will be contacted to schedule an hour-long consultation appointment with the Badger Ready program manager or academic advisor. The consultation appointment is an opportunity to get to know you better, discuss academic and career goals, and answer any questions you may have about the program. Generally, you will know your Badger Ready admission status within a week of the consultation meeting.

4. Individualized program plan

If you are offered admission to join Badger Ready, your customized pathway will continue to form based on our 1:1 meetings and academic planning.

5. Online orientation

The online orientation is a primer for the upcoming term and includes critical information to help your academic transition. It is self-paced (asynchronous) and should be completed before the group orientation. The activities assigned during the online orientation, including introducing yourself to your peers, will lay the groundwork for creating relationships and building community.

6. Group orientation

About a week before the term begins, you will gather with other new Badger Ready students for an in-person orientation, generally held on campus. For a portion of the orientation, you will be joined by other past and present Badger Ready students. This will give you the opportunity to ask them questions and hear about their experiences as students. Additionally, you’ll participate in engaging workshops about campus resources and technology.

7. One-on-one Monthly meetings

Badger Ready students are required to meet at least once a month for 30 minutes with their academic advisor. Your monthly meetings can be used to ask questions, discuss current courses, plan for future terms, talk about unexpected events, and more. Transparency in communication is the backbone of your monthly advising meetings. Of course, you are welcome to meet with your advisor more than once a month if you would like!

8. Community building events

Optional events will be offered for both current and seasoned Badger Ready students. At a large, decentralized university like UW–Madison, it can feel like you’re the only returning adult student, but you are not alone! These events promote healthy socializing and sustained connection with your peers.