I'm concerned that my student's intended major won't get him/her a job. What should I do?

I have concerns about my student's grades and/or course selections. Can I speak with an advisor?

How many honors courses should my student take each semester?

My student didn't register for an honors course for his/her first semester. Is he/she going to fall behind in honors requirements?

My student wants to major in pre-med. What does that entail?

Why is my student registered for an atypical language?

When I went to college, I took math, English, history and a foreign language. What are these bizarre courses that are being offered, and why isn't my student taking math?

Where can I go to get more information about how to support my student throughout his/her college career?




I'm concerned that my student's intended major won't get him/her a job. What should I do?

There doesn't always appear to be a direct link between a college major and a career. This shouldn't, however, raise any alarms. A college degree in the liberal arts teaches learners how to think critically and broadly about a variety of issues -- something employers value. Moreover, it is common for individuals to find work in a field that is not directly related to their degree once they graduate. A liberal arts degree helps students become well-versed in numerous areas, which prepares them for many career options.


I have concerns about my student's grades and/or course selection. Can I speak with an advisor?

Due to FERPA regulations (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974), we cannot provide information about your student's private academic records (such as grades, course schedules, and items discussed at advising appointments). If you have concerns about your student, the best course of action is to have an open discussion with him or her.


How many honors courses should my student take each semester?

In order to graduate with Honors in the Liberal Arts, a student needs to take a minimum of 24 course credits for honors. Over the course of a four-year degree, that amounts to roughly one honors course per semester. This is only an average, however, and it is quite common for students to take no honors courses one semester and two or three honors courses during another. For more information about specific Honors in the Liberal Arts requirements, please click here.


My student didn't register for an honors course for his/her first semester. Is he/she going to fall behind in honors requirements?

As mentioned above, the "average" semester load is one honors course per semester, but this fluctuates from semester to semester. We recommend that incoming first-year students do not load their first semester with too many credits, and this also includes not taking too many honors courses. It is typical for first-year students to take one or even no honors courses during their first semester. This does not "put them behind" the honors requirements, but students do need to factor in honors courses as they plan their future semesters -- here's where making an advising appointment is important.


My student wants to major in pre-med. What does that entail?

At UW-Madison, pre-medicine is an intended path of coursework -- not a major. Therefore, your student can major in whatever he or she chooses as long as he or she fulfills the admission requirements for medical school. For more information on pre-med requirements, please visit the L&S Center for Pre-Health Advising.


Why is my student registered for an atypical language?

UW-Madison prides itself in offering a wide variety of foreign languages, and we encourage students to continue to study a foreign language even if they have met the minimum university foreign language requirements due to previous coursework in high school or at a local college. Studying a foreign language helps develop cross-cultural skills that are increasingly helpful in our global society. Furthermore, students who choose to study a unique language in college often "stand out" during scholarship application reviews, job / internship reviews, or pre-professional school applications. It shows that the student is open-minded and willing to try new things.


When I went to college, I took math, English, history and a foreign language. What are these bizarre courses that are being offered, and why isn't my student taking math?

University requirements may have changed since you or your student's family members attended college. In addition, degree requirements vary among different departments and schools on campus, as well as between other colleges and universities. Our academic advisors are here to help provide students with basic guidelines for meeting degree requirements; this gives students room to meet requirements, yet tailors their academic experience to suit their individual needs and preferences. Academic advisors aren't here to tell your student what courses to take or to create his or her schedule, but they will work with your student to give him or her information and knowledge to select courses that best suit his or her needs, interests and abilities.


Where can I go to get more information about how to support my student throughout his/her college career?

The UW-Madison Parent Program is a great resource, offering student support information as well as a listing of campus events and links to important campus resources. To sign up to receive the parent newsletter and stay up-to-date on campus happenings, click here.