Frequently Asked Questions


How do I make an appointment to see a Comm Arts advisor?

To schedule an advising appointment, please use Starfish. If you do not have Starfish, go to ‘My UW’ and search for ‘Starfish.’ Click ‘Add to Home’ and it will be added to your dashboard so you can start scheduling. If you need more guidance, you can find more information here. Please note that Comm Arts academic advisors will be doing remote advising for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester.

When are the drop-in advising hours?

Drop-in advising hours vary from week to week and are posted on the undergraduate advising page. Due to the shift of in-person classes to online, drop-in advising hours will not be offered for the rest of the semester. Please schedule through Starfish for remote academic advising during this time.

Can I make an appointment to see the Comm Arts advisor if I’m not a declared major?

Yes. During busy advising times, such as registration, non–majors may be asked to wait until a later date to schedule an appointment. If you are a first semester freshmen, please schedule an appointment to see your assigned advisor.


Where can I find out what types of careers people typically pursue with a Comm Arts major?

Don’t box yourself in by thinking this major equals a specific set of careers. The careers section of the Comm Arts website provides you with a list of some of the occupations Comm Arts alumni have pursued. Meet with Media, Information, and Career Advisor Pam Garcia-Rivera and/or SuccessWorks at the College of Letters and Science to discuss different career opportunities for liberal arts students.

I need help putting my resume together. Any suggestions?

Media, Information, and Career Advisor Pam Garcia-Rivera and SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science offer individual help and workshops.

I have no idea what I want to do. Any advice?

Internships are a great way to try out different careers. Meet with Media, Information, and Career Advisor Pam Garcia-Rivera and/or SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science to discuss different career opportunities for liberal arts students.


Can I earn a certificate in Comm Arts?

The Communication Arts Department offers the Digital Cinema Production certificate. Several Comm Arts courses also meet requirements for the Digital Studies certificate.


Do I need to apply to be a Communication Arts major?

L&S students interested in pursuing the major complete a major declaration form to declare the Comm Arts major. No application is required. Students who are not currently in the College of Letters and Science (L&S) need to either transfer into L&S or have permission from their school or college to pursue an additional major in Communication Arts. Instructions for transferring into L&S are available on the L&S Student Academic Affairs website.


How do I let the University know that I expect to graduate at the end of the semester?

Indicate when you intend to graduate through My UW. For help applying for graduation or selecting a commencement ceremony, please visit the ‘Applying for Graduation’ instruction page or the demo.

When is the commencement ceremony being held?

Please check the commencement website.

Do we need tickets for family and friends who want to attend graduation?

Family and friends don’t need tickets. The University doesn’t limit the number of people who attend graduation.


Do you have any information on internship opportunities?

Start your search by exploring the following resources: Job Listings, Handshake, resources, and @uwcommarts_adv

I have an internship. How do I get credit for it?

Comm Arts majors can arrange credit for their internship. Click here for instructions and additional details.

How many credits can I earn for completing an internship?

One (1).

If my internship is more than 8 hours per week, can I earn additional credit?


I’m a Comm Arts major who completed an internship last summer. Can I still receive credit for it?

No, students must register for the course during the semester in which they are completing their internship.

Can I continue the same internship next semester and earn another credit?

As a general rule, no. Students may be able to continue interning at the same place if their duties change significantly. This has to be approved by Mary Rossa, the internship credit coordinator.

What does the internship credit count towards?

The credit counts towards the 120 degree credits needed for graduation, and it is at the intermediate/advanced level.

L&S Policies and Forms

Can I take a course pass/fail?

Please read the College of Letter & Science Pass/Fail Privilege information.

Can I take a course through another school, in addition to the courses I’m taking this semester at UW-Madison?

Permission is required to be enrolled at UW-Madison while also taking a class at another institution during the fall or spring semester. See the L&S Student Academic Affairs website for information on obtaining permission for concurrent enrollment.

Can I take more than 18 credits during the fall or spring semester?

Students who wish to take more than 18 credits during the fall or spring semester must have earned a 3.0 cumulative GPA on the UW-Madison campus. No student may carry more than 20 total credits during the fall or spring semester. Additional fees are assessed for credit overloads. See the L&S Academic Affairs website, credit overloads, for additional information.

How do I switch from a Bachelor of Science to a Bachelor of Arts?

L&S students can change their degree program from a BA to a BS or BS to a BA by completing the Degree Program Change Form.

How do I transfer to L&S?

Current UW-Madison students click here for information on transferring into L&S.

Major Requirements

Can I declare both tracks of the major?

Students aren’t able to declare both tracks of the major.

I’m interested in the major. Which course should I take first?

  • If you’re interested in Communication Science and Rhetorical Studies, we recommend Com Arts 260, Communication & Human Behavior, for your first course.
  • If you’re interested in Radio-Television-Film, we recommend Com Arts 250, Survey of Contemporary Media.

Where can I find more information about the production courses?

Additional information about the courses, equipment, and facilities is available here.

I noticed another department is teaching a course with film in the title. Can I get Comm Arts credit for the course?

No. Only courses which are cross-listed with the Comm Arts Department will count towards the major requirements. Check the major requirements if you are unsure if a course is cross-listed.

Probation Status

Probation is a warning system for L&S students. The Student Academic Affairs website will help you understand probation, identify resources, and consider next steps.


I meet the prerequisites for a Comm Arts course, but when I try to register why am I told I’m ineligible?

A few of the Comm Arts courses are initially reserved for Comm Arts majors. Remaining seats become available to non majors after juniors have registered.

When do applications for the advanced production courses come out?

Advanced production applications are available at least two weeks prior to registration for an upcoming semester.

How can I get into a closed course?

The Comm Arts Department does not keep waiting lists. If someone drops through the online registration system, someone will be able to add.

Studying Abroad

I’m planning on studying abroad. Where can I find out information about different study abroad programs?

For information on various study abroad programs, go to the Study Abroad Resource Center at 106 Red Gym. Also look at the program information provided on the International Academic Programs website.

How do I find out how my credits from abroad will transfer?

If you are going through UW-Madison International Academic Programs (IAP), look at the Academics section for your study abroad program. It will include a list of courses that students have completed in the past with the UW equivalencies.

If you are going not studying abroad through a UW-Madison program, please see Transfer Credit Services for Work Completed Abroad on a Non-Approved Program.

  • Approved Transfer Course Equivalents for Non-Approved Programs
  • Denied Transfer Course Equivalents for Non-Approved Programs


GPA calulator

Transferring a Course to UW-Madison

How do I find out how the credits I may complete through a different institution transfer to UW-Madison?

The UW-Madison Course Equivalency Service (CES) will equate one course for students who wish to complete course work at another U.S. institution during the winter recess and up to four courses for summer term study. The CES will be available from March 1 – May 15 for summer term evaluation and from November 1 – December 1 for winter term evaluation.

If the courses are being offered through the University of Wisconsin System or the Wisconsin Technical College System, you can look at the Transfer Information System wizard to see how the credits will transfer to UW-Madison. If the course is not listed, submit a request to CES. If the course is being offered through a two-year school in Illinois or Minnesota, check the Transfer Equivalency Database (TED) before submitting an equivalency request.

I have senior standing. What is the senior residence requirement?

The L&S senior residence requirement states that all students must earn a minimum of 30 degree credits in residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison after they have earned 90 credits toward their undergraduate degree. To learn more about the requirement and requesting an exception click here.

After completing the course, where do I send my transcript?

After completing a course off campus, request that an official transcript be mailed to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.