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.

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?

Try to not 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 a SuccessWorks at the College of Letters and Science career advisor to discuss different career opportunities for liberal arts students.

I need help putting my resume together. Any suggestions?

SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science offers individual help and workshops. They also offer a free Canvas module guide on resume writing.

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

Internships are a great way to try out different careers. Meet with a SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science career advisor 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.

Declaring or Undeclaring

How do I declare the Communication Arts major?

Students who would like to declare the Communication Arts major should schedule an advising appointment with a Communication Arts advisor or email Communication Arts Advising at after reviewing the Declaring the Communication Arts Major presentation. 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 declare the Digital Cinema Production certificate?

Prior to declaration, students must complete COM ARTS 355, Introduction to Media Production, with a grade of B or higher.  In addition, students must earn a grade of B or higher in their first attempt of one of the following courses:

  • Com Arts 465: Editing and Post-Production for Video and Film
  • Com Arts 466: Writing for Television and Film
  • Com Arts 467: Cinematography and Sound Recording
  • Com Arts 468: Producing for Internet TV and Video
  • Com Arts 609: Special Topics in Production
  • Com Arts 651: Advanced Video Production and Direction

Contact a Comm Arts advisor, if you’re eligible to declare the certificate. Please see the Guide or contact a Comm Arts advisor, if you would like additional information.

Who do I contact to declare the Digital Studies certificate?

Please go to the Digital Studies website for information on declaring the certificate.

I’ve decided not to complete the Communication Arts major. What do I need to do to cancel the major?

Please send an email message, with your name and campus id number, to Communication Arts Advising at


I’m wondering what I can do to support diversity.

UW-Madison’s Institutional Statement on Diversity along with campus resources, events and information for creating community can be found here.

Grade Appeals

How do I appeal my final semester grade for a Comm Arts course?

If you believe your final grade in a Comm Arts course to be incorrect or inequitable when compared to the standard grading policy stated in the syllabus for all students, you have the right to appeal your final semester grade. Please note that you need to appeal within the semester/term immediately following the term which the course was taken and grades can only be changed due to a grading error. Students can’t offer to rewrite a paper, turn in additional work, or retake a final exam.

Schedule a meeting with the instructor/course supervisor to discuss your final grade. To prepare for the meeting, identify the specific reason(s) for appealing the grade. Gather documentation that demonstrates the incorrect grading or how you were treated in a way inconsistent with the standard grading policy/practice for all students taking the same course. If you still wish to appeal your final grade after meeting with the course instructor/course supervisor, schedule an appointment to meet with Mary Rossa through Starfish. In addition to the materials you previously prepared, please also take a moment to summarize your meeting with the instructor/course supervisor before your meeting with Mary.


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 > Student Center > Academic Records > Apply for Graduation. For help applying for graduation or selecting a commencement ceremony, please visit the ‘Applying for Graduation’ instruction page.

When is the commencement ceremony being held?

Please check the commencement website.


Do you have any information on internship opportunities?

Start your search by exploring the following resources: Job Listings, Handshake, and internship resources.

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

Comm Arts offers our majors a one credit, academic course to accompany their internships. For additional details and instructions, please click here.

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?

Credit is earned for completing the academic course, Communication Arts 614 or 615, which is one 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 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 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 Undergraduate Academic Deans’ Services 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.

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 86 credits toward their undergraduate degree. To learn more about the requirement and requesting an exception click here.

Major Requirements

Can I declare both tracks of the major?

Communication Arts majors specialize in one track of the major. Students aren’t able to declare both tracks.

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.

Mental Health

I feel anxious and stressed. I’m not sure where to get help.

Any enrolled UW-Madison student can access mental health services through UHS (University Health Services). More information and resources can be found here. A few examples of available resources and services:

  • Individual Counseling
  • Let’s Talk provides no-cost, informal, confidential consultations around campus and virtually. Going to Let’s Talk can help you gain insight, support, and information about other resources.
  • SilverCloud is an online, self-guided, interactive mental health resource that provides students with accessible cognitive behavioral interventions 24 hours a day. SilverCloud does not require a referral from a mental health or medical provider. Learning modules address anxiety, depression, body image, stress, sleep, and resilience.

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 the start of 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.

Students with Disabilities

I have a disability and need accommodations for the classroom and housing.  Who can I contact?

Students can contact the McBurney Disability Resource Center for classroom accommodations and other helpful information including housing, transportation and personal care resources here.

Studying Abroad

I would like to study abroad. Where can I find information about different study abroad programs?

To explore study abroad programs, go to 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 tab for your study abroad program. Look for Course Equivalents. The View Course Equivalents link will include a list of courses that students have completed in the past with the UW-Madison equivalencies.


GPA calculator

Transferring a Course to UW-Madison

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

Transfer Your Credit to UW-Madison, Office of Registrar, provides guidelines, instructions, and resources.