"Well Red," a sculpture by Douwe Blumberg of a studious-looking Bucky Badger looking out at the lake.
SOAR logo

Welcome to the UW-Madison community. Your first step to becoming a Badger is attending SOAR! Get started by reading the below checklist.

SOAR Checklist

Before coming to campus, use this website as your guide to prepare for your SOAR session. The checklist includes links to a variety of campus offices and resources to help you access the most up-to-date information. If you have additional questions, you can also always contact the SOAR office by email at soar@studentlife.wisc.edu or by phone at (608) 262-4707. We can’t wait to see you on campus!

(Photo by Jeff Miller / UW-Madison)

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1. Complete Your Admissions Steps

The Office of Admissions provides information for new freshmen, transfer, and international students who are transitioning to UW-Madison. Please complete the correct checklist for your admit type before continuing with the SOAR registration process.

Admission Checklist for Fall-Admitted Students

2. Plan Your Placement Test(s)

You will need to complete placement testing before attending your SOAR session. Placement tests help advisors learn about your skills and correctly advise you about choosing courses.

  • Freshmen are required to take English (or English as a Second Language, ESLAT) and math placement tests, regardless of previous coursework. Testing in a world language is also highly encouraged.
  • Transfer students are informed which test(s) they are required to take via email from the Office of Admissions. Information about which test(s) you need to take is also available at the bottom of your Transfer Credit Evaluation, located in your Student Center.

If you’re unable to participate in paper/pencil regional testing, please view this list of computer-based testing centers.

3. Prepare to make your SOAR Reservation

  • Review the content listed on the SOAR Program Overview page.
  • Students should determine which advising group they will advise with at SOAR. Review the information provided by the Office of Undergraduate Advising at advising.wisc.edu.

4. Make your SOAR Reservation

Fall/Summer Admits

The SOAR reservation system will open at the following times CST:

  • Transfer Students – Open Now
  • Freshmen Students – Open Now

5. SOAR Accommodations for Students and Parents/Guests

The SOAR program strives to ensure all participants can fully participate in the program, if students or guests need accommodations for the SOAR program, please follow the links below.

6. Make Overnight Accommodations

Freshmen SOAR Program

Freshmen SOAR sessions span two days, and overnight housing accommodations were not automatically included in your SOAR registration process. We recommend staying on campus to experience all residence hall living has to offer. Book your stay online at www.housing.wisc.edu/conferences/soar/reservation/.

Both parents and students have the opportunity to stay on campus. If staying in housing is not the best fit for your family, there are many local places to stay in the Madison community. For a list on-campus hotels offering competitive rates and private hotels offering discounts to SOAR participants visit soar.wisc.edu/hotels.


Transfer SOAR Program

There are no overnight housing accommodations available during our transfer program, a list near campus hotels offering competitive rates and private hotels offering discounts to SOAR participants visit soar.wisc.edu/hotels.


International SOAR & Late August Sessions

There are no overnight housing accommodations available during our International/Late August SOAR. Students can move-in early to their residence hall, students needing to take advantage of this option should contact University Housing for details. Family members on campus for move-in and/or the SOAR program are encouraged to look at the list of local hotels offering discounts to UW families.

7. Get Ready to SOAR

Review this information to prepare for your SOAR experience. SOAR gives you a closer look at what life is like for a UW–Madison student. Come to Madison prepared, and discover the exciting resources waiting for you.

8. After SOAR

Complementary Programs for Summer SOAR Attendees

Looking to get a jump start on your Wisconsin Experience? In addition to SOAR, check out these other summer opportunities for new students!

More Information >>