SOAR Program Overview (In-Person)

New Student Leader (NSL) talks with incoming freshmen in a small-group discussion

Welcome Future Badgers! This information is for DOMESTIC FRESHMEN who will attend SOAR in-person. This page will help you prepare for your SOAR experience by providing:

  • A full outline of the SOAR program
  • A list all SOAR tasks due before your two-day on-campus experience
  • How to make a SOAR reservation and troubleshooting information

Scroll down this page or use the navigation panel below to prepare for your upcoming SOAR experience!

Arriving in Madison

Overnight Accommodations

The program is scheduled to end at 9:45 pm on Day One of the program, so we encourage you to stay in Madison overnight. There are several options available, including staying in the Lowell Center (Residence Hall), more information is available at Reservations are required to stay in the Lowell Center and are NOT included in your SOAR reservation.


Parking can be difficult around campus, so reserved parking is available for the two-day program. If you haven’t done so already, we encourage you to pre-reserve your spot at Lot 17 (1525 Engineering Drive) near Union South on your SOAR Reservation. The cost for a two-day pass is $30 and will be added to your SOAR invoice. If you are staying at a local hotel, we recommend you verify parking and shuttle services in advance.

Travel to Madison

Getting to Madison is simple. For those needing to fly, the Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) is the closest airport to campus. Taxi, rideshare, or a local hotel shuttle is required to get downtown and campus. Two regional bus lines stop on campus: Badger Bus serves both the Milwaukee area and the Twin Cities metro and the Van Galder serves downtown Chicago and O’Hare Airport.

General Program Schedule

The SOAR domesitc freshman program is a two-day program. During SOAR, you will work with academic advisors to develop your academic plan. As part of SOAR, you will review degree and major requirements and enroll in your first-semester courses. You will also have an opportunity to learn about campus resources, participate in a campus walking tour, meet with current students, and discuss the transition to UW-Madison.

A detailed SOAR schedule is provided at check-in. You must attend all parts of the program in order to enroll in your first-semester courses. A general schedule overview can be found here.


The SOAR program strives to ensure all participants can fully participate in the program.  For information about disability-related accommodations, please click here.

Completing the SOAR Canvas Course

This section will guide you through how to complete the online SOAR content in Canvas, the University’s online learning platform. Before your SOAR session, you must complete the required online course in Canvas. You will receive access to a course titled “SOAR Academic Advising, Summer 2022,” and the completion of this course is required prior to coming to your SOAR session.

UW-Madison faculty use Canvas for your courses, so SOAR will also an opportunity for you to get comfortable using the platform before classes begin.

These modules contain text and video content that match the module theme. All SOAR video content in the Canvas course has captioning available. You can also access a transcript of the presented material or opt to view the content with American Sign language (ASL) Interpretation.

How do I access the SOAR Academic Advising course?

To be able to get access to your SOAR Academic Advising course, you must complete your SOAR reservation.

To access the course in Canvas:

  1. Log in to Canvas using your UW-Madison NetID credentials.
  2. You should see a Dashboard for courses. If the SOAR course does not automatically appear, click the Courses icon on the left menu and a list of courses should appear.
  3. Find the course titled “SOAR Academic Advising, Summer 2022”  course and click on it.
  4. Follow the completion instructions within the course.

SOAR Academic Advising Canvas dashboard course picture

Course Content

The SOAR Academic Advising, Summer 2022  course consists of the following informational modules:

  • Academic Advising at UW-Madison
  • Introduction to Academic Courses
  • Introduction to Course, Search and Enroll
  • Building Your Course Schedule
  • Preparing for Your SOAR Advising Experience

This course can be completed in any order and at your own pace and will take about 60 minutes. Please complete this Canvas Course by the Sunday before your SOAR session.

Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

SOAR is committed to creating a program where everyone can participate. We value disability as an aspect of diversity and want to ensure that you are able to fully participate in all programming available to you.

Click the button below for more information requesting accommodations for placement testing, the SOAR program, and the academic year (all of which are separate processes):

Go to Accommodations Information page

Interpreter provides caption-to-screen Communications Access Realtime Translation (CART) service during a presentation.