SOAR stands for Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration and is coordinated by the Center for the First-Year Experience (CFYE). SOAR provides the opportunity to:
- Gain exposure to the array of academic and social opportunities at UW–Madison.
- Begin to integrate into university life and UW–Madison culture.
- Think about what you would like your Wisconsin Experience to be.
- Gain an understanding of university policies, procedures, and processes.
Summer & Fall 2021 admitted students will be able to start exploring the SOAR reservation system on Monday, February 1, 2021. During this time, you will be able to enter all your personal information for your SOAR reservation. SOAR session date selection will open in late April 2021.
More information about the Summer SOAR program for Fall 2021 admitted students will be posted in the coming months. In the meantime, review this page to learn more about the SOAR process!
At SOAR, students will begin their transition to UW–Madison by learning about academic advising, degree requirements, and campus resources. You will also enroll in your first-semester courses. Your SOAR experience will center around two important themes: Academic Advising and Student Life. The content of each theme will be designed to help you have a successful transition as a new Badger.
Parent & Family Orientation
We recognize that parents and family members play a central role in your student’s life and that you will continue to be a source of guidance and support during your student’s college years. For this reason, we offer a concurrent SOAR Parent & Family Orientation for each incoming class. The Center for the First-Year Experience (CFYE) is committed to providing you with the necessary support to help facilitate a successful transition for your student.
Tasks before SOAR
Wondering what to do in the meantime? Before making your SOAR reservation later this Fall, there will be several tasks you must complete to prepare for your orientation. Please review these initial pre-SOAR tasks below to start preparing! More tasks will be posted in the coming months.
1) Complete Your Admissions Checklists
The Office of Admissions requires specific tasks for all incoming students after they are admitted. You will need to complete both your Admissions checklists as an Applicant and Admitted Student before making your SOAR reservation. Be sure to check your email(s) often for important information from the University, and keep track of the following information:
- Your 10-digit UW-Madison Campus ID number
- Your deadlines for enrollment confirmation, financial aid, final transcripts, and housing
2) Explore your Academic Options
During your SOAR reservation process, you will select the advising group that best matches your academic interests and goals. You will work with the advisors in your group to:
- Learn more about the requirements for earning a UW-Madison degree.
- Explore your academic options
- Strategically choose courses based on your academic experiences and goals.
- Enroll in your first semester classes.
Please review the two resources below to help you choose your SOAR advising group!
UW-Madison has over 230 undergraduate majors and certificates. Use the UW Guide to explore all our academic programs and filter by interest area.
3) Understand your placement testing requirements
Placement testing registration for summer & fall 2021 students will open on February 1, 2021. In order to participate in the SOAR program, students who are required to take a placement test(s) must complete their placement test(s) at least 2 weeks before their SOAR session. Placement test scores help academic advisors learn about your skills and help you choose courses at the correct level in each subject. Placement testing requirements vary between student types (freshman, transfer, and international). In the meantime, click the button below to review our Placement Testing Information page to understand UW-Madison testing requirements.