Undergraduate FAQ

Where can I find a list of classes?
A list of courses is provided in the undergraduate academic catalog.

Is there a specific course sequence I should follow?
Not necessarily, but you do need to take an introductory science writing course (LSC 111 or 212) before taking more advanced courses in the major. Additionally, LSC 250, 251, and 350 are prerequisites for some other classes. You will work closely with your advisor to better understand when courses are taught, how often they’re taught, and when you’ll likely be able to enroll.  For more information, please refer to the curriculum sheet.

How and when do I register for classes?
You will receive an email from the UW Registrar’s Office when you are eligible to enroll. Then you must meet with your advisor who will help you select appropriate courses for the semester.

What is the average credit load students take each semester?
Typically students take 13-15 credits per semester. The minimum credit load for full-time students is 12 credits per semester and the maximum is 18 credits per semester.

How many people are in the program?
Department majors tend to range from 200-225 students.

How do I get in contact with my advisor?
Email or call your advisor. Your advisor is listed in your Student Center.

Where is LSC located?
LSC is in Hiram Smith Hall, 1545 Observatory Drive on the west end of campus (see map).

What resources (classrooms, labs, and studios) does LSC have?
In addition to one regular classrooms, LSC has two computer labs (with dual boot Mac and PC machines), three radio labs, and a video editing lab.

Is financial aid available?
Yes, financial aid is available through the University of Wisconsin Office of Student Financial Aid.

Are scholarships available?
Yes, LSC is committed to recognizing student excellence. LSC uses the Common Scholarship through the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. CALS announces the scholarship application “open date” every fall and the deadline is typically late January or early February. Multiple reminders are sent to LSC students to complete this application. For the 2016-17 school year, LSC was able to award $42,250 in scholarships to LSC students (grad and undergrad), and CALS awarded another $54,375 in scholarships.

What can I do with my LSC major?
A degree in LSC prepares students for a variety of communication opportunities. Learn more about the diverse and interesting career paths of LSC graduates.

Why are students with “senior status” not allowed to declare the LSC major?
Unfortunately, the LSC undergraduate program cannot accommodate students with senior status who want to first begin taking the LSC major requirements as a senior. The LSC classes are in very high demand and the department must ensure that students who declare the major as a freshman, sophomore, or junior are able to get access to classes in order to complete their major requirements on time. The LSC department is simply enforcing a policy put in place by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Why do I have an “advisor hold” on my account?
LSC places “advisor holds” on all declared majors (who are not graduating) every semester prior to enrollment for the following semester. The department values the information students receive in advising meetings and wants to ensure that all students meet with their advisor at least once a semester. It is the students’ responsibility to schedule an appointment with their advisor in advance of their enrollment time. Students will likely see an “advisor hold” on their account in October (prior to spring enrollment in November) every fall semester, and in March (prior to summer term and fall semester enrollment in April) every spring semester. An email notification is sent to the LSC listserve and signs are posted around Hiram Smith Hall when the advising holds are put in place.

When should I meet with my advisor?
You can meet with your advisor anytime throughout the year. However, you should schedule an appointment to talk with your advisor specifically about classes/enrollment/your DARS/etc. as soon as the LSC course schedule is released. LSC releases their course schedule in mid-October (for the following spring semester) and in March (for the following summer term and fall semester). LSC provides their course schedule in advance of the UW’s course schedule release for the convenience of all students.

Are there opportunities to enroll in Independent/Directed Study credits in the LSC major?
There are limited opportunities to enroll in independent study credits in the LSC undergrad major. Instructors and students are under strict requirements to adhere to the UW Independent Study Policy. Independent study opportunities should first be discussed with your LSC academic advisor. Independent Study enrollment is treated like a regular class, e.g. for a 3-credit independent study enrollment, the estimated amount of student work is 8-10 hours per week, including independent work and weekly meetings with the instructor.

Are there opportunities to enroll in Internship Credits in the LSC major?
Yes, the LSC department, faculty, and advisors highly encourage internship experience. However, it is not always necessary to enroll in internship credits if you have been offered an internship. Some internship employers/sponsors require students to enroll in internships for credit and some employers have no preference. Internship enrollment/credits are the same as regular class enrollment/credits and are also assessed the same for tuition purposes. You can count up to eight academic internship credits toward your required 120 credits to graduate. LSC allows a maximum of four internship credits per semester, including summer. For each credit you enroll in, you must work 80 hours on site with your internship. Your first step is to speak with your LSC advisor to determine if your internship is eligible for internship credit. If your internship is eligible, you must work with both your LSC advisor and your internship supervisor to complete the necessary paperwork. Internship enrollment requires the completed paperwork to be turned into your LSC advisor before you begin your internship, and progress and final reports.

How many credits do I need for graduation?
120. For students who declare the LSC major in Fall, 2016 or after please refer to this curriculum sheet for more information. For students who declared the LSC major prior to Fall, 2016 please refer to this curriculum sheet for more information.

Where do I find information about applying for graduation and my commencement ceremony?
You will “apply to graduate” through your student center once you enter your final semester. Information on your commencement ceremony can by found at UW-Madison Commencement.

Where can I find the forms, documents, and policies for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences?
All forms related to double-majoring, academic appeals, internships, credit overload, etc., and the entire list of Policies and Procedures for CALS students can be found on the CALS Academic Policies and Forms webpage.

How and when do I apply and declare LSC as my major?
First-year students can declare their major when they attend SOAR. For current students to declare LSC as their major, they need to meet with Tera Holtz Wagner. Please use the scheduling assistant to arrange a meeting with Tera to learn more about LSC or declare the major. You can also contact Tera at lifescicomm@cals.wisc.edu or 608.262.1241.

Once you have met with Tera, you will submit your major declaration paperwork and attend a transfer session with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Please note, students with “senior status” cannot declare the LSC major. Senior status is defined has a student with 86 or more cumulative credits taken as an undergrad student (i.e. AP credits earned as a high school student do not count against you in this case).