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Adult Students & Second Degree Students

Who is an adult student?

UW–Madison defines an adult student as someone who is 25 years of age or older.

Adult Students

Adult students with an interest in engineering include students who:

  • Are adult students who might want to begin an undergraduate degree as a freshman.
  • Began their undergraduate career elsewhere and wish to complete it here.
  • Began their undergraduate studies at UW-Madison, left, and want to return.
  • Have had a significant break in their undergraduate studies

The Office of Admissions and Recruitment provides information about the entry options described above.

For questions particular to the College of Engineering, contact

Students might also consult with UW-Madison’s Adult Career and Special Student Services regarding education and career planning, and programs and services for nontraditional, and University Special students, as well as local adults considering a career change.

The College of Engineering expects undergraduate students to enroll full-time (12-18 credits per semester) unless receiving part-time permission from the dean. Undergraduate engineering degrees are not available online, and most classes are held in-person during regular business hours. This may make it challenging to balance the rigorous academic experience with substantial work hours.

Many students have questions about funding their education. Consider reviewing opportunities found on the Continuing Studies website.

Who is a second degree student?

A second degree student is someone who is interested in pursuing a second bachelor’s degree after completing a bachelor’s degree at UW-Madison or another university.

Second Degree Students

The College of Engineering does not accept applications for second undergraduate degrees in engineering. Students seeking to pursue a second degree in engineering at UW-Madison might explore the Biological Systems Engineering program in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Prospective students should consult with a faculty advisor early for best planning.

Individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree might also consider pursuing engineering at another institution such as at UW-Platteville, UW-Milwaukee, or other accredited undergraduate programs found on the ABET Website.

Students can also look into pursuing a graduate program in the College of Engineering by consulting College of Engineering Graduate Degrees and Programs page.

Students may also consult with UW-Madison Adult Career and Special Student Services regarding possible options and directions. The advisors there are aware of this College of Engineering policy and will assist students as best as they can.