University of Wisconsin-La Crosse |


Expand page menu
Skip to page menu
  • Admissions header
  • Special non-degree student

    You may be a special nondegree student if you are:

    • a student at another university looking to enroll at UW-La Crosse for the summer or winter session, and planning to return to your home university;
    • an individual desiring to audit or take courses for credit, but does not expect to earn a degree from UW-La Crosse;
    • an individual looking to take classes toward a graduate program for which you need to complete additional prerequisites; or
    • a high school student looking to take college courses, including Youth Options participants (please see bottom of page for more detailed instructions).

    Students may later be admitted as an undergraduate degree-seeking student provided they submit complete transcripts of previous work and meet admission requirements. Courses completed as a special nondegree student at UW-La Crosse will then be evaluated for credit.

    Special non-degree students apply using the online UW System application. Select the appropriate reason for applying and choose "Undergraduate Special/Non-degree" in the "Applying As" field.

    Class descriptions, offerings and times are accessible in the UW-La Crosse course catalog and class timetable.  Special non-degree students register after degree seeking students.  Registration instructions are sent to admitted special non-degree students as the scheduled enrollment date for each term approaches. 

    The WINGS system will not allow you to register for courses that are full or require special permission from the instructor, department chair, and/or dean.  Permission is obtained through override forms that are available from department offices.  All override forms must be taken to the Office of Records and Registration, 117 Graff Main Hall.

    The tuition and fee schedule can be used to estimate the approximate cost to attend.  Minnesota residents should apply for reciprocity. Special non-degree students can visit the UW-La Crosse Parking and Transportation Services website for information about on-campus parking options *Please note: If you are a special non-degree student, you are not eligible to receive financial aid, unless you are working for a qualifying, approved license/certificate or completing undergraduate coursework to fulfill pre-requisites for a master's program.*

    High School Special Students and Youth Options

    UW-La Crosse offers enrollment for high school students who wish to pursue university course work while completing their studies in high school.  Special admission is granted only to those qualified applicants who demonstrate that they are prepared for entrance into college.

    There are two ways to study at UW-La Crosse while still in high school - as a "High School Special" student or a "Youth Options" student.  High school special students may have greater flexibility in course selection, but these students are required to pay for courses on their own. Youth Options students must have approval from the school district for specific courses, and the fees for the courses are typically paid by the school district.

    The Youth Options program was created by state legislation and stipulates that qualified Wisconsin high school juniors and seniors may attend postsecondary institutions and the school district would be responsible for tuition and fees for course work.  Students must notify their guidance office or school board of their intentions to take courses at UW-La Crosse and the school board will determine whether the student is approved to take courses and whether high school credit and/or fee payment will be granted.

    Admission of high school students who wish to pursue university course work does not guarantee that they will be able to register for a specifically approved course. Registration is on a space available basis.  All candidates must complete appropriate preparatory high school course work for college courses.

    High school juniors and seniors may apply as a "High School Special" student or a "Youth Options" student. High school seniors must rank in the upper 25% of their high school class or achieve a composite score of 26 or greater on the ACT exam. High school juniors must rank in the upper 10% of their high school class.

    High school sophomores can only apply as "High School Special" students, and must rank in the upper 10 percent of their high school class. A personal interview may be required of sophomore candidates.

    To apply as "High School Special" or "Youth Options" student:

    • Apply online as a High School Special/Youth Options Program student using the UW System application. An application fee is not required.
    • Obtain and complete a High School/UW-La Crosse Enrollment and Youth Options Program sheet. Have your school counselor approve and sign it. Submit to the Admissions Office, 142 Cleary Center, 1725 State St., La Crosse, WI, 54601.
    • Submit an official high school transcript, sent directly from your high school, to the Admissions Office.
    • Submit ACT or SAT scores, if applicable. A copy of the school or student ACT score sheet is acceptable for "High School Special" and "Youth Options" students. Official scores sent directly from ACT or SAT will be required for the New Freshman application.

    Please note the following guidelines about enrolling at UW-La Crosse as a high school student:

    • The University will enforce course prerequisites and placement test requirements. For placement in English and mathematics courses, ACT or SAT scores and the University of Wisconsin Placement Test scores are used. For placement into foreign language, the University of Wisconsin Placement test is required.
    • All courses taken will be recorded as university credit and will become part of the student's permanent academic record.
    • The student is responsible for tuition, fees, books, and supplies if the school district does not pay them.
    • UW-La Crosse will prepare an invoice for costs of tuition, segregated fees, and special course fees after the fourth week of classes.  Payment is to be made by the school district after the invoice is received. 
    • All admitted high school students will be sent a registration letter with an invitation to visit the UW-La Crosse Records and Registration office and meet with a staff member to officially register for classes.
    • As required by law, the University will notify the school board of the courses Youth Options students are enrolled in within 30 days after the beginning of classes.
    • All institutional policies apply to Youth Options students and other high school students engaged in study at UW-La Crosse.

    High School students can visit the UW-La Crosse Parking and Transportation Services website for information about on-campus parking options.

    Additional questions about the Youth Options program should be directed to