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Retroactive Credits

Retroactive credits (aka ‘retrocredits’) are credits granted in recognition of previous language study. Retroactive credits earned at UW-Madison do correspond to particular courses, but the credits are not graded and do not factor into your GPA. With some exceptions, retroactive credits will generally not fulfill the requirements of any School, College, or major, but please check with your academic advisor to determine how your academic program will treat these credits.

You have to take a language class at UW-Madison to earn retroactive credits.

In no case can you earn retroactive credits simply by taking a placement test or other exam. For this reason retroactive credits are sometimes called credit by course examination – you have to take a class and meet the following requirements to earn credit for the lower-level courses:

  • The course must be your first course at the college level in the language. This does not include college-level coursework taken during high school, but does include courses transferred from another institution where you were working towards a degree.
  • The course must be designated appropriate for earning retroactive credits by the department. Not all courses offered by a department of language and literature are eligible – please see below for details.
  • You must take the course before you have earned 30 degree credits. This does not include AP, CLEP, IB, or other college credit earned in high school, nor does it include retroactive credits earned in another language. It does include courses transferred from another institution where you were working towards a degree.
  • You must earn a B or better in the class.

If you meet these requirements, the retroactive credits will generally be applied to your record early in the semester following completion of the qualifying class (e.g. if you take the class in the fall semester, the retroactive credits should appear on your record early in the following spring semester). If more than three months have passed since you completed the eligible class and you still have not received the credits, please fill out the retroactive credit request form and return it to the academic dean’s office in your School or College.

Please note:

  • Native speakers of a language are not eligible to earn retroactive credits in that language.
  • It is possible to earn retroactive credits in more than one language, provided the other requirements are met.
  • UW-Madison will honor retroactive credits earned at another institution, provided that they were earned in substantially the same manner as above; i.e. according to UW-Madison policy.
Language Retrocactive credits by course, if other requirements are met
Arabic
Course taken Retroactive credits
322: Second Semester Arabic 4
323: Third Semester Arabic 8
324: Fourth Semester Arabic 12
Chinese
Course taken Retroactive credits
122: Elementary Chinese 3
102: Second Semester Chinese
214: Second Semester Heritage Chinese
6
201: Third Semester Chinese 12
202: Fourth Semester Chinese 18
301: Fifth Semester Chinese
302: Sixth Semester Chinese
401: Seventh Semester Chinese
24
Czech

Contact the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic​

Danish

Contact the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic​

Dutch

Contact the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic​

Filipino

Contact the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Finnish

Contact the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic​

French
Course taken Retroactive credits
102: Second Semester French 4
203: Third Semester French 8
204: Fourth Semester French 12
227: Exploring French: Intermed Crse
228: Intermed Language & Culture
271: Intro to Literary Analysis
313: Prof Comm&Cultr in Franc World
322: Intro to Lit of Modernity
16
German
Course taken Retroactive credits
102: Second Semester German 4
203: Third Semester German 8
204: Fourth Semester German 12
249: Intermed German-Speak & Listen
258: Intermediate German-Reading
262: Intermediate German-Writing
274: Intro to German Literature 
284: Honors Intro to German Lit
337: Adv Compositn & Conversatn
16
Greek (Ancient)

Contact the Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies

Hausa

Contact the Department of African Cultural Studies 

Hebrew (Biblical)

Contact the Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies

Hebrew (Modern)
Course taken Retroactive credits
102: Second Semester Hebrew 4
201: Third Semester Hebrew 8
202: Fourth Semester Hebrew 12
301: Intro to Hebrew Literature
302: Intro to Hebrew Literature (Continuation of 301)
401: Topics in Modern Hebrew Lit
402: Topics in Modern Hebrew Lit II
533: Readings in Contemporary Hebrew Literature
16
Hindi

Contact the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Hmong

Contact the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Icelandic

Contact the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic​

Indonesian

Contact the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Italian
Course taken Retroactive credits
102: Second Semester Italian
182: Second Semester Italian Honors
4
203: Third Semester Italian 8
204: Fourth Semester Italian 12
311: Advanced Italian Languages
312: Wiriting Workshop
16
Japanese
Course taken Retroactive credits
124: Elementary Japanese 3
104: Second Semester Japanese 6
203: Third Semester Japanese 12
204: Fourth Semester Japanese 18
303: Fifth Semester Japanese
304: Sixth Semester Japanese
403: Seventh Semester Japanese
24
Kazakh

Contact the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic​

Khmer

Contact the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Korean
Course taken Retroactive credits
106: Elementary Korean 4
345: Third Semester Korean 8
346: Fourth Semester Korean 12
347: Fifth Semester Korean
348: Sixth Semester Korean
16
Latin
Course taken Retroactive credits
104: Elementary Latin 4
203: Intermediate Latin 8
204: Introduction to Latin Literature 12
301: Latin Literature of the Roman Public 16
Norwegian

Contact the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic​

Ojibwe
Course taken Retroactive credits
302: Second Semester Ojibwe 3
401: Third Semester Ojibwe 6
402: Fourth Semester Ojibwe 9
Persian

Contact the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Polish
Course taken Retroactive credits
112: Second Semester Polish 4
207: Third Semester Polish 8
208: Fourth Semester Polish 12
277: Third Year Polish I
278: Third Year Polish II
331: Fourth Year Polish I
332: Fourth Year Polish II
16
Portuguese
Course taken Retroactive credits
102: Second Semester Portuguese
302: Intensive Portuguese
4
201: Third Semester Portuguese 8
202: Fourth Semester Portuguese 12
221: Introduction to Luso-Brazilian Literatures
222
225: Third Year Conversation and Composition
226: Third Year Conversation and Composition
311: Fourth Year Conversation and Composition
312: Fourth Year Conversation and Composition
16
Quechua

Contact the Department of Anthropology

Russian
Course taken Retroactive credits
102: Second Semester Russian 4
203: Third Semester Russian 8
204: Fourth Semester Russian 12
275: Third Year Russian I
276: Third Year Russian II
321: Fourth Year Russian I
322: Fourth Year Russian II
16
Sanskrit

Contact the Department of Asian Langauges and Cultures

Serbo-Croatian

Contact the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic​

Spanish
Course taken Retroactive credits
102: Second Semester Spanish 4
203: Third Semester Spanish
206: First Semester Spanish for Spanish Speakers
8
204: Fourth Semester Spanish
207: Second Semester Spanish for Spanish Speakers
12
226: Intermediate Language Pratice with Emphasis on Writing and Grammar
311: Advanced Language Practice
16
Swahili

Contact the Department of African Cultural Studies 

Swedish

Contact the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic​

Thai

Contact the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Tibetan

Contact the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Turkish

Contact the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic​

Urdu

Contact the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Vietnamese

Contact the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Wolof

Contact the Department of African Cultural Studies

Yoruba

Contact the Department of African Cultural Studies

Yucatec Maya

Contact the Department of Anthropology

Zulu

Contact the Department of African Cultural Studies