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Retroactive Credits

Please refer to the College of Letters & Science Undergraduate Guide to view the Credit By Course Examination/Retroactive Credit Policy (Credits --> Credit By Course Examination/Retroactive Credits).

How do I determine the number of retroactive credits I will receive?

There are two considerations you should make when determining the number of retrocredits you will receive upon earning a B or better in your first language course at UW-Madison:

  1. What language course did you place into?
  2. What are the prior UW-Madison courses (first semester, second semester, third semester, etc.) in the course sequence for that language, and how many credits are those courses worth?

Remember: Retrocredits can only be earned for the first four semesters/terms of a language sequence. 

For Example: 

Language Course Placement Previous Course(s) Retrocredits Earned
African 323
(Third Semester Arabic)
African 321 (First Semester Arabic), 5 cr.
African 322 (Sencond Semester Arabic), 5 cr.
10 retrocredits 
E Asian 102
(Second Semester Chinese)
E Asian 101 (First Semester Chinese), 6 cr.  6 retrocredits
French 204
(Fourth Semester French)
French 101 (First Semester French), 4 cr.
French 102 (Second Semester French), 4 cr.
French 103 (Third Semester French), 4 cr.

12 retrocredits

German 102
(Second Semester German)
German 101 (First Semester German), 4 cr.  4 retrocredits
Spanish 203
(Third Semester Spanish)
Spanish 101 (First Semester Spanish), 4 cr.
Spanish 102 (Second Semester Spanish), 4 cr.
8 retrocredits
Spanish 226
(Fifth Semester Spanish)
Spanish 101 (First Semester Spanish), 4 cr.
Spanish 102 (Second Semester Spanish), 4 cr.
Spanish 203 (Third Semester Spanish), 4 cr.
Spanish 204 (Fourth Semester Spanish), 4 cr.
16 retrocredits

How do I find out what the prior courses are for the course that I place into?

To find prior coursework in the course sequence, admitted and current students can conduct a search through the Enroll App or the CourseGuide through MyUW. Prospective students should refer to the Public Class Search.

If you have further questions regarding retroactive credits, please contact