Creating a New CS Graduate Student User Account

As a new incoming graduate student to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Computer Sciences Department, you will need to create your CS account. This account is used for all Computer Sciences Department managed comptuers and services and is different from the UW-Madison NetID used for many central IT services.


Your Computer Sciences email address ( will be added to your campus email account as an alternate address.

You MUST activate your campus email account before activating your Computer Sciences Account. If you have not already done so, please follow the instructions for Activating missing services

You can make this your primary email address at the Wisc Account Administration site. If you want to maintain separate campus and Computer Sciences email accounts, please contact with your request.

Once you create your CS account, all CS mailing lists, including the new graduate student lists, will use the new email address. Be sure to check your UW email regularly for mail from the CS Department and others in the University.


  • If you were enrolled in a Computer Sciences class or were a declared Computer Sciences Major at UW-Madison in the most recent Spring or Summer term, your CS account is still active and you do not need to (and can not) create a new account.
  • If you already have a CS account but do not know your password, you can reset it with the Forgot Password? link at the top of the page.
  • If you do not create your new CS account before the start of the fall term, an account will be automatically created for you a few days before the first day of classes. You will not be able to choose your CS username/email address and once created it can not be changed.

To get started, go to You will be presented with a page like shown below:

Click to Continue

Click Continue to Account Activation (circled in blue above)

NetID Login

Next you will need to authenticate with your UW-Madison NetID. Click NetID Login to continue. If you are not currently authenticated with your UW-Madison NetID, you will be redirected to the UW-Madison NetID authentication page (the same authentication page used for and other campus enterprise sites). Once you have authenticated in you will be directed back to the Account Activation wizard:

Verify Info

Make sure that on the left it shows "Logged in as: <your NetID>" (outlined above in green), and that your name and university ID number are correct. Click continue (circled in blue) when you have verified that the information is correct and you are ready to continue:


Read through the account use policy, check the agreement box and click continue when ready:

Username Selection

You will be presented with a list of suggestions for your user name (outlined above in blue). You can either select one of the suggestions, or click Other to use a different user name (please use something professional as this will be your CS email address forever). User names can be a maximum of 20 characters long, must contain only letters, numbers, dashes ( - ) and underscores ( _ ), and must not currently be in use. After setting your user name, you will set your CS account password:

Password Set

After you have selected your user name and submitted your password, click Continue. Your account will not be created yet:

Verify Account

Make sure that this is the user name you would like to use all through graduate school (and after, as a CS alum). Please keep in mind that you may be providing this email address in research papers or to prospective employers after graduation, so you should choose something professional. As mentioned in the picture above and in the previous dialog, user names cannot be changed once created. Click Create Account when you are ready:

Wait for Account

Your account is now be created. Normally, this takes under a minute but can take up to a few minutes. Once the account has been created, you will be automatically redirected to the page pictured below and you will be ready to log in to any CS instructional computer within ten minutes.