L&S Degree Requirements for Fall 2013 or later

Course of Study -- Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree
College of Letters and Science (L&S)

Last updated June 2014

English Composition Requirement

To satisfy the English Composition Requirement, students must complete at least 2.5 credits in English 102 with a grade of C or higher or place beyond English 102 on the English Placement Test (EPT).

Note that English 102 has prerequisites that must be satisfied prior to taking English 102.

Students also may satisfy the English Composition Requirement by completing on transfer at least 2.5 credits in the equivalent of English 102 with a grade of C or higher or any of English 201, 202, 205, 206, 207, 208, or 230 with a grade of C or higher. These courses require English 102 as a prerequisite.

Completion of the L&S English Composition Requirement also satisfies Part A of the university-wide Oral and Written Communication (OWC) General Education Requirement (GER). Students also must complete Part B of the OWC GER.

Mathematics and Formal Reasoning Requirement - Mathematics

To satisfy the Mathematics portion of the Mathematics and Formal Reasoning Requirement, students must earn at least 2.5 credits with a grade of C or higher in Math 102, 103, 105, 108 or 175 or place beyond Math 102, 103, 105, 108, and 175 on the Mathematics Placement Exam.

Note that Math 102, 103, 105, 108, and 175 have prerequisites that must be satisfied prior to taking Math 102, 103, 105, 108, or 175. At UWM, Math 175 is open only to students in the School of Education.

Students also may satisfy the Mathematics portion of the Mathematics and Formal Reasoning Requirement by completing on transfer at least 2.5 credits in the equivalent of Math 102, 103, 105, 108, or 175 with a grade of C or higher or any of Math 116, 205, 211, 225, or 231 with a grade of C or higher, all of which have an enforced prerequisite of at least the equivalent of a grade of C or better in Math 105 or 108.

Completion of the Mathematics portion of the L&S Mathematics and Formal Reasoning Requirement also satisfies Part A of the university-wide Quantitative Literacy (QL) GER.

Mathematics and Formal Reasoning Requirement - Formal Reasoning

To satisfy the Formal Reasoning portion of the Mathematics and Formal Reasoning Requirement, students must complete one course (at least three credits) at the 200 level or above chosen from courses in mathematical sciences, Philosophy 211 (Elementary Logic), or selected Letters and Science statistics courses. For a list of approved statistics courses, see: http://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/requirements/2006/statistics.cfm.

Note that students seeking a BS degree in L&S have different rules for satisfying the Formal Reasoning portion of the Mathematics and Formal Reasoning Requirement.

Language Requirement

Students may satisfy the Language requirement in one of two ways:

  1. successful completion of the fourth semester of college work or equivalent in one language other than English (including American Sign Language) or
  2. successful completion of the third semester of college work or equivalent in one language other than English (including American Sign Language) PLUS the second semester of college work or equivalent in another language other than English (including American Sign Language).

Placement testing may be used to satisfy all or part of this requirement. Language courses (including American Sign Language) other than English taken in high school may be used to satisfy all or part of this requirement. One year of high school language equates to one semester of college work.

Note that a language sequence may have prerequisites that may need to be satisfied prior to taking any semester in the sequence.

Completion of the L&S Language Requirement is more restrictive than the university-wide Foreign Language GER in that the L&S requirement specifies more semesters of language coursework than the two-semester university-wide Foreign Language GER. Therefore, completion of the L&S Language Requirement also satisfies the university-wide Foreign Language GER but not vice versa.

International Requirement

To satisfy the International Requirement, students have three options:

  1. complete three courses (at least nine credits) in a single foreign language (not including literature-in-translation and not including American Sign Language) at the third semester level and above, or
  2. complete three non-language courses (at least nine credits) with international content chosen from at least two curricular areas, or
  3. complete nine credits in combination from options 1 and 2.

Approved courses are listed at http://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/requirements/2006/international.cfm.

Note that study abroad courses apply towards the satisfaction of this requirement.

Some courses that satisfy the International Requirement may satisfy other requirements as well such as the L&S Breadth Requirement. Careful course selection is advised.

Breadth Requirement

Important Note: Courses offered in units outside L&S may NOT be used to satisfy the L&S Breadth Requirement.

Breadth Requirement - L&S Humanities - 12 credits

To satisfy the L&S Humanities Breadth Requirement, students must complete 12 credits of L&S courses with Humanities Breadth designation with no more than 6 credits from a single curricular area. Students should check their course selections carefully with the list of approved courses at: http://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/requirements/2006/upload/breadth.pdf.

Breadth Requirement - L&S Social Sciences - 12 credits

To satisfy the L&S Social Sciences Breadth Requirement, students must complete 12 credits of L&S courses with Social Sciences Breadth designation with no more than 6 credits from a single curricular area. Students should check their course selections carefully with the list of approved courses at: http://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/requirements/2006/upload/breadth.pdf.

Breadth Requirement - L&S Natural Sciences - 12 credits

To satisfy the L&S Natural Sciences Breadth Requirement, students must complete 12 credits of L&S courses with Natural Sciences Breadth designation with no more than 6 credits from a single curricular area and with at least one laboratory or field course. Students should check their course selections carefully with the list of approved courses at: http://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/requirements/2006/upload/breadth.pdf. Note that students seeking a BS degree in L&S have different rules for satisfying the L&S Natural Sciences Breadth Requirement.

The L&S Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences Breadth Requirements are different than the university-wide Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences Distribution GERs.

  • The L&S requirement specifies 12 credits while the university-wide GER specifies only 6 credits.
  • The L&S requirement specifies ONLY L&S courses and will NOT allow courses outside L&S to satisfy the L&S requirement.
  • The L&S requirement does not restrict choices to only those courses carrying university-wide Humanities, Social Science, or Natural Science GER designations.

Some courses may satisfy more than one requirement. Careful course selection is advised.

Credit Requirements

To complete the BA, 120 degree credits are required.

These 120 credits must include at least 36 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses offered by the College of Letters and Science. Upper-division courses in units outside L&S may NOT be used to satisfy this requirement. Note that students seeking a BS degree in L&S have different rules regarding the 36 credits in upper-division L&S courses

The required 120 credits must include at least 90 credits completed in L&S courses. L&S courses are those that are listed in the L&S section of the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Credit Limitations

No more than 30 of the required 120 credits may be from units outside L&S.

No more than 72 of the required 120 credits may be from two-year institutions.

Prior authorization is required for students to enroll in any credits at another institution for a semester in which the student is enrolled concurrently at UWM.

There is no limit to the number of credits that may be taken in any L&S department.

No more than 6 credits in sport and recreation courses may be counted toward the degree.

No more than 6 credits in any single course outside L&S may be counted toward the degree.

A maximum of 6 credits in military science courses may be counted toward the degree, and these credits may not be counted among the 90 L&S credits required.

No more than 6 credits of field experience taken outside L&S may be counted toward the degree.

No "life experience" credits may be counted toward the degree.

Residency Requirement

To satisfy the L&S Residency requirement, students have three options:

  1. Complete at least 90 credits in residence at UWM.
  2. Complete 45 of the last 60 credits in residence at UWM.
  3. Complete the last 30 credits in residence at UWM.

Students must complete at least 15 credits in residence in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in their major.

Students must complete at least 9 credits in residence in upper-division courses (numbered 300 or above) in their minor if a minor is selected.

GPA Requirement

The College requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA in all credits attempted at UWM. The College also requires that students must attain at least a 2.0 GPA on all credits attempted when transfer work is included along with the UWM work.

The College requires that students attain at least a 2.5 GPA in all credits in the major attempted at UWM. The College also requires that students must attain at least a 2.5 GPA on all major credits attempted when transfer work is included along with the UWM work. Departments or programs may require higher GPAs for graduation.

In cases where a minor is selected, the College requires that students attain at least a 2.5 GPA in all credits in the minor attempted at UWM. The College also requires that students must attain at least a 2.5 GPA on all minor credits attempted when transfer work is included along with the UWM work. Departments or programs may require higher GPAs for graduation.

The Major

Every student must select a major. Students may select from among Departmental majors, Interdepartmental majors, and Committee Interdisciplinary majors. Multiple majors are allowed. Credits used to satisfy the major also may be used to satisfy other degree requirements. Some departments or programs specify course and/or GPA requirements that students must satisfy prior to declaring the major.

For a list of approved majors, see: http://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/undergraduate/. The BA degree is not available with a major in Geosciences (Geology-Geophysics Option). Only a BS is available in Applied Mathematics and Physics and in Course in Chemistry - both of which are separate degree programs not covered by this document.

After completing 15 credits and before 75 credits have been earned, students must declare a major by contacting the appropriate academic department or program. Failure to declare the major before 75 credits have been earned may result in a delay of graduation.

Students who declare their majors within five years of entering the UW System as a degree candidate may satisfy the major requirements outlined in any catalog from the time they entered. Otherwise, students must satisfy the major requirements in existence at the time of declaration.

Students must complete in residence at least 15 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in their major.

The College requires that students attain at least a 2.5 GPA in all credits in the major attempted at UWM. The College also requires that students must attain at least a 2.5 GPA on all major credits attempted when transfer work is included along with the UWM work. Departments or programs may require higher GPAs for graduation. Some departmental majors require courses from other departments. In such cases, contact your academic advisor for information on whether or not those credits will count as part of the major GPA.

Within their major, students must complete a research experience approved by the L&S Faculty.

University-Wide General Education Requirements (GER)

The university-wide GERs technically are not part of the L&S degree requirements, but students, except for second degree candidates from an accredited institution and students whose first semester in an accredited degree program was prior to September, 1986, must complete the GERs to graduate from UWM. Choosing L&S courses to meet the university-wide requirements is an efficient credit-conscious strategy that has individual courses satisfying multiple requirements.

As stated previously in this document, portions of the university-wide Oral and Written Communication, Quantitative Literacy, and Foreign Language GERs are satisfied automatically upon completion of the L&S degree requirements.

The university-wide Humanities, Social Science, and Natural Science Distribution GERs may be satisfied simultaneously by completion of the L&S Breadth requirements with careful course selection, as discussed above. Students are advised to select the courses in bold at http://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/requirements/2006/upload/breadth.pdf in order to satisfy both requirements simultaneously.

The university-wide Cultural Diversity GER specifies 3 credits in a course with a “CD" GER designation. Students are advised to take 3 credits in a course that is listed at http://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/requirements/2006/upload/breadth.pdf and that has university-wide "CD" designation in order to satisfy the university-wide Cultural Diversity GER with a course that applies simultaneously toward the L&S Breadth Requirement.

The university-wide Arts GER specifies 3 credits in a course with the “A” designation selected from the list of approved courses at http://www4.uwm.edu/current_students/ger_information/ger_arts.cfm.

Note About Advising

L&S students have a general academic advisor and major/minor/certificate advisors in each of their major/minor/certificate departments or programs.

The major/minor/certificate advisor counsels students on requirements for the major/minor/certificate but not on the general L&S degree requirements. The major advisor can be helpful in discussing internships, graduate school, and jobs. The Career Development Center is also a good source for assistance in planning majors and careers.

The L&S general academic advisor can provide guidance, insight, advice, and support. These advisors counsel students on the general L&S degree requirements, help students choose courses that match their academic goals and educational program, provide a listening ear, answer general questions, and direct students to other services as necessary. See http://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/studentservices/. It is extremely important that students regularly meet with their academic advisor to make sure that their course selection is consistent with the L&S degree requirements. The specific advisor's name is available on each student's PAWS account.