- General Education Requirements
- Degree Requirements
- Course Load
- Year in School
- Grading System
- 'F' Grades – Additional Information
- Grade Point Average
- University-wide Academic Action Policy
- Academic Drop
- Repeating Courses
- Residence Credit Requirement
- Excess Credits Policy
- Students Called to Military Service
- Honors for Scholarship
- Credit/No Credit Option
The General Education Requirements are intended to give structure to each student's education while providing the student the greatest possible freedom to design an individual academic program. These requirements include two major categories, competency and distribution.
The competency requirements are designed to assure basic proficiency in oral and written communication, quantitative literacy, and foreign language. The GER quantitative literacy Part A and oral and written communications Part A requirements should be completed early in the academic career to ensure acquisition of critical skills for subsequent coursework. Many UWM schools/colleges require completion of part A of those competencies prior to advancing to the professional portion of the major. Completion of the relevant part A competency is also a prerequisite for some intermediate and advanced courses. The distribution requirements are designed to provide students with a broad body of knowledge in the areas of the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences as a foundation for specialization.
Specific GER requirements are as follows:
Oral and Written Communication (OWC) Competency
OWC Part A: Completion of OWC Part A can be demonstrated by satisfying one of the following options:
- earning at least three credits with a grade of C or higher in English 102,* or
- transferring at least three credits with a grade of C or higher in a course equivalent to English 102 or higher level expository writing course,* or
- achieving an appropriate score on the English Placement Test (EPT).
OWC Part B: The OWC Part B is satisfied by completing an approved advanced course (at least three credits) with a significant written or oral communication component by students who have completed the Part A requirement.
Courses that count toward the OWC-B requirement may be offered in a variety of disciplines and students are encouraged to choose the course that matches their interests and helps them best meet the requirements of their degrees.
Quantitative Literacy (QL) Competency
QL Part A. Completion of QL Part A can be demonstrated by satisfying one of the following options:
- earning at least three credits with a grade of C or higher in Math 103 (formerly 106), 105, 175 or equivalent courses,* or
- achieving a placement code of at least 30 on the mathematics placement test
QL Part B. The QL Part B is satisfied by completing at least one approved QL-B course (at least three credits) as decided by the major. QL-B courses make significant use of quantitative tools in the context of other course material.
* These courses may not be taken credit/no credit if they are to be used to satisfy the OWC-A requirement or QL-A requirement.
Foreign Language. Completion of the foreign language requirement can be demonstrated by satisfying one of the following options:
- complete with passing grades, prior to enrollment at UWM, at least two consecutive years of high school-level instruction in a single foreign language, or
- complete with passing grades at least two consecutive semesters (minimum of 6 credits) of college level instruction in a single foreign language, or
- demonstrate foreign language ability at least equivalent to No. 2 above by means of a satisfactory score on an approved placement, proficiency, departmental or other appropriate examination.
Exceptions to GER
Students who entered UWM as freshmen and/or earned transferable credit prior to September 2013 are not responsible for the Oral and Written Communication Part B or the Quantitative Literacy Part B.
Students who entered UWM as freshmen and/or earned transferable credit prior to September 1999 are not responsible for the GER foreign language competency. However, individual schools and colleges may require completion of higher level foreign language courses; students are strongly encouraged to check with their advisors and/or review their Academic Requirements report on PAWS .
In general, second degree candidates from an accredited institution and students whose first semester in a degree program at an accredited institution predates September 1986, are not subject to the General Education Requirements.
All degree programs have specific requirements beyond GER. Consult with an academic advisor to design an appropriate course of study.
Courses taken for distribution provide the general educational background for each student. The distribution requirements comprise course choices from the following knowledge areas:
A. Standard Distribution
- The Arts. Three credits in a course in the history, philosophy, theory, or practice of the creative and interpretive arts (e.g., visual arts, dance, music, and theatre).
- The Humanities. A total of 6 credits in at least two courses.
- The Natural Sciences. A total of 6 credits in at least two courses. At least one course must include laboratory or field experience illustrating the generation and testing of data and the application of concepts and knowledge to the solution of problems.
- The Social Sciences. A total of 6 credits in at least two courses.
- Cultural Diversity. All UWM students who are subject to the GER (and entered UWM in fall 1989 or later) must complete, as part of their distribution requirements, 3 credits pertaining to the study of the life experiences of African Americans, Latino/Hispanic Americans, American Indians, or Asian Americans.
A list of GER Standard Distribution courses may be found online at ger.uwm.edu . Individual schools and colleges may have limitations on what GER courses from other schools and colleges can be counted; students should check with their advisor.
B. Cultures and Communities Option
Students may choose the Cultures and Communities (CC) option to satisfy their GER distribution requirements. CC courses emphasize diversity and cross-cultural literacy, community-based learning, multicultural arts, global studies, and the cultural contexts of science, health care, and technology. A Service Learning course also is required. Students who complete the CC program receive the Cultures and Communities Certificate upon graduation.
A list of CC courses may be found online at cc.uwm.edu. Individual schools and colleges may have limitations on what GER courses from other schools and colleges can be counted; students should check with their advisor. For more information, contact the Cultures and Communities Program, Holton Hall G36, (414) 229-5960.
Required Areas of Study
The CC Certificate requires students to choose at least 15 of their GER credit hours according to the following plan of study.
Area 1: Cultures and Communities Core Course (3 cr.) Multicultural America (satisfies Cultural Diversity and Humanities, Social Science or Art GER requirements). May be taken as Anthropology 150, Art 150, English 150, Film 150, History 150, Sociology 150, Urban Planning 350, Urban Studies 150, or Women's Studies 150.
Area 2: Cultures and Communities of the United States (3 cr.). Issues and methods in the comparative study of cultures and communities of the U.S. May be fulfilled by appropriate accredited GER or Cultural Diversity courses in any discipline, school, or college.
Area 3: Global Perspectives on Culture and Community (3 cr.). Issues and methods in the comparative study of cultures and communities outside North America and Europe. May be fulfilled by appropriate accredited GER courses in any discipline, school, or college or through an appropriate study abroad experience.
Area 4: Art, Culture, and Community (3 cr.). May be fulfilled by courses that relate the theory and production of art (dance, music, visual arts, film, and theater) to cultural and community contexts. Restricted to courses in the Peck School of the Arts except through special petition.
Area 5: Science, Culture, and Society (3 cr.). Includes courses that examine how scientific knowledge may be understood in relation to issues in culture and society. May be fulfilled by enrollment in classes with a Natural Sciences or Social Sciences accreditation.
Community Engagement and Service Learning. Within their course distribution, students will take at least one class with a Service Learning component. The core course (Multicultural America) satisfies this requirement when taken in the fall or spring semesters.
(Please note: The number of credit hours and the distribution across knowledge areas must still conform to the totals listed under the GER Standard Distribution described in Part A above.)
The minimum number of credits required for graduation is 120, but many degree programs require 130 or more. Consult the appropriate school or college section in this Catalog for specific degree requirements associated with each program or major.
Prerequisites for certain courses are determined by class standing. The
chart below presents the number of credits for the different class
|Senior||86 or more||88 or more||96 or more||86 or more|
The prerequisite given in the course listing refers to the qualifications and/or standing needed to enroll in a given course. If no prerequisite is listed, the course is generally open to all students. If more than one prerequisite is listed, all are necessary unless a choice is clearly indicated. A student who enrolls in a course without the required prerequisites may be dropped.
A full course load for undergraduates is considered
to be a minimum of 12 credits, except for students enrolled in the Academic
Opportunity Center, for whom it is 8. This definition may differ from that
of the Veterans Administration, the Selective Service System, or other agencies.
UWM assumes no responsibilities in this connection.
UWM uses a letter grade system that includes "plus" and "minus" grades and is based on a 4.000 scale. For convenience in computing averages, each letter grade carries a specified number of points per credit. The scale of grades and points follows:
|Grade||(Points per credit)|
In addition, students may be allowed to take a limited number of courses on a "Credit/No Credit" basis, and may enroll on an "Audit" basis in courses for which they do not wish to obtain college credit. The following symbols are used where grade points are not involved:
|S||Satisfactory (Zero credit* and Audit courses only)|
|U||Unsatisfactory (Zero credit* courses only)|
|Credit||C- or above (credit/no credit courses only)|
|No Credit||Below C- (credit/no credit courses only)|
|NC||Not completed (audit courses only)|
|Not Rptd||Grade was not submitted in time to be reported.|
|W||Course dropped by student after fourth week of semester or first quarter of shorter session|
|WR||Administrative drop (enrollment in course violates permitted number of repeats)|
|#W||Administrative drop (enrollment in course violates permitted number of repeats), effective March, 2002|
|R||Repeat course (counts in GPA)||#||Repeat course (does not count in GPA)|
*Except English 090/095, ESL 096, and Math 090/095. Letter grades are assigned for these courses, although they carry no degree or GPA credit.
Effective Fall 2004, the University modified its system for assigning grades of 'F' in order to comply with federal requirements for students receiving financial aid. When reporting a grade of 'F,' instructors also will report a number corresponding to the student's "week of last participation" in the course. This is the last week of the term for which there is documented evidence of the student's participation in the course. A student receiving the grade of 'F0' would, therefore, be one who never attended or participated, whereas a student grade of 'F16' would signify completion of the entire term. The numeral for "week of last participation" will be reflected on unofficial transcripts and grade reports. On official transcripts, only the grade of 'F' will be reflected.
The number of grade points earned in a course is computed by multiplying the points for the grade by the number of credits offered for the course. (Example: a B earned in a three-credit course would give you nine grade points).
The general quality of a student's work is expressed in terms of the grade point average (GPA). This is the total number of grade points earned divided by the total number of GPA credits. The highest possible average is 4.000 or an A in every subject.
The UWM grade point average recorded on your official transcript is based solely upon credits earned or attempted at UWM on a regular graded basis. Even though you may receive credits for course work taken elsewhere, such transfer credits are not counted as part of the GPA at UWM. Some schools and colleges have different standards for GPA calculation and may include transfer work for admission or graduation; see degree requirements within each school/college for specifics. Credits granted by examination or UWM credits taken on an audit or credit/no credit grading basis also are excluded from the official UWM grade point average.
If you are returning to UWM and have not previously earned your bachelor's degree, your cumulative GPA will continue from your last point of enrollment. If you have previously earned your bachelor's degree, you should apply as a 'Second Degree' student. Your credits and GPA will start over with the courses you take upon your return, and your original record cannot be altered.
The University-wide Academic Action Policy establishes minimum standards for undergraduate students enrolled in schools and colleges. Individual schools and colleges may adopt stricter criteria, and students should consult the school/college advising offices for specific information.
A student whose GPA falls below minimum university-wide standards for any grading period will be subject to the following academic actions.
- Academic Probation: Imposed on students whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.000. The student on academic probation whose semester GPA is 2.000 or better, but whose cumulative GPA remains below 2.000, is permitted to continue on academic probation.
- Cleared Probation: Achieved when cumulative GPA increases to 2.000 or above.
- Dropped for One Semester: Imposed on any student on academic probation who fails to earn a semester GPA of 2.000.
- Final Probation: Applies to a student who is permitted to enroll after any drop action. The student on final probation whose semester GPA is 2.000 or better, but whose cumulative GPA remains below 2.000, is permitted to continue on final academic probation.
- Dropped for Two Years: Imposed on any student on final probation who fails to achieve a semester and cumulative GPA of 2.000 or better.
A dropped student may be reinstated immediately after a drop action or readmitted
after the drop period. A readmitted or reinstated student is placed on final
Academic drop is dismissal from the University for academic ineligibility. Academic drop is initiated by administrative offices, and the student must apply for readmission and be granted permission to re-enroll by the dean of the school or college from which the student was dropped.
You may be given an incomplete if you have carried a subject successfully until near the end of the semester but, because of illness or other unusual and substantiated cause beyond your control, have been unable to take or complete the final examination or to complete some limited amount of course work. An incomplete is not given unless you prove to the instructor that you were prevented from completing the course requirements for just cause as indicated above.
Undergraduates are required to complete a course marked incomplete prior to the end of the next succeeding semester (excluding summer sessions and UWinteriM). If you do not remove the incomplete during this period, the report of I will lapse to F.
The maximum credit load for undergraduates is 18
credits in all schools and colleges, except Fine Arts (18 credits or three studio
courses). Students enrolling in more than 18 credits will be assessed extra
tuition above the normal full-time rate. A student must obtain approval for
an overload in the office of his/her academic dean. Different credit load maximums
apply during the summer and winter sessions. Consult the UWinteriM or Summer
Sessions Schedule of Classes.
Unless a restriction is stated in the Schedule of Classes, undergraduates may repeat a course only once, and only the higher of the two grades will be calculated into the grade point average (GPA). Both attempts will appear on the student's transcript.
If the UWM course repeats a course for which the student received transfer credit, only the UWM course will be calculated into the GPA, regardless of grade. Both attempts will be shown on the transcript. Once a bachelor's degree has been earned, the academic career (credits, GPA and coursework) starts over with any subsequent enrollment, and the original record cannot be altered. Courses taken after the bachelor's degree has been earned do not count as repeats of courses taken prior to the posting of the degree.
A student will not be permitted to repeat any course more than once without the prior approval of the student's school/college advising office. Further restrictions apply - check with the school/college or particular department. The single repeat limit also applies to courses taken for audit or credit/no credit.
Note: Exceptions to this policy are variable-topic courses, which may be taken for credit as often as permitted for that particular course, as specified in the Schedule of Classes. A variable topic course may count as a repeat of a previously taken course only if the topic is identical to that of the student's earlier enrollment and the repeat occurs within the same academic career.
Students who took a course as a repeat prior to fall, 1988 are entitled to one additional enrollment. Transfer students who did not previously take a course at UWM are entitled to one repeat at UWM of a course taken at a previous institution.
In courses of limited enrollment, students who have not taken the course previously have priority over students who are repeating the course. Individual schools and colleges may adopt stricter criteria. It is generally advisable for any student to consult an advisor before registering to repeat a course.
If you have previously earned your degree from UWM, your attempted and earned credits as well as your cumulative GPA will start over with the courses you take in pursuit of your second degree. Courses taken as part of your first degree will not be considered repeats. Your original record cannot be altered.
Consult individual school or college sections for requirements regarding the number and kinds of credits a student must take in residence at UWM to be eligible to receive a UWM degree.
Students must meet the graduation requirements of their school or college, which includes notifying the advising office in the school or college of their intent to graduate at least one semester prior to graduation. Generally, students may begin to apply for May Commencement in mid-November, and December Commencement in mid-April. To apply for graduation, log in to PAWS (www.paws.uwm.edu). From the "Academics" section of your Student Center, click on "other academic" drop-down box, select "Apply for Graduation" and click on the double arrows to proceed to the application.
Commencement exercises are held in either May or December. Students who graduate at the end of the summer sessions may participate in the May or December Commencement. Students who graduate at the end of the UWinteriM session may participate in December Commencement. Attendance at Commencement is optional.
Commencement Honors are listed below.
A University of Wisconsin System (UWS) policy is in effect at all UWS institutions. Under this policy, students pursuing their initial undergraduate degree(s) who have accumulated more than 165 total credits (counting all credits earned at UW campuses as well as credits taken at WTCS institutions and accepted for degree credit at UWS institutions) will be assessed an additional 100% surcharge on tuition for any additional credits (your tuition will be doubled). For more specific information about this policy, contact your academic advisor.
Students called into active military service should contact the Military Educational Benefits Office (Mellencamp Hall 168) or call 414-229-5699 for more specific information. Also check the website for more information (www4.uwm.edu/academics/military.cfm).
|Type of Honors||Architecture &
|The Arts||Business Administration1||
|Engineering & Applied Science|
|Commencement Honors||Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December and May Honors Convocation. In schools and colleges in which fewer than 15% of the traditional students have a 3.500 GPA, all-university honors will be awarded to approximately the top 15% of graduating students. A criterion GPA (not lower than 3.200) for this 15% will be calculated based on statistics from the previous comparable semester. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g. 3.499).|
|Dean's Honor List2||GPA of 3.750 or above (Levels 1, 2)||GPA of 3.750 or above||GPA of 3.500 or above||GPA of 3.750 or above||GPA of 3.500 or above|
|Dean's Honors||To graduating seniors with 2 highest cum GPAs (level 2).||Major achievments in one or more of the arts.||
|Departmental Honors||Dept. recommendation for Honors excellence in performance not reflected in GPA.||Curr & Inst-3.250 GPA for all UWM courses completed prior to final sem, plus positive faculty rec from student teaching.||
|Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.||Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.||Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.|
|High Honors in the Major||GPA of 3.750 or above for courses in major & 3.500 GPA for last 60 UWM cr (Level 2).||Cum GPA of 3.500 and dept. recommendation.||Ed Pol & Comm Studies: 3.500 cum GPA on all SOE credits.|
|Honors Degree and Honors Degree with Thesis||To graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements.||To graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements.||To graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements.||To graduating seniors who complete Honors College Requirements.||To graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements.|
|Honors in the Major 4||GPA of 3.500 or above for courses in major & 3.250 for last 60 UWM cr (level 2).||3.500 GPA in major and dept. recommendation.||-||Ed Pol & Comm Studies: 3.200 GPA on all SOE credits.||-|
|Phi Beta Kappa||-||-||-||-||-|
|Sophomore Honors||Sophomores with 24 or more graded UWM credits and a 3.500 GPA qualify for Sophomore Honors. They are invited to an honors convocation in April of each year.|
Honors for Scholarship (cont.)
|Type of Honors||Health Sciences5||Information Studies6||Letters & Science||
Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December and May Honors Convocation. In schools and colleges in which fewer than 15% of the traditional students have a 3.500 GPA, all-university honors will be awarded to approximately the top 15% of graduating students. A criterion GPA (not lower than 3.200) for this 15% will be calculated based on statistics from the previous comparable semester. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g. 3.499).
|Dean's Honor List2||GPA of 3.750 or above||GPA of 3.750 or above||GPA of 3.750 or above||GPA of 3.750 or above||GPA of 3.750 or above|
|High Honors in the Major||-||GPA of 3.75 or above for courses in the major.||-||-||-|
|Honors Degree and Honors Degree with Thesis||To graduating seniors who complete
Honors College Requirements.
|To graduating seniors who complete
Honors College Requirements.
|To graduating seniors who complete Honors College Requirements.||To graduating seniors who complete
Honors College Requirements.
|To graduating seniors who complete Honors College Requirements.|
|Honors in the Major 4||3.500 GPA or above on courses completed at UWM following entrance to a major (a minimum of 30 credits must be included).||GPA of 3.5 or above for courses in the major.||3.000 cum GPA on all cr attempted. 3.500 GPA on all cr that count toward the major, and 3.500 GPA on all advanced crs which count toward the major. Departments/programs set course and other requirements.||-||3.500 GPA in major courses, including social science credits completed at UWM.|
|Phi Beta Kappa||-||-||To be elected to Phi Beta Kappa, must be L&S degree candidate; have sufficient cr in humanities, social sciences, foreign languages, math, and general liberal studies; and have completed at least 60 graded cr at UWM. Jrs. must be in upper 2% of class, with 3.800 cum GPA. Srs must be in upper 8% of class, with 3.600 cum GPA.||-||-|
|Sophomore Honors||Sophomores with 24 or more graded UWM credits and a 3.500 GPA qualify for Sophomore Honors. They are invited to an honors convocation in April of each year.|
1 Beta Gamma Sigma is the national scholastic honor society in the field of business. Election to membership is available to both undergraduate and graduate students in business. Every semester students are invited to join Beta Gamma Sigma. Selection is based upon outstanding scholastic achievement.
2 Applies to full-time student's GPA on 12 or more graded credits in a given semester.
3 The Final University Honors criteria have been revised to make them standard across all UWM schools and colleges. The new criteria take effect beginning with students who graduate in May, 2011.
4 Refers to GPA earned in courses in the major.
5 Juniors in Occupational Therapy with a cumulative 3.500 GPA in required courses, and faculty/staff sponsorship, can apply to the Honors Committee for Honors in Occupational Therapy.
6 Applies to Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology degree program.
|School or College||Who qualifies?||Which courses may be taken?||Limits|
|Academic Opportunity Center (AOC)||AOC undergraduates follow rules listed for L&S students.||-||-|
|Pre-Architecture students and upper-level students with a 2.500 cumulative GPA.||Elective courses; courses other than the 48 credits required for the Architectural Studies degree.||Maximum of eight courses; one course per semester.|
|The Arts||Undergraduates in The Arts.||Courses outside the major. Any course that would fulfill the core curriculum requirements.||One course per semester; maximum of eight courses.|
|Business Administration||Undergraduates in Business and Pre-Business.||All non-Business (courses outside the School of Business Administration) that are not required as part of the student's major.|| Maximum of eight courses; one course per semester. No
Business course may be taken on a C/NC basis by any student regardless
of their program unless it is only offered on a C/NC basis.
Pre-Business students may not take Econ 103, Econ 104, or Math 211 on a C/NC basis.
|Education||Undergraduates in Education and
|Please see your advisor.||Please see your advisor.|
|Undergraduates in Engineering and Applied Science.||Free elective or arts/humanities/social science elective courses.||Maximum of 12 credits; no more than three credits in any one semester.|
|Health Sciences||Undergraduates admitted to the College of Health Sciences.||No required courses in any of the pre-professional or professional programs may be taken on a C/NC basis.||Only one course regardless of number of credits may be taken per semester. A maximum of 12 credits may be taken C/NC.|
|Information Studies||Undergraduates in Information Resources.||All non-Information Studies (courses outside the School of Information Studies) that are not required as part of the student's major.||Maximum of eight courses; one course per semester.|
|Letters and Science||Undergraduates in Letters and Science.||Courses other than Honors courses that are not in the student's major or minor.||One course per semester; maximum of eight courses.|
|Nursing||Undergraduates in Nursing.||Non-clinical elective courses in Nursing.||Maximum of six credits; no more than one course per semester.|
|Social Welfare||Undergraduate majors and pre-majors in Social Work and Criminal Justice.||Only used in courses outside the 54-65 credit requirements in the Social Work or Criminal Justice major.||One course per semester; maximum of eight courses.|
|University Special and Off-Campus||University Special Students should contact an advisor in the the Department of Admissions and Recruitment. Off-campus students should contact the appropriate program coordinator.|
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Undergraduate Catalog 2013-2014:
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