Freshwater Sciences Move FAQ

Pending campus approvals, the Atmospheric Science program’s major, minor, and graduate degrees will move from the College of Letters and Science to the School of Freshwater Sciences effective with the Fall 2022 term. We’ve collected some of the most frequently asked questions here to provide more information about this move. If you have a question that is unanswered on this page, please feel free to contact the Atmospheric Science Program Chair.

Why is this change taking place?

Atmospheric Science is far more than just weather – it’s also water and climate. We share these emphases with the School of Freshwater Sciences, which also specializes in environmental policy, aquatic biology, and water technology. Thus, joining the School of Freshwater Sciences will provide our students with a broader education in the atmospheric and related sciences. Given the importance of weather, water, and climate to the state of Wisconsin, this will allow us to better serve our state and its residents.

Another benefit from this change is the flexibility with degree requirements that it will provide. This will allow us to create new collections of elective courses, including climate-, data-, and broadcasting-focused courses, designed to help better prepare students for jobs and/or for graduate school. More information about these changes will be available in early 2022.

Furthermore, the School of Freshwater Sciences has several facilities, including their research vessel and associated instrumentation, that we are excited to potentially incorporate into our courses and research in the years ahead. Stay tuned!

Will my major requirements change?

Pending campus approvals, if you first enroll at UWM in Fall 2022 or later, your requirements will be different from those currently indicated on this website. While it is too early to be able to provide a complete listing of the anticipated changes, the biggest change is expected to be the removal of the College of Letters & Science’s breadth requirements. We also plan to offer new courses targeted at freshmen and sophomores, as well as provide new collections of elective courses designed to help better prepare students for jobs and graduate school.

If you are currently enrolled at UWM, your requirements are not changing. By default, you will continue to follow the major requirements effective when you first enrolled at UWM. If you are not graduating this year, you may choose to follow the new requirements if you and your advisor believe that doing so would best benefit your personal and professional development. However, we expect this to be unlikely for all students except for current freshmen.

Who will be my advisor?

Undergraduate students will continue to have an advisor in the College of Letters and Science during the 2021-22 academic year. During Spring 2022, their Letters and Science advisor will help them to schedule an initial meeting with the School of Freshwater Sciences’ undergraduate academic advisor, Kristina Schell. All academic advising will move to the School of Freshwater Sciences beginning in Fall 2022. Her main office will be in the EMS building (Rm. W401) of the Main Campus, so students will not have to travel to the School of Freshwater Sciences to meet with their advisor!

Where will my courses be held?

If you are an undergraduate student, all of your courses will be held on UWM’s Main (Kenwood) Campus! Undergraduate students will not need to travel to the School of Freshwater Sciences for any courses. Courses that enroll only graduate students – those at the 700 level and higher – will be offered on the Harbor Campus beginning in Fall 2021.

How can I meet with faculty?

Faculty members will maintain offices on both the Main Campus and at the School of Freshwater Sciences. Faculty teaching courses that include undergraduate students will be on the Main Campus at least two days per week, with both these courses and their office hours being held on the Main Campus. Otherwise, we’re happy to meet with you on the Main Campus, at the School of Freshwater Sciences, or virtually using Zoom or Microsoft Teams!

Will there be any changes with the graduate programs?

There will be no immediate changes to the course requirements for either the Atmospheric Science M.S. or Ph.D. degrees. Graduate students’ primary offices have moved from the EMS building on the Main (Kenwood) Campus to the GLRF building at the Harbor Campus; however, graduate students teaching a course on the Main (Kenwood) Campus will maintain access to an office in the EMS building to use for office hours, class preparation, and grading.