Information on the Closures of the Waukesha and Washington County Campuses
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The First-Year Bridge program provides exceptional support so you can start your college career with confidence and achieve your goals.

The program serves students whose application materials indicate they could use some extra help, especially in math or English. In it, you’ll have smaller classes and meet regularly with an advisor or success coach to stay on track. You’ll also enjoy the same benefits as every other UWM student, with the ability to participate in student activities, join student organizations and engage with our multicultural and affinity centers. Please note this is an in-person program; an online version is not available.

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Academic Benefits

The goal in First-Year Bridge is to set you up for success — at UWM and after graduation. Here are some of the key academic benefits you’ll enjoy:

Math specialist sharing a light moment with students.
Math specialist Nick Johnson sharing a light moment with two Bridge students, Eric Kunz and Dashawn Williams. Nick works hard to support students through their math challenges, but he believes in sharing “math joy” with them as well.

Academic Progress

During your first semester, you’ll take a first-year writing class, a math class and other introductory courses. These courses will have extra academic support built into them to help you master the material. When you finish the program, your credits will count toward your degree, keeping you on the path to timely graduation.

Well-Defined Academic Plan

If you’ve declared a major, your advisor will help you choose the appropriate classes. If you haven’t, our goal will be to help you decide on a major by the end of your second semester so that you can move into the appropriate school or college within UWM to finish your degree.

Small Classes

Benefit from personal attention and make close-knit friendships in our small, supportive classes.

Financial Benefits

We understand that college can be a financial challenge. First-Year Bridge offers financial advantages to make your education more affordable:

Lower Tuition

First-Year Bridge is run by UWM’s College of General Studies, which also offers an associate degree. Students in the program pay associate-level tuition, which is less than bachelor’s-level tuition. After your first year, you can move to a bachelor’s program or complete your general education requirements within the College of General Studies to save even more money.


Whether you pay associate- or bachelor’s-level tuition, UWM remains one of the best deals in higher education. For Wisconsin residents, associate tuition is just $5,420 per academic year. Learn more about our tuition rates.

Scholarships and Aid

80% of UWM undergraduates receive financial aid and scholarships. Some students qualify for free tuition through the Milwaukee Tuition Promise. The best way to find out what you qualify for is to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form. This is the first step in determining eligibility for state and federal financial aid, and many scholarships require it.

Questions about Financial Aid?

If you have questions about financial aid, reach out to UWM’s Financial Aid Office. They’re happy to answer questions and can help you complete the FAFSA.

Explore First-Year Bridge

Are you ready to take the next step? First-Year Bridge is available on both of the UWM campuses, and each one offers something special. Visit the page for your campus to learn more.

college student in library
kiya testimonial

First-Year Bridge really helped me transition from high school into college. There are many kindhearted teachers that will proudly help you any time.

KiyaFirst-Year Bridge Student
joe testimonial

The Bridge math specialist, Mr. Nick Johnson, gave the coolest math lesson I’ve ever seen! It was all about multiplication and division and it was called ‘Exploding Dots.’

JoeFirst-Year Bridge Student
kendra testimonial

Bridge helped me learn how to apply my skills to every task. I can ask questions and get help when I need it. I feel more confident in school than I ever have.

KendraFirst-Year Bridge Student
carson testimonial

My overall experience with the First-Year Bridge Program has been very positive. There are plenty of resources and the professors are incredibly helpful and supportive.

CarsonFirst-Year Bridge Student

UWM Will Help You Achieve Your Potential!