Information on the Closures of the Waukesha and Washington County Campuses


Angie Izard
Director, First-Year Bridge Program

Monday – Thursday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Closed Friday

We’re here to make sure you have a successful start to your college journey.

Our program is designed with you in mind. You’ll have small classes with dedicated instructors and receive personalized academic guidance. You’ll also have access to hundreds of student organizations, academic and multicultural resource centers, and countless activities on our main campus.

All of this comes with the added benefit the lower tuition offered by our College of General Studies. The College of General Studies gives students a solid start to their bachelor’s degrees by providing classes that satisfy their general education requirements. General education classes in art, humanities, the social sciences and natural sciences give you a breadth of knowledge that makes you a well-rounded person.

We’re excited to join you on this path. Let’s get started!

Classes & Advising

Your first semester classes will include a first-year writing course, a math course and other introductory courses that provide help with math and writing and give you a structured transition to college. You’ll receive professional tutoring, academic advising and success coaching from the First-Year Bridge Center, which is in Northwest Quad 1932D.

You’ll meet weekly with a math and writing specialist and have regular meetings with your academic advisor. When you finish the program, you can transition into a bachelor’s program on the Milwaukee campus or finish an associate degree at UWM at Washington County or UWM at Waukesha.

You don’t have to declare a major before you start the Bridge program. If you do, an advisor will help you choose your classes accordingly. Otherwise, our goal will be to help you decide on a major by the end of your second semester so that you can transfer into the appropriate school or college within UWM to complete your degree.

Program Advantages

First-Year Bridge offers many advantages, including the ability to pay lower associate-level tuition during your first year of college. When you finish the program you will have:

  • Academic credits that count toward your degree.
  • A well-defined academic plan and career path.
  • Strong academic and social support networks.
  • A solid foundation upon which to build a successful college experience.

Housing & Other Resources

Most students who are new to the Milwaukee campus live in Sandburg Hall. Learn more about the housing application process and get your application in as soon as possible. Space does fill up!

Other resources on the Milwaukee campus include Student Involvement, University Recreation and the Student Health and Wellness Center. Be sure to check out our eight multicultural and affinity centers:

Cost & Financial Aid

Associate tuition and fees for Wisconsin residents is $5,628 per academic year. You can find more cost information, including tuition for out of state students, on our Cost & Financial Aid page.

Please submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form as soon as possible. This is the first step needed to determine your eligibility for state and federal financial aid. It also determines whether you will qualify for free tuition through the Milwaukee Tuition Promise.

UWM’s Financial Aid Office can answer any questions and help you complete the paperwork. Contact them at 414-229-4541 or through this form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I in First-Year Bridge?

UWM’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions recommends this program for students whose application materials suggest they could benefit from additional help in math and English.

What are the benefits of being a First-Year Bridge student?

Bridge students enjoy smaller classes, have more access to their academic advisors, and have writing and math support built into their regular class schedule.

Why am I considered an associate degree student?

We use associate-level courses for the First-Year Bridge program to allow us to offer them to you at a lower tuition rate. All credits earned can be applied to either an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree.

Am I still considered a UWM student?

Yes. Bridge students are UWM students and have access to all the resources that other UWM students have. This includes University Housing, the Student Health and Wellness Center and University Recreation.

Why am I in some classes that don’t have any credits?

You were placed in a noncredit math course (CGS MAT 75) based on your application materials. At the end of the semester, you will take a placement test that will either satisfy your core math requirement or put you into a credit-bearing math class that will satisfy the core math requirement. The co-curricular support classes (CGS ENG 99 and CGS LEA 102) provide additional support in math and writing, which should help you do well in your other courses.

Am I considered a full-time student?

Yes, Bridge students are considered full-time students. The noncredit courses are factored into your credit load for financial aid purposes.

How many credits will I earn this year? Will being in First-Year Bridge put me behind?

Students who successfully complete all Bridge coursework without dropping any classes in the fall or spring semester should have at least 20 credits by the end of their first year. The credits earned during Bridge will be applied towards your bachelor’s and/or associate degree program. Just as importantly, finishing the program will set you up for success, and you’ll be less likely to drop classes in future years. 

Why am I not taking classes related to my major in my first semester?

Most UWM students spend their first two semesters fulfilling their general education requirements. These classes in writing, math, arts, humanities, social science and natural sciences help you become a well-rounded individual.

Classes taken during the Bridge program will satisfy many general education requirements. After you finish Bridge, you’ll have more classes to choose from and begin to work on your major.

Can I still finish my degree in four years?

Every student’s academic journey is different. In Bridge, you will take classes that satisfy your many of your general education requirements. You also are taking additional noncredit support classes to help you be successful in college.

It will be possible for you to complete many degrees in four years. However, some majors have specific requirements, such as field placements, internships and practicums, that — when combined with required classes — make them more challenging to finish in four years.

If you want to shorten your time in college, you can consider taking classes during the summer or UWinteriM. Talk to your advisor about the best path for you.

Can I go into any program I choose after completing First-Year Bridge?

Bridge students are treated like all other UWM students when it comes to applying to specific programs. Each undergraduate program has a different grade point average and entry requirements. Your advisor will help you find the program that’s right for you.