Information on the Closures of the Waukesha and Washington County Campuses


Greg Ahrenhoerster
Associate dean, College of General Studies

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

This program will give you with the support you need to be successful during your college career. You’ll have small classes with excellent instructors, and you’ll start working toward your chosen major.

You’ll also have lots of support. You’ll meet weekly with a math and writing specialist, and have regular meetings with your success coach.

When you finish the one-year program, you’ll be able to transition into many of UWM’s bachelor’s programs or complete a two-year associate degree in Waukesha. Some bachelor’s programs are available in Waukesha, with many more in Milwaukee.

Ready to get started?

Classes & Advising

Your first semester you will take a first-year writing class, a math class, and other introductory courses that will provide you with academic support and a structured transition to college.

You don’t have to declare a major before you start the program. If you do, your advisor will help you choose classes accordingly. Otherwise, we will help you identify a major by the end of your second semester so that you can transfer into the appropriate school or college within UWM to finish an associate or bachelor’s 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.

Campus Resources

The Waukesha campus is home to a number of support services, including the Career & Internship Center, Black Cultural Resource Center, Diversity Center, LGBTQIA+ Resource Center and Veterans Resource Center.

You can make professional connections early in career-focused clubs like Future Business Leaders, Future Educators and Nursing Club.

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

Please see the FAQs below. If you still have questions, contact Greg Ahrenhoerster, Associate Dean, College of General Studies, at

What is First-Year Bridge?

First-Year Bridge is a one-year program that is offered to first-year UWM students. The purpose of the program is to provide students with additional support in their transition from high school to college so they can have a successful first year.

What is the College of General Studies?

The College of General Studies operates UWM’s Waukesha and Washington County campuses. It offers an associate degree and a range of freshman- and sophomore-level classes that satisfy the general education requirements for all undergraduate degrees at UWM.

Why am I in First-Year Bridge?

UWM’s Admissions Office recommends this program to students whose application materials suggest the student could benefit from additional support in math and English.

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

Bridge students are in smaller classes, have more access to their academic advisors, and have writing and math support built into the program.

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?

Students admitted into the bridge program are UWM students and have access to all of the resources that other UWM students have.

Why am I in some classes that do not have any credits?

The co-curricular support classes (CGS ENG 99 and CGS LEA 102) are designed to give you additional support in math and writing, which should help you get your college career off to a strong start 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 the credit load for financial aid purposes.

How many credits will I earn this year? Will being in FYB put me behind?

Students who successfully complete all Bridge coursework without dropping any classes in the fall and spring semesters should have at least 20 credits by the end of their first-year experience. The credits earned during Bridge will be applied towards your bachelor’s and/or associate degree program.

Can I still finish a degree in four years?

Every student’s academic journey is different. All UWM students are required to take courses outside of their majors; these courses are called “general education” courses. Since the goal of a college degree is to help students become well-rounded individuals, students will be asked to take courses in the following areas: writing, math, arts, humanities, social science and natural sciences, and you will complete some of these requirements in First-Year Bridge.

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

If you want to shorten your time in college, you can consider taking classes during the summer or UWinteriM.

Why am I not taking any courses that are related to my major in my first semester?

Most UWM students will spend their first two semesters fulfilling their general education required courses (writing, math, arts, humanities, social science and natural sciences). The Bridge program will provide students with classes that will satisfy many of those requirements. After completing Bridge, students will have opportunities to have a greater selection of classes.

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

First-Year Bridge students will be treated like all other UWM students when it comes to applying to specific programs. Each UWM undergraduate degree program has different grade point average and entry requirements. Your academic advisor will work closely with you to assist with the transfer process.