Distance/Online Education


Distance learners have unique advising needs because they take most — if not all — of their courses online. Advising can be conducted via telephone, video or at the Milwaukee, Waukesha and West Bend locations. (In-person appointments suspended due to Covid-19.)

Currently, the following Letters & Science majors can be completed online:

  • Communication
  • History
  • Jewish Studies
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Distance learners may be adults juggling full-time work and family responsibilities or traditional-aged students who find online courses the best solution to meet their educational needs. Advisors for distance learners understand the challenges of being located off of the main campus and provide educational guidance about courses and academic requirements as well as help with self-discipline and motivation necessary for success in an online degree program.

The online format requires a high level of self-motivation and higher than average time management skills, and online courses operate on the same semester schedule as in-person classes. Our online program is not a self-paced program; fall classes start the first week of September with finals in mid-December, and spring classes start the third week of January with finals in mid-May.

Online students take the same courses that traditional on-campus UWM students take and are taught by the same faculty and academic staff. The courses are just delivered in a different format. No distinction is made between an online student and a traditional student. The online coursework leads to the same high-quality degree that is received by students who attend face-to-face classes, and the application process begins at apply.wisconsin.edu.

While all of the requirements for the major can be completed on-line, there may be some degree requirements that are not available on-line.

For example, if you still need to meet a world language requirement because you did not take enough in high school, you and your advisor will explore options on how to fulfill the requirement since not all language option are on-line. Common options include taking German, Hebrew, or Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) at UWM online, coming to the UWM campus just for world language classes, taking the requirement at a university close to where you live and transferring the credit back to UWM, or finding another university that does offer world language on-line and transferring the credit back to UWM. All of our online majors require that the fourth level of a single language other than English be completed. A student who has passed, for example, Spanish 4 in high school will have met this requirement. Otherwise the student must take through fourth-semester Spanish (or another world language) while in college. Students with some previous high school world language, but not four levels worth, should consult with an advisor about either continuing that language through the fourth level or starting a new language in college; one path may be shorter than another.

We also offer in-person advising at the UWM two-year campuses for currently enrolled students interested in making the transition from that campus to UWM. The advisors listed below can help you plan your next steps. Contact them for an advising appointment. If you are at a UW two-year campus not affiliated with UWM, contact Andy Cuneo.

Other UWM schools and colleges besides the College of Letters & Science also offer online programs. You can explore all of the online majors, minors, certificates, and graduate programs here.

Whether you plan to complete your degree fully online, or to attend UWM after doing some coursework online, the First 60 Program provides advising on how to complete the first 60 credits of an undergraduate degree via online coursework. This program primarily focuses on general UWM and L&S requirements and does not guarantee that any particular major or degree can be completed online. For information on the First 60 Program, contact Andy Cuneo.

Prospective students not currently enrolled at UWM can also contact the Admissions Counselor for the College of Letters & Science at let-sci@uwm.edu or schedule an appointment below.