Trio of students sitting on UWM lawn

It’s normal to take your time to consider possible career paths before officially declaring a major. (In fact, about a quarter of UWM’s incoming freshmen haven’t chosen a major.) If you’re still figuring out what you’re interested in or just aren’t sure how to choose the major that’s right for you, a metamajor is a great way to explore while still fulfilling academic requirements!

What is a metamajor?

A metamajor is an academic grouping of multiple majors within a specific theme that all share the same degree requirements. For example, the Health metamajor allows students to explore health-related majors, like nursing, public health and health care administration, while fulfilling general degree requirements for all of the above. That way, no matter what major you ultimately declare, you’ll be academically on track to finish your bachelor’s degree in the same amount of time as someone who immediately chose their major their first semester of freshman year.

Do I have to choose a metamajor?

No. Metamajors are an excellent option for undecided students who have a general sense of what they would like to study (for example, business) but aren’t sure which specific major within that large category is right for them. If you’re undecided and don’t want to choose a metamajor, the UWM Pathway Advising Office is happy to help you navigate other ways you can explore a variety of majors before choosing one.

How do metamajors work at UWM?

Students can choose from six different metamajors at New Student Orientation or by contacting the UWM Pathway Advising Office. An academic advisor will help you pick classes that fit your chosen metamajor and make sure you have a good understanding of your options while working toward your bachelor’s degree.

What’s the difference between a major and a minor?

A major is the subject that a student specializes in while earning their bachelor’s degree and is their primary focus during their program. A minor is similar but with fewer hours spent on the subject; a minor helps customize a student’s degree rather than being the main subject of their degree.

How do I pick a major?

UWM students are encouraged to wait at least one semester before choosing a major in order to have enough time to settle into college life and explore interests. Before picking a major, a few things to consider include: what type of career you might like, what type of work a bachelor’s degree in your field would allow you to do, what you’re best at and what you’re interested in. An academic advisor can help you figure out how to explore all your major options.

How can UWM’s Pathway Advising help?

Pathway Advisors meet with students several times in their first year to explore majors and support students in their transition to campus. They work with students to help them better understand the structure of degrees and majors, as well as guide them in choosing the academic path that’s right for them.

Connect with Pathway Advising

Have questions about metamajors or want to speak with an academic advisor?


Design student at drafting table

Arts, Design and Innovation

If you’re interested in the arts, design and the creative process, love finding new ways to solve problems, and want to share your ideas with others, this metamajor is a great fit for you. Students think, create and make, while exploring architecture, art, dance, design, film, music and theater. Plus, UWM’s connections to professional arts and architecture organizations in Milwaukee create many hands-on learning experiences and opportunities.

Possible careers include: Actor, Architect, Art Teacher, Casting Director, Choreographer, Graphic Designer, Filmmaker, Musician, Music Teacher, Stage Manager, Vocal Coach, etc.

Student in business suit standing in downtown Milwaukee

Business, Industry and Applied Technology

Are you a determined self-starter with big ideas who likes working alongside other innovators? Students in this metamajor get to explore the many facets of business and technology, such as marketing, supply chain and operations management, accounting, finance, actuarial science, information technology management, human resources and more. UWM also offers entrepreneurship programs.

Possible careers include: Data Analyst, Digital Media Manager, Financial Advisor, Human Resources Coordinator, Marketing Writer, SEO Specialist, Technology Solutions Specialist, Web Developer, etc.

UWM engineering student at workbench

Engineering and Natural Science

This metamajor is the perfect fit for students who are strong in math and science, enjoy solving problems and puzzles and are interested in developing technologies. You’ll learn how to apply your analytical and problem-solving skills to a future career in engineering, science or technology. Many UWM students also get connected to internship and co-op opportunities in the city.

Possible careers include: Civil Engineer, Computer Programmer, Electrical Engineer, Geologist, Industrial Engineer, Mathematical Analyst, Meteorologist, Pharmacologist, Research Scientist, etc.

UWM nursing student using stethoscope on a baby


Students pursuing health careers often begin their story by saying they want to help people. This metamajor allows students to explore how they can best help others within the hundreds of professional roles in health care, while getting a strong foundation in the biological, physical and social sciences. UWM also offers a wide range of pre-professional health programs, like pre-med and pre-dentistry.

Possible careers include: Audiologist, Clinical Technician, Grant Writer, Health Care Administrator, Nurse, Nutritionist, Occupational Therapist, Psychologist, Violence Prevention Advocate, etc.

UWM student in library reading a book

Humanities and Communication

Do you love languages and history, or analyzing literature and art? This metamajor invites students to learn more about people and culture through majors such as Communication, English, International Studies, Film Studies, Philosophy, Spanish, Women and Gender Studies and more. It’s a great choice for someone who wants to graduate with a wide range of career possibilities.

Possible careers include: College Professor, Community Organizer, Editor, Event Coordinator, Human Rights Advocate, Journalist, Museum Curator, Translator, Writer, etc.

UWM education student sitting in an elementary school classroom

Social and Behavioral Sciences

If you’re curious about why people think and behave in the ways they do, find social issues interesting and like working alongside others, this metamajor may be the perfect fit for you! You’ll learn more about people, society and relationships while exploring majors such as Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology and Social Work. UWM also offers pre-law as a pre-professional program.

Possible careers include: Archivist, Counselor, Environmental Consultant, K-12 Teacher, Lawyer, Librarian, Politician, Psychologist, Social Worker, Sociologist, Therapist, etc.

Want to learn more about metamajors at UWM?

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