For Students

Pathway Advising works with students who enter UWM undecided about their major, or those who were determined through the admission process to need additional support in their first semester or two as they work towards a particular major.  You’ll find more information on program admission here, including important information for international students and transfer applicants.

Selecting a Metamajor Pathway

Upon admission into UWM through Pathway Advising, we ask students to select one of six exploratory pathways called metamajors, each of which include a dozen or more UWM majors that share an academic theme.  Students will be able to self-select a pathway through our PAWS system or can review options with an advisor at a New Student Orientation.  A metamajor can help students focus their interests towards a particular major while also keeping parallel options open while completing early requirements towards a UWM undergraduate degree.  If plans change — and some national estimates suggest that a quarter to a third of all students change their major while at college — switching within the pathway can help keep you progressing towards graduation.  See Our Pathways for more information on our six metamajors.

Choosing a Major

Once within a Pathway and in courses at UWM, students should begin to narrow their focus towards a particular major. UWM’s Center for Student Experience and Talent (SET) is an important resource for students in that process, alongside and in conjunction with working with an assigned Pathway advisor.  SET has a library of resources, including online assessments, that can help students match their goals and interests with specific careers and their associated academic majors. SET also features a link to What Can I Do With This Major? which can help current or prospective students explore possible career paths or other opportunities related to UWM’s academic programs.  Students can also join one or more of SET’s Career Communities!

Joining a School or College

The final step for students in Pathway Advising is to transition into their chosen major.  Our goal is to help students do that as soon as possible, once a major has been identified and a pattern of academic success has been established — this can occur between a first and second semester or ideally before the end of a student’s first year. Once in Sophomore standing, students are likely beginning to take prerequisite coursework leading specifically to junior- and senior-level classes in a chosen major, so our metamajor Pathways are designed to lead through the first year and culminate in an internal transfer to one of UWM’s School & Colleges majors.