Online Major

study at coffee shop

The Political Science Department has been a leader at UWM in online education. We’ve been offering the major entirely online for more than a decade! Want instructors who are experienced in offering engaging content online? Pol Sci Online may be for you!

Is online education right for me?

  • Whether you’re an adult juggling full-time work and family responsibilities, an individual with limited geographic mobility, or a traditional-aged student seeking to fit their education into more convenient hours, you may find online courses to be a great solution to your educational needs.
  • Do note, though, that the online format requires a high level of self-motivation, a lot of reading and writing, and better-than-average time management skills. Online courses operate on the same semester-based schedule as in-person classes (and most courses are not self-paced, but rather use traditional weekly deadlines) so you should be prepared to fit regular coursework into your schedule. 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.

How does it work?

  • Online students take the same courses as traditional on-campus UWM students (indeed, some may be in class with you!), 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, and the application process is the same. To begin the application process, see apply.wisconsin.edu.
  • Once admitted, students will work with an assigned advisor in the College of Letters & Science via phone or Skype.
  • Following admission, you can declare the POL SCI major (or minor!) by completing and submitting the required paperwork (available here) via email to psmajor-add@uwm.edu. When you declare the major, our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Benesh, will send you an email with a road map to completing the major, and you should feel free to contact her whenever you need advising in the major, at sbenesh@uwm.edu.
  • You may be able to complete the Law Studies Option entirely online as well. We regularly offer Pol Sci 250, 411, 412, 464, and 471 online.
  • Aim for Honors or High Honors in the major, and membership in Pi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science Honor Society too! See the main Political Science Major page for details.

Why UWM?

  • UWM is a Research 1 institution, so your faculty will be top researchers in their fields. This is far different than commercial online-only universities. Your UWM education will take you far, and will be just as valuable (and the credits just as transferable) as the education received by students who come to study on campus.
  • UWM’s tuition is affordable, making your road to the degree much easier than higher-cost options. We offer financial aid and scholarships too! Check out https://uwm.edu/onestop/contact/financial-aid/ for more details!

Is there anything else that I should know?

  • All of the coursework required for the Political Science major can be completed online. However, there are a couple of additional general education requirements (specifically, foreign language classes) that are not currently available online. If you have not yet completed four semesters of foreign language from high school, you’ll need to find a way to meet that requirement. Happily, your assigned Letters & Science advisor will have lots of ideas for you to complete those requirements. You could come to campus just for those classes; you could complete those courses at a university close to home; or you could find an institution that offers the courses online and take those courses from that institution. If coursework is completed elsewhere, your advisor will confirm that credit will transfer back to UWM.

Questions regarding the application process as a new freshman or as a transfer student can be directed to the Letters & Science admissions counselor via phone, at (414) 229-7711, or via email, at let-sci@uwm.edu.