Do you want a bachelor’s degree, but need to complete your general education requirements first? Here’s your chance to earn the credits you need at your own pace, on your schedule, building on knowledge you already have.
The Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS) degree is the foundation for more than 200 college majors. All University of Wisconsin four-year institutions, including UW-Madison, consider this AAS degree to satisfy the university-wide general education breadth requirements. An associate degree also signals to employers that you have the advanced skills in communication and critical thinking necessary to succeed in today’s workplaces.
Students Who Need to Complete General Education Requirements
For students with transferable college credit who would like to earn their bachelor’s degrees (whether through a UW Flexible Option program or any other University of Wisconsin program), the courses offered by this flexible Associate of Arts and Sciences degree can be used to fulfill the general education requirements of the degree.
Who Should Apply
The UW Flexible Option is especially designed for self-motivated nontraditional students. The competency-based and self-paced format of the UW Flexible Option fits the schedules of students who must balance work and family responsibilities with educational goals. Because the UW Flexible Option competencies and assessments are delivered online, students have the opportunity to learn when and where they choose.
This self-paced program is ideally suited for:
- Motivated, disciplined self-starters who can work independently
- Students who may have completed some college-level work
- Adults with valuable professional work experience
- Those who recognize the value of a University of Wisconsin degree
About the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges & Schools.
Effective July 1, 2018 the 13 two-year campuses formerly known as University of Wisconsin Colleges were integrated as branch campuses with seven of the University of Wisconsin System’s four-year comprehensive or research institutions. As part of this restructure, UW Flexible Option courses offered through UW Colleges, including the Associate of Arts and Science (AAS) degree, transitioned to UW-Milwaukee
To earn an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree, students must complete a total of 60 credits across the categories described below. If you have already completed equivalent courses, those credits may be eligible for transfer. At the UW Flexible Option, you are not locked in to traditional semesters or test dates. If you are able to master the material more quickly, the UW Flexible Option gives you the opportunity to prove your mastery through an assessment and move ahead faster.
Please visit the UW-Milwaukee Academic Catalog to learn more about the AAS requirements.
Core Requirements (English and Math)
- CGS ENG 102x—Critical Writing, Reading, and Research II – 3 credits
Students will either complete a placement exam or transfer in an appropriate prerequisite to qualify as ready to attempt mastery of competencies for this core course.
- A composition course focusing on researched academic writing that presents information, ideas, and arguments. Emphasis will be on the writing process, critical thinking, and critical reading. Prereq: A grade of C or better in ENG 101 Composition I or exemption through a sufficiently high placement assessment. EL
- CGS MAT 105x—Intro to College Algebra – 3 credits
Students will either complete a placement exam or transfer in an appropriate prerequisite to qualify as ready to attempt mastery of competencies for this core course.
- Definition of function and sequence; linear and nonlinear functions and graphs including logarithmic and exponential functions; systems of linear equations and Gauss-Jordan method; theory of polynomial equations; conic sections and optional topics such as mathematical induction, matrix solution of linear systems and Cramer’s rule. Prereq: A grade of C or better in MAT 092, 098, or placement based on placement test score. MS
Fine Arts and Humanities (minimum of 9 credits)
Students must acquire knowledge of ideas, beliefs, and abiding concerns pertaining to the human condition as represented in literature, philosophy, and cultural history. They must acquire a level of aesthetic appreciation of the human imagination as expressed in the fine arts, and appreciation of the impact of the arts upon the quality and character of human life.
- CGS MUS 173x—Music and Literature and Appreciation – 3 credits
- A guide to the understanding of music through listening experiences in the various styles and historical periods.
- Required Text: Kristine Forney, .Andrew Dell’Antonio, and Joseph Machlis. The Enjoyment of Music: Essential Listening Edition, 2nd edition, W.W. Norton & Co., 2013. ISBN-13: 978-0393912555 or
- Kamien, Roger. Music: An Appreciation, 8th brief edition, McGraw Hill, 2015. ISBN-13: 978-0077837310
- Recommended Materials: Oxford Music Online. Accessible through your campus library system with your student account information. This database offers detailed articles on all aspects of music, composers, and major compositions, as well as citations for further resources.
- CGS GSW 102x—Women’s Voices – 3 credits
- An introductory and interdisciplinary humanities course drawing upon diverse texts and methodologies representative of the following humanities disciplines: art, philosophy, religious studies, music, film, history, literature, feminist theory, cultural studies, media studies, and performance art/drama. Students will examine multicultural readings ranging from creative nonfiction, essays, feminist theory, philosophical reflection, fiction, poetry, historical accounts, drama, cultural critique, feminist analysis, memoir, visual arts, letters, diaries, and others to build an understanding of the multiple scholarly approaches in the humanities to the study of women’s lives.
- Recommended Text: Kirk, Gwyn, and Margo Okazawa-Rey. Women’s lives: Multicultural perspectives. McGraw-Hill Humanities, Social Sciences & World Languages, 1998.
- Modleski, Tania. Loving with a Vengeance: Mass-Produced Fantasies for Women. Florence, KY: Routledge, Chapman, and Hall, 2008.
- CGS SPA 101x—First-Semester Spanish – 4 credits
- For students who have had no previous training in the language. Emphasis on reading, writing, listening, and speaking in Spanish. The course also may include cultural studies of Spain and Latin America. PLEASE NOTE: This is only ONE of the TWO units required to satisfy the Foreign Language Requirement for the UWM Bachelor’s Degree.
- CGS SPA 102x – Second Semester Spanish – 4 credits
- This course is a continuation of CGS SPA 101. This course integrates cultural studies of Spanish-speaking countries while emphasizing reading, writing, listening, and speaking in Spanish. Prerequisite: CGS SPA 101x or placement exam.
Mathematical and Natural Sciences (minimum of 11 credits)
Students must know of the nature and workings of the physical universe. They must understand scientific method, the functions of numerical data and the solving of problems through mathematical and statistical computations, as well as the application of the scientific method in laboratory and experimental work. For this, an appropriate level of computer literacy is required. Students must also be aware of environmental conditions and challenges, the interrelationships of lifeforms and ecosystems, and the impact of human activities upon natural environments.
- CGS BIO 141x—Heredity – 3 credits
- Principles of heredity with applications to plant, animal and human inheritance; current advances in genetics and their bearing on the life sciences. Lecture and may also include demonstrations, discussion and field trips. Lecture and may also include demonstrations, discussion and field trips. NS
- Recommended Text: Lewis. Human Genetics: Concepts and Applications. 11th ed. McGraw-Hill. 2015. ISBN-13: 978-0-07-352536-5
- CGS CHE 124x—Applied Chemistry and Society (Laboratory Science) – 4 credits
- A course for non-science majors that covers basic chemistry concepts in a social context. May include explorations of how chemistry impacts the environment, public health, energy policies, and other contemporary social issues. Consists of lectures and laboratories and may also include discussions and demonstrations. Not a suitable prerequisite for higher-level Chemistry courses or pre-professional programs. A student may not earn more than four credits by taking CHE 121, CHE 123 and CHE 124.
- Required Text: David W. Ball, John W. Hill, and Rhonda J. Scott. The Basics of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry. 2001.
- Recommended Text: David Joachim. The Science of Good Food: The Ultimate Reference on How Cooking Works. 2008, ISBN-10: 0778801896, ISBN-13: 978-0778801894.
- CGS GEO 125x—Physical Geography – 5 credits
- The geography of Earth’s physical characteristics, including weather and climate, climate types, water, soils, Earth materials, landforms, and Earth resources; study of the processes and interactions creating Earth’s physical geographic patterns. Two or four hours of lab per week depending on the credit. May not be taken for credit by students who have had GEO 120, GEO 123 or GEO 124. NS/LS
- CGS HES 209x—Nutrition and Weight Control – 3 credits
- This course will examine the basic principles of nutrition, digestion, and metabolism and the effects of these principles on one’s diet, weight, fitness level, and overall health. The functions, requirements, and applications of nutrients and nutritional needs throughout the life cycle will be studied. The course will also include the basic knowledge and application of nutrient recommendations, dietary guidelines, and interrelationships of foods. It will also examine the issues of alternative nutrition, food safety, and eating disorders. The course will include personal diet assessment and development of personal health goals.
- Recommended Text: Thompson, J., and Manore, Melinda. Nutrition for Life, 3rd or 4th edition. Benjamin Cummings. ISBN: 0321774353.
- CGS MAT 215x—Elementary Statistic (Math for NON-GER Students) – 3 credits
- The primary aim of the course is a basic understanding and use of statistical concepts and methods to facilitate study and research in other disciplines. Includes measures of central tendency, measures of variability, grouped data, the normal distribution, central limit theorem, hypothesis testing, estimation, T-distribution and chi square test. Prereq: A grade of C or better in MAT 103B or MAT 101 or MAT 108 or equivalent.
Social Sciences (minimum of 9 credits)
Students must understand the nature and dynamics of human social systems and how and why people organize their lives and resources. In doing so, students will learn about both their own and diverse cultures to acquire a historical perspective on long-term characteristics and consequences of social change and an informed understanding of the variety of human conditions and the interrelationships of nations, regions, peoples, and individuals.
- CGS ANT 100x—General Anthropology – 3 credits
- A survey of the subfields of anthropology, especially archaeology and physical and cultural anthropology. The course explores human biological evolution and variation, cultural evolution, language, and culture change. SS
- Recommended Texts: Kottak, Conrad. Window on Humanity: A Concise Introduction to Anthropology. 5th edition. ISBN-10: 0078034892, ISBN-13: 978-0078034893
- Raymond Scupin & Christopher R. DeCorse. Anthropology: A Global Perspective. 7th edition, ISBN-10: 0205181023, ISBN-13: 978-0205181025.
- CGS SOC 101x—Introduction to Sociology – 3 credits
- Introduction to the basic concepts, theories and methods of Sociology, emphasizing the significance of the self and culture, social process and organization, and forces of social stability and change. SS
- CGS POL 104x—American Government and Politics – 3 credits
- Analysis of the decision-making structure and processes of American national government, including the role of parties and interest groups, and the value preferences within American society which affect the formation of public policy. SS
- Required Texts: Ginsberg, Benjamin, Theordore Lowi, Margaret Weir, Caroline Tolbert, and Robert Spitzer. We the People: An Introduction to American Politics (Ninth Core Edition). 2012. ISBN-13: 978-393-92109-0.
- Cannon, David T., John J. Coleman, and Kenneth R. Mayer. Faultlines: Debating the Issues in American Politics (Fourth Edition). 2013. W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN-13: 9780393921595
- Stanford, Jim. The Conflicting Personalities of Government, pages 226-238 in Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism. 2008. Ann Arbor: Pluto Press. ISBN-13: 9780745327518, ISBN-10: 0745327501
- CGS PSY 202x—Introductory Psychology – 3 credits
- Survey of major content areas in Psychology. Topics include research methodology, learning, memory, cognition, biological psychology, sensation, perception, motivation, emotion, development, personality, psychopathology, and social psychology. Students may not receive credit for both PSY 201 and PSY 202. SS
- Required Text: Myers, David. Exploring Psychology: In Modules. 2014, Worth Publishing. ISBN-13: 978-1464163425, ISBN-10: 1464163421.
- Recommended Text: Weiten, Wayne. Psychology: Themes and Variations, Briefer Version. 2013, Cengage. ISBN-13: 978-1133939061, ISBN-10: 1133939066.
Application and Performance (minimum of 3 credits)
Students must demonstrate an understanding of concepts, theory, and knowledge through the application of their skills and understanding to specific problems and activities.
- CGS ART 161x—Introduction to Photography – 3 credits
- Black and white still photography: the camera, the negative, the print. Lecture-lab. AP
- Recommended Texts: London, B., Stone, J., and Upton, J. (2008). Photography. Pearson Education (any edition, 9 or newer)
- Hart, R., and Horenstein, H. (2007). Photography. Prentice-Hall (2007 or newer)
- Barnbaum, B. (2010). The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression. Rocky Nook. ISBN-13: 9781933952680
- CGS BUS 201x—Introductory Accounting – 4 credits
- Fundamental principles, terminology, techniques, and applications; books, accounts and financial statements for retailing and wholesaling concerns; treatment and presentation of proprietorship, partnership and corporate accounts. Prereq: Open to second semester freshmen or cons. instr. AP
- CGS CPS 139x—Web Page Development – 2 credits
- Development of web pages using HTML and Cascading Style Sheets. Introduction to XML documents and XHTML standards. This course involves extensive hands-on experience. AP
- CGS CTA 103x—Introductory Public Speaking – 3 credits
- Study of the principles and techniques of effective speaking and listening in a variety of selected communication experiences. AP
- CGS EGR 110x—Engineering Graphics – 3 credits
- An introductory course in engineering graphics focusing on graphical communication. Topics include descriptive geometry elements, visualization, engineering drawing techniques, orthographic projection, pictorial representation, auxiliary views, section views, and basic dimensioning. The course incorporates computer aided drafting (CAD) with engineering applications using 2-D drawing and 3-D modeling techniques. AP
- Recommended Texts: Shih, R. H. (2017). Tools for design: Using AutoCAD 2018 and autodesk inventor 2018. Mission, KS: SDC Publications. ISBN 13: 978-1-63057-127-6 | ISBN 10: 163057127X
- ENGLISH 206x – Intro to Business & Technical Communications – 3 credits
- Instruction and practice in writing technical reports, proposals, and other technical writing forms. Particularly appropriate for students in science, engineering, architecture, and other applied sciences.
- Part of the Business & Technical Communications Certificate, transfers to the AAS program as CGS ENG 206x.
- ENGLISH 435x – Advanced Business & Technical Communications – 3 credits
- Theories and practices of rhetoric and professional writing with attention to business, technical, and community contexts.
- Part of the Business & Technical Communications Certificate, transfers to the AAS program as CGS ENG/BUS 210x.
Ethnic Studies (minimum of 3 credits)
Students must become aware of and sensitive to diversity issues and problems. Courses fulfilling this requirement will have a substantial emphasis on cultural diversity within the United States and examine these issues from at least one of the following perspectives: African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, and American Indian topics.
- CGS HIS 102x—History of the United States: From the Era of the Civil War to the Present – 3 credits
- A survey of American political, economic, social, and intellectual history from the era of the Civil War to the Present. As an Ethnic Studies (ES) course, this course thoroughly integrates the experiences of African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and/or Asian Americans into US history in a manner that fosters understanding and appreciation of the perspectives and experiences of at least two of these groups as well as their contributions to, and interactions within, American society. SS/ES
- Recommended Text: Paul S. Boyer et al. The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, Volume II: Since 1865. 7th Edition. ISBN-10: 049579998X, ISBN-13: 978-0495799986
- Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty! An American History, Volume 2. 2nd Edition. ISBN-10: 0393932567 ISBN-13: 978-0393932560
- Mary Beth Norton et al. A People and a Nation: A History of the United States, Volume 2: since 1865. 7th edition ISBN-10: 0618391770, ISBN-13: 978-0618391776; or the 8th edition ISBN-10: 0618947779, ISBN-13: 978-0618947775
- CGS MUS 273x—Jazz History and Appreciation – 3 credits
- An introduction to the styles and forms of jazz through a study of its history, literature, cultural influences, musical structure, and prominent performers. Includes recorded listening experiences. FA/ES
- Required Materials: Essential Jazz: The First 100 Years, 3rd ed., Martin, Henry, and Waters Keith, ISBN: 978-1-133-96440-7, Cengage Learning, with download card for 2-CD set.
- Burns, Ken. Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns. PBS. 10-DVD set of the movie produced for PBS.
Interdisciplinary Studies (minimum of 3 credits)
Students must acquire an appreciation for the multiple dimensions of any given subject by applying the content, methods, and assumptions of two or more disciplines. Students will learn to integrate knowledge from across the curriculum. A course is an interdisciplinary studies course if instructors from two or more disciplines teach the course.
- CGS REL 101x—Introduction to the Study of Religion – 3 credits
- This course introduces students to various methods employed in the academic study of religion and will provide opportunity for students to apply these methods to diverse expressions of the religious life. HU/IS
- CGS GSW 101x—Introduction to Women’s Studies – 3 credits
- An introduction to the major issues addressed by women’s studies with an emphasis on interdisciplinary social science theories and methodologies involved in gaining accurate knowledge about women’s lives and contributions to society, both within the United States and around the world. Perspectives, texts, and methodologies from across the social science disciplines ranging from history, economics, sociology, political science, public health, criminal justice, psychology, and others will be used to understand the experience of women and the cultural construction of gender. SS/IS
- CGS BUS 101x—Introduction to Business – 3 credits
- Introduction to the role of business in the modern political, social and economic environments; describes career opportunities. EL
- Required Text: Nickels, McHugh, McHugh. Understanding Business. 10th ed. McGraw-Hill/Irwin. 2012. ISBN-10: 007352459X; ISBN-13: 978-0073524597
- Recommended Texts: Ferrell, Hirt, Ferrell. Business: A Changing World. 10th Edition. McGraw-Hill Higher Education. 2015. ISBN-10: 1259179397; ISBN-13: 9781259179396
- Ferrell, Hirt, Ferrell. M Business. 4th Edition. 2014. ISBN-10: 0078023157; ISBN-13: 9780078023156
- Gitman, McDaniel. Future of Business. 6th ed. Cengage Learning. 2011. ISBN-10: 0324537441; ISBN-13: 978-0324537444
- Pride, Hughes, Kapoor. Business. 11th ed. Cengage Learning. 2011. ISBN-10: 053847808X; ISBN-13: 978-0538478083
- CGS ENG 101x—College Writing and Critical Reading – 3 credits
- A composition course focusing on academic writing, the writing process, and critical reading. Emphasis will be on essays that incorporate readings. Prerq: A grade of C or better in a basic writing course (ENG 097, ENG 098, or LEA 106 when taken as a three-credit course) or exemption through a sufficiently high placement assessment. EL
- Recommended Texts: Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. A Pocket Style Manual. Bedford/St. Martin’s. 6th edition or later. (Also see other Hacker handbooks from Bedford/St. Martin’s.) or
- Lunsford, Andrea. St. Martin’s Handbook. or
- Maimon, Elaine, Janice Peritz, and Kathleen Blake Yancey. A Writer’s Resource.
- Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say, I Say. W. W. Norton & Company: 2014. ISBN-13: 860-1401247128
- Palmquist, Mike. Joining the Conversation: Writing in College and Beyond. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0312412159
- Spatt, Brenda. Writing from Sources. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0312602901
- CGS MAT 116x—College Algebra – 3 credits
- Emphasizes algebraic techniques with polynomials, fractional expressions, exponents and radicals, linear and quadratic equations, and inequalities. Introduction to functions, their graphs, and analytic geometry. Prereq: Math Placement Level 20, which is earned by any of the following: (a) Level 20 or 26 on Math Placement Test; (b) Grade of C or better in MATH 94, MATH 95, or MATH 98; (c) ACT math subscore of 24 or higher. EL
At the UW-Milwaukee, a minimum of 60 credits is required to earn this degree. When completing these 60 credits, students must satisfy one of the following: At least 36 of the 60 credits must be earned through UW-Milwaukee, or at least 12 of the final 24 credits must be earned through UW-Milwaukee. Coursework previously offered by UW Colleges will count towards this residency requirement. Residency in this case does not mean you have to attend in-person or live in Wisconsin; you simply must complete the required number of credits at UW-Milwaukee.
It’s not just what you’re learning that’s important, it’s also who you’re learning from that matters. The AAS program is taught by a diverse range of expert UW System faculty. To learn more about the faculty, check out this page.
The UW Flexible Option offers working adults – like you – a more affordable way to finish a degree. Your coursework takes place in subscription periods – rather than semesters. These subscription periods start every single month, and are approximately 12 weeks long.
Instead of paying based on your course or credit load, you choose between two flat rate tuition plans. Our unique subscription period structure and flat-rate tuition model means you are in control of both your schedule and your cost. Financial Aid is available for this program.
- All-You-Can-Learn Option: Choosing this option allows you to enroll in as many courses as you have time for within the subscription period for a flat tuition rate of $2,250. You can add additional courses in your subscription period if you finish others early.
- Single Course Option: You may also decide you would like to focus on just one course at a time. The tuition for this is $1,125. In this option, you are not eligible to add additional courses during your subscription period if you finish the first one early. In this case, you must wait until your next subscription period to add additional courses.
|Subscription Option||Courses you can take||Tuition|
|All-You-Can-Learn||2 or more||$2,250|
You can switch back and forth between these tuition options with each new subscription period. For example, perhaps over the summer you do the Single Course option because your family is home on summer break, but once the kids go back to school in the fall you switch to the All-You-Can-Learn option.
Are there any additional fees? There are no segregated fees with this program. However, your tuition does not include the cost of textbooks or other special materials that may be required for individual courses.
Finishing your associate’s degree is closer than you think! Schedule an advising call at 608-262-2011 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minimum Academic Requirements
Candidates for the Associate of Arts and Sciences degree must have a high school diploma, GED or High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED). Students with transferable college credit should have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher. Students below a 2.00 will be evaluated as part of our holistic admissions review.
How to Apply
- You may apply up to five months in advance of your desired start date. See Steps to Apply.
- If previously enrolled in Flex, please review our returning student admissions process.
Transfer Credit Evaluations
- Transfer credit is awarded for college-level coursework completed at regionally accredited institutions. See Transfer Credit Evaluations for more information.
- Learn more about how credit by exam and military coursework may apply towards your degree.
Still have questions? Check out our Admission FAQ page.