The Heart of a Great University

The College of Letters & Science is the liberal arts college, home to the humanities, the natural, physical and biological sciences, and the social sciences. UW’s “fearless sifting and winnowing” philosophy was born right here. GO BIG. GO BOLD. GO L&S.

“Through literature, I can ask and explore larger questions, such as what it means to be a woman of color, or the roles culture and family play in identity.”

"There is this stereotype that you have to come to college with a degree in mind and a career track to follow. Well, I am pure proof that this is not true."

"The type of learning a liberal education instills is not one that ends after some phase, but is a desire for a continuous acquisition of knowledge that often adds, challenges or confirms prior beliefs."

“There's something really valuable about having knowledge in a lot of different subjects. You become much more of an asset to society when you can wrap your mind around different points of view.”

Find Your Path

Latest from L&S

Harvesting data to grow farmers markets

A pair of UW-Madison researchers have created tools to help market managers around the country collect, interpret and utilize metrics to bolster their business model. 

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In The Washington Post: Humanity’s strange new cousin is shockingly young — and shaking up our family tree

Homo naledi, a strange new species of human cousin found in South Africa two years ago, was unlike anything scientists had ever seen. Some aspects seemed modern, almost human. But their brains were as small as a gorilla's, suggesting Homo naledi was incredibly primitive. The species was an enigma.

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Two from UW-Madison among 2017 Carnegie Fellows

Two University of Wisconsin–Madison professors have been named 2017 Andrew Carnegie Fellows by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Greg Nemet and Gregg Mitman are among just 35 distinguished scholars, journalists and authors chosen this year from 200 nominees across the country.

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Wisconsin Winnowers

L&S draws students from all 72 counties in the state. Below, meet a few Wisconsin students using a strong liberal arts education as the foundation for their futures.

Dahlia Tesfamichael, Greenfield, WI

After turning down Harvard to attend UW-Madison, Dahlia spent her first year on campus studying chemistry and Spanish and participating on the speech and debate team. “I’m excited to see where my experience at Madison and where my education at Madison can take me,” she says. “Because I have absolute faith that it will take me so far, to so many places.”

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Sam Gee, Madison, WI

When choosing a college, Sam considered smaller liberal arts schools but worried they wouldn’t offer enough access to research. UW-Madison’s Honors Program became an ideal fit because it’s let him take smaller classes, conduct his own research and work closely with faculty, particularly in the history department. “It really opened up worlds for me,” he says. “I like the way of looking at history through big ideas, and big ideas through history.” 

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Doha Awad, Glendale, WI

Doha focused on math and chemistry courses during her inaugural semester at UW-Madison. And she participated in a global health-focused first-year interest group, or FIG — a good fit, as she’s considering going on to medical or pharmacy school.

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Nate Kornetzke, Kiel, WI

During his first year on campus, Nate lived in the environmentally focused GreenHouse Learning Community at Leopold Residence Hall. The math major was most looking forward to “meeting new people and living in a new place” at UW-Madison.

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Jerry Xiong, Milwaukee, WI

For this economics major, a highlight of campus is the welcoming atmosphere of the Center for Academic Excellence, a 50-year-old program that supports historically underrepresented students. “I would be in the CAE space almost every day,” Jerry says. “CAE has provided me a support system of reliable staff that can help me with job opportunities, internships, advising — almost anything.”

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Avery Aurand, Lake Geneva, WI

After dropping her conservation biology major, Avery was looking for a new path. She found her next steps in pairing geography and journalism. “Geography is the study of the world around us, and journalism is putting it into words and sharing it,” she says.

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Jessie Howard, Franklin, WI

The end of her freshman year saw Jessie was debating her path. Recognizing that she likes speaking with people — even in a foreign language — she decided to major in German and take pre-physical therapy courses. “It is totally possible to major in the liberal arts and still go to grad school in the sciences, and that’s exactly what I intend to do,” she says.

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Michael Bellart, Muskego, WI

His first year at UW-Madison, the history and political science major enrolled in a first-year interest group, or FIG, focused on Jerusalem. Michael enjoyed finding connections in past and current events. “It was awesome to talk about Christianity’s historical interactions with both Islam and Judaism,” he says.

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Cesar Martinez, Appleton, WI

Through the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, Cesar studied vesicle trafficking, investigated the impact of stroke and probed the epigenetic role of a protein. While different in focus, these lab experiences helped him recognize that he enjoys culling different perspectives — an important realization as he plans a career in health care. 

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Katherine Piel, Wauwatosa, WI

With a desire to learn how to present herself and her skills to potential employers, Katherine enrolled in Taking Initiative, the signature career-prep course of the L&S Career Initiative. “My common threads were leadership, communication and service,” says the communication arts and environmental studies major. 

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Michele Boal: 2017 Entrepreneurial Achievement Award Recipient

In recognition of her outstanding accomplishments in entrepreneurial pursuits, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has awarded distinguished alumna and L&S Board of Visitors member Michele Boal (B.A.'91, Journalism) a 2017 Entrepreneurial Achievement Award.

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