Bigger is better

When you're this big, there's more to love. The College of Letters & Science is home to a tremendous breadth and depth of scholarship, research and service. View our full list of academic options below or browse our disciplines by division.

Departments & Programs

L&S is home to departments and degree-granting programs in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and natural and physical sciences. Click to view all L&S academic departments and programs.

African Cultural Studies, Department of

The mission of the Department of African Cultural Studies is to provide research and teaching in the languages and expressive cultures of Africa and Africans around the world. 

Department Chair: Tejumola Olaniyan

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Afro-American Studies, Department of

The Department of Afro-American Studies is committed to bringing academic research to the broadest possible audience, within and beyond the walls of the university. The department believes that the deepest understanding of the complex reality of race in America requires a truly interdisciplinary approach, one that draws on history and literature, the social sciences and the arts.

Department Chair: Christina Greene 

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American Indian Studies Program

The American Indian Studies Program works to foster an environment in which the university community can discover, examine, and appreciate the cultures, traditions, and values that reflect the many contributions American Indians have made and continue to make to the quality of life in contemporary society.

Director: Roberta Hill

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Anthropology, Department of

The Department of Anthropology consists of several subfields, including: archaeology; biological anthropology; and sociocultural anthropology.  Comparative and empirical work, and fieldwork in particular, are the hallmarks of anthropology at UW-Madison.

Department Chair: Sissel Schroeder

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Art History, Department of

The mission of the Department of Art History is to promote scholarly inquiry into the history of art in all its different media in a wide range of historical periods and world cultures.

Department Chair: Anna Andrzejewski 

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Asian American Studies Program

The Asian American Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program that focuses on the scholarship and experiences of Americans, Pacific Islanders, and immigrants to the United States from Asian heritage groups. The Program sheds light on Asian American experiences and concerns, both historically and in contemporary society.

Director: Leslie Bow

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Asian Languages & Cultures, Department of

The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures includes instruction in Chinese, Japanese and Korean, as well as courses on literature, linguistics, culture, religion, and thought in East Asia.

Department Chair: Steve Ridgely

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Astronomy, Department of

The UW-Madison Astronomy Department's mission is to conduct cutting-edge research and to offer undergraduate students the highest quality education. The department conducts research in diverse areas of astronomy, from the physics of stars to cosmology, in observation and theory, and through the construction of forefront instruments for our complement of telescopes.

Department Chair: Sebastian Heinz

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Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Department of

Since 1948, the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences has grown into one of the leading departments in its field. The department has strong graduate and undergraduate programs which are nationally recognized. The department specializes in climate systems, including the ocean; satellite and remote sensing; and weather systems, including synoptic-dynamic meteorology.

Department Chair: Greg Tripoli

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Biology Core Curriculum

Biocore is an award-winning intercollegiate honors program. It is a challenging four semester introductory biology sequence that provides a broad, in-depth, and integrated background for students interested in any area of biological science.  

Director: Jeff Hardin

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Biology Major

The Biology Major is designed for students who are interested in a broad exposure to the concepts and methodologies of the biological sciences, as well as those interested in a more specific sub-discipline. 

This major is appropriate for students interested in post-graduate careers in any biological science or health profession. It is also appropriate for students who think that a good knowledge of biology and the scientific process will help them in a non-biological career.


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Botany, Department of

The Department of Botany's mission is to discover, maintain, and transmit knowledge concerning basic plant biology and provide leadership in the biological sciences. Department degree programs offer studies in molecular, genetic, cellular, and developmental biology, through physiology, structural botany, molecular systematics, taxonomy, ecology, ethnobotany and evolution

Department Chair: Ken Cameron

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Chemistry, Department of

The mission of the Department of Chemistry is to conduct world-class, groundbreaking research in the chemical sciences while offering the highest quality of education to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral associates. The department's research includes the traditional areas of physical, analytical, inorganic, and organic chemistry, and has rapidly evolved to encompass environmental chemistry, chemical biology, biophysical chemistry, soft and hard materials chemistry, and nanotechnology. 

Department Chair: Judith Burstyn

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Chican@ and Latin@ Studies Program

The Program in Chican@ and Latin@ Studies offers a systematic and interdisciplinary analysis of Mexican-and Latin-American-origin people, cultures, and collectivities within the United States. The program is designed to provide students with a broad knowledge base and the intellectual tools to understand the unity and diversity of U.S. Latina/o populations.

Associate Director: Ben Marquez

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Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Department of

The Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies offers undergraduate majors in classical humanities, classics (Greek and Latin), and Latin, along with a certificate in classical studies. The department also cooperates with the School of Education to offer a teacher certification program in Latin. 

Department Chair: William Aylward

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Communication Arts, Department of

The Department of Communication Arts offers two tracks of study at the undergraduate level: Rhetoric and Communication Science, and Radio-TV-Film. At the graduate level, degrees are offered in Media and Cultural Studies, Rhetoric, Politics, & Culture, Film, and Communication Science. 

Department Chair: Michael Xenos

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Communication Sciences and Disorders, Department of

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders prepares the next generation of scholars, clinicians, and leaders in the field of communication sciences and disorders. The undergraduate program provides students with a thorough grounding in theoretical and applied foundations that lead to careers in speech-language pathology and audiology.

Department Chair: Katie Hustad

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Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies, Department of

The Department of Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies approaches literature and culture from an international and comparative perspective. Students explore novels, folk culture, oral storytelling, visual and material culture, film, poetry, social media, religion, law, environmental humanities, psychology and philosophy that connect cultural contexts and time periods, and learn to think within and across boundaries of language, nation, geography, ethnicity, race, gender, religion, and social class.

Department Chair: Ernesto Livorni

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Computer Sciences, Department of

The Department of Computer Sciences offers a state of the art undergraduate curriculum that is continually updated by the faculty research experience. This includes project-oriented courses in computer animation, computer architecture, databases, networking, operating systems, programming languages and compilers and software engineering. 

Department Chair: Guri Sohi

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Conservation Biology

The Conservation Biology major is designed to provide students broad training in biological and related disciplines most relevant to conservation. The program emphasizes basic knowledge of natural history, whole organism biology, ecological interactions, and conservation biology.

Department ChairDavid Baum

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Creative Writing Program

The Creative Writing Program provides a full range of opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students, and, through the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing's fellowships, post-graduates to study, practice, and receive recognition in the genres of poetry and fiction. While the program's primary emphasis is on those genres, it additionally offers classes in creative nonfiction and playwriting. The program also sponsors readings throughout the academic year that are free and open to the public.

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Criminal Justice Certificate Program

The Criminal Justice Certificate Program focuses on the causes of crime and delinquency, examine fundamental concepts underlying the practice of justice, and analyze the impact of crime on our society. The inner workings of criminal justice agencies are reviewed through an internship component and options for controlling crime are surveyed. Students are challenged to consider new ways of preventing and handling crime. Studies are completed in tandem with a chosen major.

Director: Alan Rubel

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Economics, Department of

The Department of Economics is a top teaching and research department comprised of a dedicated group of faculty, staff and students who lead the field in current economic issues. The mission of the department is to understand the decisions of businesses and consumers as well as the implications and causes of contemporary economic issues by developing a systematic and thorough understanding of precisely how economic systems operate.

Department Chair: Ananth Seshadri

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English, Department of

The Department of English includes a wide array of disciplines in contemporary English studies: literary studies, composition and rhetoric, creative writing, English linguistics and English as a second language. The department offers a strong undergraduate major in literature, with complementary tracks in creative writing and linguistics.

Department Chair: Russ Castronovo

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English as a Second Language, Program in

The Intensive English Program provides quality instruction to adults who wish to improve their proficiency in English. English as a Second Language offers full-time 15-week programs in the fall and spring semesters and an 8-week program in the summer.

Director: Sandy Arfa

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French and Italian, Department of

The Department of French and Italian is recognized as a leader in literary and critical scholarship, and for a tradition of excellence in teaching and pedagogical research and training. The department is proud of its reputation for interdisciplinary innovation in curriculum and technology. 

Department Chair: Gilles Bousquet

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Gender and Women's Studies, Department of

The mission of the Department of Gender and Women's Studies is to expand the understanding and appreciation of women's lives and experiences both historically and in contemporary societies. The department defines education and learning in the broadest sense, including coursework, research, and a wide range of educational programs on and off campus.

Department Chair: Aili Tripp

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Geography, Department of

Scholarly work in the Geography Department is organized into four major thematic areas: physical geography, people-environmental studies, cartography and GIS, and human geography.

Department Chair: Lisa Naughton

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Geoscience, Department of

The mission of the Department of Geoscience is to research and disseminate information on the structure, chemistry, physics, and evolution of the Earth; life on Earth and in the solar system; and the interaction between physical, chemical, and biological processes that shape the Earth.

Department Chair: Chuck DeMets

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German, Nordic, and Slavic, Department of

Department Chair: Manon van de Water

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History, Department of

The Department of History serves over 750 undergraduate majors and countless additional students drawn to history to meet other requirements of the College. As a member of the Graduate School, the History Department has a vibrant community of over 200 graduate students.

The Department of History of Science joined the Department of History in summer 2017. 

Department Chair: Laird Boswell

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Honors Program

The L&S Honors Program serves over 1,300 students in the College of Letters and Science with an enriched undergraduate curriculum. Students in the program pursue the Honors in the Liberal Arts, Honors in the Major or Comprehensive Honors Degrees. The program began in response to a 1958 petition by students seeking more challenging work and opportunities to "delve more deeply" into their fields of interest.

Director: Sabine Gross

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Information School (iSchool)

The Information School (Formally the School of Library & Information Studies) exists to educate professionals to bring together information in all its cultural forms and the people who need or want it. The iSchool at UW-Madison contributes to individual and collective knowledge, productivity, and well-being; and creates and disseminates knowledge about recordable information.

Director: Kristin Eschenfelder

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Integrated Liberal Studies Program (ILS)

The Integrated Liberal Studies (ILS) Program offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the basic subjects in the liberal arts curriculum. Its faculty members are drawn from many programs and departments at the UW-Madison. This diversity enables the ILS Program to offer the different subject areas needed to satisfy the breadth requirement and for a sound liberal education.

Director: Richard Avramenko

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Integrative Biology, Department of

Research and teaching in the Department of Integrative Biology (formerly the Department of Zoology) focuses on all areas and all hierarchical levels of biology, including cell and molecular biology, neurobiology, genetics, organismal biology, ecology, evolution, and behavior.

Department Chair: Jeff Hardin

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Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies Program (ITS)

Formerly the M.A./Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama, the Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies Program at UW-Madison prepares M.A. and Ph.D. students to pursue innovative, interdisciplinary research in theatre studies, and to relate their scholarly research to production and/or teaching.

Program Chair: Mary Trotter

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Journalism & Mass Communication, School of (SJMC)

As one of the oldest journalism programs in the nation, the School of Journalism & Mass Communication also stands as one of the best. With a rare blend of leading-edge research and professional training, the J-School is uncommon in its service to students and to the body of knowledge in mass communication.

Director: Hemant Shah

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La Follette School of Public Affairs

The La Follette School of Public Affairs is a leading academic institution in improving the design, implementation, and evaluation of public policy and the practice of governance worldwide. The school produces and publishes innovative multidisciplinary policy and management research; trains, mentors, and educates students interested in domestic and international policy and governance in public, non-profit, and private settings; and informs the practice of public affairs locally, nationally, and globally by disseminating knowledge to practitioners and to the broader public.

Director: Donald Moynihan

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Language Sciences Program

Scholars in the Language Sciences Program specialize in phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and American Indian languages. Applied linguistic studies such as the theory and practice of language teaching or the history and structure of a particular language are handled in other departments, or may be assembled as a program of individual study. 

Program Director: Eric Raimy

Legal Studies Program

The Legal Studies Program's mission is to provide a liberal education across traditional disciplines, focusing on the theory and operation of law and legal institutions. The courses in the Legal Studies major expose students to the many facets of law as a social phenomenon - its evolution, function, motivating ideas and effects.

Director: Alan Rubel

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Mathematics, Department of

Department Chair: Gloria Mari-Beffa

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Medieval Studies Program

The Medieval Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary environment for the pursuit of knowledge relating to the Middle Ages, a period spanning Late Antiquity to roughly 1500. Representing faculty from over 18 departments, the Program offers courses and certificate programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. 

Director: Tom Dale

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Molecular Biology Major

Molecular Biology is the basic science that seeks an understanding of biological processes in terms of the properties and functions of the molecules that make up living cells. The scope of questions addressed in molecular biology ranges from evolution to development to the regulation of gene expression. A career in molecular biology requires a strong background in biology as well as a solid foundation in chemistry, mathematics, and physics.

Department Chair: Kurt Amann

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Mead Witter School of Music

The Mead Witter School of Music is proud of an outstanding international roster of faculty artists and scholars devoted to the School's fundamental mission of fostering and promoting the global cultural art of music. The school's 60-member faculty maintains a unique focus on individual student achievement, utilizing the vast resources of the world-famous Madison campus.

Director: Susan Cook

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Philosophy, Department of

The Department of Philosophy carries on a long and proud tradition of highly acclaimed teaching and research in core areas of philosophy — especially in the philosophy of science and ethics, but also in metaphysics, epistemology, and the history of philosophy.

Department Chair: Alan Sidelle

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Physics, Department of

For decades, the Department of Physics at University of Wisconsin-Madison has been ranked among the top departments in the United States. The department's first Ph.D. was awarded in 1899 and since that time, thousands of students have earned undergraduate and advanced degrees from our program, in virtually every area of physics.

Department Chair: Sridhara Dasu

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Planning and Landscape Architecture, Department of

Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture faculty and students have a long history of studying and contributing to applied research across a broad spectrum of planning issues here in Wisconsin and across the globe.

Planning and Landscape Architecture is the product of two previously separate academic departments that merged in summer 2017: The Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Department of Landscape Architecture.

Department Chair: Ken Genskow

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Political Science, Department of

The Political Science Department is one of the nation's oldest and most respected programs. The department is highly ranked in national surveys, and its award-winning faculty are known for innovative research on the discipline's most current and important questions.

Department Chair: John Zumbrunnen

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Psychology, Department of

The Department of Psychology has established strong traditions of excellence in research, teaching, and in the training the next generation of psychological scientists. Faculty and students conduct cutting-edge, award-winning research that is at the forefront of discoveries in the field – research that both defines and shapes the future of psychological science. 

Department Chair: Hill Goldsmith

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Religious Studies Program

Religious studies is an academic discipline that looks at religious phenomena worldwide from a variety of angles in order to achieve an understanding of the many roles that religion plays in human life. Students of religion use different methods for different goals. These include historical methods to understand how religions change in time; critical literary methods to understand religious ideas; aesthetic methods to understand religious art; social-scientific methods to understand the relationship between religion and society and culture.  

Director: Jordan Rosenblum

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Second Language Acquisition, Doctoral Program in

Second Language Acquisition (SLA) is the scholarly field of inquiry that investigates the human capacity to learn languages other than the first, during late childhood, adolescence, or adulthood, and once the first language or languages have been acquired. SLA studies a wide variety of complex influences and phenomena that contribute to the puzzling range of possible outcomes when learning an additional language in a variety of contexts.

Director: Cathy Stafford

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Social Work, School of

The School of Social Work seeks to enhance human well-being and promote social and economic justice for people who are disadvantaged to achieve an equitable, healthy, and productive society.

Director: Stephanie Robert

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Sociology, Department of

The Department of Sociology consistently ranks as one of the top Sociology departments in the country.  The department excels in a wide variety of intellectual pursuits, including research, teaching, and public service. 

Students have a wide range of interests reflecting disparate kinds of expertise in aging and the life course, class analysis, demography, economic sociology, education, ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, family, gender, organizations, political sociology, social psychology, stratification, science and technology, and many other arenas of inquiry. 

Department Chair: James Raymo

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Spanish and Portuguese, Department of

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese is dedicated to the study and teaching of the languages, literatures and cultures of the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking worlds. It is one the largest departments of Spanish and Portuguese in the United States, and offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate courses and areas of specialization in literature, culture, and linguistics.

Department Chair: Jim Sweet

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Statistics, Department of

The Department of Statistics offers range of undergraduate and graduate instructional programs. The undergraduate major in statistics has an option to concentrate coursework in an area of application, including biological sciences, computer sciences, economics, or engineering. The graduate M.S. and Ph.D. programs, with options in either statistics or biostatistics, stress a balance between statistical theory and practical applications, preparing students for careers in academia, industry, medical research, business, agriculture, and government.

Department Chair: Yazhen Wang

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Majors & Certificates

Find majors, certificates, and areas of concentration UW-Madison Course Guide.

Interdisciplinary Centers, Institutes & Special Projects

Interdisciplinary centers, institutes, and special projects create opportunities for faculty, staff and students from units across campus to come together and address important challenges and topics. Click to view all L&S affiliated centers, institutes and special projects.

Abrahamic Religions, Lubar Institute for the Study of the (LISAR)

The Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions (LISAR) opened in July, 2005, testimony to the vision and benefactions of Sheldon and Marianne Lubar of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Concerned about rising religious tensions worldwide and believing Jews, Christians and Muslims to be capable of prolonged and honest inquiry into both their common heritages and varying perspectives, they imagined a center that would advance mutual comprehension by mingling scholars with the general public, clergy with laity, and members of different faith communities with citizens of Wisconsin, the United States, and the world. 

Director: Charles Cohen

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Acoustics Phonetics Laboratory


Aging, Institute on

The UW-Madison Institute on Aging focuses on addressing the problems of aging, which include diseases and impairments (e.g., osteoporosis, dementia, Parkinson's, glaucoma, mobility problems) and the challenges of later life (e.g., widowhood, retirement, caregiving, relocation) as well as the potential of aging, which refers to the notable strengths, resources, and vitality of those in their 70's and beyond. 

Director: Carol Ryff

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American Constitution, Center for the Study of the

The Center for the Study of the American Constitution (CSAC) is a non-profit, non-partisan center dedicated to serving scholars, educators, and students who are interested in the American Constitution in its historical context. 

Director and Co-editor: John P. Kaminski

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Chemical Education, Institute for (ICE)

The Institute for Chemical Education (ICE) is a national center for science educators to develop and disseminate ideas. ICE's efforts are evident in kits and publications, in programs for students and for teachers, and in research in chemical education.

Since its founding in 1983, ICE has led the drive to help teachers revitalize science in schools throughout the United States. From "approachable" science for K–3 teachers (Super Science Connections) through nanoscale exhibits for the public to research experiences for teachers, ICE has something for all chemistry teachers and students.

Director: John W. Moore

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Chemistry Learning Center

The mission of the Chemistry Learning Center is to assist students who are enrolled in general and organic chemistry courses in becoming successful and independent learners. Participation is voluntary and there is no fee. The center offers a supportive learning environment where students meet in small groups with staff to work out effective strategies for mastering the chemical content. 

Director: Tony Jacob

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Child Welfare Policy and Practice, Center on (CCWPP)

The Center on Child Welfare Policy and Practice (CCWPP) is a joint effort between the School of Social Work (SSW) and the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The CCWPP engages in inter-disciplinary efforts to inform child welfare policy and practice knowledge through enhanced collaboration and communication among researchers, policymakers, and practitioners. 

Center Co-Directors: Kristen Shook-Slack and Jennifer L. Noyes

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Communications & Democracy, Center for

The Center for Communication and Democracy is a research and action project at UW-Madison. The goals of the center are to study how citizens can use new communications technologies to advance democratic discussion and civic participation; to explore the relationships between geographic communities and the emerging world of cyberspace; to explore the structural relations among communications and information markets, the civic sector, and government to find relationships necessary to build and sustain a public sphere in communication that is not dominated by the market, while sustaining economic growth and technological innovation; and to ask what government policies are most appropriate for combining the vibrancy of the market with the common needs of citizens in the sphere of communication.

Director: Lewis Friedland


Communication Arts Instructional Media Center

The Instructional Media Center is the media hub of the Communication Arts Department. In addition to providing equipment and computer lab facilities for Communication Arts media production students, the IMC provides technical assistance to the graduate students, faculty, and staff of the department.

Supervisor: Erik Gunneson

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Communication Research, Center for

The Center for Communication Research is dedicated to promoting communication research at the University of Wisconsin and beyond.  Situated within the UW’s Department of Communication Arts and housed in Vilas Hall, the Center is staffed by the Department’s Communication Science faculty and graduate students.

Director: Michael Xenos

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COWS is a nonprofit think-and-do tank that promotes "high road" solutions to social problems. These treat shared growth and opportunity, environmental sustainability, and resilient democratic institutions as necessary and achievable complements in human development. Working with business, government, labor, and communities, COWS tries out new ideas, tests their effectiveness, and disseminates those with promise. 

Director: Joel Rogers

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Creative Writing, Wisconsin Institute for

Since 1986, the University of Wisconsin's Institute for Creative Writing has provided time, space, and an intellectual community for writers working on a first book of poetry or fiction. Since 2012, we have also considered applicants who have published only one full-length collection of creative writing prior to the application deadline, although unpublished authors remain eligible, and quality of writing remains the nearly exclusive criterion for selection. Altogether, our poetry and fiction fellows have published more than a hundred full-length collections and novels, many of them winning major national honors.

Coordinator: Sean Bishop

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Cross-College Biology Education, Institute for

UW–Madison's Institute for Biology Education is dedicated to fostering excellence and innovation in biology education on campus, in the surrounding communities, and beyond.

Director: Janet Branchaw

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Demography and Ecology, Center for

The Center for Demography and Ecology is a multi-disciplinary faculty research cooperative for social scientific demographic research whose membership includes sociologists, rural sociologists, economists, epidemiologists, and statisticians. 

Director: James Raymo

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Demography of Health and Aging, Center for (CDHA)

The Center for Demography of Health and Aging (CDHA) at the University of Wisconsin - Madison is one of fourteen P30 demography centers on aging sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. Major research themes include: midlife development and aging, economics of population aging, inequalities in health and aging, and international comparative studies of health and aging.

Director: Alberto Palloni

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Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE)

The Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) is a multi-volume reference work that documents words, phrases, and pronunciations that vary from one place to another across the United States.  The entries in DARE include regional pronunciations, variant forms, some etymologies, and regional and social distributions of the words and phrases. 

Chief Editor: Joan Hall

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Early Modern Studies, Center for

The Center for Early Modern Studies aims to encourage innovative research and foster lively dialogue and debate across a wide range of disciplines with a special focus on the early modern period (15th-18th centuries).

Director: Sabine Moedersheim

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Elections Research Center

The Elections Research Center fosters cutting edge academic analysis of national and state elections to further the scholarly understanding of factors that influence voter decision-making and election outcomes. It continues a long tradition of excellence in elections-related study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Director: Barry Burden

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Electron Microprobe Lab

Director: John Fournelle

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Elementary Particle Physics Research, Institute for

The mission of the Institute for Elementary Particle Physics Research is to promote research at the interface of theory and experiment in particle physics, with emphasis on the interpretation of experimental data, the design of new experiments, and the construction and testing of theoretical models. The Institute's research is data-driven and encompasses collider physics, neutrino physics, particle astrophysics, particle cosmology, and low-energy physics. The Institute is internationally recognized for its leadership in this research.

Director: Vernon Barger

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Environmental Communication and Education Studies, Center for

Film and Theater Research, Wisconsin Center for

Researchers at the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research may study more than a century of cinema, radio, television, and theater through moving images, visual materials and manuscripts. Collections donated by some of Hollywood's most renowned directors, producers, screenwriters and actors, often augmented by viewing copies of their most significant works, provide complementary documentation for both the art and business of Hollywood's Golden Age, as well as more modern independent and experimental filmmaking. 

Director: Vance Kepley

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Gender and Women, Center for Research on

The Center for Research on Gender and Women was established in 1977 and serves as a unit of the Department of Gender and Women Studies to promote greater knowledge and understanding about gender and women’s studies both in the US and globally. It promotes scholarly interactions among gender studies researchers on campus, as well as linkages with women’s studies scholars nationally and internationally. 

Director: Janet Hyde

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Geophysical & Polar Research Center

George L. Mosse/Laurence A. Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies

Founded in 1991, the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies brings together a variety of disciplines to study and interpret Jewish and ancient Israelite history, religion, politics, society, and culture. Drawn from over a dozen different departments, our faculty have achieved national and international prominence for teaching and scholarship.

Director: Tony Michels

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Havens Center for the Study of Social Structure and Social Change

Established in the Sociology Department in 1984, the Havens Center for the Study of Social Structure and Social Change is dedicated to promoting intellectual reflection and exchange in the critical traditions of social thought, both within the academy as well as between it and the broader community. By fostering such interaction, the Havens Center seeks to contribute to the development of a society openly committed to reason, democracy, equality, and freedom. 

Director: Erik Olin Wright

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Harlow Center for Biological Psychology

The Harlow Center for Biological Psychology is located on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is administered through the Department of Psychology and has long been home to internationally recognized research on behavioral and developmental psychology. The Harlow Center is affiliated with, but independent from, the adjacent Wisconsin Primate Research Center.

Director: Christopher Coe

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Harvey Goldberg Center for the Study of Contemporary History

Health Economics Research Center

Healthy Minds, Center for (CHM)

What if our world were a kinder, wiser, more compassionate place? A place where we exercise our minds just like we exercise our bodies? A place where transforming your mind not only improves your own well-being, but cascades to the well-being of others in your community and around the globe?

We’re making this vision a reality at the Center for Healthy Minds (CHM) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Faced with mental and physical health challenges at a global scale, we conduct rigorous scientific research to bring new insights and tools aimed at improving the well-being of people of all backgrounds and ages.

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High Throughput Computing, Center for

The Center for High Throughput Computing aims to develop, implement, deploy, and evaluate mechanisms and policies that support High Throughput Computing (HTC) on large collections of distributively owned computing resources. Guided by both the technological and sociological challenges of such a computing environment, the Center for High Throughput Computing at UW-Madison has been building the open source HTCondor distributed computing software (pronounced "aitch-tee-condor") and related technologies to enable scientists and engineers to increase their computing throughput.

Director: Miron Livny

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History of Cartography Project

The History of Cartography Project is a research, editorial, and publishing venture drawing international attention to the history of maps and mapping. The Project's major work is the multi-volume History of Cartography series. Its interdisciplinary approach brings together scholars in the arts, sciences, and humanities.

Director: Matthew Edney

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History of Print and Digital Culture, Center for the

For nearly twenty years the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture has been fostering the interdisciplinary study of print, through lectures and colloquia, biennial conferences, and the University of Wisconsin Press series "Print Culture History in Modern America." The Center encourages scholarly work on the authorship, reading, publication and distribution of print--and now digital--materials, produced by those at both the center and the periphery of power.

Director: Jonathan Senchyne

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Humanities, Center for the

The Center for the Humanities is a hub of creative inquiry and cultural life, drawing renowned scholars from across campus and around the globe to present cutting-edge research and engage new ideas. Through seminars, workshops, and conferences, the Center fosters collaboration beyond disciplinary lines and promotes intellectual exploration outside the classroom.

Director: Sara Guyer

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Holtz Center for Science & Technology Studies

The Robert F. and Jean E. Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies seeks to understand how science and technology shape human lives and livelihoods and how society and culture, in turn, shape the development of science and technology. By focusing scholarly attention on science and technology as human institutions, situated in wider historical, social, and political contexts, the Center provides insights into the relationship between science and technology and such basic categories of social thought as race and gender, poverty and development, trust and credibility, participation and democracy, health and pathology, risk and uncertainty, globalization, and environmental protection.

Director: Samer Alatout

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Humanities, Institute for Research in the (IRH)

Founded in 1959, the Institute for Research in the Humanities (IRH) sponsors some 40 external and internal fellowships. The institute encourages innovative research and interdisciplinary exchange asking large questions of history, culture, literature, ideas, language, and the arts.

Director: Ulrich Langer

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Interdisciplinary French Studies, Center for

The Center for Interdisciplinary French Studies is committed to the connection of francophonie in all domains of study at UW-Madison and abroad.

Co-Directors: Gilles Bousquet and Aliko Songolo

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Journalism Ethics, Center for

The Center for Journalism Ethics aims to advance the ethical standards and practices of democratic journalism through discussion, research, teaching, professional outreach, and newsroom partnerships. The Center is a voice for journalistic integrity, a forum for informed debate, and an incubator for new ideas and practices.

Director: Katy Culver

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Max Kade Institute for German American Studies

The Max Kade Institute for German American Studies is an interdisciplinary unit dedicated to researching the story of German-speaking immigrants and their descendants in a global and multicultural context; preserving American print culture and personal documents in the German language; and sharing the Institute’s resources through teaching, publications, community outreach, and public programming.  

Co-Directors:  Cora Lee Kluge & Mark Louden

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Language Institute

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an international leader in foreign language education and research, with the capacity to offer instruction in over 80 modern and ancient languages. Drawing on the wealth of this expertise, the Language Institute promotes collaboration for research, education and outreach in languages, literatures and cultures.

Director: Rob Howell

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Law, Society, and Justice, Center for

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has long been recognized as a center for interdisciplinary studies related to law and legal institutions. The Center for Law, Society, and Justice (CLSJ) is the organizational home for academic programs related to law and legal institutions, other than the programs offered by the University of Wisconsin Law School. It currently houses the Legal Studies Program and the Criminal Justice Certificate Program. 

Director: Alan Rubel

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Liberal Democracy, Center for the Study of

The Wisconsin Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy, located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was founded in the fall of 2006 by a core group of Madison faculty members with a diversity of perspectives. The Center's main objective is to probe the nature and prospects of liberal democracy and its core principles, practices, and institutions.

Co-Directors: Richard Avramenko and John Sharpless

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Limnology, Center for

The Center for Limnology was established in July 1982 to plan, conduct, and facilitate inland freshwater research. The Center grew out of almost one hundred years of limnology at the University initiated by E.A. Birge and Chancey Juday, who founded limnology in North America through extensive descriptive and comparative studies.

The Center's roots were further developed by Arthur D. Hasler, who led the way in experimental limnology and facilitated four decades of aquatic studies at Wisconsin. The present program builds on these approaches and has expanded to include long-term studies, synthesis, modeling, Great Lakes research, and application to resource management and environmental issues.    

Director: Jake Vander Zanden

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Mass Communication Research Center

The goal of this graduate student and faculty collaborative is to integrate scholarship from communications, political science, psychology and sociology to investigate the effects of mass media on political judgment and reasoning. This working group has a long history in the school, where it has been a center of research activity focusing on media and politics for over 35 years.

Director: Dhavan Shah

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Mathematics Tutorial Program

The Math Tutorial Program is appropriate for anyone who can benefit from our structured support as they work through their math class. The program offers free small group tutoring for students enrolled in Math 095, 101, 112, 113, 114, 171/217, 211, 213, 221, 222, and 234.

- Apply during first three weeks, no referral form needed. Apply in person by stopping in 321 Van Vleck
- Apply after third week, need a referral form from your instructor, advisor, or dean Bring the referral form to 321 Van Vleck

Director: David Camacho

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Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture

The Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture is dedicated to studying and preserving Yiddish music and culture, teaching it to new generations, and supporting scholarship that explores it as an important facet of Jewish and American life.

Director: Henry Sapoznik

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Meteorological Satellite Studies, Cooperative Institute for (CIMSS)

The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) is a Cooperative Institute formed through a Memorandum of Understanding between UW-Madison, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). CIMSS operates as an institute within the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC). CIMSS scientists conduct research using remote sensing systems for meteorological and surface-based applications.

Director: Steven Ackerman

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Music Technology, Wisconsin Center for

Physics Learning Center

The Physics Learning Center offers a variety of services including small group study sessions (providing a supportive environment in which to learn physics), access to study materials, and extra exam review sessions. Study groups meet twice each week and are led by trained peer tutors and staff. The Center provides extra practice problems and opportunities to discuss physics concepts. Resources are available for students in Physics 103, 104, 207, and 208.

Director: Susan Nossal

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Plant Development, Institute for

Plasmas in the Laboratory and in Astrophysics, Center for

The Center for Plasmas in the Laboratory and in Astrophysics includes several high-performance plasma confinement experiments, collaborations in national and international experiments, a cross-disciplinary theory and computation effort, a comprehensive fusion engineering program, a center for plasma-aided manufacturing, and a Physics Frontier Center on Magnetic Organization. Research is conducted under the departments of Engineering Physics, Physics, and Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Director: Cary Forest

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Politics, Center for the Study of

The Wisconsin NewsLab is a 2,500 square foot media analysis facility located at the center of the UW – Madison Campus. NewsLab is equipped with 35 Windows XP workstations each of them capable of digitizing video from DVD, video cassette, or other digital media. News is gathered, sorted, and archived automatically by NewsLab's InfoSite system. Staff then analyzes each segment answering questions provided by researchers.

Co-Directors: Kenneth Goldstein, James Fowler

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Poverty, Institute for Research on (IRP)

IRP is a center for interdisciplinary research into the causes, consequences, and cures of poverty and social inequality in the United States. As one of three National Poverty Research Centers sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, IRP has a particular interest in poverty and family welfare in Wisconsin and as well as the nation.

Director: Lonnie Berger

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Psychology Research and Training Clinic

The Psychology Research and Training Clinic has existed for more than thirty years and has established a reputation for quality service. The success of the clinic is the result of both the ongoing training in advanced treatment methods as well as the extensive time dedicated to each case by the therapist of his or her supervisor.

Director: Linnea Burk

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Pushkin Studies, Wisconsin Center for

The Wisconsin Center for Pushkin Studies is a unique resource for scholars dedicated to research and publication on the work of Alexander Pushkin.

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Rapid Evolution, Center of (CORE)

CORE is an institute dedicated to the study of rapid evolution. Many serious problems currently facing human societies and the environment are occurring on rapid time scales. Such problems include global warming, extinctions of species, invasions of alien species, evolution of infectious diseases, and threats to agricultural livestock and crop species from diseases and inbreeding. The study of rapid evolution is critical for gaining the tools to address such problems.

Director: Carol Eunmi Lee

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Social Science Computing Cooperative (SSCC)

The Social Science Computing Cooperative provides computer services for the Social Sciences. The Cooperative proper is made up of research agencies, departments and one School which contribute to the cooperative and receive services in return. However, the SSCC also provides some services to anyone in the Social Science Division of the University, including an instructional computer lab.

Director: Nancy McDermott

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Social Science Research Services (SSRS)

Social Science Research Services (SSRS) serves social science researchers in the College of Letters and Science. The central function of SSRS is to provide specialized, high quality services to advance interdisciplinary social science research at the UW-Madison. SSRS provides an administrative "umbrella" to coordinate a variety of service-providing units. Any social science researcher or unit wishing to utilize the services provided through SSRS is welcome to contact us to determine the services that are available to them.

Director: Janet Clear

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Space Astronomy Laboratory (SAL)

The Space Astronomy Laboratory (SAL) is a unit of the Astronomy Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. SAL designs and builds instruments for the Department of Astronomy. These instruments help the Astronomy Department's faculty to do research in both space-based and ground-based astronomy.

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Speech and Hearing Clinic

The Speech and Hearing Clinic in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders offers evaluation, treatment and consultation services for children and adults with speech, language, hearing, and related communication needs.

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State, Local, and Tribal Governance, Wisconsin Center for

The Wisconsin Center for State, Local and Tribal Governance began in 1995 to house, in one spot, the numerous outreach efforts provided by La Follette School of Public Affairs professors who work with mayors, communities, tribes and others on issues such as youth violence, intergovernmental relations, leadership, personnel policies and more.

Director: Dennis Dresang

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Survey Center (UWSC)

For over 25 years, the University of Wisconsin Survey Center (UWSC) has provided a broad range of high quality survey research services to the UW faculty, staff and administrators, governmental agencies, and not-for-profit organizations. The Center helps design and implement all components of a survey ranging from questionnaire design and layout to data collection to report writing and analysis.

Director: Nora Schaeffer

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Theoretical Chemistry Institute

The Theoretical Chemistry Institute is part of the Physical Chemistry Division. Students ordinarily work toward Ph.D. degrees in physical chemistry, in an environment that emphasizes interactions among all theoretical research groups and faculty. Shared facilities include the TCI Library, seminar and conference rooms, and computational resources. The Institute interacts with groups that have primarily experimental interests and strongly enhance the environment for theoretical research. 

Director: James Skinner

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Upper Midwestern Cultures, Center for the Study of

The Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures is committed to the languages and cultural traditions of this region's diverse peoples. The Center fosters research and the preservation of archival collections, while producing educational and outreach programs for a broad public audience. It also assists community groups, classrooms, and scholars with projects involving Upper Midwestern Cultures.

Director: Joe Salmons

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Visual Cultures, Center for

The Center for Visual Cultures develops and sustains vital connections and collaborations between the study and practice of the visual with bridges across the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences.  As a leader in the field since 2002, we support cutting edge creative production and interdisciplinary research, programming, and community outreach activities in the new and developing field of visual cultures studies.

Director: Guillermina de Ferrari

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Wavelet IDR Center

The Wavelet Center for Ideal Data Representation (IDR) is a consortium of nine institutions involved in wavelet research. The goal of the Center is to develop new theories and technology for data representation based on redundant multiscale/wavelet representations, and to serve as a national center for the entire wavelet community. A primary component of the project are the application areas in image and signal processing, large scale computation, and computer graphics.

Coordinator: Amos Ron

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Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy (WISL)

The mission of the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy (WISL) is to promote literacy in science, mathematics and technology among the general public and to attract future generations to careers in research, teaching and public service. 

Director: Bassam Shakhashiri

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Wisconsin State Cartographer's Office (SCO)

The State Cartographer’s Office (SCO) is Wisconsin’s resource for information about maps, cartography, geographic information systems (GIS), land information systems (LIS), and geospatial technology. The office supports the state's geospatial community through presentations and educational workshops, technical consulting, print and digital publications, web-based catalogs and data services, and information about events, jobs and emerging trends.

Wisconsin State Cartographer: Howard Veregin

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Writing Center

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center helps undergraduate and graduate students in all disciplines become more effective, more confident writers. The Center's methods - multi-faceted, flexible, and collaborative - reflect respect for the individual writer, whose talents, voice, and goals are central to its endeavors.

Director: Bradley Hughes

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L&S Honors Program

The L&S Honors Program attracts some of our most driven and talented undergraduates, who challenge and learn from each other while working closely with faculty members on independent projects. Bringing students and professors together in small classes and research settings fosters feelings of community and encourages students to “dig deep” and explore the frontiers of knowledge

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First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs)

A FIG is a group of about 20 freshman students who register for the same three classes linked by a common theme, with options like Citizenship, Democracy and Difference, Internet and Society, and Exploring Biology.

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Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS)

TheUndergraduate Research Scholars (URS) program provides students with opportunities to design their own projects and participate in research and creative work in partnership with faculty and staff.

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Residential Learning Communities

Residential Learning Communities bring together faculty, staff and students around an area of focus within UW Residence Halls.

Check out these L&S learning communities: BioHouse, Bradley Learning Community, Chadbourne Residential CollegeGreenHouse, Multicultural Learning Community, Open House (Gender Learning Community), and Career Kickstart.

Writing Fellows Program

The Undergraduate Writing Fellows Program brings talented undergraduates and committed faculty together in a cooperative effort to improve student writing. The program prepares selected students from a wide range of majors to serve as peer writing tutors, called Writing Fellows.

A Research Powerhouse

The College of Letters & Science is home to a host of diverse, innovative research initiatives encompassing the arts and humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. 

Learn more about the latest research from L&S.

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