Basi, a member of the 8th cohort of First Wave, performs at OMAI's annual Line Breaks Festival.

UPDATE May 4: In light of UW Admissions' decision to extend its deadline to June 1, the late-round First Wave application deadline has been extended to Friday, May 15, 11:59 p.m. CST.


To provide innovative, culturally relevant hip-hop art programs to inspire engagement, learning, and activism for diverse communities.

Administered by the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI), the First Wave Learning Community is the first university program in the country centered on urban arts, spoken word and hip-hop culture.


Over 40% of all First Wave students have already studied abroad in a multitude of countries. This includes study of film in Paris and cultural learning activities in Rio de Janeiro.

First Wave students are published authors, nationally renowned and internationally ranked poets, rappers making noise on the underground, and community organizers. 


man posing for the camera

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