Frequently Asked Questions About Applying

Have a question about your application? Click below to see answers to the most common application questions.

Select between the following tabs:

All Undergraduate

Can I change my application to a different semester?

You can defer an application for up to one year. To request a deferral, email isss@uwm.edu and include your name, campus ID number, and the semester to which you would like to defer. You must also write whether you are planning to study at another university in the meantime.

If you wish to defer your application for more than one year, you will be instructed to complete a new online application and pay another application fee.

Do I need to pay the application fees?

In general, all applicants need to pay the application fee. The only exception to this requirement applies to current UWM students who are moving from a master’s program to a PhD program in the same field of study.

Are application fees refundable?

Application fees are not refundable.

Will I receive my transcripts/degrees back after the application process is complete?

In general, materials submitted to UWM become the property of the University and will be destroyed after processing. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you submit officially-certified copies of documents that are irreplaceable.

If you submit an original document that you need returned to you, you must notify us in writing and include a pre-paid, express mailing envelope at the time you submit your documents.

We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged documents.

Will UWM accept an evaluation of my transcripts?

An evaluation of your transcripts completed by a third party evaluation service may be submitted as an official English translation of your transcripts. However, you still must submit the native language transcript if it is not attached to your evaluation.

How should my transcripts be translated?

UWM International Admissions Office accepts only official English translations. There are a few ways you can obtain an official translation:

  1. Ask your school or institution if it can issue your original documents in English; or
  2. Use the services of a professional translator (in your country); or
  3. Email translation@uwm.edu and request assistance; or
  4. Complete a translation yourself and have it verified as true and accurate by a UWM faculty or staff member who is fluent in the language of the transcript.

UWM does not accept unverified transcripts which are translated by the student. Also, translations should not include any conversions to U.S. grades, U.S. grade points, or U.S. credits.

What's the address of the International Admissions Office?

Regular Mail Address:

International Admissions Office, Garland Hall #138
UW-Milwaukee Center for International Education
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413

Street Address (for courier services that will not deliver to a P.O. Box):

International Admissions Office, Garland Hall #138
UW-Milwaukee Center for International Education
2441 E. Hartford Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53211

How do I log in to PAWS?

To log into PAWS, you will need to use the ePanther ID and password that you set up.

If you haven’t already set up an ePanther ID, please go to http://www.epantherid.uwm.edu to receive your ePantherID and activate your account. You will need your UWM campus ID number, which isss@uwm.edu emailed you after we received your online application. Campus IDs are formatted as 99# – ## – ####.

Please note, it is not possible to immediately retrieve your ePanther ID after your online application has been received. So, if you submitted your application recently, please wait at least one business day and try again.

How can I check the status of my application?

You can check on your application by looking at the “To Do List” on your PAWS account. The items that appear on your To Do list are requirements that have not been received or processed by the International Admissions office.

Although we try to be as efficient as possible, items that we receive are not processed same day. Usually, it takes a few business days for the To Do list to be updated, but this time can be longer during peak seasons of admissions.

The language settings on my internet browser cause a problem for PAWS

If you are encountering problems accessing the PAWS system due to an error related to your language settings, please complete the following:

  1. In your internet browser, click on Tools.
  2. Under Tools, click on Internet Options.
  3. Under Internet Options, click on the Languages button.
  4. Click Add and then add English (United States) [en-us].
  5. Click on English and then use the Move Up button to move it to the top of the list.
  6. Click Ok.
  7. Click Apply.
  8. Close your internet browser and then open it up again.
  9. Please try accessing PAWS again.
How can I get help with my ePantherID, PAWS account, or UWM email?

Please submit a help ticket at http://gettechhelp.uwm.edu if you are having difficulty with your ePanther ID, PAWS account, or email.

What is the deadline to apply?

Applicants to undergraduate programs who are applying from outside of the United States should apply by the following dates:

  • Fall (September) Semester Applications: March 1
  • Spring (January) Semester Applications: August 1

Applicants for undergraduate programs who are applying from inside the United States (or international students who do not need a visa) should apply no later than the following dates:

  • Fall (September) Semester Applications: July 1
  • Spring (January) Semester Applications: December 1
How long will it take to receive an admission decision?

From the time your application is complete, you should receive an admission decision within 2-4 weeks. A complete application means all fees have been paid, and all transcripts and test scores have been received. Applications are evaluated by our international admissions team in the order they are completed and received by our staff. You will be notified of our admission decision by email.

Can I apply to start in the summer term?

UWM does not admit new freshman international undergraduate students for the summer term.

International transfer students (coming from another US institution) who would like to apply to begin undergraduate study at UWM should email isss@uwm.edu for approval.

Will I receive an admission letter?

The International Admissions office will notify you of your admission by email. Also, you will receive a signed admission letter when your I-20 is mailed to you.

The International Admission office does not provide scans or electronic copies of admission letters.

Can I receive a confirmation when my application requirements are received?

Please monitor your PAWS to do list to see whether we have received your materials. When an requirement no longer appears on your to do list, it indicates that we have received your materials and the requirement has been fulfilled.

Due to the large volume of mail we receive every day, the UWM International Admissions office cannot immediately update your PAWS to do list. Also, our university mail system processes mail in such a way that it may take one or two extra days for your document to be routed to our office. Please be patient while we work as efficiently as possible on your application.

What do I need to do to apply for conditional admission?

If you want to apply for conditional admission, you first need to submit an online application. Apply for the semester when you first anticipate starting English classes in the UWM Intensive English program. After submitting the online application, email isss@uwm.edu and make a request for conditional admission. Otherwise, the international admissions office will be waiting for a TOEFL or IELTS score, not knowing that your application doesn’t need this requirement.

To be considered for conditional admission, you must complete all application requirements besides English proficiency.

What do I need to do to apply for dual admission?

If your TOEFL or IELTS score is within the Dual Admission score range, your application will automatically be considered for dual admission.

Are there UWM scholarships for international undergraduate students?

All new undergraduate international student applicants are considered for the UWM Excellence Scholarship. The UWM Excellence Scholarship is a competitive, merit-based scholarship. The UWM Excellence Scholarship is a one-time award given during the first academic year.

All international new freshmen and international new transfer undergraduate students may be eligible to receive the International Milwaukee Advantage Program (MAP) scholarship. The International MAP is a renewable award that grants up to $1,000 for tuition each year. $500 is awarded for tuition to students enrolled full-time in the fall semester and $500 is awarded for tuition to students enrolled full-time in the spring semester. No award is given during the summer semester. There is no application; All international new freshman and international new transfer undergraduate students will be considered at the time of admission. Students who receive the International MAP will be notified by the International Student & Scholar Services Office. The International MAP scholarship is not available to international undergraduate students who are second degree students, re-entry students, or continuing undergraduate students that began prior to the fall 2016 semester.

Transfer Undergraduate

What is the minimum GPA requirement for admission as a transfer student?

Admission to UWM as a transfer student typically requires at least an overall ‘C’ (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) grade point average on 12 or more transferable credits. If you have not attempted 12 or more credits, UWM reviews your high school record to determine if you would have been admissible as a freshman. Admission to UWM, however, does not necessarily guarantee admission to your major or program. To gain admission to your major, you will need to meet specific GPA and credit requirements.

Transfer applicants to the College of Engineering & Applied Sciences (CEAS) and to the School of Architecture and Urban Planning must have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA. Additionally, CEAS requires applicants to have passed calculus with a grade of ‘C’ or higher.

Can I start over as a New Freshman?

If you have already studied at a college or university and completed more than 12 U.S. credit hours (or the equivalent), you will be considered a transfer student and you cannot start over as a new freshman. On your application, you are required to give information about your secondary school and ALL post-secondary education that you have completed. Failure to give this information can lead to admission revocation.

Will I get transfer credit for the courses I have completed?

If you studied at the post-secondary level, you might receive transfer credit.

Credit is generally awarded for academic course work successfully completed at colleges and universities that are recognized by the country’s Ministry of Education, or an equivalent authority.

In order for credit to be awarded, courses must typically be similar in nature, level, and content to a course in UWM’s undergraduate curriculum, and applicable to one of UWM’s academic programs at the baccalaureate level. Transfer credit is generally not awarded for continuing education course work, or for courses that are remedial, vocational, technical or doctrinal in nature.

Can you tell me what transfer credits I might get before I apply?

Post-secondary studies are not evaluated for transfer credit until an application is complete and is under admissions review. Transfer credit evaluations of work completed outside of the U.S. are completed by the International Admissions team at the Center for International Education. Your transcripts will automatically be reviewed at the time of your admission. When the transcript evaluations have been processed, you will be able to view the results on the Transfer Credit tab of your PAWS account.

Transfer credit evaluations of work completed at a U.S. post-secondary institution are completed by the Department of Admissions and Recruitment. Your transcripts will automatically be reviewed at the time of your admission. When the transcript evaluations have been processed, you will be able to view the results on the Transfer Credit tab of your PAWS account. In general, results are available to the student two to four weeks after the date of admission to UWM.

Do I have to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores to apply as a transfer student?

If you completed at least eighteen months of full-time, for-credit academic study (approximately three semesters NOT including summer terms) at a recognized or accredited institution of higher education whose language of instruction is English within two years prior to enrollment at UWM, you will have met our proof of English proficiency requirement and will not need to submit scores.

Should I submit detailed course descriptions for the courses I took at my previous institution?

If you attended a post-secondary institution outside of the U.S. and completed a great deal of substantive coursework, it is a good idea to submit course descriptions which detail what you learned in your courses. This puts our staff in a better place to fairly award you the credit you deserve.

Graduate

Deadlines

What is the deadline to apply?

Deadlines are set by the program. Some programs have no specific deadline date, which is called rolling admissions. You can check the deadline information for your program at http://uwm.edu/graduateschool/program-deadlines/.

Using Panthera

How do I create an account in Panthera?

Please visit https://graduateschool-apply@uwm.edu. Find your program from the menu on the left-hand side of the screen and click “Apply Now”. Follow the directions for creating an account.

You will receive a temporary password by email. You will then be asked to create security questions and a permanent password. Please be sure to write down your user name, password and the answers to your security questions.

What if my name is different from my legal name?

You must enter your legal name into the “Legal Name Information” questionnaire. This is the name that is uploaded into the UWM Student Information System and the name that will appear on all UWM legal documents, including immigration documents, transcripts, and diplomas.

What is the Staff-Use Only box? How do I mark it complete?

The Staff-Use Only box is completed by UWM staff as an important step in your application process. UWM staff will mark the box as completed after you have completed many important parts of your application. If you have completed everything else at least one week previously, and that box is still not checked, email us at isss@uwm.edu.

I want to apply to more than one program.

If you want to apply to more than one program, you will need to start a new application under your login. You will need to pay another application fee for the additional application.

The name of my school changed in my application. What do I do?

When we receive applications with education from schools not in our system, we add them. If the name of your school changes to either the actual name, or to a general selection for your country, we did it on purpose, and you should leave it alone. If it changes to something that you disagree, please email us at isss@uwm.edu so we can investigate.

What kinds of documents should I upload in the Document Center?

The Document Center is for anything you want the review committee to see that is not included in any other part of the application. All required documents are included elsewhere in the application, but sometimes applicants have more information that they want to be reviewed.

The only item to be uploaded in the Document Center that may be required is IELTS scores.

Application Fees

I don’t want to pay my fees online. How can I pay?

There are two alternative options to paying online:

  • Mail a check or money order in the amount listed on the “Pay Now” button to P.O. Box 340 | Milwaukee, WI 53201-0340. Make checks payable to: UWM Graduate School. Please print this page and include it with your payment so that we can credit the payment to the correct application.
  • Pay by check, credit card or cash in person at Garland Hall 138.
Proof of English Proficiency

Have you received my TOEFL scores?

After you have sent your scores to UWM from ETS (institutional code 1473), we typically receive them within about two weeks, typically every Monday. We will mark the Proof of English Proficiency Material Submission as “received” when we get them. Once the scores are matched to your application, you can see them in the Test Scores section of your application. We cannot match your scores to your application until you have completed several items in your application, so be sure to complete everything you can. If everything is complete, and you have requested that ETS send your scores, and the TOEFL/IELTS requirement is not marked Received, please email us at isss@uwm.edu so we can search for your scores. Be sure to include the name you used on your application, and the name on your TOEFL score report.

Why isn’t Proof of English Proficiency marked off? 

For TOEFL scores, we cannot match your scores to your application until you have completed several items in your application, so be sure to complete everything you can. If everything is complete, and you have requested that ETS send your scores, and the Proof of English Proficiency requirement is not marked “received”, please email us at isss@uwm.edu so we can search for your scores. Be sure to include the name you used on your application, and the name on your TOEFL score report.

For IELTS scores, we cannot update your scores in your application until you have completed several items in your application, so be sure to complete everything you can. If everything is complete, and you have uploaded a copy of your IELTS report in the Documents section, and the Proof of English Proficiency requirement is not marked “received”, please email us at isss@uwm.edu so we can search for your scores.

I marked Proof of English Proficiency as N/A by mistake. How do I fix it?

Email us at isss@uwm.edu and we can fix it for you.

I am a native English speaker. Why is Proof of English Proficiency a requirement in my Material Submissions?

In the profile you set up in the application, it asked you if English is your native language. If you selected NO, then Proof of English Proficiency automatically populates in your list of requirements. If you answered NO by mistake, please email us at isss@uwm.edu and we can fix it for you.

I have a degree taught in English, why is Proof of English Proficiency a requirement in my Material Submissions?

To meet the UWM English Proficiency requirement, your degree must have been earned within two years of coming to UWM, OR the degree must have been earned in the US and you have been living and working in the US since earning that degree. If your situation does not meet these requirements, you are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores to be considered for admission.

Click on the Proof of English Proficiency Materials Submission, and you will be asked a series of questions. Depending on your answers, the item will either be marked as N/A (TOEFL or IELTS is not required), or it will remain incomplete, and you need to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Please note that we cannot determine whether your situation meets this requirement until you have provided all information about your previous educational history and signed the Academic History – Add Institutions Signature Document.

If you have completed the Academic History – Add Institutions and the Proof of English Proficiency Materials Submission, and you think there is an error, please email us at isss@uwm.edu so we can investigate.

I have uploaded a copy of my TOEFL scores into the Documents section of my application. Why isn’t the requirement marked as received?

UWM does not accept unofficial TOEFL scores. Please have ETS send us your official scores to institutional code 1473. Your unofficial scores will not be considered.

I have uploaded IELTS scores in the Document section, but the Proof of English Proficiency box isn’t checked. 

We cannot update your scores in your application until you have completed several items in your application, so be sure to complete everything you can. If everything is complete, and you have uploaded a copy of your IELTS report, and the Proof of English Proficiency requirement is not marked Received, please email us at isss@uwm.edu so we can search for your scores.

GRE Scores

Have you received my GRE scores?

If you have officially sent your GRE scores to institution 1473 through ETS, we have received them or will receive them soon. All GRE scores are sent to the same place at UWM, regardless of department code. Once the scores are matched to your application, you can see them in the Test Scores section of your application. We cannot match your scores to your application until you have completed several items in your application, so be sure to complete everything you can. If everything is complete, and you have requested that ETS send your scores, and you do not see them in the Test Scores section of your application, please email us at gradschool-staff@uwm.edu so we can search for your scores. Be sure to include the name you used on your application, and the name on your GRE score report.

Why is the GRE item not marked off?

The GRE item is marked off by the program you applied to, and may not be marked as received until your application has been reviewed by them. If you can see the scores in the Test Scores section of your application, they have been received. There is no need to contact us; it will be marked off later.

Are GRE scores really required?

If the item says that GRE scores are recommended, you can choose whether to send GRE scores. These scores are not required by the program you are applying to, but will help them understand if you are a good fit with the program. If it does not indicate that the scores are recommended, then they are required, and your application may not be considered without them.

Letters of Recommendation

I entered my recommender’s information, but the recommender did not get an email. 

Letters of recommendation are controlled entirely by the program you are applying to. Please email the Graduate Representative for your program.

http://uwm.edu/graduateschool/graduate-representative-list/

Where do I mail a hardcopy?

Letters of recommendation are controlled entirely by the program you are applying to. Please email the Graduate Representative for your program.

http://uwm.edu/graduateschool/graduate-representative-list/

My recommender is getting an error message when they click on the link. What should they do?

If your recommender is getting an error message, have them try the instructions included in the error message. If they are still having trouble, have them email gradschool-staff@uwm.edu.

Transcript

How do I add institutions and transcripts?

To add a new institution please go to Education Records- Transcripts in the top menu bar. Then please click the “Add Institution” button in the upper right hand corner and fill out the form with the name of the school and other required information such as start/end date, credits earned, etc. Please note: limit the amount of information you enter into the “Degree Description” box. Too much information will prevent you from saving the Institution record.

Once you have added the institutions you can upload your transcripts. Under the Upload Transcripts section at the bottom of the page, click the “Choose File” button. Browse for the correct file and then click the check box that says “I verify that this is an actual transcript” and then select “submit”. If you are loading more than 1 page for your transcript, you must “submit” each page before loading the next page. Each time you click on “submit”, you will be taken back to the Submitted Institution page. To continue loading the rest of the pages, go to the right and click on the pencil in the column labelled “Actions”.

  • To add a transcript to an institution already added: click the pencil to the right of the school to edit the institution.
  • After you have uploaded all the necessary institutions and transcripts, go to the academic history links under the Signature Documents section and electronically sign to indicate that you have completed your Academic History

Do I have to upload an “Official” Transcript?

No, you can upload unofficial transcripts or official transcripts. If you are admitted to the UW-Milwaukee Graduate School, you will be required to submit an official degree bearing transcript (directly from the issuing institution). If we already have your official degree bearing transcript on file, then you will be done. You will be notified of the requirement in the official admission letter that you receive from the Graduate School.

Your official transcript must match the transcript uploaded with your application.

I uploaded my transcript but the Signature Document isn’t marked as complete. Why not?

There are two Signature Documents that you need to digitally sign related to your previous education. The first is to verify that you have added all information regarding your institution. The second is to verify that you have uploaded all transcripts. You must sign the documents after you have provided the information. We rely on your verification that this information is complete, so please don’t sign the documents until you are done.

I signed the Academic History Signature Documents, but was notified by email that they were marked “unreceived”. Why?

If in the process of reviewing your transcript(s), the admissions examiner determines that you are missing a transcript(s) which includes applicable coursework, the examiner will mark these signature documents as “Unreceived”. Please check your application and if necessary, please email isss@uwm.edu.

If you signed the Academic History signature document without entering your Institution history and/or uploading your transcripts, the signature documents will be marked Unreceived by the application processors and you will be notified by email.

When will my transcript be verified?

Your transcript will be verified when your application is complete, and has been reviewed by UWM staff. If you have anything incomplete, that box won’t be marked complete.

What if I can’t find my school in the list of schools?

Select the most logical country, state and city for your school. If your school is not available in the drop-down list, select Other, and write in the name of your school. When your application is processed, we will update your selection to either the name of the school or to the general code for the country.

Applications Status

What is the status of my application?

You will receive emails telling you that your status has changed; this is to let you know that your application is being moved along internally. As long as you are completing everything in your application, it will continue to be processed. If you need to know your status you can email isss@uwm.edu.

What else to do I need to do to complete my application?

For your application to be considered complete, all the check boxes will need to be marked “received”.

How do I submit my application?

There is no official “submit” button for your application. For your application to be considered complete, all the check boxes will need to be marked “received”.

I got an email that says the status of my application has changed. What does that mean?

You will receive emails telling you that your status has changed; this is to let you know that your application is being moved along internally. As long as you are completing everything in your application, the Graduate School will continue to process it. Please log into your application and look for requirements that still need to be completed. If you need to know your status, you can contact us at isss@uwm.edu.

How long will it take to receive an admission decision?

The time it takes to receive an admission decision depends on what graduate degree program you are applying to. Different graduate program review applications differently. Some programs collect applications until a deadline date and review all applications at one time. Other programs review applications as soon as the applications become completed.

Why should I accept my admission?

If you are admitted, you will have the option to accept your admission. Doing so will not commit you to UWM in any way, but will help us understand who to expect for that term. If you accept your admission and then change your mind, just email us at isss@uwm.edu.

Will I receive a letter of admission?

We pair the I-20 with the admission letter for mailing purposes. Your admission letter will be mailed to you as soon as your I-20 is ready.

I-20 or VISA questions

I need to apply for a student visa. Is there anything I need to know? 

When you complete the Citizenship and U.S. Residency Status Questionnaire, you can indicate that you either are a Current Visa Holder, or that you Need to Apply for Student Visa.

Make sure the name you provide in your Legal Name Questionnaire matches your passport. This is the name we will use to issue your I-20 or DS-2019.

After you are admitted, we will launch questionnaires to collect your Proof of Funding, Affidavit of Support, SEVIS transfer, Dependent Information, etc.

Can I upload my Proof of Funding it in the Document section?

If you upload your Proof of Funding information in the Document section, we will delete it. The Document section is accessible by everyone at UWM that can see your application, and therefore is not secure. After you are admitted, we will launch questionnaires to collect your Proof of Funding, Affidavit of Support, SEVIS transfer, Dependent Information, etc.

I have been admitted. Where’s my official letter and I-20?

After you have been admitted, we will determine if you need a student visa to come to UWM. If not, your official admission letter will be mailed to the Address you provided in your application. If you do, we will collect your Proof of Funding and other information in the Questionnaire section of your application. Once we have everything we need to issue the I-20, we will make arrangements to mail it to you. In the mail package you can expect your I-20, the official admission letter, and information about your arrival to UWM.

I have a question about the Residency requirement that was added to my application. Who should I talk to?

You can talk to the UWM Residency Office at residency-tuition@uwm.edu. They handle all residency questions from both Undergraduate and Graduate applicants.

Financial Support

Many graduate students apply for financial support for their studies at UWM. The most common type of support that international students have received has come in the form of assistantships and chancellor awards.

There are three different types of assistantships at UWM: Teaching, Research, and Project. An assistantship of 33% or higher includes tuition remission, health insurance, and a stipend or salary.

Graduate programs that award assistantships have their own way for students to be considered for assistantships. Some programs consider applicants because of the student’s application to the University. Other programs require a separate application from the applicant to be considered for an assistantship. Check your academic program’s website to see if there is any information about assistantships. If you can’t find it on the program’s webpage, email the graduate program representative.

Click here to find an index of graduate program websites listed by degree.

Term Changes

I applied for the wrong term. How do I fix it?

Please email us at isss@uwm.edu and we can fix it for you. Do not submit a new application.

I want to change my term. What do I do?

Please email us at isss@uwm.edu and we can fix it for you. Do not submit a new application.