Graduate Programs Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the application deadlines?
While we have “rolling applications,” we recommend the following deadlines to assure a timely response for the requested semester:

Fall Semester – April 1st
Spring Semester – September 1st

More information on deadlines can be found at the UWM Bursar Office.

These deadlines are independent of any funding or support that a department (major area) may offer an applicant.

2. How do I apply?
Apply online directly to the Graduate School. Send one official copy of transcripts from all institutions that you attended to:
UWM Graduate School
P.O. Box 340
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0340

3. What is required?
Reasons for Graduate Study Statement. In your statement, be sure to include your name and the program to which you are applying as a heading. Be precise. Explain your reasons for pursuing graduate study; describe specific interests and your background in the field, list any relevant skills or training you have acquired, and list relevant academic awards or honors you have received.

A $56.00 non-refundable application fee.

Letters of Recommendation. These are not required but may be submitted for MS applicants. Two letters are required for Ph.D. applicants. Letters should be academic or professional in nature, not personal, and should address your ability to do graduate work. Recommendations may be included with application materials or submitted directly to:
University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee
College of Engineering and Applied Science
Graduate Program Office- E379
P.O. Box 742
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0742

4. What about international students?
International students can find more information by visiting the Center for International Education.

5. Are GRE scores required?
Completion of the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) is required for all domestic and international applicants except for those applying to the MS in Computer Science, for which the GRE is recommended but not required. Have test results sent to UWM using code 1473, submit a copy to the College of Engineering and Applied Science Graduate Programs Office or include a copy with application documents.

6. How do I check my application status?
Activate your Panther account to receive your ePantherID. You will need your UWM campus ID#: xxx-xx-xxxx. To check the status of your application online go to the main UWM website and click “PAWS,” below the yellow bar at the top of the page. Please note: your PAWS account may not be accessible for 24 hours after applying.

You will use your PAWS account the entire time you are a student at UWM, so write down your ePantherID and password in a safe place so you can remember it later. Once you have logged into you PAWS account, look for the To-Do List on the right hand side. These are the application items that we have not received. When they disappear from your list, you know we have received them.

7. I’ve been admitted – now what?
Admission on Probation: A student admitted on probation (i.e., a student with an undergraduate grade point average of less than 2.75 who has provided substantial evidence of the capability to do satisfactory graduate work) must earn a minimum 3.000 GPA on at least six (6) credits within one year, or three terms of enrollment, in order to clear the probation status.

Program of Study (PoS): A Program of Study form is a guideline to ensure that a student is on track to successfully complete a masters (or Ph.D.) and meet the degree requirements. PoS is typically submitted within the first year of enrollment.

MS Program of Study(Changes effective with Spring 2014 Admissions)

  • Thesis Option- 24 credits of coursework. 6 credits of Thesis
  • Of the 24 credits, 15 must be 700-level or higher (thesis credits are not part this of 15 credit requirement)
  • Non-Thesis Option- 31 credits of coursework
  • Of the 31 credits—16 must be 700-level or higher
  • Deficiency courses are not included as part of the minimum credit requirement. Only U/G and G courses count toward the program.
  • Only one 3-credit independent study is allowed for MS program.
  • If a Masters student is transferring in credits from another institution, or has taken UWM courses as NDC (Non-Degree Candidate), credits require approval from Graduate School using the Transfer of Credit Evaluation Form (TCE).
  • Credits earned in a Bachelor’s Degree Program are not allowed to be transferred into a MS program. (The only exceptions are the approved credits completed as part of the integrated BS-MS.)

PhD Program (Changes effective with Spring 2014 Admissions)

You need a minimum of 66 graduate credits beyond the Bachelor’s degree to earn a Ph.D.:

  • 21 credits in the major area of concentration
  • 9 credits in an approved minor area
  • 6 credits in mathematics and/or quantitative methods
  • 9 credits of approved electives
  • 3 credit CEAS Graduate Seminar (Ethics and Engineering Communication, xxx700)
  • 18 credits of doctoral thesis
  • A minimum of 33 credits (including thesis) must be completed in the PhD program at UWM
  • Transfer Credits- use the PhD Program form (only)

Course offerings and scheduling

Registration: Panther Access to Web Services (PAWS)

All UWM students register for classes using the online system, Panther Access to Web Services (PAWS). You will be assigned a registration appointment time which will be posted to your PAWS account. You may register any time after your assigned start time. Information about registration, PAWS, tuition, deadlines, class times, and other administrative regulations can be found in the UWM Schedule of Classes.

PAWS Pre-Registration Steps

  • You must be admitted and eligible to enroll.
  • Check your registration appointment time on PAWS. This is the earliest time and date you may enter the PAWS system to register. After this time you may re-enter the system at any time.
  • Be sure there are no “holds” on your registration. All holds or service indicators must be cleared before registering on PAWS.
  • Consult with your faculty advisor to make sure you are registering for the appropriate classes if you have questions.

Transfer of Graduate Credit: A Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE) form filed with the Graduate School, and submitted with an official transcript. The Graduate School makes the final decision on whether or not a course will be transferred.

  • Any credit transferred from another institution to UWM must have been taken as a graduate student for graduate credit and appear on a graduate transcript.
  • The school granting the original credit must be a regionally accredited institution.
  • No more than 40% (max 12 credits) of the total number of degree credits is allowed to transfer to UWM.
  • The equivalent grade of a B or better must have been earned.
  • The courses must have been taken within five years prior to admission to the UWM Graduate School.
  • Courses taken as an undergraduate special student cannot be transferred to a graduate degree program.
  • No credits may be transferred from one completed graduate degree to another, though a waiver of that course may be appropriate.
  • Courses will not be transferred until one semester of graduate work is completed at UWM.

Response time can range from two to eight weeks so be sure to submit your request early. You will be notified by email to the decision.

Graduation Time Limits and Requirements

  • Students should apply for graduation at the beginning of their final semester.
  • MS Students must be registered for a minimum of one credit in the semester they defend and graduate. Committee should be formed at the beginning of the semester the student plans to graduate.
  • A minimum of ten days prior to the defense, the student should submit request for Thesis Defense form with appropriate signatures, date, time and location of the defense and Thesis title.
  • The same requirements apply for Non-Thesis/reviewed by committee.
  • All NR (Not Reported) grades and “I”(Incomplete) must be cleared before the student graduates.

8. How do I get funding/ financial aid?
Although admission does not guarantee funding or financial aid, top students may be considered for attractive fellowship and/or assistantship packages. In addition, all students are encouraged to apply for any and all types of financial aid as explained below.

  • Teaching Assistant Applications may be found on department pages or by contacting the admitting department directly.
  • Letters of recommendation may be required for consideration of a teaching assistant position. A Teaching Assistant Assessment administered by UWM is required for all non-native English speaking applicants.
  • No formal application form for Research Assistant positions is available.
  • Applicants must contact a faculty member with whom they would like to do research and request a position.
  • There are also graduate fellowships and other forms of financial support at UWM.
  • Tuition/fee information.

9. How do I defer admission?
Students may defer admission up to two semesters without completing a new application. If a student would like to defer, they may e-mail the College of Engineering and Applied Science Graduate Programs office at: bwarras@uwm.edu.