2015-16 Facts & Impact

As Wisconsin’s only public urban research university, UWM has established an international reputation for excellence in research, community engagement, teaching and entrepreneurism.

On a budget of $667 million, UWM educates more than 27,000 students and is an engine for innovation in southeastern Wisconsin. It does this as a low-cost leader among the nation’s 200 research universities, with lower administrative and overhead spending compared to peer institutions nationwide.

The Princeton Review named UWM a 2016 Best Midwestern university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews. Times Higher Education lists UWM among the world’s 600 best universities.

The U.S. Department of Education named UWM a National Resource Center for Global Studies in 2014, recognizing the university’s ability to strengthen global competitiveness through international studies and world language training.

Standards of Excellence

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education elevated UWM to its list of “R1” institutions in 2016. Only 115 of the nation’s more than 4,600 post-secondary institutions received this designation for highest research activity.

Economic Impact

The state provides approximately 16% of UWM’s total operating budget.

UWM delivers a powerful return on the investment. In 2012-13, the most recent academic year for which full economic impact data is available, the university received $124 million from the state and had an economic impact of more than $1.5 billion on the Wisconsin economy.


+in state and local taxes generated


in research expenditures (2015)


+million in annual direct spending by the UWM community

Made in Milwaukee

UWM is a living laboratory of innovation and engaged research. Entrepreneurship and collaboration are hallmarks of curricula across our 14 schools and colleges.

The impact of our entrepreneurial focus has resulted in:

  • More than 250 product ideas from UWM students in four years through the Student Startup Challenge, leading to 30 teams and nine companies formed and operating.
  • Hundreds of thousands of dollars in support for student enterprises through the La Macchia New Venture Business Plan Competition, Student Startup Challenge and James D. Scheinfeld Entrepreneurial Awards Competition.

Launched in 2006, the UWM Research Foundation has managed many new ideas, resulting in:

  • 40 patents issued, and dozens of patent applications pending.
  • 9 faculty businesses with links to UWM Research Foundation.
  • 54 licenses and option agreements on UWM intellectual property.

Community Engagement

UWM has been building bridges and nurturing partnerships with nonprofits and service providers across southeastern Wisconsin for nearly 30 years. The White House and Carnegie Foundation recognized UWM in 2015 for this work with two major commendations, a spot on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and a community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. On average, our students volunteer 43,000 hours per year, and UWM faculty, staff and students partner with more than 4,000 schools, businesses, community groups and other organizations


living alumni, 76% of whom reside in Wisconsin


Wisconsin jobs created and supported:

3,567 UWM employees
1,604 faculty/instructional staff
1,060 administrative staff
933 university staff

International Impact

With a growing international reputation and population of students, faculty and staff, UWM offers instruction in 17 languages; hosts international affairs programming that brings more than 2,400 participants to campus yearly and reaches 20,000 viewers online; and fosters an expanding network of academic, corporate and research partnerships that span the globe.

Diversity & Opportunity
  • A third of UWM freshmen are students of color.
  • 84% of UWM students are Wisconsin residents.
  • 8,732 undergraduate students enrolled are flagged as first generation, or 39%.
  • More veterans attend UWM than any other school in Wisconsin: 1,092 total. Also, UWM is one of only three universities nationwide that partners with all three of the major veteran support programs — the Pat Tillman Foundation, Upward Bound and Vet Success.
  • UWM was named a top LGBT+-friendly university, earning 4.5 out of a 5-star rating on eight standards that include policy, program and practice, according to the national nonprofit Campus Pride.

Uniquely UWM

Uniquely Milwaukee

Prestigious, only-at-UWM academic programs and opportunities include the Peck School of the Arts, Wisconsin’s largest dedicated and comprehensive public arts university, the School of Architecture & Urban Planning and the School of Freshwater Sciences.

UWM is a leading provider of academic degrees in many fields, including:

  • Criminal Justice in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare
  • Education in the School of Education
  • Environmental Health in the Zilber School of Public Health
  • Finance in the Lubar School of Business
  • Journalism in the College of Letters & Science
  • Library and Information Sciences in the School of Information Studies
  • Materials Engineering in the College of Engineering & Applied Science
  • Nursing and nurse practitioner in the College of Nursing, including a graduate program consistently ranked among the top 10% nationally by U.S. News & World Report
  • Supply Chain and Operations Management in the Lubar School of Business

Milwaukee Athletics

15 Division I athletic teams enrich campus life and the university’s academic and athletic profile. To date, Panther athletes have earned 133 Horizon League titles, 40 NCAA tournament appearances, 7 McCafferty trophies and 30 consecutive semesters at or above 3.0 GPA.

UWM Online

TheBestSchools.org named UWM Online the best online college in Wisconsin. U.S. News & World Report ranked UWM Online 39th for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. UWM’s U-Pace online instruction has received 4 national awards for 30+ online degrees and certificates and 700+ online courses:

  • 10 fully online bachelor’s degree programs
  • 11 fully online master’s and PhD programs
  • Every semester more than 8,000 students combine online and face-to-face courses and 2,000+ are fully online learners.

By the Numbers

Financial figures and enrollment information for the 2015-16 school year.

By The Numbers


Undergraduate: 22,321
Graduate: 4,835
Wisconsin residents: 22,935
Non-residents: 3,787
Women: 14,394
Men: 12,762

Total: 27,156

UWM students come from all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico and overseas military bases. 1,612 international students represent 81 countries.

Tuition & Fees

Wisconsin residents $9,452
Minnesota residents $13,082
Midwest Student Exchange Program students $13,498
Residents of other states $19,626

Wisconsin residents $11,748
Minnesota residents $16,820
Residents of other states $24,784

Operating Budget


Student tuition: $189.6M


Other operating receipts: $125.5M


State appropriations: $108.1M


Federal aid, grants & contracts: $44M


Gift fund income: $14.2M


Student aid passed to students

Total $667M
*Percentages do not add up to 100 because of
rounding; they exclude student aid. Figures based on Red Book Budget.

UWM Partners

UWM Foundation

The UWM Foundation receives private donations to support scholarships, research, and programs of excellence and outstanding achievement. Assets have grown from $17,065 in 1974, when the Foundation was established, to more than $202 million today. Subsidiary foundations include the UWM Research Foundation and the UWM Real Estate Foundation. The Research Foundation supports research and innovation at UWM through scholarship and grant funding, and the facilitation of university-corporate partnerships. The Real Estate Foundation develops and holds real property for the benefit of the university including RiverView Hall, Cambridge Commons and the Innovation Campus.

UW Flexible Option

UWM is a leading partner in the UW Flexible Option Degree Program, a national model of competency-based, self-paced university learning. The university administers four flex-degree programs:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, Diagnostic Imaging Degree Completion Program
  • Bachelor’s degree in Information Science & Technology
  • Certificate in Business and Technical Communications