Degree Planning

Planning & Guidance

You can never be too prepared to earn your degree.  See below for helpful information that can help guide you in planning for your UWM degree.

Your Academic Advisor
Many students don’t always know who to contact with questions or concerns about their academics or student life in general. Outside of the classroom, your Academic Advisor is your main point of contact as a student. You’re assigned to an Academic Advisor within the Advising Office of your School or College.

Who is Your Academic Advisor?

You can contact the Advising Office of your School or College to find out who your Academic Advisor is, or you can look up your Academic Advisor’s name in PAWS:

  1. Log in to PAWS
  2. On the right side of your Student Center, find the yellow Advisor header
  3. All students will see a Program Advisor and some students will also see a Multicultural Advisor
  4. You can click on the blue details button to send your Academic Advisor an email
  5. You can also look up your Academic Advisor’s name in the UWM directory to call, email, or visit
What Does Your Academic Advisor Do?
Your Academic Advisor is a professional staff member who helps you get the most out of your college experience. Your Academic Advisor can connect you to campus resources and help you make the best choices as a student at UWM.

Specifically, your Academic Advisor…

  • Directs you to UWM support services and resources
  • Helps you make realistic educational plans so you can complete your degree
  • Assists you in defining your educational, professional, and life goals
  • Helps you overcome educational, personal, or academic struggles
  • Guides you to identify your strengths
  • Shows you how to interpret UWM policies and procedures
  • Recommends co-curricular activities for personal development
Advising Tips
Try scheduling an appointment with your Academic Advisor at least once per semester or before you enroll in classes. It’s up to you to reach out and make the appointment with your Academic Advisor.

Here are some suggestions for making the most of your meeting:

  • Bring a list of questions or concerns you want to talk about
  • Figure out what you liked and didn’t like about your last semester
  • Spend some time thinking about your current and future goals
  • Be open to your Academic Advisor’s feedback
  • Be honest about yourself and your expectations
The Honors College

The Honors College offers a competitive program and challenging educational opportunity. The Honors College degree is the highest undergraduate degree issued from UWM. Contact the Honors College for admission requirements and program details.

Designation Requirements
Honors College Degree
  • Must be a graduate of the Honors College
  • Complete 21 credits (minimum) in Honors College coursework
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher by the end of senior year
Honors College Degree with Distinction
  • Must meet Honors College Degree requirements
  • Incorporate 6 credits of Research in Honors, a Senior Honors Thesis, or a Senior Honors Project as part of 21 credits of Honors College coursework
Your PAWS Academic Advisement Report
In addition to your meetings with your Academic Advisor, you can also look up your Academic Advisement Report in PAWS, which outlines your Academic Requirements.

  1. Log in to PAWS
  2. Under the yellow Academics header, click on the blue My Academics link
  3. Click View my advisement report next to the Academic Requirements header
  4. Click the UWM General Education Requirements menu to review your progress and recommended open classes
  5. During Open Enrollment, you can add classes to your Shopping Cart from the Academic Advisement Report

This report is a nice guideline, but you shouldn’t use it in place of a meeting with your Academic Advisor.

The Academic Year Checklist
Nearly each month of the year there is a student business task that needs to be attended to. You can review the list online or print a PDF copy so you always know when to do what.

Your First Year

The Student Success Center is dedicated to helping all first year undergraduates transition to UWM with programs and support specifically for new students. Here are some suggestions for first year success:

August
September

First day of classes for Fall Semester

October
  • First Installment Payment Plan charge for the Fall Semester is due
  • The UWinteriM Schedule of Classes is available online: Meet with your Academic Advisor to plan your UWinteriM schedule
  • The Spring Semester Schedule of Classes is available online: Meet with your Academic Advisor to plan your Spring Semester schedule
  • Enrollment for UWinteriM begins: Check your PAWS account for the first day you can add UWinteriM classes
  • Attend the All Majors Career Day
November
    • Enrollment for the Spring Semester begins: Check your PAWS account for the first day you can add Spring Semester classes
    • Second Installment Payment Plan charge for the Fall Semester is due

Thanksgiving Break

December

Final Exams and last day of classes for Fall Semester
December Graduation

  • Sell back or return your Fall Semester textbooks
  • UWinteriM Financial Aid Disbursement begins: Accept or decline your awards in PAWS
  • UWinteriM tuition is due

Winter Break

January
  • Fall Semester grades post to your PAWS account

UWinteriM classes in session (beginning and ending in January)

First day of classes for Spring Semester

  • Spring Semester tuition is due
  • Last chance to add/drop classes for the Spring Semester
  • Deadline to apply for Spring Graduation in PAWS
  • UWinteriM grades post to your PAWS account
  • The Summer Term Schedule of Classes is available online: Meet with your Academic Advisor to plan your Summer Term
February
  • First Installment Payment Plan charge for the Spring Semester is due
  • File your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for next year
  • Attend the Diversity Job & Internship Fair
March
  • Second Installment Payment Plan charge for the Spring Semester is due
  • The Fall Semester Schedule of Classes is available online: Meet with your Academic Advisor to plan your Fall Semester schedule
  • Enrollment for the Summer Semester begins: Check your PAWS account for the first day you can add Summer Semester classes
  • Preorder your Summer textbooks online
April
  • Tax Deadline Day: File your taxes by April 15th
  • Preorder your Fall Semester textbooks online
  • Enrollment for the Fall Semester begins: Check your PAWS account for the first day you can add Fall Semester classes
May
Final Exams and last day of classes for Spring Semester
Spring Graduation

  • Spring Semester grades post to your PAWS account
  • Sell back or return you Spring Semester textbooks
  • Buy or rent your Summer Term textbooks
June
July
  • Enjoy your summer!
Degree Requirements
Degree Requirements are the credit total, grade point average and residency standards you have to meet to earn a degree from your UWM School or College.

The following degree requirements are provided as a general guide. Students should work with their academic advisor and school or college to determine exact requirements.

  • A minimum of 120 undergraduate credits
  • A minimum of 30 credits overall and half of upper-level credits in majors and minors must be earned in residence at UWM
  • A minimum GPA of 2.000 or better both overall and in the major and minor fields
  • The General Education Requirements (GER), University Requirements (UR) and all Major and/or Minor Requirements (MMR).
School/College Minimum Credit Total Minimum Credits in Residence GPA Requirements Other Requirements
School of Architecture & Urban Planning 120 24
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.500 or better for all UWM credits & all Level II credits attempted
  • Satisfactory completion of GER, UR, MMR
Peck School of the Arts 120-130 (depending on major) 30
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000-2.750 (depending on major)
  • Satisfactory completion of Peck School curriculum requirements
  • Fulfillment of MMR & GER
Lubar School of Business 123 30
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.250
  • All Business & Economics courses (transfer & UWM courses): Non-Accounting Majors: Minimum 2.250 GPA, Accounting Majors: Minimum 2.500 GPA
  • Satisfactory completion of GER, UR, MMR
  • 50% of business credits required for degree must be completed at UWM
School of Education 128 (Community Education is 120) 30
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.500 in all UWM credits OR
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.000 in all credits earned in the System if SOE course GPA is at least 2.500
  • Satisfactory completion of SOE core curriculum requirements & GER
College of Engineering & Applied Science 120-128 (depending on major) 30
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000
  • Satisfactory completion of CEAS curriculum requirements, GER & UR
College of Health Sciences 120-131 (depending on major) 30
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.500
  • Satisfactory completion of CHS curriculum requirements
  • Fulfillment of GER & UR
  • Students must meet program & graduation requirements in effect at time of entry (or re-entry if not continuously enrolled)
School of Information Studies 120 30
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.500 in the major
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 overall
  • Satisfactory completion of SOIS curriculum requirements, GER & UR
College of Letters & Science 120
  • Last 30 OR
  • 45 of last 60 OR
  • Any 90
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.500 in the major (Calculated 2 Ways: On all transfer/UWM credits counted towards major; on all major credits attempted at UWM)
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 overall
  • Minimum 2.500 GPA on all 300+ level major courses
  • Satisfactory completion of L&S curriculum requirements, GER & UR
  • At least 15 UWM advanced major credits
College of Nursing 124 30
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 in the major
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 overall
  • Satisfactory completion of CON curriculum requirements, GER & UR
Helen Bader School of Social Welfare 120 30
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 in the major
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 overall
  • Satisfactory completion of HBSSW curriculum requirements, GER & UR
General Education Requirements
General Education Requirements, or GERs, are frequently offered broad-based courses that all students need to take to earn a UWM degree. GERs are marked with letter codes in the Schedule of Classes and are noted in PAWS under Enrollment Information.

You have to satisfy the GERs in these 8 areas:

  1. Oral & Written Communication: Achieve required placement OR earn a C or better in English 102 & a 3-credit (OWC part B) course
  2. Quantitative Literacy: Achieve required placement OR earn a C or better in Math 103, 105, or 175 & a 3-credit (QL part B) course
  3. Foreign Language: 2 years of high school or 2 semesters of college in a single language
  4. Arts: a 3-credit (A) course
  5. Humanities: Two 3-credit (HU) courses
  6. Natural Sciences: A 3-credit (NS) or (NS+) course and a 3-credit (NS+) course
  7. Social Science: Two 3-credit (SS) courses
  8. Cultural Diversity: A 3-credit (CD) course

Your Cultural Diversity course may be combined with your (A), (HU), or (SS) course. Always check the status of your GERs with your Academic Advisor.

For details, see the full GER policy document as approved by UWM faculty.

Major and Minor Requirements
Major requirements are the specific courses you have to take to graduate from your program within a UWM School or College. Degree-seeking students should declare their major by the end of sophomore year.

Most UWM programs publish a recommended year-by-year course schedule that you can use as a guide when you enroll in classes. You can also search the Undergraduate Catalog for the list of credits, courses, and requirements in your program.

A minor is an optional secondary specialty that usually backs up the major. You can take any elective courses you want, but some students choose to build a minor out of their electives.

Your Academic Advisor can walk you through the process of declaring your major or minor. If you’re having trouble narrowing down, choosing, or changing your major, the Career Development Center can guide you through making a decision.

Honors Requirements
Your School or College may have its own unique Honors, either as Dean’s Honors designations at the end of a semester, or attached to your completed degree. Your Academic Advisor can also help you navigate the various Honors and let you know what you might be eligible for. A complete list appears online in the Undergraduate Catalog.

UWM Degree Honors
Commencement Honors
  • Undergraduates with a high cumulative GPA at the end of senior year
  • At least 40 degree credits completed at UWM
Final Honors
  • Undergraduates with a high cumulative GPA at the end of senior year
  • At least 60 degree credits completed at UWM
Honors College Degree*
  • Highest undergraduate degree issued
  • Must be a graduate of the Honors College
  • Complete 21 credits (minimum) in Honors College coursework
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher by the end of senior year
Honors College Degree with Distinction*
  • Must meet Honors College Degree requirements
  • Incorporate 6 credits of Research in Honors, a Senior Honors Thesis, or a Senior Honors Project as part of 21 credits of Honors College coursework

*Contact the Honors College for admission requirements and program details.

Grades

Grades are posted in PAWS at the end of each term. Allow two weeks after the last day of finals for your complete grade report to post.

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies & Procedures includes grading information.

View Your Grades
You can review your grade history in PAWS anytime:

  1. Log in to PAWS
  2. Under the Academics header, click in the drop down menu and select Grades, then click the yellow arrow button
  3. Select the term you want to view
  4. The Class Grades table will show your letter grade and grade points
  5. Click the blue Class Name to bring up the Class Details screen as it originally appeared in PAWS
  6. The Term Statistics table will show your term and cumulative Grade Point Averages
GPA & Grading Policy
Students pursuing a degree from UWM will take most of their coursework on a graded basis. The general quality of a student’s performance in their classes is expressed in terms of the grade point average (GPA).

The number of grade points earned in a course is computed by multiplying the points for the grade by the number of credits for which the course is offered. For example, if a student earned a B in a three-credit course, they would earn nine grade points. GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of graded points taken. The highest possible average is 4.000 or an A in every subject.

The grade point average recorded on the official UWM transcript is based solely upon credits earned or attempted at UWM. Some schools and colleges have different standards for GPA calculation and may include transfer work; see degree requirements in the Undergraduate Catalog for specifics. UWM credits taken as audit or credit/no credit do not apply to your UWM GPA. If a student wants to receive a letter grade for a course, they should not specify audit or credit/no credit as a grading basis when registering on PAWS.

Letter Grades

UWM uses a letter grade system that includes “plus” and “minus” grades and is based on a 4.000 scale. For convenience in computing averages, each letter grade carries a specified number of points per credit.

Grade Point Chart
A 4.000 C 2.000
A- 3.670 C- 1.670
B+ 3.330 D+ 1.330
B 3.000 D 1.000
B- 2.670 D- 0.670
C+ 2.330 F 0.000
Other Grade Values
CREDIT C- or higher in a “Credit/No Credit” course
NO CREDIT D+ or lower in a “Credit/No Credit” course (will not appear on your academic record)
NOT RPTD Grade was not submitted in time to be reported
I Incomplete
P Progress (research and thesis course work still in progress)
S Satisfactory (audit and zero-credit courses only)
U Unsatisfactory (zero-credit courses only except for English 090/095, Linguistics 096 and Math 090/095, which are assigned letter grades though they carry no degree or GPA credit)
UNREC Unrecorded – Audit Only (the course will not be entered on your academic record)
W Course dropped by student after fourth week of semester or first quarter of shorter session
WR Administrative Drop (enrollment in course violates permitted number of repeats)
R Repeat Course (counts in GPA)
F Grade Policy
If you fail a course, you don’t receive any Grade Points. One “F” can greatly lower your GPA.

UWM maintains a “F” grading system due to Federal compliance requirements for students receiving financial aid. When reporting a grade of “F,” instructors will also report a number corresponding to the student’s “week of last participation” in the course. A student receiving the grade “F0” would have never attended or participated, and a student with a grade of “F16” would signify completion of the entire term. The numeral for “week of last participation” will be reflected on unofficial transcripts and grade reports. On official transcripts, only the grade of “F” will be reflected.

If you’re in danger of earning an “F,” work with your course instructor and Academic Advisor to see what options you have.

Incomplete Policy
You may be given an Incomplete if you have carried a subject successfully until near the end of the semester but, because of illness or other unusual and substantiated cause beyond your control, have been unable to take or complete the final examination or to complete some limited amount of coursework. An incomplete is not given unless you prove to the instructor that you were prevented from completing the course requirements for just cause as indicated above.

Undergraduates are required to complete a course marked Incomplete prior to the end of the next succeeding semester (excluding summer sessions and UWinteriM). If the Incomplete is not removed during this period, the grade of “I” will lapse to “F”.

Graduate students should contact the Graduate School for more information on the incomplete policy for graduate students.

Honors Designations
You can review the complete list of Honors online in the Undergraduate Catalog. Your School or College may also award Dean’s Honors, Departmental Honors, or Honors in the Major.

Your Academic Advisor can help you navigate the various Honors and let you know what you might be eligible for.

Designation Requirements
Sophomore Honors
  • Undergraduates with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher at the end of sophomore year
  • At least 24 graded credits completed at UWM
Commencement Honors
  • Undergraduates with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher at the end of senior year
  • At least 40 degree credits completed at UWM
Final Honors
  • Undergraduates with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher at the end of senior year
  • At least 60 degree credits completed at UWM
Academic Actions
The university-wide Academic Action Policy holds you, as an enrolled UWM student, to minimum standards of academic achievement. Individual schools and colleges may adopt stricter criteria, and you should consult the school/college advising offices for specific information.

The standard minimum Grade Point Average for a UWM undergraduate is 2.0, which is equal to a “C” grade. The standard is based on your Cumulative (total) Grade Point Average.

Graduate Students must maintain a 3.0 or better. Contact the Graduate School for more information.

Unacceptable academic performance will result in formal academic action. The following actions are recorded on the unofficial transcript: (1) Academic Probation; (2) Academically Dropped for One Semester; (3) Final Probation and (4) Academically Dropped for Two Years. Your official transcript will document any Academic Drop action.

Academic Probation
Probation is a formal academic action that documents unacceptable performance on your unofficial transcript. If your cumulative GPA falls below 2.000 at the end of any grading term, you will be placed on Academic Probation. As long as your GPA in subsequent semesters remains above 2.000, you can continue to take classes even if your cumulative GPA remains below 2.000.

Once your cumulative GPA increases to 2.000 or higher, you will clear probation.

Academically Dropped for One Semester
If you are placed on Academic Probation and your GPA in a subsequent semester falls below 2.000, you will be Academically Dropped for One Semester.

Final Probation
If you are Academically Dropped for any period of time and are permitted to enroll, you would return on Final Probation. As long as your GPA in subsequent semesters remains above 2.000, you can continue to take classes even if your cumulative GPA remains below 2.000.

Once your cumulative GPA increases to 2.000 or higher, you will clear probation.

Academically Dropped for Two Years
If you are placed on Final Probation and your GPA in a subsequent semester falls below 2.000, you will be Academically Dropped for Two Years.

Academic Drop & Reinstatement
An Academic Drop is dismissal from the university for academic ineligibility. Academic Drop status is initiated by administrative offices and you must apply for readmission before you will be allowed to resume work at UWM.

You may be reinstated immediately after a drop action or readmitted after the specified drop period (one semester or two years). If readmitted or reinstated, you will be placed on Final Probation. These actions (reinstatement or readmission) may only be taken by the dean of the school or college by which you were dropped. Even if you wish to change your field of study upon reentry to UWM, you still need to obtain official permission to re-enter from the academic dean of the school or college from which you were dropped.

If you were Academically Dropped for any amount of time and you wish to change your field of study, you must first obtain permission to re-enter from the academic dean of the school or college from which you were dropped. When reapplying, indicate your current desired field of study in the appropriate box on the application. If readmitted, you must contact the academic dean of the school or college you wish to transfer to and initiate the process of officially changing your classification. It may be beneficial to contact the academic dean of your new school or college to discuss the possibility of reclassification before you apply for admission.

Academic Forgiveness

The Academic Forgiveness Policy aims to make it possible for undergraduate students who attended UWM years before, attained low GPAs, and left without completing their degree to return without suffering all the consequences from their previous poor performance.

Undergraduate students who meet the eligibility criteria below may apply for Academic Forgiveness through their school/college academic advising unit.

Academic Forgiveness Request Form

The advising unit may require information in addition to the form in order to make a decision. Students should consult with their advisor for details.

Minimum Eligibility Criteria
  • No prior baccalaureate degree earned from UWM or another institution.
  • Readmission as an undergraduate degree-seeking student after a minimum of three years period of no enrollment at UWM or any other institution.
  • A cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 at UWM at the time of readmission.
  • Earned a minimum of 24 graded credits at UWM after readmission with a minimum 2.5 GPA.
    • NOTE: An additional 30 graded credits at UWM, for a total of 54 graded credits, are required for a degree to be posted with forgiveness applied to the record.
  • No prior approvals for Academic Forgiveness on record.
Academic Forgiveness Implications

If approved, the student’s cumulative UWM GPA will be reset as of the point of readmission. All grades earned prior to readmission will continue to appear on the student’s transcript and record. The transcript will include a notation that Academic Forgiveness was granted.

Any credits earned prior to readmission will continue to count toward the student’s cumulative totals along with any applicable degree requirements. The student will be required to complete a total of at least 54 graded credits after readmission (including post-readmission credits earned at the time forgiveness is applied) in order for a bachelor’s degree to be awarded with Academic Forgiveness applied.

  • Academic Forgiveness does not adjust the GPA and number of credits attempted and counted toward Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid eligibility purposes.
  • All other UWM policies (e.g., Course Repeats) remain in effect and are not changed by the granting of Academic Forgiveness.
  • If students seek admission to a degree program other than the one that approved an Academic Forgiveness request, that program has the right to consider all coursework and grades, including those academically forgiven, in making its admission decision.
  • Transfer credits posted to the UWM record are never factored into the official UWM cumulative GPA and, therefore, are not impacted by the granting of Academic Forgiveness.
Information for Academic Advisors

Approved request forms for Academic Forgiveness can be routed to Registrar’s Office via the online contact form (select “Student Records”) or campus mail (ATTN: Records Specialist, Mellencamp 290). It is not necessary to include additional information related to the request, only the signed request form.

Once the Registrar’s Office verifies that the student meets the eligibility criteria, the Academic Forgiveness will be applied to the record and the student will be notified.

Get Help!
If your GPA is falling or if you are in danger of being placed on Academic Probation, talk to your Academic Advisor for advice on bringing up your grades. If you struggle with an individual course, talk to your instructor and ask what you can do to improve your grade.

For students who didn’t initially perform well academically and who left UWM years ago without earning a degree, the Academic Forgiveness Policy may provide a second opportunity for successful university study.

 

Graduation

Undergraduate students in their last year at UWM can find important graduation information here. Contact your Academic Advisor if you have any questions or concerns related to graduation.

Graduate students should contact the Graduate School for information about graduation and diplomas.

Preparing for Graduation
Your last year should be planned out as carefully as your first.

Your Last Year

Between your review of your PAWS Academic Advisement Report and twice-a-year meetings with your Academic Advisor, you should be on track to meet all graduation requirements.

Your General Education Requirements should be nearly, if not completely satisfied.

The course requirements of your major should be mostly satisfied. Take advantage of your Enrollment Appointment so that you can add your final term’s classes as soon as possible. Be sure to include double-major or minor requirements, too.

You should be on track to meet the UWM General Degree Requirements for Undergraduates seeking a Bachelor’s Degree. Each School and College has it’s own set of Graduation Requirements related to Grade Point Average, Credits, and Residency.

Your Last Semester
After you’ve enrolled in your last semester of classes, apply for graduation in PAWS. The application deadline is always at the beginning of the semester.

  1. Log in to PAWS
  2. Under the yellow Academics header, click in the drop down menu and select Apply for Graduation, then click the yellow arrow button
  3. On the Apply for Graduation page, click on your Academic Program in blue
  4. Select your graduation term from the Expected Graduation Term drop down menu, then click the CONTINUE button
  5. Click the Apply for Bachelor’s Degree button
  6. Complete the Apply for Graduation questionnaire, then click Submit

An email confirmation will be sent to you once your application is received.

Other steps in your final semester:

  • Pay the $40 Graduation Application Fee in PAWS or in the Bursar Office
  • Double-check that you don’t have an outstanding PAWS balance or any PAWS holds
  • Check your UWM Email Address frequently for important updates on your degree or graduation

At least two months before graduation:

Commencement
You’re strongly encouraged to attend the commencement ceremony, but participation isn’t required. You’ll receive a letter with the details of the ceremony from the Secretary of the University 2-3 weeks before the scheduled date.

If you’re graduating at the end of a summer session, you can participate in May Commencement (before the summer term begins). If you’re graduating at the end of a UWinteriM, you can participate in December Commencement.

If you have any questions about the commencement ceremony, contact the Secretary of the University.

Diplomas
Diplomas are not actually distributed at the commencement ceremony. Diplomas are sent to your PAWS Mailing Address 8-10 weeks after the ceremony. International students should notify the Graduation Processing Office in Mellencamp Hall, Room 290 of any special instructions or foreign mailing address for their diploma.

The name listed in PAWS is the name that will be printed on your diploma and Official Transcript. If you want a different name or different spelling on your diploma, you will have to submit a Student Record Data Change Form in person at the Registrar’s Office at least 8 weeks before the commencement ceremony.

Replacement diplomas are available for a $35.00 reorder fee. You can complete the the Replacement Diploma Form (PDF version or Online Version) or request a replacement in person at the Registrar’s Office.

You can request that someone else pick up your diploma, but an Authorization Letter For Diploma Pickup must be completed first. Please note that faxed and otherwise electronically transmitted copies of the PDF version of the authorization form will not be accepted. Form must be submitted in person or by mail, so we recommend the online version. The authorized recipient of the diploma must present a photo ID at the time of diploma pick up. A copy of the ID will be retained along with the letter.

If you have questions regarding your diploma, contact the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation FAQ
How much is the graduation application fee?
The graduation application is $40. The fee goes towards processing expenses, commencement, and mailing diplomas.
When will I be charged the graduation application fee?
You’ll be billed the $40.00 grad app fee by the Bursar’s Office sometime during the semester. When you pay the fee, it will first be applied to fines on your account, so double-check that you don’t have any outstanding library, parking, or other fines.
What is the fee for Dual Degrees?
Dual Degree students pay an $80.00 grad app fee. If you’ll be receiving two degrees, you have to submit an application and fee for each degree.
Do I have to pay the fee if I'm not walking in the Commencement Ceremony?
Participation in the commencement ceremony is optional, but you have to pay the grad app fee either way.
Does the graduation fee cover the cost of my cap and gown?
The grad app fee offsets the costs of the commencement ceremony, diplomas, diploma covers and mailing. You must order and pay for your own cap & gown.
Am I required to attend the ceremony?
Attendance at the commencement ceremony is optional.
When are commencement ceremonies held?
Commencement exercises are held in both May and December.
Which commencement ceremony do I attend if I finish my courses in Summer or UWinteriM?
Students who graduate at the end of summer sessions may participate in the May commencement and UWinteriM graduates may participate in December Commencement.
Will I receive any information and who notifies me?
Two or three weeks prior to the graduation date you will receive a letter from the Office of the Secretary of the University with the specific time and location of the commencement ceremony. This information is also posted online. If you don’t receive this letter or if you misplace it, please contact the Registrar’s Office. Graduate Students must contact the Graduate School for all commencement information.
When and where are the commencement ceremonies held?
General commencement ceremony information is available online anytime from the Secretary of the University.
How do I get tickets for the ceremony?
Tickets are not required for family, friends, or anyone who wishes to watch the commencement ceremony. Seating is on a first-come-first-served basis.
When will I receive my diploma?
Approximately 8-10 weeks after commencement your diploma will be mailed to your PAWS Mailing Address (verify or change your mailing address in PAWS). In general, diplomas are mailed using the following schedule:

  • 4th week in February for December graduates
  • 2nd week in March for UWinteriM graduates
  • 4th week in July for Spring graduates
  • 4th week in October for Summer graduates
What if I'm an International Student with a special mailing request?
International students should notify the Graduation Processing Office in the Registrar’s Office of any special instructions, or if a diploma needs to be sent to a foreign mailing address.
How do I get a replacement or additional diploma?
A graduate may order additional or replacement diplomas from the Registrar’s Office for a $35.00 fee.

The Replacement Diploma Order Form can either be completed online, or a paper copy can be mailed to or dropped of at the Registrar’s Office.

How do I get a diploma cover?
Diploma covers are distributed during the commencement ceremony to students who attend. If after receiving your diploma you need a cover, you may pick one up in the Registrar’s Office or you can contact the Registrar’s Office to have a diploma cover sent to you.
Can someone pick up my diploma for me?
Yes, but an Authorization Letter for Diploma Pickup must be completed first. Please note that faxed and otherwise electronically transmitted copies of this authorization form will not be accepted. Form must be submitted in person or by mail. The authorized recipient of the diploma must present a photo ID at the time of diploma pick up. A copy of the ID will be retained along with the original letter.

If you have questions about the authorization letter, contact the Registrar’s Office for more information.

When will my degree be posted?
It takes some time for your degree to be posted and appear on your student record after your date of graduation. The amount of time is variable depending on the school or college within the university that is granting your degree. It could be 6-8 weeks after the final grade run, or it could be as long as 3 months after the end of your final term. Posted degrees appear on both your Official and Unofficial Transcript.
What if I'm missing requirements?
Students with missing requirements such as courses with incomplete grades that have lapsed to F, transfer grades, grade changes and/or course substitutions and student waivers not submitted within 30 days after the date of graduation will typically have their degree posted for the next term.
Where can I check to see if my degree is posted?
A student may check to see if their degree has been posted using the following steps:

  1. Login to your Student Center via PAWS
  2. Click on the  “My Academics” link
  3. Click on “View my graduation status”
Welcome to the UWM Alumni Association!
As a UWM graduate, you’re automatically a member of the UWM Alumni Association.

UWM Alumni can participate in an alumni chapter, receive personal benefits and campus perks, and connect with a large network of UWM graduates.

For more information, contact the UWM Alumni Association.

Transfer Credits

Transferring credits you’ve earned from another school to UWM should be seamless and simple. Review this information to take the guess work out of your transfer.

Whether or not you’re currently enrolled at another school, it’s important to work closely with your Academic Advisor at UWM to make the most of classes you’ve already taken and are planning your remaining coursework accordingly.

Transfer Credit Policy
To transfer credits from another school to UWM, you must submit an Official Transcript from all institutions you want to have credits transferred from. These documents are used to determine how many credits and program courses you have completed as you continue your study at UWM.

You can review the complete University of Wisconsin Transfer Policy online.

Transferable Coursework
  • Typically, transfer credit is only awarded for college-level and undergraduate coursework
  • Courses that are part of continuing education or graduate level programs and those that are remedial, technical, vocational or doctrinal are not transferable
  • Previous institutions from which you may transfer credit must be accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by the CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation)
Credit Hours
  • Semester term credits are transferred on a one-to-one basis
  • Quarter term credits are transferred on a two-thirds-to-one basis: A student who has taken 30 transferrable credits at a quarter-system institution will have 20 semester hours transfer to UWM.
Maximum Credit Transfers
  • A maximum of 72 semester credits from 2-year institutions can be applied to your total UWM degree credits
  • There is no maximum of semester credits that can be transferred from a four-year university
Grades
  • Grades you received for credits that are transferred from other institutions are not calculated in your GPA at UWM
  • Previous grades and GPA may be used in your program’s admission decision
  • If you repeat UWM coursework at another institution and later return to UWM, the grade you earned at UWM will be used to calculate your GPA
Equivalencies & Electives
  • Incoming courses may transfer as UWM course equivalents or electives
  • Electives have course descriptions that do not resemble UWM courses directly, but will receive elective credit within a curricular area and are signified by letters instead of a course number (e.g., HISTORY X)
  • Elective credits count toward degree credit totals and may be used in fulfilling degree requirements pending permission from the academic program
Degree & Residency Requirements
  • Transfer credit can satisfy degree requirements although the academic program may need to approve the use of elective credits
  • Each program requires a certain number of credits to be earned in residence at UWM, and some programs include transfer credit GPA in determining if requirements are satisfied
  • Always consult your Academic Advisor on specific requirements to ensure you are on the right track
Transfer Credit Evaluation Process

Transfer Credit Evaluation Specialists will always try to award you with as much transfer credit as possible.

  1. Once you have been admitted to UWM, your Official Transcript data is submitted to the Registrar’s Office
  2. The Registrar’s Office Transfer Credit Evaluation Specialists review course descriptions from your other institutions and compare the content with courses offered by UWM
    • Courses are identified as either equivalencies or electives, or are not eligible for transfer
    • At this time, the Transfer Equivalency Database is maintained for new and existing course equivalencies
  3. The official results of the Registrar’s credit evaluation are posted to your PAWS account within 2-4 weeks of your date of admittance.
    • Log in to your PAWS account
    • Under the yellow Academics header, click into the drop down menu for Other Academic
    • Select the Transfer Credit Report and click the yellow arrow button
    • All transfer credit, including course credits and test credits, will be posted within the report
  4. Once your transfer credits are posted, begin planning for your first semester at UWM

Contact the Registrar’s Office via our online form at any time with questions.

Transferring Course Credits
Most often, transfer credit comes through course credit earned at other institutions.  UWM maintains over 90,000 (and counting) transfer equivalencies in our system from public and private institutions across the country.  You can review these equivalencies in a variety of places to see how the course credit you’ve earned elsewhere could be applied to a UWM degree.

Course equivalency results using these and other tools are considered unofficial, but will offer a solid guideline as to what may be transferrable to UWM. Official transfer credit is only awarded after the completion of the credit evaluation process following admission.

Transferology
Transferology is a nation-wide network designed to help students explore their college transfer options.  UWM puts all of its transfer equivalencies in Transferology to help you determine how your credit will transfer.

Simply create a free account at transferology.com, enter the coursework you’ve completed, then use the search for matches to see how the coursework transfers.  the filtering options will help you narrow your results down to “University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee” as your match institution.

TED: Transfer Equivalency Database
The UWM Transfer Equivalency Database (TED) allows a student to select their institution, subject, and course numbers to determine if a UWM course match exists

Go to the Transfer Equivalency Database

UW System Transfer Wizards
The UW System Transfer Wizards allow you to look up University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Technical College course equivalencies on a “To-From” basis

Go to the UW System Transfer Wizards

Articulation Agreements and Transfer Guides
Students interested in beginning their degree program at a UW-College or Wisconsin Technical College can use the following guides to review their options.

Document Definitions
Transfer Guide An outline of program requirements, transferable credits and recommendations
Transfer Equivalency Worksheet An easy to use, fill-in-the-blank form for transfers in progress
Articulation Agreement A specific program-to-program transfer agreement contract with established conditions
Multi-Institution Agreements
Program Documents
Collaborative Nursing Program
(Wisconsin Technical College System)
Community Education
Early Childhood Education
(Wisconsin Technical College System)
Information Studies
(Most 2-Year Institutions)
UW/WTCS Universal Credit Transfer Agreement
UW College Connections
UW-Colleges to UWM
Program Documents
Architecture
Art & Design
Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Sciences – Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Business
Civil Engineering
Communication Sciences & Disorders
Computer Engineering
Computer Science
Criminal Justice
Dance
Education
Electrical Engineering
Film
Health Care Administration
Industrial Engineering
Information Science & Technology
Inter-Arts
Kinesiology
Letters & Sciences – All Majors (began college between 2008 – Fall 2013)
Letters & Sciences – All Majors (began college Fall 2013 or later)
Materials Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Music
Nursing
Nutritional Sciences
Occupational Studies
Social Work
Theatre
Milwaukee Area Technical College to UWM
Program Documents
Architectural Studies
Art
Business
Criminal Justice
Dance
Design Studies
Education
Engineering
Film
Graphic Design
Inter-Arts
Letters & Sciences – All Majors (began college between 2008 – Fall 2013)
Letters & Sciences – All Majors (began college Fall 2013 or later)
Medical Laboratory Sciences
Music
Social Work
Theatre
Waukesha County Technical College to UWM
Program Documents
Art
Computer Science
Criminal Justice
Dance
Design Studies
Education
  • A.A.S. in Early Childhood Education to B.S. in Education with Early Childhood Education Teacher Certification
Electrical Engineering
Film
General Engineering
InterArts
Letters & Sciences – All Majors (began college between 2008 – Fall 2013)
Letters & Sciences – All Majors (began college Fall 2013 or later)
Mechanical Engineering
Music
Social Work
Theatre
Other Area Schools to UWM
Madison Area Technical College
Architectural Studies
Criminal Justice
Education
Engineering
Kinesiology
Social Work
Northcentral Technical College
American Sign Language
Architectural Studies
Fox Valley Technical College
Occupational Studies
College of DuPage (IL)
Architectural Studies
College of Lake County (IL)
Engineering
McHenry County College (IL)
Engineering
William Rainey Harper College (IL)
Engineering
Transferring Non-Course Credit

In addition to credit for courses you’ve completed at other schools, you can also receive transfer credit for previous education or training, or by testing on your current knowledge.

CLEP: College Level Examination Program
The College Level Examination Program is an excellent option for students who have gained knowledge independently or through a non-accredited institution. By participating in CLEP, students can take exams administered right here at UWM that demonstrate their proficiency in a given subject. College credit is then awarded for satisfactory scores.

Visit the UWM Testing Center for more information on CLEP, including what exams are offered, how much credit is awarded, exam costs and scheduling information.

AP: Advanced Placement
Advanced Placement credit is earned for college level courses you may have taken in high school. The credit received is dependent on the score you earned in the class, and you must apply to UWM as a degree-seeking student. You can view the predetermined credit values here.

The AP program is managed by the College Board and support and administration is provided by the high school guidance office.

  1. AP Exams are taken in May
  2. Students submit their scores to UWM by logging into the College Board website using school code #1473
  3. After applying to UWM, students can contact Admissions to verify that their scores have been received
  4. Scores must be reported to UWM from the College Board and not from a high school transcript
IB: International Baccalaureate
Students who attend schools authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization can earn UWM credits by participating in the IB curriculum. Final exam scores of 4, 5, 6 or 7 on Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL) exams can earn a credit award dependent on the score received.

IB exam scores must be submitted by the IBO for credit consideration. Contact the IBO or your IBO authorized secondary school for more information.

Retroactive Credit for Foreign Languages
If you test into an advanced level language course, you may be able to receive retroactive credit for the bypassed language classes. The determination is made by your language department after you’ve completed your advanced level language course.

  1. Take your Foreign Language Placement Test in the UWM Testing Center
  2. You must place into an advanced level course
  3. You must pass your advanced level course(s) with a B grade or better
  4. Credits are only given in conjunction with the first language course taken at UWM
  5. Credits are awarded retroactively in the following sequence for a maximum of 14 credits:
    • 1st semester = 4 credits
    • 2nd semester = 4 credits
    • 3rd semester = 3 credits
    • 4th semester = 3 credits

You can review information on French, German, Spanish, or other languages, or you can talk to your academic advisor for more information.

Credit for Military Coursework and Training
As of September 1st, 2014, qualifying veterans and military personnel may be awarded up to 12 UWM credits (maximum) for military instruction that appears on the official military transcript. Credits are awarded based on ACE (American Council on Education) recommendations.

  • For Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, submit official JST (Joint Services Transcript) to UWM
  • For Air Force, submit official CCAF (Community College of the Air Force) Transcript to UWM
  • Students who submitted an official military transcript prior to September 2014 can request a re-evaluation of credit from the Registrar’s Office via the online contact form (select “Transfer Credit” and include your Campus ID Number)

Additional credits may be awarded to students whose credits are applicable to their program, depending on credit evaluation. Contact your Academic Advisor for more information.

Defense Language Institute FLC
Students may be able to transfer up to 14 credits of DLIFLC credit to UWM. Credit is not awarded for applied or functional language courses. For more information, visit the DLIFLC website.

Forms of Credit Not Accepted
  • DANTES Standardized Subject Tests (DSST)
  • Military Occupational Studies (MOS)
Transfer Credit FAQ

Browse the FAQ below or use the contact form to ask your own question directly.

What steps do I need to take to transfer to UWM?
Visit the Admissions Office transfer page for a step by step breakdown of the transfer process, including application instructions, fees, and deadlines.
How do I know what classes will transfer?
Only the official results of your transfer credit evaluation will be posted to your UWM record. However, you can look up your courses ahead of time using the Transfer Equivalency Database (TED) to see what has been historically accepted. You can streamline the transfer process and avoid surprises by working with an academic advisor or student services professional.
How many credits can I transfer?
A maximum of 72 semester credits can be transferred from a single or combination of Associate’s Degree/2-year institutions. There is no maximum number of semester credits that can be transferred from a 4-year university. All UWM programs require that a certain number of credits be earned in residence, that is, a set number or sequence of courses must be taken at UWM.
Who makes the decision on my application?
After you’ve submitted your complete application, the Admissions Office will determine whether or not you are admissible to UWM. Once you’re admitted, the Registrar’s Office will complete an evaluation on your incoming transfer credit. You can only be admitted into your program by your respective school or college.
Do I have to pay the application processing fee?
All applicants must pay the application processing fee unless they (1) previously attended UWM as a degree candidate or (2) attended one of the thirteen 2-year campuses in the UW System.
When will my transfer credit post to my UWM record?
The official results of your transfer credit evaluation will typically post to your PAWS account within 1-2 weeks from the date you were admitted to UWM.
Can I transfer credit besides other coursework?
In addition to transferring coursework from other schools, UWM also accepts the following forms of credit (some exceptions apply):

  • CLEP: College Level Examination Program
  • AP: Advanced Placement
  • IB: International Baccalaureate
  • Retroactive Credit for Foreign Language
  • Credit for Military Coursework and Training
  • Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center
Who can I contact if I have additional questions?