Eligibility to Enroll

It is important to know in advance if you are eligible to enroll.  Class seats can fill up quickly once enrollment begins, so it’s best to plan ahead, be aware, and take care of any steps in advance of your enrollment time.

Knowing Your Status
There are generally three types of students who are eligible to enroll at UWM:

  1. Continuing students are students who completed the preceding term in good or probationary academic standing, including those who withdrew from the preceding term.  Continuing students are automatically eligible to enroll in upcoming semesters.  Once students apply to graduate and earn a degree in a semester, they are no longer considered continuing and must be re-admitted into a new degree or non-degree program to be eligible for further enrollment.
  2. Re-entry students are students who have not enrolled at UWM for two consecutive fall/spring terms, or more, but did not earn a degree in their last semester of enrollment.  Re-entry students must be readmitted to UWM prior to becoming eligible to enroll.
  3. New students are students who are newly admitted to a degree or non-degree program at UWM.  New freshmen students are required to initially enroll during New Student Orientation.  New transfer students are required to pay a confirmation deposit prior to becoming eligible to enroll.
Verifying Your Eligibility
You can use PAWS to check your eligibility to enroll.  Items to check include:

  • Holds – View this section in the upper right hand corner of your PAWS Student Center.  You will have a hold that prevents enrollment if you owe money or are required to see an advisor prior to adding classes.  Click on the details link to view additional information about any holds that appear on your record.
  • To Do List – View this section in the right hand column of your PAWS Student Center.  Undergraduate applicants can check their To Do List for important information related to their admission status.
  • Term Activation – Click on the Enroll link that appears in the Academics section of your PAWS Student Center to view current and upcoming terms for which you have been activated.  Please note that the Registrar’s Office starts activating students in April for the upcoming fall term, October for the upcoming UWinteriM term, November for the upcoming spring term, and March for the upcoming summer term.
  • Enrollment Appointment – View this section in the right hand column of your PAWS Student Center.  The day/time that’s listed indicates the point at which you can begin enrolling in classes for the specified term.

You can only enroll while the term is open, following this general schedule:

  • Fall term opens in April
  • UWinteriM opens in October
  • Spring term opens in November
  • Summer term opens in March/April
Enrollment Appointments
An Enrollment Appointment is the first day and time that you’re able to enroll in classes for the next term.

All active students, except new freshmen, are assigned an Enrollment Appointment.  Your Enrollment Appointment date and time will appear in your PAWS account roughly one week before enrollment begins. Look in your PAWS Student Center under Enrollment Dates.  

New transfer students will receive an Enrollment Appointment once their transfer work posts to their PAWS account. New Freshmen enroll either during New Student Orientation or with their Academic Advisor and do not receive an Enrollment Appointment.

Enrollment Appointments are scheduled in the following order as established by UWM Faculty Policy.  Military Service students receive priority through Wisconsin Act 56 (2013).

Students from the following groups enroll in the first enrollment appointment time slot, regardless of career or academic level:

  • Honors College
  • NCAA (including Dance/Cheer Team)
  • Military Service (including ROTC)
  • Select Accessibility Resource Center students

Following the priority groups listed above, the enrollment appointments as assigned by career (graduate vs. undergraduate) and academic level within the career.

Graduate Students:

  1. Graduate Dissertator & Prelim students
  2. Degree-Seeking Graduate students
  3. Non-Degree Graduate students

Undergraduate Students:

  1. Degree-Seeking Seniors
  2. Degree-Seeking Juniors
  3. Degree-Seeking Sophomores
  4. Degree-Seeking Freshmen
  5. Non-Degree Undergraduate students (including Post-Baccalaureate & Certificate)
  6. 60+ Auditor students (eligible to enroll the first day of classes)
Enrollment Holds
If you have a hold on your PAWS account, you might not be able to add classes. Holds could also prevent you from receiving a diploma or having your transcripts released. To view your holds, log in to PAWS and review the items under the Holds header.

You can click the blue details link to view a full list of your holds. Click on the name of the hold in blue to read the instructions for removal. If you have trouble understanding your next steps, you will also find contact information for the department that placed the hold so that you can ask for help.

If you have trouble finding your holds, or if you have general questions about holds, you can contact the Help Desk at (414) 229-4040 or toll free at (877) 381-3459.

Many courses have prerequisites that you are expected to satisfy prior to enrollment. Typical examples include a certain year in school (“Junior Standing”), other specific courses (“Physics 201”), a particular placement test score, admission to a particular major, or consent of the instructor.

Instructors have the right to enforce prerequisite requirements and may deny or permit enrollment accordingly.

Certain courses cannot be taken out of sequence. You can always check the prerequisites of a course ahead of time to find out if you’ll lose credit for taking a course out of sequence.

If you do not meet the prerequisites for a specific course but feel that you are academically prepared to take the course anyway, you can request permission from the course instructor or department. Generally, if you do not meet prerequisites for a class you will not be able to enroll yourself in it using PAWS. In this case, you will receive an error message stating that consent or permission is required.

If you do not meet a course prerequisite but have been able to enroll anyway, you may be administratively dropped from the course or you may be required to drop the course.

  • Drop a course as soon as you know you can’t remain in the class. It is the student’s responsibility to drop any classes for which they do not meet published prerequisites.
  • Do not wait for the department to complete an administrative drop, as fees for dropped classes are based on the date you drop the class in PAWS or the date your drop form is submitted to the Registrar’s Office.

If a course requires one or more prerequisites, details are listed in the notes section in the Schedule of Classes or under the class description in PAWS.

Prerequisite Abbreviations
(P) Prerequisite A course in which a student is required to earn credit prior to being allowed to enroll in a subsequent higher-level course.
(NP) Non-repeatable Prerequisite A prerequisite course for which the student is not permitted to substitute the grade earned when the course is repeated subsequent to earning credit in the higher-level course.
(C) Co-requisite A course which may be taken as either a prerequisite or as a concurrent registration with the higher-level course.
(NC) Non-repeatable Co-requisite A co-requisite course for which the student is not permitted to substitute the grade earned when the course is repeated subsequent to earning credit in the higher-level course
(R) Recommended Course A course which the instructor strongly recommends be taken prior to enrollment in a subsequent course.
(ER) Enrollment Restriction A course which is not open for enrollment to students that have earned credits in a specified course (or courses) with similar or overlapping content.
Math Course Placement

Regardless of your major, all UWM students need to satisfy a general education requirement in mathematics. The math course(s) required to attain your degree vary by major.

For entering freshmen, math placement is determined based on a combination of UWM’s math placement test results and your ACT math subscore. Transfer students’ placement for math can be determined from transferred math courses or from our math placement tests and ACT scores (if they’ve been submitted to UWM).

The Math Department maintains information on Math Placement levels and codes here.

No matter where you’ve placed on UWM math placement test, if the math subscore of your ACT is an 18 or higher, you qualify for a credit bearing math course (Math 103) that is appropriate for some majors. If your major does not require math coursework beyond Math 103 then you will not need to take a non-credit math class — you will be able to enroll in Math 103 due to your ACT math subscore.  It is always a good idea to discuss your academic plans with a School/College advisor.

Majors whose math requirement is satisfied by Math 103

  • Africology
  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Art Education
  • Art History
  • Classics
  • Communication
  • Comparative Literature
  • Criminal Justice
  • Dance
  • English
  • Film
  • Film Studies
  • French
  • German
  • Global Studies (tracks other than Global Management)
  • History
  • Inter Arts
  • International Studies
  • Italian
  • Jewish Studies
  • Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies
  • Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Music
  • Music Education
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology (BA)
  • Religious Studies
  • Russian
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Theatre
  • Women’s Studies
Enrollment Policies
Below are various policies that relate to your enrollment in courses at UWM.

Academic Credit Load
The below chart provides status determinations used by federal, state, or private agencies. In order to be reported as fully-enrolled for a term, a student must be enrolled as of the day after the add deadline in that term. Prior to the add deadline, students are considered registered but not fully enrolled.

Fall/Spring Semester Credit Totals
Student Full Time Half Time Less Than Half
Academic Opportunity Center 8 or more 6-7 1-5
All Other Undergraduates 12 or more 6-11 1-5
Graduates 8 or more 4-7 1-3
Summer Session Credit Totals
Undergraduates 6 or more 3-5 1-2
Graduates 6 or more 3-5 1-2

Teaching or program/project assistants that are employed at 1/3 or more time and enrolled for six or more credits during the fall and spring semesters are usually considered full time graduate students.

During each fall and spring semester until their dissertation is accepted by the Graduate School, doctoral students must be enrolled for either three graduate-level dissertation or research credits at the current per-credit dissertator rate. During any summers in which a doctoral student uses university facilities or faculty time, is a fellow or research assistant, or plans to graduate, the doctoral student must register for no more than three graduate level credits (dissertator rate) in the regular eight-week summer session.

Status & Financial Aid
Eligibility for veterans’ benefits and other types of aid may be based on different credit load requirements. AOC undergraduates are not considered full-time unless enrolled for 12 or more credits. English 90/95 and Math 90/95 will each be treated as the equivalent of a 3-credit class.

All students’ enrollment status for summer is defined to be the same as their fall/spring semester status. Department of Education rules require that the same credit load standards apply for spring, fall and summer session loan deferment verifications. Therefore, for undergraduates, an enrollment of at least six credits (half time enrollment) is required for loan deferment verification purposes for the summer session.

All status determinations and requirements are published through the Financial Aid Office.

Academic Credit Overloads

Maximum credit loads have been established for each term. Undergraduates who enroll beyond the max credit load will be assessed extra tuition above the normal full-time rate.

  • Fall or Spring terms: 18 credits in all schools and colleges, except Fine Arts (18 credits or three studio courses). The fall and spring registration limit in PAWS is 18 credits.
  • Summer term: 12 credits during the full term duration, but no more than four credits during any sessions less than or equal to four weeks. The summer enrollment limit in PAWS is 12 credits.
  • UWinteriM: 3 credits during the full term duration. The UWinteriM enrollment limit in PAWS is 3 credits. Due to the short duration of the term, overloads are generally not permitted during UWinteriM.

If an undergraduate student wishes to overload (take credits beyond the established maximum loads), they may request permission from their school or college advising office. Approval for overload does not waive any course prerequisites or permit enrollment in closed classes.

Graduate students may not register for more than 12 graduate credits in a Fall or Spring semester or 9 graduate credits in the eight-week Summer Session or a total of 12 graduate credits in all sessions between the conclusion of a Spring semester and the beginning of a fall semester. Audit, sport/recreation and colloquium seminar credits are not counted when determining a graduate student’s credit load.

If you are taking undergraduate certification coursework, are making up deficiencies, or have exceptional circumstances resulting in special hardship, you must appeal to Graduate Student Services for permission to carry more than the maximum credit load.

If you’re a doctoral student classified as a dissertator, you must be enrolled for three graduate-level credits (at the current dissertator rate) each semester until your doctoral dissertation is filed in the Golda Meir Library. The only number of credits for which a dissertator may register is three.

Approval for overload does not waive any course prerequisites or permit enrollment in closed classes. Forms must be submitted to Mellencamp 274 after the student’s initial registration appointment time, and will be processed by Registrar’s Office staff.

Administrative Drops

You may be administratively dropped from one or more of your classes in these situations:

  • If you enroll without permission in a class that you don’t meet the prerequisites for
  • If you don’t show up for the first week of class and don’t notify anyone
  • If you ever fail to meet the class attendance policy

Administrative Drops are initiated at the discretion of the department that is offering the course or by the course instructor. Departments and instructors have the right to enforce class prerequisite and attendance policies and may administratively drop students that do not meet the requirements. You are responsible for understanding course prerequisite or attendance policies as well as tuition for dropped classes.

Communicate with the course instructor if you feel you may be in danger of being administratively dropped, or drop a course as soon as you know you can’t remain in the class. Do not count on or wait for a department to complete an administrative drop as fees for dropped classes are based on the date you drop the class online via PAWS or the date your drop form is submitted to the Registrar’s Office.

Class Standing

Class standing may be used as a prerequisite for a course. The prerequisite given in the course listing refers to the qualifications and/or standing needed to enroll in a given course. If no prerequisite is listed, the course is generally open to all students. If more than one prerequisite is listed, all are necessary unless a choice is clearly indicated.

Class Standing by Credit Totals
Sophomore Junior Senior
Academic Opportunity Center 24-55 56-87 88 or more
Business & Information Studies 24-55 56-85 86 or more
Letters & Science 24-55 56-87 88 or more
Nursing 28-57 58-95 96 or more
All Other Majors 24-57 58-85 86 or more
Course Repeats

Unless a restriction is stated in the Schedule of Classes, undergraduates may repeat a course only once, and only the higher of the two grades will be calculated into the student’s grade point average (GPA). Both attempts will appear on the student’s transcript.

It is generally advisable for any student to consult an advisor before enrolling to repeat a course.

If the UWM course repeats a course for which the student received transfer credit, the UWM course will be calculated into the GPA regardless of whether the UWM course grade is higher or lower. Both attempts will appear on the transcript. Once a bachelor’s degree has been earned, the academic career (credits, GPA, and coursework) starts over with any subsequent enrollment and the original record cannot be altered. Courses taken after the bachelor’s degree has been earned do not count as repeats of courses taken prior to the posting of the degree.

The single repeat limit applies to all courses, including courses taken for audit or with the credit/no credit option. Under exceptional circumstances additional repeats may be allowed following approval of a written appeal to the advising office of the student’s school or college. Departments offering the course have the right to establish special guidelines for additional repeats. Any special guidelines must apply to all students and shall be maintained, published, and enforced by the Registrar’s Office.

Exceptions to this policy are variable-topic courses which may be taken for credit as often as permitted for that particular course as specified in the Schedule of Classes. A variable-topic course may count as a repeat of a previously taken course only if the topic is identical to that of the student’s earlier enrollment and the repeat occurs within the same academic career.

Students who took a course as a repeat prior to fall 1988 are entitled to one additional enrollment. Transfer students who did not previously take a course at UWM are entitled to one repeat at UWM of a course taken at a previous institution.

If you have previously earned your degree from UWM, your attempted and earned credits as well as your cumulative GPA will start over with the courses you take in pursuit of your second degree. Courses taken as part of your first degree will not be considered repeats. Your original record cannot be altered.

Course Repeat Special Guidelines

As noted in the university’s policy on repeated courses, course repeats beyond the allowable limit must be approved by the student’s advising office. Effective as of Fall 2016, UWM’s College of Letters & Science and the Lubar School of Business have established additional guidelines requiring departmental approval for undergraduate students attempting classes offered by their academic units as well as the approval of the student’s academic unit.  Details on specific academic units requiring departmental approval for repeats after two attempts follow:

Published Guidelines for Repeats Beyond the Allowable Limit
Department Courses Effective Term Contact
Africology All Summer 2016 Erin Winkler
(414) 229-5080
American Indian Studies All Summer 2016 Cary Miller
Anthropology All Summer 2016 Jean Hudson
(414) 229-4175
Art History All Summer 2016 Richard Leson
(414) 229-4330
Biological Sciences All Spring 2016 Lapham #S181
(414) 229-4214
Business Administration All Summer 2015 Lubar #N297
(414) 229-5271
Chemistry & Biochemistry1 All Summer 2015 Chemistry 114
(414) 229-4411
Communication All Summer 2016 Leslie Harris
(414) 229-2271
Economics All Summer 2016 Rebecca Neumann
English 100, 101 & 102 Spring 2016 Debra Siebert
Curtin #408
(414) 229-6442
All others Summer 2016 Gilberto Blasini
(414) 229-5912
Film Studies All Summer 2016 Ben Schneider
(414) 229-4869
Foreign Languages and Literatures All Summer 2016 Michael Mikos
(414) 229-4949
French, Italian, and Comparative Literature All Summer 2016 Larry Kuiper
(414) 229-4382
Geography All Summer 2016 Glen Fredlund
(414) 229-6112
Geosciences All Summer 2016 Barry Cameron
(414) 229-3136
History All Summer 2016 Lisa Silverman
(414) 229-4316
Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies All Summer 2016 David Pritchard
(414) 229-4436
Linguistics All Summer 2016 Garry Davis
(414) 229-4942
Math2 Students in UWM’s College of Letters & Science Spring 2017 L&S Advising
Holton 142
(414) 229-4654
Students in Other UWM Schools/Colleges Spring 2017 Refer to the Contact List for UWM Academic Advising Offices.
Philosophy All Summer 2016 William Bristow
(414) 229-4719
Physics All Summer 2015 physics-ugadvisor@uwm.edu
Political Science All Summer 2016 Kathleen Dolan
(414) 229-6468
Psychology3 All Summer 2016 Anna Morehouse
(414) 229-4746
Public and Nonprofit Administration All Summer 2016 Doug Irhke
(414) 229-4732
Sociology All Summer 2016 Donald Green
(414) 229-4259
Spanish and Portuguese 103, 104, 203 & 204 Spring 2016 Curtin #733
(414) 229-4257
300 to 500 level Spring 2016 Curtin #733
(414) 229-4257
All Others Spring 2016 Curtin #733
(414) 229-4257
Translation & Interpreting All Summer 2016 Lorena Terando
(414) 229-5968
Urban Studies All Summer 2016 Joel Rast
(414) 229-4751
Women’s and Gender Studies All Summer 2016 Kathy Miller-Dillon
(414) 229-5382

1. Students are permitted to attempt a single Chemistry or Biochemistry course or equivalent transfer course a maximum of three times.  Students seeking to enroll in the same course for a second repeat (third attempt) must be approved to do so by the course instructor and the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department by completing a permission form.
2. Third attempts at Math courses can be approved at the discretion of the student’s School/College advising unit. Fourth attempts will not be allowed.
3. The Psychology Department will allow students to retake a course twice (three attempts total). Per L&S procedures students must file a formal appeal to the department to be granted a second retake. This appeal can be filed using the online form found here. Appeals for additional retakes (more than two) will be considered by the Associate Chair and the course instructor and will be granted only in exceptional circumstances.

Credit Hour Policy

Study leading to one semester credit represents an investment of time by the average student of not fewer than 48 hours for class contact in lectures, for laboratories, examinations, tutorials and recitations, and for preparation and study; or a demonstration by the student of learning equivalent to that established as the expected product of such a period of study.

See the full UWM Credit Hour Policy.

Excess Credit Surcharge

Per UW Board of Regent policy, all resident undergraduate students who have accumulated 165 credits (or 30 credits more than required by their degree programs, whichever is greater) will be charged a surcharge, equal to 100 percent of the regular resident tuition, on credits beyond the 165 credit plateau.

This policy applies to all UW System earned credits and WTCS transfer credits accepted toward a degree. Credits transferred from other institutions, as well as other types of credit or coursework for which credit may be awarded (such as advanced placement, retroactive credits, credits by examination, remedial credits, etc.) are not included in the credit limit.

The surcharge will be applied to all students in the semester following the one in which they reached the earned credit limit.  UW-Milwaukee may make exceptions through an appeals process and grant waivers in cases of extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control.

The Registrar’s Office will issue a “Warning of Surcharge” communication to students who are nearing the 165 credit limit and a “Notification of Surcharge” communication to students who exceed the 165 credit limit. The letter will include policy information as well as appeal/waiver instructions which direct the student to visit the advising office within their school or college.

Approved appeals and surcharge waivers will be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office by the schools and colleges. Applicable surcharges will be assessed by the Bursar’s Office.  The Provost’s Office will be responsible for the review of programs with credit requirements in excess of 130 credits.

Undergraduate special students are not subject to the credit limit, although degree-seeking students are not permitted to change to special student status for the purpose of avoiding the application of this surcharge. Second-degree candidates and students pursuing post-baccalaureate certification or licensure are not subject to the credit limit. Minnesota reciprocity students are not covered by the policy under the existing compact and will not be subject to the surcharge until such time that Minnesota adopts a similar surcharge.

Grading Basis
Most students enroll in classes on a “Graded” basis that results in the assignment of a letter grade that appears on the transcript.  See the Grades section for more information.

Some classes allow the student to select a different grading basis during the enrollment process, including Credit/No Credit and Audit.

Credit/No Credit

Some courses may be taken on a Credit/No Credit basis rather than for a letter grade. To be granted credit for a course that you’ve enrolled in with the Credit/No Credit option, you must earn a grade of C- or better.

Courses used to satisfy General Education Requirements and the English and math competencies may not be taken with the C/NC option. Schools and colleges with specific limitations on courses taken with the C/NC option are published below.

Some courses are offered on a C/NC basis only. These may be taken in addition to the published limits. C/NC courses are not counted in the GPA, but courses in which credit is earned will count toward graduation. Courses may be changed from a regular graded basis to C/NC or vice versa only during the same period as courses may be added. Only one such change may be made per semester per course.

University Special Students should contact an advisor in the Admissions Office for more information on the C/NC option.

Off-campus students should contact their advisor for more information on the C/NC option.

Credit/No Credit Option Table
School/College Qualifying Students C/NC Eligible Courses Limits
Academic Opportunity Center AOC Undergraduates follow the rules published for Letters & Science
College of Engineering & Applied Science Undergraduates in Engineering & Applied Science Free elective or Arts/Humanities/Social Science elective courses. Maximum of 12 credits; no more than three credits in any one semester.
College of Health Sciences Undergraduates admitted to the College of Health Sciences No required courses in any of the pre-professional or professional programs may be taken on a C/NC basis. Only one course, regardless of number of credits, may be taken per semester. A maximum of 12 credits may be taken C/NC.
College of Letters & Science Undergraduates in Letters & Science Courses other than Honors courses that are not in the student’s major or minor. One course per semester, maximum of eight courses.
College of Nursing Undergraduates in Nursing Non-clinical elective courses in Nursing. One course per semester, maximum of six credits.
Helen Bader School of Social Welfare Undergraduates majors and pre-majors in Social Work & Criminal Justice Only used in courses outside the 54-65 credit requirements in the Social Work or Criminal Justice major. One course per semester, maximum of eight courses.
Lubar School of Business Undergraduates in Business & Pre-Business All non-business courses (courses outside Lubar School of Business) that are not required as part of the student’s major. One course per semester; maximum of eight courses. No Business course may be taken on a C/NC basis by any student regardless of their program unless it is only offered on a C/NC basis. Pre-Business Students may not take ECON 103, ECON 104, or MATH 211 on a C/NC basis.
Peck School of the Arts Undergraduates in the Arts Courses outside of the major; any course which would fulfill the core curriculum requirements. One course per semester; maximum of eight courses
School Architecture & Urban Planning Pre-Architecture students and upper-level students with a 2.5 GPA Elective courses; courses other than the 48 credits required for the Architectural Studies degree. One course per semester, maximum eight courses.
School of Education Undergraduates in Education & Pre-Education Please see your advisor. Please see your advisor.
School of Information Studies Undergraduates in Information Resources All non-Information Studies (courses outside SOIS) that are not required as part of the student’s major. One course per semester, maximum eight courses.

Any non-degree seeking student or other individual who wishes to participate in a class at UWM without earning credit or pursuing a program should contact the Admissions Office.

If you audit a class, you won’t receive a grade or earn college credit for the class, and in most cases, you won’t be expected to take exams or prepare projects or term papers. Be sure to discuss course work and attendance requirements with your instructor during the first week of class. Course auditing is generally not permitted during UWinteriM.

Classes that require instructor consent to audit or never can be taken for audit are marked in the Schedule of Classes.

Listing of Courses that Never Allow Audit (Last Updated 08-13-2015)

Auditors of any class held in the Klotsche Center and Pavilion will need to register each semester at the University Recreation Information Center in the Klotsche Center & Pavilion. Auditors will be permitted to use the space in the building assigned to the class only during the actual meeting times of the class. The auditor will be permitted to enter the facility 30 minutes prior to the class start time.

In order to gain regular access to the Klotsche Center and Pavilion facilities, any auditor, dissertator, off-campus student, or other class participant who has not paid the mandatory student fee must do so in the Bursar Office. The mandatory student fee is dependent on corresponding credit load and must be received in full before usage of facilities.