Academic Advising

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
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.

Student Business: When to do What

These helpful to-do lists will keep you on track with your student related business.

You can also browse the One Stop Calendar or view a list of important deadlines.

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:

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.

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!
Graduation Planning
Your last year should be planned out as carefully as your first. Review these checklist items, or go to Graduation Planning to help organize your last year.

  • Meet with your Advisor to check that you are satisfying all requirements
  • Apply for Graduation in PAWS by the first week of your last semester
  • Order your Cap & Gown online through Herff Jones
  • Check your UWM Email Address for important notifications and reminders

General Degree Requirements

When you carefully plan out your courses, you’re more likely to graduate in a shorter time frame with fewer extra classes. Talk to your Academic Advisor if you’re unsure about your course requirements or whether you’re satisfying them.

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.

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.

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.

UWM has General Degree Requirements for all undergraduate students pursuing a bachelor’s degree:

  1. A minimum of 120 undergraduate degree credits
  2. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0
  3. 30 or more of your total credits and at least half of your major credits were earned in residency at UWM

Each School and College has specific Graduation Requirements that elaborate on the University requirements. Work with your Academic Advisor to make sure you stay on track with the Degree Requirements of your School or College.

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.