Fall – New Freshmen

Congratulations on the achievements that have led you to this step in your journey. New Student Orientation marks your entrance into the UWM community. This program will introduce you to the UWM campus, as well as to other new students and families. New Student Orientation is intended for new students, but parents are welcome to attend Family Orientation. We also provide a separate program for Transfer and Adult Students, which is more tailored to the transfer and adult student experience!

Registration Available in April

Orientation Registration Steps

Step 1: Complete Admission Steps
Step 2: Register for Orientation
Step 3: Prepare for Orientation
Step 4: Attend Orientation
Step 5: Stay Connected After Orientation

1: Complete Admission Steps

Before you can sign up for Orientation
You will be invited via postcard to sign up online for New Student Orientation after you have completed all of the following:

  • Take Placement Tests (UWM has to receive your scores before this item is removed from PAWS – it can take up to 3 weeks)
  • Pay $150 New Student Confirmation Deposit* which is part of the $250 New Freshman Fee
  • Submit the University Housing Contract and deposit OR Exemption Form (may be completed before or after taking the Placement Tests)
  • Pay the $100 University Housing Contract Deposit (if completed a University Housing Contract)
    When ALL of these steps are complete, you’ll be able to pick your orientation date.
    If there is a scheduling conflict, please contact our office at 414-229-5842 or nsostaff@uwm.edu

We look forward to seeing you at New Student Orientation!

*This deposit is not refundable if you attend Orientation or if you do not cancel your Orientation registration at least 10 days prior to the program.

2: Register for Orientation

After you register, you’ll receive a confirmation via mail and email about 1 week prior to the program.

Student Policies

Major Changes
Part of your orientation experience is based on the major that you select when you applied to UWM. You have the ability to change your major up to 10 days prior to your Orientation program. Please note: Changing your major after you register may impact which date you can attend orientation.
When you log in to the Orientation registration site, you will have the option to change your current major.
We will not accommodate major changes at the Orientation program.

Disability, Mobility, and Dietary Restrictions
We want to accommodate any mobility, disability, or dietary restrictions that you may have in order to provide you with the best orientation experience.
If you need an accommodation, please indicate this when you register in the space provided.

Date Selection Policy
Orientation dates are available on a first come, first served basis. If a program date is unavailable, we are unable to “hold” a date as our system updates in real time and anyone can select a date should it become available.
You are allowed to change the program you have registered for up to 5 days before the program begins. To change your orientation date, log on to the registration site and select a program that works better for your schedule.

Overnight Policy
All new freshmen are required to stay in RiverView Residence Hall during New Student Orientation. This portion of the program is consistently rated the best part of the experience aside from interacting with the Orientation Leaders (who also stay in RiverView). This portion of the program is low-key and allows for students to get to know each other better.
Exemptions may be granted on a case by case basis. Rationale for approved exemptions include documented medical issues or religious reasons.

Guest Housing
We offer separate Guest Housing for New Student Orientation (freshman) programs, but space is limited and is $40 for the night (credit card and checks only). Priority will be given to out of state families, but otherwise reservations are taken on a first come, first served basis.

To Sign Up, your student can indicate their guest(s) would like housing when they register for Orientation.

Guest Overnight Accommodations
Guest Housing accommodations are at Kenilworth Residence Hall and you will receive a discounted rate through the Orientation program.
You will be notified if you will be staying in Guest Housing with a separate confirmation email. Check-in for the Orientation program will be different for those staying in Guest Housing, so please make sure to read the confirmation carefully.
Further questions should be directed to the Orientation Office at orientation@uwm.edu.

UWM has a partnership with 5 local hotels. Please follow this link for more information about discounted rates:

3: Prepare for Orientation

Check out the Student Orientation Schedule so you know what to expect!
Please note lunch is not provided on the first day, so plan accordingly.

Make sure to use #UWMNSO on Twitter or Instagram and use our SnapChat filter during your program to share your experience!

Meet & Greet
After checking in, you will have the opportunity to participate in the UWM Meet & Greet, which is a campus resource fair where you have the chance to talk to different offices on campuses about the services they offer and how they can help you during your time at UWM. For a complete list of offices attending the Meet & Greet, look here!

Meet and Greet Offices

Learning Communities and Living Learning Communities
You can also look into the different Learning Communities UWM has to offer. Here is the complete list of Learning Communities.

Credit Agreement
Before being able to register for classes, you must complete your credit agreement. If you have not done it yet, you can complete it through your PAWS account. Log in to PAWS, click the Credit Agreement link on your “To Do List” and complete your Credit Agreement there.

Academic Plans
One of the most important things you will do at Orientation is register for your first semester of classes. An advisor will be there to help, but make sure you come with a plan. You can look at the schedule of classes and start thinking about what you want your class schedule to look like.

Packing List
Make sure you’re ready to spend the night with us! Overnight housing provides a blanket and pillow, but feel free to bring your own if you prefer. Some other items that will be helpful are: Something to write with, a phone charger, a sweater (most buildings are air conditioned and can get cold) clothes for 2 days, overnight toiletries, and some spending money (meals are provided, but the Panther Shop and ReStore in RiverView will be open during orientation programs).

Family Preparation
Check out the Family Orientation Schedule so you know what to expect!
We recommend you do the following to get the most out of the (optional) Family Orientation program:

Talk to your student about their academic classes since you won’t be joining them for class registration.
Bring something to take notes with – we provide a lot of information about resources and programs.
Provide your email address to get on the PantherFamilies listserv.
Have questions prepared for the offices you’ll be hearing from.
Bring a sweatshirt! Our buildings can be chilly.
Connect with your student after the program to hear what they learned.
Take the evaluation so we know how we’re doing!

4: Attend Orientation

Overnight Details
After you check in at the Union, you will drop your luggage off and we will lock it up during the day. You are required to check a bag. Once the program has concluded around 8:00pm, you will then get your luggage and be shuttled to RiverView for the night. We will make our best effort to put you in a room with someone from your small group during the day.

The ReStore in RiverView will be open so you can purchase drinks and snacks so bring some money along!

If you don’t get your ID taken the first day, you will need to get on the first shuttle back to the Union in the morning. You’ll check your luggage again for Day 2 and retrieve it at the end of the program. Orientation Leaders will guide you through all parts of this process!

Parking Details
When attending New Student Orientation, we ask that you park in the Klotsche Center/Pavilion Parking Garage located off of Downer Avenue (3409 N. Downer Ave.). From the parking garage, Orientation Leaders and signage will direct you to the check-in area (Union Concourse). Parking for one vehicle is included in the New Freshman Fee and you will be given a validation pass at check-in.

Please note that parking is not available for New Student Orientation until 12:30pm. If you arrive prior to this time, there may not be space to accommodate your vehicle.

Due to limited space, we can only accommodate 1 car per family.

**If you are staying in Guest Housing at Kenilworth, you should not go to the Pavilion**

From the South – From I-43 North/I-94 West near downtown Milwaukee. Exit right on W Capitol Dr. (76A). Turn right on to W Capitol Dr. Proceed straight (east) approx. two miles to N Downer Ave. Turn right on to N Downer Ave. Proceed on Downer Ave. for approx. five blocks and turn right into the Pavilion entrance (there is a large sign indicating the entrance).

From the West – From I-94 East near downtown Milwaukee, merge on to I-43 North. Exit right on W Capitol Dr. (76A). Turn right on to W Capitol Dr. Proceed straight (east) approx. two miles to N Downer Ave. Turn right on to N Downer Ave. Proceed on Downer Ave. for approx. five blocks and turn right into the Pavilion entrance.

From the North – Take I-43 South into Milwaukee. Exit on Capitol Dr. Turn left (south) at bottom of the exit onto N. Green Bay Ave. Proceed to Capitol Dr., turn left (east) on Capitol Dr. Continue along on Capitol Dr. two and one half (2.5) miles to Downer Ave. Turn right (south) on Downer Ave. Proceed on Downer Ave. for approx. five blocks and turn right into the Pavilion entrance.

From the Airport – Exit the Milwaukee airport loop to Airport Spur Rd. Continue along the Airport Spur to I-94 West heading toward downtown Milwaukee. From I-94 West, merge on to I-43 North. Exit right on W Capitol Dr. (76A). Turn right on to W Capitol Dr. Proceed straight (east) approx. two miles to N Downer Ave. Turn right on to N Downer Ave. Proceed on Downer Ave. for approx. five blocks and turn right into the Pavilion entrance.

After attending Orientation:
• Students will be able to make informed choices regarding academic, personal and social issues.
• Students will take personal responsibility for their own success.
• Students will feel welcomed, comfortable, engaged and excited to be a member of the UWM community.
• Students will grow in their understanding and respect of others in a diverse community.

We also expect that you have fun, come willing to learn and meet new people and adhere to all university policies during the program.

FAQs – Document coming soon!

5: Stay Connected After Orientation

Access to All Student and Family Orientation Presentations – Coming Soon!

Review all of your Orientation materials from your folder and flash drive
Read your Common Read!
Review the PRIDE Message and download the “Guide, College Simplified” app on your phone to set yourself up for success
Begin your On Campus Job search
Join PantherSync to browse student organizations
Check out our Campus Events calendar
Join the Class of 2022 Facebook Group to meet your new Panther classmates
Get in the right frame of mind for college by checking out our student videos
Get excited for Panther Academic Welcome (August 31 – Required for all new freshmen), PantherFest (September 7) and Fall Welcome