Click the following tabs for COVID-19 updates for both admitted and current students.


Updates for Admitted Students

UWM will host online sessions for newly admitted international students to learn more about Fall 2020 plans and ask questions.  Speakers will include representatives of the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office and other key campus resources.  The sessions will be recorded and available to view later.   

For those who were unable to attend today’s graduate student webinar, here is the recording of the event:

For those who missed today’s undergraduate (bachelor’s) event, please see the recording of the event:

Dear newly admitted international students for Fall 2020, 

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) has announced it will have a hybrid model for Fall 2020, to include a mix of in-person courses and online courses.  Please read the official UWM announcement and the information below.  Email us any questions to  Once you have decided on the best option for you, let us know your decision by submitting the Fall 2020 Decision form.  

Fall 2020 Decision

UWM will host online sessions for newly admitted international students to learn more about Fall 2020 plans and ask questions.  Speakers will include representatives of the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office and other key campus resources.  The sessions will be recorded and available to view later.  Invitation links to the online sessions will be sent via email and social media closer to the events: 

June 29, 2020 – Newly admitted graduate (masters and PhD) international students – 7-8:30 AM CST. 

June 30, 2020 – Newly admitted undergraduate (bachelor’s) international students – 7-8:30 AM CST. 


Now that we have some idea what classes will look like at UWM this fall, newly admitted international students have three choices: come in-person, take Fall 2020 classes online, or defer your admission. 

Come in-person 

  • Can students already in the US come to UWM as planned 
    • Yes.  
  • Can students outside the US come to UWM in-person?  
    • Yes, but there are several issues that need to be resolved to make that happen, including obtaining a visa and getting a flight to the US. 
  • When will I be able to apply for a student visa?  
    • US Embassies and Consulates remain closed for student appointments, with no indication of when they will open.  A few are offering emergency appointments, but they are taken on a case-by-case basis.  Continue to monitor the website of your closest US Embassy/Consulate for updates. 
  • Can I get a flight to the US?  
    • There are several flight restrictions in place in many countries (including the US and home countries) that might make it challenging to get a flight to the US.  You will have to research whether travel to the US for the fall semester is feasible.  
  • Will all classes be offered in person?
    • No. Most classes will be mainly online. Some classes will be a mix of in-person and online, and a few classes will be totally in person.
  • What will in-person classes be like at UWM this fall?   
    • There will be several changes to our physical arrangements in order to ensure the safety of all students, staff and faculty.  You will be required to maintain distance from othersclassrooms will be limited in the number of students allowed in any physical space and classes will likely be a mix of in-person and online activity.   
  • Will it be a “normal” experience at UWM this fall?   
    • No.  Students will have a very rewarding academic experience, but it will be unlike anything we have experienced before.  Students, staff and faculty will be working together to figure out the new normal. 
  • Should I arrange for housing at UWM this fall?   
    • If you want to live on-campus this fall, you should submit a housing contract and deposit as soon as possible.  Housing is planning how to ensure health and safety of students, and they will prioritize placement of students with contracts on file.  If you submit a contract and deposit and then cannot come, your contract will be cancelled, and deposit returned. 
  • Can I arrive late?   
    • Students admitted into the Master’s in Information Technology Management program will have some options to start at the end of September.  Email Chris Pahl ( for more information.   
    • All other programs will start at the regular beginning of the semester (currently scheduled for September 2nd). 
  • What if I cannot make it to UWM by beginning of classes?   
    • You should either take classes online from home or defer.  If you start online from home, you will not be able to join us in-person mid-semester.  You would stay online for the entire fall semester, and then hopefully you can join us in-person for the spring semester (January). Be sure to contact your program directly to learn about online options:  
  • How is the state of Wisconsin dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic?  
  • How is the city of Milwaukee dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic?  
  • How is UWM dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic?  
  • Who will support me?  
    • UWM is ready to help all students and make your experience at UWM a great one.  You will receive help from the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), all academic departments, the Graduate School, Dean of Students office, Health Services, Housing, etc.   

Take Fall 2020 courses online 

  • What are the online classes?   
    • Online classes are regular UWM classes offered to any student eligible for registration.  They are the same courses taught on our campus but offered online.  
  • Who is teaching the online courses?   
    • Regular UWM professors and lecturers.  They are the same courses taught on our campus but taught online. 
  • Will the credits count toward your degree?   
    • Yes.  They are the same courses taught on our campus but taught online.  You should work with your advisor to select courses that are required for your degree program, and they will count towards your degree as if you took them in-person. 
  • Are online courses “transfer” courses?   
    • No.  They do not need to be transferred in because they are regular UWM courses that you need to complete your degree from UWM 
  • Can I take online courses at another university and transfer them to UWM later? 
    • For undergraduate students, quite possibly, yes.  Let us know your plans so we can help you determine transferability before you register or pay any tuition. 
    • For graduate students, you will have to get permission from your program at UWM to transfer credits into your degree plan.  Transfer credits at the graduate level are not common and there is no guarantee they will be approved. 
  • What will the online courses be like  
    • Online courses are conducted differently by different professors. Some models are flexible, allowing you to participate as you can with clear deadlines posted for assignments, others are live streamed and interactive as if you were in a physical lecture hall. 
  • Do I have to be online at specific times?   
    • Most courses will be taught “asynchronously”, meaning you do not have to be online at a specific time.  When you talk to your advisor about which courses are best for you, be sure to ask this question. 
  • Do I need to study online full time?   
    • Most likely noMost students will be able to take as many courses as they want. Full-time is defined as 12+ credits for undergraduate students, and 8+ credits for graduate students.  To find out for sure, contact the program you have been admitted to:  
  • What are the benefits of taking online courses?   
    • Online courses allow you to begin your degree program from home until it is possible for you to come in-person the following term.  They allow you to develop relationships with faculty and students in program as soon as possible.  They will shorten the amount of time you have to spend in the US after you arrive in-person.  They also offer the ability of studying from home, thereby reducing cost-of-living expenses.   
  • What will online courses cost?  
    • UWM has designated a special rate of tuition for new international students who need to start their classes online from their home country.  Tuition is charged by the number of credits you register for regardless of credit total.    
    • For UNDERGRADUATE (bachelor’s degree) students: The per credit hour rate will be $505.70.  For example, 1 course (3 credits) will be $1,517.10 and a full-time 4 course load (12 credits) will be $6,068.40.   
    • For GRADUATE (master’s and PhD) students: The per credit hour rate will be $1,003.19. For example, 1 course (3 credits) will be $3,009.56 and a full-time course load of 8 credit hours will be $8,025.52. 
    • Students admitted to graduate programs (master’s and PhD) in the Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business are not eligible for the special tuition rate.  These students should refer to Business Master’s (master’s) and Graduate (PhD) non-resident tuition pricing schedule at: 
  • Will there be any additional fees?   
    • Students enrolled in the online international student per credit pricing will not be assessed segregated fees, but there may be additional fees for library services, user fees and differential tuition charges.  Additionally, certain individual courses may have different rates, and specific course rates will supersede the above mentioned per credit hour rates.  All international students will be charged a $100 International Student Fee per semester.  Please refer the One Stop Enrollment and Financial Services website ( and contact your academic advisor should you have any questions.   
  • How long will this special tuition rate last?   
    • This rate is available for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, for new online international students only.  If you come in-person, the regular non-resident rate will apply as normal.  Students who decide to complete the entire degree online will be assessed the regular non-resident tuition rate starting Summer 2021. 
  • Will my scholarships/assistantships/funding pay for online courses?  
    • For those participating in the international student per credit pricing, unfortunately, no.  Because of the lower rate of tuition, any offered funding from UWM will not apply.   Students that have been offered financial assistance should contact their program to determine if you can still use it instead of the special tuition rate. 
    • Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business graduate students, please consult with your advisor for scholarship opportunities and information.   
  • Can I keep my TA/RA position and work from my home country? 
    • You should contact the program that offered your assistantship.   
  • Who do I contact to learn what online courses are available to me?   
    • Undergraduate (bachelor’s degree) should contact the advisor listed in their PAWS account.   
  • Will I get a tuition refund if I begin my classes online and my visa is later denied?   
    • Unfortunately, no.  But UWM will provide you with additional documentation about your academic connection to UWM that may help your visa application. 
  • What will online classes mean for my F1 status 
    • Since you will not physically be in the US, you will not have any F1 status in the US. 
  • Will my online classes contribute to my eligibility for OPT (Optional Practical Training) or CPT (Curricular Practical Training)?   
    • Since you will not have F1 status in the US, online courses will not contribute toward your eligibility for OPT or CPT.  To qualify, you must have F1 status for one full academic year in the US.  UWM’s summer semester does not count towards this requirement.  For example, if you join UWM in-person for the spring semester (beginning in January), you will be eligible for OPT or CPT at the end of the fall semester in December.   

Defer your admission 

  • What is the deadline to defer my admission?  
    • There is no specific deadline, but ideally it would be done by early September.  There is plenty of time for you to make your decision to defer.  If there is any possibility you might start classes online or come in-person, let’s wait to defer your admission. 
  • How do I defer?  
    • Use the form at the top of this page  We will work with your program to finalize your deferral, and let you know when it is done. 
  • Can I defer to Spring 2021? Or Fall 2021?  
    • It depends on your program.  Most programs allow new students in spring, but a few may require you to defer to fall.  Let us know which you would prefer, and we will work with your program to see what is possible. 
  • What about my I-20?  
    • If you already have an I-20, we will re-issue it with the new dates.  If not, we will remind you of what we need to issue the I-20. 
  • Will scholarships/assistantships/funding offered from UWM be deferred with my admission?  
    • It depends on the funding.  When we work with your program to finalize the deferral, we will get this answer for you.  You can also ask your program directly.  Questions about funding should be directed to whomever offered it to you. 


Updates for Current Students

June 18, 2020 

Dear students,  

Yesterday the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee announced that the university will reopen for the fall 2020 semester. Please find that information at the following link: There are many changes that our campus will be implementing. Although your experience will be different from past semesters, we believe that you will still be afforded a stimulating educational experience.  

Students continuing their Fall 2020 studies in the U.S.: F-1 visa status maintenance: 

  • Complete a CIE Check-in (details will be provided in a future email update) 
  • Enroll in Full-time credit hours by working with your academic department to finalize an enrollment plan 
  • At this point we have not received regulatory guidance for online course enrollment limits; we recommend all students enroll in as many face-to-face or hybrid courses as are available in their program 
  • Students with Assistantships must work directly with their department on requirements of the assistantship

Students not able to return to the U.S. for the fall 2020 semester and will continue their studies from outside the U.S.: 

  • Details are not yet available from the US government regarding whether or not F-1 status can be maintained while outside the U.S. for the Fall 2020 semester; we will email and post an update as soon as details become available 
  • Enrollment in online courses while abroad is permitted; work with your academic department to finalize an enrollment plan 
  • Pricing for the fall 2020 semester will be posted by UWM at; there is no adjusted pricing for online-only students however some departments have a different pricing for online coursework 
  • Students with Assistantships must work directly with their department to determine if the assistantship can be continued while outside the U.S. 

Students not studying in the fall 2020 semester: 

  • Your SEVIS Record and UWM I-20 will be terminated  
  • An Authorized Early Withdrawal (leave of absence) will need to be requested through ISSS Connect Request Forms by September 2, 2020 
  • Students planning to return to their UWM studies in the Spring 2021 semester will be issued a new I-20 to re-enter the US 

We will continue to keep you informed. The most updated information will be available on CIE’s COVID-19 Update to Students webpage: and in future email updates 

You can email questions to or call 414-229-4846 to make a virtual or phone appointment with an Immigration Coordinator. 


Immigration Coordinators 

June 11

We hope you are doing well. We have experienced everything from despair to hope between COVID-19 and the spotlight on racial injustice. We realize that you may be receiving communications from multiple sources on campus and we want you to know that we continue to be here for international students and their unique perspectives on these events.

If you choose to participate in any events, please stay safe and be careful. We are always willing to discuss any concerns about your participation.

The following are some resources that you may find interesting:

Of course, this list is not exhaustive. Being away from home is difficult during times of unrest, please know that we are your Milwaukee home. Let’s remember that this is a time that none of us will forget.

“There’s something really powerful for international students to be involved in this political climate and political moment in America and have these critical conversations.” — Zack Ritter

Thank you for being part of our community.


Your friend in the Center for International Education

May 27

Dear students,

We hope that this message finds you well. We have a few updates that we would like to share after the end of the spring semester.


We would like to congratulate all of you on your completion of the spring semester! We understand how hard it must have been for all of you with the transition to all online courses and the social distancing.

Travel Endorsements on your I-20:

Due to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Government is allowing us to issue travel endorsements electronically. We have updated the Travel Endorsement request on ISSS Connect. Please follow the instructions and submit your request if you do not have a current travel endorsement and have plans to travel. To find the Travel Endorsement Request, follow this link and click on Travel Endorsements: ISSS Connect Request Forms.

Fall 2020 semester:

The University has not announced the mode of instruction for the fall 2020 term yet. At this point, we do not know if courses will be offered in-person, online, or through a hybrid approach. After the university decision is made, we will communicate with all F1 students on the requirements to maintain your immigration status.

Reminder for graduating students:

Your 60-day grace period starts when your program is completed. Before the end of the grace period you must receive a new I-20 for a new degree program, apply for OPT, change to a new legal immigration status, or leave the U.S.

ISSS Immigration Coordinators remain open for phone or virtual appointments. You can make an appointment by calling 414-229-4846. You can also email questions to

We wish you all a safe and enjoyable summer. Please continue to check your UWM email for important updates from UWM and from ISSS.

April 20

The following Q&A information is for UWM Graduate Students who are graduating in the Summer 2020 term. 

QuestionI have applied for OPT with program end date of May 16th; I will be using the Graduate School window period that ends June 19th. Do I need to cancel my OPT and resubmit my application with my updated program end date? 

Answer: No. Students who are completing thesis and dissertations only need to have coursework completed to be eligible for OPT, therefore your application is still valid. We do not recommend that you cancel your OPT application; doing so would result in delays and financial loss. 

Question: I applied for OPT with a program end date of May 16th or June 19thfor immigration purposes do I need to enroll in summer if I will be postponing my graduation to August? 

Answer: No, you don’t have to enroll in summerStudents who are completing thesis and dissertations only need to have coursework completed to be eligible for OPT, therefore your OPT application is still valid. We do not recommend that you cancel your OPT application; doing so would result in delays and financial loss. 

Question: I have not applied for OPT and will finish my dissertation/thesis by the June 19th window period; for immigration purposes do I need to enroll in summer?  

Answer: No, but the program end date on your I-20 must be shortened to June 19th. You must apply for OPT, transfer your record, change your status, or leave the U.S. within 60 days from June 19th. 

QuestionI am a dissertator and will be completing my degree requirements in August; I have not applied for OPT. For immigration purposes, how many credits do I need to enroll in for the summer 2020? 


If you are not going to apply for OPT: At least 1 credit in summer 2020 

If you are going to apply for OPT: Students who are completing thesis or dissertations only need to have coursework completed to be eligible for OPT, therefore you can select your program end date 

If you choose June 19th, you do not need to enroll in the summer term; you must apply for OPT within 60 days from that program end date.  

If you choose August 22nd, you need to enroll in at least 1 credit in the summer term. You must apply for OPT within 60 days from that program end date. 

Question: I am planning to use the June 19th window period to complete my degree requirements, so I do not need to enroll in any summer 2020 credit hours. What should I do if I cannot finish before the June 19th deadline? 

Answer: You should either add at least 1 credit in summer 2020 or apply for OPT within 60 days of your program end date of June 19th 

Question: What is the cost to enroll in summer? 

Answer: You can review the Graduate Fee Schedule at the following link:

April 17

We hope you are well and you have adjusted to a fully online environment for your coursework. We realize this is challenging and please take the time to congratulate yourself for adjusting so well with so little warning.

Over the last few weeks, we have received four questions that we would like to address to everyone:

Question: As an International F1 student, can I now work off-campus without CPT or OPT authorization because of the Covid-19 situation?

Answer: Unfortunately, No. There have been no changes to the visa regulations regarding employment. For any off-campus employment, you are required to have work authorization. You can find more information about CPT and OPT on our website by CLICKING HERE.

Question: I have read about the U.S. Stimulus Package; do I qualify to receive stimulus money?

Answer: You need to contact a tax professional or an Immigration Attorney to get more information on the U.S. Stimulus Package and if you qualify. If you have received stimulus money deposited in your bank account or receive the stimulus check in the mail, you should consult a tax professional or immigration attorney with any questions.

Question: I have not completed my taxes and need help, can CIE help me?

Answer: No. You can find the resources provided through UWM by CLICKING HERE. If you have any additional questions about filing your taxes, you will need to consult a tax professional.

Question: I am graduating spring 2020 and my graduation ceremony has been postponed to October 10, 2020; what do I need to enter the country to attend the ceremony?

Answer: If you complete your degree, leave the US without applying for OPT you may apply for re-entry to the US as a tourist. Some students may need a B-2 visa in their passport for re-entry. UWM is currently exploring additional options on how to celebrate graduating students.

We will continue to provide timely updates and respond to your questions and concerns to the best of our ability.

We wanted to share the following updates and clarifications:

  • If you have moved and are still in the US please update your mailing address in PAWS to where you live now.
  • If you have left the US, please leave your US address as your last address in Milwaukee even if you will be returning to a new residence hall or apartment when you return.
  • If you plan to leave the US you DO NOT need a travel signature to depart. Please send an email to when you arrive home. We will communicate with you prior to your return and provide all necessary documents.
  • If you have any difficulty accessing your online coursework please contact your instructor immediately and explain your situation.
  • For UWM updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit

We will continue to provide weekly updates and respond to your questions and concerns to the best of our ability.

Have a good week-end and please stay safe.

March 19 

Dear students,

Yesterday afternoon the University announced that all university courses will be moved to online for the remainder of the semester. We understand many of you may have questions at this point regarding traveling back to your home country and how to maintain your immigration status. We have included below some commonly asked questions with answers.

Please read this entire email before setting an appointment to meet with an Immigration Coordinator, calling to ask questions, or emailing your questions. After reading this email, if you have additional questions, please reach out by email or by phone.

Since classes are online for the rest of the semester, can I go home?  

If you do not want to return to your home country or cannot, you can stay in the US and complete the semester from the US.If you do go home, please be advised that if your visa is expired, you will need to apply for a new visa for reentry.

If I leave the US now or if I remain in the US will I maintain my F-1 status? 

Yes. As long as you are enrolled for the remainder of the semester.
What will happen with my current employment at UWM? 
You need to speak with your direct supervisor regarding your employment.
Can I get a Travel Signature before I return home? 

Currently we are not able to sign travel signatures in-person. We will be in contact with all students with instructions on requesting a new I-20 with a travel signature mailed to you before your return to the US.

If you plan to return to your home country, please let us know when you’ve arrived safely by emailing We will ensure that you have the documents you need to request reentry to the US.

What do I do about my lease or university housing contract if I leave? 

If you live in off-campus housing, you should speak with your landlord to figure out your options.

If you live in on-campus housing, please refer to the communications being sent out by University Housing to review your options.

What do I do if I need to stay in University housing through the semester?
Please refer to the communications being sent out by University Housing to review your options.
This situation continues to evolve, so we will be sending additional emails with information as necessary.

Know that we are here to assist you with any concerns you have. Your well-being is our priority and our concern.

You can email with questions. We are also accepting phone and virtual appointments. Please call 414-229-4846 to schedule an appointment.