Graduate student in a lab

UWM is one of the nation’s top research institutions, as named by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. You’ll appreciate working with faculty who are leaders in their fields.

As one of only two universities in Wisconsin named R1, or top tier, for research excellence by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, you’ll find many opportunities to work on high-impact research in areas of societal need.

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What are the application deadlines?
While we have “rolling applications,” we recommend the following deadlines to assure a timely response for the requested semester, especially for international applicants:

  • Fall Semester – April 1
  • Spring Semester – Sept. 1
  • NOTE: Computer Science Master of Science deadline is March 15 for Fall Semester (no Spring Semester enrollment, beginning Spring 2023).

These deadlines are independent of any funding or support that a department (or major area) may offer an applicant.

How do I apply?
Apply online directly to the Graduate School. Send one official copy of transcripts from all institutions that you have attended to:
UWM Graduate School
P.O. Box 340
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0340

What is required?

  • Reasons for Graduate Study statement. In your statement, be sure to include your name and the program to which you are applying as a heading. Be precise. Explain your reasons for pursuing graduate study. Describe specific interests and your background in the field, list any relevant skills or training you have acquired, and list relevant academic awards or honors you have received.
  • Unofficial transcript. You may submit unofficial transcripts during the application process. Official transcripts are required within two weeks of enrollment.
  • A $75 nonrefundable application fee.
  • Letters of recommendation. These are not required but may be submitted for MS applicants. Two letters are required for PhD applicants. Letters should be academic or professional in nature, not personal, and should address your ability to do graduate work. Recommendations may be included with application materials or submitted directly to:

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
College of Engineering & Applied Science
Graduate Program Office E379
P.O. Box 742
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0742

Are GRE scores required? What are acceptable scores?
Completion of the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) is required for all domestic and international applicants, except for those applying for a graduate certificate or to the MS in Computer Science degree, for which the GRE is recommended but not required. Excellent scores may enhance your application. A GRE/quantitative score of 155.0 or better is what our faculty would like to see from applicants. Have test results sent to UWM using code 1473, include a copy with application documents, or submit a copy to the College of Engineering & Applied Science Graduate Programs Office.

How do I check my application status?
Activate your Panther account to receive your ePantherID. You will need your UWM campus ID#: xxx-xx-xxxx. To check the status of your application online, go to the main UWM website and click “PAWS” below the yellow bar at the top of the page. Please note: Your PAWS account may not be accessible for 24 hours after applying.

You will use your PAWS account the entire time you’re a student at UWM, so write down your ePantherID and password in a safe place so you can remember it later. Once you’ve logged into you PAWS account, look for the To-Do List on the right-hand side. These are the application items that we have not received. When they disappear from your list, you know we have received them.

What resources are there for international students?

International students can find more information by visiting the Center for International Education.

Can TOEFL/IELTS be waived for international students? That will depend on what school(s) you have attended prior to applying. UWM international evaluators/advisors are knowledgeable about which foreign schools have English as the official language of instruction and will automatically waive the requirement when reviewing an application.

I’ve been admitted — now what?

As indicated in your recommendation letter from the College of Engineering & Applied Science, discuss getting started with your advisor.

Program of Study (PoS): A Program of Study form is a guideline to ensure that a student is on track to successfully complete a master’s or PhD and meet the degree requirements. PoS is typically submitted within the first year of enrollment.

MS Program of Study

Thesis Option
  • 24 credits of coursework, six credits of thesis
  • Of the 24 credits, 15 must be 700-level or higher (thesis credits are not part of this 15 credit requirement)
  • Three-credit Graduate Seminar (xxx700) is required and recommended in the first semester of your program
Non-Thesis Option
  • 31 credits of coursework
  • Of the 31 credits, 16 must be 700-level or higher
  • One-credit Graduate Seminar (xxx700) is required and recommended in the first semester of your program (It may be taken for three credits, but only one credit counts toward your degree.)
Thesis and Non-Thesis Options
  • Deficiency courses are not included as part of the minimum credit requirements. Only G and UG courses count toward the program.
  • Only one three-credit independent study is allowed for the MS program.
  • If a master’s student is transferring graduate credits from another institution, or has taken UWM courses as NDC (Non-Degree Candidate), credits require approval from the Graduate School using the Transfer of Credit Evaluation Form (TCE).
  • Credits earned in a bachelor’s degree program are not allowed to be transferred into a MS program. (The only exceptions are the approved credits completed as part of the Accelerated MS degree program.)

PhD Program

You need a minimum of 66 graduate credits beyond the bachelor’s degree to earn a PhD:

  • 21 credits in the major area of concentration
  • 9 credits in an approved minor area
  • 6 credits in mathematics and/or quantitative methods
  • 9 credits of approved electives
  • Three credit Graduate Seminar (xxx700) is required and recommended in the first semester of your program.
  • 18 credits of doctoral thesis
  • A minimum of 33 credits (including doctoral research) must be completed in the PhD program at UWM
  • Transfer Credits: Use the PhD program form only.

Course Offerings and Scheduling

All UWM students register for classes using the online system, Panther Access to Web Services (PAWS). You will be assigned a registration appointment time, which will be posted to your PAWS account. You may register any time after your assigned start time. Information about registration, PAWS, tuition, deadlines, class times and other administrative regulations can be found in the UWM Schedule of Classes.

Transfer of Graduate Credit

  • The school granting original credit must be a regionally accredited institution.
  • MS Students Only: No more than 40% (max 12 credits) of the total number of degree credits is allowed to transfer to UWM.
  • PhD Students Only: A maximum of 33 credits can be considered for transfer credits from prior graduate work including a master’s degree earned at UWM or elsewhere provided the coursework taken falls within the appropriate areas. Students entering the program without a prior applicable master’s degree will be limited to a total maximum transfer of nine credits for courses taken elsewhere.
  • The equivalent grade of a B or better must have been earned.
  • The courses must have been taken within five years prior to admission to the UWM Graduate School.
  • Courses taken as an undergraduate special student cannot be transferred to a graduate degree program.
  • Courses will not be transferred until one semester of graduate work is completed at UWM.

Response time can range from two to eight weeks, so be sure to submit your request early. You will be notified by email to the decision.

Graduation Time Limits and Requirements

  • Doctoral milestones information for graduation can be found here.
  • MS requirements and graduation information can be found here.
  • Committee should be formed at the beginning of the semester the student plans to graduate.
  • A minimum of 10 days prior to the defense, the student should submit a thesis defense form with appropriate signatures, date, time and location of the thesis defense, and thesis title.
  • The same requirements apply for MS Non-Thesis/reviewed by committee.
  • All NR (Not Reported) grades and “I” (Incomplete) must be cleared before the student graduates.

How to Defer Admission

Students may defer admission up to two semesters without completing a new application. If a student would like to defer, they may email the College of Engineering & Applied Science Graduate Programs Office at:

How do I secure funding or financial aid?

Although admission does not guarantee funding or financial aid, top students may be considered for attractive fellowship and/or assistantship packages. In addition, all students are encouraged to apply for any and all types of financial aid as explained below. You do not need to secure a faculty advisor before you can apply for an assistantship. A faculty advisor is assigned to each admitted student based on their interests and reason statement, but you are free to contact faculty in advance.

  • To apply for a Teaching Assistant (TA) position, you must complete the online application here.
  • To apply to for a Research Assistant (RA) position, you must contact faculty directly to inquire if there are openings within their lab.
  • There are also graduate fellowships and other forms of financial support at UWM.

Work With Top Researchers

Our faculty are known for their collaboration around energy and sustainability, water and the environment, advanced manufacturing, biomedical and health and infrastructure and transportation, and other areas of significant societal impact.

2 researchers in a lab