How to Apply

When applying for admission, you should describe as completely as possible your specific freshwater research interests or career interests. If pursuing a research degree, it is important that you reach out to faculty members whose interests align with your own to discuss potential major advisor, research and funding opportunities.  All application materials (including transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation) are due by the application deadline.

Students enrolling at the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences have a wide range of opportunities available to help support their studies.  Explore these opportunities here!

Application Deadlines

Application Deadlines

PhD & MS Thesis Track

Fall Semester admission – January 15

Spring Semester admission – October 1

MS Professional Science Track

Rolling Admissions
Please apply at least 4 weeks prior to the start of the term.  Reviewing of the PSM applications will begin 10/01 for the spring semester and 04/15 for the fall semester.

Application Materials

Application Materials

The following items must be submitted in the Panthera admission application system for your application to be considered complete.

Transcripts
All applicants, including UWM students, must upload an official or unofficial transcript directly in the Panthera admission application system for all work done at higher education/post-secondary institutions.  All applicants who are admitted to the Graduate School will be required to submit an official transcript with the degree posted within two weeks of the beginning of their first semester of enrollment.  Official transcripts are received by the Graduate School directly from the issuing institution.  UWM students will not have to submit their official, degree-bearing transcripts.  International applicants  should refer to International Admissions for more information.

Official transcripts can be sent to:

UWM Graduate School
PO Box 340
Milwaukee, WI 53201

Letters of Recommendation
Three letters of recommendation are required by persons who can attest to your scholarship and/or research potential and your success in graduate school at the School of Freshwater Sciences.  Letters of recommendation requests can be sent directly to your recommenders in the Panthera application.  The letter can then be uploaded by your recommender directly into the application.

Reason Statement
The Reason Statement is an essential part of the application.  It is used to determine the appropriateness of your educational and professional goals and serves as an example of your ability to express yourself in writing.  Your Reason Statement should include:

  • Your reasons for pursuing graduate study
  • Your specific interests and your background in the field
  • Any relevant skills or training you’ve acquired
  • Any academic awards or honors you have received

Requisite Coursework
The following prerequisites are strongly recommended:

  • at least one semester of any three of the following topical areas: chemistry, biological sciences, physics, and calculus
  • one additional semester of chemistry, biological sciences, or physics

Please list courses you have taken to fulfill these prerequisites.  Include course number, course title, credits, and final grade (example: BioSci 150, Foundations of Biological Sciences, 4 cr, A-).  You may include additional relevant courses.

Resume
Please submit a current resume that clearly articulates your professional experience.

Writing Sample
Please submit a scholarly writing sample that demonstrates your critical thinking and writing skills.

GRE Scores
Submission of scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination taken within the past 5 years.  Submit your scores to UWM (code 1473) and to the School of Freshwater Sciences (code 508).

*GRE Scores are required for the PhD and MS Thesis programs.

Fee(s)
All applicants are required to pay a non-refundable $56 application fee.  Applicants who have studied outside the U.S. (except for study abroad) are required to pay a non-refundable $96 application fee which includes the $56 fee and an additional $40 for the evaluation of foreign transcripts.

*If you are applying to the PhD program and already hold a UWM master’s degree, you do not need to pay the application fee again.

Prerequisite Coursework for all Degree Programs

Prerequisite Coursework for all Degree Programs

The purpose of prerequisite courses is to ensure that students have sufficient background to understand the terminology, theory, and practical applications of the required courses in the master’s and doctoral degree programs. Students lacking prerequisites are often unable to complete courses in the recommended sequence and find it difficult to complete the required courses for graduation within the normal time frame of study. Fulfilling prerequisites is usually demonstrated through pertinent coursework; however, relevant professional experience that demonstrates knowledge of these concepts may be considered. The following prerequisites are strongly recommended for admission to the freshwater sciences graduate degree programs.

  1. At least one semester of any three of the following topical areas: chemistry, biological sciences, physics, and calculus.
  2. One additional semester of chemistry, biological sciences, or physics.
PhD Admission Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy in Freshwater Sciences

You must meet Graduate School requirements in addition to the following to be considered for admission:

  1. bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, public policy or other appropriate natural science, social science or engineering discipline. A master’s degree is not a prerequisite for admission to the Ph.D. program.
  2. A minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA.
  3. Submission of scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination taken within the past 5 years. Submit your scores to UWM (code 1473) and to the School of Freshwater Sciences (code 508).
  4. Three letters of recommendation completed by persons who can attest to your scholarship, research achievements and potential success in graduate school at the School of Freshwater Sciences.

Your Reasons Statement should explain the research focus of your intended studies and indicate how your previous education has prepared you for a doctoral program. Students in the PhD program must be accepted by a faculty member who will serve as the major professor, and be primarily responsible for matriculation. Applicants are strongly encouraged to communicate with prospective major professors early in the admission process. Acceptance or agreement by a faculty member does not constitute formal acceptance into the School of Freshwater Sciences.

All application materials (including transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation) are due by the application deadline.

Master's Thesis Admission Requirements

Master of Science in Freshwater Sciences & Technology: Thesis Track

You must meet Graduate School requirements in addition to the following to be considered for admission:

  1. A bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, public policy, or other appropriate natural science, social science or engineering discipline.
  2. A minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA.
  3. Submission of scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination taken within the past 5 years. Submit your scores to UWM (code 1473) and to the School of Freshwater Sciences (code 508).
  4. Three letters of recommendation completed by persons who can attest to your scholarship and/or research potential and your success in graduate school at the School of Freshwater Sciences.

You must indicate in the Reasons Statement that you are applying to the Thesis track and explain the intended focus of your studies. Your statement must also indicate how your previous education has prepared you for graduate studies. Students in the MS Thesis program must be accepted by a faculty member who will serve as the major professor, and be primarily responsible for matriculation.

All application materials (including transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation) are due by the application deadline.

Professional Science Master's Admission Requirements

Master of Science in Freshwater Sciences & Technology: Professional Science Track

You must meet Graduate School requirements in addition to the following to be considered for admission:

  1. A bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, public policy, or other appropriate natural science, social science or engineering discipline.
  2. A minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA.
  3. Three letters of recommendation completed by persons who can attest to your scholarship and/or research potential and your success in graduate school at the School of Freshwater Sciences.

You must indicate in the Reasons Statement that you are applying to the Professional Science track and explain the intended focus of your studies. The statement must also indicate how your previous education has prepared you for graduate studies. Professional Science track MS students are paired with an advisor whose interests most closely align with their own.

All application materials (including transcripts, and letters of recommendation) are due by the application deadline. The Professional Science MS does not require GRE scores.

Non-Degree Candidate (NDC) Admission

Non-Degree Candidate (NDC) Admission

This admission category (also referred to as Graduate Special) allows you to take courses for graduate credit without pursuing a degree. Acceptance as an NDC does not guarantee admission to a graduate degree program.

NDC students are usually not eligible for financial aid. Check with the  Financial Aid Office regarding your particular situation. International applicants need to contact the Center for International Education for additional NDC requirements.

For information on transferring graduate level credits taken as an NDC prior to admission see the Graduate School Credit Transfer information. For complete details on NDC admission, please visit the UWM Graduate School.

International Admissions

International Admissions

Visit the UWM Center for International Education for additional fees, academic documentation, and proof of English language proficiency requirements.