Scholarships and Financial Aid

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

New! Students who enroll in our undergraduate program may automatically qualify for the Chancellor’s Merit Scholarship, for freshmen starting in Fall 2021. Awarded based on GPA, the scholarships are renewable for up to four years, as long as students remain in good academic standing at UWM. No scholarship application is required.

SFS Scholarships and Awards

All School of Freshwater Sciences scholarship applications will be submitted through the Panther Scholarship Portal.  Get started by logging into the portal below with the same ePantherID credentials that you use to log into your PAWS account.

Panther Scholarship Portal

New! Friends of Water Undergraduate Scholarship

We are pleased to introduce the Friends of Water Scholarship for new freshmen and transfer students majoring in Freshwater Sciences. These $500 awards are for full-time undergraduate students starting in Fall 2021. In addition, if you are a first-generation student, hold military or veteran status, or are a member of a racial or ethnic minority group underrepresented in higher education in UW System, you are eligible to receive an additional $500.

Awards are disbursed over two terms in the academic year, fall 2021 and spring 2022, as long as students remain in good academic standing and full-time enrollment at UWM.  Students must complete the General Application in the Panther Scholarship Portal in order to receive their scholarship.

Be sure to visit our Freshwater Sciences bachelor’s program page for all the details about this exciting new addition to our offerings!

School of Freshwater Sciences Student Fund Travel Awards

The School of Freshwater Sciences Student Fund Travel Awards offers partial funding to SFS Master’s and Doctoral students when attending events, such as conferences and workshops, hosted by an academic or professional organization related to your discipline. Such activities are an important part of your professional development, offering opportunities to establish professional networks, contacts for collaborative research, and sources of potential future employment. Funded amounts vary depending on available funding, distance, prior and current support. Awards are provided as reimbursement of expenses after the travel has been completed.

You must be enrolled in a freshwater sciences graduate degree program.
Applicants are not accepted for events occurring after graduation.

Program Limitations:
There is a cumulative limit of $1,000 per student for each graduate degree program in which the student is enrolled.

Travel Guidelines:
Review the Guide to Receiving Your Reimbursement for important information on making travel arrangements and documentation you will need for reimbursement of eligible expenses.

Students who are planning to drive personal vehicles or rental cars must be registered and authorized by UWM. See the Drivers and Vehicles website.

Awardees must comply with the State and campus travel policies and procedures. You will only be reimbursed for eligible expenses for the least expensive method of travel, which is not necessarily by automobile.

How to apply:
Submit the application as far as possible before the event.
If you are presenting at a conference, you must also seek travel support through the Graduate Student Travel Award process.

Brookby Scholarships in Water Science Literacy - $5,000

Design and implement a water outreach and education plan to serve a targeted segment of the community. This project can fulfill the Professional Science Master’s internship requirement (or count as a 1-credit independent study if the internship requirement has already been fulfilled).  Review the scholarship and internship guidelines prior to applying.

Award Information:
Two $5,000 scholarships will be awarded during the 2021-2022 academic year.  The students must be enrolled in either Frhswtr 980 for their internship requirement or a 1-credit independent study course.

Current enrollment in the School of Freshwater Sciences MS Professional Science degree program.

Selection Process:
The SFS Academic Policies and Curriculum Committee and the SFS Outreach Coordinator (Liz Sutton) will review proposals and select scholarship recipients.

All interested applicants must meet with Liz Sutton and their advisor to discuss potential projects and opportunities. Liz will meet with you as needed to assist with your final outreach plan submission.

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until both scholarships have been awarded.

Brookby Scholarship Application

Kopmeier Scholarship - $2,000

The Kopmeier family established this annual $2,000 scholarship to support one Freshwater Sciences graduate student with a water policy or human and ecosystem health focus.

Award Information:
One (1) $2000 scholarship will be awarded each academic year.  The scholarship will be split between the fall and spring semesters upon verification of enrollment.

Current enrollment in a School of Freshwater Sciences graduate degree program and studying water policy or human and ecosystem health.

Kunkel Scholarship - $2,000

The Kunkel Scholarship provides a scholarship to under-served students at the university of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Rewards from this scholarship alternate annually between Freshwater Sciences and College of Letters & Sciences students.

Award Information:
One (1) $2000 scholarship will be awarded each academic year.  The scholarship will be split between the fall and spring semesters upon verification of enrollment.

Current enrollment in a School of Freshwater Sciences degree program.

The Loescher Great Lakes Scholarship - $1,000

Michael Loescher has been involved with the study and enjoyment of fresh water since his early childhood in Wisconsin. An avid boater on the Great Lakes, he has been commissioned as a US Coast Guard Captain, and is passionate about the protection and study of these waters and global freshwater systems in general. Mr. Loescher received his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the UWM College of Engineering & Applied Science in 1991 and a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Marquette University in 1999.

Linda Loescher has lived near Lake Michigan all her life. She enjoys the Great Lakes’ freshwater water and beaches. She feels strongly about their protection and sensible use. Mrs. Loescher knows the value of collegiate education and research.

By establishing both scholarship and research funds in the School of Freshwater Sciences, Michael and Linda seek to strengthen UWM’s academic and research programs relating to the protection of global fresh water.

Award Information:
One (1) to two (2) scholarships – totaling $1,000 – will be awarded.  The scholarship will be split between the fall and spring semesters upon verification of enrollment.

Current enrollment in a School of Freshwater Sciences degree program.

Natural Resources Technology - $1,000

Natural Resource Technology, Inc., an environmental consulting firm, has a strong and growing partnership with the School of Freshwater Sciences, including participating on the School’s Professional Science Master’s Advisory Board and providing internships and employment opportunities to Freshwater graduate students.

Award Information:
One (1) $1,000 scholarship will be awarded each academic year.  The scholarship will be split between the fall and spring semesters upon verification of enrollment.

Current enrollment in the MS Professional Sciences Freshwater Sciences program

Watertech of America Scholarship - $2,000

Joseph and Linda Russell, owners of Watertech of America, honored the memory of Watertech’s founder, Eugene “Gene” VandenHeuvel, through the establishment of the first endowed scholarship.

Award Information:
Two (2) to four (4) scholarships – averaging $500-$1,000 – will be awarded for each academic year.  The scholarship will be split between the fall and spring semesters upon verification of enrollment.

Current enrollment in a School of Freshwater Sciences degree program

SFS Research Assistantships

Research assistantships (RA’s) provide support for specific research projects through external grants and projects awarded to individual faculty. You are encouraged to contact faculty whose research interests align with your own.  A limited number of RA’s are available for MS thesis track and PhD students. RA’s provide recipients with a monthly stipend, tuition remission, and state-sponsored health insurance.

Learn more about research assistantships.

Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP)

The School of Freshwater Sciences participates in the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP), a multi-state tuition reciprocity program. Through the MSEP, students from Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and North Dakota pay no more than 150% of the in-state resident tuition.

Other Financial Support

UWM Graduate School Fellowships

Deadline: The deadline to submit your online application for 2019-2020 Fellowships is January 14, 2019.

The Graduate School currently offers three fellowships for full-time study, each with a monthly stipend for the academic year, coverage of in-state tuition and remission of out-of-state tuition (for students who are not residents of the State of Wisconsin), and eligibility for state-sponsored health insurance. Fellowship recipients are responsible for paying segregated fees.  Click here to review fellowship information.

1. Members of groups underrepresented in graduate study.
2. First-generation college graduates who were eligible for Pell Grants or considered “high financial need.”
3. Students with disabilities.

Other Graduate School Financial Support

Explore other Graduate School Financial Support opportunities including:

  • Assistantships
  • Travel Awards
  • Golda Meir Library Scholar Awards
  • External Fellowships
UWM Financial Aid
UWM Office of Research

The UWM Office of Research provides resources for external funding.

  • Finding Funding – Links to a variety of Comprehensive Search Engines and Funding Alert Services for federal and non-federal opportunities.
  • PIVOT Funding Database – A comprehensive database of funding opportunities available to all members of the UWM community.