Application Procedures

Graduate Application Procedure

The following steps are recommended for applicants.

  1. Check the Graduate School’s admission page.
  2. Check the requirements and credentials for the Geography programs.
  1. Prepare for materials and arrange with referees.
  2. Apply online at the Panthera Graduate Admission Application. Applicants are highly encouraged to register for and attend the Graduate School Open House prior to applications. Check the schedule at the Graduate School.

The following section provides more details about specific materials needed for application.

Reasons for Graduate Study

All applicants must provide a statement outlining their research interests and academic background, their goals for pursuing a graduate degree in Geography, and other relevant professional and research experience. This statement should also address how the applicant’s academic background and training has prepared them for graduate research in Geography. The Reasons statement should not exceed two-single sided pages. It is used to determine the appropriateness of UWM’s programs to your educational and professional goals and serves as an example of your ability to express yourself in writing. Your Reasons statement is an essential part of your application, and your file is not complete until we have received it.

Letters of Recommendation

You must provide email addresses (official ones preferred) of three individuals to the online application system who will be contacted for letters of recommendation. Alternatively, you may have the letters sent directly to the Geography Department at the following addresses:

Postal Address:
UWM Department of Geography
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413

Street Address: (for private couriers)
UWM Department of Geography
3210 N. Maryland Ave. Suite 410
Milwaukee, WI 53211-0413

Writing Sample

All applicants should submit a writing sample. The writing sample can be a paper written for a class, a thesis chapter, or part of longer piece of writing. It should not exceed 20 pages. Questions about the writing sample should be directed to the Graduate Program Chair.


If you have previously submitted/requested these items, please follow up with your University or our Graduate School Department on the forwarding status of your pending application material at (414) 229-6569 or

If you have any other questions regarding our Geography Program, please contact our Graduate Program Associate Niko Papakis at 414-229-4866 or via email at

Recommended Filing Dates

December 1 December 1st is the due date for all students seeking any forms of financial support from the UWM Graduate School and the Geography Department (e.g., Graduate School Fellowships, and Geography Department Teaching/Research Assistantships).
April 30 Fall Semester Admission WITHOUT funding consideration

Departmental policy is to admit students into degree programs starting in the Fall semester only, because of the inherent disadvantage to students entering the program at other times. Late submission of materials may leave insufficient time for processing the application.

Application Processing

Application Review

Both the Graduate School and the Geography Department will review your application for admission. The Graduate School examines whether your application meets the minimum qualifications. The Geography Department will review your application and make a recommendation on your admission to the Graduate School.


The Graduate School will make the final decision on your application, based on the Geography Department’s recommendation and Graduate School admission standards. The Graduate School will notify you of an official decision. Any statements about admission (expressed or implied) received from any other source are unofficial and not binding.

Grade Point Average for Admissions Purposes

The Graduate School calculates a grade point average on all work up to the awarding of your bachelor’s degree. As this calculation includes letter grades earned for attempts in repeated coursework and may include work that your degree-granting institution did not accept in transfer, the admissions GPA may be different from the GPA on your transcripts.

Processing Times

On average, it takes ten weeks for the complete process (from submission of the application to decision). Processing times for individual applications vary widely, however, depending on how promptly a file becomes complete and the time required by the program for its review.

Campus Tour

At any time either before or after the application process, prospective students can participate in a campus tour offered by the Graduate School. For more information, see

Deferred Admission

Admission is applicable only for the semester and program indicated in the Graduate School admission letter. If you were admitted but unable to enroll in the semester of admission, you may request, in writing or by e-mail, that the application be reconsidered for a term within a year following your initial admission decision.