Undergraduate students in their last year at UWM can find important graduation information here. Contact your Academic Advisor if you have any questions or concerns related to graduation.
Your last year should be planned out as carefully as your first.
Your Last Year
Between your review of your PAWS Academic Advisement Report and twice-a-year meetings with your Academic Advisor, you should be on track to meet all graduation requirements.
Your General Education Requirements should be nearly, if not completely satisfied.
The course requirements of your major should be mostly satisfied. Take advantage of your Enrollment Appointment so that you can add your final term’s classes as soon as possible. Be sure to include double-major or minor requirements, too.
You should be on track to meet the UWM General Degree Requirements for Undergraduates seeking a Bachelor’s Degree. Each School and College has it’s own set of Graduation Requirements related to Grade Point Average, Credits, and Residency.
Your Last Semester
After you’ve enrolled in your last semester of classes, apply for graduation in PAWS
. The application deadline is always at the beginning of the semester.
- Log in to PAWS
- Under the yellow Academics header, click in the drop down menu and select Apply for Graduation, then click the yellow arrow button
- On the Apply for Graduation page, click on your Academic Program in blue
- Select your graduation term from the Expected Graduation Term drop down menu, then click the CONTINUE button
- Click the Apply for Bachelor’s Degree button
- Complete the Apply for Graduation questionnaire, then click Submit
An email confirmation will be sent to you once your application is received.
Other steps in your final semester:
- Pay the $40 Graduation Application Fee in PAWS or in the Bursar Office
- Double-check that you don’t have an outstanding PAWS balance or any PAWS holds
- Check your UWM Email Address frequently for important updates on your degree or graduation
At least two months before graduation:
You’re strongly encouraged to attend the commencement ceremony, but participation isn’t required. You’ll receive a letter with the details of the ceremony from the Secretary of the University
2-3 weeks before the scheduled date.
If you’re graduating at the end of a summer session, you can participate in May Commencement (before the summer term begins). If you’re graduating at the end of a UWinteriM, you can participate in December Commencement.
If you have any questions about the commencement ceremony, contact the Secretary of the University.
Diplomas are not actually distributed at the commencement ceremony. Diplomas are sent to your PAWS
Mailing Address 8-10 weeks after the ceremony. International students should notify the Graduation Processing Office in Mellencamp Hall, Room 290 of any special instructions or foreign mailing address for their diploma.
The name listed in PAWS is the name that will be printed on your diploma and Official Transcript. If you want a different name or different spelling on your diploma, you will have to submit a Student Record Data Change Form in person at the Registrar’s Office at least 8 weeks before the commencement ceremony.
Replacement diplomas are available for a $35.00 reorder fee. You can complete the Replacement Diploma Form (PDF version or Online Version) or request a replacement in person at the Registrar’s Office.
You can request that someone else pick up your diploma, but an Authorization Letter For Diploma Pickup must be completed first. Please note that faxed and otherwise electronically transmitted copies of the PDF version of the authorization form will not be accepted. Form must be submitted in person or by mail, so we recommend the online version. The authorized recipient of the diploma must present a photo ID at the time of diploma pick up. A copy of the ID will be retained along with the letter.
If you have questions regarding your diploma, contact the Registrar’s Office.
How much is the graduation application fee?
The graduation application is $40. The fee goes towards processing expenses, commencement, and mailing diplomas.
When will I be charged the graduation application fee?
You’ll be billed the $40.00 grad app fee by the Bursar’s Office sometime during the semester. When you pay the fee, it will first be applied to fines on your account, so double-check that you don’t have any outstanding library, parking, or other fines.
What is the fee for Dual Degrees?
Dual Degree students pay an $80.00 grad app fee. If you’ll be receiving two degrees, you have to submit an application and fee for each degree.
Do I have to pay the fee if I'm not walking in the Commencement Ceremony?
Participation in the commencement ceremony is optional, but you have to pay the grad app fee either way.
Does the graduation fee cover the cost of my cap and gown?
The grad app fee offsets the costs of the commencement ceremony, diplomas, diploma covers and mailing. You must order and pay for your own cap & gown.
Am I required to attend the ceremony?
Attendance at the commencement ceremony is optional.
When are commencement ceremonies held?
Commencement exercises are held in both May and December.
Which commencement ceremony do I attend if I finish my courses in Summer or UWinteriM?
Students who graduate at the end of summer sessions may participate in the May commencement and UWinteriM graduates may participate in December Commencement.
Will I receive any information and who notifies me?
Two or three weeks prior to the graduation date you will receive a letter from the Office of the Secretary of the University with the specific time and location of the commencement ceremony. This information is also posted online
. If you don’t receive this letter or if you misplace it, please contact the Registrar’s Office
. Graduate Students must contact the Graduate School
for all commencement information.
When and where are the commencement ceremonies held?
General commencement ceremony information is available online anytime from the Secretary of the University
How do I get tickets for the ceremony?
Tickets are not required for family, friends, or anyone who wishes to watch the commencement ceremony. Seating is on a first-come-first-served basis.
When will I receive my diploma?
Approximately 8-10 weeks after commencement your diploma will be mailed to your PAWS Mailing Address (verify or change your mailing address in PAWS). In general, diplomas are mailed using the following schedule:
- 4th week in February for December graduates
- 2nd week in March for UWinteriM graduates
- 4th week in July for Spring graduates
- 4th week in October for Summer graduates
What if I'm an International Student with a special mailing request?
International students should notify the Graduation Processing Office in the Registrar’s Office
of any special instructions, or if a diploma needs to be sent to a foreign mailing address.
How do I get a replacement or additional diploma?
A graduate may order additional or replacement diplomas from the Registrar’s Office for a $35.00 fee.
The Replacement Diploma Order Form can either be completed online, or a paper copy can be mailed to or dropped of at the Registrar’s Office.
How do I get a diploma cover?
Diploma covers are distributed during the commencement ceremony to students who attend. If after receiving your diploma you need a cover, you may pick one up in the Registrar’s Office
or you can contact the Registrar’s Office
to have a diploma cover sent to you.
Can someone pick up my diploma for me?
Yes, but an Authorization Letter for Diploma Pickup
must be completed first. Please note that faxed and otherwise electronically transmitted copies of this authorization form will not be accepted. Form must be submitted in person or by mail. The authorized recipient of the diploma must present a photo ID at the time of diploma pick up. A copy of the ID will be retained along with the original letter.
If you have questions about the authorization letter, contact the Registrar’s Office for more information.
When will my degree be posted?
It takes some time for your degree to be posted and appear on your student record after your date of graduation. The amount of time is variable depending on the school or college within the university that is granting your degree. It could be 6-8 weeks after the final grade run, or it could be as long as 3 months after the end of your final term. Posted degrees appear on both your Official and Unofficial Transcript.
What if I'm missing requirements?
Students with missing requirements such as courses with incomplete grades that have lapsed to F, transfer grades, grade changes and/or course substitutions and student waivers not submitted within 30 days after the date of graduation will typically have their degree posted for the next term.
Where can I check to see if my degree is posted?
A student may check to see if their degree has been posted using the following steps:
- Login to your Student Center via PAWS
- Click on the “My Academics” link
- Click on “View my graduation status”
Students who have applied for graduation and require verification of their graduation date from the University are able to generate a graduation verification letter online at uwm.edu/gradletter. This letter is for prospective graduates whose degrees are not yet posted or graduates who have not yet received their diploma. The letter will include the following information:
- Full Name
- Expected graduation date
As a UWM graduate, you’re automatically a member of the UWM Alumni Association.
UWM Alumni can participate in an alumni chapter, receive personal benefits and campus perks, and connect with a large network of UWM graduates.
For more information, contact the UWM Alumni Association.