Before You Enroll

Before enrollment opens every term, it is important for you to make sure you will be eligible to enroll.  Please log into PAWS, and check the following items:

  • HOLDS – View this section in the upper right hand corner of your PAWS Student Center. You can click the blue details link to view a full list of your holds. Click on the name of the hold in blue to read the instructions for removal. If you have trouble understanding your next steps, you will also find contact information for the department that placed the hold so that you can ask for help.  The most common reasons for enrollment holds are a past due balance with the Bursar’s Office or a requirement that you meet with your academic advisor prior to enrolling.
  • ENROLLMENT APPOINTMENT – View this section in the right hand column of your PAWS Student Center.  The day/time that’s listed indicates the point at which you can begin enrolling in classes for the specified term.  To learn more about how and when enrollment appointment are assigned, please visit the enrollment appointments page.  You can only enroll while the term is open, following this general schedule:
    • Fall term opens in April
    • UWinteriM opens in October
    • Spring term opens in November
    • Summer term opens in March/April
  • TO DO LIST – View this section in the right hand column of your PAWS Student Center.  Every fall and spring semester, you will need to complete the Panther Enrollment Checklist, which provides you with critical enrollment-related information along with a way to update and confirm your contact information prior to enrolling for classes.  You will receive an email at your campus ( email address in early November (spring enrollment) and in early April (fall enrollment) that indicates the Panther Enrollment Checklist is available on your PAWS account.
Instructions for Completing the Panther Enrollment Checklist

To complete the checklist, students click on the Panther Enrollment Checklist link in the To Do List section of their PAWS account, and work through the onscreen steps (see detailed screenshots):

Review the information on the Launch page, click Mark As Read, and then click Next.

If updates to Addresses need to be made, enter the changes by clicking Edit or Add A New Address.  Once that is completed, or if no changes are needed, click Mark As Read and then Next.

If updates to Phone Numbers need to be made, enter the changes by clicking Edit or Add A Phone Number.  Once that is completed, or if no changes are needed, click Mark As Read and then Next.

If updates to Emergency Contacts need to be made, enter the changes by clicking Edit or Add An Emergency Contact.  Once that is completed, or if no changes are needed, click Mark As Read and then Next.

Review the information on the Complete page, then click Finish.  This will immediately release the Panther Enrollment Checklist enrollment hold.

Students will receive a confirmation email at their campus ( email address after the checklist is completed.  This email includes important dates and deadlines for enrolling in the upcoming semester.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to the Registrar’s Office Contact Form.


  • PREREQUISITES, PLACEMENTS, and POLICIES – It is important that you make sure you have met the requirements to enroll in your individual courses.  Please review the prerequisites for these courses, as well as the course placement and various other policies below that relate to enrollment at UWM.  These include policies on academic load, class standing, and course repeats among other things.

Many courses have prerequisites that you are expected to satisfy prior to enrollment. Typical examples include a certain year in school (“Junior Standing”), other specific courses (“Physics 201”), a particular placement test score, admission to a particular major, or consent of the instructor.Instructors have the right to enforce prerequisite requirements and may deny or permit enrollment accordingly.

Certain courses cannot be taken out of sequence. You can always check the prerequisites of a course ahead of time to find out if you’ll lose credit for taking a course out of sequence.

If you do not meet the prerequisites for a specific course but feel that you are academically prepared to take the course anyway, you can request permission from the course instructor or department. Generally, if you do not meet prerequisites for a class you will not be able to enroll yourself in it using PAWS. In this case, you will receive an error message stating that consent or permission is required.

If you do not meet a course prerequisite but have been able to enroll anyway, you may be administratively dropped from the course or you may be required to drop the course.

  • Drop a course as soon as you know you can’t remain in the class. It is the student’s responsibility to drop any classes for which they do not meet published prerequisites.
  • Do not wait for the department to complete an administrative drop, as fees for dropped classes are based on the date you drop the class in PAWS or the date your drop form is submitted to the Registrar’s Office.

If a course requires one or more prerequisites, details are listed in the notes section in the Schedule of Classes or under the class description in PAWS.

Prerequisite Abbreviations
(P) Prerequisite A course in which a student is required to earn credit prior to being allowed to enroll in a subsequent higher-level course.
(NP) Non-repeatable Prerequisite A prerequisite course for which the student is not permitted to substitute the grade earned when the course is repeated subsequent to earning credit in the higher-level course.
(C) Co-requisite A course which may be taken as either a prerequisite or as a concurrent registration with the higher-level course.
(NC) Non-repeatable Co-requisite A co-requisite course for which the student is not permitted to substitute the grade earned when the course is repeated subsequent to earning credit in the higher-level course
(R) Recommended Course A course which the instructor strongly recommends be taken prior to enrollment in a subsequent course.
(ER) Enrollment Restriction A course which is not open for enrollment to students that have earned credits in a specified course (or courses) with similar or overlapping content.
Course Placement

Although many courses are open to freshmen and all other students, core courses in the areas of English and Math require a placement that serves as your starting point in the course sequence.  Placement is also available in Foreign Language and Chemistry.  Your placement is typically determined by scores on placement exams and other standardized tests, like ACT, or prior college credit that you earned in the subject area at another institution or through advanced standing exams, like AP or IB.

Math Course Placement by Major

Regardless of your major, all UWM students need to satisfy a general education requirement in mathematics. The math course(s) required to attain your degree vary by major.

For entering freshmen, math placement is determined based on a combination of UWM’s math placement test results and your ACT math subscore. Transfer students’ placement for math can be determined from transferred math courses or from our math placement tests and ACT scores (if they’ve been submitted to UWM).

The Math Department maintains information on Math Placement levels and codes.

No matter where you’ve placed on UWM math placement test, if the math subscore of your ACT is an 18 or higher, you qualify for credit-bearing math courses (Math 103 and Math 111/Philos 111) that are appropriate for some majors. If your major does not include coursework that would require a higher level of math proficiency then you will not need to take a non-credit math class — you will be able to enroll in Math 103 or Math 111/Philos 111 due to your ACT math subscore.  It is always a good idea to discuss your academic plans with a School/College advisor.

Majors whose math requirement is satisfied by Math 103 or Math 111/Philos 111
  • Africology
  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Art Education
  • Art History
  • Classics
  • Communication
  • Comparative Literature
  • Criminal Justice
  • Dance
  • English
  • Film
  • Film Studies
  • French
  • German
  • Global Studies (tracks other than Global Management)
  • History
  • Information Science and Technology
  • Inter Arts
  • International Studies
  • Italian
  • Jewish Studies
  • Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies
  • Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Music
  • Music Education
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology (BA)
  • Religious Studies
  • Russian
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Theatre
  • Women’s Studies
Placement Tests Offered

The UW-Milwaukee Testing Center offers placement testing in math, English (native & non-native speakers), foreign language (Japanese, French, German, Spanish), and chemistry. Placement tests are designed to determine which classes you are eligible to register for in a given subject area. They do not affect your admission status. See descriptions below for more information on each test.

New freshmen planning to attend any UW-Milwaukee campus location must register via the Freshmen Placement Testing website.

Current and Transfer students at UW-Milwaukee’s main campus should register for placement tests at  Current and transfer students at the Waukesha or Washington County campus, must contact their campus directly to register for placement testing:

UW-Milwaukee at Washington County

UW-Milwaukee at Waukesha

Upon completion, placement test score results are loaded to your record in PAWS and milestones indicating your placement level in corresponding courses are created.  You can view placement records by selecting “Placement Tests” in the drop-down in the Academics section of your PAWS account.  Placement levels are determined by the academic department affiliated with the exam and are reviewed annually. New Freshmen do not receive their placement test results until they attend their New Student Orientation session.

Math Placement Test

The Mathematics Placement Test consists of 85 items measuring three different sets of skills: Math Fundamentals, Advanced Algebra, and Trigonometry & Analytic Geometry. The test is 90 minutes. Students are allowed to bring and use a scientific calculator; however calculators often will not be provided at the test site. Graphing calculators may not be used and will not be permitted in the testing room. Only non graphing, non programmable calculators are permitted for use on this test.

English Placement Test - Native Speakers

The English Placement Test consists of three subtests. These subtests are English Usage, Sentence Correction, and Reading Comprehension. The English Placement Test is is 90 minutes long.

Beginning with Fall 2020 admits, at UW-Milwaukee you are not required to take the UW System English placement test (EPT) for placement into your English writing courses. Those admitted prior to Fall 2020 are placed into English writing courses based on their UW System English Placement Test (EPT) score if no prior applicable college English credit has been earned.

For those admitted Fall 2020 and later, you are placed into your English writing courses based on your ACT English score or your SAT ERW (Evidence-based Reading & Writing) score. If you choose to complete the UW System English placement test (EPT), the score can be utilized for placement as well. If you have multiple scores in your UW-Milwaukee records (for example, two different ACT scores, an ACT score and an SAT score, an ACT score, and an EPT score, etc.), then you are permitted to utilize whichever score gives you the highest placement level.

To graduate, all UW-Milwaukee students must satisfy the General Education Requirements (GER). The scores on these tests place you into courses that will satisfy your General Education Requirement (GER) known as the Oral and Written Communication (OWC) Competency Part A. To satisfy this requirement; a student must earn credit with a grade of C or higher in English 102 or achieve an appropriate test score to satisfy the requirement. Students placing into English 100 or 101 will need to complete that course with a grade of C or higher (you only need to complete either English 100 or 101, not both courses) then complete English 102. Students testing into English 102 will need to complete that course with a grade of C or higher. Students with a sufficient score will test out of having to complete English 100, 101, or 102.

Course Placement ACT English Score SAT ERW Score UW System English Placement Test Score
ENGLISH 100 1-16 200-460 150-360
ENGLISH 101 17-24 461-590 361-550
ENGLISH 102 25-28 591-650 551-610
Test Out/GER Part A satisfied 29-36 651-800 611-850
English Placement Test - Non-Native Speakers

If you grew up speaking a language other than English, you should take this test. As a non-native writer of English, you can complete your English writing requirement by taking English for Academic Purposes (EAP) writing courses instead of the English writing courses designed for native speakers of English. The support provided in the EAP writing courses can also help you do better in all of your university courses.

For more information on the EPT-NNSE, contact Brooke Haley at or visit her office in Curtin Hall 678.

Note: This test is only offered at UW-Milwaukee and is not available at Regional Placement Testing or through computer-based placement testing. The test is administered at UW-Milwaukee on computer via a program called Accuplacer. There are two sections for this exam: reading and writing. Please allow approximately 90 minutes to complete the exam.

Foreign Language Placement Test

If you plan on enrolling in a French, German or Spanish course, you are required to take the appropriate foreign language test. Students placing into certain foreign language courses may be eligible for retro-credits upon completion of that UWM course. These tests are 60 minutes.

UW-Milwaukee has a General Education Requirement for foreign language. If you have met this requirement then foreign language placement testing is optional. If you plan to continue your studies in French, German or Spanish you should take the foreign language placement test. Students planning to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree through the College of Letters and Science may be required to complete foreign language coursework beyond the University’s General Education Requirement.  Please check the list of majors that fall under the B.A. requirements to determine if you need to take the foreign language placement test. Click here for more information on the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. It is recommended that students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Letters and Science consider taking a foreign language placement exam in the language they studied in high school.

If you studied a language in high school for which a standardized placement test is not offered at our testing center, a language other than Spanish, French, German or Japanese, and you wish to continue your study of that language; you should contact that department directly for information on how to place higher than the level one introduction course. UW-Milwaukee offers language study in American Sign Language (ASL), Arabic, Chinese, Classics (Latin/Greek), German, French, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Swedish/Scandinavian.

Chemistry Placement Test

If you are a non-science major, you will not need to complete the chemistry placement test. If you plan to major in the sciences, health sciences, nursing, or engineering and your major appears on the list of majors referenced below, you are only required to complete the chemistry test if you want to try to test out of the first level of chemistry (Chemistry 100). If you plan to start in the first level of chemistry, you are not required to complete the chemistry test. If you would like to start your chemistry studies above Chemistry 100 in Chemistry 101, 102, or 105, you must place sufficiently in the chemistry and math tests. Please check the list of majors below for those that require the chemistry exam to test out of the first level of chemistry. Student preparation for this test is assumed to include at least one full year of high school chemistry and one full year of high school algebra.

There are three parts to the test: Part I General Mathematics; Part II General Chemical Knowledge; Part III Specific Chemical Knowledge. This test is 55 minutes. Non graphing, non-programmable calculators are permitted for use on this test. Please note that chemistry placement testing is unique to UW-Milwaukee and is not offered via Regional testing or computer-based testing.

Majors Requiring Chemistry Placement Test

Below is a list of majors, by school/college, that require the Chemistry Placement Test in order to place into the second level of Chemistry.

College of Health Sciences
BioMedical Sciences (BioMedical Sciences, Cytotechnology, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Sciences, Public Health Microbiology, Radiologic Technology)*

*Includes all sub-majors

College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
BioMedical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Engineering Science
Engineering Undecided
Industrial Engineering
Materials Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

College of Letters and Science
Atmospheric Science
Biological Sciences
Conservation & Environmental Sciences
Geological Sciences
Pre-Health Professions
Pre-Physician Assistant
Pre-Veterinary Medicine

College of Nursing

Placement Retest Policy
UW-Milwaukee students are eligible to take the UW-System placement test twice based on the following:

A student may retake math one time under the following conditions:

  • It has been 25 days since the first time the exam was taken. An alternate test form will be administered.
  • The student has not started course work in the subject. During the add/drop period (first two weeks of classes) this is waived.
  • The student has not had coursework in the subject area for the last two years. (courses in the math sequence 090, 092, 094, 095, 098, 103, 105, 106, 117, 175, 205, 211, 215, 225 221,231)*.
  • The student must not have course work that transfers as credit to UWM in the math sequence.**
  • The student has received permission from the math department to re-test for a third time or within the required waiting period. This is done on an appeal basis and the Testing Center requires written permission on department letterhead.

A student may retake English one time under the following conditions

  • It has been at least 7 days since the first test attempt
  • The student must not have UWM coursework or transfer credit from the current or previous semester for courses in the English sequence 090, 095, 100, 101, 102. This does not apply if the student is currently within or withdrew during the 1st UWM official withdrawal date period for that semester.
  • The student has received permission from the English department to retest for a third time, within the required waiting period or in exception of the coursework policy.

A student may retake the Foreign Language Placement Test (French/German/Spanish) one time under the following conditions:

  • It has been 16 weeks since the first time the exam was taken. An alternate test form will be administered.
  • The student has received permission from the corresponding language department (French-Department of French, Italian & Comparative Literature; German-Department of Foreign Language and Literature; Spanish-Department of Spanish & Portuguese) to re-test for a third time or within the required waiting period. This is done on an appeal basis and the Testing Center requires written permission from the department.

A student may retake the English Placement Test for Non-Native Speakers (EPT-NNSE) one time under the following conditions:

  • It has been 16 weeks since the first time they took the exam. An alternate test form will be administered.
  • The student has received permission from the EAP department to re-test within the required waiting period. This is done on an appeal basis and the Testing Center requires written permission on department letterhead.

A student may retake chemistry one time under the following conditions:

  • It has been 8 weeks since the first time the exam was taken.
  • The student has not started course work in the subject. During the add/drop period (first two weeks of classes) this is waived.
  • The student has not had coursework in the subject area for the last two years. (courses in the chemistry sequence 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105)*.
  • The student must not have course work that transfers as credit to UWM in the chemistry sequence.**
  • The student has received permission from the chemistry department to re-test for a third time or within the required waiting period. This is done on an appeal basis and the Testing Center requires written permission on department letterhead.

*These restrictions are necessary to ensure that recent familiarity with material on the subject is not reflected in inappropriately higher scores. It is the responsibility of the Testing Center to incorporate these restrictions into the testing procedures.
**Transfer credit in course area is determined by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. When a math, English or chemistry course from a previous institution transfers as an equivalent UWM course, it is determined that the student has been exposed to the test material.
For all other circumstances, please refer student to the Testing Center Assistant Director.

Accommodated Placement Testing
Testing Students with Disabilities Policy

According to The University of Wisconsin System Policy on Individuals with Disabilities, no qualified individual with a disability shall be denied access to or participation in any program, service, or activity offered by the universities. Individuals with disabilities have a right to request accommodations.

Students requesting accommodations for their placement tests should not register themselves for testing online. They must follow the procedures below in order to receive accommodations. Accommodated testing is not offered during regularly scheduled placement testing sessions, they are scheduled on an individual basis after approval.

  • If you are an incoming new freshmen who plans to start during a summer/fall term, it is required that students follow the directions set forth by the UW Center for Placement Testing. Approval is granted via the UW Center for Placement Testing.
  • If you are a current UW-Milwaukee student or an incoming new freshman who plans to start during a winter/spring term, please contact our Placement Coordinator via email at to request accommodations. We will work with you to determine appropriate accommodations and then register you for a test session.


Other Placement-Related Testing

UWM offers a number of other placement-related tests for UWM students.

American College Testing (ACT) Residual

This college entrance exam is used to determine admission to the university. The residual ACT is taken in the UWM Testing Center and the scores may only be used at UWM. You must have a current UWM application on file or be a current UWM student to register for the residual ACT. The length of the test is 3 3/4 hours. There is a $50.00 fee, which must be paid at the time of testing. You must wait 60 days before retesting or your scores will be invalid. Graphing calculators are allowed.

The residual ACT is offered on specific dates throughout the year. An appointment is required to take this test. View the exam schedule and register at UWM Online Test Registration. Milwaukee Test Center Code: 4658

Admission Test Series

This test series is offered to applicants who do not meet UWM’s standard admission criteria. The results of these tests will assist in determining admissibility to the University. The test series lasts approximately 4 hours and includes an English placement test, math placement test and the Nelson Denny Reading Test. The use of a non-graphing, non-programmable calculator is allowed.

You must have a request from the UWM Office of Undergraduate Admissions on file to complete this exam series. There is no fee for this test. An appointment is required to complete the Admission Test Series (ATS). The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will notify you with the results of your tests and the status of your admission.

This Admission Test Series includes the English Placement Test, the Math Placement Test, and the Nelson Denny Reading Test.

See the Placement Tests Offered section for more information on the English Placement Test and the Math Placement Test.

The Nelson-Denny is a two-part test that measures vocabulary development, comprehension, and reading rate. Part I (Vocabulary) is a 15 minute test; Part II (Comprehension and Rate) is a 20 minute test.

College Level Exam Program (CLEP)

CLEP is a series of examinations that allow individuals to earn college credit for what they already know. This test is internet-based and score reports are available upon completion of the exam. The test is offered multiple times per month.  See more information, including registration, on the Registrar’s Office website.

Information on earning UWM credit through the CLEP exam can be found on the One Stop website.

Enrollment Policies
Below are various policies that relate to your enrollment in courses at UWM.
Academic Credit Load
The below chart provides status determinations used by federal, state, or private agencies. In order to be reported as fully-enrolled for a term, a student must be enrolled as of the day after the add deadline in that term. Prior to the add deadline, students are considered registered but not fully enrolled.

Fall/Spring Semester Credit Totals
Student Full Time Half Time Less Than Half
Undergraduates 12 or more 6-11 1-5
Graduates 8 or more 4-7 1-3
Summer Session Credit Totals
Undergraduates 6 or more 3-5 1-2
Graduates 6 or more 3-5 1-2

Teaching or program/project assistants that are employed at 1/3 or more time and enrolled for six or more credits during the fall and spring semesters are usually considered full time graduate students.

During each fall and spring semester until their dissertation is accepted by the Graduate School, doctoral students must be enrolled for either three graduate-level dissertation or research credits at the current per-credit dissertator rate. During any summers in which a doctoral student uses university facilities or faculty time, is a fellow or research assistant, or plans to graduate, the doctoral student must register for no more than three graduate level credits (dissertator rate) in the regular eight-week summer session.

Status & Financial Aid
Eligibility for veterans’ benefits and other types of aid may be based on different credit load requirements. AOC undergraduates are not considered full-time unless enrolled for 12 or more credits. English 90/95 and Math 90/95 will each be treated as the equivalent of a 3-credit class.

All students’ enrollment status for summer is defined to be the same as their fall/spring semester status. Department of Education rules require that the same credit load standards apply for spring, fall and summer session loan deferment verifications. Therefore, for undergraduates, an enrollment of at least six credits (half time enrollment) is required for loan deferment verification purposes for the summer session.

All status determinations and requirements are published through the Financial Aid Office.

Academic Credit Overloads

Maximum credit loads have been established for each term. Undergraduates who enroll beyond the max credit load will be assessed extra tuition above the normal full-time rate.

  • Fall or Spring terms: 18 credits in all schools and colleges, except Fine Arts (18 credits or three studio courses). The fall and spring registration limit in PAWS is 18 credits.
  • Summer term: 12 credits during the full term duration, but no more than four credits during any sessions less than or equal to four weeks. The summer enrollment limit in PAWS is 12 credits.
  • UWinteriM: 3 credits during the full term duration. The UWinteriM enrollment limit in PAWS is 3 credits. Due to the short duration of the term, overloads are generally not permitted during UWinteriM.

If an undergraduate student wishes to overload (take credits beyond the established maximum loads), they may request permission from their school or college advising office. Approval for overload does not waive any course prerequisites or permit enrollment in closed classes.

Graduate students may not register for more than 12 graduate credits in a Fall or Spring semester or 9 graduate credits in the eight-week Summer Session or a total of 12 graduate credits in all sessions between the conclusion of a Spring semester and the beginning of a fall semester. Audit, sport/recreation and colloquium seminar credits are not counted when determining a graduate student’s credit load.

If you are taking undergraduate certification coursework, are making up deficiencies, or have exceptional circumstances resulting in special hardship, you must appeal to Graduate Student Services for permission to carry more than the maximum credit load.

If you’re a doctoral student classified as a dissertator, you must be enrolled for three graduate-level credits (at the current dissertator rate) each semester until your doctoral dissertation is filed in the Golda Meir Library. The only number of credits for which a dissertator may register is three.

Approval for overload does not waive any course prerequisites or permit enrollment in closed classes. Forms must be submitted to Mellencamp 274 after the student’s initial registration appointment time, and will be processed by Registrar’s Office staff.

Administrative Drops

You may be administratively dropped from one or more of your classes in these situations:

  • If you enroll without permission in a class that you don’t meet the prerequisites for
  • If you don’t show up for the first week of class and don’t notify anyone
  • If you ever fail to meet the class attendance policy

Administrative Drops are initiated at the discretion of the department that is offering the course or by the course instructor. Departments and instructors have the right to enforce class prerequisite and attendance policies and may administratively drop students that do not meet the requirements. You are responsible for understanding course prerequisite or attendance policies as well as tuition for dropped classes.

Communicate with the course instructor if you feel you may be in danger of being administratively dropped, or drop a course as soon as you know you can’t remain in the class. Do not count on or wait for a department to complete an administrative drop as fees for dropped classes are based on the date you drop the class online via PAWS or the date your drop form is submitted to the Registrar’s Office.

Class Standing

Class standing may be used as a prerequisite for a course. The prerequisite given in the course listing refers to the qualifications and/or standing needed to enroll in a given course. If no prerequisite is listed, the course is generally open to all students. If more than one prerequisite is listed, all are necessary unless a choice is clearly indicated.

Class Standing by Credit Totals
Sophomore Junior Senior
Academic Opportunity Center 24-55 56-87 88 or more
Business & Information Studies 24-55 56-85 86 or more
Letters & Science 24-55 56-87 88 or more
Nursing 28-57 58-95 96 or more
All Other Majors 24-57 58-85 86 or more
Course Repeats

Unless a restriction is stated in the Schedule of Classes, undergraduates may repeat a course only once, and only the higher of the two grades will be calculated into the student’s grade point average (GPA). Both attempts will appear on the student’s transcript.  If retaking a class you already passed (e.g., to receive a better grade), the course may be repeated only once to be counted toward enrollment status for financial aid eligibility. If this passed course continues to be repeated, Title IV federal funds can no longer pay for this repeated course.

It is generally advisable for any student to consult an advisor before enrolling to repeat a course.

Students cannot enroll in the same course in the same term, even if the sessions are different.  If you know you will be unsuccessful in a course, you will have to repeat it in a subsequent semester.

If the UWM course repeats a course for which the student received transfer credit, the UWM course will be calculated into the GPA regardless of whether the UWM course grade is higher or lower. Both attempts will appear on the transcript. Once a bachelor’s degree has been earned, the academic career (credits, GPA, and coursework) starts over with any subsequent enrollment and the original record cannot be altered. Courses taken after the bachelor’s degree has been earned do not count as repeats of courses taken prior to the posting of the degree.

The single repeat limit applies to all courses, including courses taken for audit or with the credit/no credit option. Under exceptional circumstances additional repeats may be allowed following approval of a written appeal to the advising office of the student’s school or college. Departments offering the course have the right to establish special guidelines for additional repeats. Any special guidelines must apply to all students and shall be maintained, published, and enforced by the Registrar’s Office.

Exceptions to this policy are variable-topic courses which may be taken for credit as often as permitted for that particular course as specified in the Schedule of Classes. A variable-topic course may count as a repeat of a previously taken course only if the topic is identical to that of the student’s earlier enrollment and the repeat occurs within the same academic career.

Students who took a course as a repeat prior to fall 1988 are entitled to one additional enrollment. Transfer students who did not previously take a course at UWM are entitled to one repeat at UWM of a course taken at a previous institution.

If you have previously earned your degree from UWM, your attempted and earned credits as well as your cumulative GPA will start over with the courses you take in pursuit of your second degree. Courses taken as part of your first degree will not be considered repeats. Your original record cannot be altered.

Course Repeat Special Guidelines

As noted in the university’s policy on repeated courses, course repeats beyond the allowable limit must be approved by the student’s advising office. Effective as of Fall 2016, UWM’s College of Letters & Science and the Lubar School of Business have established additional guidelines requiring departmental approval for undergraduate students attempting classes offered by their academic units as well as the approval of the student’s academic unit.  Details on specific academic units requiring departmental approval for repeats after two attempts follow:

Published Guidelines for Repeats Beyond the Allowable Limit

AfricologyAllJeffrey Sommers
American Indian StudiesAllMichael Wilson
AnthropologyAllErica Bornstein
Art HistoryAllDerek Counts
(414) 229-4330
Biological SciencesAllLapham Hall #S181
(414) 229-4214
Business AdministrationAllLubar Hall #N297
(414) 229-5271
Chemistry & BiochemistryAllChemistry 114
(414) 229-4411
Students are permitted to attempt a single Chemistry or Biochemistry course or equivalent transfer course a maximum of three times. Students seeking to enroll in the same course for a second repeat (third attempt) must be approved to do so by the course instructor and the Chemistry and Biochemistry department by completing a permission form.
CommunicationAll(414) 229-4261
EconomicsAllRebecca Neumann
English100, 101 & 102Shevaun Watson
(414) 229-4511
Curtin #408
All othersGilberto Blasini
English for Academic PurposesAllBrooke Haley
To repeat an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course for the 3rd time, students must write an email to the EAP coordinator and their academic advisor explaining in detail why they failed the course two previous times. They should also explain what, specifically, they will do differently on the 3rd attempt to successfully complete the course.
Film StudiesAllGilberto Blasini
(414) 229-5912
Foreign Languages and LiteratureAllAndrew Porter
(414) 229-5564
French, Italian, and Comparative LiteratureAllRobin Pickering-Iazzi
(414) 229-4382
GeographyAllKristin Sziarto
(414) 229-3941
GeosciencesAllLindsay McHenry
(414) 251-9301
HistoryAllLex Renda
(414) 351-0511
Jewish StudiesAllRachel N. Baum
(414) 229-5156
Journalism, Advertising, and Media StudiesAll(414) 229-4436
LGBT StudiesAllDavid DiValerio
LinguisticsAllSandra Liliana Pucci
(414) 229-6166
MathStudents in UWM's College of Letters & ScienceL&S Advising
Holton 142
(414) 229-4654
Third attempts at Math courses can be approved at the discretion of the student’s School/College advising unit. All fourth takes need approval from the Mathematics Department.
Students in Other UWM Schools/CollegesRefer to the Contact List for UWM Academic Advising Offices
PhilosophyAllBlain Neufeld
(414) 229-4719
PhysicsAllphysics-ugadvisor@uwm.edu1. Complete required request form.
2. Contact Physics for a review appointment.
Political ScienceAllSara Benesh
(414) 229-6468
PsychologyAllAnna Morehouse
(414) 229-4746
The Psychology Department will allow students to retake a course twice (three attempts total). Per L&S procedures students must file a formal appeal to the department to be granted a second retake. This appeal can be filed using the online form found here. Appeals for additional retakes (more than two) will be considered by the Associate Chair and the course instructor and will be granted only in exceptional circumstances.
Public and Nonprofit AdministrationAllDoug Irhke
(414) 229-4732
Religious StudiesAllDavid DiValerio
Spanish and Portuguese103, 104, 203 & 204Allison Libbey
300 to 500Stellia Jordán
All PortugueseSusana Antunes
All Spanish & PortugueseKathleen Wheatley
Translation & InterpretingAllLorena Terando
Urban StudiesAllJoel Rast
Women's and Gender StudiesAllMelinda Brennan
(414) 251-8231
Credit Hour Policy

Study leading to one semester credit represents an investment of time by the average student of not fewer than 48 hours for class contact in lectures, for laboratories, examinations, tutorials and recitations, and for preparation and study; or a demonstration by the student of learning equivalent to that established as the expected product of such a period of study.

See the full UWM Credit Hour Policy.

Excess Credit Surcharge

Per UW Board of Regent policy, all resident undergraduate students who have accumulated 165 credits (or 30 credits more than required by their degree programs, whichever is greater) will be charged a surcharge, equal to 100 percent of the regular resident tuition, on credits beyond the 165 credit plateau.

This policy applies to all UW System earned credits and WTCS transfer credits accepted toward a degree. Credits transferred from other institutions, as well as other types of credit or coursework for which credit may be awarded (such as advanced placement, retroactive credits, credits by examination, remedial credits, etc.) are not included in the credit limit.

The surcharge will be applied to all students in the semester following the one in which they reached the earned credit limit.  UW-Milwaukee may make exceptions through an appeals process and grant waivers in cases of extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control.

The Registrar’s Office will issue a “Warning of Surcharge” communication to students who are nearing the 165 credit limit and a “Notification of Surcharge” communication to students who exceed the 165 credit limit. The letter will include policy information as well as appeal/waiver instructions which direct the student to visit the advising office within their school or college.

Approved appeals and surcharge waivers will be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office by the schools and colleges. Applicable surcharges will be assessed by the Bursar’s Office.  The Provost’s Office will be responsible for the review of programs with credit requirements in excess of 130 credits.

Undergraduate special students are not subject to the credit limit, although degree-seeking students are not permitted to change to special student status for the purpose of avoiding the application of this surcharge. Second-degree candidates and students pursuing post-baccalaureate certification or licensure are not subject to the credit limit. Minnesota reciprocity students are not covered by the policy under the existing compact and will not be subject to the surcharge until such time that Minnesota adopts a similar surcharge.

Grading Basis

Most students enroll in classes on a “Graded” basis that results in the assignment of a letter grade that appears on the transcript.  See the Grades section for more information.

Some classes allow the student to select a different grading basis during the enrollment process, including Credit/No Credit and Audit.

Credit/No Credit

Some courses may be taken on a Credit/No Credit basis rather than for a letter grade. To be granted credit for a course that you’ve enrolled in with the Credit/No Credit option, you must earn a grade of C- or better.

Courses used to satisfy General Education Requirements and the English and math competencies may not be taken with the C/NC option. Schools and colleges with specific limitations on courses taken with the C/NC option are published below.

Some courses are offered on a C/NC basis only. These may be taken in addition to the published limits. C/NC courses are not counted in the GPA, but courses in which credit is earned will count toward graduation. Courses may be changed from a regular graded basis to C/NC or vice versa only during the same period as courses may be added. Only one such change may be made per semester per course.

University Special Students should contact an advisor in the Admissions Office for more information on the C/NC option.

Off-campus students should contact their advisor for more information on the C/NC option.

Credit/No Credit Option Table
School/College Qualifying Students C/NC Eligible Courses Limits
Academic Opportunity Center AOC Undergraduates follow the rules published for Letters & Science
College of Engineering & Applied Science Undergraduates in Engineering & Applied Science Free elective or Arts/Humanities/Social Science elective courses. Maximum of 12 credits; no more than three credits in any one semester.
College of Health Sciences Undergraduates admitted to the College of Health Sciences No required courses in any of the pre-professional or professional programs may be taken on a C/NC basis. Only one course, regardless of number of credits, may be taken per semester. A maximum of 12 credits may be taken C/NC.
College of Letters & Science Undergraduates in Letters & Science Courses other than Honors courses that are not in the student’s major or minor. One course per semester, maximum of eight courses.
College of Nursing Undergraduates in Nursing Non-clinical elective courses in Nursing. One course per semester, maximum of six credits.
Helen Bader School of Social Welfare Undergraduates majors and pre-majors in Social Work & Criminal Justice Only used in courses outside the 54-65 credit requirements in the Social Work or Criminal Justice major. One course per semester, maximum of eight courses.
Lubar School of Business Undergraduates in Business & Pre-Business All non-business courses (courses outside Lubar School of Business) that are not required as part of the student’s major. One course per semester; maximum of eight courses. No Business course may be taken on a C/NC basis by any student regardless of their program unless it is only offered on a C/NC basis. Pre-Business Students may not take ECON 103, ECON 104, or MATH 211 on a C/NC basis.
Peck School of the Arts Undergraduates in the Arts Courses outside of the major; any course which would fulfill the core curriculum requirements. One course per semester; maximum of eight courses
School Architecture & Urban Planning Pre-Architecture students and upper-level students with a 2.5 GPA Elective courses; courses other than the 48 credits required for the Architectural Studies degree. One course per semester, maximum eight courses.
School of Education Undergraduates in Education & Pre-Education Please see your advisor. Please see your advisor.
School of Information Studies Undergraduates in Information Resources All non-Information Studies (courses outside SOIS) that are not required as part of the student’s major. One course per semester, maximum eight courses.

Any non-degree seeking student or other individual who wishes to participate in a class at UWM without earning credit or pursuing a program should contact the Admissions Office.

If you audit a class, you won’t receive a grade or earn college credit for the class, and in most cases, you won’t be expected to take exams or prepare projects or term papers. Be sure to discuss course work and attendance requirements with your instructor during the first week of class. Course auditing is generally not permitted during UWinteriM.

Classes that require instructor consent to audit or never can be taken for audit are marked in the Schedule of Classes.

Auditors of any class held in the Klotsche Center and Pavilion will need to register each semester at the University Recreation Information Center in the Klotsche Center & Pavilion. Auditors will be permitted to use the space in the building assigned to the class only during the actual meeting times of the class. The auditor will be permitted to enter the facility 30 minutes prior to the class start time.

In order to gain regular access to the Klotsche Center and Pavilion facilities, any auditor, dissertator, off-campus student, or other class participant who has not paid the mandatory student fee must do so in the Bursar Office. The mandatory student fee is dependent on corresponding credit load and must be received in full before usage of facilities.