Freshman Placement Testing

You are on your way to becoming a UWM Panther – and we couldn’t be more excited to have you join the UWM family!

In order to make your transition to UW-Milwaukee and the enrollment process as seamless as possible, UW-Milwaukee does not require any placement testing for incoming students. To fulfill your ‘Course Placement’ requirement, you can submit your ACT or SAT scores. We will utilize those scores in combination with course work from high school to place you into your math and English courses. Submitting your ACT/SAT scores will have no affect on your admission status; the scores will be used for placement purposes only. There is an optional placement test available for those plan to continue their study of French, German, or Spanish; more information on that is noted below.

Fulfilling your course placement requirement for math and English is one of the steps required in order to register for your New Student Orientation session which is where you will meet other incoming Panthers, learn more about campus, and meet with an academic advisor to enroll in your courses.

As we navigate the situation and uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, we want to assure you that we are placing your health and well-being at the top of our priorities. We are monitoring the recommendations of the CDC and the WI Department of Health Services. We understand we are in a time of uncertainty and frustration, and we want to do what we can to decrease the stress and concern about how you will ensure you are ready to enroll at UW-Milwaukee. We hope this information helps to ease some of the concerns you are currently having about progressing through the steps needed to attend UW Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Main Campus


Washington County Campus

Waukesha Campus

*Please note that due to COVID-19, our staff members are currently working remotely. All emails and voicemails will be returned within 1-2 business days.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do now to fulfill my Course Placement Requirement?
Submit your ACT or SAT scores to UW Milwaukee. If you have already submitted your ACT/SAT scores with your application, you do not need to submit them again.

What if I have never taken the ACT/SAT?
That is not a problem! UW Milwaukee has other options for you to fulfill your course placement requirement.

If you are planning to start classes in the winter/spring, please email us at NFTest@uwm.edu and we will discuss your placement options.
If you are planning to start classes in the summer/fall, more information about your options will be communicated in February. There is still a lot unknown at this time regarding the options that will be available due to COVID-19, but more information will be available in February so please be patient.

I do not like my score on the ACT/SAT. Is there a way I can try to place higher?
Yes! UW Milwaukee does have an option for you to see if you can place higher in your math and/or English courses.

If you are planning to start classes in the winter/spring, please email us at NFTest@uwm.edu and we will discuss your placement options.
If you are planning to start classes in the summer/fall, more information about your options will be communicated in February. There is still a lot unknown at this time regarding the options that will be available due to COVID-19, but more information will be available in February so please be patient.

What should I do if I want to continue my study of French, German, and/or Spanish?
Currently, UW Milwaukee is allowing students to enroll in world language classes based on their performance in their high school language courses, or we are also offering an online world language placement test in French, German, and Spanish.

If you are planning to start classes in the winter/spring, please email us at NFTest@uwm.edu and we will discuss your placement options.
If you are planning to start classes in the summer/fall, more information about your options will be communicated in February. There is still a lot unknown at this time regarding the options that will be available due to COVID-19, but more information will be available in February so please be patient.

What if I want to continue my study of a world language other than French, German, or Spanish?
UW Milwaukee offers courses in many languages, but the only standardized placement testing options we offer are in French, German, and Spanish. If you wish to continue your study of another language, you will work directly with that language department to determine how they would like you to enroll. If you would like to know who you should contact, please email us at NFTest@uwm.edu.

What if I have taken AP or IB courses in math and/or English?
You can use the credit earned from your AP/IB test scores to fulfill your Course Placement requirement if your scores are high enough. Please review our policies on awarding credit for AP scores and IB scores. If you have earned non-elective credit in both math and English via your AP and/or IB scores, then you have fulfilled your Course Placement requirement. If this applies to you, please be sure to email us at NFTest@uwm.edu so we can update your PAWS account accordingly. If you have earned non-elective one subject area (math or English) but not both, you will still receive credit in that area but you will need to submit your ACT/SAT scores or fulfill your Course Placement requirement in another manner.

How do I register for my New Student Orientation session?

New Student Orientation is a fun event that is required of all new UW Milwaukee students. At your orientation you will meet other Panthers, learn more about campus & resources, and meet with an academic advisor to enroll in your courses.

If you plan to start classes in the winter/spring, registration will open in November.
If you plan to start classes in summer/fall, registration will open in April.

Orientation sessions fill on a first come, first served basis to those who complete their required pre-registration steps. Register early to get the best choice of classes.
More information about new student next steps can be found on our admitted student webpage.

Milwaukee Main Campus Students

Before you can register for NSO, you must:

  • Pay your $150 New Student Confirmation Deposit.
    You can pay this in your PAWS account by clicking on ‘Make a Payment’ in the Finances section. For other payment options, visit the Bursar’s Office website.
  • Submit any required Housing paperwork.
  • Fulfill your Course Placement requirement.


Branch Campus Students – Washington County & Waukesha

Before you can register for NSO, you must:

  • Pay your $150 New Student Confirmation Deposit.
    You can pay this in your PAWS account by clicking on ‘Make a Payment’ in the Finances section. For other payment options, visit the Bursar’s Office website.
  • Fulfill your Course Placement requirement.

I heard that the UW System is offering online placement testing in math, English, and world language. Can I take these placement tests?

UW Milwaukee will not accept the scores from the online, unproctored math and English exams being offered through the UW System Center for Placement Testing. Please do NOT register for or complete these tests as we will not accept the results.
UW Milwaukee will accept the scores from the UW System online tests in French, German, and Spanish.