Your First Advising Appointment

Following Orientation, you’ll receive an email from your assigned advisor that includes a link to our Navigate system.  You’ll use Navigate to schedule an appointment with your advisor.

During Summer 2021, your Advisor will contact you using Microsoft Teams.  Learn more about Teams here.

During your online appointment with your advisor, you will enroll in classes. Because this requires interacting with technology and consulting with your advisor over the internet, this can be a frustrating process.  Your advisor has a lot of expertise in course requirements and recommendations that will best meet your needs, but some technical issues may be beyond their capacity to resolve.  If that’s the case, we may refer you to the UWM Help Desk for assistance prior to completing your advising session. 

Your advisor will direct you to enroll in classes based on your selected pathway.

Tools and Technology

It may be an obvious point, but virtual orientations and online advising/enrollment meetings means interacting with online systems.  These systems will be covered at Orientation, but you’ll find links to further information below.

Microsoft Teams: Used for video conferencing with your advisor. Go to for information and download/activation instructions.  You’ll also want to be familiar with how to share your screen in Teams, which will help our Advisors walk you through the enrollment process.  This short YouTube video can show you how.

PAWS: UWM’s system for course enrollment, billing, financial aid, and other official records. Instructions for enrolling in classes or changing your class schedule through PAWS can be found on our One Stop Enrollment and Financial Services site.

Schedule Planner: While students may enroll in classes directly through our PAWS system, we also utilize an add-on program called Schedule Planner. This system allows students to optimize and search through generated schedules, rather than enroll course by course or class by class.  Watch a tutorial here.

More information can be found at the One Stop Enrollment and Financial Services site, under the “Searching for Classes” section.

Course Placement and Recommendations

All first semester students should take English Composition and Math classes, as later classes in your sophomore or junior year will likely require that the university requirements covered by these areas have been completed.  Both subject areas will utilize your SAT or ACT scores for placement.  Placement testing is not currently available, but we hope to have more information soon for those students who would like to try to test higher than their SAT or ACT scores place them.

You may want to take a look at the sample first semester course listings attached to each of our six metamajor pathways, which can find in the Our Pathways menu above.  Other good resources to review are UWM’s searchable Schedule of Classes and our list of First Year Seminars — ideal courses for new students.


Placement information for the Guided English Placement process is available here.  Students who are not native speakers of English or those who speak a language other than English at home should consider taking English for Academic Purposes courses, which cover the same requirements as do those in English.


Placement information for Math courses are available here.  Incoming students without standardized test scores (or those who feel that their ACT or SAT math sub-scores don’t accurately reflect their capabilities) should consider the Panther Math Prep program available this summer — information on that no-cost program is available here.

Degree Planning

All first semester new freshmen in Pathway Advising will take Ed Psy 110: Planning Your Major and Career, a 3 credit hour course from our Educational Psychology department in UWM’s College of Education.  This course will help students explore the university’s degrees and majors, develop study strategies, enhance academic skills, and create a four-year plan towards graduation.

Academic Preparation

We recommend that students with an ACT Reading subscore of 15 or lower take Currins 111: Introduction to College Reading, a 2 credit hour course taught by the Department of Teaching and Learning in UWM’s School of Education.  This course will introduce and apply college level reading skills.  Students with an ACT Reading sub-score between 16 and 21 should consider Currins 112: College Reading, a 1 credit hour course focusing on academic strategies for college-level reading.

Additional courses may be recommended or required based on your housing placement or involvement in additional campus programming.

General Education Requirement Courses

Most students will have some flexibility in their course schedule to take one or two courses related to majors or areas of interest that will satisfy General Education Requirements.  General Education Requirements are intended to give structure to each student’s education while providing the student the greatest possible freedom to design an individual academic programhe course recommendations we send you may include suggestions for specific GERs, and you’ll find recommended GERs by Pathway listed in the pdfs on Our Pathways section of this site.

First Year Seminars are discussion-oriented classes designed specifically for students beginning their college career. With class sizes limited to 20 to 25 students, this small environment is ideal for students to interact and get to know one another. Unique topics are taught by faculty members and supported by student mentors, both of whom are committed to helping first year students transition into more demanding academic life.  Find a listing of Fall 2021 seminar offerings here.

Course Search.  UWM’s Academic Catalog offers a way to search on General Education categories at  Additional options for searching for classes at our One Stop Enrollment and Financial Services site.

Following Orientation but Before Courses Begin

Review Your Schedule.  Following your advising appointment with your advisor, you will have a schedule of classes for the Fall term.  Familiarize yourself with the schedule and campus locations of any on-campus classes.  You can find a campus map here, or take a virtual tour!

Check Your UWM E-Mail Account Regularly. UWM’s faculty, advisors, and administration use e-mail for all official communications.  Set up your ePanther account if you’ve not already done so, and check your email regularly.  We use Office 365 as our email client and for other online applications. For security and privacy reasons, we recommend that you do not forward your UWM email to another address.

Review UWM Majors.  Our Academic Catalog lists all of UWM’s majors.  Whether you have a major in mind or are still exploring options, browsing through this list will help you begin to clarify your academic plans and review what coursework is required in the areas that interest you.

Developing an Advisor/Advisee Partnership

See our page on  Advisor & Advisee Expectations to learn more about how Pathway advisors and students can work together to solidify academic plans and keep students on track for a timely degree.  We recommend that students check in with advisors frequently — at least twice a semester — and we’ll be in touch to make sure we stay connected!  Expect to hear from us before classes begin with a request to check in with us in the first few weeks of the Fall term, but also know that you can reach out to us at any time, either by e-mailing your advisor or by contacting