Adding, Dropping, and Changing Classes

You can easily make changes to your schedule in PAWS before classes begin. Always double-check the changes you make in PAWS by reviewing my class schedule in the Academics section.

The schedule of classes is available to view at If you are unable to see the most recent term in the dropdown, you may need to clear your browser history and cache. Steps to clear your browser history are different depending on the Internet browser you are using. Check out our information about clearing cache, cookies and history on a mobile device or clearing cache in Safari for more information if you are using a tablet or phone. If you need help clearing your browser history, please call the Help Desk at (414) 229-4040 or toll free at (877) 381-3459.

If you have questions about your schedule, contact your Academic Advisor. If you’re having trouble with PAWS, call the Help Desk at (414) 229-4040 or toll free at (877) 381-3459.

Adding Classes
Once you’ve identified classes for enrollment, there are steps you need to take to complete the enrollment process.  And sometimes you aren’t able to complete the enrollment process in PAWS, and those situations are covered below, as well.

Adding Classes in PAWS

  1. Once all of your classes are in your Shopping Cart, check the boxes in the Select column and click the enroll button
  2. Review the Confirm classes page, then click the FINISH ENROLLING button
  3. A green check mark in the Status column confirms you have enrolled successfully
  4. If your request was not successful, a Red X with an error message will appear in the Status column
  5. When you finish enrolling, double-check your changes by reviewing the my class schedule sub-tab

If you have questions or need assistance adding classes, contact your Academic Advisor.

Permission Needed to Enroll
If you are unable to add a course in PAWS, you may be able to gain permission to enroll in the course.  Some permissions are granted by the instructor or department offering the course, while others are granted by your academic advisor – and some require approval from both.

There are two primary methods of gaining permission to enroll in a course:

  1. A paper-based Registration Change Form.  This form requires your signature as the student, and also has places for department/instructor and school/college (academic advisor) signatures, depending on the nature of the permission.  Make sure to fill out the class information completely on the form before submitting it.  Completed forms can be submitted to the Registrar’s Office via online form, in-person, or fax.
  2. A Class Permission in PAWS.  This is a permission assigned within PAWS that allows you to enroll in the class yourself via PAWS.

The following chart explains the typical reasons for permission, the approvals required, and the method of receiving permission:

ReasonApproval RequiredMethod
You want to take more credits than the maximum credit load allowedAcademic AdvisorClass Permission
You want to repeat a course beyond the allowed limit (speak to the course instructor also)Academic AdvisorAdd/Drop Form
The class status is closed, but you want to enroll anywayInstructor or DepartmentClass Permission or Add/Drop Form
You don't meet the course prerequisites but feel you're ready to take the class anywayInstructor or DepartmentClass Permission or Add/Drop Form
The course requires an instructor's consent to enrollInstructor or DepartmentClass Permission or Add/Drop Form
The "Add Deadline" has passed, but you want to enroll in the class anywayAcademic Advisor & InstructorAdd/Drop Form
The "Drop With W Deadline" has passed, but you want to drop the class anywayAcademic Advisor & InstructorAdd/Drop Form
You want to take two courses that have a time conflictInstructor allowing missed class time and Academic AdvisorClass Permission or Add/Drop Form
Identifying Instructors or Departments for Approval
The instructor of a course is typically listed on the Schedule of Classes or the class listing in PAWS.  If no instructor appears, or you are unable to contact the instructor, you can contact the academic department to seek permission to enroll.  Contact information for departments typically can be found through a search on the UWM home page, although you also should be able to find that information listed in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Identifying School/College for Approval
School/college approvals pertain to a your primary program of study or major.

For graduate students, school/college approvals are granted by the Graduate School.

For undergraduate students, school/college approvals are granted by your academic advising unit.  For non-degree (“university special”) undergraduate students, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions provides school/college approval.

Steps to identify your school/college via PAWS:

  1. Log in to PAWS (
  2. Click on the “My Academics” link in the Academics section of your Student Center.
  3. A section called “My Program” will appear on the right hand side of the screen.
    • If your Career is Graduate, your school/college is always the Graduate School.
    • If your Career is Undergraduate, your school/college is identified in the Program listing (e.g., Business-Undergraduate). If the Program listing indicates University Special, see “Non-Degree Undergraduate Students” below.
School/College Listing

Graduate Students

Office of Graduate Education, Graduate School
Office: MIT 261
Phone: 414-229-6569
Fax: 414-229-6967

Degree-Seeking Undergraduate Students

Pathway Advising
Office: Mellencamp Hall 128

Phone: 414-229-4696

School of Architecture and Urban Planning
Office: AUP 225
Phone: 414-229-4015

Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business
Office: LUB N297
Phone: 414-229-5271

School of Education
Office: END 209
Phone: 414-229-4721
Fax: 414-229-4705

College of Engineering and Applied Science
Office: EMS E386
Phone: 414-229-4667
Fax: 414-229-2854

Global Studies Program
Office: GAR 111/113
Phone: 414-229-6925 or 414-229-3042

Helen Bader School of Social Welfare
Office: END 1110
Phone: 414-229-4852
Fax: 414-229-5311

College of Health Sciences
Office: NWQ B 6451
Phone: 414-229-2758

School of Information Studies
Office: NWQ B 3550
Phone: 414-229-4707
Fax: 414-229-6699

College of Letters and Science
Office: HOL 142
Phone: 414-229-4654

College of Nursing
Office: CUN 135
Phone: 414-229-5047
Fax: 414-229-5554

Peck School of the Arts
Office: THR 120
Phone: 414-229-4763

Non-Degree Undergraduate Students
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Office: Vogel Hall Visitor’s Center
Phone: 414-229-2222
Fax: 414-229-3788

Using Waitlists
You cannot add a class if it is full. Many classes offer waitlists  to hold your place in line if seats open up. Generally, waitlists are active through the week before classes start, but you should check the Important Dates by Term for exact dates.

  • Classes with waitlists are full (but not closed) and are marked with a yellow triangle
  • The Class Availability shows you how many students are on the Waitlist already
  • If you add yourself to the Waitlist, you can view your place in line under my class schedule in the Academics section
  • If a seat opens up and you don’t have any scheduling conflicts, you’ll be automatically enrolled.  This process will run each weekday to add waitlisted students into the class if spots open up.  You will be notified by email if you are added into the course or if there is an issue that would prevent you from being added.
If no waitlist option appears for a closed course...

Waitlists, like classes, can fill up – once all spots on the waitlist are full, the class will appear as closed.  Further, not all classes and departments utilize waitlists.
If you want to drop one section if enrolled in another section of the same course...
Enrolling in an open section of a course while waitlisted for another section will drop you from the waitlisted section. However, if you add the open section first and then waitlist yourself for a different, closed section, you can use the checkbox that says “Drop if Enroll” checkbox on the Enrollment Preferences page. (This does not always work for classes with multiple parts, like lecture and lab, since you cannot be both enrolled and waitlisted for the same section.)  Note that this option is only available at the point that you are initially adding yourself to a waitlist.
If you are on the waitlist and there seems to be an opening in the class, but you haven't been added to the roster...

The process to automatically move students into open spots happens on weekday evenings.  If you are first on a waitlist but are not moved into a course, we recommend that you check your UWM email for a message that will explain the problem.
If you want to be waitlisted for a class with a lab or discussion section..
When a waitlisted class has multiple parts (a lecture and a lab or discussion, for example), there must be openings in each of the sections you’ve selected in order to be moved from the waitlist into the class.  You also cannot be simultaneously enrolled in and waitlisted for any part of a multi-part course.
If your waitlisted class would take you above the maximum credits for the term...
You cannot be waitlisted for a class if adding that class would lead you to exceed the maximum allowable credits for that particular term.  For undergraduates, the maximum allowable credit limits are: 18 credits in Fall/Spring, 12 credits in summer, or 3 credits in Winterim).
If you are still on the waitlist when the class is about to begin...
Waitlists are only active until the last Friday before classes begin for the term (or the session, in the case of summer courses).  Once a class begins, you will have to speak to the instructor or academic department about enrolling in a full course.

You can get more help with waitlists from the UWM Help Desk at 414-229-4040.

Changing Your Class Schedule

You are generally eligible to alter your schedule through the add and drop deadlines for a semester.  However, there are implications associated with changing your schedule that should be kept in mind, particularly if you are making alterations after the semester has started.

Contact your academic advisor if you have specific questions about changing your schedule.

Financial Implications

If you’re changing the number of credits in your schedule or swapping classes that require additional fees, you may be increasing or decreasing your total charges. Check your PAWS account for an accurate, up-to-date total of your charges. You can contact the Bursar Office for more information.

If you’re covering all of part of our charges with financial aid, please be aware that a change in the number of credits you are taking could impact your award.  Depending on the date that you add or drop courses, you may also see long term effects on your financial aid eligibility.  You can learn more about the different types of changes that can be made to your aid here.

Change a Discussion or Lab Section
  1. Log in to PAWS
  2. Under the Academics header, click on the Enroll link
  3. Click on the edit sub-tab
  4. Under the Classes you are allowed to edit header, select the class you want to change and click the PROCEED TO STEP 2 OF 3 button
  5. Choose your new Discussion or Lab section and click NEXT
  6. Check your new class preferences and and click NEXT
  7. Review your selections and click the FINISH EDITING button to submit
  8. A green check mark in the Status column confirms you have edited successfully
  9. If you request was not successful, a Red X with an error message will appear in the Status column
Swap a Class
  1. Log in to PAWS
  2. Under the Academics header, click on the Enroll link
  3. Click on the swap sub-tab
  4. Under the Swap This Class header, choose the current class you want to drop
  5. Under the With This Class header, enter your new 5-digit class number or search for a new class
  6. Click the Finish Swapping button
  7. Review the Confirm your selection screen, then click the FINISH SWAPPING button to submit
  8. A green check mark in the Status column confirms you have swapped successfully
  9. If you request was not successful, a Red X with an error message will appear in the Status column
Drop a Single Class

  1. Log in to PAWS
  2. Under the Academics header, click on the Enroll link
  3. Click on the drop sub-tab
  4. Check the box in the Select column next to the class you want to drop
  5. Click the DROP SELECTED CLASSES button
  6. Review the Confirm your selection screen, then click the FINISH DROPPING button to submit
  7. A green check mark in the Status column confirms you have dropped successfully
  8. If you request was not successful, a Red X with an error message will appear in the Status column

Note: Dropping a class may have transcript and financial impacts.

Changes After Posted Deadlines
The Registrar’s Office enforces registration deadlines for all courses.  For undergraduates, any requests for changes after posted deadlines must be approved through a process of appeal through your school or college.  Graduate students should refer to Exceptions to Graduate School Policy.

Information for undergraduate students who wish to submit an appeal to add, drop, withdrawal, or otherwise change their class schedule following term and session deadlines can be found within the Appeal Instructions for Late Change in Registration.  Please note that such appeals may be either denied or approved by your School or College advising unit, and the attached document is not meant to cover all possible enrollment-related appeal situations.

If the appeal is approved, students must submit a Registration Change Form to the Registrar’s Office.

Print, View, and Buy Books for Your Class Schedule
Once you’ve finished enrolling in classes, you can print a weekly schedule from PAWS.

  1. Log in to PAWS
  2. Under the Academics header, click in the drop down menu and select Class Schedule, then click the arrow button
  3. Select the current term to print, then click the Continue button
  4. From the List View, you can view your class information and the current status
  5. Click the View the Course Materials for your enrolled classes link to view or order your book list at the UWM Bookstore
  6. Click the Weekly Calendar View button for a snapshot schedule of your classes by day and time
  7. Below the Display Options header, click the blue Printer Friendly Page to print an easy to read document
Drop All Classes: Withdrawal

If you need to leave school for personal or medical reasons, you need to complete a withdrawal.  Before taking this step, please visit our withdrawal information site.  This outlines the steps to take as well as the possible financial ramifications.