Graduation Information for Undergraduate Students

Master’s and Doctoral students looking for information about graduation should email the Graduate School’s Graduation processing department at

Your last year should be planned out as carefully as your first.  Each school and college has its own set of graduation requirements related to grade point average, credits, and residency so please contact your academic advisor if you have any questions or concerns related to your graduation.

Graduation Checklist

    • Apply for graduation through your PAWS account. The graduation application deadline is the first Friday of the Fall semester for Fall/Winter graduates and the first Friday of the Spring semester for Spring/Summer graduates. Failure to apply by this date may mean that your name is not included in the Commencement Booklet and that you will not be invited to the Gold Cord Ceremony, if eligible.
    • At the beginning of your last semester review your academic record to confirm your courses will complete all degree requirements. Contact your academic advisor or advising office with any questions.
    • Pay the $40 Graduation Application Fee in PAWS or at the Bursar’s 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, verify the name and mailing address you have listed in your PAWS account.  Diplomas are shipped via the US Post Office to the mailing address listed in PAWS.
    • The name on your diploma will be printed exactly as it appears in PAWS.  Information about requesting diploma name changes or omissions can be found on this page under the “Diploma” section.
    • Also two months prior, order your cap and gown online at
    • Once final grades are submitted, review your academic record (grades, cumulative degree credits and cumulative GPA) to confirm you have met all degree requirements. Contact your academic advisor or advising office with any questions.
Applying for Graduation

Completing your degree requirements does not automatically trigger your graduation application.  You must notify the Registrar’s Office of your intent to graduate by applying through your PAWS account after you’ve enrolled in your last semester of classes. Students graduating during the spring/summer semester should apply on or before the first Friday of the Spring semester. Students graduating during the fall/UWinteriM semester should apply on or before the first Friday of the Fall semester.  If you apply late, it may mean that your name will not be on lists of graduating seniors, including the program printed for the commencement ceremony. Follow the steps below to submit your application.

(If you do not see the “Apply for Graduation” link, you are not currently eligible to apply.  Please contact your undergraduate academic advisor or your advising office for assistance.)

  1. Log in to PAWS
  2. Under the Academics section, select “Apply for Graduation” from the “other academics” drop down and click the arrows
  3. Under the Submit an Application for Graduation section, you should see another “Apply for Graduation” link.  Click that link.
  4. On the Apply for Graduation page, click on your Academic Program in blue
  5. Select your graduation term from the Expected Graduation Term drop down menu, then click the CONTINUE button
  6. Click the Apply for Bachelor’s Degree button
  7. Complete the Apply for Graduation questionnaire, then click Submit

An email confirmation will be sent to you once your application is received.

Late Graduation Application

The last day to apply for undergraduate graduation for a given term is the date of the commencement ceremony.  After that date, you will be required to complete the  paper graduation application (pdf) and submit the $40 graduation fee to the Registrar’s Office in Mellencamp Hall.

Please note that tickets for the commencement ceremony will only be available to students who have applied for graduation before October 31st (for December) and April 2nd (for May). 

Changing Your Graduation Date 

If you find that you will not complete your degree requirements after you already applied for graduation, you may change your graduation date at any time by notifying the Registrar’s Office through the Contact RO form.

There are two commencement ceremonies each year, one in December (for fall/UWinteriM graduates) and one in May (for spring/summer graduates).  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.  All students who have applied for graduation before October 31st (for December) and April 2nd (for May) will be able to claim tickets for the commencement ceremony.

The Commencement Booklet List identifies the student names published in the commencement book for the most recent/upcoming December and May commencement ceremony.  As a general rule, the commencement book list will be available for viewing beginning early April for the Spring/Summer commencement and early November for Fall/UWinteriM commencement.

If you have any questions about the commencement ceremony, contact the Secretary of the University.

Students may be eligible for Commencement or Final Honors upon completion of their degree, depending on their cumulative GPAs and the number of credits they’ve completed at UWM:

Designation Requirements
Commencement Honors
  • Undergraduates with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher prior to the final semester
  • At least 40 degree credits completed at UWM for Bachelors degree candidates
  • At least 20 degree credits completed at UWM for Associate degree candidates
Final Honors
  • Bachelor degree candidates with a final cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • At least 60 degree credits completed at UWM for Bachelors students
  • Cum Laude – 3.500 or above
  • Magna Cum Laude – 3.650 or above
  • Summa Cum Laude – 3.800 or above
  • Criteria is the same for all schools/colleges
  • Associate degree final honors information for students in the College of General Studies is listed in the Undergraduate Catalog.  Associate students must have at least 30 degree credits completed at UWM.

Diplomas are not distributed at the commencement ceremony. Diploma covers are distributed during the ceremony to students who attend.  If after receiving your diploma you need a cover, you may pick one up at the Registrar’s Office, or you can contact the Registrar’s Office to have one sent to you.

Receiving Your Diploma

The Registrar’s Office has several options available for receiving your diploma:

  • Mailed via US Post Office first class mail to a US or international address listed in PAWS
    • No further action required
    • FREE
    • No tracking information provided
  • Mailed via eShipGlobal courier service to a US or an international address
    • Further action required; You must create an eShipGLobal account
    • Cost depends on shipping location and must be paid by you
    • Tracking information provided
  • Returned to UWM for student pickup
  • Returned to UWM for authorized pickup by another person

Diplomas are mailed to your PAWS mailing address or returned to UWM for pickup 8-10 weeks after the ceremony. In general, diplomas are mailed approximately:

  • 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

To submit a request for diploma pick up after the completing the graduation application, please contact the Registrar’s Office and select the graduation/diploma option.

You can request that someone else pick up your diploma, but an Authorization Letter For Diploma Pickup must be completed first. The PDF version of this form is only accepted in person or via mail. Faxed or electronically submitted copies will not be accepted.  We encourage using the online version which requires logging in with your ePanther ID. 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.

Name on Your Diploma

The legal name listed in PAWS is the name that will be printed on your diploma unless you submit a Diploma Name Request to have a chosen/preferred name (first and/or middle name) printed instead. If you no longer have PAWS access, you will need to complete the PDF version of the request.  No additional documentation will be required, but requests must be submitted prior to the commencement ceremony to allow time for review and processing.

All diploma name requests are subject to review and approval by the Registrar’s Office, which reserves the right to decline any diploma name request without explanation.

Submitting a request for an update to your diploma name only changes the name listed on your diploma. Legal name is still listed in the commencement booklet, Deans Honor’s lists, and on all transcripts.

If you would like to change the legal name on your diploma, you must submit a Student Record Data Change Form along with supporting documentation to the Registrar’s Office at least 8 weeks before the commencement ceremony.

Replacement Diplomas

To order a replacement diploma, please submit the request form (PDF version or Online Version).  The cost for each replacement diploma is $35.  All diplomas ordered after the original diploma has been issued are considered a replacement of the original document.  The statement “Replacement for diploma issued”  and the student’s original date of graduation will appear at the bottom edge of the replacement diploma and will bear the signatures of the current University Chancellor and State Officers.  *Students who graduated from one of our branch locations (Waukesha or Washington County) prior to August 2018 should email for information on obtaining a replacement diploma.*

If you have questions regarding your diploma, contact the Registrar’s Office.

Certified Electronic Diplomas

UW-Milwaukee now offers certified electronic diplomas (CeDiplomas) to all alumni. The CeDiploma is an official, secure and verifiable PDF version of your accomplishment. Each CeDiploma can be independently validated by future employers, State Government Licensing Agencies, and any other entity that wishes to validate your achievement.

To learn more about Certified Electronic Diplomas at UW-Milwaukee or register for this service, visit:

Submit your Diploma for an Apostille

Apostille service is available through the State of Wisconsin Office of the Secretary of State. Please follow the instructions available here to submit your documentation for an apostille.

If you have your original diploma, you do not have to order a duplicate copy to submit for an apostille. You may email the Office of the Registrar with a picture/scan of your diploma and include your full name, date of birth and your current mailing address. We will prepare and mail you a notarized true copy of the diploma that can be submitted to the Office of the Secretary of State.

If you do not have your original diploma, you may order a duplicate copy and have it apostilled. After you have ordered and received your duplicate diploma, you may email the Office of the Registrar with a picture/scan of your diploma and include your full name, date of birth and your current mailing address. We will prepare and mail you a notarized true copy of the diploma that can be submitted to the Office of the Secretary of State.

Graduation Fees
The graduation application fee is $40, and it is required whether you intend to participate in the commencement ceremony or not. The fee goes towards processing expenses, commencement, diplomas, diploma covers, and mailing.  It does NOT cover the cost of your cap and gown, which you must order and pay for if you want to participate in the commencement ceremony.  You’ll be billed the $40.00 graduation application fee by the Bursar’s Office sometime during your final semester. When you pay the fee, it will first be applied to any fines on your account so double-check that you don’t have any outstanding library, parking, or other fines.

Dual degree students pay an $80.00 graduation application fee. If you’ll be receiving two degrees (i.e. a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science), you have to submit an application and fee for each degree.  This does not apply to students with a single degree but multiple majors.

Posting of Degrees
At the end of your final semester, please check your academic record to confirm you have received final grades for all courses. If final grades for required courses are not posted or if all degree requirements are not met, your degree will not be posted. Contact your academic advisor or advising office with any questions.

After the final grade run is complete, it will take time for your degree to be posted and appear on your student record. 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.

A student may check to see if their degree has been posted using the following steps:

  1. Login to your Student Center via PAWS
  2. Click on the  “My Academics” link
  3. Click on “View my graduation status”

Students with missing requirements (incomplete grades, missing transfer credits, grade changes and/or course substitutions or waivers) that are not completed within 30 days after the date of graduation will typically have their degree posted for the next term.

If you need proof of an upcoming or past graduation date, you can submit a request for Graduation Verification.