Fall – New Freshman

Congratulations on the achievements that have led you to this step in your journey. New Student Orientation marks your entrance into the UWM community. This program will introduce you to the UWM campus as well as to other new and current students. New Student Orientation is intended for new students, but parents are welcome to attend Family Orientation.

Registration Opens in April

International students: Please click here for information on your orientation.

If you’ve been invited to attend Summer Bridge, please go to the Student Success Center site for information on your Orientation.

Orientation Registration Steps

Step 1: Complete Admission Steps
Step 2: Register for Orientation
Step 3: Prepare for Orientation
Step 4: Attend Orientation
Step 5: Stay Connected After Orientation

1: Complete Admission Steps

Before you can sign up for Orientation
You will be invited via postcard and email to sign up online for New Student Orientation after you have completed all of the following:

  • Take Placement Tests (UWM has to receive your scores before this item is removed from PAWS – it can take up to 3 weeks)
  • Pay $150 New Student Confirmation Deposit* which is part of the $250 New Freshman Fee (the other $100 will be added on with Tuition in August).
  • Submit the University Housing Contract and deposit OR Exemption Form (may be completed before or after taking the Placement Tests)
  • Pay the $100 University Housing Contract Deposit (if completed a University Housing Contract)
    When ALL of these steps are complete, you’ll be able to pick your orientation date.
    If there is a scheduling conflict, please contact our office at 414-229-5842 or  orientation@uwm.edu

We look forward to seeing you at New Student Orientation!

*This deposit is not refundable if you attend Orientation or if you do not cancel your Orientation registration at least 10 days prior to the program.

2: Register for Orientation

After you register, you’ll receive a confirmation via mail and email about 1 week prior to the program.

Student Policies

Changing Your Major
Part of your orientation experience is based on the major that you select when you applied to UWM. You have the ability to change your major up to 10 days prior to your Orientation program. Please note: Changing your major after you register may impact which date you can attend orientation.
When you log in to the Orientation registration site, you will have the option to change your current major.
We will not accommodate major changes at the Orientation program.

Disability, Mobility, and Dietary Restrictions
We want to accommodate any mobility, disability, or dietary restrictions that you may have in order to provide you with the best orientation experience.
If you need an accommodation, please indicate this when you register in the space provided.

Language Accommodations
If either you or your parents/guests need Spanish language translation, please register for one of the following dates: TBD for summer 2019. We will have translators present at these dates. Please indicate in your registration that you or your parents/guests will need translation accommodations.

Date Selection & No-Show Policy
Orientation dates are available on a first come, first served basis. If a program date is unavailable, we are unable to “hold” a date as our system updates in real time and anyone can select a date should it become available.
You are allowed to change the program you have registered for up to 5 days before the program begins. To change your orientation date, log on to the registration site and select a program that works better for your schedule. If you register for a program and do not attend, that is considered a “no-show”. If you “no-show” twice, you will not be allowed to register for a program until the end of the summer in August.

Overnight Policy
All new freshmen are required to stay in RiverView Residence Hall during New Student Orientation. This portion of the program is consistently rated the best part of the experience aside from interacting with the Orientation Leaders (who also stay in RiverView). This portion of the program is low-key and allows for students to get to know each other better.
Exemptions may be granted on a case by case basis. Rationale for approved exemptions include documented medical issues or religious reasons.

Guest Policy
You are not required to bring a guest, but if you would like to bring family members with you, you are allowed up to 2 guests. Romantic partners (boyfriends, girlfriends) are not appropriate guests for this program. Please note you will not be with your guests for a majority of this program, including course enrollment.

Guest Housing
We offer separate Guest Housing for New Student Orientation (freshman) programs, but space is limited and is $45 for the night (credit card and checks only). Priority will be given to out of state families, but otherwise reservations are taken on a first come, first served basis.

To Sign Up, your student can indicate their guest(s) would like housing when they register for Orientation.

Guest Overnight Accommodations
Guest Housing accommodations are at Kenilworth Residence Hall and you will receive a discounted rate through the Orientation program.
You will be notified if you will be staying in Guest Housing with a separate confirmation email. Check-in for the Orientation program will be different for those staying in Guest Housing, so please make sure to read the confirmation carefully.
Further questions should be directed to the Orientation Office at orientation@uwm.edu.

UWM has a partnership with 5 local hotels. Please follow this link for more information about discounted rates:

3: Prepare for Orientation

Check out the Student Orientation Schedule so you know what to expect!
Please note lunch is not provided on the first day, so plan accordingly.

Make sure to use #UWMNSO on Twitter or Instagram and use our SnapChat filter during your program to share your experience!

Submit Your ID Photo
You will receive your PantherCard, your official UWM student ID, at Orientation. Prior to Orientation, you will submit the photo you would like to appear on your PantherCard. All you have to do is take a photo of yourself and upload it through GET UWM, PantherCard’s online management system. Go here to the PantherCard Office website for detailed instructions and requirements for your photo. Be sure to upload your photo at least 48 hours prior to your Orientation date this summer to ensure an easy pick-up.

Meet & Greet
After checking in, you will have the opportunity to participate in the UWM Meet & Greet, which is a campus resource fair where you have the chance to talk to different offices on campuses about the services they offer and how they can help you during your time at UWM. For a complete list of offices attending the Meet & Greet, look below!

Meet & Greet List

Learning Communities and Living Learning Communities
You can also look into the different Learning Communities UWM has to offer. Here is the complete list of Learning Communities.

Prior to arriving at Orientation, you need to engage with the Pre-Orientation program, which was sent in your confirmation materials. There’s helpful information to prepare you for the program as well as a survey to complete. This is required.

Credit Agreement
Before being able to register for classes, you must complete your credit agreement. If you have not done it yet, you can complete it through your PAWS account. Log in to PAWS, click the Credit Agreement link on your “To Do List” and complete your Credit Agreement there.

Academic Plans
One of the most important things you will do at Orientation is register for your first semester of classes. An advisor will be there to guide you on requirements for your major, but it’s a good idea to explore classes that fit your interests if you have room in your schedule. You can look at the schedule of classes for some ideas.

Packing List
Make sure you’re ready to spend the night with us! Overnight housing provides a blanket and pillow, but feel free to bring your own if you prefer. Some other items that will be helpful are: Something to write with, a phone charger, a sweater (most buildings are air conditioned and can get cold) clothes for 2 days, overnight toiletries, and some spending money (meals are provided, but the Panther Shop and vending machines in RiverView will be available during orientation programs).

Family Preparation
Check out the Family Orientation Schedule so you know what to expect!
We recommend you do the following to get the most out of the (optional) Family Orientation program:

Talk to your student about their academic classes since you won’t be joining them for class registration.
Bring something to take notes with – we provide a lot of information about resources and programs.
Provide your email address to get on the PantherFamilies email list.
Have questions prepared for the offices you’ll be hearing from.
Bring a sweatshirt! Our buildings can be chilly.
Connect with your student after the program to hear what they learned.
Take the evaluation so we know how we’re doing!

4: Attend Orientation

Overnight Details
After you check in at the Union, you will drop your luggage off and we will lock it up during the day. You are required to check a bag. Once the program has concluded around 8:00pm, you will then get your luggage and be shuttled to RiverView for the night. We will make our best effort to put you in a room with someone from your small group during the day.

There are several vending options in RiverView if you’re looking for a late night snack as well as some microwavable meals sold behind the Hall Desk. Be sure to bring a credit or debit card–all options are no-cash!

If you don’t get your ID taken the first day, you will need to get on the first shuttle back to the Union in the morning. You’ll check your luggage again for Day 2 and retrieve it at the end of the program. Orientation Leaders will guide you through all parts of this process!

Parking Details
When attending New Student Orientation, we ask that you park in the Union Parking Garage located off of Kenwood Avenue (2200 N. Kenwood Ave.). From the parking garage, Orientation Leaders and signage will direct you to the check-in area (Union Concourse). Parking for one vehicle is included in the New Freshman Fee and you will be given a pass when you arrive at the garage.

Please note that parking is not available for New Student Orientation until 12:30pm. If you arrive prior to this time, you will not be given a pass and there may not be space to accommodate your vehicle. If you arrive late (after 1:40pm), you will also not receive a pass.

Due to limited space, we can only accommodate 1 car per family.

Please note: There is construction on I-94 south of Milwaukee causing major delays. Please plan accordingly. From the South – From I-43 North/I-94 West near downtown Milwaukee. Exit right on W Capitol Dr. (76A). Turn right on to W Capitol Dr. Proceed straight (east) approx. two miles to N Downer Ave. Turn right on to N Downer Ave. Proceed on Downer Ave. for approx. five blocks and turn right onto Kenwood Blvd. The garage entrance is about a block down on the right (there is a large sign indicating the entrance).

From the West – From I-94 East near downtown Milwaukee, merge on to I-43 North. Exit right on W Capitol Dr. (76A). Turn right on to W Capitol Dr. Proceed straight (east) approx. two miles to N Downer Ave. Turn right on to N Downer Ave. Proceed on Downer Ave. for approx. five blocks and turn right onto Kenwood Blvd. The garage entrance is about a block down on the right (there is a large sign indicating the entrance).

From the North – Take I-43 South into Milwaukee. Exit on Capitol Dr. Turn left (south) at bottom of the exit onto N. Green Bay Ave. Proceed to Capitol Dr., turn left (east) on Capitol Dr. Continue along on Capitol Dr. two and one half (2.5) miles to Downer Ave. Turn right (south) on Downer Ave. Proceed on Downer Ave. for approx. five blocks and turn right onto Kenwood Blvd. The garage entrance is about a block down on the right (there is a large sign indicating the entrance).

From the Airport – Exit the Milwaukee airport loop to Airport Spur Rd. Continue along the Airport Spur to I-94 West heading toward downtown Milwaukee. From I-94 West, merge on to I-43 North. Exit right on W Capitol Dr. (76A). Turn right on to W Capitol Dr. Proceed straight (east) approx. two miles to N Downer Ave. Turn right on to N Downer Ave. Proceed on Downer Ave. for approx. five blocks and turn right onto Kenwood Blvd. The garage entrance is about a block down on the right (there is a large sign indicating the entrance).

After attending Orientation:
• Students will be able to make informed choices regarding academic, personal and social issues.
• Students will take personal responsibility for their own success.
• Students will feel welcomed, comfortable, engaged and excited to be a member of the UWM community.
• Students will grow in their understanding and respect of others in a diverse community.

We also expect that you have fun, come willing to learn and meet new people and adhere to all university policies during the program.

FAQs – Document coming soon!

5: Stay Connected After Orientation

Access to All Student Presentations – Coming Soon!