Fall – New Freshman

Registration for Orientation is closed

NOTE: The Orientation Registration deadline for students starting in Fall 2022 was 4 p.m. on 8/29

Please note the information below applies to students entering UWM in the Fall Semester of 2022. If you have questions on completing NSO and are interested in attending UWM in the Fall of 2022, please email us at orientation@uwm.edu.

New Student Orientation (NSO) marks your entrance into the UWM community. NSO is a two-day program that gives students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the UWM campus, meet other students, spend the night in a residence hall, and enroll in classes! NSO is intended for new students, but parents and guests are welcome to attend Family Orientation.

We offer programs throughout June and July, with make-up dates in August. Select your date through your Admissions Portal. If none of the dates work for you, reach out to us at 414-229-2222 or  orientation@uwm.edu, and we can help work out a plan.

Note: Housing for guests is not provided. Housing options for guests are listed below.


For all New Student Orientation programs June 8th – July 21st, find program schedules below:

For all New Student Orientation programs August 2nd and August 16th, find program schedules below:

COVID-19 Notice: In-person Orientation programs are continuing as planned, but we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. If anything changes, you will be contacted via email as soon as possible.


Please plan to park in the Pavilion Parking Garage on campus located at 3409 N. Downer Ave. Due to constriction, the parking garage is not accessible off of Downer Ave so please enter the Garage from Edgewood Ave. To see a map, please click here: Pavilion Parking Directions. For more information on parking, fees, and times, see below in the “Attend Orientation” session.

Orientation Fee
All new students pay a $150 Orientation fee, which is used to fund our Orientation programs and ensure an unforgettable experience! The fee is nonrefundable if you attend Orientation or complete the make-up Online Orientation program and will be included in your tuition bill, due on the first day of classes. 

Orientation Registration Steps

Step 1: Get Admitted

Log into your Admissions Portal to take these actions:

  • Submit required documents for your application to UWM
  • Check the status of your application to UWM
  • View your decision letter
  • View contact information for your UWM Admissions Advisor 

Once you’re admitted to UWM, you’ll be invited to register for Orientation and take other necessary steps.

Step 2: Register for Orientation!

Log into your Admissions Portal and find “New Student Orientation Registration“.  Select a date and share dietary needs, disability accommodations, and guest registration information.

You will receive a confirmation email after registering. More details about the program will be sent about a week before the event  

Additional Information

Course Placement
You must complete your Course Placement requirement at least 14 days prior to your Orientation or we will have to reschedule you for a future date. You cannot enroll in classes without having completed Course Placement in advance. See instructions in ‘Complete Your Next Steps’ below.

Changing Your Major
You can change your major up to 14 days prior to your Orientation program. You do this in the registration site. We cannot accommodate major changes at the Orientation program. Please note: Not all academic majors are represented at every Orientation. If you change your major after you register, you may need to select another date.

Disability, Mobility and Dietary Restrictions
We want to accommodate any mobility, disability, or dietary restrictions. If you need an accommodation, indicate this when you register.

Spanish Language Accommodations
If your parents/guests need Spanish language translation, we can accommodate their needs. Please visit our Family Spanish Language Orientation website for more information.

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 an available date. 

You are allowed to change the program date you have registered for up to 14 days before the program begins. To change your date, log into your Admissions Portal and select a program that works better for your schedule. If you need to change the date after the 14-day prior deadline, contact us at 414-229-5842 or orientation@uwm.edu.

Overnight Policy
All new freshmen are required to stay in Sandburg Residence Hall during New Student Orientation, regardless of where you will be living in the fall. During registration, you will have the opportunity to request an exemption from staying in a residence hall if desired. Every student at the Orientation program will have their own bedroom. This portion of the program is consistently rated the best part of the experience, along with interacting with the Orientation Leaders, who are current students and also stay in Sandburg. This portion of the program is low-key and allows students to get to know each other better. We also offer inclusive housing options for those wishing to take advantage. If you want to utilize inclusive housing options, please indicate that when registering for orientation.

Guest Policy
You may bring family/guests to Orientation, but it is not required, and you will be separated from your guests for much of the program, including course enrollment. You are allowed up to two guests. Romantic partners or friends are not appropriate guests for this program, and we do not recommend bringing children.

Guest Overnight Accommodations
Overnight housing is not provided for guests. Guests are encouraged to consider Panther Families preferred hotel partners – discounts apply if you specify that you are coming for a visit to UWM.

Step 3: Complete Your Next Steps Prior to Orientation

Before you can enroll in classes at New Student Orientation, you have some important next steps to complete. Please complete these steps before attending Orientation to ensure that you are able to enroll in classes:

Course Placement – Complete more than 14 days prior to Orientation
If you do not complete your course placement by 2 weeks prior to your Orientation date, we will have to reschedule you for a future date. Please take this step as soon as possible to ensure you can attend the Orientation you choose during registration.
You have two options to satisfy your course placement requirements for Math and English:
  • Submit your ACT/SAT scores
  • Take Guided English Placement and Panther Math Prep programs

Please visit the Course Placement Website for directions including optional testing for Chemistry and world languages.

Submit the University Housing Contract OR Exemption Form
The Housing Contract and Exemption Form can be completed in the Housing Portal found at uwm.edu/myhousing. For more information, please visit the Housing Website. If you completed a University Housing Contract, you must pay the $100 University Housing Contract Deposit.

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. 

Complete Your University Credit Agreement
This appears on your To-Do List on your PAWS account and must be signed before you can register for classes. For more information, visit the Bursar’s Office page.

Submit your High School Transcripts
Work with your High School counselor to send us your final high school transcript once your final grades and graduation date have been posted. Transcripts can be sent by email to: undergraduateadmissions@uwm.edu or mailed to:

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
P.O. Box 749
Milwaukee, WI 5320

Submit Your ID Photo
You will receive your official UWM student ID — your PantherCard– at Orientation. You must upload a photo of yourself to our system at least 48 hours prior to your Orientation date. Guidelines for taking and submitting your photo are available on the PantherCard Office website. 

Step 4: Prepare for Orientation

Check Out Class Options in Advance
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 and ensure you register for classes important for your major. Check out our schedule of classes to see what classes sound interesting to you in case you have room for one in your schedule.

Packing List
Make sure you’re ready to spend the night with us! We will provide sheets, a blanket and pillow in the residence hall. Feel free to bring your own if you prefer. 

Items to pack: 

  • Toiletries 
  • Towel
  • Phone charger
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Clothes for two days
  • Sweater or jacket (buildings are air conditioned and can get cold)
  • Spending money (meals are provided, but Panther Shop and vending machines are available) 
  • Umbrella (as needed)
  • E-Panther ID
  • For days with heat advisories, please feel welcome to bring a small fan

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!


After attending Orientation:

  • You will be able to make informed choices regarding academic, personal and social issues.
  • You will take personal responsibility for your own success.
  • You will feel welcomed, comfortable, engaged and excited to be a member of the UWM community.
  • You will grow in your 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.

Step 5: Attend Orientation

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

Parking Details
When attending New Student Orientation, you should park in thePavilion Parking Garage located at 3409 N Downer AvenueDo not park in a space marked ‘reserved’. Vehicles higher than 6’9” will not make the garage clearance. We can’t accommodate parking for any vehicles higher than 6’9” – you would need to find off-campus parking.

From the parking garage, Orientation Leaders and signage will direct you to the check-in area (Library Overhang). Parking is included in the New Freshman Fee and you will be given a parking pass at Orientation check-in.

Please note that parking is not available for New Student Orientation until 1:30 p.m. If you arrive prior to this time, you will not be given a pass and there may not be space to accommodate your vehicle.

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

Meet & Greet
After checking in, you will have the opportunity to participate in the UWM Meet & Greet, a campus resource fair where you can talk to representatives from different offices on campuses about the services they offer to help you during your time at UWM. Offices attending the Meet & Greet range from University Housing to University Recreation to the LGBT Resource Center and more!

Overnight Details
After checking in at the Library, you will drop your luggage off and we will lock it up during the day. You are required to check a bag. Around 8:00 p.m, after formal programming has ended, you will retrieve your bag and head to Sandburg for the night. All students will have their own rooms. 

There are several vending options in Sandburg if you’re looking for a late-night snack. Be sure to bring a credit or debit card–machines do not take cash.

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!

Social Media
Use #UWMNSO on your Twitter or Instagram posts during the program to share your experience! (Follow us: uwmnewstudents) 

Campus Map
Click here for a map of the UWM campus.

COVID-19 precautions: All Orientation attendees are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask covering your mouth and nose during the program. We will be providing free KN95 masks to all participants. We have planned as many activities as possible to be outside. All students will be assigned to their own individual bedroom for their overnight stay and meal times will be staggered. If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness prior to the program, please stay home. We will provide opportunities to make up programs that are missed in the event of illness.

Get Ready for the Semester
Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to do before I come to Orientation?  

  • Complete items in Steps #1, #2, and #3 above.

Can family and guests attend NSO with me? 

  • Family Orientation provides a great opportunity for family members and guests to learn how to support your academic success at UWM.  
  • Families and guests (limit 2) are welcome, but are not required 
  • If family or guests attend NSO with you, there will be portions of the day where you are separated.  Some conference sessions and course enrollment are exclusively for students.  
  • Students add guest(s) to their registration when selecting their NSO date. Registrations can be updated after submission.  

What should I bring with me to NSO?  

  • See “Packing List” in Step #4!

Will meals be provided? 

  • Students will be provided dinner on Day One and breakfast on Day Two of Orientation.  

When will I get my placement tests results and be able to sign up for classes? 

  • If you completed your course placement requirement 14 days prior to Orientation, advisors will have your results 
  • Advisors will meet with you during the program to help select the appropriate courses to take.
  • All students will leave the program with a course schedule! 

I want to change my major. How do I do that?  

  • Log into your Admissions Portal at http://uwm.edu/admissionsportal and find the “Change my Major” button! You’ll find the remaining steps in your Admissions Portal.
  • Note that not every school/college participates in every Orientation so if you change your major, check that your field of interest is represented on your chosen date 
  • Lastly, note that you can’t change your major inside of 2 weeks before your Orientation. If you want to change your major at that point, it’s best to do so after Orientation.


The Orientation Requirement

Orientation is an exciting opportunity for you to get familiar with your new community. We’ll show you all the ways you can be a part of the UWM community, find a group of friends, and get help during your time at UWM. Our talented team of Orientation Leaders will guide you through the program and share stories about their experience on campus. Orientation will help you: 

  • Be able to make informed choices regarding academic, personal and social issues.  
  • Take personal responsibility for your own success.  
  • Feel welcome, comfortable, engaged, and excited to be a member of the UWM community.   
  • Grow in your understanding and respect for others in a diverse community. 

Orientation is required because navigating the transition to college can be challenging. We want you to know about all the tools, knowledge and support available to help make your transition to UWM as seamless as possible. We’re committed to your success and can’t wait to welcome you to the Panther community!