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. We also provide a separate program for Transfer and Adult Students, which is more tailored to the transfer and adult student experience!
All Orientation programs have passed. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get registered for an Online program.
Orientation Registration Steps
Before you can sign up for Orientation
You will be invited via postcard to sign up online for New Student Orientation after you have completed all of the following steps:
- 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)
- 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 email@example.com
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.
After you register, you’ll receive a confirmation with program details via mail and email about 1 week prior to the program.
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.
If you’ve already registered for a program and you want to change your major, you’ll need to cancel your current registration at the same website, log back in and select “Change Major” at the top. You’ll then have to wait until your major is approved or not and log back in to re-register for the program. 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.
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) or friends 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. We do not recommend bringing small children to this event.
Check out the: Orientation Student Schedule so you know what to expect!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Here is a list of some things to bring along for your day long Orientation Program:
Something to write with, a phone charger, a sweater (most buildings are air conditioned and can get cold), jacket, comfortable walking shoes, umbrella (if needed), and some spending money (meals are provided, but the Panther Shop will be open during orientation programs).
Check out the Spring Orientation Family 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!
When attending New Student Orientation, we ask that you park in the Union Parking Garage located off of Kenwood Avenue (2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.). Do not park in a space marked “reserved.” Vehicles higher than 6’9” will not make the garage clearance.
From the parking garage, Orientation Leaders and signage will direct you to the check-in area (Union Concourse). Parking 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 8:45am. 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 9:40am), you will not receive a pass.
Due to limited space, we can only accommodate 1 car per family.
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.
- Review all of your Orientation materials from your folder and the Student Handbook link provided
- Review the PRIDE Message to set yourself up for success
- Begin your On Campus Job search
- Join Presence to browse student organizations
- Check out our Campus Events calendar
- Get in the right frame of mind for college by checking out our student videos
- Join the Panthers 2019-20 Facebook Group to meet your new Panther classmates
- Get in the right frame of mind for college by checking out our topic-based student videos
- Get excited for Winter Welcome!
What do I need to do before I come to Orientation?
- Take a photo of yourself for your student ID and submit it through “Get UWM,” PantherCard’s online management system. Go 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 to ensure easy pick-up.
- Complete the University Credit Agreement (paws.uwm.edu) In the Finances section click “Credit Agreement”). This must be completed to enroll in classes for the upcoming semester.
- Pay outstanding balances on your PAWS account (in the Finances section). If you have overdue charges and a Bursar’s Hold is placed on your account, this may impact your ability to register for classes.
- Review the schedule of classes online: uwm.edu/schedule.
- Read the PAWS Financial Aid tutorial to learn how to accept your aid and prepare to speak with a Financial Aid advisor.
- Complete any outstanding Financial Aid items (found on your PAWS to do list, accept wards, etc.).
Can family and guests attend NSO with me?
- Family Orientation provides a great opportunity for family members and guests to learn about how to support their student’s academic success at UWM.
- Families and guests (limit 2) are welcome to attend 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?
- E-panther ID and password (you will need this to enroll in classes)
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Umbrella (as needed)
Will meals be provided for me?
- Students and their families and guests will be provided lunch at orientation.
When will I get my placement tests results and be able to sign up for classes?
- Advisors will be meeting with students 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?
- If you have already registered for a NSO program: Please (1) Sign in to the Orientation Website and cancel your orientation registration, (2) Click “Change Major” at the top of the page and fill out the form, (3) Wait 3-5 business days for major change request to process, and (4) Re-register for the program.
- If you have not registered for NSO: Complete a Major Change Request form found online at https://uwm.edu/undergrad-admission/forms-resources/major-change-request/