New Freshman – Spring

Congratulations on choosing UWM – we’re thrilled to welcome you to the Panther Family! Orientation will introduce you to our campus, the network of support you have access to, and to other students. Orientation is intended for new students, but parents and families are welcome to attend the concurrent Family Orientation – you can register when your student signs up for Orientation.

Register for Orientation

Are you an International Student? Find your information here!

Orientation Registration Steps

Step 1: Complete Admission Steps

You will be invited via postcard and email to sign up online for Orientation once you have satisfied your Course Placement and Housing requirements, then complete Pre-Orientation in your PAWS accout:

Course Placement Requirements. You have two options to complete your course placement requirement:

  1. Submit your ACT or SAT scores to UW Milwaukee.
      • If you have already submitted your ACT/SAT scores with your application, you do not need to submit them again.
      • If you have not submitted your ACT/SAT scores, you can request those scores be sent directly to UWM from ACT or SAT.
      • If you have a copy of your ACT/SAT scores, UW Milwaukee also has an online form to report your test scores.
  2. If you do not have test scores, use our free online placement tools in BOTH math and English.
      • Math– Panther Math Prep is a free online placement tool that allows you to assess your current math skill level and receive a course placement via an online proctored math placement test in a platform called ALEKS.
      • English – UWM offers a free online placement option called Guided English Placement (GEP). The GEP takes about 30-60 minutes to complete.

Please visit uwm.edu/freshmanplacement for more information on course placement and to access the online placement options. For questions, email NFTest@uwm.edu

Housing Requirement: Submit the University Housing Contract (and pay the $100 University Housing deposit) OR submit an Exemption Form (may be completed before or after the Course Placement step). For questions regarding Housing, please contact them by visiting their website.

Complete the “Pre-Orientation” To Do List item in your PAWS account. This Pre-Orientation is required for all incoming students and you will be asked to reschedule your Orientation if it is not complete.

If there is a scheduling conflict, please contact our office  orientation@uwm.edu

Step 2: Register for Orientation

Register here! After you register, you’ll immediately receive a confirmation with limited program details via email. You’ll receive more extensive directions via mail and email about one 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.

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.

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) 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.

Spanish Language Accommodations
If your parents/guests need Spanish language translation, please visit our Family Spanish Language Orientation website for more information.

Step 3: Prepare for Orientation

Schedule
Orientation schedule coming soon!

COVID-19 Guidelines
If you have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms within 10 days of your Orientation, please do not come to campus. Email us at orientation@uwm.edu and we can share options to make up your Orientation experience. If you are symptom-free, please follow campus guidelines requiring you to wear a mask. 

Financial Aid questions?
There will only be extremely limited opportunity for students and guests to discuss Financial Aid-related questions during Orientation. We highly recommend that you schedule a 1-1 appointment in advance of your Orientation — you can schedule that appointment here.

Submit Your ID Photo [Required] Prior to Orientation, you need to 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 the GET UWM app, PantherCard’s online management system. Go here to the PantherCard Office website for detailed instructions and requirements for your photo.

Credit Agreement [Required]
Before being able to register for classes, you must complete your credit agreement. You can complete it through your PAWS account, by clicking “Credit Agreement” on your To Do List items.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) [Required] Enroll in multi-factor authentication (MFA). Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an additional layer of security that keeps your account safe. With MFA, you will be using something you know (your password) with something you have (your device/smartphone) to confirm your identity.

UWM Email [Required]
You can access and set up your UWM email 1-2 days after you complete your “Intent to Enroll” To Do List item. Your email account is through Outlook and you can log in to the Microsoft suite here. Your email address is your ePantherID followed by @uwm.edu (ppanther@uwm.edu). Login with your full email address and your ePanther ID password.

Academic Plans
One of the most important things you will do as part of your Orientation experience is register for your first semester of classes. An advisor will help 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.

If you have questions about planning your schedule, you’ll have the chance to ask an Academic Advisor when you enroll in classes shortly after your Orientation. For more general questions about your experience at UWM, email us at orientation@uwm.edu!

Packing List
Here is a list of some things to bring along for your Orientation Program:

Something to write with, a sweater (most buildings are air conditioned and can get cold), jacket, comfortable walking shoes, umbrella (if needed), and some spending money if you’d like (the Panther Shop will be open).

Family Preparation
Family Orientation schedule coming soon! 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 in your program registration to get on the PantherFamilies email list.
  • Have questions prepared for the offices you’ll be hearing from.
  • Bring a sweater! Our buildings can be chilly.
  • Connect with your student after the program to hear what they learned.

Engage with UWM
Check out the Admitted Student website to see if there are any fun events you’d be interested in joining!

Step 4: Attend Orientation

Parking Details
When attending 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 in Bolton Hall. Parking is included in the Orientation Fee and you will be given a pass when you arrive at program check-in.

Please note that parking is not available for Orientation until 11:45am. 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 12:30pm), you will not receive a pass.

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

Expectations

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.

Step 5: Stay Connected After Orientation
Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Fees I’m paying? 

  • The $150 Orientation Fee you will see on your account is not due until the first day of classes. The Orientation Fee is not refundable if you participate in Orientation. This pays for all the costs related to your Orientation experience.
  • You will also see a $100 New Freshman Fee which is also not due until the first day of classes. This Fee covers many costs related to the first-year programming that will be available to you this year! If you cancel enrollment prior to the start of the term, you will not owe this Fee.

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 Orientation 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 Orientation date. Registrations can be updated after submission.  

What should I bring with me to NSO?  

  • ePanther ID and password (you will need this to enroll in classes) 
  • Comfortable walking shoes 
  • Jacket 
  • Umbrella (as needed) 

Will meals be provided for me? 

  • No — we are not serving food at Orientation for Spring 2022

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/ 

I’m considering waiting to start at UWM until the next Fall. How do I do that, and should I do it?

  • It’s your choice to start classes in the Fall or Spring. If you’ve been admitted for Spring and want to start classes in Fall, you must submit a Term Change Request here.
  • If you Term Change and have paid your $150 Orientation Fee, you will NOT get a refund. Your first Orientation Fee charge will be canceled and you’ll get a new Orientation Fee charge for the correct term. The payment you already submitted will then automatically cover the new Orientation Fee charge.
  • There are many implications to changing terms. To get more information about Term Changes and ask questions, email undergraduateadmissions@uwm.edu.

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 their 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 their own success.  
  • Feel welcome, comfortable, engaged, and excited to be a member of the UWM community.   
  • Grow in their understanding and respect for others in a diverse community. 

Orientation is required program because navigating the transition to college can be challenging. We want you to have access to all the tools, knowledge, and support that you can to make your transition to UWM as seamless as possible. We’re committed to your success and can’t wait to welcome you to your new community!