Washington County – Spring

Click here to register for Orientation!

New Student Orientation (NSO) marks your entrance into the UWM community. NSO is a 3 hour program that gives students the opportunity to get familiar with the UWM at Washington County campus, meet other new and current students, learn about campus resources and how to enroll in classes. NSO is intended for new students, but parents and guests are welcome to attend Family Orientation. A few days following NSO, students will finalize their course enrollment in a 1:1 appointment with their advisor.

We offer programs in December and January. You select your date through your Admissions Portal. If none of the dates work for you, please reach out to us at 414-229-2222 or  orientation@uwm.edu and we can help work out a plan.

COVID-19 Notice: New Student Programs is excited to welcome you to campus! 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.

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 
  • Complete your “Intent to Enroll” as your first step to enrolling at UWM

Once you’re admitted to UWM, you’ll be invited to register for Orientation and take other necessary steps. If you have not already done so, please review the Admitted Student Next Steps.

Step 2: Register for Orientation!

Log into your Admissions Portal and find “New Student Orientation Registration” item. Follow the steps to select a date and share other important information like dietary needs, disability accommodations, and guest registration information.

After you register, you’ll immediately receive a confirmation with limited details. About 1 week prior to your Orientation, we’ll reach out via email with comprehensive program details.

Student Policies

Course Placement
You must complete your Course Placement requirement at least 14 days prior to your Orientation or we will work with you to reschedule for a future date. See instructions in ‘Complete Your Next Steps’ below.

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.

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 7 days before the program begins. To change your date, log into your Admissions Portal and select a program that works better for your schedule.

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 or friends are not appropriate guests for this program. Please note you will be separate from your guests for a majority of this program. We do not recommend bringing children to this event.

Note that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) applies differently to college students than to elementary or high school students — the student now has sole and direct ownership of their educational records.  While parents and families understandably have an interest in a student’s academic progress, they may only access the student’s records with written consent.  We encourage families to honor and appreciate their student’s role in charting their academic path and choosing their courses, under the guidance of UWM’s professional advisors.  See https://uwm.edu/registrar/ferpa-parents/ for more information about how FERPA applies to college students.

Spanish Language Accommodations
If your parents/guests need Spanish language translation, please contact our office to speak with someone who can help your guest learn more about Orientation.

Step 3: Complete Your Next Steps

Before you can attend New Student Orientation, you have some important next steps to complete:

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 date you chose.
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.
    • UWM offers a free online placement option called Guided English Placement (GEP), which is a survey that assesses your skill level. The GEP takes about 30-60 minutes to complete.
    • 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.

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

For questions, emailNFTest@uwm.edu.

Complete the Canvas Orientation Course
Prior to your Orientation, you will receive an email granting you access to a supplemental Orientation Course hosted on UWM’s online learning platform, Canvas. Using that link, you can enroll yourself in the Orientation course, and work through the pages, videos, and complete the quizzes. This course will be available to you throughout the year incase you need to brush up on any of the information provided.

Complete Your University Credit Agreement
Your credit agreement 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 electronically 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 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.

Step 4: Prepare for Orientation

Academic Plans
Orientation prepares you to register for your first semester of classes. An advisor will be there to guide you on requirements for your field of study, but it is 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.

At orientation, each student will sign up for an individual 1:1, in-person or virtual appointment with their academic advisor which will take place 1-7 days following NSO. This allows for an individualized experience where the advisor can focus directly on the student to help them finalize their schedule and enroll in their first semester of classes.

Packing List
Please bring with you, your ePanther ID and Password. Along with something to write with, a sweater (most buildings are air conditioned and can get cold), jacket, comfortable walking shoes and an umbrella (if needed).

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

  • 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.
  • Talk to your student about their academic classes since you won’t be joining them for class registration.
  • 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!

Parking Details
When attending New Student Orientation, we ask that you park in the upper parking lot located off of 400 University Drive, at the top of Campus Drive. From the parking lot, signage will direct you to the main entrance. Overflow parking can be found in the lower parking lot, also located off 400 University Drive. A parking permit is not required.


From the North on US 45

Take US 45 South to WI 33, turn right (west) 1 block to University Drive. Turn left (south) and continue to UWM at Washington County.

From the South on US 45

Take US 45 North to WI 33, turn left 1 block (west) to University Dr.
Turn left (south) on University Drive and continue approximately 3 blocks to UWM at Washington County.

From the East on WI 33

Take WI 33 through West Bend. University Drive is approximately 1 block past the junction with Hwy. 45. Turn south (left) on University Dr., and continue approximately 3 blocks to UWM at Washington County.

From the West on WI 33

Take WI 33 to University Dr., turn right (south) and continue to UWM at Washington County.


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: Attend Orientation

Check out the Student Orientation Schedule below! We have morning and afternoon sessions available. Please note lunch is not provided, so plan accordingly.

Time Activity
12:15 PM / 3:45 PM Check-In: Enter through the Main Entrance and follow the signs to check-in. Park in the upper lot. No permit necessary.
12:30 PM / 4:00 PM Opening Session: Meet staff and orientation leaders. Learn more about campus academic advising and financial aid.
2:05 PM / 5:35 PM Break Out Sessions: Students will participate in the Advising Lab and Student Connections sessions. Parents and Guests will participate in the Family/Guest Presentation.
3:10 PM / 6:40 PM Optional Tours & Financial Aid 1:1 Appointment (Virtual or In-Person Options)

Meet & Greet
After checking in, you will have the opportunity to participate in the UWM Meet & Greet, a campus resource fair where you have the chance to talk to different offices on campus about the services they offer and how they can help you during your time at UWM at Washington County.

Make sure to use #UWMNSO on Twitter or Instagram (Follow us: uwmnewstudents) during your program to share your experience!

Campus Map
Click here for a map of the campus.

Note: There is a $150 Orientation fee that all new students are required to pay for attending Orientation. This fee is used to fund our Orientation programs and bring students an unforgettable experience! The $150 Orientation fee is due along with your tuition on the first day of classes and is nonrefundable if you attend Orientation.

COVID-19 precautions: All Orientation attendees are encouraged to wear a face mask covering your mouth and nose during the entirety of the program. 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.

Stay Connected After Orientation
Frequently Asked Questions

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

  • Complete your Course Placement – see directions on the Course Placement Website
  • 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 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 
  • Comfortable walking shoes 
  • Jacket 
  • Umbrella (as needed) 

Will meals be provided for me? 

  • No, meals will not be provided. The program will last approximately 3-4 hours.

When will I get my placement test results

  • Course Placement Results will be visible on your unofficial transcript. Please see directions in the Orientation Canvas Course for how to access your transcripts from your PAWS account. 
    • You will also receive a copy of your unofficial transcripts at NSO.
  • If you are using Panther Math Prep or the Guided English Placement, note that it takes 1-2 weeks for assessments to be reviewed and placements to be uploaded in PAWS.
    • Make sure to complete the assessments at least 14 days prior to your registered NSO date.

When will I be able to sign up for classes? 

  • New Student Orientation (NSO) and Course Enrollment are broken up into two different days.
    • At New Student Orientation students will engage with new and current students, learn about campus resources, gain valuable information about the inner workings of academic advising and financial aid and receive a hands-on course enrollment tutorial.
    • Before leaving NSO, students will schedule a 1:1 enrollment appointment with their advisor to finalize their 1st semester schedule. This will take place 1-3 days following NSO and could be virtual or in person.
      • This allows for an individualized experience where the advisor can focus directly on the student to make sure their needs are met, questions are answered, and they feel prepared for the start of the semester.

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.

How can I speak with Financial Aid regarding the costs of college, loans, scholarships, and more?

Where can I access necessary technology tutorials? 

I’m considering waiting to start at UWM until the Spring of 2023. 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 Fall 2022 and want to start classes in Spring 2023, you must submit a Term Change Request here.
  • If you Term Change and have paid your $150 Orientation Fee for Fall, you will NOT get a refund. Your Fall Orientation Fee charge will be canceled and you’ll get a Spring Orientation Fee charge. The Fall payment you already submitted will then automatically cover the Spring 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 campus community, find a group of friends, and get help during your time at UWM at Washington County. 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 your own success.  
  • Feel welcome, comfortable, engaged, and excited to be a member of the UWM at Washington County community.   
  • Grow in your 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!