Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for Students

What is MFA?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) refers to an additional layer of security added to the login process. To keep your account safe, you use something you know (your password) with something you have (device/smartphone/etc) to confirm your identity.

Here are some common ways MFA is used every day:

  • When using an ATM, you need your bank card and your PIN number
  • When paying for gas with a credit card you need to enter your zip code
  • When logging into your bank account online you may be prompted to enter a security code sent via text message


In the fall of 2019, faculty and staff were enrolled in MFA and it has provided an immense level of protection to their online information, as well as UWM’s. University IT Services is excited to extend this to students currently enrolled at UWM and to enhance the university’s cybersecurity. Students will be using MFA through Microsoft and it will be added to Office 365 (Outlook, OneDrive, etc.) on October 28, 2020.

There will be a 2-week window for students to enroll in MFA. On November 12, 2020 MFA will become mandatory upon logging into Office 365. Please note: In this initial phase of our MFA implementation for students, the MFA login requirement will be limited to Office 365. Students will not be prompted to authenticate on other platforms such as PAWS and Canvas at this time. 


If a student does not have the technology to successfully enroll, advise the student to call the UWM Help Desk at 414-229-4040 or visit

For instructions and more detailed info on all UWM technologies, browse the UWM KnowledgeBase at any time: If you have any questions about MFA please call the UWM Help Desk at 414-229-4040 or visit