Exterior of Kenwood Interdisciplinary Research Center

Prospective freshmen can apply to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee using either the UW System application or the Common App. All other applicants should use the UW System application. No matter which application you use to apply to UWM, there’s no undergraduate application fee!

Keep in mind that UWM has three campuses offering different programs and degrees. On your college application, you’ll be asked to choose from UW-Milwaukee, UWM at Washington County and UWM at Waukesha. (You can’t apply to multiple UWM campuses.)

If you aren’t sure which UWM campus to choose, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at undergraduateadmissions@uwm.edu or 414-229-2222 to speak with an advisor.

For details on how to apply to UWM, application requirements and more, please see below.

Learn More

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Main campus in Milwaukee offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

UWM at Washington County
Branch campus in West Bend offering associate degree programs.

UWM at Waukesha
Branch campus in Waukesha offering associate degree programs and a bachelor’s degree program in nursing.

  1. Apply to UWM

    The UW System application is the easiest option for students applying only to UWM and other UW System schools. The Common App is the best option for new freshman students also applying to private colleges and out-of-state schools.

  2. Send Required Documents

    UWM application requirements vary depending on your academic background. Select the appropriate student type below for information about your application requirements.

    After we receive your application, we’ll send you log-in directions for our Panther Access to Web Services (PAWS) student information system. Each applicant receives a to-do list in PAWS. After you’ve checked off each item on your to-do list, your application file will be complete and ready for consideration.

  3. Admissions Decision

    You’ll receive updates on your admission status and admission decision via email and mail. When your file is complete, it will be reviewed through our holistic review process. Expect it to take one to three weeks to receive a decision. Admission decisions are communicated via email and mail, so be sure to check often.

    Possible admission decisions include:

    • Direct admission to your UWM campus of choice.
    • Admission to the First-Year Bridge Program.
    • A request for additional information, such as updated transcripts or other documentation.
    • Denied admission.

UWM Application Requirements

Freshmen include students who are graduating high school seniors or high school graduates (or equivalent) who haven’t previously attended a college or university. Students who enrolled in college courses while in high school should still apply to UWM as freshmen.

Preparing to Apply to UWM as a Freshman

During the college application process, you’ll be asked for a variety of information, including personal information and academic history. To make completing the application as easy as possible, we recommend having the necessary information on hand.

If you’re current enrolled in high school, we recommend having this information available:

  • Your current class schedule.
  • A PDF of your most recent transcript, which you’ll have the opportunity to upload to your application.
  • Your ACT/SAT scores (optional). On the Common App, you have the option to self-report your scores. You can also use our self-reported test scores form.
  • A list of activities and work experience.
  • Personal and parent contact information (if applicable).

If you’re a high school or GED/HSED graduate, we recommend having this information available:

  • Final high school transcript or GED/HSED transcript.
  • A list of activities and work experience.
  • Personal and parent contact information (if applicable).

UWM Application Essay

The application essay is completed before you submit your application through either the UW-System Application or Common App. This is your opportunity to tell your story by responding to the following prompt:

Tell us about something you’ve done — academically or personally — and what you’ve learned from it. Was it a success or a challenge? Did it represent a turning point in your life? How did this particular moment in your life influence you, and how will it continue to influence you as you pursue your college education?

Your application essay should include:

  • Any academic and personal hurdles and/or challenges you’d like us to know about in the context of your application.
  • Any information that is inclusive of your family or your community experiences.

Before you submit your application essay, please make sure to:

  • Review your spelling and grammar.
  • Ask someone to proofread your final version.
  • Check that your essay is between 250 and 650 words in length.

Required Application Materials

High School Transcripts

Official or unofficial high school transcripts may be submitted for initial application review. You may choose to upload your unofficial transcripts when completing the UW-System application. Unofficial transcripts can also be emailed to undergraduateadmissions@uwm.edu for review.

Admission decisions are conditional until an official final high school transcript is submitted after high school graduation. Official transcripts can be sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions through an approved electronic service or via mail to:

UWM Admissions
PO Box 749
Milwaukee WI 53201-0749

Test Scores (optional)

UW System institutions, including UWM, are not requiring applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores as part of the application process this year. UWM will consider applicants for admission with or without one of these standardized test scores. On the application, students can indicate whether or not they intend to send an ACT or SAT score to be reviewed with their application. Students who plan to send test scores can submit official scores directly from the testing service, self-report their test scores on the Common App, or complete the electronic self-reported test scores form.

To send scores directly from the testing service, select UW-Milwaukee as a recipient (ACT school code: 4658; SAT school code: 1473).

Application Review

Academic Preparation

Your academic performance in the classroom is the most important factor in the review of your application. We carefully consider the pattern and rigor of your high school coursework, class rank (if available), overall GPA and grades in specific courses related to your intended major at UWM. The most competitive candidates for admission to UWM typically surpass these unit requirements:

  • English: 4 units
  • Math (Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 or equivalent): 3 units
  • Natural Sciences: 3 units
  • Social Sciences: 3 units
  • Academic Electives: 4 units

Performance on ACT or SAT (optional)

If you choose to submit test scores, performance on the ACT or SAT is only one factor considered in the admission process. In addition to your composite score, we also consider your sub-scores in the area(s) (English, math, reading, science) that closely relate to your intended major at UWM. Although the writing portion of the ACT is not required, we will consider these results if you wish to submit them.

Additional Information

We want to know more about you beyond your academic record and test results! Other factors considered in the review process include but are not limited to: student experiences, work experience, leadership qualities, motivation, community service, special talents, etc.

This information is collected when you complete the application. The essay is where you answer the prompt and tell your story. Letters of recommendation are not required but will be considered if you choose to send them.

Transfer students are students who have earned or are currently earning college credit after high school. Students who previously attended UWM but have since enrolled at another institution should apply to UWM as a transfer student.

Preparing to Apply to UWM as a Transfer Student

During the college application process, you’ll be asked for a variety of information, including personal information and academic history. To make completing the application as easy as possible, we recommend having this information available when you start:

  • A list of courses that are currently in progress, if you are currently enrolled at another institution.
  • A list of activities and work experience.
  • Personal and parent information (if applicable), including address and contact information.

UWM Application Essay

The application essay is completed before you submit your application. This is your opportunity to tell your story by responding to the following prompt:

Tell us about something you’ve done — academically or personally — and what you’ve learned from it. Was it a success or a challenge? Did it represent a turning point in your life? How did this particular moment in your life influence you, and how will it continue to influence you as you pursue your college education?

Your application essay should include:

  • Any academic and personal hurdles and/or challenges you’d like us to know about in the context of your application.
  • Any information that is inclusive of your family or your community experiences.

Before you submit your application essay, please make sure to:

  • Review your spelling and grammar.
  • Ask someone to proofread your final version.
  • Check that your essay is between 250 and 650 words in length.

Required Application Materials

High School and College/University Transcripts

Official final high school or GED/HSED and college transcripts must be sent directly from the schools you’ve attended for application review. If you’ve attended multiple schools, official college transcripts from each school attended are required. If you’re currently taking college classes, please include a list of your current college classes on the application form.

Official transcripts can be sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions through an approved electronic service or via mail to:

UWM Admissions
PO Box 749
Milwaukee WI 53201-0749

Test Scores (Optional)

UW System institutions, including UWM, are not requiring applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores as part of the application process this year. UWM will consider applicants for admission with or without one of these standardized test scores. On the application, students can indicate whether or not they intend to send an ACT or SAT score to be reviewed with their application. Students who plan to send test scores can submit official scores directly from the testing service, self-report their test scores on the Common App, or complete the electronic self-reported test scores form.

Submission of test results is never required for students age 21 and older or applicants with at least 12 transferrable credits.

To send scores directly from the testing service, select UW-Milwaukee as a recipient (ACT school code: 4658; SAT school code: 1473).

Application Review

Panther Tracks Guaranteed Admission

Panther Tracks offers transfer students guaranteed admission to UWM for students who meet the following criteria:

  • Have earned at least 24 transferrable college credits.
  • Have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA in all transferrable credits from all institutions attended.
  • Be in good standing at all previous institutions.
  • Complete the required application steps outlined above prior to the final application deadline.

Students who do not meet the criteria for guaranteed admission are still encouraged to apply to UWM and will be reviewed for admission through our individualized, comprehensive review process.

Credit Transfer

If you would like to begin to evaluate how your courses may transfer before you receive your official evaluation, check out the Transfer Equivalency Database or create a Transferology account.  You may also email undergraduateadmissions@uwm.edu with the subject: Transfer Credit Eval Request.  Please be sure to include this information for fastest processing: your name, intended major, email, phone number and most recent school attended.

An official evaluation of eligible transfer credit will be completed by the Registrar after you’ve been admitted. We value your work at other institutions, and we want to award as much credit as possible. For more details on transfer credit policies, articulations agreements and transfer guides, please visit One Stop. You can also visit Transfer Wisconsin to learn more about how courses transfer in the University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Technical College and Tribal College systems.

Related Links

Re-entry students were once UWM students but have not attended UWM for a full academic year and are interested in returning to complete their degree. Students who have attended another institution since leaving UWM should review requirements for transfer students.

NOTE: Students who attended any UW System two-year campus before Fall 2018 must apply to UWM as a transfer student.

Preparing to Apply to UWM as a Re-Entry Student

During the application process, you’ll be asked for a variety of information including personal information and academic history. To make completing the application as easy as possible, we recommend having this information available when you start:

  • Personal and parent information (if applicable), including address and contact information.

Application Review

Admission to the university, however, does not necessarily guarantee admission to your desired major or program. To gain admission to your major, you’ll need to meet specific credit and GPA requirements.

If you left UWM in poor academic standing, there may be a few extra steps we need you to complete before we can review your file for readmission. An advisor will walk you through those. If you left UWM with any enrollment holds, we can assist you with the process for getting them cleared.

Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarships worth up to $500 are available for returning students if you apply by Aug. 1 and enroll for the fall semester.

Interested in taking UWM courses while still in high school? Apply to UWM as a dual enrollment student. Options include the Early College Credit Program (ECCP) and the High School Special Program. Learn more about these programs below!

Preparing to Apply to UWM as a Dual Enrollment Student

Early College Credit Program (ECCP)

High school students in Wisconsin can earn college credit through the Early College Credit Program (ECCP). Students who apply to the program and are accepted become eligible to take one or more university courses for high school credit, post-secondary credit or both. Under ECCP, the costs of the courses are shared among UWM, the school district or private school, the state and, in some cases, the student’s family.

Application Materials and Requirements

  • Students must first be approved by their high school. To apply, you must fill out the Early College Credit Program and High School Special Agreement form and submit it by March 1 for Fall courses, and October 1 for Spring courses.
  • All Wisconsin high school students are eligible to apply through their high school, however, UW-Milwaukee only accepts high school juniors and seniors into the program. (High school freshmen and sophomores should contact us if they have questions.)
  • Depending on if the course is taken for high school credit or college credit, 25% of the reduced tuition may be billed to the family.
  • Courses are available in Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.
  • We need four pieces of information for every applicant:
    1. Please submit the Early College Credit Program and High School Special Agreement form to your high school by the dates outlined above.
    2. Submit an application to UWM at apply.wisconsin.edu. (Do not pay the application fee or fill out the essays.)
    3. Send an official high school transcript.
    4. Submit a list of high school courses you will be taking while you are hoping to take a course(s) at UWM.
  • All materials must be received by August 1 for the Fall semester and December 15 for the Spring semester.

Admission Standards

Students must have a 3.5 GPA in their desired area of study and/or overall GPA. Students who are near this requirement may still be admitted, but must receive departmental approval.

Please send all documents to:
UW-Milwaukee Admissions
Attn: Dual Enrollment
PO Box 749
Milwaukee, WI 53201

Course Selection

  • Please review the courses offered at UWM. All courses at UWM are open to dual enrollment students, except courses with the designation: Not Open to University Special Students. Student must also meet the prerequisites of the course, so most upper-level courses will not be an option.
  • Degree-seeking UWM students get the first opportunity to enroll in courses. ECCP students must wait until about a month before courses begin to determine if there is space in the course to enroll
  • Many courses fill to capacity before a student is able to enroll, so we highly recommend listing backup courses.
  • Students hoping to take math and English courses as well as some chemistry, physics and foreign language courses have to take UWM placement exams. Students may not be approved for courses because they didn’t meet the necessary score on their exam.

High School Special Program

Another option for students interested in dual enrollment is the High School Special Program. This option is open to any high school student, including homeschooled students.

  • Any high school student is eligible.
  • The student and their family are responsible for 100% of the cost of tuition, fees and books. No financial aid is available to High School Special Program students.
  • Courses are available in Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.
  • To apply, you need to supply four pieces of information:
    1. You must get your high school’s approval to take the course. This can come from a guidance counselor.
    2. Submit a UWM application here: apply.wisconsin.edu.
    3. Send an official high school transcript.
    4. Submit a list of high school courses you will be taking next semester and what courses you intend to take at UWM.

Note: Students should aim to submit all application materials before the UWM priority deadline to ensure their best chance of enrolling in their desired class or classes.

Contact Us

Any questions can be directed to Dual Enrollment Coordinator Kathleen Breuer. Please email dual-enrollment@uwm.edu or call 414-229-6357 to connect with Kathleen.

Contact

Kathleen Breuer
Dual Enrollment Coordinator
414-229-6357
dual-enrollment@uwm.edu

Non-degree and guest applicants are students who would like to take a few courses but do not intend to earn a degree from UWM. Apply to UWM as a non-degree or guest student if you are…

  • a recent high school graduate deferring college for now.
  • a current college student at another institution who is taking a break and staying close to home.
  • a high school student who wants a jump-start on general education college credits.
  • a college student looking for an alternative gap year experience.

Preparing to Apply to UWM as a Non-Degree/Guest Student

I’m interested in a specific subject or class.

With more than 200 academic programs to choose from, UWM has a learning experience that’s right for you. Whether you’re looking to try something new, explore your options or upskill, UWM has hundreds of courses to pick from.

Browse through next semester’s course offerings:

I’m interested in taking a service-learning course.

Students who take a course with a service-learning component will engage in community projects that are related to the course content and then reflect on the experience in class discussions or through written work. UWM has many service-learning course offerings so that students in various disciplines can learn through this powerful pedagogical practice.

If you have questions about service learning, please contact Laurie Marks, director of the Center for Community Based Learning, Leadership, and Research, at lmarks@uwm.edu or 414-229-3161.

I would like to work on a research project.

Would you like to work closely with a faculty member on a research project? Research experiences help build your resume by giving students valuable training in a specific field guided by faculty mentors.

I want to learn another language.

Some students might want to learn a particular language to connect with their cultural roots, while others may have dreams of travel. And learning a less commonly taught language will give you a specialized skill to expand your career opportunities. UWM teaches over a dozen languages in addition to English — find one that’s right for you!

I want to fulfill general education requirements.

With hundreds of courses to choose from, guest students can take general education courses that meet either competency requirements or distribution requirements. Competency requirements are designed to assure basic proficiency in oral and written communication, quantitative literacy and a language other than English. Distribution requirements are designed to provide students with a broad body of knowledge in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences as a foundation for specialization.

I want a gap year alternative.

Students looking for an affordable alternative to a gap year can take advantage of research opportunities, experiential learning, language study and skills-based courses here at UWM. You can explore for a semester or year focused on a discipline or theme of your choosing. Chart your own course, pursue your interests, build your resume and serve your community.

Cost and Financial Aid for Non-Degree/Guest Students

How much will studying at UWM cost as a guest student? You can estimate the per credit cost from the latest tuition table as a good guide. Generally, an in-state student will pay approximately $1,700 for a three-credit class taken during the fall or spring semesters.

Non-degree and guest students are generally not eligible for financial aid. Exceptions can be made for those enrolled in eligible certificate programs or those taking prerequisite courses for admission to a UWM degree or certification program. Learn more at One Stop.

Advising and Registration

After admission, you can register for classes through your PAWS account. You can work with your dedicated Academic Advisor, Dan Geddes, for assistance with course selection and registration. Dan can be reached at dageddes@uwm.edu or 414-376-8212.

Contact

Dan Geddes
Academic Advisor
414-376-8212
dageddes@uwm.edu


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