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 a freshman.

Application requirements for new freshmen are below. Ready to apply? Review your steps for applying to UWM.

Application requirements for new freshmen are below.

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

When you apply to UWM as a freshman, the application essay is completed before you submit your application through either the UW-System Application or Common App.

Sample essay question:

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?

Essay questions may differ depending on which application you use. Please complete the essay prompt associated with the application that you prefer.

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 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:

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
P.O. 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 in your UWM Admissions Portal.

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.