1. UWM
  2. Academics
  3. Registration Policies

Course Prerequisites

Many courses have prerequisites which you are expected to satisfy prior to enrollment. See "Prereq" in the departmental listings pages of the Schedule of Classes. Typical examples include a certain year-in-school (e.g. "Jr. standing"), other specific courses (e.g. "Physics 210"), a particular placement test score, admission to a particular major, or consent of the instructor.

Instructors have the right to enforce prerequisite requirements, and may deny enrollment to students that do not meet them. They may also permit exceptions.

If you do not meet the prerequisites specified for a particular course but believe that you have equivalent preparation, contact the instructor (or department) for more information.

You'll need to obtain a permission number from the department offering the course or submit an Add/Drop form signed by the department to enroll in those courses for which you lack prerequisites.

For prerequisite course definitions, see "Abbreviations and Symbols".

Administrative Drop for Lack of Prerequisites

If you lack a course prerequisite, you may be dropped from - or be required to drop - the class.

  • Drop the class as soon as you know you can't remain in the class. It is your responsibility to drop classes for which you don't meet published prerequisites or which you do not plan to attend.
  • Don't wait for the department to drop you, as fees for dropped classes are based on the date you drop the class online via PAWS or the date your drop form is submitted to Registrar's Office, Mellencamp 274.

Class Standing Enforcement

Class standing prerequisites will be enforced unless you obtain written permission of the instructor or the department in the "Instructor/Department Approval" box on an Add/Drop form.

Forms must be submitted to MEL 274 after the student's initial registration appointment time, and will be processed by Registrar's Office staff.

Loss of Credit for Courses Taken Out of Sequence

Certain courses cannot be taken out of sequence. Check the course prerequisite to find out if you'll lose credit for taking a course out of sequence. Also see "Abbreviations and Symbols".

Permission/Consent

If you receive an error message in PAWS stating that consent or permission is required for a class, you must obtain a permission number from the department offering the class or submit a signed Add/Drop form. Permission numbers are not valid once classes begin.

Auditing Classes (Grading Basis "AUD")

If you audit a class, you won't receive a grade or earn college credit for the class, and in most cases, you won't be expected to take exams or prepare projects or term papers. Be sure to discuss course work and attendance requirements with your instructor during the first week of class. Auditing courses is generally not permitted during UWinteriM.

Classes marked with a "#" in the Schedule of Classes require written consent, on an Add/Drop form, to audit.

Classes marked with a "~" in the Schedule of Classes can never be taken for audit.

Auditors taking (auditing) any class held in the Klotsche Center and Pavilion will be permitted to use the Klotsche Center and Pavilion Facilities by enrolling into an RSF Auditing Membership (a lab fee of $75 is required for all classes). Auditors taking (auditing) classes in a building other than in the Klotsche Center and Pavilion will not be eligible for an Auditing Membership.

In order to use the Klotsche Center/Pavilion facilities, auditors, dissertators, off-campus class participants, and all other non-mandatory student fee paying students must pay, at the Bursar’s office, the full mandatory student fee amount for their corresponding credit load.

Credit/No Credit Classes (Grading Basis "CNC")

Some courses may be taken on a credit/ no credit basis, rather than for a letter grade. To determine which courses may be taken for credit/no credit, consult the "Credit/No Credit Option" chart.

Honors College

If you're enrolled in the Honors Program, classes marked by an "H" in the Schedule of Classes may be taken for Honors credit. For information on enrolling in the program, call the Honors College Office, GAR 302, 414-229-4658.

Administrative Drop for Non-Attendance

Departments have the right to enforce class attendance policies, and may administratively drop students that do not meet these requirements. In particular, students that fail to attend a class during the first week (or in some cases the first two weeks) may be dropped so that another student may be accommodated. Specific policies vary from department to department.

It is your responsibility to inform yourself about and comply with any such attendance requirements or to drop the class yourself. Tuition responsibility for dropped credits resides with the student.

Contact the instructor or department for more specific information, especially if you anticipate missing any classes during the first week of the term.

Overload/Maximum Credit Load for Undergraduate Students

The maximum credit load in a Spring or Fall term:

  • 18 credits (undergraduates)
  • 18 credits or 3 studio courses (Peck School of the Arts undergraduates)

The fall and spring registration limit using PAWS is 18 credits for undergraduates. Students wishing to enroll in an overload must obtain approval from their school/college advising office on an Add/Drop form.

The maximum credit load in a summer term:

  • You may enroll in a total of 12 credits for the full duration of the summer sessions, but no more than four credits during any session less than or equal to four weeks

The summer registration limit using PAWS is 12 credits for undergraduates. Students wishing to enroll in an overload must obtain approval from their school/college advising office on an Add/Drop form.

The maximum credit load in UWinteriM:

  • You may enroll in a total of 3 credits for the full duration of the UWinteriM session

The UWinteriM registration limit using PAWS is 3 credits for undergraduates and, due to the short duration of the term, overloads are generally not permitted. Students wishing to enroll in an overload due to exceptional circumstances must obtain approval from their school/college advising office on an Add/Drop form.

Approval for overload does not waive any course prerequisites or permit enrollment in closed classes. Forms must be submitted to Mellencamp Hall 274 after the student's initial registration appointment time, and will be processed by Registrar's Office staff.

Maximum/Minimum Credit Load for Graduate Students

You may not register for more than 12 graduate credits in a fall or spring semester or 9 graduate credits in the eight-week Summer Session or a total of 12 graduate credits in all sessions between the conclusion of a spring semester and the beginning of a fall semester. Audit, sport/recreation and colloquium seminar credits are not counted when determining a graduate student's credit load.

If you are taking undergraduate certification coursework, are making up deficiencies, or have exceptional circumstances resulting in special hardship, you must appeal to Graduate Student Services for permission to carry more than the maximum credit load.

If you're a doctoral student classified as a dissertator, you must be enrolled for three graduate-level credits (at the current dissertator rate) each semester until your doctoral dissertation is filed in the Golda Meir Library. The only number of credits for which a dissertator may register is three.

Approval for overload does not waive any course prerequisites or permit enrollment in closed classes. Forms must be submitted to Mellencamp 274 after the student's initial registration appointment time, and will be processed by Registrar's Office staff.

Late Registration

Students initially enrolling late will be subject to a $50.00 fee. Please see the calendar for the specific date.

Placement Tests

  • Placement tests are required for introductory courses in English and mathematics.
  • Depending on your high school courses (and/or courses transferred from another college or university), placement may also be required for enrollment in some chemistry or foreign language courses. If placement is required, this will be noted under "Prereq" in the departmental listing pages of the Schedule of Classes.

Additional specific information describing placement requirements may also be found at the beginning of a department's class listing. Most new students take required placement tests prior to their first semester in attendance. If you did not, and now find that a placement test is required for a class you wish to take, contact the UWM Testing Center at 414-229-4689 for more information.


Addresses & Contact Information
Mailing Address
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Registrar's Office
P.O. Box 749
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0749
Street Address
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Registrar's Office
2442 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
Phone: (414) 229-3800
Contact Registrar's Office