The power to shape society, spark innovation and move culture. That’s what the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offers to our entering freshman class each year.

Combine your ideas, strengths and determination with our world-class faculty, rich diversity and location in the cultural and economic heart of the state. Your brilliant future will start to unfold. Ready to reveal your power as a new freshman at UWM?

Freshman Admission Guidelines

If you are an exceptionally strong student, you'll find plenty of company at UWM, with lots of opportunities for academic challenge. But, in fact, we admit students with a fairly wide range of academic preparation. Here are the main factors we consider:

1. Academic Preparation in High School

High school graduation (or the equivalent) is required for admission. We carefully consider your academic preparation, as evidenced by 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. We are looking for a high school preparation that, at minimum, closely follows this chart:

At least three years literature and composition recommended. Up to one year may be from approved speech, communication, or journalism courses.
College prep courses at or above algebra level (more math is recommended for math intensive majors).
Natural Science:
Including at least one year of lab science (more science is recommended for science intensive majors).
History/Social Science: 3
Specific College Prep Electives:
Chosen from above the areas, foreign language, speech/communication, or other academic areas.
Other Electives:
Chosen from the above areas, computer science, fine arts (performance courses acceptable), or other appropriate courses.
Note: Foreign language is not required for admission. However, students must complete at least two college semesters of a single foreign language to graduate from UWM, and some programs require four or more semesters of foreign language study. Successful completion of at least two years of a single foreign language at the high school level will help you satisfy the UWM foreign language requirement, and is therefore strongly recommended.  

2. Performance on ACT or SAT

Performance on standardized tests is only one factor considered in the admission process. While the writing portion of the ACT is not required, we will consider these results if you wish to submit them. In addition to your composite score, we also consider your sub-scores in the area(s) (e.g. English, math, reading, science) that closely relate to your intended major at UWM. Submission of ACT/SAT results is not required of freshman applicants age 21 or older.

3. Additional Information

The application form includes two applicant statements intended to help us learn more about you beyond your test results and high school record. The first asks about your life experiences and the impact you will have at UWM. The second asks for a more general personal statement, or the opportunity to explain circumstances that might have affected your academic performance in high school. It is important that you respond to both.

While letters of recommendation are not required, if you choose to submit one or two for consideration, please be sure that the letter addresses your academic ability and potential for success at UWM.

4. Meet Admission Application Deadline

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions continues to review applications for undergraduate programs other than those already at capacity. Apply by the appropriate deadline and submit all materials (test scores, transcripts, application fee).

However, some programs have much earlier deadlines. For nursing and architecture applicants, priority consideration is given to applications received by April 1 for Fall and December 1 for Spring. After the priority date, applications are considered on a space-available basis. For art & design or music, apply by March 15 for scholarship consideration.

For fall admission, you are encouraged to apply soon after September 15 in order to be eligible for scholarship consideration. Scholarship applications and deadlines are separate from the admission process.

Application Process

1. Apply Online

Applications are accepted beginning September 15 for the fall semester. For most programs, applications are accepted until the fall and spring deadlines.

2. Pay the $44 Application Processing Fee

You may pay your fee online when you submit your application. Or, you may log back into your application to submit your fee online later. We also accept a check or money order.

3. Send Transcripts

We require official transcripts, sent directly from the school, for all high school and college level work. If you are still in high school, be sure to also list your senior-year classes on the application form.

4. Send Test Scores

New freshmen must submit ACT or SAT test scores. When you take the ACT or SAT, select UW-Milwaukee (ACT school code: 4658; SAT school code: 1473) to have your scores sent directly to us. Submission of ACT/SAT results is not required of freshman applicants age 21 or older.

If you have taken Advanced Placement exams (AP), International Baccalaureate exams (IB), or the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams and would like UWM to evaluate these scores for possible credit, please have your results sent from these testing agencies.

Students whose native language is not English and who were not educated in an entirely English-speaking country will likely need to submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

5. Admission Decisions

Soon after we receive your application, we will send you information about how to check the status of your application online, via our PAWS (Panther Access to Web Services) student information system. Log onto PAWS to monitor your application “to do” items. Once all of the “to do” items disappear, your file is complete and is ready for an admission decision. During peak times, you may expect to wait 4-6 weeks for a decision.

Common Questions

What is a completed application file?

A completed application file consists of an application, an official high school transcript, your ACT or SAT scores and the $44 application processing fee. Upon submission of your materials, you will be mailed directions to access your PAWS (Panther Access to Web Services) account to check the status of your application

Because you may submit your application for admission to UWM while you are still enrolled in high school, after you have graduated will also need to receive a final high school transcript with your final semester grades and graduation date posted

Do I have to take the ACT or SAT?

Yes, we need your ACT/SAT scores if you are under the age of 21 as of September 1st for the academic year in which you wish to enroll. Your ACT or SAT scores are information we use in determining your admission status

There are also some situations when older students must provide an ACT or SAT score to help us determine admission. If you completed high school with a GED or were home schooled, your ACT or SAT is required, even if you are over age 21

When will a decision be made on my application?

Once an application file is complete, including application fee and all relevant documents, you may expect to receive a decision in approximately 3-4 weeks

Can I defer admission or change the semester for which I would like to enroll?

Yes. If you are changing your term of entry to UWM from one semester to another, complete the Term Change Request form

How do I apply for on-campus housing?

Campus housing usually fills up early at UWM; therefore, if you plan to reside on campus, it is important that you submit an early application. Students who wish to live in the UWM Residence Halls must indicate so on the admission application.

The housing application process is simple: Answer "yes" to the housing question on the UWM Application for Admission, and you have applied for on-campus housing. All students who answer "yes" to the question on the Application for Admission -- Do you plan on living on campus? -- will receive a letter acknowledging their housing application along with information about the contract process. Students who answer "no" or leave it blank will not be eligible for on-campus housing.

What if I have financial aid questions?

First, please visit for information on applying for financial aid. Then if you have more specific questions, contact the Financial Aid Department at 414-229-4541 or

Do I have to take placement tests? What would happen if I did not take placement tests?

Yes, all new incoming freshmen are required to take University of Wisconsin System placement tests so you will be placed in the appropriate level classes. If you do not take placement tests, you will not be invited to the Student Advising and Registration program (New Freshman Orientation). This means you would not be able to register for classes.

Fall Priority Admission Application Date: Mar 1, 2014
Mailing Address
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Department of Admissions and Recruitment
P.O. Box 749
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0749
Street Address
Visitor Center (Vogel Hall)
3253 N Downer Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53211
Phone: (414) 229-2222