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J-1 Exchange Student: Application to Study at UWM

Application Deadlines

The following dates are recommended UWM application deadlines for exchange students. Meeting these deadlines is important in order to ensure that exchange students have sufficient time to process immigration paperwork, obtain housing, and register for courses.

  • *March 1: Fall Semester for one semester (August-December) or for an academic year (August-May)
  • *August 1: Spring Semester (January-May)

    *if your home university needs more time to nominate students, please contact Sue Conway at  Deadlines may be flexible.



Application Process

You must first be nominated by your home university.

Once your home institution has selected you for an exchange, you may apply to UWM's exchange program using the following steps:

Step 1: Complete the University of Wisconsin System online admissions application. All students should apply as Undergraduate Students!  Use this helpful info sheet as a guide for answering some of the questions asked.  PLEASE NOTE: the University of Wisconsin System application is free to undergraduate students, but charges a $15 fee for graduate students.  Please follow the application instructions on the info sheet above!!

Step 2: Please use these instructions to complete the UWM Student Exchange Application.  

Step 3: UWM must receive the following items to consider your application:

  • Email to from your International Office nominating you for the exchange;
  • A complete University of Wisconsin System Application (See above instructions)
  • A complete UWM Student Exchange Application (See above instructions)
  • **We must receive your official Proof of TOEFL or IELTS scores (from countries where English is not the first language). UWM does not accept TOEIC or institutional TOEFL (ITP) scores (UWM English proficiency requirements);
  • **We must also receive your Official transcript of courses taken and a listing of courses in-progress at the time of application;
  • **A copy of your degree certificate, if you have completed your degree (needed to determine graduate admission status)
  • Financial Verification form (included with exchange application) - Students must prove that they have access to $6,400 for a semester exchange or $12,800 for an academic year exchange. These sums must be available through personal savings or a sponsoring family member or friend. This financial guarantee is required to obtain a student visa. (This can be sent as a scanned document or you can mail the original documents to UWM. For a breakdown of potential costs see "Costs" section below.
  • NEW AS OF JANUARY 14, 2014, due to changes in policies related to the Affordable Health Care Act, exchange students are now required to purchase a health insurance policy arranged by UWM for international students. 

**These documents may be first scanned and sent via email and then mailed to UWM. They may be sent individually as they are completed or sent altogether.

Please mail all documents to the following address:

     Sue Conway, Incoming Exchange Student Coordinator
     Center for International Education - Study Abroad Office
     UW-Milwaukee/ Pearse Hall 166
     2513 E. Hartford Ave.
     Milwaukee, WI 53211

     Phone: 414-229-5182

UWM cannot begin the admissions process on your behalf until BOTH of your applications are complete. This could take between four and six weeks for processing. When that is complete you will receive a package containing a welcome letter and your DS-2019 immigration document, as well as a housing contract if you chose the university housing option.


Q: Am I an exchange student?
You are an exchange student if your university has an official and active exchange agreement with UWM and you have been nominated by your home International Office and you are coming as a non-degree student for only one or two semesters of study.

Q: What can I do to avoid delays in the processing of my application?

  1. Make sure that all application materials are completely and accurately completed.
  2. Submit a complete and valid financial guarantee.
  3. Schedule your TOEFL or IELTS exam as early as possible. Students from UK institutions do not need to provide TOEFL or IELTS.  If you have questions please email or

Q: What is required for the financial verification?
You must prove that you have sufficient funds to be a full time student by submitting one of the following:

  • A filled out financial verification form, signed and stamped by your bank.
  • An account statement noting the balance available to you, on bank letterhead. Internet account printouts are not acceptable.
  • An official letter from your bank on bank letterhead stating that you have the required balance available to you.

If a family member or friend will be financially sponsoring your exchange, you must both fill out and sign the financial guarantee form.

Q: How long will it take to review my application?
Applications take approximately four to six weeks to be reviewed and to have students' immigration documents produced.

Q: What happens if I am admitted?
Once admitted you will need to apply for your J-1 exchange student visa. You will receive a package containing a welcome letter with your student identification number, your DS-2019 immigration document, and other university information.

You will receive an email to your home email address from University Housing giving you the option to complete a contract for the different housing options. 

Q: Who do I contact with questions? 
Please email Sue Conway at or