Transfer Credit Policy and Options for Prior Learning Credit

In general, transfer credit is awarded for college-level work completed at institutions accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), assuming the provisions outlined below are also met. (Foreign institutions must be recognized by the Ministry of Education, or equivalent, of the home country). Courses must be similar in nature, level, and content to a course in UWM’s undergraduate curriculum and applicable to one of our academic programs. Continuing education courses, graduate-level courses, and courses that are remedial, technical, vocational, or doctrinal in nature are not transferable.

UWM also grants college credit for Advanced Placement (AP) exams and International Baccalaureate exams (IB) provided the scores meet minimum requirements and are reported on official score reports. UWM grants credit for several College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams, retroactive credit based on foreign language placement and course completion, and credit for military coursework and training.

Credit Hours: The maximum number of transferable semester credits earned at one or any combination of two-year (associate degree level) institution(s) is 72. There is no credit limit on transferable credits from a four-year university. Please keep in mind that UWM students must complete a certain amount of credits in residence in order to obtain a degree from UWM. Consult the individual school/college for requirements regarding the number and kinds of credits a student must take in residence at UWM to earn a degree. Credit Conversion: If you have taken courses at an institution that uses quarter credit or units other than semester credits, we will convert your quarter credits/units to semester credits. You will not lose credits in the conversion. A quarter credit is the equivalent of 2/3 of a semester credit. Therefore, a student who has taken 30 transferable credits at a quarter system institution will have 20 semester hours transfer to UWM.

Grades: The grades you received at your previous institution(s) will not be calculated into your UW-Milwaukee grade point average but may be used in determining admissibility to certain academic programs. If you repeat coursework previously taken at UWM at an external institution and then return to UWM, the grade(s) for the UWM course will remain on your record and will be included in your UWM grade point average.

Equivalent vs. Elective Credit: Transfer courses with descriptions that closely match the descriptions of courses taught at UW-Milwaukee will generally transfer as direct course equivalent credits. For example, an introductory psychology course at your previous institution will likely transfer as our Psych 101 Introduction to Psychology. Transfer courses that don’t have direct course equivalents at UW-Milwaukee will transfer as elective credits within the appropriate academic department. For example, a course on the history of Minnesota would transfer as history elective credits because UW-Milwaukee does not offer a course with that particular content. Elective credits count toward required degree credit completion totals and, upon approval of the academic program, may be used in fulfilling specific degree requirements.

Degree Requirements: Specific degree requirements differ among the various UW-Milwaukee schools and colleges. Transfer credit applies toward degree requirements appropriately based on the major and/or degree you intend to complete. To learn more about degree and major requirements, consult the Undergraduate Catalog or the appropriate undergraduate major.

Transfer Credit Process

We value your work at previous institutions and know that you're interested in how your credits may transfer to UW–Milwaukee. Our approach to transfer credit is to award as much credit as possible.

Credit Evaluations
After an applicant has been admitted to UWM, course work taken at institutions accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is evaluated by the Registrar’s Office. This evaluation is conducted by reviewing course descriptions from those institutions and evaluating the content against courses offered by UWM to determine if they are equivalent. UWM maintains equivalency tables for all UW System and WTCS institutions and other colleges/universities from which we receive significant populations of transfer applicants. Courses in these tables are reviewed and updated by the Registrar’s Office transfer evaluation specialists and approved by UWM faculty.

The results of the official credit evaluation will be posted to your PAWS account within two-to-four weeks of your date of admission. To view your transfer credit in PAWS, use the simple instructions below:
  1. Log into PAWS. Under the "Academics" heading, click on the drop down menu for "Other Academic." Select the "Transfer Credit: Report" option and click on the double arrow to the right of the menu.
  2. Posted transfer course credit, test credit, and other credit will be listed on your Transfer Credit Report in PAWS.
If you would like to get an idea of how your courses will transfer before receiving an official credit evaluation, use the following guidelines and our transfer equivalency databases.

Transfer Course Equivalencies
Depending on the school(s) you have attended, equivalencies for your courses may be listed in one of our online transfer equivalency database.
Transfer Information System (TIS): TIS is a website that allows current UW System (UWS) or Wisconsin Technical College (WTC) students to determine transfer equivalencies. If you are attending a UWS or WTC campus, you can enter freshman- and sophomore-level courses into the system and find out the exact equivalence at another UWS campus or WTC. You can also find out in advance what classes you may need to take at your current institution in order to meet prerequisites for specific majors at another. For example if you are interested in nursing you could use TIS to determine what science course you need to take at your current UW-institution or WTC campus in order to meet the science prerequisite for UW-Milwaukee.
Transfer Equivalency Database (TED): TED is a website that allows any prospective or current students to determine transfer equivalencies based on established UWM transfer rules for a wide range of public and private institutions in Wisconsin and across the country.  TED is designed to assist students and staff in determining UWM transfer course equivalencies. The results are unofficial. All transfer coursework is subject to review and equivalency determination upon official submission to UWM.  Please note that equivalencies only exist for previously evaluated transfer courses. If a transfer institution or course does not appear in TED, it means UWM has not yet evaluated that coursework to determine an equivalency, and an equivalency determination will be made when the transfer work is officially submitted.

Transfer Agreements

Eligible students may take advantage of programs and agreements UWM has established with a number of partner institutions to make transferring to UW-Milwaukee more seamless by offering clear guidance on which courses transfer into our majors from other schools you have attended.

UWM participates in the Guaranteed Transfer program with the UW Colleges, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Madison College and Nicolet Area Technical College so that, when specific GPA and minimum credit requirements are fulfilled, you are guaranteed admission to UWM. Please contact the Student Services Office at your local UW College campus for more information.

In addition, several formal articulation agreements have been established to permit students who have completed certain programs at various Wisconsin Technical Colleges and/or other associate degree-granting institutions to transfer to related bachelor degree programs at UWM.

UW-Colleges to UW-Milwaukee Curriculum Guides

If you are currently attending a UW-College campus and you are interested in transferring to UWM, then a curriculum guide may help you to plan your UWC coursework. The curriculum guides have information about what requirements you need to fulfill for your intended major at UWM as well as a semester-by-semester course plan to help you select your UWC courses.

Credit by Examination

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee grants advanced credit for the successful completion of college–level course work while in high school and for high achievement on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and College–Level Examination Program exams.

Credits earned may be awarded toward general education requirements, degree requirements, or elective credit. The purpose of awarding advanced credit is to recognize advanced high–quality work, to preclude the duplication of courses, and to provide increased flexibility for students who wish to complete two majors, earn a certificate, or graduate early.

Advanced Placement
If you completed an Advanced Placement (AP) class and you chose to take AP examinations, or did take them when you were in high school, you may be able to receive college credit for a satisfactory AP test score. UWM will grant college credit for satisfactory scores if you enroll at UWM as degree candidate and submit official score reports to:

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
P.O. Box 749
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0749

We will not accept scores printed on transcripts from other colleges and universities. We only accept the offical advanced placement report.

International Baccalaureate (IB)
If you are enrolled in a school that offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, and you take IB examinations, or did take them when you were in high school, UWM may award college credit if you enroll as a degree candidate.

College Level Placement Examination Program (CLEP)
Credits may be earned for some college level courses through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). CLEP allows students who have gained knowledge through independent study, advanced high school courses, noncredit adult courses, or professional development to take examinations for possible college credit. Credit is granted for a satisfactory exam score. Recent high school graduates may benefit from these tests. Review our CLEP Credit Guide for more details. The UWM Testing Center administers CLEP exams, please contact them with more questions at 414-229-4689.

Retroactive Credit for Foreign Language
First complete the foreign language placement tests. Then consult with your advisor about what foreign language course to take. You may have scored well enough on the foreign language placement test to place into an advanced level. After you complete that first foreign language class with a B or better, you could receive retroactive credit for the college classes you skipped. In other words, you may be granted college credit for foreign language courses up through the first foreign language course that you completed at UWM. For more information, please contact the UWM Landuage Program or ask your academic advisor.

Credit for Military Coursework and Training

Effective June 2014, up to 12 credits may be awarded to service members/veterans for their basic military training and education.  Credits will be awarded based upon American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations as recorded on the official Joint Services Transcript (JST) for those who served in the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy or Coast Guard, or on the official Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcript for those who served in the U.S. Air Force.  Only military education/training recommended by ACE as equivalent to least lower division university level credit will be considered.

In order to receive credit, the service member/veteran must request that an official copy of the appropriate military transcript (JST or CCAF) be submitted to UWM for review and credit equivalency determination.  Students who submitted a Joint Services Transcript (JST) or Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcript to UWM prior to June 2014 may contact the Registrar's Office to request a re-evaluation of credit.  Contact the Registrar's Office via the web form at -- select "Transfer Credit" as the topic, and please include your Campus ID on the form prior to submission. 

While submission of the military transcript is not required for admission or enrollment, no credit will be awarded until the document has been received and reviewed.   Note that credit for basic military training/education is no longer awarded based upon receipt of a veteran’s DD Form 214. Note also that not all service members/veterans will receive the maximum allowable 12 credits.  Many will receive fewer, depending upon the ACE recommendations applicable to their specific military education and training.

Credit for Military Basic Training is awarded without regard to the student’s academic program or major, and will be recorded on the official UWM transcript along with the appropriate UWM course or elective credit equivalency.

Click to view a FAQ document (PDF) related to credit for military coursework and training at UWM.

DANTES Standardized Subject Tests (DSST): We do not award transfer credit for DSSTs.

Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC): We accept up to 14 credits for sequential courses in a foreign language (we do not award transfer credit for language courses of an applied or functional nature).

Military Occupational Specialties (MOS): MOS courses (on AARTS or SMART transcripts) are occupational in nature and therefore not accepted for transfer credit.


If you have questions regarding transfer credit evaluation at UW-Milwaukee, please contact the Registrar’s Office at or 414-229-3800. If you have questions regarding the status of your admission to UWM or general transfer questions, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at or 414-229-2222.