Online Education Frequently Asked Questions

Who teaches online courses
Online courses at SOIS are taught by full-time, tenure track faculty and lecturers. To further expand our elective offerings, SOIS hires experienced professionals to teach in specialized subject areas. These are all the same instructors you would find in a traditional, onsite class.
How are online courses delivered?
SOIS online courses are delivered mostly asynchronously (in non-real time) using Desire2Learn, an intuitive course management software tool. Some courses may take advantage of live chat sessions; others may make use of streaming audio or video lectures. As new technologies for course delivery become available, we will make every effort to take advantage of those that are appropriate to our degree programs.
What student support services are offered?
We provide student advising (start to finish), career counseling, and technical support, as well as registration and enrollment assistance. The UWM Golda Meir Library is especially adept at handling Distance Education student services. They offer Inter-Library Loan, electronic reserves and access to electronic indexes and abstracts.
Where can I find my campus ID number?
If you need to retrieve your ID number, you can visit the UWM Campus ID Finder at the UWM Department of Enrollment Services website. You will need to enter your ePanther ID and password to login.
Can I get a student ID card?
Yes! To obtain your PantherID card, send the following information to
  • Full legal name
  • Month and date of birth
  • Campus ID number

For full details, visit the PantherCards for Online Students site.
I’m an online student can I enroll in study abroad?
Absolutely! SOIS offers numerous study abroad opportunities during the summer and UWinterim terms to South Africa, Korea, and Scotland to name just a few. Enroll early, though, because they fill up quickly!
How many online courses should I take in one semester?
This will depend greatly on your outside commitments. We encourage online students to start with six credits (two classes) for their first semester. Family, work and life can make completion of online work a bit more taxing. One common rule we use is students who work more than 25 hours a week should consider limiting their enrollment to six credits (two courses) per semester.
If I need to visit UWM in person, how do I get there? What are my lodging options?
There are several hotels and motels conveniently located near the UWM campus. Please view our visitor information page to obtain a map of UWM and a list of nearby lodging.
Are scholarships and financial aid available?
YES! Scholarships are available to online students. Please see our Scholarship Information.

To apply for financial aid, complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Please see for more information or contact the Financial Aid office.

The UWM Financial Aid Office offers online entrance loan counseling.