Frequently Asked Questions
What is New Student Orientation? For Summer/Fall, New Student Orientation is a two day program packed with information about UWM. At orientation new students will meet other students, learn about campus resources and student life, meet with advisors and register for classes. Current UWM students will guide new students through the days. All New Freshmen are required to attend this program in its entirety.

For Spring New Student Orientation is a one-day program that occurs during the month of January. In addition to learning about campus resources, receiving academic advising, and registering for classes, our one day program offers time to learn about UWM's traditions, socialize with new students and experience campus life. All students are required to attend the one-day program with other incoming students. Parents and family members are welcome to attend our Family & Guest Orientation that runs concurrently to the student program.

How do I sign up for New Student Orientation? 

You will be invited to sign up for New Student Orientation online 1-2 business days after you have completed the following steps:

Once these steps are complete, log on to this website to pick your orientation date.

Do I need to take placement exams? All New Freshmen need to complete Placement Tests in English and Math prior to registering for classes. Optional tests are available in Chemistry and Foreign Language. Depending on your major you may be encouraged or required to take the optional tests. Soon after being admitted, you will receive information about how to sign up for placement tests. For more information go to the New Freshman Testing Website or call 414-229-2210.

When will I get my Placement Tests results? Results will be provided at New Student Orientation. Advisors will help students select the appropriate courses.

How and when will I register for classes? You will register for classes during your New Student Orientation program. Academic advisors will provide program information, assist with course registration on PAWS and be available to answer your questions.

If I have a question concerning the University Housing Contract or Exemption form, who should I contact? Visit the University Housing website for more information! If you can’t find what you’re looking for, contact University Housing by calling 414-229-4065 or email

Why can’t I see the $100 Confirmation Deposit and/or the $100 Housing Contract Deposit on my PAWS account? The Confirmation Deposit will be added to your account shortly after you have been admitted to UWM. The Housing Contract Deposit will be added to your account 3-5 days after submitting your contract. Contact the New Student Orientation Office regarding the Confirmation deposit at 414-229-5842 or or University Housing regarding the Housing Contract Deposit at 414-229-4065 or with questions.

How can I pay my $100 University Housing Contract Deposit and/or $100 Confirmation Deposit? Fees can be paid via the following methods:
  • In person at the UWM Bursar Office, Mitchell Hall Room 285 with cash, check or debit card
  • Send a check in the mail to P.O. Box 500, Milwaukee WI 53201-0500. Be sure the student’s name and campus ID number is in the memo line of the check.
  • Online via with Mastercard, American Express, or Webcheck.
When do I have to submit my Housing Contract by in order to be included in the first round of Housing Assignments? Students will be included in the first round of Housing Assignments if their contract is submitted by May 1, 2015.

I think I may be eligible to defer my fees because I am eligible for veterans’ benefits. How do I find that out? Individuals who qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill (Ch. 33 benefits) can defer their Contract Deposit to be taken out of their VA Benefits. Please contact the Military Education Benefits Office at 414-229-6627.

What if I can’t pay the $100 Confirmation Deposit and/or $50 of the $100 University Housing Contract Fee ($50 of this fee is non-refundable and must be paid out of pocket)? You are eligible to use your financial aid to cover these fees if you filed FAFSA and received the Pell Grant as part of your financial aid award according to your FAFSA. To apply to defer one or both of these fees, please contact the New Student Orientation Office at 414-229-5842 or You will be required to meet with a Financial Aid Advisor to discuss the future costs of college before a deferment is granted.

I paid my fee(s) but I am unable to register for orientation. What should I do? Your payment takes approximately 1-2 business days to process. Check back to the registration site 48 hours after you pay.


I want to change my major. How do I do that?

  • If you have not yet registered for a New Student Orientation Program: When registering for an orientation program at you have the option to change your major by selecting the new major.
  • If you have already registered for a New Student Orientation Program: You need to complete a Major Change Request Form.
  • If you have already attended a New Student Orientation Program and signed up for classes: You need to speak to your Academic Advisor.
  • If you want to change your major on the day of their orientation program: Students cannot change their major to Architecture, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Nursing on the day of their program. Other requests may be granted.
What if I cannot attend any of the sessions?If there is a conflict with all programs, contact the New Student Orientation Office at 414-229-5842 or

Do I have to attend? All first year students who are applying to UWM for the Summer or Fall must attend an overnight orientation program. Contact the New Student Orientation Office with questions 414-229-5842 or


Do I have to stay overnight?

Yes. Whether you are living in the residence halls or commuting from home in the fall, meeting other students is an important part of the NSO experience. All first-year students will stay overnight in RiverView Residence Hall. You must also adhere to all policies during the program which can be found here: Housing Policies

Do parents and family members need to attend New Student Orientation?Families and guests are welcome to attend but are not required. Families and guests will be separate from students for the majority of orientation as we have a separate Family & Guest Orientation program.

I decided that I will not be attending UWM. Can I get my fees refunded? Confirmation Deposit Refunds: Refunds will be granted to students who formally withdraw from the university by submitting a Cancel Application Request Form ( by August 15 and did not register for a New Student Orientation program at any point. If you registered for an NSO program and canceled at least 10 business days before your scheduled date, you may be eligible for a refund.
University Housing Contract Fee Refunds: Full or partial refunds are granted based on the date the Termination Form – Residence Halls ( is completed. Refer to the University Housing Contract Guide Book for more information or contact 414-229-4065 or