Graduate Programs Frequently Asked Questions & Deadlines


  1. What are the application deadlines?
  2. How to apply and what’s required?
  3. What about International Students?
  4. Are GRE scores required?
  5. How do I check my application status?
  6. Admitted - Now what?
  7. How do I get Funding/ Financial Aid?
  8. How to I defer admission?

1. What are the application deadlines?

While CEAS has “rolling applications”, we recommend the following deadlines to assure a timely response for the requested semester:

Applications for Fall Semester due April 1st
Applications for Spring Semester due September 1st

More information on deadlines can be found at:

These deadlines are independent of any funding or support a department (major area) have to offer an applicant.

2. How to apply and what’s required?

Submit directly to the Graduate School

  • Completed Graduate School Application
    Apply online at:
  • One official copy of transcripts from all institutions that you attended to :
    UWM Graduate School
    P.O. Box 340
    Milwaukee, WI 53201-0340
  • Reasons for Graduate Study Statement - Suggestions
    Begin your statement with your name and the program to which you are applying as a heading. Be precise.
    Explain your reasons for pursuing graduate study; describe specific interests and your background in the field, list any relevant skills or training you have acquired, and list relevant academic awards or honors you have received.
  • Pay the $56.00 non-refundable application fee
  • Letters of Recommendation
    Letters of recommendation are not required but may be submitted for MS applicants. Two letters are required for PhD applicants. Letters should be academic or professional in nature, not personal, and should address your ability to do graduate work. Recommendations may be included with application materials or submitted directly to:
    University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee
    Graduate Program Office- E379
    P.O. Box 742
    Milwaukee, WI 53201-0742

3. What about International Students?

International students can find more information by visiting the Center for International Education’s Website at:

4. Are GRE scores required?

Graduate Records Exam (GRE) is required for all domestic and international applicants except for those applying to the MS in Computer Science, for which the GRE is recommended, but not required. Have test results sent to UWM using code 1473, submit a copy to CEAS Graduate Programs Office or include a copy with application documents.

5. How do I check my application status?

Go to to receive your ePantherID and activate your account. You will need your UWM campus ID#: xxx-xx-xxxx. To check the status of your application online go to the main UWM website and click “PAWS,” below the yellow bar at the top of the page. Please note: your PAWS account may not be accessible for 24 hours after applying.

You will use your PAWS account the entire time you are a student at UWM, so write down your ePantherID and password in a safe place so you can remember it later. Once you have logged into you PAWS account, look for the To-Do List on the right hand side. These are the application requirements we have not received. When they disappear from your list, you know we have received them.

6. Admitted - Now what?

Admission on Probation: A student admitted on probation (i.e., a student with an undergraduate grade point average of less than 2.75 who has provided substantial evidence of the capability to do satisfactory graduate work) must earn a minimum 3.000 GPA on at least six (6) credits within one year, or three terms of enrollment, in order to clear the probation status.

Program of Study (PoS): A Program of Study form is a guideline to ensure that a student is on track for successfully completing a masters (or PhD) and meeting the degree requirements. PoS is typically submitted within the first year of enrollment.

MS Program of Study(Changes effective with Spring 2014 Admissions)

  • Thesis Option- 24 credits of coursework. 6 credits of Thesis
  • Of the 24 credits, 15 must be 700-level or higher (thesis credits are not part this of 15 credit requirement)
  • Non-Thesis Option- 31 credits of coursework
  • Of the 31 credits—16 must be 700-level or higher
  • Deficiency courses are not included as part of the minimum credit requirement. Only U/G and G courses count toward the program
  • Only one 3-credit independent study is allowed for MS program.
  • If a Masters student is transferring in credits from another institution, or has taken UWM courses as NDC (Non-Degree Candidate), credits require approval from Graduate School using the Transfer of Credit Evaluation Form (TCE).
  • Credits earned in a Bachelor’s Degree Program are not allowed to be transferred into a MS program. (The only exceptions are the approved credits completed as part of the integrated BS-MS.)

PhD Program (Changes effective with Spring 2014 Admissions)

You need a minimum of 66 graduate credits beyond the Bachelor's degree to earn a Ph.D.:
  • 21 credits in the major area of concentration
  • 9 credits in an approved minor area
  • 6 credits in mathematics and/or quantitative methods
  • 9 credits of approved electives
  • 3 credit CEAS Graduate Seminar (Ethics and Engineering Communication, xxx700)
  • 18 credits of doctoral thesis
  • A minimum of 33 credits (including thesis) must be completed in the PhD program at UWM
  • Transfer Credits- use the PhD Program form (only)

Course offerings and scheduling:

Registration: Panther Access to Web Services (PAWS

All UWM students register for classes using the online system, Panther Access to Web Services (PAWS). You will be assigned a registration appointment time which will be posted to your PAWS account. You may register any time after your assigned start time. Information about registration, PAWS, tuition, deadlines, class times, and other administrative regulations can be found in the UWM Schedule of Classes .PAWS Pre-Registration Steps
  • You must be admitted and eligible to enroll.
  • Check your registration appointment time on PAWS. This is the earliest time and date you may enter the PAWS system to register. After this time you may reenter the system at any time.
  • Be sure there are no "holds" on your registration. All holds or service indicators must be cleared before registering on PAWS.
  • Consult with your faculty advisor to make sure you are registering for the appropriate classes if you have questions.

Adding and Dropping Classes

You may make changes to your schedule any time after your initial registration. You may add or drop a course using PAWS during the first two weeks of class.Unless a shorter deadline is established by a department and stated in the Schedule of Classes semester information, you may drop courses through the end of the eighth week of classes using PAWS.Dropping a class after the final drop deadline is allowed only for reasons of extraordinary circumstances not related to academic performance in the course and will require filing the written approval form filing a Request for Exception form (RFE).

Transfer of Graduate Credit: A Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE) form filed with the Graduate School, and submitted with an official transcript. The Graduate School makes the final decision on whether or not a course will be transferred.

  • Any credit transferred from another institution to UWM must have been taken as a graduate student for graduate credit and appear on a graduate transcript.
  • The school granting the original credit must be a regionally accredited institution.
  • No more than 40% (max 12 credits) of the total number of degree credits is allowed to transfer to UWM.
  • The equivalent grade of a B or better must have been earned.
  • The courses must have been taken within five years prior to admission to the UWM Graduate School.
  • Courses taken as an undergraduate special student cannot be transferred to a graduate degree program.
  • No credits may be transferred from one completed graduate degree to another, though a waiver of that course may be appropriate.
  • Courses will not be transferred until one semester of graduate work is completed at UWM.
Response time can range from two to eight weeks so be sure to submit your request early. You will be notified by email to the decision.

Graduation Time Limits and Requirements

Students should apply for graduation at the beginning of their final semester

  • MS Students must be registered for a minimum of one credit in the semester they defend and graduate. Committee should be formed at the beginning of the semester the student plans to graduate.
  • A minimum of ten days prior to the defense, the student should submit request for Thesis Defense form with appropriate signatures, date, time and location of the defense and Thesis title.
    • Same for Non-Thesis/reviewed by committee
  • All NR (Not Reported) grades and “I”(Incomplete) must be cleared before the student graduates

7. How do I get Funding/ Financial Aid?

Although admission does not guarantee funding or financial aid, top students may be considered for attractive fellowship and/or assistantship packages. In addition, all students are encouraged to apply for any and all types of financial aid as explained below.

  • Teaching Assistant Applications may be found at the major / department link or by contacting the admitting department directly:
  • Letters of recommendation may be required for consideration of a teaching assistant position. A Teaching Assistant Assessment administered by UWM is required for all non-native English speaking applicants
  • No formal application form for Research Assistant positions is available. Applicants must contact a professor with whom they would like to do research and request a position. Search the “People” and/or “Faculty” link at your department home page:
  • Graduate fellowships and other financial support information at UWM can be found on-line at
  • Tuition/fee information is available at

8. How to Defer?

Students may defer admission up to two semesters without completing a new application. If a student would like to defer, they may e-mail the CEAS Graduate Programs office at: