Special Student Information

Want to get your feet wet before diving into a degree program? Applying as a Special Student gives you the opportunity to try out university classes, complete prerequisites for graduate school, or establish a successful record before qualifying for admission to a degree program.

Admission Requirements
What does it mean to be admitted as a University Special Student?

You are admitted as a non-degree seeking student, completing only undergraduate courses. In most cases, non-degree students are NOT eligible for financial aid other than scholarships.

To qualify for admission as a University Special Student:
  • You must have graduated from a recognized high school at least one year prior to the desired semester of enrollment or be admissible to UWM based upon acceptable GED or ACT test scores. In most cases, we won't need your transcripts, but we'll let you know if they'd be helpful in assessing your admissibility to UWM. Regardless of whether transcripts are necessary, no transferable course work or other credits earned (e.g. via AP or CLEP exam) are posted to the records of special students.

Application Process
You have reviewed the admission requirements and are ready to get started. Here's what you will need to do!

We encourage you to complete the online application rather than using the paper form. Our office receives online applications the following business day after you submit them. You may request materials to be sent to you by contacting the Office of Adult and Returning Student Services.

Please Note! There is NO application fee to apply as a non-degree seeking University Special Student.

You may want to view UWM's course selection before you decide to apply for admission. You may use the electronic version of the Schedule of Classes.
After you are Admitted
Generally within 10 days of application submission, you will be notified by mail when you have been admitted as a non-degree student. In your admission letter, you will receive an ePanther ID that you will use when registering for classes or accessing your student record. You should activate your ePanther ID at as soon as you receive it. You will also receive a welcome letter that outlines important semester dates as well as important contact information.

Campus Orientation
UWM offers new transfer and new adult students an orientation program called "The Next Step" before the start of each fall and spring semester. You will be invited to "The Next Step" after you have been admitted. At "The Next Step" you can prepare for the upcoming semester when you pick up a UPASS (bus pass), pay tuition, buy textbooks, change your schedule, complete financial aid loan counseling, and have your student ID photo taken. In addition, you can take a campus tour and meet with academic advisors. This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Adult and Returning Student Services and the Department of Recruitment and Outreach.

You need your ePanther ID and Password activated to register on-line using PAWS. In order to activate your ePanther account, please visit as soon as you receive it.

For more information about registration, please refer to Registration. See the Schedule of Classes for more information on deadlines. Remember you cannot register for classes until you are admitted to the University.