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UWM guarantees admission to regional tech college graduates
Students with associate degrees can seamlessly transfer 60 credits toward a UWM bachelor’s degree

MILWAUKEE — The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) has reached new agreements with four regional technical colleges that will guarantee admission for their graduates and make transferring credits to UWM a simple, stress-free process. It’s one of the latest ways UWM continues to reduce barriers for students to attend college so they can earn a life-changing education.

The agreements are with Milwaukee Area Technical College, Waukesha County Technical College, Moraine Park Technical College and Gateway Technical College. All associate degree holders from the four colleges are guaranteed a seamless transfer of at least 60 credits toward a bachelor’s degree at UWM. Interested students will only need to complete a brief intent form — for free — rather than a lengthier, formal admission application.

“We believe that education should be accessible to all,” said UWM Chancellor Mark Mone. “Our goal is to ensure that every student with an associate degree from one of our partner colleges has the opportunity to continue their educational journey at UWM. These agreements reaffirm our commitment to student success and provide a clear path toward earning a bachelor’s degree.”

UWM has long had transfer pathways in place with many technical colleges, but these new agreements represent the most direct way for associate degree holders to work toward a UWM bachelor’s degree. Beginning in summer 2024, students with an associate degree and at least a 2.0 grade point average from one of the participating technical colleges are guaranteed UWM admission as a bachelor’s degree-seeking student. Some UWM degree programs do have additional admissions requirements.

“Our transfer degree programs, which include the associate of arts and associate of science, are among the most sought-after programs we offer at Milwaukee Area Technical College,” MATC President Vicki Martin said. “As the largest source of transfer students for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MATC is proud to join our colleagues at our sister technical colleges in strengthening this transfer process by making it easier and increasing the credits allowed while also expanding transfer options for students in our career-oriented associate of applied science programs.” 

UWM admissions counselors will meet with interested students to create a personalized plan for their guaranteed 60 transfer credits. Because UWM requires a minimum of 120 credits for bachelor’s degrees, most incoming associate degree holders will begin their UWM journey knowing they’re already halfway to graduating. It removes any worries about potentially wasted credits from their previous college.

“We are excited about the new partnership with UWM and proud to be recognized alongside our technical college colleagues,” Moraine Park President Bonnie Baerwald said. “We intentionally built our degree programs to give students options to progress from certificates to diplomas, then associate degrees. This partnership with UWM gives our students an additional step in that pathway — offering an accessible and affordable opportunity to enter a UWM baccalaureate degree program at a guaranteed junior status.” 

In Fall 2023, UWM welcomed 260 new transfer students from the four institutions, and that number is expected to grow with these new agreements. And students who transfer to UWM with an associate degree are more likely to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. In Fall 2023, more than two-thirds of associate degree holders who transferred to UWM four years prior had graduated with a bachelor’s degree. It’s a strong indicator of the tenacity of students with an associate degree and their growth potential within UWM’s bachelor’s degree programs. 

“UWM has been a longstanding partner to WCTC and our graduates,” WCTC President Richard Barnhouse said. “As we all work toward bringing higher education together in the state of Wisconsin, this new agreement opens another pathway for WCTC graduates to earn a four-year credential.”

UWM remains committed to student success, and a bachelor’s degree from UWM has a direct impact on Wisconsin’s workforce. In the past 10 years, 82% of UWM graduates have stayed in Wisconsin to live, work and become part of our communities.

“Gateway’s focus is on creating as many academic and career pathways for our students as possible,” Gateway President Ritu Raju said. “This agreement with UW-Milwaukee offers students completing our associate degrees another viable transfer option that allows them to live and work in our region while furthering their education. We are excited to partner with UW-Milwaukee to broaden the choices for Gateway students.”

This announcement — in addition to another to be made later this week by the M3 partnership and the three-year anniversary of UWM’s partnership with the Moon Shot for Equity — is part of UWM’s Access to Success week, which focuses on new initiatives to streamline university admissions.

Prospective students can fill out an intent form and find more information at this link: