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Graduate Admissions and Academic Services
217 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Academic Service Coordinator (Academic Policies & Procedures, withdrawals, course change requests, late enrollment, satisfactory progress, probation)
Assistant Dean for Admissions and Academic Services (Graduate School Dean's approval, appeals)
Degree Coordinator (Master's and Professional Degrees, Special Committee Degrees, Dual/Joint/Double Degrees, CIC Traveling Scholars, Degree Completion fee)
Degree Coordinator (Ph.D. Degrees, extensions, electronic thesis deposit, dissertator status)
The Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services is the Academic Dean’s Office for all graduate students. All student forms requiring the dean’s signature should be submitted to this office (for example, course change form, pass-fail form, withdrawal form, credit overload request form). This office also monitors satisfactory progress toward degree completion.
Graduate Admissions and Academic Services
217 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706
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The Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services developed the Academic Policies and Procedures document (sometimes referred to as “Guidelines” or “Handbook”) to help answer questions about Graduate School academic and administrative policies and procedures. The document is available online and in print. The online version is continuously updated and is the official document of record for Graduate School policies and procedures; changes made to the document are available online. In situations where policies have changed during a student’s time of enrollment, the Graduate School and the academic program, together with the student, may elect to enforce requirements that are in the best interest of the student. Please refer to the document or contact Admissions and Academic Services with any questions regarding Graduate School procedures and policies. Academic Policies and Procedures reflects current policies of the Graduate School, the Office of the Registrar, the Office of the Bursar, the Office of International Students and Scholars, and other university units.
We appreciate feedback regarding the organization and content of this resource. To comment or to receive updated Graduate School Academic Policies and Procedures information, contact us at the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433, email@example.com.
The topics in Academic Policies and Procedures are listed alphabetically. Entries are cross-referenced. Also included are tables (see the Appendices) to illustrate payroll benefits and other important information. Lists of frequently used telephone numbers, email addresses, and websites, follow the appendices.
This publication addresses only academic issues. The Guide to Graduate Student Life, produced by the Graduate School's Office of Professional Development and Engagement, offers advice about the university and community from a students’ perspective, particularly for new graduate students.
Statement on Diversity and Respect
True learning requires free and open debate, civil discourse, and respect of many different individuals and ideas. We are preparing students to live and work in a world that speaks with many voices and from many cultures. Respect is not only essential to learning; it is an essential to be learned. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is built upon these values and will act vigorously to defend them. We will maintain an environment conducive to teaching and learning that is free from intimidation for all.
In its resolve to create this positive environment, the UW-Madison will ensure compliance with federal and state laws protecting against discrimination. In addition, the UW-Madison has adopted policies that both emphasize these existing protections and supplement them with protections against discrimination that are not available under either federal or state law.
Federal and state laws provide separate prohibitions against discrimination that is based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, age, or disability. State law additionally prohibits discrimination that is based on sexual orientation, arrest or conviction record, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, military status, or veteran status. The application of specific state prohibitions on discrimination may be influenced by an individual’s status as an employee or student.
University policies create additional protections that prohibit harassment on the basis of cultural background and ethnicity.
Inquiries concerning this policy may be directed to the appropriate campus admitting or employing unit or to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), 179A Bascom Hall, 500 Lincoln Drive, 608-263-2378 or TTY 608-263-2473.
Students should consult the Registrar's website for essential information and important deadlines. Courses may be added, dropped, or swapped through MyUW Student Center, my.wisc.edu, before and during the first 2 weeks of a semester (the first week in the general 8-week summer session). To add, drop, or swap courses after these deadlines, see registrar.wisc.edu for further instructions.
If a student drops a course, swaps out of a course, decreases credits in a variable credit course (via the "edit" function), or withdraws from the university, tuition and fee refunds are dispensed following a strict schedule detailed at registrar.wisc.edu/tuition_&_fees.htm. Modular courses and summer session courses have a shorter refund period.
International students are not allowed to drop below full-time enrollment unless they have first received authorization from International Student Services (ISS). This will ensure that they remain in compliance with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) visa regulations. ISS is located at 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, and may be contacted at 608-262-2044, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit the ISS website. International students holding graduate assistantships, fellowships, and traineeships must meet minimum enrollment requirements.
Contacting ISS will ensure that a student's authorization from ISS to drop below full-time enrollment does NOT exempt an international student from meeting the enrollment requirement for a Teaching Assistantship (TA), Program/ Project Assistantship (PA), Research Assistantship (RA), fellowship, traineeship, or dissertator status.
If students enroll for a course and do not attend, they must drop the class or receive a grade of NW (No Work) or, for audited classes, NR (No Report). If students make a course change after the fee refund deadlines (including audited, modular, and zero-credit courses), they may be charged a fee even if the total number of credits for which they are enrolled does not change. The Bursar's Office will notify students if they owe additional fees or are entitled to a refund.
Students should be aware that swap is a drop action followed by an add action combined, allowing them to swap from one section to another section within the same course, or swap one course for another course. Some cautions related to swapping courses:
Because swap is a DROP and an ADD, the refund and assessment schedules and the dropped DR grade notation on the transcript deadline dates apply.
All session add/drop deadlines are adhered to as detailed in the key deadlines chart located here.
Class eligibility controls and prerequisites will be adhered to. If the class is closed or a student is not eligible for that class, then the swap will NOT occur.
Consult the Office of the Registrar for detailed information regarding swap functionality.
Addition/Change of Program, Plan, or Subplan
To add or change a program of study, graduate students submit the Add/Change/Discontinue Program Form to the program office of the intended program.
Students must check with the intended program concerning admission requirements (for example, GRE scores or letters of reference). Upon receipt of a recommendation from the program, the Graduate School will notify the student of the decision. Questions regarding the status of an application are best directed to the program. If a student is admitted, the Graduate School will notify the student's former program.
If a dissertator wants to add a program (typically a master's program) or a certificate program, he/she cannot hold dissertator fee status while pursuing a graduate degree (or certificate) in a field other than the doctoral program. Dissertators who add a program or a certificate program must enroll and pay fees as a regular graduate student.
International students who add a program or a certificate program should contact International Student Services (ISS), 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, 608-262-2044, to discuss the possible effects this change of program could have on immigration status.
See Addition/Change of Program, Plan, or Subplan, Change of Degree Level, Dual Degrees, Joint Degrees, Leave of Absence, Minimum Credit Requirement, Readmission to Graduate School, Time Limits, International Students Maintaining Legal Status.
Admission to Candidacy
An advisor is a faculty member from the program responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies and for supervising a student's degree program (including research). An advisor, (sometimes referred to as the "major professor", "mentor", or "trainer"), generally serves as chair of a student's final examination committee.
With approval from the program, students can have a co-advisor/co-chair. The co-advisor/co-chair may be from any of the following categories: graduate faculty, faculty from a department without a graduate program, academic staff (including emeritus faculty), visiting faculty, faculty from another institution, scientists, research associates, and other individuals deemed qualified by the program executive committee or its equivalent.
The advisor/student relationship is one of mutual agreement, which may be terminated by either party. If students change advisors, they need to notify their department coordinator. It is the responsibility of every graduate student to have an advisor. If students do not have an advisor, the Graduate School may suspend them from further graduate study at UW-Madison. However, in some cases, particularly for incoming students, the program may assign an advisor.
Animal Care and Use in Research
Departments/programs determine eligibility for most Teaching Assistantships (TAs), Research Assistantships (RAs), and Project/Program Assistantships (PAs). Other possible university appointments include fellowships, traineeships, reader/grader, and student hourly positions. Students should contact their program for information.
See Fellowships, Enrollment Requirements, Maximum Levels of Appointments, Project or Program Assistant (PA), Research Assistant (RA), Teaching Assistant (TA), Traineeships, Appendix 2 (Payroll Benefits).
It is against university policy to attend classes without being enrolled. Faculty and instructors may require enrolled students to attend scheduled meetings of a class and/or to participate in other course-related activities, including distance learning. Students are responsible for materials presented in such meetings or activities. Because courses are designed and conducted in diverse ways, faculty and instructors should inform students in writing at the beginning of each course if there are specific expectations for attendance/participation, including whether any component of the grade is based on such attendance/participation.
A student auditing a course is expected to attend classes on a regular basis as an observer. Audits are not free; a course taken for audit costs the same as a course taken for credit. If a student is not paying full-time fees, he/she will be assessed per-credit fees for an audit course. Auditors do not take examinations or submit class work. Auditors will receive a final grade of either S (Satisfactory) or NR (No Report). Audit courses carry no degree credits, nor do they count in fulfilling minimum or maximum credits required in each term. If a student audits a course and does not attend or drops it, he/she will receive a grade of NR (No Report). Dissertators who audit a course in addition to the 3-credit research requirement will be removed from dissertator fee status and assessed regular graduate student fees. Students who have research assistantship, fellowship or traineeship appointments are required to be enrolled full-time; audited courses do not count toward full-time enrollment. Please read Enrollment Requirements for additional information.
Instructors may limit the number of auditors in a course and may restrict participation of auditors in courses inappropriate for that function. For example, courses that by their nature require participation (seminars, research, laboratory, performance, or language courses) are typically considered inappropriate for auditing.
To audit a course, a student must first obtain the consent of the instructor. The student must follow the procedures established in the program offering the course. Graduate School Dean's approval is required for all course changes, including audit; see the Course Changes section of this document for instructions. The deadline to request/cancel permission to audit is the drop deadline, which is the end of the 9th week of class during the fall and spring semester. Specific deadline dates, including those for summer sessions, are posted prior to each semester by the Office of the Registrar.
The enrollment system counts all credits in determining maximum credit loads. Even though audit courses are not considered graduate-level credits, an overload form is required if a student's total credit load exceeds the maximum limit per term.
Authorization for Courses
Online enrollment authorization is required for certain courses. Once authorized by the program offering the course, students must then make the course changes. Situations requiring authorizations are: auditing courses, permission to take a course when a student does not meet course controls or prerequisites, or permission to enroll in a closed course.
Authorship and Publication
Project/Program Assistants (PAs), Research Assistants (RAs), and Teaching Assistants (TAs), fellows, and trainees who hold at least a 33.33% appointment (or an equivalent) may be eligible for health insurance, vacation, sick leave, and remission of tuition. Students should contact their department's/program's staff benefits coordinator for details.
If students drop all courses before the first day of classes, they officially cancel their enrollment, owe no tuition or fees for that term, and have no semester entry on their transcript. In this case, it is not necessary for the student to submit a withdrawal form to the Graduate School. On or after the first day of class, students can no longer cancel their enrollment and instead must submit a withdrawal request.
The university offers capstone certificates for students not currently enrolled in a UW-Madison graduate degree program. Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent, seek a certificate to "cap off" their undergraduate training, or be professionals returning to school to receive specialized training in the area of the certificate. Capstone programs do not lead to the conferral of a graduate degree.
Certificate of Doctoral Candidacy
Dissertators may in special cases request a Certificate of Doctoral Candidacy in recognition of their completion of all requirements toward the doctoral degree except for the dissertation (sometimes called ABD at other institutions). The certificate shows the date of the preliminary examination as well as the issue date, but does not substitute for an official transcript from the Office of the Registrar. To obtain the certificate, students, advisors, or graduate coordinators should contact the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433.
See Dissertator Status.
Certification of Enrollment Status
For purposes of certification to government or private agencies, the Office of the Registrar determines enrollment status as full-time or part-time according to institutional policies, that may differ from full-time or part-time requirements imposed by individual schools or programs. Certification of official enrollment for loan deferment, medical and auto insurance forms and credit card applications can be obtained by going to the Registrar's website.
Veterans Certification: Student Veterans who are eligible for Federal and State Educational Benefits should apply for certification of enrollment at Student Veterans Services, 333 East Campus Mall, 10301, 608-263-3456. Students receiving veterans' benefits are required to promptly report any credit change or withdrawal from school to the Student Veterans Services office. For more information, click here. Specific directions about leaving and returning to the university are provided here.
Certification of Graduation
Master's and Doctoral degrees do not appear on transcripts until 4 to 6 weeks after the end of a semester. Students may obtain a certificate that verifies degree completion before a transcript posting after all grades are finalized and their dissertation (Ph.D.) or thesis (if required for the master's degree) is approved and deposited. To request such certification, click here, visit the Registrar's Office at 333 East Campus Mall #10101, or call 608-262-3782.
Change of Degree Level (Plan)
A student's program must report changes in degree level to the Graduate School (for example, if a student has completed his/her master's degree and wants to continue in the same program for the doctoral degree). If this change is not reported to the Graduate School, students may not be able to enroll or receive financial aid, and international students will be considered out of status. International students should contact International Student Services (ISS) to file the appropriate forms for maintaining legal status after the degree level is changed. International students should take the new admit letter from the program specifying the new degree level and financial documentation to ISS. ISS will process a new I-20. To pursue a graduate degree in a different program, see Addition/Change of Program, Plan, or Subplan. For questions, please contact the Graduate School Degree Coordinators at 608-262-2433.
Change of Degree Option (Subplan)
A student's program must report changes in degree option to the Graduate School.
Change of Major (Program)
CIC (Committee on Institutional Cooperation)
The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), sponsors many programs. CIC is comprised of:
University of Chicago
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Indiana University, Bloomington
University of Iowa, Iowa City
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Michigan State University, East Lansing
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Ohio State University, Columbus
Pennsylvania State University, University Park
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Degrees are granted in May, August, and December. Commencement ceremonies are held only in May and December. Master's and doctoral degree candidates planning to participate in commencement must notify their program coordinator. If done by early November (December degree candidates) or by early April (May degree candidates), their names will be published in the commencement program. Degree candidates planning to attend commencement in a semester different from the semester in which their degree is granted (i.e., all August degree candidates, December degree candidates attending the May ceremony, and May degree candidates attending the December ceremony) should notify the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty (133 Bascom Hall, 608-262-3956) by early November (for December ceremony) or by early April (for May ceremony) if they wish to add their names to the commencement program. Ph.D., DMA, Au.D., DNP, and MFA candidates are accompanied at the ceremony by a faculty escort. Master's students should check with the Graduate School website for deadlines to participate in the ceremonies.
For specific information about commencement, including deadline dates, ordering commencement attire, etc., click here or call the commencement information hotline at 608-262-9076.
Committees (sometimes called "Graduate Advisory Committees" or "Degree Committees") advise and evaluate satisfactory progress, administer preliminary and final oral examinations, evaluate a thesis or dissertation, and/or sign a degree warrant. A student's program arranges a committee with appropriate expertise to afford the breadth and depth needed in degree examinations. In all cases, a student's advisor chairs the committee. The responsibilities of individual committee members are determined by the program. The executive committee (or its equivalent) of a program/department is responsible for approving the composition of all graduate committees. The final oral examination committee membership must be submitted to the Graduate School at least three weeks before the examination date. Students should consult their advisor and their program's student handbook for the specific function of degree committees in their program.
Minimum Graduate School requirements for graduate committees are as follows:
1. The chair or co-chair of the committee must be Graduate Faculty from the student's program. The UW-Madison Faculty Policies and Procedures 3.05A stipulates that "the faculty of the Graduate School includes all university faculty defined in 1.02 holding professional rank (professor, associate professor, assistant professor or instructor) in any department with graduate program authority, including those with zero-time appointments in such departments." Committee members who have retired or resigned from the University automatically retain Graduate Faculty status for one year; after one year they are permitted to serve as co-chair or other non-Graduate Faculty committee member.
2. Doctoral committees/final oral examination committee must have at least 5 members representing more than one graduate program, 4 of whom must be UW-Madison graduate faculty or former UW-Madison graduate faculty up to one year after resignation or retirement. At least one of the 5 members must be from outside of the student's major program or major field (often from the minor field).
3. MFA final committees must have at least 4 members, 3 of whom must be graduate faculty or former graduate faculty up to one year after resignation or retirement.
4. Master's thesis committees must have at least 3 members, 2 of whom must be graduate faculty or former graduate faculty up to one year after resignation or retirement.
5. Non-thesis master's committees must have at least one graduate faculty member from the student's program.
6. The required 5th member of a doctoral committee/final oral examination committee, 4th member of an MFA committee, or 3rd member of a Master's thesis committee, as well as any additional members, all retain voting rights. They may be from any of the following categories, as approved by the program executive committee (or its equivalent): graduate faculty, faculty from a department without a graduate program, academic staff (including emeritus faculty), visiting faculty, faculty from other institutions, scientists, research associates, and other individuals deemed qualified by the executive committee (or its equivalent).
7. To receive a doctoral or Master's degree, students must receive no more than one dissenting vote from their committee.
Compassionate Tuition Adjustment
The Graduate School supports the principles of a compassionate tuition adjustment to accommodate a student in the following circumstance:
1. The student has experienced a traumatic event for which he/she has little or no control, and
2. It appears that this event will impede/prevent the student from completing the semester.
The academic dean (217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433), or the dean's designee, will assess the meaning and effect of the event on the student. Relevant documentation may be required.
See Dean's Approval.
This describes a situation where a graduate student holds multiple appointments as fellow, trainee, and/or graduate assistant. Federal agencies and non-federal donors often place restrictions on the amount of work in which an awardee may engage, or on additional stipends an awardee may receive. In addition, the university has a concurrent appointment policy that places limits on multiple appointments for fellows or trainees. Contact the Graduate School's Office of Human Resources at 608-262-8389 for additional information.
Continuous Enrollment Requirement
Once students achieve dissertator status they are expected to maintain continuous enrollment until completion of the doctoral degree. In order to maintain continuous enrollment, dissertators must enroll each fall and spring semester for 3 graduate-level credits (300 or above) directly related to their dissertation research (generally research and thesis and/or required seminars). Fall and spring enrollment are required whether or not they reside in Madison.
Audits and pass/fail do not satisfy this requirement. Additional courses taken audit or pass/fail will result in removal of dissertator fee status.
Students are exempt from the requirement to enroll for the summer term, unless they are defending and/or depositing their dissertation or have a Research Assistantship (RA), fellowship, or traineeship that requires summer enrollment, or are using university facilities (including faculty and staff time).
If dissertators do not maintain continuous enrollment, they will be assessed a degree completion fee equal to 12 times the current per-credit rate in effect at the time that they submit their dissertation to the Graduate School for final review.
Copyright is the exclusive right given by federal law to the creator of a literary or artistic work to use, reproduce, or display the work. Normally full copyright in the dissertation/thesis belongs to the individual student. Students can register for copyright of a dissertation/thesis by paying an additional fee at the time they deposit their dissertation/thesis, or writing to the U.S. Copyright Office, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. 20559-6000.
Graduate students are responsible for appropriate use of copyrighted materials in their thesis. Some material may be available for use without restriction while other material may require written permission from the rights holder. Other material may be appropriately used without written permission under the "fair use" provisions of the copyright law. General guidance regarding use of copyrighted materials is available from ProQuest/ UMI here or from the UW-Madison Libraries website here.
Fair Use: General information regarding how to determine if your use of copyrighted materials constitutes fair use can be found here. Reviewing and completing a fair use check list may also assist you. See the fair use checklist. Additionally, professional or disciplinary societies may have fair use statements to help negotiate disciplinary specialties.
Written Permission: If written permission is required, students are responsible for obtaining such permission and maintaining records of the written permission to use the copyrighted material in the thesis. Permission is usually requested by sending a letter of request to the copyright holder. Normally, the letter would be returned with an approval stamp or signature. Some copyright holders require a specific form of acknowledgment. A sample permission request letter can be found here. Note that obtaining written permission can be a lengthy process. Plan ahead and budget ample time to obtain all required permissions.
Prior to deadlines, students may make course changes online at MyUW Student Center, my.wisc.edu. After deadlines have passed, enrollment changes (add a class, add/remove audit, add/remove pass/fail, change credit, change section, drop a class) may be requested via the Course Change Request. A demo of the Course Change Request is available. For all changes except pass/fail, the Course Change Request form must be printed and signatures obtained. The form must be submitted to the Graduate School for approval. In rare cases when the electronic Course Change Request process via MyUW Student Center is not accessible (late initial enrollment and late drop), students are permitted to use the Graduate School Course Change Form.
If a course change is made after the fee refund deadlines (including audited, modular, and zero-credit courses) students may owe additional money, even if the total number of credits for which they are enrolled does not change. The Bursar's Office will notify students if they owe additional fees or are entitled to a refund.
Students holding graduate assistantships, fellowships, and traineeships must meet minimum enrollment requirements when making course changes.
International students considering a course change that may drop them to part-time status must first receive authorization from International Student Services (ISS), 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, 608-262-2044, email@example.com. This will ensure that they remain in compliance with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) visa regulations. International students holding graduate assistantships, fellowships, and traineeships must meet these minimum enrollment requirements, as well
Course Numbering System
The number assigned to a course gives an indication of the level of difficulty and indicates for whom the course is intended. Courses numbered under 300 (100-299) are undergraduate-level courses. Courses in the 300-699 range may be taken for credit by both undergraduate and graduate students; courses in the 300-499 range are generally considered intermediate level and courses in the 500-699 range are generally considered advanced level. Graduate students taking courses numbered 300-699 are expected to do graduate-level work, though they are enrolled in an undergraduate level course. The 300-699 range is not intended to include undergraduate-only, elementary level courses. Courses in the 700-999 range are open only to graduate students.
Students are not allowed to enroll for more or fewer credits than indicated for a course in the Schedule of Classes. For more information about deadlines and credit changes click here.
Credit/No Credit Grades
Courses that have been designated in the Schedule of Classes as credit/no credit are entered on transcripts as either CR, if students earned credits for which the course was offered, or N, if students did not earn any credit, even though they were enrolled for the course. Approval to offer a course on a credit/no credit basis requires action by the appropriate Divisional Executive Committee and college dean, and the course must be designated as such in the current Schedule of Classes. Any course that is taken at the graduate level (300 or above) for credit/no credit will count toward the Graduate School minimum credit requirement (including 300-level courses in English as a Second Language).
Students are responsible for learning about and complying with campus deadlines. Failure to meet deadlines for enrollment, payment of fees, changing courses or credits, and receiving a degree can cost time, money, or both. The Schedule of Classes lists enrollment, fee payment, and course change deadlines. Click here for a list of the deadlines for achieving dissertator status or receiving a degree in any given semester.
Graduate students should note that Graduate School deadlines do not necessarily correspond to undergraduate enrollment deadlines. Please refer to the Registrar's Office Deadlines at a Glance for specific dates and requirements.
The Graduate School acts as the dean's office for all graduate students. If a student needs a dean's approval or authorization, they should contact the Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433, firstname.lastname@example.org.
See Graduate School.
Degree Completion Fee
For Master's Students. In lieu of enrollment, the Graduate School may approve payment of a degree completion fee for a master's degree candidate who has completed all of the degree requirements except thesis defense, comprehensive examination(s), presentation of a final project, or removal of an incomplete grade. To be eligible students must have submitted their final thesis or project paper to their advisor while they were enrolled. This fee is comparable to 2 graduate credits at the current resident tuition rate. This fee is established annually and assessed per semester. Students should ask their program to submit a Degree Completion Fee Request Form to the Graduate School on their behalf.
For Dissertators. The Graduate School requires that all dissertators maintain continuous enrollment. Dissertators must enroll in the semester(s) in which they defend, submit their dissertations, and graduate. In rare circumstances where this is not possible, a degree completion fee is assessed to recognize the inevitable use of university facilities (including faculty and staff time) up to and including the successful defense and submission of the dissertation. The fee is equal to 12 times the current per-credit dissertator rate in effect at the time the dissertation is submitted. The fee is assessed at the time dissertators is ready to complete the degree and is based on the resident or nonresident tuition status dissertators had at their last term of enrollment. If dissertators break enrollment and then reenter and enroll for less than 4 continuous terms before completion, they will pay a prorated rate (the 12-credit fee minus all continuous enrollment credits paid since the time of readmission). If enrollment is broken, but a dissertator reenters and enrolls for at least 4 continuous terms, then a completion fee is not assessed.
For more information about degree completion fees, contact the Degree Coordinators in the Graduate School, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433.
Degree Conferral/Graduation Date
Graduate students who complete all degree requirements at any point during a term remain officially enrolled and retain student status through the official graduation date for that term, as determined by the Secretary of the Faculty and posted as degree conferral date on the transcript. Degrees are granted three times per year in May, August, and December. (e.g. the official graduation date for Fall 2013 is December 22, 2013; see academic calendar.)
If it is necessary to provide proof of degree completion prior to the official graduation date (eg. to an employer, for a post-doctoral position, or other degree program), the student may request certification from the Registrar's Office.
Funding for graduating students: Graduate assistants, fellows, and trainees may remain on the payroll until the end of the term, as stated above, or may be removed if necessary for a change of status (eg. to a post-doc or academic staff position) or end of grant funding. If a student is removed, the Bursar's Office will check with the Graduate School to confirm graduation at the end of the given term and will maintain tuition remission for appropriately funded students IF student remains on payroll as follows:
Doctoral candidates: through the date of dissertation deposit;
Non-thesis Master's candidates: through the completion date stated on warrant;
Thesis Master's candidates: through the date thesis is received by the Memorial Library.
Degree Option (Subplan)
A computerized graduate degree summary is not prepared for graduate students (eg. DARS). Students' programs, particularly their advisors, are responsible for ensuring timely fulfillment of Graduate School and program requirements. Students should consult their department's/program's satisfactory progress criteria in their department's/program's student handbook, or in the Graduate School Catalog.
A student's name will be printed on the diploma as it appears on the student's official university record. To change the way a student's name is currently listed requires a signed statement filed at the Office of the Registrar, 333 East Campus Mall, room 11101. For a student's name change to appear on the diploma, the change must be made before the degree deadline in the semester the student will graduate.
The Office of the Registrar will mail diplomas after the close of the term that degrees awarded are certified by the Graduate School, the Registrar finalizes the degrees, and the diplomas are embossed by the manufacturer. The Office of the Registrar will post the degree on a student's transcript 4 to 6 weeks from the end of that term. The Office of the Registrar will send diplomas to a student's home address (not a student's mailing address) approximately 12 to 14 weeks after degree conferral. Students should update their home address via MyUW, prior to leaving campus, unless they are an international student.
International students must enter a diploma address via MyUW to receive the diploma.
If a student wants the Office of the Registrar to use a different address, they should enter a diploma address at the MyUW portal.
Students with disabilities are encouraged to inform the faculty advisor and instructor of their need for disability-related accommodations in a timely manner. Implementation of reasonable accommodations is a shared faculty and student responsibility. The McBurney Disability Resource Center provides direct services, information and referral services, disability-related counseling, and advocacy to students who have made their disabilities known. Faculty, either directly or in coordination with the McBurney Disability Resource Center, are expected to work with students to identify reasonable accommodations and to provide them or arrange for them. The McBurney Disability Resource Center is located at 702 W. Johnson Street, Suite 2104. The Center may be reached via telephone at 608-263-2741 voice, 608-263-6393 TTY. For further information on access and accommodation policies click here.
In conformance with applicable federal and state law and with university policy, UW-Madison does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, marital or parental status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, disability, retaliation for making a complaint of discrimination or taking part in an investigation relating to discrimination, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran's status with regard to treatment of students in the educational programs or activities that the university operates.
Should students wish to speak to someone about discrimination or harassment protected by federal or state laws or campus policies, they should contact the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED), 179A Bascom Hall, 608-263-2378, Wisconsin Telecommunications Relay Service 7-1-1, fax 608-263-5562; or the Division of Student Life, 75 Bascom Hall, 608-263-5700.
A doctoral dissertation must be a dissertator's own work. If it is the result of research enterprises in which others have collaborated, a substantial portion must represent the dissertator's own contribution and the other research participants must be identified.
Publication of the doctoral dissertation is required. The university uses UMI ProQuest Information and Learning, Ann Arbor, Michigan, to publish the dissertation electronically and on microfilm and to publish an abstract of the dissertation in Dissertation Abstracts, a monthly publication. Dissertators must pay the cost of microfilming the dissertation and publishing the abstract.
All doctoral dissertations are reviewed by the Graduate School's Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433. Find more information here.
Most master's theses at UW-Madison are not published through ProQuest, although a student may choose to do so. If students want to publish their master's thesis through ProQuest, they should contact the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 608-262-2433.
Dissertator is a unique fee status for students who have completed all requirements for a doctoral degree except for the dissertation. To be eligible for dissertator fee status, a student must:
Pass the preliminary examination(s);
Satisfy the doctoral minimum credit requirement;
Complete all minor requirements, if the major program requires a minor;
Complete all program requirements except the dissertation;
Clear all Incomplete grades or Progress grades in non-research courses (progress grades in 990 research may remain);
Earn at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA;
Return the signed preliminary exam warrant to the Graduate School.
Dissertator status is effective at the start of the semester following completion of all dissertator requirements for the doctoral degree except for the dissertation. In order to initiate the change to dissertator status, the prelim warrant must be sent to the Graduate School. Students can check on dissertator status by contacting the program's graduate student coordinator.
All dissertator requirements must be met before the first day of classes to be a dissertator for any given semester. If all dissertator requirements are completed before the first day of classes but the signed prelim warrant does not reach the Graduate School by that deadline, the student can still become a dissertator that semester. Submit the warrant to the Graduate School as soon as possible and enroll for at least 3 credits (usually 990 research) for that semester.
Removal of Dissertator Status: A dissertator who enrolls for more than 3 credits will be removed from dissertator status for the fall or spring term in which the enrollment exceeds the 3-credit maximum. During the summer, however, an enrolled dissertator may ask their advisor to request an overload of 1-2 additional credits in a short session and still retain dissertator fee status, if the course is related to dissertation research or professional training that is not offered in regular semesters.
The removal of dissertator status may have the following consequences:
If a dissertator wants to pursue a graduate degree or certificate in another area, the dissertator fee status will be discontinued and regular graduate fees will be assessed, with possible consequences listed above.
Distance or Flexible Programs & Courses
Distance education (as a program or as individual courses) is offered by individual programs, departments and The Division of Continuing Studies. The university offers several degree and capstone certificate programs that are fully or partially available at a distance or that are flexible to working schedules with evening and/or weekend courses. Please refer to the Graduate Catalog for further information on distance or flexible programs. For individual distance or evening/weekend course offerings, refer to the Schedule of Classes.
For purposes of research and academic responsibilities, all departments and programs offering graduate degrees are grouped into four academic divisions: Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Studies. Each division elects a divisional executive committee and members of the Graduate Faculty Executive Committee (GFEC).
The division is independent of the schools or colleges. A division draws faculty, departments, and programs from more than one school or college.
Divisional Executive Committee
The executive committee for each of the four academic divisions (Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Studies) reviews course offerings; approves new courses or modifications of existing courses; and advises about tenure appointments and other matters of personnel, educational policy, and selection of personnel to serve on various committees.
Double degrees are two same-level (master's or doctoral) degrees from two separate graduate programs and can be earned at either the master's or doctoral level. A student completing a double degree earns two degrees (two programs), and receives two diplomas. The student has two advisors and two separate committees, and s/he completes two theses (Master's) or dissertations (Doctoral).
Students may apply for an additional program at the time of original application, add a program at any time during their enrollment, or reapply and pursue a second degree after completion of the first.
In all scenarios, regardless of whether double degree programs are completed consecutively or concurrently, students must:
Be admitted to both programs;
Fulfill the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement for each degree;
Complete the specific degree requirements for each program, including minimum credit requirements for each;
Have no more than a 25% credit overlap between degrees, based on the lower credit requirement of the two programs;
Have an advisor from each program and both advisors must be informed of each other.
Approval of the double degree: At the time of graduation, each program will submit to the Graduate School a list of the courses being used to satisfy that program's requirements. Both advisors must sign the course lists as indication of approval. The Graduate School will review the course lists for credit overlap between degrees.
Doctoral students who add a master's degree program outside the doctoral program cannot be dissertators.
International students must contact International Student Services (ISS), 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, 608-262-2044, before adding a second degree program.
For additional information, contact the Graduate School's Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433, email@example.com.
See Addition/Change of Program, Plan, or Subplan, Change of Degree Level, Degrees at a Glance, Dual Degrees, Joint Degrees, Minimum Credit Requirement, International Students Maintaining Legal Status, Special Graduate Committee Degrees.
Dual Degrees: Graduate & Professional Combination
A dual degree is two degrees, one of which is granted in a graduate program, and the other in a professional school (e.g., M.D., J.D., DVM, D.Pharm., MPH).
To receive a dual degree students must:
Be admitted to both programs;
Complete the specific degree requirements for each school;
Fulfill the Graduate School minimum credit requirement for the graduate degree.
Tuition is determined by a combined fee schedule table. Assessed fees are roughly halfway between graduate fees and professional fees. Credit limits each semester coincide with the professional schools' higher credit maximums. For additional information, contact the Graduate School's Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dual Degrees: Graduate & Undergraduate Combination
English as a Second Language (ESL)
The Program in English as a Second Language (ESL), Department of English, offers an array of support courses, training and testing for international TA applicants, and courses designed for international graduate students in speaking and presentations, writing, and pronunciation.
The ESL Program also administers the English as a Second Language Assessment Test (ESLAT) to incoming students. The ESLAT and enrollment in an ESL course, if recommended, is required for many new graduate students as a condition of admission, based on TOEFL scores. If a student is required to take the ESLAT based on TOEFL scores, this information will be listed in MyUW Grad Admission Status, the Graduate School's online applicant information system. A student's program cannot waive the ESLAT and ESL course requirements.
In most cases international students who are required to take an ESL course must do so during their first semester of graduate enrollment. However, before beginning a graduate program, international students may choose to study English full-time as a Special Student on an F-1 visa granted through the ESL program or on a J-1 visa with the sponsor's approval. When the student begins a graduate program, the student's status will be changed from special to graduate student. Graduate-level work done as a special student prior to enrolling in the Graduate School cannot be counted toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement and will not be included in the calculation of the graduate GPA.
ESL course credits taken as part of a graduate student's semester enrollment are considered part of the total credit load for maintaining legal status as an international student. However, ESL course credits below 300 level do not count toward Graduate School enrollment requirements, including credit requirements for assistantships, fellowships, and traineeships.
For test schedules and offerings click here, or contact the ESL office at 608-263-3780 for additional information.
English as a Second Language Assessment Test (ESLAT)
Course enrollment is available through the Student Center at MyUW. Once enrolled, students should confirm their enrollment and print their course grid. Students should enroll early to avoid a late initial enrollment fee and class cancellation due to low enrollment. Enrollment deadlines are available here.
Students are responsible for the accuracy of their class schedule and for all tuition, fees, and academic consequences that result from that schedule. Continuing students in good standing may enroll for the next term without special permission from the Graduate School. Before enrolling, students should consult their advisor to approve their class schedule for that term and to determine if they need authorization for any proposed courses.
All students must use the online enrollment system. Instructions on how to enroll using MyUW are available at the Registrar's website. The Office of the Registrar provides MyUW enrollment demos. All students will receive an email message about their assigned enrollment appointment time. Students can expect to receive this notification from the Office of the Registrar about one week prior to the beginning of the Priority Enrollment Period. There are extra fees for late initial enrollment and late fee payment. These deadlines are available at the Registrar's website.
Students should enroll early. Students can confirm their current enrollment through MyUW.
Failure to receive a student account invoice does not relieve students of the obligation to meet established fee payment deadlines as displayed in the MyUW Student Center, Class Search. If a student does not receive an invoice by late August (mid-January for spring semester), they can get a copy at the Bursar's Office, 333 East Campus Mall, room 10101, 608-262-3811.
ALL of the following credit requirements (except F-1 and J-1 visa requirements) must be satisfied by graded, graduate-level courses; courses numbered below 300, audit, and pass/fail do not satisfy enrollment requirements.
Full-time enrollment: The Graduate School considers full-time enrollment to be 8-12 graded, graduate-level credits, excluding pass/fail and audit, during the fall and spring semesters (8-18 for master's programs in business, 8-15 for master's program in social work), and 4-12 credits* during the general 8-week summer session (DHH). **Effective Fall 2014, the maximum enrollment for fall/spring will be 15 credits** If students elect not to enroll as full-time students as defined by the Graduate School, they are responsible for knowing about possible obligations that may require full-time status. Such obligations include visa eligibility, fellowships, assistantships, external funding agencies, and program satisfactory progress requirements.
Minimum enrollment: Non-dissertator minimum credit load is 2 credits* during the fall and spring semesters. Graduate students must be enrolled at least at the minimum requirement in the semester in which they receive a degree; master's degree students expecting a summer degree must enroll in a minimum of 2 graduate credits*. Graduate students who do not need to maintain full-time status (including TAs and PAs) have a 2 credit enrollment minimum during fall and spring semesters. Minimum requirements must be fulfilled by courses taken for a grade (not pass/fail or audit) and must be graduate level (300 and above).
Maximum enrollment: The Graduate School considers full-time enrollment to be 8-12 graded, graduate-level credits, excluding pass/fail and audit, during the fall and spring semesters (8-18 for master's programs in business, 8-15 for master's program in social work), and 4-12 credits* during the summer term. Any exceptions to the maximum credit load permitted must be obtained via the Overload Request process. **Effective Fall 2014, the maximum enrollment for fall/spring will be 15 credits**
Underload: During the fall and spring semesters, non-dissertators must enroll for a minimum of 2 credits of graduate-level work (courses numbered 300 or above, taken for a grade). Audit and pass/fail courses do not satisfy this enrollment requirement. Dissertators are required to enroll for 3 graduate-level credits directly related to their dissertation research.
The specific situations listed below have special enrollment requirements.
Dissertators: Dissertators must enroll in exactly 3 credits* directly related to their dissertation (generally research and thesis or required seminars) during fall and spring semesters. Dissertators are considered full-time at 3 credits*. Dissertators who are summer RAs or trainees, or who expect to graduate in summer, must enroll in the general 8-week summer session (DHH) for 3 credits*. Additional courses for credit, audit, or pass/fail will result in removal of dissertator status and tuition assessment at the regular graduate rate.
Once dissertator status has been achieved, courses other than 990 must be directly related to the dissertation research and approved by the advisor. Dissertators must enroll during the semester or general 8-week summer session (DHH) in which they expect to earn a degree. Students must be enrolled during the semester when they defend the dissertation and when they deposit the dissertation. If defending and depositing in two different semesters, the student is required to be enrolled in both semesters. Students do not have to be dissertators during the semester or summer in which they expect to earn a doctoral degree., but they must be eligible for dissertator status before they complete the doctoral degree, and they must enroll in the semester in which they will graduate.
If a student enrolls before the dissertator status is approved, the enrollment system may indicate they are not eligible for that course. The enrollment system does not care if students are dissertators. If students had problems getting into a course, it is probably because permission has not been entered into the enrollment system. Most individualized study courses, such as research and thesis, require instructor's permission and online authorization before enrollment is possible. If students have trouble with enrollment, they should contact the Registrar's help line, 608-262-0920.
If paperwork is not processed by the segregated fee deadline, students pay regular non-dissertator graduate fees. The fee difference will be refunded for that semester when dissertator status is indicated in the system.
Assistantship appointees: It is against university policy to hold an assistantship without being appropriately enrolled.
RA (Research Assistant): RAs are required to carry a full load each semester (8 to 12 credits* including research or thesis credits for non-dissertators, 3 credits* for dissertators) and at least 2 credits* during the general 8-week summer session (DHH) (3 credits* for dissertators). **Effective Fall 2014, the maximum enrollment for fall/spring will be 15 credits** Dissertators who hold assistantships are considered full-time with 3 credits* directly related to their dissertation.
TA (Teaching Assistant) and PA (Project or Program Assistant):
Fellows: Graduate students holding fellowships that are pay rolled through the university must be enrolled full-time: 8 credits* during the fall and spring semester. Fellows with 12-month appointments must also enroll in 2 credits* during the general 8-week summer session (DHH). Those who are not payrolled as fellows over the summer are not required to be enrolled. Fellows who are also dissertators must enroll in 3 credits* during the fall and spring semesters. Fellows with 12-month appointments who are dissertators must also enroll in 3 credits* during the general 8-week summer session (DHH).
Trainees: Trainees must carry a full load each semester of 8 to 12 credits* including research or thesis credits for non-dissertators (3 credits* for dissertators), and at least 2 credits* during the general 8-week summer session (DHH) (3 credits* for dissertators). **Effective Fall 2014, the maximum enrollment for fall/spring will be 15 credits**
International students: Both F-1 and J-1 student visa regulations require students to be enrolled full-time each fall and spring semester (8 credits, not taken as audit). Summer enrollment is not required by the U.S. federal government regulations for F-1/J-1 visa holders. However, summer enrollment may be required due to other circumstances; see summer enrollment requirements for assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and graduating students. Failure to maintain full-time status can result in loss of F-1/J-1 student benefits, including on-campus employment and practical/academic training options. Any exceptions to full-time enrollment must be authorized by International Student Services (ISS), 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, 608-262-2044, email@example.com. Visit the ISS web page, iss.wisc.edu, to learn more about visa requirements. Permission from ISS to drop below full-time enrollment does NOT exempt an international student from meeting the enrollment requirement determined by a Teaching Assistantship (TA), Program/Project Assistantship (PA), Research Assistantship (RA), fellowship, traineeship, or dissertator status.
Summer enrollment requirements: Students must be enrolled at UW-Madison if they are using university facilities, including faculty and staff time.
Financial aid, loan deferral: In most cases, students are eligible for federal loans and federal loan payment deferral when enrolled at least half-time, which is 4 credits* for the fall and spring semesters. However, individual cases may vary, and students are advised to seek individual advice at the UW-Madison Office of Student Financial Aid, 333 East Campus Mall, room 9701, 608-262-3060, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full-Time Enrollment Status at a Glance
ALL of the following credit requirements (except F-1 and J-1 visa requirements) must be satisfied by graded, graduate-level courses; courses numbered below 300, audit, and pass/fail do not satisfy the following enrollment requirements.
Minimum enrollment for full-time status:
Fall or Spring
Minimum enrollment for full-time status:
Summer (general 8-week DHH session)
Exactly 3 creditsdirectly related to research
Not required unless receiving summer degree or if graduate assistant, trainee, or fellow, 3 cr. required.
TA 33%, non-dissertator**
Not required unless receiving summer degree, 2 cr. minimum.
TA 50%, non-dissertator**
Not required unless receiving summer degree, 2 cr. minimum.
PA 33%, non-dissertator
Not required unless receiving summer degree, 2 cr. minimum.
PA 50%, non-dissertator
Not required unless receiving summer degree, 2 cr. minimum.
2 cr. for 12-month appointments. Not required for 9-month appointments.
International student (F-1/J-1 visa), non-dissertator, if no other category in this list
4 cr. when summer is admit semester (2 cr. when summer is admit semester and student holds RA appointment or at least 33% TA or PA appointment)
If none of the above, full time enrollment is:
* Credit requirements (except F-1 and J-1 visa requirements) must be satisfied by graded, graduate-level courses; courses numbered below 300, audit, and pass/fail do not satisfy these enrollment requirements.
**Lecturer (SA) is included in the same enrollment category as TA
Students who were enrolled in an exchange program and are subsequently admitted into a graduate program, may be allowed to have their work done as an exchange student count toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement. To have this change reflected on the transcript, a student's program must appeal to the Graduate School on their behalf. If the appeal is approved, the Graduate School notifies the Office of the Registrar. For each semester changed to graduate status, students will be charged the difference between graduate and special student fees. Students pay the fee differential by the due date on their bill or a hold is placed on enrollment and records.
Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Office of Graduate School's Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 608-262-2433, email@example.com.
Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED): The SED is a federally-sponsored national survey of individuals receiving research degrees from all U.S. institutions and the results are used to assess characteristics and trends in doctoral education. The SED is to be completed by Ph.D. and DMA students, not DNP students.
Graduate School Doctoral Exit Survey (DES): The Graduate School surveys all students graduating with a doctoral degree. The DES collects additional information on academic experiences, e.g., advising and other academic support.
Master's Degree Completion Survey: At the end of the fall and spring semesters, students completing master's degrees are asked to answer a brief survey about their plans for employment or for additional education. Students will receive an email with a link to the survey at the time of the final warrant request.
Students turn in the certificate(s) of completion for the exit surveys at their final review appointment. Directions for completing the surveys are in the Graduate School's guidelines for completing your degree. Completing the surveys is a great help to the campus in understanding the needs and experiences of graduate students.
A student paying full-time tuition and fees at the UW-Madison campus may ask to take courses at UW-Extension for no additional cost (if the total credit load does not exceed their maximum credit load). A student's advisor must submit a completed UW-Madison Tuition Waiver Request Form, along with a letter of endorsement to the Graduate School. If the Graduate School approves, the student may take the course without paying additional fees. Courses completed at UW-Extension do not fulfill the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement. Students receiving tuition remission are typically not eligible for the tuition waiver.
Faculty (as Committee Members)
Faculty (as Graduate Students)
A UW-Madison faculty member may pursue a graduate degree provided arrangements have been made to avoid conflicts of interest and to satisfy time commitments. (See section 8.03 of Faculty Policies and Procedures for specific regulations.)
Faculty Policies and Procedures
Faculty Policies and Procedures (FPP) is the governing document of the faculty. This document defines the university faculty and its governance structure including the Faculty Senate, school/college faculties, departmental faculties and executive committees, the four faculty divisions, university-wide committees, faculty rights and responsibilities, and faculty discipline and dismissal procedures, as well as other pertinent academic matters. FPP is available online or from the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty, 133 Bascom Hall.
Courses numbered 300 and above that are graded F will be included in the graduate GPA but will not count toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement.
Although the Graduate School does not have a formal leave of absence policy for pre-dissertators, there are a number of family-friendly practices and resources for students considering taking a leave of absence for birth or adoption. Many departments and programs also have local policies. Students should consult with their program administrator, advisor, and the Graduate School's Office of Admissions and Academic Services, firstname.lastname@example.org, as early as possible in their planning process.
Please visit the Graduate School's webpage on family and parent resources for additional information.
Fellowships are monetary awards that students use to pursue graduate studies. In general, fellowships require no work obligations on the part of the recipient.
Campus Fellowships: Merit-based campus and departmental fellowships are sometimes awarded to UW-Madison graduate students by their graduate programs. To inquire about eligibility and application procedures, students must contact their graduate program.
External Fellowships: Many federal agencies, professional organizations, and private foundations provide fellowships for students pursuing graduate studies. Students are encouraged to look for and apply for external fellowships, and to understand the unique terms and conditions of each fellowship for which they apply. The Graduate School supports a number of federal/private fellowships through the provision of tuition support and health insurance. If students are awarded one of these fellowships, they should contact the Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources.
International Fellowships: The International Institute serves as a resource center and provides information and support to faculty, students, and staff interested in identifying international research grants, scholarships, and other funding opportunities, including programs sponsored by Fulbright, National Security Education Program (Boren Scholarship), HEA (Higher Education Act) Title VI-FLAS (Foreign Languages and Area Studies), and other program competitions. Questions about funding for international research should be directed to the International Fellowships Office at 328 Ingraham Hall, 608-265-4753.
For further information on fellowships, visit the web site of the Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources.
Final Oral Examination
The final oral examination (often called "defense") normally covers a student's dissertation and areas of study. Students may not take the final oral examination until they have satisfied all other requirements for their degree. Students' records must be cleared of incomplete grades and progress grades (other than research) before they can take the final oral exam.
Doctoral students have five years from the date of passing their preliminary examinations to take their final oral examination and submit their dissertation. Arrangements for the final oral examination and the oral examination committee's approval of the dissertation are the responsibilities of a student's program. A form for establishing the examination committee, Final Oral Committee Approval Form, is available through the student's program or at the Graduate School's Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433. A student's advisor and department chair or program director must sign this form and file it with the Graduate School at least three weeks before the final oral examination. The student's advisor arranges the time and place of the examination. The program should request the degree warrant from the Graduate School three weeks before the oral examination.
To pass the examination, students must receive no more than one dissenting vote from their final oral examination committee. A missing signature is considered a dissent. After a student passes the examination, the committee must sign the degree warrant. For details on this process, click here.
Final Oral Examination Committee
The Office of Student Financial Aid assists graduate students whose personal resources are not adequate to cover the cost of attending UW-Madison. Federal financial aid, administered through the Office of Student Financial Aid, consists of federal loans and work-study. The office also provides counseling in effective money and debt management as well as information about potential resources, such as program and non-university scholarships, and UW and off-campus employment.
Emergency short-term loans are available to qualified students experiencing an unanticipated financial crisis. Students may contact the Division of Student Life or the Office of Student Financial Aid for more information about these loans. To be considered for a short-term loan, students must be currently enrolled, complete a short-term loan application, and meet with an assistant dean in the Division of Student Life or with a financial aid counselor in the Office of Student Financial Aid. Students enrolled in graduate programs in Agriculture, Pharmacy, Human Ecology, Engineering, or Law must apply for short-term loans through their respective school rather than the Office of Student Financial Aid. For more information about emergency loans, click here.
For loan deferral information, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid, 333 East Campus Mall, room 9701, 608-262-3060.
Students have five years from the date of their preliminary examination to take their final oral examination and deposit their dissertation.
See Preliminary Examinations, Time Limits.
Grade changes originate with the instructor of the course. The instructor submits a grade change through his or her MyUW Faculty Center. Instructions are available online. If the change cannot be completed via the online system, the instructor submits a paper Grade Change Form, and the department chair signs and forwards it to the Graduate School via campus mail for approval.
While changes from Incomplete or Progress to a final grade are routine and raise no questions, changes from one final grade to another are more serious matters. Doing extra work to improve a final grade is not allowed. Faculty legislation states that final grades can be changed only because of clerical error. Once an instructor announces course grades, a decision to re-evaluate the course work for all or some of the students breaks faith with those students. The university's primary concern is that all students in a course are treated consistently and fairly when assigned final grades.
Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement
The Graduate School requires that students maintain a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) for graduate-level courses (numbered 300 and above, excluding research) to receive a degree. Many programs impose higher standards. Students should check with their program. Courses taken for audit (S/NR), credit/no credit (CR/N), or pass/fail do not affect the GPA. Research courses graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis do not impact GPA, but U grades are monitored by the Graduate School for satisfactory progress. A Permanent Incomplete (PI) grade does not impact the GPA. A No Report (NR) grade does not impact the GPA, but in a graded course this is a temporary grade, indicating the instructor has not yet submitted a final grade.
See Auditing Courses, Credit/No Credit, No Report (NR) Grades, Pass/Fail, Permanent Incomplete (PI) Grade, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Grades, Appendix 3 (Grading System), Appendix 4 (Grade-Point Average Calculation).
Students access their grades via the Grades and Courses module in the Student Center on MyUW, my.wisc.edu, or by requesting a UW student record on the Student Center page or at the Office of the Registrar, 333 East Campus Mall, room 10101. Grade reports can be printed using the Print Grade Report module in the Student Center after all grading has been completed for the term.
UW-Madison uses a 4.00 grading scale (A=4.00, AB=3.50, etc.). Grades are assigned only by instructors and are electronically reported by letter grade . Plus and minus grades are not used.
To convert UW-Madison Law School numerical grades to the Graduate School's grading scale, the Graduate School uses the following scale:
Students should check with individual professors about grading scales for specific courses.
International equivalencies may be available in the Wisconsin Directory of International Institutions.
For courses listed as research, the only permissible grades are P (Progress), S (Satisfactory), or U (Unsatisfactory). This policy is in effect for courses beginning Summer 1999. If a P grade is assigned, it will remain until the faculty member assigns a grade of S or U. All previously assigned P grades in research courses will revert to an S or U upon assignment of the final grade. Research courses (even with grades from terms earlier than Summer 1999) do not count in a student's GPA. Research courses are traditionally reserved for graduate students; however, other students (Law, Medical, Undergraduate, etc.) occasionally enroll for a research course. In these cases, the student's college can decide to have the course count in the GPA with an academic action submitted to the Office of the Registrar.
The university offers many programs of study to students already admitted to or enrolled in a graduate degree-granting program. These programs may not grant graduate degrees but do coordinate teaching and research among scholars active in interrelated disciplines. Consult the certificate program regarding recognition of program completion. Certificate programs monitor their own course and satisfactory progress requirements.
Graduate Faculty Executive Committee (GFEC)
The GFEC consists of 16 elected members of the graduate faculty, the Graduate School dean, and 4 associate deans as appointed by the dean. The GFEC exercises the powers of the graduate faculty including, but not limited to, establishing or modifying graduate degree programs (including degrees, degree options, and minors), reviewing graduate programs, and setting degree requirements and standards for admission of graduate students. The GFEC also serves as the final review body for grievances and appeals (of procedural issues only).
See Dual Degrees.
To receive a master's degree, students contact their program office at the beginning of the term in which they intend to graduate. The program office will check that they have met program requirements and will request a warrant from the Graduate School on the student's behalf. Students need to be enrolled for a minimum of 2 graduate-level credits (300 or above) for a grade (audits and pass/fails do not satisfy this requirement) during the term in which they intend to graduate. For more information and for deadlines, see Expecting Your Master's Degree? Procedures to Help.
Doctoral candidates' major programs should request a final oral examination warrant at least 3 weeks before the anticipated date of their final dissertation defense. Doctoral candidates must be enrolled during the term in which they intend to defend or graduate. For more information, click here.
Grievances and Appeals
If a student feels unfairly treated or aggrieved by faculty, staff, or another student, the University offers several avenues to resolve the grievance. Students' concerns about unfair treatment are best handled directly with the person responsible for the objectionable action. If the student is uncomfortable making direct contact with the individual(s) involved, they should contact the advisor or the person in charge of the unit where the action occurred (program or department chair, section chair, lab manager, etc.). Many departments and schools/colleges have established specific procedures for handling such situations; check their web pages and published handbooks for information. If such procedures exist at the local level, these should be investigated first.
In addition, the following administrative offices have procedures available for addressing various concerns:
Division of Student Life (for all grievances involving students)
75 Bascom Hall
Office for Equity and Diversity (for discrimination or harassment issues)
179A Bascom Hall
Employee Assistance (for conflicts involving graduate assistants and other employees)
256 Lowell Hall
Ombuds Office for Faculty and Staff (for graduate students and post-docs, as well as faculty and staff)
523-524 Lowell Center
Ombuds Office for Medical School and Public Health (for students, faculty, and staff in the MSPH)
2262 Health Sciences Learning Center
Graduate School (for informal advice at any level of review and for official appeals of program/departmental or school/college grievance decisions)
217 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1380
Graduate School Appeal Process:
An official review of procedures can be initiated by the Graduate School if a student feels that their grievance was not appropriately handled or resolved at the program/department or school/college level or through consultation with other resources listed above. Initial contact may be made through the Associate Dean in the student's division (Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, or Social Studies; 608-262-1044) or through the Assistant Dean of Graduate Admissions and Academic Services (AAS; 608-262-2433).
If the student wishes to file an official appeal of a grievance decision, they should consult with the Assistant Dean of AAS and then send the following material to the Assistant Dean in 217 Bascom Hall:
Upon receipt of all of the above materials:
Graduate School Final Appeal Process:
If a student is not satisfied with the initial appeal to the Graduate School Associate Deans, they may make a final appeal to the Graduate Faculty Executive Committee (GFEC) within 30 days of date of the above written decision:
All students are encouraged to report harassment of any kind, whether it is by a faculty or staff member or another student. Students may contact the Division of Student Life in person (75 Bascom Hall), email email@example.com, call 608-263-5700 and ask to speak to the Dean on Call, or fill out a Bias Incident Reporting Form.
If the harasser is a student, university disciplinary action may be possible if the harassment involves conduct or behavior beyond words and if the person being harassed wants disciplinary action. Other informal means are available to confront offenders. The goal is that students be heard and helped if there is a problem.
If students feel that they may be the victim of sexual harassment, they should talk to someone they trust about the situation. Sexual harassment may or may not involve a tangible injury (e.g., economic loss, lowered grades). A sexually harassing environment, in and of itself, may constitute a harm. Students may feel embarrassed or worried that they did something to provoke the unwanted behavior, but they have the right to pursue their education or perform their job in an environment free from this type of interference. If students feel comfortable taking this step, they should let the offender know that the behavior is unwelcome by telling him/her directly or in writing. Students need not face the situation alone. Schools, colleges, and divisions have designated Sexual Harassment Contact Persons who are available to anyone wishing to inquire about sexual harassment, discuss an incident or receive information about options for resolving complaints. To contact a resource for advice please click here. Students may also contact their dean, department chair, supervisor, or labor representative. Students may consult in private with someone from the Division of Student Life to discuss their situation and review options.
When using the enrollment system, students may encounter holds on their records, preventing them from enrolling in classes. Holds can also prevent students from obtaining a transcript, certification of status, or a diploma. Their enrollment notification will indicate the type of hold and where it must be cleared. Hold information is also available on MyUW. Students should direct questions to the originator of the hold.
The Graduate School does not use honors titles (e.g., Magna Cum Laude, Dean's List, etc.). Graduate students are not eligible to take courses designated for undergraduate honors students.
Human Research Protections
If students are unable to complete course work by the end of the semester, instructors may assign temporary I (Incomplete) grades. Students receive a warning message from the Graduate School upon receipt of an I grade, reminding them that students are not permitted to graduate with an I grade on their transcripts. Graduate students are allowed the subsequent semester of enrollment to complete the course work before the Graduate School will place the student on probation. Programs may impose more stringent rules for satisfactory progress.
In consultation with the program, students may be suspended from the Graduate School for failing to complete course work and receive a final grade in a timely fashion.
All Incomplete grades must be resolved before a degree is granted.
An unresolved Incomplete grades lapse to a grade of Permanent Incomplete (PI) after five years.
Insurance and Medical Benefits
If students have been awarded a fellowship, traineeship, or an assistantship with at least a one-third (33.33%) appointment per term (or an equivalent), they qualify for full medical benefits. In order to activate medical insurance benefits, students contact their department's/program's fringe benefits coordinator.
Students who are currently enrolled as UW-Madison students can also use the services of University Health Services. University Health Services is the health clinic on campus, open to any current UW-Madison student (excluding guest students). UHS offers insurance through SHIP (Student Health Insurance Plan), which is located on the premises. SHIP is a comprehensive insurance plan for UW-Madison students that covers additional health care costs incurred both at UHS and elsewhere. This includes travel and meningitis immunizations, prescription drugs, and oral contraceptives at UHS as well as after hours, emergency room, hospitalization, and other specialized medical services locally and nationwide.
For more information, contact University Health Services (UHS), 333 East Campus Mall, floors 5, 6, 7 and 8, 608-265-5600, www.uhs.wisc.edu; or SHIP at 608-265-5232, firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that email correspondence with UHS about medical matters is discouraged because confidentiality and a timely response cannot be guaranteed.
International students, or visiting J-1 scholars, and their visa dependents residing in the U.S. must meet the mandatory health insurance requirements of UW-Madison. International students must show compliance with these requirements by registering with the SHIP office. Students may register either by enrolling in the SHIP Health Plan or by filing a waiver application (if they satisfy the qualifying conditions). Failure to register by the specified deadlines will result in a $100 late fee in addition to any required SHIP premiums.
Please note: Students do not have to file a waiver if they have employment through UW-Madison and they meet all of the following conditions:
If a student meets all of the above criteria, the SHIP office will be file an automatic waiver on his/her behalf.
Additional information regarding SHIP (including enrollment and waiver policies) is available online.
All graduate students traveling abroad for study or research are encouraged to acquire insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International. Additional information is available online.
Intellectual Property Rights
International Students Maintaining Legal Status
All international students are subject to the requirements of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is an Internet-based, electronic data collection system that allows schools and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to exchange data on the visa status of international students. It is a student's responsibility to know and comply with all visa regulations regarding international students. Upon arrival at UW-Madison, all international students attend a mandatory orientation from International Student Services (ISS) that overviews these regulations. It is imperative students understand and comply with these regulations. Consequences of non-compliance are serious and may result in loss of status and inability to remain in the U.S. International students are encouraged to seek advice from ISS whenever they are in doubt about their status.
International students should keep I-20 or DS-2019 forms with their passport and Form I-94. They will need to present these documents to International Student Services (ISS) if they wish to travel outside the U.S. and later return to UW-Madison.
International students should contact ISS if they are a currently enrolled UW-Madison graduate student and wish to add a second Master's program or continue from a Master's to a Doctoral degree; they or their dependent have a change of formal name or address; or they wish to drop below full-time enrollment (8 credits, no audits). Permission from ISS to drop below full-time enrollment does NOT exempt an international student from meeting the enrollment requirement determined by a Teaching Assistantship (TA), Program/Project Assistantship (PA), Research Assistantship (RA), fellowship, traineeship, or dissertator status. Certain visa regulations may allow students to be employed part time.
If international students plan to transfer from UW-Madison to another institution within the U.S., they should contact the new institution first for transfer procedures.
A joint degree consists of one graduate degree with two programs. A student completing a joint degree writes one thesis or dissertation and receives one diploma. Students can earn a Joint Master's or a Joint Doctorate. Such degrees are relatively rare.
To apply for a joint degree a student must submit a proposal for the degree to the Graduate School along with an Add/Change/Discontinue Program Form. A student must be admitted to the second program. The Graduate School divisional Associate Dean reviews all such proposals.
Students must submit the proposal before they complete the course work and no later than the beginning of their second year of graduate study.
The joint degree proposal should address the following issues:
To receive a joint degree, students must:
For further details about joint degrees, contact the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433, email@example.com.
If a student is called to jury duty and the duty is sustained over a period of three weeks or more, the student should be allowed to withdraw from classes. If extended jury duty should continue after the last day of class, the instructor has the option of assigning an Incomplete (I) as the student's grade. The I grade will not result in academic probation or the removal of dissertator status. Further information is available at Graduate School's Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 271 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433.
Each program sets its own language requirements. Some programs require competence in one or more languages before students can take preliminary examinations. Students must check with their major program's criteria for satisfactory progress in the program's student handbook, or in the Graduate School Catalog.
It is against university policy to participate in classes or hold an RA/TA/PA, fellowship, or traineeship, without being enrolled. It is a student's responsibility to be aware of the deadlines for enrollment each term. These deadlines are available in the deadlines section of the online Schedule of Classes. If students enroll after the first week of class, they are subject to late payment fees. Permission to enroll late does not excuse students from paying late initial enrollment and/or late payment penalties. Exceptions to the published deadlines will be granted only in the case of truly mitigating circumstances. The procedures to apply for late enrollment are:
For more information about late enrollment, contact the Graduate School Admissions and Academic Services Office, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leave of Absence
Students should notify their programs as well as the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services (email@example.com) of their intention to take a leave of absence. The Graduate School does not have a formal policy on leave of absence for pre-dissertators.
If students have pre-enrolled for a future term and plan to take a leave of absence, they must be sure to drop all courses before the first day of class.
Previously enrolled students who wish to return to Graduate School should follow the instructions for returning as a readmission, located on the Graduate School Admissions webpage for previously enrolled students. There is no application fee if readmission is made within five years of the last semester of enrollment.
Non-dissertators: The Graduate School has no formal policy regarding a leave of absence at the pre-dissertator level, although some programs do. Therefore, it is critical that students contact their major programs before considering a break in enrollment of one or more terms. Master's degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they had earned before their absence.
Dissertators: A candidate for a Doctoral degree should be aware that failure to take the final oral examination and submit the dissertation within 5 years after passing the preliminary examination may require another preliminary examination and admittance to candidacy a second time. In addition, the Graduate School requires all dissertators to maintain continuous enrollment. In rare circumstances when this is not possible, a degree completion fee is assessed to recognize the inevitable use of university facilities (including faculty and staff time) up to and including the successful defense of the dissertation.
International Students: International students considering a leave of absence should check on their visa status with International Student Services (ISS), 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, 608-262-2044.
Graduate Appointments: Students with Teaching Assistantships (TA), Program Assistantships (PA), or Research Assistantships (RA) should consult with their program, their PI and/or advisor. Students with Fellowships or Traineeships should contact their funding source or the Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources (OFFR) 231 Bascom Hall, 608-262-9597.
A lecturer provides formal classroom or laboratory instruction in an academic discipline. The title is normally limited to individuals who have at least a Master's degree and are no longer enrolled as graduate students. However, graduate students may be given the lecturer title (rather than the usual Teaching Assistant title) if they are carrying complete responsibility for a course and function in the same manner that a faculty or instructional academic staff member does, choosing the course material and having full grading responsibilities. Use of graduate students as lecturers may require written approval; contact the Graduate School Human Resources Office, 608-262-8389. The lecturer title should not be used for a graduate student who is handling sections of a course taught by a faculty member. The lecturer title should not be used as a substitute for the Teaching Assistant (TA) title.
Lecturers may be eligible to receive non-resident tuition remission if employed at least 33.33% for 4.5 months. Students with these appointments are responsible for paying the resident portion of their tuition and their segregated fees as billed by the tuition due date. A complete list of instructional academic staff titles that are eligible for tuition remission is available here.
Maximum Levels of Appointments
University policy restricts appointment levels for Project/Program, Research, or Teaching Assistants; fellows; trainees; and university staff who are enrolled as graduate students. The levels established by the university are maximums, not minimums or expected levels.
International students on F-1 and J-1 visas risk losing their immigration status if they are employed for more than 20 hours per week during the academic year.
Program/Project Assistant (PA), Research Assistant (RA), and Teaching Assistant (TA): Appointments exceeding 75% are rare and require approval of the advisor and chair of the payrolling program(s), the payrolling college dean's office(s), and the Graduate School. Some colleges, schools, programs, or programs may set lower limits, but in general require prior specific approvals if the appointment or some combination of appointments exceeds 75%. For international students, the maximum TA/PA appointment level is 50%.
Predoctoral Fellows/Trainees: Students can hold a concurrent appointment as a TA, RA, PA, or student hourly with their fellowship within the limits set out in the current university policy. Whenever such appointments are held concurrently, the maximum dollar-earned limit is equal to the 100% RA annual rate and will be revised each year. For the the concurrent appointment policy for fellows/trainees, please see https://kb.wisc.edu/gsadminkb/page.php?id=33036
Limited/Academic Staff, Non-dissertators: Combinations of appointment percentages and academic load percentage exceeding 175% are very unusual because of the difficulty that such academic loads place on the ability of the employee to perform their responsibilities. Therefore, approval by the employing division's dean/director (or designee) is required prior to the start of classes. The Graduate School dean should be informed in writing of any approved requests. See Chapter 11.03 of the Unclassified Personnel Policies and Procedures document for the current university policy entitled, Employees Enrolled as UW-Madison Students, ohr.wisc.edu/polproced/UPPP/1103.htm.
Limited/Academic Staff, Dissertators: Combinations of appointment percentages and academic load percentage exceeding 175% are more common because dissertators have no classes to attend. Although these are approved only at the program chair or director level, the employing unit's dean/director (or designee) and the Graduate School dean must be informed in writing of any approved requests. See Chapter 11.03 of the Unclassified Personnel Policies and Procedures document for the current university policy entitled, Employees Enrolled as UW-Madison Students, ohr.wisc.edu/polproced/UPPP/1103.htm.
Student hourly: In some situations it may be appropriate to hire graduate students as student hourly help. Employers should contact their Dean's office to determine when this is appropriate. Maximum levels for appointments also include student hourly appointments. See Chapter 1.06 of the Unclassified Personnel Policies and Procedures document for the current university policy entitled, Student Hourly Help, ohr.wisc.edu/Polproced/UPPP/0106.html.
For any combination of appointments (except fellowships and traineeships), the total appointment percentage may not exceed 75%.
A 100% academic load for graduate students is:
If a student holds an assistantship concurrently with a staff appointment, the combination of appointments may not exceed 75%, regardless of the number of credits for which the student is enrolled. (See above policy for fellows and trainees.)
Contact the Graduate School Office of Human Resources at 608-262-8389 for additional information.
Military Service Policy
Under current law, students in the National Guard and Reserves who are called to active military duty are provided certain rights, such as (but not limited to) being able to withdraw and receive a 100% refund regardless of the time of the term, to receive Incompletes (I) with the option to complete the course work upon their return, or to make selective drops with a full refund of dropped courses. Additionally, the 5-year time limit for Master's degree students and dissertators may be extended.
Under certain criteria, UW-Madison students who are returning from active military duty may return to the university without having to submit a readmission application. These criteria are:
Students meeting the above criteria should contact Student Veteran Services, 333 East Campus Mall, room 10301, 608-265-4628. For more information on both leaving and returning to the university, see registrar.wisc.edu/student_veteran_services.htm. Specific directions about leaving and returning to the university are provided at: registrar.wisc.edu/call_up_information.htm.
Minimum Credit Requirement
The Graduate School's minimum credit requirement for graduation can be satisfied only with graduate-level courses taken as a graduate student at UW-Madison. The only exception may be graduate-level course work taken as a CIC Traveling Scholar.
The minimum credit requirement is a degree requirement instituted by the graduate faculty to ensure that a graduate degree represents preparation beyond course requirements. The minimum credit requirement provides the opportunity for those who earn graduate degrees to spend sufficient time engaged in their discipline (that is, meeting with professors and peers; participating in research projects and colloquia; using laboratories, clinics, and/or libraries; and generally becoming an active contributor to a research discipline).
Master's degree:16 credits
MFA/specialist certificate: 24 credits
(may include Master's degree credits taken at UW-Madison)
Doctoral degree: 32 credits
(must be completed prior to achieving dissertator status; may include Master's degree credits taken at UW-Madison)
All courses taken as a graduate student that are numbered 300 and above in which a student receives a grade of A, AB, B, or S will count toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement. Courses with grades of BC or C count only if there are equal credits of AB and A respectively in non-research courses to offset the lower grades. Courses with grades of P ("in progress") fulfill the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement only if they are research courses. Courses taken for audit or pass/fail, under the 300 level, or in which a student receives grades of D or F do not count. Students must maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale).
Master's degree students who have been absent for 5 or more years lose all degree credits earned before their absence. This guideline does not apply to doctoral candidates.
Programs may decide to count previous graduate work from another institution toward fulfillment of program course requirements; however, this work will not appear on a UW-Madison transcript, and it does not count toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement.
Students should be aware that most programs require higher credit minimums than the Graduate School's minimum. Students should contact their program graduate coordinator for further information.
Minnesota residents who are certified by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (MOHE) for the appropriate term/summer session to attend UW-Madison under the Minnesota-Wisconsin Tuition Reciprocity Agreement will be assessed the approved reciprocity tuition rate, plus the segregated fees assessed for all UW-Madison students. Students under this program will be classified as nonresidents of Wisconsin.
Students with a Research Assistantship (RA), that covers all instructional costs, will be billed as nonresidents, not Minnesota reciprocity rates. The end result to the student is the same, as students are only responsible for the segregated fees.
Students who are not certified for the program prior to the date fees are due must either pay nonresident rates and be refunded the difference in tuition upon certification by MOHE, or delay payment until certification is issued and include the $100.00 late payment fee due at that time.
It is the student's responsibility to inquire of MOHE about the suitability of reapplying, application procedures, and deadlines. Questions and application requests should be directed to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, 1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55108-5227, 651-642-0567 or 800-657-3866. Students may also obtain additional information at ohe.state.mn.us.
Breadth is an important component of doctoral training. Given there are multiple paths to breadth, the Graduate School leaves the choice of whether students achieve breadth through a minor or other means up to the specific graduate program.
Minor options are as follows:
Option A (external): Requires a minimum of 9 credits in a minor program (single disciplinary or multi-disciplinary). Fulfillment of this option requires the approval of the minor program.
Option B (distributed): Requires a minimum of 9 credits in one or more programs forming a coherent topic, and can include course work in the program. Fulfillment of this option requires the approval of the major program.
The Graduate School's minimum course requirements for the minor include:
For the full text of the memorandum detailing this policy change: http://kb.wisc.edu/gsadminkb/page.php?id=31615
Graduate students should be aware that the university holds graduate students to a high standard of academic integrity and believes that misconduct may warrant university discipline in addition to sanctions imposed by an instructor. Graduate students who have been found by their instructors to commit academic misconduct can expect that the Division of Student Life will consider whether to impose a further disciplinary sanction of university probation, suspension, or expulsion.
Chapter 14 of the University of Wisconsin Administrative Code defines academic misconduct as follows:
Academic misconduct is an act in which a student:
Examples of academic misconduct include but are not limited to:
The full text of the state statute governing academic misconduct, UWS 14, Student Academic Disciplinary Procedures, as well as the UW-campus procedures for implementing the provisions of UWS 14 and general information about academic misconduct, are available at students.wisc.edu/doso/acadintegrity.html or from the Division of Student Life, 75 Bascom Hall 608-263-5700.
Chapter 17 of the University of Wisconsin Administrative Code describes non-academic misconduct as follows:
The university may discipline a student in non-academic matters in the following situations:
Examples of non-academic misconduct include but are not limited to:
The full text of the state statute governing non-academic misconduct, UWS 17, Student Non-Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Procedures, as well as the UW campus procedures for implementing the provisions of UWS 17 and general information about non-academic misconduct, are available at http://students.wisc.edu/doso/nonacadmisconduct-statement.html or from the Division of Student Life, 75 Bascom Hall, 608-263-5700.
No Report (NR) Grades
A No Report (NR) grade on a student's record indicates that the instructor for the course has not yet submitted a final grade for the student's work at the end of the grading period. This grade is not the same as an Incomplete (I), which indicates that the student's work was unfinished at the end of the term.
All grades for 790, 890, 990 that are unreported (previously assigned an NR) by the end of the grading period will be automatically assigned a P (Progress). If the instructor had intended a different grade (S, U, or I), s/he would need to use either the electronic grade change process or the paper grade change process in order to post the appropriate grade. All grades for 790, 890, 990 that are unreported by the end of the grading period will be automatically assigned a P, and the P grades will automatically revert to S grades upon assignment of the grade for the final semester of enrollment in the course.
Students are allowed to enroll for a maximum of 12 graduate-level credits (MBA programs in Business allow up to 18; MSW programs in Social Work allow up to 15). **Effective Fall 2014, the maximum enrollment for fall/spring will be 15 credits** Graduate-level credits are those courses numbered 300 or above, taken for a grade (not including audits and pass/fail).
Dissertators are not eligible for overloads in the fall or spring terms. However, in the summer, a dissertator who is enrolled in the general 8-week session for 3 credits may request an overload for one or 2 additional credits in a short session and still retain dissertator status, if the course is related to dissertation research or professional training that is not offered in regular semesters. Dissertators must ask their advisor to request permission for such an overload from the Graduate School.
The enrollment system counts all credits in determining maximum credit loads. An overload request is required if a student wishes to exceed the maximum number of credits they are allowed as a graduate student. Even though pass/fail courses, audit courses, and 100- or 200-level courses are not considered graduate-level credits, they are counted in a total credit load. An overload request is also required if the number of credits exceeds the span of weeks in any short session during the summer (but not for a dissertator).
If a student wishes to enroll for more than the maximum credit load, they must submit a Credit Overload Request form, signed by their advisor, to the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433. The Graduate School will look closely at the rationale for the request, the student's course load, satisfactory progress, and assistantships. If the Graduate School approves the overload, the student will then be allowed to add the course.
Pass/fail courses do not count for program or minor course credits, nor are they counted toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement or considered in the minimum or maximum credit load per term. For these reasons, very few graduate students choose pass/fail for graduate-level courses (300 and above). Seminars, independent study, and research may not be taken pass/fail. The pass/fail option is not to be confused with the S/U grading option.
A student requests to take a course as pass/fail via MyUW Student Center. They must first enroll for the course and then submit an online Course Change Request to change the course to pass/fail basis. After the student requests this change online via MyUW Student Center, it is reviewed and approved electronically by the Graduate School. Submission of a paper pass/fail form is not required.
The instructor does not know that a student is taking the course on a pass/fail basis and therefore reports a letter grade for the course. The Registrar records a grade of S in place of the instructors' grades of A, AB, B, BC, or C; and a grade of U in place of D or F grades. Neither the S nor the U are computed in the graduate grade-point average.
The enrollment system counts all credits in determining maximum credit loads. Even though pass/fail courses are not considered graduate-level credits, a Credit Overload Request, is required if a student's total credit load exceeds the maximum limit per term.
Permanent Incomplete (PI) Grade
If the work is no longer relevant, the instructor of a course is no longer at the university, or a change of program makes completion of the work unnecessary, students may be allowed to receive a Permanent Incomplete (PI) for the course. The instructor of the course or their advisor submits a grade change request, changing the grade from I to PI. The Office of the Registrar also converts any incomplete grade over 5 years old to PI. Students may graduate with PI's on their transcript.
Students' eligibility to take the prelim examination(s) is determined by their program. The program notifies the Graduate School of a student's admission to candidacy on the preliminary warrant, which must be requested 3 weeks prior to the exam date. The number of examinations and their content vary from program to program. A student's program administers the examination(s).
The preliminary examination is a significant milestone in a doctoral student's academic career. It is given to assess knowledge of areas within the academic discipline. Passing of the preliminary area exam, obtaining approval of the Minor if the major program requires it, and having an approved dissertation title (or special field) culminate in admission to candidacy for the Doctoral degree.
Students have 5 years from the date of passing their preliminary examination to take their final oral examination and submit their dissertation. Failure to complete their degree within this 5-year period may result in their having to retake the preliminary examination and be re-admitted to candidacy.
If students were admitted on probation and they satisfy the conditions outlined at the time of admission, probationary status will be removed automatically. Once their studies have begun, students are expected to make satisfactory progress toward their degree.
Students must be in good academic standing with the Graduate School, their program, and their advisor. The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who received grades of BC, C, D, F, or I in graduate-level courses (300 or above), or grades of U in research and thesis. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment, and the student may be suspended from graduate studies.
The Graduate School may also put students on probation for incompletes not cleared within one term. All incomplete grades must be resolved before a degree is granted.
Programs (or 'Majors')
Programs are officially approved courses of study and research leading to a Master's or Doctoral degree. They may be administered either within a disciplinary department, or across departments by an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary cluster of faculty. Some programs have official areas of concentration within them (called Options or Subplans) at the Master's and/or Doctoral levels. All of these designations appear on the student's transcript. Other programs have unofficial tracks, specializations, or concentrations. Contact the graduate coordinator of a program for more information. Students who would like to pursue an individual program different from approved programs should see Special Graduate Committee Degrees.
Progress (P) Grades
The P is an abbreviation for "Progress," not an abbreviation for "Pass." It is a temporary grade. Grades of P (except for research and thesis within the program) must be changed before a degree or preliminary exam warrant can be issued.
If a P is assigned for research courses numbered 790, 890, and 990, the grade will remain until the faculty member assigns a grade of S or U. All previously assigned P grades in that instructor's research course will revert to an S or U upon assignment of the S or U grade. Usually this is upon assignment of the final grade for the course in the semester of submitting the dissertation. (All grades for 790, 890, 990 that are unreported by the end of the grading period will be automatically assigned a P.)
Project or Program Assistant (PA)
These titles designate graduate or professional students employed to assist with research, training, or other academic programs or projects. Contact the employing program directly for more information.
Publication of Dissertation
Qualifying examination requirements differ for each program. Students should contact their program to learn about specific requirements.
Readmission to Graduate School (for previously enrolled graduate students)
If a graduate student does not continuously enroll during a fall or spring semester, they are required to apply for readmission to the Graduate School. The readmission process accomplishes two goals: (1) assures the Graduate School that a student is in good standing with his/her academic program; and (2) activates his/her enrollment eligibility. There is no application fee if reapplication is made within five years of the last semester of enrollment. Additional information is available in the document, Readmission Procedures, grad.wisc.edu/educations/admissions/reentry.html.
To apply for readmission, graduate students should first contact their program and then the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 228 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A returning student who is completing another same level degree within five years must comply with double degree requirements, including the 25% overlap rule.
See the Schedule of Classes at registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm for the tuition refund schedule for students who withdraw or make adjustments in credit loads in a semester. Check each semester for the specific deadline dates for refunds and the refund schedule. If a student's tuition was paid by financial aid, any refunds are returned directly to those financial aid funds.
It is faculty policy that mandatory academic requirements should not be scheduled on days when a religious observance may cause substantial numbers of students to be absent from university functions.
A student's claim of religious conflict should be accepted at face value. A great variety of valid claims exist for religious groups, and there is no practical, dignified, and legal means to assess the validity of individual claims. State law mandates that any student with a conflict between an academic requirement and any religious observances must be given an alternative means of meeting the academic requirement. The law also stipulates that students be given means by which they can conveniently and confidently notify an instructor of the conflict.
A listing of religious holidays, though not exhaustive, can be found at interfaithcalendar.org, or can be obtained at the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty, 130 Bascom. For more information about the university's policy on religious observances go to secfac.wisc.edu/governance/ReligiousObservancesMemo.htm.
Typically, graduate-level courses where content can change (such as special topics, seminars, independent studies, and research and thesis) can be repeated within the semester or on a semester basis. Repeated courses may earn course credit and satisfy the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement. Sometimes program authorization is necessary for enrollment. See the Schedule of Classes for instructions at registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm.
Students are entitled to repeat any didactic course if they or their program feel it is necessary. Both grades will be used in calculating the student's graduate grade-point average; however, the course will count only once toward the minimum credit requirement.
Research Assistant (RA)
A Research Assistant must be a graduate student working toward a master's or doctoral degree. The work performed is primarily to further the education and training of the student.
The program will give consideration for an RA appointment based on information provided in the application for admission or, in some cases, in a specific program application form. Research Assistants will receive a letter of appointment or reappointment each semester or year they hold their assistantship. If appointed students have not received such a letter, they should contact their payrolling office.
Research Regulatory Compliance
Residence for Tuition Purposes
Wisconsin Statute 36.27(2) governs resident status for tuition purposes. To be eligible for in-state tuition, a student must be a bona fide resident of Wisconsin for at least the 12 months immediately prior to enrollment, or must qualify as a resident for tuition purposes under one of the provisions in the Statutes that waives the 12-month requirement. In determining resident status for tuition purposes, standards are different from those used for voting, paying taxes, etc.
If students are classified as nonresident for tuition purposes, they do not automatically become residents for tuition purposes after residing in Wisconsin for one or more years. In cases where it appears the students have entered and remained in Wisconsin principally for educational purposes, a presumption is made that they continue to reside outside the state. The presumption of nonresidence continues in effect until rebutted by clear and convincing evidence of bona fide residence.
Provisions of the statute under which a student may qualify as a resident for tuition purposes without waiting 12 months are:
For more information about residence for tuition purposes, and the full text of the applicable statute, see registrar.wisc.edu/residence.htm. Students with questions about residence for tuition purposes, or who believe they should be a resident and would like to appeal the nonresident tuition status, may contact the Office of the Registrar's Residence Counselors, 333 East Campus Mall, 608-262-1355, email@example.com.
Responsible Conduct of Research
Animal Care and Use in Research
UW-Madison has federal compliance responsibilities that pertain to the use of live, vertebrate animals in research, teaching and outreach activities. This includes but is not limited to traditional basic and applied research models, instruction of students, and public events. Oversight and evaluation of the humane and ethical use of animals is performed by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs), of which there are five on campus. The Research Animal Resource Center (RARC) provides support to the IACUCs and training to animal users necessary to provide the highest quality care and compliance for the university's research animals. Visit rarc.wisc.edu or call 262-1238 to learn more about the rules and regulations governing the care and use of research animals, how to prepare and submit animal care and use protocols to IACUCs, and how to obtain veterinary and pathology services. Training and protocol approval are required before one can begin research projects involving animals.
Authors of a research publication are usually those who provide meaningful intellectual contribution to a project in one or more of the following ways: concept, design, supervision, resources, materials, data collection and processing, analysis or interpretation, literature search and writing. Many academic journals may list very specific requirements for authorship. All authors have rights and responsibilities thus any person listed as an author should be knowledgeable and aware of such. Unless the contributions of the co-authors are listed, each author takes full responsibility for the contents of the work. When asked to serve as a publication reviewer, students should treat this material as confidential. For further information see the Graduate School Policies, Responsibilities, and Procedures for Responsible Conduct of Research.
Conflict of Interest
The Conflict of Interest (COI) staff and committee reviews reports of outside activities and financial interests to comply with federal, state, and University regulations and policies. This faculty committee also works with faculty and staff to eliminate, minimize, or manage any actual or potential financial conflicts of interest identified by the reporting process. For further information see the Graduate School Policies, Responsibilities, and Procedures for Responsible Conduct of Research.
Human Research Protections
In accordance with federal regulations and UW-Madison policies, all research involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to any research intervention with participants. All graduate research involving human subjects for inclusion in a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation must be approved by an IRB before beginning the research. Training is required before a project is submitted to an IRB for review. For additional information, see Human Resources Protection Program (HRPP) webpage.
Intellectual Property Rights
Except as required by funding agreements or other university policies, the university does not claim ownership rights in the intellectual property generated during research by its faculty, staff, or students. This policy has proven beneficial to the university, the public, and the creators of such property. In the case of inventions funded in whole or in part by a federal agency or in the case of sponsored research agreements that require the university to grant rights in inventions generated by funding under such agreements, faculty, staff, and students must assign rights to such invention to the university's designated patent management organization, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). Faculty, staff, and students must execute all papers necessary to file patent applications on the invention and establish the federal government's or other sponsor's rights in the invention. If there are no specific written agreements or policies to the contrary, the researcher at the university is free to dispose of the rights in the manner of his or her own choosing. The university retains the right to use the products of research conducted as a university activity for its education and research mission.
Forms for reporting inventions can be found online at WARF.org.
Misconduct of Research
Much of graduate education is carried out not in classrooms, but in laboratories and other research venues, often supported by federal or other external funding sources. Indeed, it is often difficult to distinguish between academic misconduct and cases of research misconduct. Graduate students are held to the same standards of responsible conduct of research as faculty and staff. The Graduate School is responsible for investigating allegations of research misconduct. This is often done in consultation with the Division of Student Life as well as with federal and state agencies to monitor, investigate, determine sanctions, and train about the responsible conduct of research. For more information, contact the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Policy, 333 Bascom Hall, 608-262-1044.
A patent is an exclusive statutory right available to the inventor or inventors of new material. As inventors, students may have the right to seek patent protection for their invention (for example, for a product that results from the research documented in their dissertation).
If students have received support (for example, an appointment as a Research Assistant or Project Assistant) for the work leading to an invention, or used any other University funding, supplies, equipment, or University premises, in the work leading to an invention, they may have obligations that affect their rights to seek patent protection for an invention. It is important to discuss patents with their advisor. Also, students should read the document titled Intellectual Property Policies and Procedures for University Research, produced by the Graduate School, 333 Bascom Hall, 608-262-1044.
Research Regulatory Compliance
If students' research involves human subjects (including data sets, surveys, human blood, or other body materials), live animals, recombinant DNA, infectious agents, stem cells, or biological toxins, they should consult the information on the Graduate School web site concerning compliance regulations.
The Office of Biological Safety (OBS) assists faculty, students, and staff in observing safe practices in research in the biological sciences as prescribed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and endeavors to ensure that research is done in secure facilities in compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations. As an institution receiving NIH research funds, UW-Madison is subject to the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules (rDNA). OBS provides the administrative mechanism by which research involving rDNA can be reviewed, thereby assuring compliance with the NIH Guidelines. This institution adheres to the guidance of the CDC/NIH publication, Biosafety in Biomedical and Microbiological Laboratories. Institutional policies are described in the campus biosafety manual, Biohazard Recognition and Control.
The UW-Madison Chemical Safety Office, working in conjunction with the campus Chemical Safety Committee, establishes policies and procedures for the safe acquisition, use, storage and disposal of chemicals on campus.
The Chemical Safety Office also advises campus chemical users on best practices and helps the university community comply with federal, state, and local chemical and environmental safety laws. See the Office of Chemical Safety website for additional information.
The UW-Madison Office of Radiation Safety is a division of the Department of Environment, Health & Safety. They provide instruction for how to order materials, Laser Safety, radioactive waste disposal guidelines, removing radioactive waste from the lab, packing waste for pickup, and instructions for shipment of radioactive material. Radiation Safety provides a full training manual for radiation workers as well as dosimeter badges for lab workers. See the Office of Radiation Safety website for additional information.
Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Grades
For all courses listed as research, the only permissible grades are Satisfactory (S), Unsatisfactory (U), and Progress (P). Though an Incomplete (I) grade may be assigned, a final grade must be submitted during the following term. If a P grade is assigned, it will remain until the instructor assigns a grade of S or U; all previously assigned P grades will revert to an S or U upon assignment of the final grade. These courses will not count in the student's Grade Point Average (GPA).
Research courses are traditionally reserved for graduate students; however, other students (Law, Medical, Undergraduate, etc.) occasionally register for a research course. In these cases the student's college can decide to have the course count in the GPA with an academic action to the Registrar's Office.
If a course has been structured to offer the S/U grading option, a grade of S in that course would mean a grade of B or better. S/U courses are not computed into the grade-point average. They are, however, counted for program and minor course credit, toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement, and in considering the minimum or maximum credit load per term. The S/U grading option is not to be confused with the pass/fail option. Unsatisfactory grades do not count toward minimum graduation credit requirements. Programs and the Graduate School monitor students for unsatisfactory grades. Advisor holds may be placed for students with unsatisfactory grades.
The use of letter grades (A through F) is encouraged and recommended whenever information on performance permits. Courses designated as research require grading on the S/U basis. In certain seminars and advanced topics courses, where lack of examinations and other performance criteria makes the A-F scale inappropriate, use of the S/U option is permissible.
Continuation in the Graduate School is at the discretion of a student's program, the Graduate School, and a student's faculty advisor.
The Graduate School sets minimum standards that all graduate students in the university must meet. Many departments and programs have additional requirements that exceed these Graduate School minimum requirements. The definition of satisfactory progress varies by program. The Graduate School Catalog, grad.wisc.edu/catalog, includes the Graduate School's minimum degree requirements and each program's minimum criteria for satisfactory progress.
The Graduate School requires that students maintain a minimum graduate GPA of 3.00 in all graduate-level work (300 or above, excluding research, audit, credit/no credit, and pass/fail courses) taken as a graduate student unless probationary admission conditions require higher grades. The Graduate School also considers Incomplete (I) grades to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the subsequent semester of enrollment; however, the instructor may impose an earlier deadline.
A student may be placed on probation or suspended from the Graduate School for low grades or for failing to resolve incompletes in a timely fashion. In special cases the Graduate School permits students who do not meet these minimum standards to continue on probation upon recommendation and support of their advisor.
Schedule of Classes
The Schedule of Classes (formerly Timetable) is available online at registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm, and students can access the Schedule of Classes via their MyUW Student Center. The Schedule of Classes can be viewed using Class Search, the real-time online listing of course sections offered each term. Students are responsible for complying with enrollment deadlines, available at the Registrar's Office web page, registrar.wisc.edu.
Schools and Colleges
Always consult the Schedule of Classes, registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm, for deadlines and procedures for section changes. Section changes include: changes in Lectures, Discussions, Labs and Instructors' course numbers for research or independent study courses for which students are already enrolled. See Course Changes for instructions on how to request a section change.
If a student's name does not appear on the appropriate instructor's grade roster at the end of the term, a Course Change Request to change sections and a letter of request from the instructor of the class must be submitted to the Graduate School, Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall. The instructor of the correct section must submit a Grade Change Form to assign a grade. The instructor of the incorrect section should submit no grade.
UW-Madison students pay fees in addition to tuition. All students, even those with tuition remission, pay these fees. The only exception is that fellowships paid through the Graduate School (not including Vilas travel awards) have segregated fees waived in addition to tuition. Segregated fees are funds dedicated to supporting various student service programs and organizations. The student government on campus is responsible for the allocation of these funds. The Student Services Finance Committee (SSFC) of the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) submits budget recommendations to the ASM Student Council and the Chancellor as to how student fees should be spent
Segregated fee information is provided by the Office of the Registrar at registrar.wisc.edu/tuition_&_fees.htm.
For information on how these funds are currently allocated, contact the ASM Student Services Finance Committee at 333 East Campus Mall, Room 4301, 608-890-0270, fax 608-265-5637, asm.wisc.edu/ssfc.html.
Senior-graduates are UW-Madison undergraduate seniors who are within 1-6 credits of completing the requirements for a bachelor's degree and wish to take additional coursework to count towards their graduate degree.
The applicant must complete a senior-graduate form that verifies courses and credits needed to complete their undergraduate degree. Additionally, they must fill out a Graduate School application online (gradsch.wisc.edu/eapp/eapp.pl). The applicant must meet the minimum admission requirements of both the program and the Graduate School. The admitting program must recommend admission in full standing. Senior graduates may not be admitted on probation.
All senior-graduates pay graduate fees and are eligible for Teaching Assistantship or Project Assistantship appointments, including tuition remission. They are not eligible for fellowships or Research Assistantships.
All coursework taken as a senior grad will be listed under the undergraduate career on the transcript. All grade points earned as a senior-graduate are counted in the computation of the cumulative undergraduate Grade Point Average. The student's program is subject to the regulations and requirements of the Graduate School. Graduate credit will be awarded only if the requirements for the bachelor's degree are completed by the end of the semester of senior-graduate enrollment. Failure to earn the bachelor's degree within one semester will result in termination of senior-graduate status and loss of credits toward the graduate degree. The student will be granted graduate standing the semester following receipt of the bachelor's degree.
Application for senior-graduate status is made at time of application to Graduate School. For more information, contact the Graduate School's Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433.
Special Graduate Committee Degrees
Special graduate committee degrees are one-of-a-kind degrees built around unique needs of individual students that cannot be satisfied by approved programs (e.g., by existing major program/minor combinations, joint degrees, distributed minors, etc.) and may permit individual degrees in new and emerging fields or combinations of disciplines. A higher degree of independence is required on the part of the student, since easily available guidance provided by programs is often more difficult to obtain, and there is not the usual collegial group of students in closely related research and course work.
The Master's and Doctoral special graduate committee guidelines are:
Special Student Status
Students enrolled as special students (university special students) are considered non-degree candidates and pay fees at a lower rate than graduate students. No currently enrolled graduate degree candidate may enroll as a special student.
Before beginning a graduate program, an international student may choose to study full-time English as a special student on an F-1 visa granted through the ESL program or on a J-1 visa with the sponsor's approval. When the student begins a graduate program, the student's status will be changed from special to graduate student.
Graduate-level work done as a special student prior to enrolling in the Graduate School cannot be counted toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement and will not be included in the calculation of the graduate Grade Point Average. However, a program may wish to count these credits toward program course requirements or, in rare circumstances, appeal to the Graduate School to transfer credits to meet the minimum credit requirements for a graduate degree, provided the work was not done to prove admissibility to the Graduate School. If the appeal is approved, all courses completed during that semester will be transferred, and the most recent semester will be transferred first. For the credits transferred, the student will be charged a differential equal to the semester's graduate fees.
For more information about special student status, contact Adult Career and Special Student Services, Division of Continuing Studies, 21 North Park, 7th floor, 608-263-6960, TTY 608-263-2400, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.dcs.wisc.edu/info/univspec.htm.
Students can earn a Specialist Certificate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis or in Library and Information Studies. The certificate represents work beyond the master's level. In addition to program requirements, the Graduate School requires that the student must have a cumulative graduate Grade Point Average of 3.00 and a minimum of 24 UW-Madison graduate-level credits.
For additional information, contact the programs that offer the Specialist Certificate.
Student Crisis Loan Fund
The university creates an international context for education by providing opportunities for UW-Madison students to study overseas. Because of the variety of programs, students should coordinate their study abroad program with their program, the Graduate School, and International Academic Programs
Information about study abroad programs can be obtained through a student's program and through International Academic Programs, Division of International Studies and Programs, 250 Bascom Hall, 608-265-6329, studyabroad.wisc.edu.
All graduate students traveling abroad are encouraged to acquire insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International. Additional information is available at bussvc.wisc.edu/risk_mgt/study_abroad.html.
Some programs have identified areas of concentration within their field, known as named options or subplans. These subplans appear on the transcript with degree conferral. The Graduate Faculty Executive Committee must approve official subplans. Many programs also have unofficial specializations or tracks that do not appear on the transcript.
Wages paid to Teaching and Project/Program Assistants are taxable, because the work primarily benefits the university without being central to a student's graduate studies. Research Assistant stipends are taxable because there is a service component that benefits the university in addition to supporting a student's studies. Trainee and fellow stipends are also taxable; however, tuition, fees, and books may be deducted before students calculate their tax liability.
Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax: FICA tax funds social security and Medicare programs. To be eligible for FICA exemption, non-dissertator graduate students must be enrolled at UW-Madison at least half time (4 credits during the spring and fall semesters), or 3 credits for dissertators. For information about Federal Insurance Contributions (FICA) tax exemption, see www.uwsa.edu/fadmin/gapp/gapp18a.htm.
Teaching Assistant (TA)
Many programs offer Teaching Assistantships. This title is appropriate for graduate students who have been assigned teaching responsibilities in an instructional program under the supervision of a faculty member of the academic staff. Contact the employing program directly for more information about the TA position.
See Enrollment Requirements, Maximum Levels of Appointments, Teaching Assistant (TA) Orientation and Training, Tuition Remission, International Students Maintaining Legal Status, Appendix 2 (Payroll Benefits).
Teaching Assistant (TA) Orientation and Training
Many programs offer specialized Teaching Assistant (TA) training during orientation, the week before classes begin. Other programs offer teaching methods seminars for their own TAs. The deans' offices of the School of Business, School of Education, College of Engineering, and College of Letters and Science offer TA orientation sessions (typically during orientation week in August). Students should contact their program's graduate coordinator or payroll representative for more information, or call one of the deans' offices listed above. Letters and Science TAs should contact the L&S TA Training and Professional Development Office in South Hall, 608-265-0603.
The International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Training Program, coordinated by the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program, helps non-native English speaking TAs (or potential TAs) improve their oral communication and classroom teaching skills. For more information about the ITA Training Program, visit http://www.english.wisc.edu/esl/ita-training-desc.html.
Some Master's degrees require a thesis to be deposited in the Memorial Library. The Graduate School produces materials that describe the preparation of a thesis. See A Guide to Preparing Your Master's Thesis.
The Bursar's Office will bill third parties for students with a valid third party deferral authorization on file with the Bursar's Office. It is the student's responsibility to verify that an authorization is on file and in effect for each term of enrollment. If the deferral is correctly reflected on the student's account invoice, the student may assume that it is in effect. Students ultimately are held responsible for payment of tuition and fees if the third party does not pay deferred fees. For further information, contact the Bursar's Office, 333 East Campus Mall, room 10501, 608-262-3612, bussvc.wisc.edu/bursar/thirdpsp.html.
Graduate degrees are awarded, in part, for completion of current course work. Master's degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they had earned before their absence. Although their program may count the course work students did before their absence for meeting its requirements, the Graduate School does not count that work toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement.
A candidate for a Doctoral degree who fails to take the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation within 5 years after passing the preliminary examination may be required to take another preliminary examination and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.
A student's program may appeal these time limits through a written request to the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433. The appeal should provide information demonstrating that the student has remained current in the field of study. This information may include a resume showing applicable work experience and/or official transcripts from other schools attended.
If students have been absent for five or more years, they must file a new Graduate School application for admission and submit it with a new application fee. For further information, see information about readmission, grad.wisc.edu/education/admissions/reentry.html.
Traineeships are ordinarily sponsored through an extramural training grant (usually NIH) and are designated as traineeships under the terms of the grant. This title is used exclusively for students who are supported by a traineeship while pursuing a particular course of study.
Official transcripts may be requested online, by mail, or in person at 333 East Campus Mall, room 10101. Current students can order official transcripts through MyUW Student Center. More details on how to order an official transcript are available at ordertranscript.wisc.edu.
Students may also request a campus copy of transcripts of their student record from MyUW Student Center. A campus copy student record is not an official transcript but it does indicate all internal university memoranda. Find more details on how to request a campus copy student record at registrar.wisc.edu/student_record.htm.
Transfer of Graduate Work from Other Institutions
A student's program may decide to use graduate work completed at another institution toward fulfillment of program or minor course requirements. This work will not appear on a UW-Madison transcript. The Graduate School's minimum credit requirement can be satisfied only with courses taken as a graduate student at UW-Madison. The only exception may be graduate-level course work taken as a CIC Traveling Scholar. Students should contact their program for more information.
Traveling Scholar Program
The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) sponsors the Traveling Scholar Program as part of a continuing effort to increase cooperative use of its member institutions' resources. This program enables doctoral-level students at any CIC university to take advantage of educational opportunities (specialized courses, unique library collections, unusual laboratories) at any other CIC university without additional tuition expenses.
Credits earned by Traveling Scholars are transferred by the home university upon receipt of transcript from the host university. Courses and grades are posted directly on a student's UW-Madison transcript and, if graduate level, count for purposes of course requirements as well as the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement. Terms may not exceed two semesters or three quarters regardless of the number of courses taken.
Students should contact the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 608-262-2433 for an application or more information. For a list of eligible universities, see the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) web site, cic.net.
Tuition and Fee Information
Students go to their MyUW Student Center to view their tuition charges and payments; financial aid, loans and scholarships received; and refunds issued on their Tuition Account Summary, and to access links to set up an "Authorized Payer" and view, print, and pay eBills.
The tuition bill is provided as an eBill which is published to view, print, or pay on-line on the Tuition Account eBill/ePayment secure web site. An email is sent to notify students and their Authorized Payers each time a new eBill is published. If students want their parents to have access to the web site, students must first set them up as Authorized Payers. Detailed Authorized Payer information and FAQs are available at bussvc.wisc.edu/bursar/echeckfaq.html.
Tuition and fee charges must be paid by the due date indicated on the tuition and fee statement to avoid a $100 late fee. (Late fee is subject to change.) UW-Madison does not accept debit or credit cards for tuition payment. Detailed payment options and information are available at bussvc.wisc.edu/bursar/tuitpay.html. For tuition account questions, contact the Bursar's office via email, email@example.com (include the student name/ID in the email), or by phone: 608-262-3611, 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., CST M-F. Bursar's web site offers a variety of information at www.bussvc.wisc.edu/bursar.
The date a course is dropped determines eligibility for a tuition cost adjustment when a student drops a course or withdraws from the university. For tuition and fee adjustment and assessment questions, contact the Office of the Registrar at 608-262-4031 (7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., CST M-F). Find class drop deadlines and cost adjustments plus other tuition and fees information at www.registrar.wisc.edu.
Graduate students who have a Project Assistantship (PA), a Teaching Assistantship (TA), or a Research Assistantship (RA) of at least a 33.33% appointment for a Fall or Spring term are eligible to receive remission of full tuition. Fellowships or traineeships that are payrolled through the university and that carry stipends equivalent to at least a 33.33% Research Assistantship also qualify for remission of non-resident tuition.
Students should check with the payroll coordinator in their program to determine eligibility.
All graduate assistants are responsible for paying their segregated fees.
Tuition is remitted in summer sessions to graduate students in one of the following categories:
Direct tuition remission questions to the Bursar's Office, 333 East Campus Mall, Room 10501, 608-262-4518.
See Enrollment Requirements, Fellowships, Lecturers, Minnesota/Wisconsin Reciprocity, Project or Program Assistant (PA), Research Assistant (RA), Segregated Fees, Teaching Assistant (TA), Traineeships, Withdrawal, Appendix 2 (Payroll Benefits).
Variable Credit Courses
Some didactic courses are offered to both undergraduate and graduate students. Typically undergraduate students enroll for a higher amount of total credits than do graduate students. Courses of this nature are designated in the Schedule of Classes as variable credit courses. Students should consult the Schedule of Classes, registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm, to determine the appropriate credits when enrolling for a variable credit course.
Verification of Enrollment Status
A warrant is a program's recommendation that a student be admitted to Doctoral candidacy (a preliminary examination warrant) or be granted a degree (both Master's and Doctoral), and is the Graduate School's notification that a student has met the Graduate School's and program's requirements.
Withdrawal indicates that a student intends to stop attending classes for the current semester. Submission of a withdrawal request in MyUW Student Center is required between the first and last day of the semester, when a student wishes to drop all classes in which he or she is enrolled for the current semester. The electronic withdrawal process will not require submission of a signed paper form. Instead, students will submit withdrawal requests via MyUW Student Center, and the requests are then routed electronically to the Graduate School for review. Approval from the Graduate School, as well as from the Office of International Student Services for students on J-1 and F-1 visas, is required before a graduate student is formally withdrawn from the semester. For more information see Canceling Your Enrollment-Withdrawals on the Office of the Registrar's website.
If students drop all courses before the first day of classes, they officially cancel their enrollment, owe no tuition or fees for that term, and have no semester entry on their transcript. In this case, it is not necessary for the student to submit a withdrawal request to the Graduate School. Students planning to withdraw from their academic program should contact their program directly.
Students are considered enrolled for a term if they have courses on their record on or after the first day of classes for that term regardless of whether they have paid tuition and fees. Failure to attend classes or leaving the university informally does not excuse a student from having to pay tuition and fees. If students withdraw after the transcript deadline, a notation to that effect and the date of withdrawal will appear on the transcript. Enrollment deadlines are posted by the Office of the Registrar, registrar.wisc.edu.
Failure to withdraw properly and promptly can be expensive. Before withdrawing, students should consult the Schedule of Classes, registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm, for specific deadlines and procedures. If a student received financial aid from the university, they should consult the Office of Student Financial Aid to determine repayment responsibilities. If students withdraw and are receiving remission of tuition, they are responsible for their entire tuition assessment.
217 Bascom Hall 500 Lincoln DriveMadison, WI 53706
PH 608-262-2433 FX 608-265-6742 EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
Office hours: Monday-Friday 7:45 a.m.–4:30 p.m.