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ASTRONOMY Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress

To make progress toward a graduate degree, students must meet the Graduate School Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress in addition to the requirements of the program.

Master's Degrees:

M.S.

Doctoral Degrees:

Ph.D.

Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement

34 credits

Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement

51 credits

Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement

16 credits

Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement

32 credits

Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement

Half of the degree coursework (17 of 34 credits) must be completed in courses numbered 700 or above or in the following courses clearly designated as graduate courses: Astron 500, Astron 510.

Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement

Half of the degree coursework (26 of 51 credits) must be completed in courses numbered 700 or higher or in the following courses clearly designated as graduate courses: Astron 500, Astron 510.

Prior Coursework Requirements: Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 17 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master's degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison Undergraduate

Up to 7 credits numbered 700 or above from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allow to count toward the degree.

Prior Coursework Requirement: UW–Madison University Special

With program approval and payment of the difference in tuition (between Special and graduate tuition), students are allowed to count no more than 15 credits of coursework numbered 400 or above taken as a UW–Madison Special student. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master's is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Prior Coursework Requirements: Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 34 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned ten years or more prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison Undergraduate

Up to 700 credits numbered 7 or above from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allow to count toward the degree.

Prior Coursework Requirement: UW–Madison University Special

With program approval and payment of the difference in tuition (between Special and graduate tuition), students are allowed to count no more than 15 credits of coursework numbered 400 or above taken as a UW–Madison Special student. Coursework earned ten years or more prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Credits per Term Allowed

15 credits

Credits per Term Allowed

15 credits

Program-Specific Courses Required

Astron 500, 700, 702, 715, 720, 730, 735, 990

Program-Specific Courses Required

Astron 500, 700, 702, 715, 720, 730, 735, 990

Breadth Requirement

All M.S. students are required to complete 12 credits of coursework in relevant departments outside of astronomy. The coursework will normal be at the 400 level and above although special exceptions may be made in the case where 300-level courses are needed to satisfy prerequisites. At least two courses must be at the 600 level and above. Courses in departments other than physics should be approved by the student's mentoring committee (or the graduate advisor if the mentoring committee has not yet been formed.)

Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements

All doctoral students are required to complete a minor.

They may either meet the minor requirements set by an external department (typically physics), or they may choose a distributed minor. In the latter case 12 credits must be taken from two or more relevant departments outside of astronomy. The coursework will normally be at the 400 level and above although special exceptions may be made in the case where 300-level courses are needed to satisfy prerequisites. At least two courses must be at the 600 level and above. Courses for the distributed minor or for minors outside of physics should be approved by the student's mentoring committee (or the graduate advisor if the mentoring committee has not yet been formed.)

Overall Graduate GPA Requirement

3.0 GPA required

Overall Graduate GPA Requirement

3.0 GPA required

Other Grade Requirements

A grade of S must be received in Astron 990 before the preliminary examination may be taken.

Other Grade Requirements

A GPA of at least 3.0 is required in the core (required) courses and a student may have no more than 3 credits of a C or below. A grade of S must be received in Astron 990 before the preliminary examination can be taken.

Probation Policy

A grade of C or lower in a core course will result in the student being placed on academic probation. This is removed after the next grade of B or better in a core course. Grades of C or lower in two or more core courses will result in dismissal.

A semester GPA below 3.0 will result in the student being placed on academic probation. This will be removed if the student attains a GPA of 3.0 or above in the subsequent semester.

Probation Policy

A grade of C or lower in a core course will result in the student being placed on academic probation. This is removed after the next grade of B or better in a core course. Grades of C or lower in two or more core courses will result in dismissal.

A semester GPA below 3.0 will result in the student being placed on academic probation. This will be removed if the student attains a GPA of 3.0 or above in the subsequent semester.

Advisor / Committee

All students will be assigned a mentoring committee consisting of the student's advisor and two other faculty members. Students are strongly encouraged (but not required) to meet with their mentoring committees twice a year.

Advisor / Committee

All students will be assigned a mentoring committee consisting of the student's advisor and two other faculty members. Students are strongly encouraged (but not required) to meet with their mentoring committees twice a year in the first two years and annually thereafter.

Assessments and Examinations

Students take a preliminary examination after completing their second academic year. Possible scores are "high pass‚" "low pass‚" and "fail." Students attaining a high pass or a low pass are eligible for a master's. Students who fail will be dismissed from the program.

To receive a terminal master's degree, students must complete a written master's thesis that is approved by their faculty advisor.

Assessments and Examinations

Students take a preliminary examination after completing their second academic year. Possible scores are "high pass‚" "low pass‚" and "fail." Students attaining a high pass are eligible to continue toward their Ph.D. Students obtaining a low pass may retake the exam or portions of the exam pending approval by the faculty. If this approval is not granted or students do not wish to retake the exam, they  may complete the requirements for a terminal masters. Students who fail the exam will be dismissed from the program.

Doctoral candidates must submit a written dissertation proposal and make an oral presentation to the faculty by the end of their third academic year.

A written dissertation must be submitted and successfully defended before a faculty committee.

Time Constraints

Master's degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years will be dismissed from the program.

Time Constraints

A candidate for a doctoral degree who fails to take the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation within five years after passing the preliminary examination may by require to take another preliminary examination and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.

Language Requirements

No language requirements.

Language Requirements

No language requirements.