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DEVELOPMENT 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.

Doctoral Degrees:


Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement

51 credits

Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement

33 credits

Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement

Half of the degree coursework (26 of 51 total credits) must be completed in courses numbered 700 or above.

Prior Coursework Requirements: Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 12 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

No credits from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree.

Prior Coursework Requirements: 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 9 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison University Special student. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Credits per Term Allowed

15 credits

Program-Specific Courses Required

Students work with their advisors to design an individualized program of study.

Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements

Students are not required to complete a doctoral minor.

Overall Graduate GPA Requirement

3.2 GPA required.

Other Grade Requirements

No other grade requirements.

Probation Policy

If students fall below the satisfactory progress requirements, including the 3.2 GPA, the program will launch an assessment exercise analyzing the student’s fit in the program.

Advisor / Committee

All students must have an advisor. After the second semester the student will build a three-member faculty committee. At the time of defense, a five-member interdisciplinary committee must be established.

Assessments and Examinations

Students must complete a written preliminary examination after the student’s program coursework has been completed. For more information, see the program’s website.

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 required to take another preliminary examination and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.

Doctoral degree students who have been absent for ten or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

Language Requirements

Language requirements vary by program of study.