Home < Degrees < Environment and Resources < Environment and Resources Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress

ENVIRONMENT AND RESOURCES 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

30 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 degree coursework (15 credits out of 30 total credits) must be completed in courses numbered 700 or higher, or in courses 300–699 that have been defined as graduate level by the courses' subject owner (courses in which graduate students are assessed separately; courses in which graduate students comprise a majority; or courses in which the instructor designs for graduate rigor).

Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement

Half of degree coursework (26 credits out of 51 total credits) must be completed in courses numbered 700 or higher, or in courses 300–699 that have been defined as graduate level by the courses' subject owner (courses in which graduate students are assessed separately; courses in which graduate students comprise a majority; or courses in which the instructor designs for graduate rigor).

Prior Coursework Requirements: Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With thesis committee and program chair approval, students are allowed to count graduate coursework from other institutions. The number of such credits is determined on a case-by-case basis. Coursework completed five or more years prior to admission to the master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy graduate degree or graduate coursework requirements.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison Undergraduate

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

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison University Special

With thesis committee and program chair approval as well as payment of the difference in tuition (between Special and graduate tuition), students are allowed to count up to 15 credits of coursework taken as a UW–Madison Special student. Such credits from courses numbered 300 and higher can count toward graduate residency and graduate degree requirements. Such credits from courses numbered 700 and higher can count toward the graduate coursework (50%) requirement. Coursework completed five or more years prior to admission to the program is not allowed to satisfy graduate residency, graduate degree, or graduate coursework requirements.

Prior Coursework Requirements: Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With dissertation committee and program chair approval, students are allowed to count up to 24 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework completed ten or more years prior to admission to the doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy graduate degree or graduate coursework requirements.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison Undergraduate

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

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison University Special

With dissertation committee and program chair approval as well as payment of the difference in tuition (between Special and graduate tuition), students are allowed to count up to 15 credits of coursework taken as a UW–Madison Special student. Such credits from courses numbered 300 and higher can count toward graduate residency and graduate degree requirements. Such credits from courses numbered 700 and higher can count toward the graduate coursework (50%) requirement. Coursework completed ten or more years prior to admission to the program is not allowed to satisfy graduate residency, graduate degree, or graduate coursework requirements.

Credits per Term Allowed

15 credits

Credits per Term Allowed

15 credits

Program-Specific Courses Required

One graduate seminar (research or topical) is required for the individual program focus category.

Program-Specific Courses Required

Two graduate seminars (research or topical) are required for the individual program focus category.

Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements

Due to the breadth and interdisciplinary nature of the program, environment and resources doctoral students are not required to pursue a minor.

Overall Graduate GPA Requirement

3.00 GPA required

Overall Graduate GPA Requirement

3.00 GPA required

Other Grade Requirements

Grades of BC or C may be counted toward program requirements if they are offset by equivalent AB or A grades in other courses. A 3.00 average must be maintained in the student’s breadth categories as well as their individual program focus category. With the exception of research credits, a maximum of 2 seminar credits graded S may be counted toward program requirements if approved by the student’s thesis committee and the program chair. Courses that are audited or graded pass/fail or credit/no credit will not count toward program requirements.

Other Grade Requirements

Grades of BC or C may be counted toward program requirements if they are offset by equivalent AB or A grades in other courses. A 3.00 average must be maintained in the student’s breadth categories as well as their individual program focus category. With the exception of research credits, a maximum of 2 seminar credits graded S may be counted toward program requirements if approved by the student’s dissertation committee and the program chair. Courses that are audited or graded pass/fail or credit/no credit will not count toward program requirements.

Probation Policy

The status of a student falls into one of the following three categories:

1. Good standing (progressing according to standards; any funding guarantee remains in place).

2. Probation (not progressing according to standards but permitted to enroll; loss of funding guarantee; specific plan with dates and deadlines in place in regard to removal of probationary status).

3. Unsatisfactory progress (not progressing according to standards; not permitted to enroll, dismissal, leave of absence or change of advisor or program).

Probation Policy

A semester GPA below 3.00 will result in the student being placed on academic probation. If a semester GPA of 3.00 is not attained during the subsequent semester of full time enrollment (or 12 credits of enrollment if enrolled part-time) the student may be dismissed from the program or allowed to continue for one additional semester based on advisor appeal to the Graduate School.

Advisor / Committee

All students must assemble a three-member thesis committee that represents a minimum of two departments, preferably no later than their third semester in the program. To meet the interdisciplinary requirement the committee must include members tenured in one of the natural sciences divisions (Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences) and one of the social sciences divisions (Social Studies, Arts & Humanities). Two of the three committee members must be members of the Graduate Faculty. The third, subject to approval of the program chair, may be any qualified person, on or off campus, who holds at least a master’s degree.

Advisor / Committee

All students must assemble a five-member dissertation committee that represents a minimum of three departments, preferably no later than their fourth semester in the program. To meet the interdisciplinary requirement the committee must include members tenured in one of the natural sciences divisions (Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences) and one of the social sciences divisions (Social Studies, Arts & Humanities). Four of the five committee members must be members of the Graduate Faculty. The fifth, subject to approval of the program chair, may be any qualified person, on or off campus, who holds a doctoral degree.

Assessments and Examinations

All students must complete a program certification and a thesis. Students must pass a final thesis defense which constitutes the final examination.

Assessments and Examinations

All students must complete an initial coursework proposal, preferably after their first year, as well as a final coursework proposal. Students must pass a qualifying examination, a preliminary examination, and a final dissertation defense which constitutes the final examination.

Time Constraints

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five 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.

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 be required to take another preliminary examination and 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

No language requirements.

Language Requirements

No language requirements.