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SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION 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

36 credits coursework plus 9 dissertation credits, for a total of 45 credits.

Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement

Half of degree coursework (26 out 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 6 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions or the UW–Madison. Coursework earned ten years or more prior to admission to the doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison Undergraduate

Prior coursework from the UW–Madison undergraduate career may not be applied toward the program.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison University Special

Prior coursework from the UW–Madison University Special student career may not be applied toward the program.

Credits per Term Allowed

15 credits

Program-Specific Courses Required

English 318 and 711, and research methods: one course in qualitative and one in quantitative research methods chosen from an approved list

Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements

All doctoral students are required to complete an emphasis totaling 12 credits. The emphasis is normally fulfilled by completion of an Option A or B minor; however, if the Option A minor is only 9 credits, the student must choose an additional, 3-credit course on a related topic. Students will submit their plan for completing the emphasis by the end of the first year.

Overall Graduate GPA Requirement

3.0 GPA required

Other Grade Requirements

Incompletes must be resolved by the end of the next fall or spring term in which the student is enrolled. In addition, all incompletes must be resolved before students may take any portion of the preliminary examination.

Probation Policy

Those students not meeting satisfactory progress requirements may be put on probation for a semester.

Advisor / Committee

Students are required to meet with their advisor at least once each semester to review their progress, select courses, and to discuss any outstanding issues or questions.

Assessments and Examinations

Students must take preliminary exams within one semester of completing coursework.

In order to help identify possible funding sources, students whose first language is not English are required to take the SPEAK test, a test of spoken English administered by the Department of English, within the first semester.

Time Constraints

Students whose first language is not English are required to take the SPEAK test within the first semester.

Students must submit plans for completing the emphasis requirement and the language requirement for approval by the steering committee within their first year of the program.

Students typically complete all of the coursework requirements within two years of enrolling in the Program. Students are required to complete all coursework and fulfill the language requirement before taking the preliminary examinations.

Students must take the preliminary examination within one semester of completing coursework.

Graduate School regulations require Ph.D. candidates to defend their dissertation five years from the date of passing their preliminary examinations.

Language Requirements

The SLA Ph.D. major requires oral as well as reading proficiency at the advanced level in two languages, including English. Students may not be recommended for preliminary exams until they have fulfilled both parts of the language requirement.

Typically, the student must demonstrate an advanced level of academic oral and reading proficiency in two languages prior to taking preliminary exams. A plan for meeting this requirement is developed by the student and advisor within the first semester of the student’s program. The plan must be approved by the advisor and the SLA steering committee by the end of the first academic year.