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SOIL SCIENCE 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

Candidates for the M.S. degree must earn a minimum of 15 credits of graduate coursework. Graduate coursework are courses that are either (1) numbered 700 or above; (2) numbered 300–699 and specifically designed for graduate students in soil science (including Soil Sci 522, 523, 525, 532, 621, 622, 623, 626, 631); or (3) numbered 300–699 and assess graduate students separately from undergraduate students (including Soil Sci 301, 305, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 332, 451, 575, 601, and 695). Graduate coursework includes but is not limited to online, thesis/research, independent study, and practicum/internship credits.

Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement

Candidates for the Ph.D. degree must earn a minimum of 26 credits of graduate coursework. Graduate coursework are courses that are either (1) numbered 700 or above; (2) numbered 300–699 and specifically designed for graduate students in soil science (including Soils 522, 523, 525, 532, 621, 622, 623, 626, 631); or (3) numbered 300–699 and assess graduate students separately from undergraduate students (including Soil Sci 301, 305, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 332, 451, 575, 601, and 695). Graduate coursework includes but is not limited to online, thesis/research, independent study, and practicum/internship credits.

Prior Coursework Requirements: Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 12 credits of graduate coursework taken during graduate study at 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

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 7 credits of graduate coursework numbered 300 or above from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree. The coursework may also count toward the 50% graduate coursework requirement if the courses are numbered 700 or above. 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 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 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison University Special student. The coursework may also count toward the 50% graduate coursework requirement if the courses are numbered 700 or above. coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree 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 12 credits of graduate coursework taken during graduate study at other institutions. coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 7 credits of graduate coursework numbered 300 or above from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree. The coursework may also count toward the 50% graduate coursework requirement if the courses are numbered 700 or above. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

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 15 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison University Special student. The coursework may also count toward the 50% graduate coursework requirement if the courses are numbered 700 or above. 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

Credits per Term Allowed

15 credits

Program-Specific Courses Required

Courses in basic sciences: Candidates for an M.S. in soil science are required to have completed the basic science courses outlined in the departmental M.S. requirements document.

Courses in soil science: M.S. candidates must meet the minimum departmental course requirements for soils graduate degrees outlined in the departmental M.S. requirements document. M.S. candidates must enroll in a minimum of 1 credit of research (Soil Sci 990) every semester.

Seminar: All M.S. candidates must present at least one soil science graduate seminar (Soil Sci 728) for letter grade (>B) during their M.S. program. Each candidate must enroll in a soil science seminar every fall and spring semester; exceptions require the approval of the department chair.

Program-Specific Courses Required

Courses in basic sciences: Candidates for a Ph.D. in soil science are required to have completed the basic science courses outlined in the departmental Ph.D. requirements document.

Courses in soil science: Ph.D. candidates must meet the minimum departmental course requirements for soils graduate degrees outlined in the departmental Ph.D. requirements document. Ph.D. candidates must enroll in a minimum of 1 credit of research (Soil Sci 990) every semester.

Seminar: All Ph.D. candidates must present at least two soil science graduate seminars (Soil Sci 728) for letter grade (>B) during their Ph.D. program. One of the seminars must be on the student’s prospectus. Each candidate must enroll in a soil science seminar every fall and spring semester; exceptions require the approval of the department chair.

Teaching qualifications: All candidates for a Ph.D. in Soil Science shall complete a minimum of 1 degree credit of Soil Sci 799 Practicum in Soil Science Teaching. A written plan for satisfying this requirement shall be prepared by the student in conjunction with the advisor and approved by the certification committee. The type and level of effort required to earn one or more degree credits in Soil Sci 799 shall be in accordance with the guidelines and standards set forth by the CALS Curriculum Committee and approved by the UW–Madison Divisional Committees in the spring semester 1981.

Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements

Ph.D. candidates in soil science must supplement their major study with a minimum of 10 credits in graduate courses in another field. These courses must be selected according to a coherent plan under Option A or Option B as follows:

Option A–External: A student must offer at least 10 credits from a degree program outside the soil science major. Selection of this option requires approval of the minor department.

Option B–Distributed: A distributed minor for a student studying for a Ph.D. in soil science shall consist of a minimum of 10 credits of graduate level courses in one or more departments. Selection of this option requires approval of the certification committee.

A minor program must be approved by the minor department (Option A) or by the Department of Soil Science Certification Committee (Option B) no later than the end of the second semester of Ph.D. graduate work (not including summer sessions). A copy of the completed minor agreement form is needed to obtain the warrant for the preliminary exam.

Overall Graduate GPA Requirement

3.00 GPA required.

Overall Graduate GPA Requirement

3.00 GPA required

Other Grade Requirements

Required courses in soil science must be completed with a grade of B or better (BC and C may not be offset by AB and A). For all other courses, the requirement is an average record of B or better in all work taken as a graduate student.

Other Grade Requirements

Required courses in soil science must be completed with a grade of B or better (BC and C may not be offset by AB and A). For all other courses, the requirement is an average record of B or better in all work taken as a graduate student.

Probation Policy

The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School. 

Probation Policy

The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School. 

Advisor / Committee

The master’s examination committee consists of at least three faculty members of defensible breadth, a minimum of two drawn from the soil science faculty. Defensible breadth shall be subject to certification committee approval. The third member of the committee must have a degree equivalent to that pursued by the student and be approved by the certification committee.

A proposed program for a M.S. candidate satisfying the minimum course requirements must be approved by the certification committee by the end of the first semester of M.S. graduate work. It is the responsibility of the student and the major professor to complete the departmental M.S. certification forms, arrange to be certified by the certification committee, and arrange for approval of revisions in the initial program if this becomes necessary.

Advisor / Committee

The doctoral committee is a committee of five or more faculty members chosen by the major professor and the student, subject to approval by the certification committee. A minimum of three must be drawn from the soil science faculty. Representation of the minor department (see graduate minor requirements, below) is at the option of the minor department, but the Department of Soil Science recommends that the minor professor be on the committee.

It is the responsibility of the student and the major professor to form a doctoral committee and schedule a meeting before the end of the second semester (not including summer sessions) of Ph.D. graduate work. The doctoral committee will prepare a draft "degree clock" for the student specifying all significant Ph.D. milestones (certification of Ph.D. coursework, approval of minor, presentation of prospectus, preliminary examination, and final examination) during their initial meeting.

A student who does not meet deadline requirements in the departmental Ph.D. requirements document will not be allowed to register in the subsequent semester until a written plan for meeting the requirements has been approved by the major advisor and the department certification committee.

A proposed program for a Ph.D. candidate satisfying the minimum course requirements must be approved by the certification committee before the end of the first semester of Ph.D. graduate work.

Assessments and Examinations

Students are expected to present a written research plan to their committee no later than the end of the third semester of M.S. graduate work.

Candidates must present an open seminar on their M.S. thesis research, and pass a comprehensive examination (either oral, or an oral–written combination if requested by the candidate) on the graduate work offered in support of their candidacy.

Deposit of the master’s thesis is required.

Assessments and Examinations

Candidates must complete the Ph.D. prospectus, which consists of the prospectus seminar and the written prospectus.

Candidates are required to take a preliminary examination.

Candidates for the Ph.D. degree are subject to a final oral examination on their dissertation and the general fields of the major and minor studies. Candidates must present an open seminar on their Ph.D. research findings, followed by oral defense of the dissertation in front of the doctoral committee.

Deposit of the doctoral dissertation is required.

Time Constraints

Students enrolled full time are expected to complete their degree requirements within two to three years.

Time Constraints

Prospectus: The written prospectus and the prospectus seminar must be completed by the end of the third semester (not including summer sessions).

Preliminary exam: Students who obtain their M.S. degree in the department and who continue in the department for their doctorate must take the preliminary examination by the end of the fourth semester (not including summer sessions) of Ph.D. graduate work. Candidates who are approved to retake a failed examination must have passed by the end of the fifth semester.

Candidates for the Ph.D. degree who obtained an M.S. or M.A. degree elsewhere, must take the Preliminary Examination by the end of the fourth semester (not including summer sessions) of Ph.D. graduate work. Candidates who are approved to retake a failed examination must have passed by the end of the fifth semester.

Candidates who do not adhere to this deadline must show justification for the delay to the department certification committee.

Final oral exam and deposit of dissertation: 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.