What You Need to Do
You must meet both departmental and the Graduate School requirements for graduation. It is your responsibility to notify your departmental graduate coordinator by the department deadline of your intention to graduate. Your department must request your degree warrant a minimum of three weeks before your defense/exam or the degree deadline. The Graduate School issues a degree warrant if you meet these requirements:
Graduate registration for a minimum of two graduate-level credits (300-level or above for a grade, no audits, or pass/fail) in the semester (fall, spring or summer) you expect your degree. Alternatively, if a degree completion fee has been approved by the Graduate School, you must have paid the fee in lieu of registration (see the Academic Guidelines: degree completion fee).
Credit requirement for the appropriate degree has been met, or will be by the end of the semester (master's degrees, 16 credits; MFA and Specialists 24 credits).
Graduate GPA of at least 3.00.
All incomplete, unreported grades, or progress grades in anything other than research/thesis (usually 690, 790, 990) must have been cleared. Independent study (usually 699, 799, or 999) must be given a grade (not progress) each semester. If you are continuing for a Ph.D., a warrant may be issued even though you have incomplete or progress grades that are part of your Ph.D. program, but your advisor needs to send a letter to the Graduate School stating which courses are for your Ph.D. requirements.
Students receiving a second (or third) master's degree from UW-Madison, and students receiving two master's degrees during the same semester, must submit official lists (on departmental letterhead and signed by advisors or department chairs) of courses used for each degree. We use these lists to check the 25% overlap rule.
You must complete all requirements by the appropriate degree deadline.
Things You Need to Know
Master’s Completion Student Update: Please complete the Master’s Completion Student Update to inform the Graduate School about your academic and career plans. By completing the update, you provide the Graduate School with valuable information about post-degree placement, and help us determine how we can improve programs and services for students. At the end of the semester, graduate students will be sent an email containing instructions on how to complete the update.
If you are required to deposit your thesis at Memorial Library, you must deposit before the degree deadline. Please follow the instructions available here: Guide to Preparing Your Master's Thesis.
A warrant is a document issued to your department by the Graduate School at your department's request after you have met all degree requirements. Warrants are valid for one semester, and are signed by the department chair, advisor, or your committee. By signing the warrant, departments indicate that all departmental degree requirements have been met. If the Graduate School does not have your warrant with appropriate signature(s), you will not graduate. NOTE: If your department has signed and returned your warrant to the Graduate School, and you receive an Incomplete or Progress grade at the end of the semester, or you deposit your thesis after the degree deadline, you will receive your degree during the following semester when your grade is cleared or your thesis is deposited (if your program requires thesis deposit).
The amount of this fee is equal to two credits at the in-state rate. The Graduate School must approve payment of the fee in lieu of registration. If the fee is appropriate for you, your department must submit a Degree Completion Fee Request Form to the Graduate School for approval. To qualify you must be finished with all degree requirements except for a thesis defense, comprehensive exam, presentation of a final project, or an incomplete course. You must have submitted your thesis, paper, or project to your advisor while you were registered in the previous semester.
Before your degree is posted on your final transcript and diploma is available, you can request a Degree Completion Letter from the Registrar about two weeks after the end of the session (or sooner if you complete early in the semester and all requirements are cleared). Contact Office of the Registrar at 333 East Campus Mall #10101.
This is the time between the end of one degree period and the beginning of the next. If you were registered for the previous semester and met all degree requirements by the end of the window period, your degree will be granted in the following semester, but you will not have to register or pay fees for the next semester.
Other Information About Your Graduation
The Registrar posts degrees on official transcripts approximately four to six weeks after the end of the semester. You can order transcripts at the Office of the Registrar. Call 262-3811 for more information.
The Office of the Registrar will send your diploma to your DIPLOMA address approximately 12 weeks after degree conferral. Update your Diploma address via My-UW prior to leaving campus.
International students: you MUST enter your DIPLOMA address via My-UW to receive your diploma.
If you wish to have your diploma sent to an address outside of the U.S., tell the Registrar ahead of time at 333 East Campus Mall #10101. Certification letters are always sent by air mail.
Contact your departmental graduate coordinator or the Graduate Degree Coordinator office (217 Bascom Hall; 608-262-3011).
217 Bascom Hall 500 Lincoln DriveMadison, WI 53706
PH 608-262-2433 FX 608-265-6742 EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
Office hours: Monday-Friday 7:45 a.m.–4:30 p.m.