Academic Policies and Procedures
Add-Drop [ back to the index]
Students should consult the Registrar's Web site, registrar.wisc.edu, for essential information and important deadlines. Courses may be added, dropped, or swapped through MyUW Student Center, my.wisc.edu, before and during the first 2 weeks of a semester (the first week in the general 8-week summer session). To add, drop, or swap courses after these deadlines, see registrar.wisc.edu for further instructions.
If a student drops a course, swaps out of a course, decreases credits in a variable credit course (via the "edit" function), or withdraws from the university, tuition and fee refunds are dispensed following a strict schedule detailed at registrar.wisc.edu/tuition_&_fees.htm. Modular courses and summer session courses have a shorter refund period.
International students are not allowed to drop below full-time enrollment unless they have first received authorization from International Student Services (ISS). This will ensure that they remain in compliance with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) visa regulations. ISS is located at 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, and may be contacted at (608) 262-2044, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit iss.wisc.edu. International students holding graduate assistantships, fellowships, and traineeships must meet minimum enrollment requirements.
Contacting ISS will ensure that a student’s authorization from ISS to drop below full-time enrollment does NOT exempt an international student from meeting the enrollment requirement for a Teaching Assistantship (TA), Program/ Project Assistantship (PA), Research Assistantship (RA), fellowship, traineeship, or dissertator status.
If students enroll for a course and do not attend, they must drop the class or receive a grade of NW (No Work) or, for audited classes, NR (No Report). If students make a course change after the fee refund deadlines (including audited, modular, and zero-credit courses), they may be charged a fee even if the total number of credits for which they are enrolled does not change. The Bursar's Office will notify students if they owe additional fees or are entitled to a refund.
Students should be aware that swap is a drop action followed by an add action combined, allowing them to swap from one section to another section within the same course, or swap one course for another course. Some cautions related to swapping courses:
Because swap is a DROP and an ADD, the refund and assessment schedules and the dropped DR grade notation on the transcript deadline dates apply.
All session add/drop deadlines are adhered to as detailed in the key deadlines chart located at registrar.wisc.edu/enrollment_information.htm.
Class eligibility controls and prerequisites will be adhered to. If the class is closed or a student is not eligible for that class, then the swap will NOT occur.
Consult the Office of the Registrar for detailed information regarding swap functionality.
Addition/Change of Program, Plan, or Subplan [ back to the index]
To add or change a program of study, gradaute students submit the form, Application for Add/Change/Discontinue Program for Currently Enrolled Graduate Students, to the program office of the intended program.
Students must check with the intended program concerning admission requirements (for example, GRE scores or letters of reference). Upon receipt of a recommendation from the program, the Graduate School will notify the student of the decision. Questions regarding the status of an application are best directed to the program. If a student is admitted, the Graduate School will notify the student's former program.
If a dissertator wants to add a program (typically a master's program) or a certificate program, he/she cannot hold dissertator fee status while pursuing a graduate degree (or certificate) in a field other than the Ph.D. program. Dissertators who add a program or a certificate program must enroll and pay fees as a regular graduate student.
International students who add a program or a certificate program should contact International Student Services (ISS), 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, (608) 262-2044, to discuss the possible effects this change of program could have on immigration status.
See Addition/Change of Program, Plan, or Subplan , Change of Degree Level, Dual Degrees, Graduate School, Joint Degrees, Leave of Absence, Minimum Credit Requirement, Readmission to Graduate School, Time Limits, International Students Maintaining Legal Status.
The Advanced Opportunity Fellowship program is for qualified underrepresented domestic minority students and/or certain or select non-minority students. Prospective fellows must be admissible to or enrolled in a graduate program and be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Students should check with their program for specific eligibility requirements. Students are nominated by their program for this fellowship. Awards pay full tuition, segregated fees, and a stipend for one annual or one academic year. Recipients are eligible for health insurance. All fellows must enroll full-time during each semester in which they are payrolled as fellows.
An advisor is a faculty member from the program responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies and for supervising a student's degree program (including research). An advisor, (sometimes referred to as the "major professor", "mentor", or "trainer"), generally serves as chair of a student's final examination committee.
With approval from the program, students can have a co-advisor/co-chair. The co-advisor/co-chair may be from any of the following categories: graduate faculty, faculty from a department without a graduate program, academic staff (including emeritus faculty), visiting faculty, faculty from another institution, scientists, research associates, and other individuals deemed qualified by the program executive committee or its equivalent.
The advisor/student relationship is one of mutual agreement, which may be terminated by either party. If students change advisors, they need to notify their department coordinator. It is the responsibility of every graduate student to have an advisor. If students do not have an advisor, the Graduate School may suspend them from further graduate study at UW-Madison. However, in some cases, particularly for incoming students, the program may assign an advisor.
Affirmative Action [ back to the index]
Animal Care and Use in Research [ back to the index]
The Research Animal Resource Center (RARC) provides support and training
necessary to provide the highest quality care for the university's research
animals. Contact the RARC at rarc.wisc.edu,
to learn about the rules and regulations governing the care and use of research
animals. Training and protocol approval are required before one can begin
research projects involving animals.
Annual Register of Grant Support [ back to the index]
Published annually, this is an invaluable directory of educationally
related funding sources including federal grants. This directory is
available in the Memorial Library, Room 262D/E. For more information about
this directory and others, see researchguides.library.wisc.edu/content.php?pid=28852&sid=210766. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs provides funding resource information at rsp.wisc.edu/preaward/index.html.
Appeals [ back to the index]
Assistantships [ back to the index]
Departments/programs determine eligibility for most Teaching Assistantships (TAs), Research Assistantships (RAs), and Project/Program Assistantships (PAs). Other possible university appointments include fellowships, traineeships, reader/grader, and student hourly positions. Students should contact their program for information.
See Fellowships, Enrollment Requirements, Maximum Levels of Appointments, Project or Program Assistant (PA), Research Assistant (RA), Teaching Assistant (TA), Traineeships, Appendix 2 (Payroll Benefits).
Attendance Policy [ back to the index]
It is against university policy to attend classes without being enrolled. Faculty and instructors may require enrolled students to attend scheduled meetings of a class and/or to participate in other course-related activities, including distance learning. Students are responsible for materials presented in such meetings or activities. Because courses are designed and conducted in diverse ways, faculty and instructors should inform students in writing at the beginning of each course if there are specific expectations for attendance/participation, including whether any component of the grade is based on such attendance/participation.
Auditing Courses [ back to the index]
A student auditing a course is expected to attend classes on a regular basis as an observer. Audits are not free; a course taken for audit costs the same as a course taken for credit. If a student is not paying full-time fees, he/she will be assessed per-credit fees for an audit course. Auditors do not take examinations or submit class work. Auditors will receive a final grade of either S (Satisfactory) or NR (No Report). Audit courses carry no degree credits, nor do they count in fulfilling minimum or maximum credits required in each term. If a student audits a course and does not attend or drops it, he/she will receive a grade of NR (No Report). Dissertators who audit a course in addition to the 3-credit research requirement will be removed from dissertator fee status and assessed regular graduate student fees. Students who have research assistantship, fellowship or traineeship appointments are required to be enrolled full-time; audited courses do not count toward full-time enrollment. Please read Enrollment Requirements for additional information.
Instructors may limit the number of auditors in a course and may restrict participation of auditors in courses inappropriate for that function. For example, courses that by their nature require participation (seminars, research, laboratory, performance, or language courses) are typically considered inappropriate for auditing.
To audit a course, a student must first obtain the consent of the instructor. The student must follow the procedures established in the program offering the course. Graduate School Dean's approval is required for all course changes, including audit; see the Course Changes section of this document for instructions. The deadline to request/cancel permission to audit is the drop deadline, which is the end of the 9th week of class during the fall and spring semester. Specific deadline dates, including those for summer sessions, are posted prior to each semester by the Office of the Registrar, registrar.wisc.edu.
The enrollment system counts all credits in determining maximum credit loads. Even though audit courses are not considered graduate-level credits, an overload form is required if a student's total credit load exceeds the maximum limit per term.
Section updated 9/17/12.
Authorization for Courses [ back to the index]
Online enrollment authorization is required for certain courses. Once authorized by the program offering the course, students must then make the course changes. Situations requiring authorizations are: conference courses, auditing courses, permission to take a course when a student does not meet course controls or prerequisites, or permission to enroll in a closed course.
Benefits [ back to the index]
Project/Program Assistants (PAs), Research Assistants (RAs), and Teaching Assistants (TAs), fellows, and trainees
who hold at least a 33.33% appointment (or an equivalent) may be eligible
for health insurance, vacation, sick leave, and remission of tuition. Students
should contact their department's/program's staff benefits coordinator for
See Enrollment Requirements, Insurance & Medical Benefits, Tuition Remission, Appendix 2 (Payroll Benefits).
Biological Safety [ back to the index]
The Office of Biological Safety (OBS) assists faculty, students, and staff in observing safe practices in research in the biological sciences as prescribed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and endeavors to ensure that research is done in secure facilities in compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations. As an institution receiving NIH research funds, UW-Madison is subject to the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules (rDNA). OBS provides the administrative mechanism by which research involving rDNA can be reviewed, thereby assuring compliance with the NIH Guidelines. This institution adheres to the guidance of the CDC/NIH publication, Biosafety in Biomedical and Microbiological Laboratories. Institutional policies are described in the campus biosafety manual, Biohazard Recognition and Control. See fpm.wisc.edu/biosafety for additional information.
Campus ID Number [ back to the index]
The campus ID number is an essential and permanent part of a student's record at UW-Madison. A student's campus ID number is a university generated ten digit number (e.g. 9000001234) assigned at the time of application. Students with questions about their student campus ID number may contact Enrollment Services at (608) 263-6612, or visit the Office of the Registrar, 333 East Campus Mall, room 10101.
See ID Cards.
Canceling Enrollment [ back to the index]
If students drop all courses before the first day of classes , they officially cancel their enrollment, owe no tuition or fees for that term, and have no semester entry on their transcript. In this case, it is not necessary for the student to submit a withdrawal form to the Graduate School. On or after the first day of class, students can no longer cancel their enrollment and instead must submit a withdrawal request.
Capstone Certificates [ back to the index]
The university offers certificates for students not currently enrolled in a UW-Madison graduate degree program. Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent, seek a certificate to "cap off" their undergraduate training, or be professionals returning to school to receive specialized training in the area of the certificate. Capstone programs do not lead to the conferral of a graduate degree.
Certificate of Doctoral Candidacy [ back to the index]
Dissertators may in special cases request a Certificate of Doctoral Candidacy in recognition of their completion of all requirements toward the Ph.D. except for the dissertation (sometimes called ABD at other institutions). The certificate shows the date of the preliminary examination as well as the issue date, but does not substitute for an official transcript from the Office of the Registrar. To obtain the certificate, students, advisors, or graduate coordinators should contact the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, (608) 262-2433.
See Dissertator (FAQs).
Certificates (Capstone) [ back to the index]
Certificates (Specialist) [ back to the index]
Certification of Enrollment Status [ back to the index]
For purposes of certification to government or private agencies, the Office of the Registrar determines enrollment status as full-time or part-time according to institutional policies, that may differ from full-time or part-time requirements imposed by individual schools or programs. Certification of official enrollment for loan deferment, medical and auto insurance forms and credit card applications can be obtained by going to the Registrar's Web site at registrar.wisc.edu/enrollment_verification.htm.
Veterans Certification: Student Veterans who are eligible for Federal and State Educational Benefits should apply for certification of enrollment at Student Veterans Services, 333 East Campus Mall, 10301, (608) 263-3456. Students receiving veterans' benefits are required to promptly report any credit change or withdrawal from school to the Student Veterans Services office. For more information, visit registrar.wisc.edu/student_veteran_services.htm. Specific directions about leaving and returning to the university are provided at: registrar.wisc.edu/call_up_information.htm.
Certification of Graduation [ back to the index]
Master's and Ph.D. degrees do not appear on transcripts until 4
to 6 weeks after the end of a semester. Students may obtain a certificate
that verifies degree completion before a transcript posting after all grades
are finalized and their dissertation (Ph.D.) or thesis (if required for
the master's degree) is approved and deposited. To request such certification,
go to registrar.wisc.edu/degree_certification_letters.htm, visit the Registrar's Office at
333 East Campus Mall #10101, or call
See Degree Conferral/Graduation Date, Diploma, Holds.
Change of Degree Level (Plan) [ back to the index]
A student's program must report changes in degree level to the Graduate School (for example, if a student has completed his/her master's degree and wants to continue in the same program for the doctoral degree). If this change is not reported to the Graduate School, students may not be able to enroll or receive financial aid, and international students will be considered out of status. International students should contact International Student Services (ISS) to file the appropriate forms for maintaining legal status after the degree level is changed. International students should take the new admit letter from the program specifying the new degree level and financial documentation to ISS. ISS will process a new I-20. To pursue a graduate degree in a different program, see Addition/Change of Program, Plan, or Subplan. For questions, please contact the Graduate School Degree Coordinators at (608) 262-2433.
Change of Degree Option (Subplan) [ back to the index]
A student's program must report changes in degree option to the Graduate School.
Change of Major (Program) [ back to the index]
CIC (Committee on Institutional Cooperation) [ back to the index]
The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), cic.net, sponsors many programs. CIC is comprised of:
• University of Chicago
• University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
• Indiana University, Bloomington
• University of Iowa, Iowa City
• University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
• Michigan State University, East Lansing
• University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
• University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln
• Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
• Ohio State University, Columbus
• Pennsylvania State University, University Park
• Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
• University of Wisconsin–Madison
Commencement [ back to the index]
Degrees are granted in May, August, and December. Commencement ceremonies are held only in May and December. Master’s and doctoral degree candidates planning to participate in commencement must notify their program coordinator. If done by early November (December degree candidates) or by early April (May degree candidates), their names will be published in the commencement program. Degree candidates planning to attend commencement in a semester different from the semester in which their degree is granted (i.e., all August degree candidates, December degree candidates attending the May ceremony, and May degree candidates attending the December ceremony) should notify the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty (133 Bascom Hall, (608) 262-3956) by early November (for December ceremony) or by early April (for May ceremony) if they wish to add their names to the commencement program. Ph.D., D.M.A., AuD, D.N.P., and M.F.A. candidates are accompanied at the ceremony by a faculty escort. Master's students should check with the Graduate School Web site for deadlines to participate in the ceremonies.
For specific information about commencement, including deadline dates, ordering commencement attire, etc., visit secfac.wisc.edu/commence or call the commencement information hotline at (608) 262-9076.
Committees (Doctoral/Master's) [ back to the index]
Committees (sometimes called "Graduate Advisory Committees" or "Degree Committees") advise and evaluate satisfactory progress, administer preliminary and final oral examinations, evaluate a thesis or dissertation, and/or sign a degree warrant. Students should consult their advisor and their program's student handbook for the specific function of degree committees in their program.
The executive committee (or its equivalent) of a program/department is responsible for approving the composition of all graduate committees.
Minimum Graduate School requirements for graduate committees are as follows:
1. The chair or co-chair of the committee must be Graduate Faculty from the student's program. The UW-Madison Faculty Policies and Procedures 3.05A stipulates that “the faculty of the Graduate School includes all university faculty defined in 1.02 holding professional rank (professor, associate professor, assistant professor or instructor) in any department with graduate program authority, including those with zero-time appointments in such departments.” Committee members who have retired or resigned from the University automatically retain Graduate Faculty status for one year; after one year they are permitted to serve as co-chair or other non-Graduate Faculty committee member.
2. Doctoral committees/final oral examination committee (Ph.D. and D.M.A.) must have at least 5 members, 4 of whom must be UW–Madison graduate faculty or former UW–Madison graduate faculty up to one year after resignation or retirement. At least one of the 5 members must be from outside of the student’s major program or major field (often from the minor field).
3. M.F.A. committees must have at least 4 members, 3 of whom must be graduate faculty or former graduate faculty up to one year after resignation or retirement.
4. Master’s thesis committees must have at least 3 members, 2 of whom must be graduate faculty or former graduate faculty up to one year after resignation or retirement.
5. Non-thesis master’s committees must have at least one graduate faculty member from the student’s program.
6. The required 5th member of a doctoral committee/final oral examination committee, 4th member of an M.F.A. committee, or 3rd member of a Master’s thesis committee, as well as any additional members, all retain voting rights. They may be from any of the following categories, as approved by the program executive committee (or its equivalent): graduate faculty, faculty from a department without a graduate program, academic staff (including emeritus faculty), visiting faculty, faculty from other institutions, scientists, research associates, and other individuals deemed qualified by the executive committee (or its equivalent).
7. To receive a Ph.D., D.M.A., M.F.A., or Master’s degree, students must receive no more than one dissenting vote from their committee.
Compassionate Tuition Adjustment [ back to the index]
The Graduate School supports the principles of a compassionate tuition adjustment to accommodate a student in the following circumstance:
(1) The student has experienced a traumatic event for which he/she has little or no control, and
(2) It appears that this event will impede/prevent the student from completing the semester.
The academic dean (217 Bascom Hall, (608) 262-2433), or the dean's designee, will assess the meaning and effect of the event on the student. Relevant documentation may be required.
See Dean's Approval.
Completion Fee [ back to the index]
Concurrent Appointments [ back to the index]
This describes a situation where a graduate student holds multiple appointments as fellow, trainee, and/or graduate assistant. Federal agencies and non-federal donors often place restrictions on the amount of work in which an awardee may engage, or on additional stipends an awardee may receive. In addition, the university has a concurrent appointment policy that places limits on multiple appointments for fellows or trainees. Contact the Graduate School's Office of Human Resources at (608) 262-8389 for additional information.
Conference Courses [ back to the index]
All individualized study courses (independent study, research, and thesis courses) are considered conference courses. Conference courses require the instructor's consent and program online authorization prior to enrollment.
Continuation [ back to the index]
Continuous Enrollment Requirement [ back to the index]
Once students achieve dissertator status they are expected to maintain continuous enrollment until completion of the doctoral degree. In order to maintain continuous enrollment, dissertators must enroll each fall and spring semester for 3 graduate-level credits (300 or above) directly related to their dissertation research (generally research and thesis and/or required seminars). Fall and spring enrollment are required whether or not they reside in Madison.
Audits and pass/fail do not satisfy this requirement. Additional courses taken audit or pass/fail will result in removal of dissertator fee status.
Students are exempt from the requirement to enroll for the summer term, unless they are defending and/or depositing their dissertation or have a Research Assistantship (RA), fellowship, or traineeship that requires summer enrollment, or are using university facilities (including faculty and staff time).
If dissertators do not maintain continuous enrollment, they will be assessed a degree completion fee equal to 12 times
the current per-credit rate in effect at the time that they submit their dissertation
to the Graduate School for final review.
See Degree Completion Fee, Dissertator (FAQs), Enrollment Requirements.
Copyright [ back to the index]
Copyright is the exclusive right given by federal law to the creator of
a literary or artistic work to use, reproduce, or display the work. Normally
full copyright in the dissertation/thesis belongs to the individual student.
Students can register for copyright of a dissertation/thesis by paying
an additional fee at the time they deposit their dissertation/thesis, or writing to the U.S. Copyright Office, 101 Independence
Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. 20559-6000. Access information online at copyright.gov.
Course Changes [ back to the index]
Prior to deadlines, students may make course changes online at MyUW Student Center, my.wisc.edu. After deadlines have passed, enrollment changes (add a class, add/remove audit, add/remove pass/fail, change credit, change section, drop a course) may be requested via the Course Change Request. A demo of the Course Change Request is available. For all changes except pass/fail, the Course Change Request form must be printed and signatures obtained. The form must be submitted to the Graduate School for approval. In rare cases when the electronic Course Change Request process via MyUW Student Center is not accessible, students are permitted to use the Old Course Change From, available at registrar.wisc.edu/course_change_request.htm.
If a course change is made after the fee refund deadlines (including audited, modular, and zero-credit courses) students may owe additional money, even if the total number of credits for which they are enrolled does not change. The Bursar's Office will notify students if they owe additional fees or are entitled to a refund.
Students holding graduate assistantships, fellowships, and traineeships must meet minimum enrollment requirements when making course changes.
International students considering a course change that may drop them to part-time status must first receive authorization from International Student Services (ISS), 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, (608) 262-2044, email@example.com, iss.wisc.edu. This will ensure that they remain in compliance with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) visa regulations. International students holding graduate assistantships, fellowships, and traineeships must meet these minimum enrollment requirements, as well.
See Add-Drop, Auditing Courses, Authorization for Courses, Conference Courses, Credit Changes, Enrollment Requirements, International Student Services (ISS), Pass/Fail, Refunds, Section Changes, Tuition and Fee Information.
Course Numbering System [ back to the index]
The number assigned to a course gives an indication of the level of difficulty and indicates for whom the course is intended. Courses numbered 100-299 are undergraduate-level courses. Courses numbered 300-699 are open to either undergraduate or graduate students. Courses numbered 700-999 are graduate-level and professional courses including research/thesis and seminars.
Credit Changes [ back to the index]
Students are not allowed to enroll for more or fewer credits than indicated for a course in the Schedule of Classes. For more information about deadlines and credit changes visit registrar.wisc.edu.
Credit Load [ back to the index]
Credit/No Credit Grades [ back to the index]
Courses that have been designated in the Schedule of Classes as credit/no credit are entered on transcripts as either CR, if students earned credits for which the course was offered, or N, if students did not earn any credit, even though they were enrolled for the course. Approval to offer a course on a credit/no credit basis requires action by the appropriate Divisional Executive Committee and college dean, and the course must be designated as such in the current Schedule of Classes. Any course that is taken at the graduate level (300 or above) for credit/no credit will count toward the Graduate School minimum credit requirement (including 300-level courses in English as a Second Language).
Deadlines [ back to the index]
Students are responsible for learning about and complying with campus deadlines. Failure to meet deadlines for enrollment, payment of fees, changing courses or credits, and receiving a degree can cost time, money, or both. The Schedule of Classes, registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm, lists enrollment, fee payment, and course change deadlines. Click here for a list of the deadlines for achieving dissertator status or receiving a degree in any given semester.
Graduate students should note that Graduate School deadlines do not necessarily correspond to undergraduate enrollment deadlines. Please refer to the Registrar's Office Deadlines at a Glance at registrar.wisc.edu for specific dates and requirements.
Dean of Students, Offices of the [ back to the index]
Dean's Approval [ back to the index]
The Graduate School acts as the dean's office for all graduate students.
If a student needs a dean's approval or authorization, they should contact
the Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, (608) 262-2433,
See Graduate School.
Degree Completion Fee [ back to the index]
For Master’s Students. In lieu of enrollment, the Graduate School may approve payment of a degree completion fee for a master’s degree candidate who has completed all of the degree requirements except thesis defense, comprehensive examination(s), presentation of a final project, or removal of an incomplete grade. To be eligible students must have submitted their final thesis or project paper to their advisor while they were enrolled. This fee is comparable to 2 graduate credits at the current resident tuition rate. This fee is established annually and assessed per semester. Students should ask their program to submit a Degree Completion Fee Request Form to the Graduate School on their behalf.
For Dissertators. The Graduate School requires that all dissertators maintain continuous enrollment. Dissertators must enroll in the semester(s) in which they defend, submit their dissertations, and graduate. In rare circumstances where this is not possible, a degree completion fee is assessed to recognize the inevitable use of university facilities (including faculty and staff time) up to and including the successful defense and submission of the dissertation. The fee is equal to 12 times the current per-credit dissertator rate in effect at the time the dissertation is submitted. The fee is assessed at the time dissertators is ready to complete the degree and is based on the resident or nonresident tuition status dissertators had at their last term of enrollment. If dissertators break enrollment and then reenter and enroll for less than 4 continuous terms before completion, they will pay a prorated rate (the 12-credit fee minus all continuous enrollment credits paid since the time of readmission). If enrollment is broken, but a dissertator reenters and enrolls for at least 4 continuous terms, then a completion fee is not assessed.
For more information about degree completion fees, contact the Degree Coordinators in the Graduate School, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433.
Degree Conferral/Graduation Date [ back to the index]
Graduate students who complete all degree requirements at any point during a term remain officially enrolled and retain student status through the official graduation date for that term, as determined by the Secretary of the Faculty and posted as degree conferral date on the transcript. (e.g. the official graduation date for Fall 2012 is December 23, 2012; see academic calendar at http://www.secfac.wisc.edu/acadcal/.)
If it is necessary to provide proof of degree completion prior to the official graduation date (eg. to an employer, for a post-doctoral position, or other degree program), the student may request certification from the Registrar’s Office: http://registrar.wisc.edu/posting_of_degrees.htm.
Funding for graduating students: Graduate assistants, fellows, and trainees may remain on the payroll until the end of the term, as stated above, or may be removed if necessary for a change of status (eg. to a post-doc or academic staff position) or end of grant funding. If a student is removed, the Bursar's Office will check with the Graduate School to confirm graduation at the end of the given term and will maintain tuition remission for appropriately funded students IF student remains on payroll as follows:
- Doctoral candidates: through the date of dissertation deposit;
- Non-thesis Master’s candidates: through the completion date stated on warrant;
- Thesis Master’s candidates: through the date thesis is received by the Memorial Library.
Degree Option (Subplan) [ back to the index]
Degree Summary [ back to the index]
A computerized graduate degree summary is not prepared for graduate students. Students' programs, particularly their advisors, are responsible for ensuring timely fulfillment of Graduate School and program requirements. Students should consult their department's/program's satisfactory progress criteria in their department's/program's student handbook, or in the Graduate School Catalog, grad.wisc.edu/catalog.
Degrees (Plans) [ back to the index]
The Board of Regents authorizes programs to offer a specific degree(s). For a list of graduate programs and degrees, see Academic Programs online at grad.wisc.edu/education/academicprograms/index.html. Also see the current Graduate School Catalog, grad.wisc.edu/catalog.
Diploma [ back to the index]
A student's name will be printed on the diploma as it appears on the student's official university record. To change the way a student's name is currently listed requires a signed statement filed at the Office of the Registrar, 333 East Campus Mall, room 11101. For a student's name change to appear on the diploma, the change must be made before the degree deadline in the semester the student will graduate.
The Office of the Registrar will mail diplomas after the close of the term that degrees awarded are certified by the Graduate School, the Registrar finalizes the degrees, and the diplomas are embossed by the manufacturer. The Office of the Registrar will post the degree on a student's transcript 4 to 6 weeks from the end of that term. The Office of the Registrar will send diplomas to a student's home address (not a student's mailing address) approximately 12 to 14 weeks after degree conferral. Students should update their home address via MyUW, my.wisc.edu, prior to leaving campus, unless they are an international student.
International students must enter a diploma address via MyUW, my.wisc.edu, to receive the diploma.
If students want the Office of the Registrar to use a different address, they should enter a diploma address at the MyUW portal.
Disabilities [ back to the index]
Students with disabilities are encouraged to inform the faculty of their need for disability-related accommodations in a timely manner. Implementation of reasonable accommodations is a shared faculty and student responsibility. The McBurney Disability Resource Center provides direct services, information and referral services, disability-related counseling, and advocacy to students who have made their disabilities known. Faculty, either directly or in coordination with the McBurney Disability Resource Center, are expected to work with students to identify reasonable accommodations and to provide them or arrange for them. The McBurney Disability Resource Center is located at 702 W. Johnson Street, Suite 2104. The Center may be reached via telephone at (608) 263-2741 voice, (608) 263-6393 TTY. For further information on access and accommodation policies, see adac.wisc.edu.
Discrimination [ back to the index]
In conformance with applicable federal and state law and with university policy, UW-Madison does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, marital or parental status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, disability, retaliation for making a complaint of discrimination or taking part in an investigation relating to discrimination, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran's status with regard to treatment of students in the educational programs or activities that the university operates.
Should students wish to speak to someone about discrimination or harassment
protected by federal or state laws or campus policies, they should contact
the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED), oed.wisc.edu, 179A Bascom Hall, (608) 263-2378, Wisconsin
Telecommunications Relay Service 7-1-1, fax (608) 263-5562; or the Division of Student Life, students.wisc.edu, 75 Bascom Hall, (608) 263-5700.
See Student Life, Division of, Equity and Diversity, Office for (OED).
Dissertation [ back to the index]
A Ph.D. dissertation must be a dissertator's own work. If it is the result of research enterprises in which others have collaborated, a substantial portion must represent the dissertator's own contribution.
Publication of the doctoral dissertation is required. The university uses UMI ProQuest Information and Learning, Ann Arbor, Michigan, to publish the dissertation electronically and on microfilm and to publish an abstract of the dissertation in Dissertation Abstracts, a monthly publication. Dissertators must pay the cost of microfilming the dissertation and publishing the abstract.All Ph.D. dissertations are reviewed by the Graduate School's Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433. Find more information at: grad.wisc.edu/education/completedegree/Dissertation_options.html.
Most master's theses at UW-Madison are not published through ProQuest, although a student may choose to do so. If students want to publish their master's thesis through ProQuest, they should contact the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services, (608) 262-2433.
Dissertation Abstracts [ back to the index]
Dissertator (FAQs) [ back to the index]
Q: What is dissertator status?
A: Dissertator is a unique fee status for students who have completed all requirements for a Ph.D. degree except for the dissertation. To be eligible for dissertator fee status, a student must:
- Pass the preliminary examination(s);
- Satisfy the Ph.D. minimum credit requirement;
- Complete all minor requirements, if the major program requires a minor;
- Complete all program requirements except the dissertation;
- Clear all Incomplete grades or Progress grades in non-research courses;
- Earn at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA;
- Return the signed preliminary exam warrant to the Graduate School.
Q: When is dissertator status effective?
A: At the start of the semester following completion of all DISSERTATOR requirements for the Ph.D. degree except for the dissertation. The prelim warrant must be sent to the Graduate School in order to initiate the change to dissertator status.
Q: Do all final grades have to be reported before I am eligible for dissertator status?
A: Outstanding grades in research (usually Progress grades in 990) may remain. All others courses must have final grades.
Q: Do I have to enroll to defend and/or deposit my dissertation?
A: Yes, you have to be enrolled during the semester when you defend your dissertation and when you deposit your dissertation. If you defend and deposit in two different semesters, you are required to be enrolled in both semesters.
Q: Is there a deadline date by which these requirements must be met?
A: Yes. All requirements must be met before the first day of classes to be a dissertator for any given semester.
Q: What if all requirements are completed before the first day of classes but the prelim warrant does not get to the Graduate School by that deadline?
A: That’s permissible, but you should submit the signed warrant to the Graduate School as soon as possible. You can go ahead and enroll for 3 credits of research (usually 990).
Q: Some students tried to enroll before they were dissertators and the enrollment system indicated they were not eligible for that course. Why?
A: The enrollment system does not "care" if students are a dissertators. If students had problems getting into a course, it is probably because the course is a conference course and permission has not been entered into the enrollment system. All individualized study courses, like research and thesis, require instructor's permission and online authorization before enrollment is possible. If students have trouble with enrollment, they should contact the Registrar's helpline, (608) 262-0920. See Authorization for Courses, Conference Courses.
Q: Does the dissertator course work have to be research (990)?
A: Courses other than 990 must be directly related to your dissertation research and be approved by your advisor.
Q: What about fees?
A: Fees are due by the end of the first week of classes. If paperwork is not processed by then, students pay regular graduate fees. The fee difference is refunded when dissertator status is indicated in the system.
Q: Where do students check on dissertator status?
A: Ask the program's graduate student coordinator.
Q: For how many credits do dissertators enroll?
A: Exactly 3 graduate level credits.
Q: What if dissertators want to take more than 3 credits?
A: A dissertator who enrolls for more than 3 credits will be removed from dissertator status for the fall or spring term in which the enrollment exceeds the 3-credit maximum. During the summer, however, an enrolled dissertator may ask their advisor to request an overload of 1–2 additional credits in a short session and still retain dissertator fee status, if the course is related to dissertation research or professional training that is not offered in regular semesters.
Q: What are the consequences of loss of dissertator status?
A: 1) Graduate assistant (TA/PA/RA) salary rates may have to be adjusted to the non-dissertator rate, or percent limitations. See Maximum Levels of Appointments. (2) Fees are assessed at the non-dissertator rate. (3) Full-time status may change to part-time, possibly affecting loan deferral, visa status, etc.
Q: Do dissertators have to enroll during the summer?
A: Sometimes. See Enrollment Requirements.
Q: What happens if a dissertator fails to maintain continuous enrollment after achieving dissertator status?
Q: What if a dissertator want to pursue a graduate degree or certificate in another area?
A: Dissertator fee status will be discontinued and regular graduate fees will be assessed, with possible consequences listed above. See Addition/Change of Program, Plan, or Subplan.
Q: Do students have to be dissertators during the semester or summer in which they expect to earn a Ph.D.?
A: No. But they must be eligible for dissertator status before they complete the Ph.D. degree, and they must enroll in the semester in which they will graduate.
Q: Do dissertators have to enroll during the semester or summer in which they expect to earn a Ph.D.?
Section updated 1/2/13.
Distance Education [ back to the index]
Distance education (as a program or as individual courses) is offered by individual departments and faculty members. The university offers several degree and capstone certificate programs that are fully or partially available at a distance or that are flexible to working schedules with evening and/or weekend courses. Please refer to the Graduate Catalog at grad.wisc.edu/catalog for further information on distance or flexible programs. For individual distance course offerings, please refer to the Schedule of Classes, registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm.
Division [ back to the index]
For purposes of research and academic responsibilities, all departments and programs offering graduate degrees are grouped into four academic divisions: Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Studies. Each division elects a divisional executive committee and members of the Graduate Faculty Executive Committee (GFEC).
The division is independent of the schools or colleges. A division draws faculty, departments, and programs from more than one school or college.
Divisional Executive Committee [ back to the index]
The executive committee for each of the four academic divisions (Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Studies) reviews course offerings; approves new courses or modifications of existing courses; and advises about tenure appointments and other matters of personnel, educational policy, and selection of personnel to serve on various committees.
Doctoral Completion Survey [ back to the index]
The Graduate School surveys all students graduating with a Ph.D. or D.M.A. Topics include: academics, advising, funding, professional development, overall experiences, and satisfaction. The DCS is different from the Survey of Earned Doctorates that Ph.D. students turn in at their final check. Completing both surveys is a great help to the campus in understanding the needs and experiences of graduate students.
Double Degrees [ back to the index]
Double degrees are two same-level (master's or doctoral) degrees from two separate graduate programs and can be earned at either the master's or doctoral level. A student completing a double degree earns two degrees (two programs), and receives two diplomas. The student has two advisors and two separate committees, and s/he completes two theses (Master’s) or dissertations (Ph.D.).
Students may apply for an additional program at the time of original application, add a program at any time during their enrollment, or reapply and pursue a second degree after completion of the first.
In all scenarios, regardless of whether double degree programs are completed consecutively or concurrently, students must:
- Be admitted to both programs;
- Fulfill the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement for each degree;
- Complete the specific degree requirements for each program, including minimum credit requirements for each;
- Have no more than a 25% credit overlap between degrees, based on the lower credit requirement of the two programs;
- Have an advisor from each program.
Approval of the double degree:
At the time of graduation, each program will submit to the Graduate School a list of the courses being used to satisfy that program's requirements. Both advisors must sign the course lists as indication of approval. The Graduate School will review the course lists for credit overlap between degrees.
Ph.D. students who add a master's degree program outside the Ph.D. program cannot be dissertators.
International students must contact International Student Services (ISS), 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, (608) 262-2044, before adding a second degree program.
For additional information, contact the Graduate School's Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, (608) 262-2433, firstname.lastname@example.org.
See Addition/Change of Program, Plan, or Subplan, Change of Degree Level, Degrees at a Glance, Dual Degrees, Joint Degrees, Minimum Credit Requirement, International Students Maintaining Legal Status, Special Graduate Committee Degrees.
Dual Degrees [ back to the index]
A dual degree is two degrees, one of which is granted in a graduate program, and the other in a professional school (e.g., M.D., J.D., D.V.M., D.Pharm., M.P.H.).
To receive a dual degree students must:
- Be admitted to both programs;
- Complete the specific degree requirements for each school;
- Fulfill the Graduate School minimum credit requirement for the graduate degree.
Tuition is determined by a combined fee schedule table. Assessed fees are roughly halfway between graduate fees and professional fees. Credit limits each semester coincide with the professional schools' higher credit maximums. For additional information, contact the Graduate School's Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, (608) 262-2433, email@example.com.
English as a Second Language (ESL) [ back to the index]
The Program in English as a Second Language (ESL), Department of English, offers an array of support courses, training and testing for international TA applicants, and courses designed for international graduate students in speaking and presentations, writing, and pronunciation.
The ESL Program also administers the English as a Second Language Assessment Test (ESLAT) to incoming students. The ESLAT and enrollment in an ESL course, if recommended, is required for many new graduate students as a condition of admission, based on TOEFL scores. If a student is required to take the ESLAT based on TOEFL scores, this information will be listed in MyUW Grad Admission Status, the Graduate School's online applicant information system. A student's program cannot waive the ESLAT and ESL course requirements.
In most cases international students who are required to take an ESL course must do so during their first semester of graduate enrollment. However, before beginning a graduate program, international students may choose to study English full-time as a Special Student on an F-1 visa granted through the ESL program or on a J-1 visa with the sponsor's approval. When the student begins a graduate program, the student's status will be changed from special to graduate student. Graduate-level work done as a special student prior to enrolling in the Graduate School cannot be counted toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement and will not be included in the calculation of the graduate GPA.
ESL course credits taken as part of a graduate student's semester enrollment are considered part of the total credit load for maintaining legal status as an international student. However, ESL course credits below 300 level do not count toward Graduate School enrollment requirements, including credit requirements for assistantships, fellowships, and traineeships.
For test schedules and offerings, see www.english.wisc.edu/esl/eslat-exam.html, or contact the ESL office at (608) 263-3780 for additional information.
English as a Second Language Assessment Test (ESLAT) [ back to the index]
Enrollment [ back to the index]
Course enrollment is available through the Student Center at MyUW, my.wisc.edu. Once enrolled, students should confirm their enrollment and print their course grid. Students should enroll early to avoid a late initial enrollment fee and class cancellation due to low enrollment. Enrollment deadlines are available at registrar.wisc.edu.
Enrollment Accountability [ back to the index]
Students are responsible for the accuracy of their class schedule and for all tuition, fees, and academic consequences that result from that schedule. Continuing students in good standing may enroll for the next term without special permission from the Graduate School. Before enrolling, students should consult their advisor to approve their class schedule for that term and to determine if they need authorization for any proposed courses.
All students must use the online enrollment system. Instructions on how to enroll using MyUW, my.wisc.edu, are available at registrar.wisc.edu. The Office of the Registrar provides MyUW enrollment demos at registrar.wisc.edu/demos.htm. All students will receive an email message about their assigned enrollment appointment time. Students can expect to receive this notification from the Office of the Registrar about one week prior to the beginning of the Priority Enrollment Period. There are extra fees for late initial enrollment and late fee payment. These deadlines are available at registrar.wisc.edu.
Enrollment Confirmation [ back to the index]
Students should enroll early. Students can confirm their current enrollment through MyUW, my.wisc.edu.
Failure to receive a student account invoice does not relieve students of the obligation to meet established fee payment deadlines as displayed in the MyUW Student Center, Class Search. If a student does not receive an invoice by late August (mid-January for spring semester), they can get a copy at the Bursar's Office, 333 East Campus Mall, room 10101, (608) 262-3811.
See My UW-Madison.
Enrollment Requirements [ back to the index]
ALL of the following credit requirements (except F-1 and J-1 visa requirements) must be satisfied by graded, graduate-level courses; courses numbered below 300, audit, and pass/fail do not satisfy enrollment requirements.
The Graduate School considers full-time enrollment to be 8-12 graded, graduate-level credits, excluding pass/fail and audit, during the fall and spring semesters (8-18 for master's programs in business, 8-15 for master's program in social work), and 4-12 credits* during the summer term. If students elect not to enroll as full-time students as defined by the Graduate School, they are responsible for knowing about possible obligations that may require full-time status. Such obligations include visa eligibility, fellowships, assistantships, external funding agencies, and program satisfactory progress requirements. Students should enroll for the highest amount of credits they need.
Non-dissertators' minimum credit load is 2 credits* during the fall and spring semesters. (Master’s degree students expecting a summer degree must enroll in a minimum of 2 graduate credits*.)
The specific situations listed below have special enrollment requirements.
Dissertators: Dissertators must enroll in exactly 3 credits* directly related to their dissertation (generally research and thesis or required seminars) during fall and spring semesters. Dissertators are considered full-time at 3 credits*. Dissertators who are summer RAs or trainees, or who expect to graduate in summer, must enroll in the 8-week general session for 3 credits*. Additional courses for credit, audit, or pass/fail will result in removal of dissertator status and tuition assessment at the regular graduate rate.
Assistantship appointees: It is against university policy to hold an assistantship without being appropriately enrolled.
- RA (Research Assistant): RAs are required to carry a full load each semester (8 to 12 credits* including research or thesis credits for non-dissertators, 3 credits* for dissertators) and at least 2 credits* during the general 8-week general summer session (3 credits* for dissertators). Dissertators who hold assistantships are considered full-time with 3 credits* directly related to their dissertation.
- TA (Teaching Assistant) and PA (Project or Program Assistant):
- Minimum enrollment for PAs and TAs is 2 credits* (3 credits* for dissertators) during the fall and spring semesters.
- To be considered full-time by the Registrar for loan deferment and for certification of student immigration status, non-dissertator PAs and TAs who hold an appointment of at least 33.33% must be enrolled for 6 credits*, or those who hold an appointment of at least 50% must be enrolled for 4 credits*. Dissertator PAs and TAs are considered full-time with 3 credits* directly related to their dissertation (generally research and thesis or required seminars).
- Maximum enrollment for PAs and TAs is 12 credits* each semester.
- The Graduate School has no enrollment requirement for the summer session for PAs and TAs, but individual programs may.
Fellows: Graduate students holding fellowships must be enrolled full-time: 8 credits* during the fall and spring semester. Fellows with 12-month appointments must also enroll in 2 credits* during the 8-week general summer session. Those who are not payrolled as fellows over the summer are not required to be enrolled. Fellows who are also dissertators must enroll in 3 credits* during the fall and spring semesters. Fellows with 12-month appointments who are dissertators must also enroll in 3 credits* during the 8-week general summer session.
Trainees: Trainees must carry a full load each semester of 8 to 12 credits* including research or thesis credits for non-dissertators (3 credits* for dissertators), and at least 2 credits* during the 8-week general summer session (3 credits* for dissertators).
International students: Both F-1 and J-1 student visa regulations require students to be enrolled full-time each fall and spring semester (8 credits, not taken as audit). Summer enrollment is not required by the U.S. federal government regulations for F-1/J-1 visa holders. However, summer enrollment may be required due to other circumstances; see summer enrollment requirements for assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and graduating students. Failure to maintain full-time status can result in loss of F-1/J-1 student benefits, including on-campus employment and practical/academic training options. Any exceptions to full-time enrollment must be authorized by International Student Services (ISS), 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, (608) 262-2044, firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the ISS webpage, iss.wisc.edu, to learn more about visa requirements. Permission from ISS to drop below full-time enrollment does NOT exempt an international student from meeting the enrollment requirement determined by a Teaching Assistantship (TA), Program/Project Assistantship (PA), Research Assistantship (RA), fellowship, traineeship, or dissertator status.
- Dissertators defending and/or depositing dissertation (completing their degree) in summer must enroll for 3 credits* in the general 8-week (DHH) session.
- Non-dissertators completing a summer Ph.D. degree must enroll for at least 2 credits* in the general 8-week (DHH) session.
- Master's candidates, who expect to graduate in summer must enroll for at least 2 credits* in any session (short session or 8-week general).
- International students who are completing a summer degree are required to enroll for at least 2 credits*.
- Dissertator RAs must enroll for 3 credits* in the general 8-week (DHH) session.
- Dissertator fellows with 12-month appointments are required to enroll for at least 3 credits* in the general 8-week (DHH) session.
- Dissertator trainees are required to enroll for at least 3 credits* in the general 8-week (DHH) session.
- Non-dissertator RAs must enroll for 2 credits* in the general 8-week (DHH) session.
- Non-dissertator TAs and PAs not receiving a summer degree have no enrollment requirement. However, those who held such an appointment during the previous semester may qualify for summer tuition remission and are advised to consult with their department if they wish to enroll.
- Non-dissertator fellows with 12-month appointments are required to enroll for at least 2 credits* in the general 8-week (DHH) session.
- Non-dissertator trainees are required to enroll for at least 2 credits* in the general 8-week (DHH) session.
- International students who are RAs are required to enroll for at least 2 credits* in the general 8-week (DHH) session.
- International students who are not completing a summer degree and who are not RAs have no summer enrollment requirement mandated by the U.S. federal government regulations for F-1/J-1 visa holders.
Financial aid, loan deferral: In most cases, students are eligible for federal loans and federal loan payment deferral when enrolled at least half-time, which is 4 credits* for the fall and spring semesters. However, individual cases may vary, and students are advised to seek individual advice at the UW-Madison Office of Student Financial Aid, 333 East Campus Mall, room 9701, (608) 262-3060, email@example.com.
Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax: FICA tax funds social security and Medicare programs. To be eligible for FICA exemption, non-dissertator graduate students must be enrolled at UW-Madison at least half time (4 credits*during the spring and fall semesters), or 3 credits* for dissertators. Additional information about FICA tax exemptions is available at: www.uwsa.edu/fadmin/gapp/gapp18a.htm.
Full-Time Enrollment Status at a Glance
ALL of the following credit requirements (except F-1 and J-1 visa requirements) must be satisfied by graded, graduate-level courses; courses numbered below 300, audit, and pass/fail do not satisfy the following enrollment requirements.
Minimum enrollment for full-time status:
Fall or Spring
Minimum enrollment for full-time status:
Summer (general 8-week DHH session)
Exactly 3 cr. directly related to research
Not required unless receiving summer degree or if graduate assistant, trainee, or fellow, 3 cr. required.
TA 33%, non-dissertator
Not required unless receiving summer degree, 2 cr. minimum.
TA 50%, non-dissertator
Not required unless receiving summer degree, 2 cr. minimum.
PA 33%, non-dissertator
Not required unless receiving summer degree, 2 cr. minimum.
PA 50%, non-dissertator
Not required unless receiving summer degree, 2 cr. minimum.
2 cr. for 12-month appointments. Not required for 9-month appointments.
International student (F-1/J-1 visa), non-dissertator, if no other category in this list
4 cr. when summer is admit semester (2 cr. when summer is admit semester and student holds RA appointment or at least 33% TA or PA appointment)
If none of the above, full time enrollment is:
Minimum requirements: Graduate students who do not need to maintain full-time status (including TAs and PAs) have a 2 credit enrollment minimum during fall and spring semesters. Minimum requirements must be fulfilled by courses taken for a grade (not pass/fail or audit) and must be graduate level (300 and above). Graduate students must be enrolled at least at the minimum requirement in the semester in which they receive a degree; master’s degree students expecting a summer degree must enroll in a minimum of 2 graduate credits* .
Maximum permitted: The Graduate School considers full-time enrollment to be 8-12 graded, graduate-level credits, excluding pass/fail and audit, during the fall and spring semesters (8-18 for master's programs in business, 8-15 for master's program in social work), and 4-12 credits* during the summer term. Any exceptions to the maximum credit load permitted must be obtained via the Overload Request process.
* Credit requirements (except F-1 and J-1 visa requirements) must be satisfied by graded, graduate-level courses; courses numbered below 300, audit, and pass/fail do not satisfy these enrollment requirements.
Equity and Diversity, Office for (OED) [ back to the index]
The Office for Equity and Diversity (OED) is an administrative office within the Office of the Provost. The OED provides leadership and education to university employees and students on principles of equity and diversity to promote respectful and supportive work and learning environments. The office coordinates campus compliance with affirmative action and equal opportunity requirements and serves as a resource for schools, colleges, divisions, and committees regarding equity and diversity issues.
Federal and state laws prohibit discriminatory practices in student services, programs, courses, and facilities. Federal law prohibits discrimination because of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, or disability. In addition, Wisconsin law also prohibits discrimination on the basis of ancestry, creed, age, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, or parental status.
Forms of employment discrimination prohibited by federal law include: race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age 40 or over, disability, disabled, and Viet Nam era veterans and retaliation. Wisconsin law prohibits these forms of discrimination, as well as discrimination on the basis of ancestry, creed, age, sexual orientation, marital status, arrest or conviction record, and Guard or Reserve status.
The UW-Madison Prohibited Harassment Policy protects both students and employees. The policy prohibits harassment by campus employees, including sexual harassment and harassment on the basis of gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.
Contact the OED at 179A Bascom Hall, (608) 263-2378, Wisconsin Telecommunications Relay Service 7-1-1, fax (608) 263-5562, oed.wisc.edu.
Exchange Students [ back to the index]
Students who were enrolled in an exchange program and are subsequently admitted into a graduate program, may be allowed to have their work done as an exchange student count toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement. To have this change reflected on the transcript, a student's program must appeal to the Graduate School on their behalf. If the appeal is approved, the Graduate School notifies the Office of the Registrar. For each semester changed to graduate status, students will be charged the difference between graduate and special student fees. Students pay the fee differential by the due date on their bill or a hold is placed on enrollment and records.
Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Office of Graduate School's Office of Admissions and Academic Services, (608) 262-2433, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Extension Courses [ back to the index]
A student paying full-time tuition and fees at the UW-Madison campus may ask to take courses at UW-Extension for no additional cost (if the total credit load does not exceed their maximum credit load). A student's advisor must submit a completed UW-Madison Tuition Waiver Request Form, registrar.wisc.edu/documents/indepent_learning_form.pdf, along with a letter of endorsement to the Graduate School. If the Graduate School approves, the student may take the course without paying additional fees. Courses completed at UW-Extension do not fulfill the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement. This option is applicable only to correspondence (not outreach) courses. It is not available to dissertators. Students receiving tuition remission are typically not eligible for the tuition waiver.
Faculty (as Committee Members) [ back to the index]
Faculty (as Graduate Students) [ back to the index]
A UW-Madison faculty member may pursue a graduate degree provided arrangements have been made to avoid conflicts of interest and to satisfy time commitments. (See section 8.03 of Faculty Policies and Procedures for specific regulations.)
Faculty Policies and Procedures [ back to the index]
Faculty Policies and Procedures (FPP) is the governing document of the faculty. This document defines the university faculty and its governance structure including the Faculty Senate, school/college faculties, departmental faculties and executive committees, the four faculty divisions, university-wide committees, faculty rights and responsibilities, and faculty discipline and dismissal procedures, as well as other pertinent academic matters. FPP is available online at secfac.wisc.edu/governance/FPP/Table_of_Contents.htm or from the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty, 133 Bascom Hall.
Failure [ back to the index]
Courses numbered 300 and above that are graded F will be included in the graduate GPA but will not count toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement.
Although the Graduate School does not have a formal leave of absence policy for pre-dissertators, there are a number of family–Friendly practices and resources for students considering taking a leave of absence for birth or adoption. Many departments and programs also have local policies. Students should consult with their program administrator, advisor, and the Graduate School's Office of Admissions and Academic Services, email@example.com, as early as possible in their planning process.
Please visit the Graduate School's webpage on family and parent resources for additional information: www.grad.wisc.edu/education/gradstdntlife/familyresources.html.
Fellowships [ back to the index]
A fellowship is an award that enables a graduate student to pursue a degree full-time. Fellowship recipients are chosen through a competitive process at the national, university, school/college, or program level. Colleges and departments also use gifts, grants, trusts, and special program funds to finance fellowship awards for their students. Students should ask their program about these fellowships.
University Fellows are selected in a campus-wide fellowship competition. Departments must nominate candidates for these fellowships. Students should contact the fellowship coordinator in their program regarding eligibility. Awards may be for an annual or academic year. The program sends fellowship offer letters in early spring. For further information about Graduate School fellowships, contact the Fellowship and Funding Resources Office, 231 Bascom Hall, (608) 262-9597, Mary Butler Ravneberg, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Linda Scholl, email@example.com, grad.wisc.edu/offr.
Advanced Opportunity Fellowships (AOF) are available for targeted domestic minorities and economically disadvantaged students. AOF fellowships are distributed through school/college Graduate Research Scholars (GRS) programs.
Some fellowships require GRE or GMAT scores, even if the program does not require these scores for admission. The fellowship application requirements indicate whether students need to provide these test scores.
Many federal and non-federal fellowship programs require special application forms and have separate deadlines. Information about these fellowships is available at uwoffr.wordpress.com/external-fellowships, the Memorial Library's Grants Information Collection, grants.library.wisc.edu/index.html, or the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, rsp.wisc.edu/preaward/index.html.
The International Institute serves as a resource center and provides information and support to faculty, students, and staff interested in identifying international research grants, scholarships, and other funding opportunities, including programs sponsored by Fulbright, National Security Education Program (Boren Scholarship), HEA (Higher Education Act) Title VI-FLAS (Foreign Languages and Area Studies), and other program competitions.
Questions about funding international research should be directed to the International Fellowships Office at 328 Ingraham Hall, (608) 265-4753, intl-institute.wisc.edu.
FERPA [ back to the index]
See Records Access.
Final Oral Examination [ back to the index]
The final oral examination (often called “defense”) normally covers a student’s dissertation and areas of study. Students may not take the final oral examination until they have satisfied all other requirements for their degree. Students’ records must be cleared of incomplete grades and progress grades (other than research) before they can take the final oral exam.
Ph.D. students have five years from the date of passing their preliminary examinations to take their final oral examination and submit their dissertation. Arrangements for the final oral examination and the oral examination committee’s approval of the dissertation are the responsibilities of a student’s program. A form for establishing the examination committee, Ph.D. Final Oral Committee Approval Form, is available through the student’s program or at the Graduate School’s Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433. A student’s advisor and department chair or program director must sign this form and file it with the Graduate School at least three weeks before the final oral examination. The student’s advisor arranges the time and place of the examination. The program should request the degree warrant from the Graduate School three weeks before the oral examination.
To pass the examination, students must receive no more than one dissenting vote from their final oral examination committee. A missing signature is considered a dissent. After a student passes the examination, the committee must sign the degree warrant. For details on this process, refer to grad.wisc.edu/education/completedegree/Dissertation_options.html.
Final Oral Examination Committee [ back to the index]
A student's program arranges a committee with appropriate expertise to afford the breadth and depth needed in degree examinations.
An M.F.A. final examination committee must have at least four members. A Master's thesis final examination committee must have at least three members. Other master's degree final examination committees vary from one to three members.
A Ph.D. final oral examination committee must have at least five members representing more than one graduate program, four of whom must be UW-Madison Graduate Faculty or former Graduate Faculty up to one year after resignation or retirement. At least one of the five members must be from a field outside of the student's program. In all cases, a student's advisor chairs the committee. The responsibilities of individual committee members are determined by the program. The final oral exam committee membership must be submitted to the Graduate School three weeks before the examination date. Students should contact their program's graduate coordinator for more information.
Financial Aid [ back to the index]
The Office of Student Financial Aid assists graduate students whose personal resources are not adequate to cover the cost of attending UW-Madison. Federal financial aid, administered through the Office of Student Financial Aid, consists of federal loans and work-study. The office also provides counseling in effective money and debt management as well as information about potential resources, such as program and non-university scholarships, and UW and off-campus employment. For more information, see finaid.wisc.edu or contact the Office of Student Financial Aid, (608) 262-3060, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emergency short-term loans are available to qualified students experiencing an unanticipated financial crisis. Students may contact the Division of Student Life or the Office of Student Financial Aid for more information about these loans. To be considered for a short-term loan, students must be currently enrolled, complete a short-term loan application, and meet with an assistant dean in the Division of Student Life or with a financial aid counselor in the Office of Student Financial Aid. Students enrolled in graduate programs in Agriculture, Pharmacy, Human Ecology, Engineering, or Law must apply for short-term loans through their respective school rather than the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Rules [ back to the index]
Graduate students need to be familiar with the requirements that their programs have regarding adequate academic progress. The Office of Student Financial Aid limits aid to ten semesters. For more information about financial aid satisfactory progress rules, check the Office of Student Financial Aid website, finaid.wisc.edu or contact the office at (608) 262-3060, email@example.com.
Five-Year Rule [ back to the index]
Students have five years from the date of their preliminary examination to take their final oral examination and deposit their dissertation.
Full-Time Status [ back to the index]
Grade Change [ back to the index]
Grade changes originate with the instructor of the course. The instructor submits a grade change through his or her MyUW Faculty Center. Instructions are available online at registrar.wisc.edu/documents/egradingchange.pdf. If the change cannot be completed via the online system, the instructor submits a paper Grade Change Form, and the department chair signs and forwards it to the Graduate School via campus mail for approval.
While changes from Incomplete or Progress to a final grade are routine and raise no questions, changes from one final grade to another are more serious matters. Doing extra work to improve a final grade is not allowed. Faculty legislation states that final grades can be changed only because of clerical error. Once an instructor announces course grades, a decision to re-evaluate the course work for all or some of the students breaks faith with those students. The university’s primary concern is that all students in a course are treated consistently and fairly when assigned final grades.
Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement [ back to the index]
The Graduate School requires that students maintain a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) for graduate-level courses (numbered 300 and above, excluding research) to receive a degree. Many programs impose higher standards. Students should check with their program. Courses taken for audit (S/NR), credit/no credit (CR/N), or pass/fail (#S/#U) do not affect the GPA. Research courses graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis do not impact GPA, but U grades are monitored by the Graduate School for satisfactory progress. A Permanent Incomplete (PI) grade does not impact the GPA. A No Report (NR) grade does not impact the GPA, but in a graded course this is a temporary grade, indicating the instuctor has not yet submitted a final grade.
See Auditing Courses, Credit/No Credit, No Report (NR) Grades, Pass/Fail, Permanent Incomplete (PI) Grades, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Grades, Appendix 3 (Grading System), Appendix 4 (Grade-Point Average Calculation).
Grade Reports [ back to the index]
Students access their grades via the Grades and Courses module in the Student Center on MyUW, my.wisc.edu, or by requesting a UW student record on the Student Center page or at the Office of the Registrar, 333 East Campus Mall, room 10101. Grade reports can be printed using the Print Grade Report module in the Student Center after all grading has been completed for the term.
Grading System [ back to the index]
UW-Madison uses a 4.00 grading scale (A=4.00, AB=3.50, etc.). Grades are assigned only by instructors and are electronically reported by letter grade . Plus and minus grades are not used.
To convert UW-Madison Law School numerical grades to the Graduate School's grading scale, the Graduate School uses the following scale:
Students should check with individual professors about grading scales for specific courses.
International equivalencies may be available in the Wisconsin
International Institutions, grad.wisc.edu/admin/gradcoordinators/iadmiss/.
For courses listed as research, the only permissible grades are P (Progress), S (Satisfactory), or U (Unsatisfactory). This policy is in effect for courses beginning Summer 1999. If a P grade is assigned, it will remain until the faculty member assigns a grade of S or U. All previously assigned P grades in research courses will revert to an S or U upon assignment of the final grade. Research courses (even with grades from terms earlier than Summer 1999) do not count in a student’s GPA. Research courses are traditionally reserved for graduate students; however, other students (Law, Medical, Undergraduate, etc.) occasionally enroll for a research course. In these cases, the student’s college can decide to have the course count in the GPA with an academic action submitted to the Office of the Registrar.
Graduate Assistant [ back to the index]
Graduate Certificates [ back to the index]
The university offers many programs of study to students already admitted to or enrolled in a graduate degree-granting program. These programs may not grant graduate degrees but do coordinate teaching and research among scholars active in interrelated disciplines. Consult the certificate program regarding recognition of program completion. Certificate programs monitor their own course and satisfactory progress requirements.
Graduate Faculty [ back to the index]
Graduate Faculty Executive Committee (GFEC) [ back to the index]
The GFEC consists of 16 elected members of the graduate faculty, the Graduate School dean, and 4 associate deans as appointed by the dean. The GFEC exercises the powers of the graduate faculty including, but not limited to, establishing or modifying graduate degree programs (including degrees, degree options, and minors), reviewing graduate programs, and setting degree requirements and standards for admission of graduate students. The GFEC also serves as the final review body for grievances and appeals (of procedural issues only).
Graduate/Professional Degrees [ back to the index]
See Dual Degrees.
Graduate School [ back to the index]
The mission of the Graduate School is to foster excellence in both research and graduate education. The Graduate School has responsibility for graduate studies, research and compliance, and cross-college research centers. The Graduate School is administered by a dean who serves as the senior administrative officer for both graduate studies and research. The faculty of the Graduate School consists of tenure-track faculty in programs that offer graduate degrees. See grad.wisc.edu/admin/gradschoolorgchart.pdf for the Graduate School organization chart. Graduate School offices are housed on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of Bascom Hall and include:
Admissions and Academic Services
217 Bascom, (608) 262-2433
firstname.lastname@example.org (for questions about: policy and procedural, degree completion, conferral of graduate degrees)
email@example.com (for questions about the admissions process)
This office coordinates the application process for all graduate degree programs to ensure that minimum admission standards are maintained and to facilitate graduate student diversity. In addition, this office interprets and monitors graduate faculty policy for satisfactory progress toward degree completion. It is also the clearinghouse for internal fellowship administration and the dean's office for all graduate students. Admissions and Academic Services also facilitates and coordinates the conferral of graduate degrees.
Academic Assessment and Funding
217 Bascom, (608) 262-2433
This office oversees the Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources (OFFR), coordinates the academic planning activities within the Graduate School and for the Graduate Faculty Executive Committee (GFEC), and leads the data assessment and analysis efforts for graduate education within the Graduate School. The work of the GFEC includes program development, program review, and academic policy.
317 Bascom, (608) 262-5835
The Office of Accounting provides accurate, timely, and intelligent financial education and fiscal guidance to our end-users; GS awarded/administered funding recipients, campus-wide accounting and business services, and general guidance in financial policy and procedures.
Administration (Academic and Associate Deans)
333 Bascom, (608) 262-1044
The deans' office provides administrative leadership for graduate education, research policy, graduate center research; analyzes data; develops and implements policy; establishes partnerships between campus and external groups; and serves as liaison to promote excellent relations with both internal and external constituencies.
Graduate Student Collaborative (GSC)
358 Bascom, (608) 262-0201
The Graduate Student Collaborative, part of the Office of Professional Development and Engagement, originated from student feedback. The GSC is staffed by two graduate students whose primary responsibilities are to create professional development opportunities for UW-Madison graduate students. The GSC is also dedicated to enhancing the involvement, personal development, and quality of life of UW-Madison graduate students by acting as a resource, a voice, and a link within the Graduate School.
The GSC serves as a resource to students through GradConnections, a weekly email available to subscribers. The GSC also produces the Guide to Graduate Student Life, a biennial publication for new graduate students.
The GSC participates in the fall and spring orientation programs and coordinates the Vilas Travel Awards process in the fall as well as the fall and spring commencement speaker selection process. The GSC also co-sponsors the Peer Mentor Awards in the spring with the Multicultural Graduate Network.
To receive more information, or to provide feedback or suggestions, please contact the Graduate Student Collaborative, Room 358 Bascom Hall, 608-262-0201, firstname.lastname@example.org.
307 Bascom, (608) 262-5802
This office develops and oversees the implementation of personnel policies of human resources, develops budget requests and allocates state funds for Graduate School research centers and Graduate School administration, and develops and implements graduate student financial support policies.
Information Technology (IT)
330 Bascom, (608) 262-4959
This office works with all staff to ensure they have the technical infrastructure and skills to be successful in their jobs, consults with the various working groups regarding their business goals, and develops and maintains technology solutions that support the mission of the Graduate School.
Multicultural Graduate Network (MGN)
358 Bascom, (608) 890-4731
The Multicultural Graduate Network (MGN) serves as a nexus for targeted minority and economically disadvantaged graduate students who seek to strengthen their cultural, academic, and professional networks. This program within the Office of Engagement for Inclusion and Diversity (OEID) in the Graduate School partners with the Graduate Student Collaborative, the Wisconsin Alumni Association, department/program coordinators, and graduate student organizations to connect new and continuing graduate students with resources to enhance academic pursuits and enrich their cultural experiences.
The mission of MGN is “networking graduate scholars through learning and community.” Students new to the Graduate School can find out how the MGN can network for them by visiting grad.wisc.edu/mgn, or contacting the MGN office, 608-890-4731 or email@example.com.
Office of Engagement for Inclusion and Diversity (OEID)
217 Bascom, 608-262-2433
The Office of Engagement of Inclusion and Diversity plays a central role in helping to create an inclusive and multicultural graduate education landscape through increasing the numbers of targeted minority and low-income/first generation college students who obtain graduate degrees.
Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources (OFFR)
231 Bascom Hall, (608) 262-9597, (608) 265-5522
The Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources provides assistance to graduate students, staff and faculty on campuswide funding issues, particularly those related to internal and external fellowships.
Office of Industrial Partnerships (OIP)
202 Bascom Hall, 608-890-4532
The Office of Industrial Partnerships helps researchers work with private industry to foster industry-sponsored research and further technology commercialization in support of the institutional mission.
Office of Professional Development and Engagement (OPDE)
333 Bascom, (608) 262-1044
The office of Professional Development and Engagement coordinates, communicates, and promotes learning opportunities to foster the academic, professional, and life skills of the graduate education community and to promote the Wisconsin Idea.
231 Bascom Hall, (608) 262-0558
The Office of Research Policy coordinates, develops, and oversees the implementation of research-related policies for the campus.
317 Bascom Hall
Research Services provides oversight to pre and post-award grants administration for Graduate School Administration and the Graduate School Centers, coordinates institutional grant nominations and tech transfer grant programs, and performs equity review of University inventions.
Graduation [ back to the index]
To receive a master's degree, students contact their program office
at the beginning of the term in which they intend to graduate. The program
office will check that they have met program requirements and
will request a warrant from the Graduate School on the student's behalf. Students need to be enrolled for a minimum of 2 graduate-level credits
(300 or above) for a grade (audits and pass/fails do not satisfy this requirement)
during the term in which they intend to graduate. For more information and
for deadlines, see Expecting Your Master's Degree? Procedures to Help.
Ph.D. candidates’ major programs should request a final oral examination warrant at least 3 weeks before the anticipated date of their final dissertation defense. Ph.D. candidates must be enrolled during the term in which they intend to defend or graduate. For more information, see grad.wisc.edu/education/completedegree/index.html.
Grants Information Collection [ back to the index]
Memorial Library's Grants Information Collection is part of the Foundation Center's Cooperating Collections, a national network of authoritative information on foundation grants. In addition to publications from the Foundation Center, Memorial Library's Collection includes other resources on private foundations and corporate and federal funding agencies, as well as a sampling of books, periodicals, and pamphlets on fund raising, proposal writing, and philanthropy. Books on scholarships, loans, and grants available to individuals are also in the Collection.
The Grants Information Collection is in the Reference Department on the 2nd floor of Memorial Library, Room 262. Students can use the collection during regular library hours. Any member of the public seeking information on grants can use the Grants Information Collection. The Collection does not circulate, but photocopiers and scanners are available in the library. Most of the funding information in electronic format can be downloaded, printed, and/or emailed. Users do their own research, although Reference Department staff provide assistance whenever the reference desk is open.
Memorial Library offers workshops about how to search for funding in specific print and electronic resources. These workshops are free to anyone and cover grants for individuals or organizations. However, the workshops do not cover funding for business or personal welfare assistance. For further information, see grants.library.wisc.edu, or contact the Grants Information Collection, Reference Department, Memorial Library, 728 State Street, 608-262-6431, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grievances and Appeals [ back to the index]
If a student feels unfairly treated or aggrieved by faculty, staff, or another student, the University offers several avenues to resolve the grievance. Students’ concerns about unfair treatment are best handled directly with the person responsible for the objectionable action. If the student is uncomfortable making direct contact with the individual(s) involved, they should contact the advisor or the person in charge of the unit where the action occurred (program or department chair, section chair, lab manager, etc.). Many departments and schools/colleges have established specific procedures for handling such situations; check their web pages and published handbooks for information. If such procedures exist at the local level, these should be investigated first.
In addition, the following administrative offices have procedures available for addressing various concerns:
Division of Student Life (for all grievances involving
75 Bascom Hall
Office for Equity and Diversity (for discrimination or
179A Bascom Hall
Employee Assistance (for conflicts involving graduate
assistants and other employees)
256 Lowell Hall
Ombuds Office for Faculty and Staff (for graduate students
and post-docs, as well as faculty and staff)
523-524 Lowell Center
Ombuds Office for Medical School and Public Health (for
students, faculty, and staff in the MSPH)
2262 Health Sciences Learning Center
Graduate School (for informal advice at any level of review
and for official appeals of program/departmental or school/college grievance
217 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1380
Graduate School Appeal Process:
An official review of procedures can be initiated by the Graduate School if a student feels that their grievance was not appropriately handled or resolved at the program/department or school/college level or through consultation with other resources listed above. Initial contact may be made through the Associate Dean in the student's division (Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, or Social Studies; 608-262-1044) or through the Assistant Dean of Graduate Admissions and Academic Services (AAS; 608-262-2433).
If the student wishes to file an official appeal of a grievance decision, they should consult with the Assistant Dean of AAS and then send the following material to the Assistant Dean in 217 Bascom Hall:
• A detailed statement on the situation of the grievance and efforts
to resolve the situation
• Copies of any previous communications regarding the situation
• Any determinations or actions taken by the program/department/School/College or other resource office.
Upon receipt of all of the above materials:
• The Assistant Dean will forward the formal grievance to the appropriate
divisional Associate Dean for consultation and follow-up.
• The student will be notified in writing, within 20 days after the materials arrive in the Graduate School, acknowledging the receipt of the formal appeal and giving the student a time line for the review to be completed.
• If necessary, the Associate Dean will request additional materials relevant to the issues raised in a student’s grievance from the student and/or the program/department (i.e., departmental handbook explaining grievance procedures).
• If necessary, the Associate Dean will arrange a meeting with the student and an appropriate designee of the Graduate School’s Office of Admissions and Academic Services.
• If necessary, the Associate Dean will arrange a meeting with the advisor and/or program/department chair and the same member of the Graduate School’s Office of Admissions and Academic Services.
• The Associate Dean will meet with the other Divisional Associate Deans who will vote on a decision. The Dean of the Graduate School will not vote on this decision.
• The Associate Dean will notify the student, the advisor and/or program/department chair, in writing, of the decision, with a copy to the Assistant Dean for AAS.
If a student is not satisfied with the initial appeal to the Graduate School Associate Deans, they may make a final appeal to the Graduate Faculty Executive Committee (GFEC) within 30 days of date of the above written decision:
• The student should send a request for a final appeal to the Assistant
Dean for AAS, asking to reopen their file and including any new information
pertinent to the appeal.
• The Assistant Dean for AAS will forward the complete file to the Dean of the Graduate School for follow-up.
• The Dean of the Graduate School will appoint five members from GFEC to review the appeal. At least two of the members, but not all the members should be representative of the student’s academic division. One of the two divisional members will chair the committee. The Graduate School Associate Deans will not be a part of the appointed GFEC subcommittee.
• The Dean of the Graduate School will issue an official charge and an appropriate time frame (usually two to three months during the academic year) for completing a review.
• The GFEC subcommittee will review the student’s final appeal, including all materials previously submitted, and will determine if additional information and/or meeting with the student and/or program/department is needed.
• Once determined, the subcommittee will report its recommendation to the next appropriate GFEC meeting. (Meetings occur every October, November, December, February, March, April, and sometimes May.) The full GFEC, with the exception of the Dean and Associate Deans, will vote on the appeal and advise the Graduate School Dean of its recommendation. The final decision, made on the basis of this recommendation and all other pertinent material, will be conveyed in writing by the Graduate School Dean to the student and the program, with a copy to the Assistant Dean for AAS.
• No further appeals are allowed.
Harassment [ back to the index]
All students are encouraged to report harassment of any kind, whether it is by a faculty or staff member or another student. Students may contact the Division of Student Life in person (75 Bascom Hall), email email@example.com, call 608-263-5700 and ask to speak to the Dean on Call, or fill out a Bias Incident Reporting Form at students.wisc.edu/pdf/bias form.pdf.
If the harasser is a student, university disciplinary action may be possible
if the harassment involves conduct or behavior beyond words and if the person
being harassed wants disciplinary action. Other informal means are available
to confront offenders. The goal is that students be heard and helped if
there is a problem.
If students feel that they may be the victim of sexual harassment, they should talk to someone they trust about the situation. Sexual harassment may or may not involve a tangible injury (e.g., economic loss, lowered grades). A sexually harassing environment, in and of itself, may constitute a harm. Students may feel embarrassed or worried that they did something to provoke the unwanted behavior, but they have the right to pursue their education or perform their job in an environment free from this type of interference. If students feel comfortable taking this step, they should let the offender know that the behavior is unwelcome by telling him/her directly or in writing. Students need not face the situation alone. Schools, colleges, and divisions have designated Sexual Harassment Contact Persons who are available to anyone wishing to inquire about sexual harassment, discuss an incident or receive information about options for resolving complaints. To contact a resource for advice please visit oed.wisc.edu/sexualharassment/assault.html. Students may also contact their dean, department chair, supervisor, or labor representative. Students may consult in private with someone from the Division of Student Life to discuss their situation and review options.
- Office for Equity and Diversity, 179A Bascom, 608-263-2378; WTRS: 7-1-1; oed.wisc.edu
- Division of Student Life, 75 Bascom Hall, 608-263-5700 (TTY 608-263-2400), firstname.lastname@example.org
- UW-Madison Police and Security (for personal safety reasons; non-emergency), 1429 Monroe Street, 608-262-2957 (TTY 608-262-2957)
- Bias Incident Reporting Form, students.wisc.edu/pdf/bias form.pdf.
Holds [ back to the index]
When using the enrollment system, students may encounter holds on their records, preventing them from enrolling in classes. Holds can also prevent students from obtaining a transcript, certification of status, or a diploma. Their enrollment notification will indicate the type of hold and where it must be cleared. Hold information is also available on MyUW, my.wisc.edu. Students should direct questions to the originator of the hold.
Honors [ back to the index]
The Graduate School does not use honors titles (e.g., Magna Cum Laude, Dean's List, etc.). Graduate students are not eligible to take courses designated for honors students.
Human Research Protections [ back to the index]
In accordance with federal regulations and UW-Madison policies, all research involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to any research intervention with participants. All graduate research involving human subjects for inclusion in a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation must be approved by an IRB before beginning the research. Training is required before a project is submitted to an IRB for review. For additional information, see grad.wisc.edu/research/hrpp.
ID Cards [ back to the index]
The student ID card is an important piece of identification that students are expected to carry with them at all times. The initial card is issued at no charge. Replacement cards issued may incur a charge of $25 per card. The fee is subject to change without notice and is not refundable even though the original card may later be found or returned. To obtain a card, qualified students must present some form of valid photo identification; for example, a driver's license or passport. ID cards are available in the WisCard Office, Union South, Room 149, 1308 Dayton Street, 608-262-3258, email@example.com. For more information, see wiscard.wisc.edu.
See Campus ID.
Incompletes [ back to the index]
If students are unable to complete course work by the end of the semester, instructors may assign temporary I (Incomplete) grades. Students receive a warning message from the Graduate School upon receipt of an I grade, reminding them that students are not permitted to graduate with an I grade on their transcripts. Graduate students are allowed the subsequent semester of enrollment to complete the course work before the Graduate School will place the student on probation. Programs may impose more stringent rules for satisfactory progress.
In consultation with the program, students may be suspended from the Graduate School for failing to complete course work and receive a final grade in a timely fashion.
All Incomplete grades must be resolved before a degree is granted.
An unresolved I grade lapses to a grade of Permanent Incomplete (PI) after five years.
Independent Study [ back to the index]
See Conference Courses.
Insurance and Medical Benefits [ back to the index]
If students have been awarded a fellowship, traineeship, or an assistantship with at least a one-third (33.33%) appointment per term (or an equivalent), they qualify for full medical benefits. In order to activate medical insurance benefits, students contact their department's/program's fringe benefits coordinator.
University Health Services is the health clinic on campus, open to any current UW-Madison student (excluding guest students). Their team of experienced professionals combine routine health care with specialty clinics that focus on key health concerns. As experts in college health, UHS provides services such as:
medical treatment of injuries and illnesses, flu and allergy shots, and travel check-ups;
counseling for stress reduction, smoking cessation, nutrition, mental health crises, and more;
specialized care in our Dermatology, SportsMedicine, and Women's Clinics;
the BlueBus Clinic for confidential testing and treatment of STDs.
UHS is not open evenings and weekends and does not provide emergency care, hospitilization, or specialty care for complex problems. Therefore, it is extremely important that all students and their dependents have adequate health insurance. Many students have some coverage under family plans, but the coverage is not always sufficient. It is important for students to review their insurance plan carefully to ensure that they have comprehensive benefits including mental health coverage in the local Madison area. UHS offers insurance through SHIP (Student Health Insurance Plan), which is located on the premises. SHIP is a comprehensive insurance plan for UW-Madison students that covers additional health care costs incurred both at UHS and elsewhere. This includes travel and meningitis immunizations, prescription drugs, and oral contraceptives at UHS as well as after hours, emergency room, hospitalization, and other specialized medical services locally and nationwide.
For more information, contact University Health Services (UHS), 333 East Campus Mall, floors 5, 6, 7 and 8, 608-265-5600, uhs.wisc.edu; or SHIP at 608-265-5232, firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that email correspondence with UHS about medical matters is discouraged because confidentiality and a timely response cannot be guaranteed.
International students, or visiting J-1 scholars, and their visa dependents
residing in the U.S. must meet the mandatory health insurance requirements
of UW-Madison. International students must show compliance with these requirements
by registering with the SHIP office. Students may register either by enrolling
in the SHIP Health Plan or by filing a waiver application (if they satisfy
the qualifying conditions). Failure to register by the specified deadlines
will result in a $50 late fee in addition to any required SHIP premiums.
Please note: Students do not have to file a waiver if they have employment through UW-Madison and they meet all of the following conditions:
- They are employed at UW-Madison and are receiving full medical benefits which were effective on or before September 1 (for fall) or February 1 (for spring/summer).
- They are a member of one of the following health insurance plans: Group Health Cooperative, Unity Health Plans, Physicians Plus, Dean Health Care, or Standard Plan.
- They are the primary subscriber (not a dependent) of their health insurance plan.
If a student meets all of the above criteria, the SHIP office will
be file an automatic waiver on his/her behalf.
Additional information regarding SHIP (including enrollment and waiver policies) is available online at uhs.wisc.edu/ship.
All graduate students traveling abroad are encouraged to acquire insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International. Additional information is available at bussvc.wisc.edu/risk_mgt/study_abroad.html.
Intellectual Property Rights [ back to the index]
Except as required by funding agreements or other university policies, the university does not claim ownership rights in the intellectual property generated during research by its faculty, staff, or students. This policy has proven beneficial to the university, the public, and the creators of such property. In the case of inventions funded in whole or in part by a federal agency or in the case of sponsored research agreements that require the university to grant rights in inventions generated by funding under such agreements, faculty, staff, and students must assign rights to such invention to the university's designated patent management organization, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). Faculty, staff, and students must execute all papers necessary to file patent applications on the invention and establish the federal government's or other sponsor's rights in the invention. If there are no specific written agreements or policies to the contrary, the researcher at the university is free to dispose of the rights in the manner of his or her own choosing. The university retains the right to use the products of research conducted as a university activity for its education and research mission.
Faculty, staff, and students are required to file an invention or software disclosure form for any invention conceived or software developed using university facilities whether any extramural funding or resources are involved. This is necessary to determine who has ownership rights to the intellectual property. Forms for invention or software disclosures can be picked up at the WARF building, 614 Walnut Street, 608-263-2500, or be found online at warf.org.
International Institute [ back to the index]
The International Institute serves as a resource center and provides information and support to faculty, students, and staff interested in identifying international research, grants, scholarships, and other funding opportunities. Contact the International Institute Fellowships Office at 328 Ingraham Hall, 1155 Observatory Drive, 608-262-9632, email@example.com, intl-institute.wisc.edu/fellow.
International Student Services (ISS) [ back to the index]
This office provides information to international students about the campus, the community, cross-cultural education and orientation, eligibility for employment, government regulations (including immigration status), and matters related to an international student's stay in the U.S. ISS monitors the federally mandated Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) which electronically transmits data on the visa status of international students. Further information is available at 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, (608) 262-2044, firstname.lastname@example.org, iss.wisc.edu.
The Madison Friends of International Students (MFIS) serves as a referral center for many social activities for students and their dependents. Further information is available at 223 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, (608) 263-4010, email@example.com, and iss.wisc.edu/mfis.
International Students Maintaining Legal Status [ back to the index]
All international students are subject to the requirements of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is an Internet-based, electronic data collection system that allows schools and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to exchange data on the visa status of international students. It is a student's responsibility to know and comply with all F-1 or J-1 visa regulations regarding international students. Upon arrival at UW-Madison, all international students attend a mandatory orientation from International Student Services (ISS) that overviews these regulations. It is imperative students understand and comply with these regulations. Consequences of non-compliance are serious and may result in loss of status and inability to remain in the U.S. International students are encouraged to seek advice from ISS whenever they are in doubt about their status.
International students should keep I-20 or DS-2019 forms with their passport and Form I-94. They will need to present these documents to International Student Services (ISS) if they wish to travel outside the U.S. and later return to UW-Madison.
International students should contact ISS if they are a currently enrolled UW-Madison graduate student and wish to add a second Master's program or continue from a Master's to a Ph.D.; they or their dependent have a change of formal name or address; or they wish to drop below full-time enrollment (8 credits, no audits). Permission from ISS to drop below full-time enrollment does NOT exempt an international student from meeting the enrollment requirement determined by a Teaching Assistantship (TA), Program/Project Assistantship (PA), Research Assistantship (RA), fellowship, traineeship, or dissertator status.
If international students plan to transfer from UW-Madison to another institution within the U.S., they should contact the new institution first for transfer procedures.
International Studies, Division of (DIS) [ back to the index]
The Division of International Studies, international.wisc.edu, 261 Bascom Hall, (608) 262-2851, coordinates study abroad, exchange programs, and funding opportunities for graduate students. See study abroad studyabroad.wisc.edu, and the International Institute funding page: intl-institute.wisc.edu/Funding/index.htm.
See Study Abroad.
Joint Degrees [ back to the index]
A joint degree consists of one graduate degree with two programs. A student completing a joint degree writes one thesis or dissertation and receives one diploma. Students can earn a Joint Master's or a Joint Doctorate. Such degrees are relatively rare.
To apply for a joint degree a student must submit a proposal for the degree to the Graduate School along with an Application for Change/Add/Discontinue of Program for Currently Enrolled Students. A student must be admitted to the second program. The Graduate School academic associate deans review all such proposals.
Students must submit the proposal before they complete the course work and no later than the beginning of their second year of graduate study.
The joint degree proposal should address the following issues:
- Reasons for seeking a joint degree, rather than following the traditional program/minor curriculum (for Ph.D. programs that require a minor) or double degrees curriculum (for Master's programs).
- Course work necessary to satisfy each program's requirements; two separate course lists required.
- The required content of each program's portion of the degree requirements in the proposal (for example, preliminary exam arrangements for the Ph.D. or a joint thesis required for the Master's degree, etc.).
To receive a joint degree, students must:
- Be admitted to both programs, with approval of their proposal from both programs;
- Complete the degree requirements in each program as outlined in the proposal;
- Fulfill the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement;
- Be recommended for the degree by the faculty co-chairs/advisors from each program and the program director from each program, approval signatures reuqired.
For further details about joint degrees, contact the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jury Duty [ back to the index]
If a student is called to jury duty and the duty is sustained over a period of three weeks or more, the student should be allowed to withdraw from classes. If extended jury duty should continue after the last day of class, the instructor has the option of assigning an Incomplete (I) as the student's grade. The I grade will not result in academic probation or the removal of dissertator status. Further information is available at Graduate School's Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 271 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433.
Language Requirements [ back to the index]
Each program sets its own language requirements. Some programs require competence in one or more languages before students can take preliminary examinations. Students must check with their major program's criteria for satisfactory progress in the program's student handbook, or in the Graduate School Catalog, grad.wisc.edu/catalog.
Late Enrollment [ back to the index]
It is against university policy to participate in classes or hold an RA/TA/PA, fellowship, or traineeship, without being enrolled. It is a student's responsibility to be aware of the deadlines for enrollment each term. These deadlines are available in the deadlines section of the online Schedule of Classes at registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm. If students enroll after the first week of class, they are subject to late payment fees. Permission to enroll late does not excuse students from paying late initial enrollment and/or late payment penalties. Exceptions to the published deadlines will be granted only in the case of truly mitigating circumstances. The procedures to apply for late enrollment are:
- Complete a Course Change Request form, registrar.wisc.edu/course_change_request.htm;
- Print form; obtain advisor, instructor(s), and department chair signatures and program stamp;
- Submit written requests from both the academic advisor and department chair identifying unique circumstances and requesting permission for the late enrollment;
- Submit completed Course Change Request with advisor and chair letters to 217 Bascom Hall. Obtain Graduate School dean's signature;
- Pay fees, which may include late initial enrollment and/or late payment penalties. Students appealing the late initial enrollment fee should send an email to email@example.com.
For more information about late enrollment, contact the Graduate School Admissions and Academic Services Office, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leave of Absence [ back to the index]
Students should notify their programs as well as the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services (email@example.com) of their intention to take a leave of absence. The Graduate School does not have a formal policy on leave of absence for pre-dissertators.
If students have pre-enrolled for a future term and plan to take a leave of absence, they must be sure to drop all courses before the first day of class.
Previously enrolled students who wish to return to Graduate School should follow the instructions for returning, located on the Graduate School Admissions webpage, grad.wisc.edu/education/admissions/reentry.html. There is no application fee if readmission is made within five years of the last semester of enrollment.
Non-dissertators: The Graduate School has no formal policy regarding a leave of absence at the pre-dissertator level, although some programs do. Therefore, it is critical that students contact their major programs before considering a break in enrollment of one or more terms. Master's degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they had earned before their absence.
Dissertators: A candidate for a Ph.D. degree should be aware that failure to take the final oral examination and submit the dissertation within 5 years after passing the preliminary examination may require another preliminary examination and admittance to candidacy a second time. In addition, the Graduate School requires all dissertators to maintain continuous enrollment. In rare circumstances when this is not possible, a degree completion fee is assessed to recognize the inevitable use of university facilities (including faculty and staff time) up to and including the successful defense of the dissertation.
International Students: International students should check on their visa status with International Student Services (ISS), 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, (608) 262-2044.
Graduate Appointments: Students with Teaching Assistantships (TA) or Program Assistantships (PA) should see the TA/PA contract for information regarding leave, as well as the Teaching Assistant Association (TAA) webpage: taa-madison.org. Students with Research Assistantships (RA) should consult with their program, their PI and/or advisor. Students with Fellowships or Traineeships should contact their funding source or the Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources (OFFR) 231 Bascom Hall, (608) 262-9597.
Lecturers [ back to the index]
A lecturer provides formal classroom or laboratory instruction in an academic discipline, either independently or under the general supervision of a faculty member. The title is normally limited to individuals who have at least a Master's degree and are no longer enrolled as graduate students. However, graduate students may be given the lecturer title (rather than the usual Teaching Assistant title) if they are carrying complete responsibility for a course and function in the same manner that a faculty or instructional academic staff member does, choosing the course material and having full grading responsibilities. Use of graduate students as lecturers may require written approval; contact the Graduate School Human Resources Office, (608) 262-8389. The lecturer title should not be used for a graduate student who is handling sections of a course taught by a faculty member. The lecturer title should not be used as a substitute for the Teaching Assistant (TA) title.
Lecturers may be eligible to receive non-resident tuition remission if employed at least 33.33% for 4.5 months. Students with these appointments are responsible for paying the resident portion of their tuition and their segregated fees as billed by the tuition due date. A complete list of instructional academic staff titles that are eligible for tuition remission is available at bussvc.wisc.edu/bursar/remis2.html.
Libraries [ back to the index]
With collections totaling more than 6 million volumes, the UW-Madison has one of the ten largest public academic library systems in the country; see library.wisc.edu. Although highly specialized collections are distributed across nearly four dozen campus locations, faculty and students may search millions of library catalog records, find a needed book or journal, learn where the material is, and see if it is checked out all in a matter of seconds.
Faculty and graduate students can now have electronic versions of journal articles and UW-Madison electronic PhD dissertations delivered directly to their desktops via the Web. The service, called Library Express, prepares PDF files of requested articles and posts them at a unique URL on the Web for the user. If an article is not available in a campus library, the delivery service will obtain a copy through interlibrary loan and post it online. See library.wisc.edu/services/libexpress.htm.
The libraries launched Distance Library Services in 2002, offering book delivery to the homes of UW-Madison students, faculty, and staff who live outside Dane County. It is especially useful for dissertators and faculty who must continue their research long distance through the summer. See library.wisc.edu/distance.
The campus libraries offer a full spectrum of instructional services to teach information retrieval and research skills at the introductory and advanced levels. More than 25,000 students, faculty, and staff attend library instructional programs each year. A state-of-the-art campus facility for these classes and other special events is located in Memorial Library, 728 State Street.
Loans [ back to the index]
For loan deferral information, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid, 333 East Campus Mall, room 9701, 608-262-3060, finaid.wisc.edu.
Majors [ back to the index]
Master's Degree Student Survey [ back to the index]
In fall 2009, the Graduate School piloted a career outcome module in MyUW where students can indicate their initial positions or plans to pursue another degree following completion of the Master's degree. Plans are for the module in MyUW to be available to all Master's degree students at the end of each semester.
Maximum Levels of Appointments [ back to the index]
University policy restricts appointment levels for Project/Program, Research, or Teaching Assistants; fellows; trainees; and university staff who are enrolled as graduate students. The levels established by the university are maximums, not minimums or expected levels.
International students on F-1 and J-1 visas risk losing their immigration status if they are employed for more than 50% (20 hours per week) during the academic year, for PA and TA appointments.
Program/Project Assistant (PA), Research Assistant (RA), and Teaching Assistant (TA):
Appointments exceeding 75% are rare and require approval of the advisor and
chair of the payrolling program(s), the payrolling college dean's office(s),
and the Graduate School.
Some colleges, schools, programs, or programs may set lower limits, but in general require prior specific approvals if the appointment or some combination of appointments exceeds 75%. For international students, the maximum TA/PA appointment level is 50%.
Students can hold a concurrent appointment as a TA, RA, PA, or student hourly with their fellowship within the limits set out in the current university policy.
Whenever such appointments are held concurrently, the maximum dollar-earned limit is $40,800 annually (2010-2011). This limit is matched with the 100% RA annual rate and will be revised each year. For the complete policy, please see uwoffr.files.
Other appointment types:
Limited/Academic Staff, Non-dissertators: Combinations of appointment percentages and academic load percentage exceeding 175% are very unusual because of the difficulty that such academic loads place on the ability of the employee to perform their responsibilities. Therefore, approval by the employing division's dean/director (or designee) is required prior to the start of classes. The Graduate School dean should be informed in writing of any approved requests. See Chapter 11.03 of the Unclassified Personnel Policies and Procedures document for the current university policy entitled, Employees Enrolled as UW-Madison Students, ohr.wisc.edu/polproced/UPPP/1103.htm.
Limited/Academic Staff, Dissertators: Combinations of appointment percentages and academic load percentage exceeding 175% are more common because dissertators have no classes to attend. Although these are approved only at the program chair or director level, the employing unit's dean/director (or designee) and the Graduate School dean must be informed in writing of any approved requests. See Chapter 11.03 of the Unclassified Personnel Policies and Procedures document for the current university policy entitled, Employees Enrolled as UW-Madison Students, ohr.wisc.edu/polproced/UPPP/1103.htm.
Student hourly:In some situations it may be appropriate to hire graduate students as student hourly help. Employers should contact their Dean's office to determine when this is appropriate. Maximum levels for appointments also include student hourly appointments. See Chapter 1.06 of the Unclassified Personnel Policies and Procedures document for the current university policy entitled, Student Hourly Help, ohr.wisc.edu/Polproced/UPPP/0106.html.
For any combination of appointments (except fellowships and traineeships), the total appointment percentage may not exceed 75%.
A 100% academic load for graduate students is:
- Non-dissertators: Fall or spring terms, 8 graduate-level credits; summer sessions, 4 graduate-level credits.
- Dissertators: Fall, spring, or summer, 3 graduate-level credits.
If a student holds an assistantship concurrently with a staff appointment, the combination of appointments may not exceed 75%, regardless of the number of credits for which the student is enrolled. (See above policy for fellows and trainees.)
Contact the Graduate School Office of Human Resources at (608) 262-8389 for additional information.
Military Service Policy [ back to the index]
Under current law, students in the National Guard and Reserves who are called to active military duty are provided certain rights, such as (but not limited to) being able to withdraw and receive a 100% refund regardless of the time of the term, to receive "Incompletes" with the option to complete the course work upon their return, or to make selective drops with a full refund of dropped courses. Additionally, the 5-year time limit for Master’s degree students and dissertators may be extended.
Under certain criteria, UW-Madison students who are returning from active military duty may return to the university without having to submit a readmission application. These criteria are:
- Students have not taken additional course work during their absence from the university.
- Students reenroll for courses during the term following their military discharge date or the next succeeding term (excluding summer).
- Students return to the same academic career they had when they left.
Students meeting the above criteria should contact Student Veteran Services, 333 East Campus Mall, room 10301, 608-265-4628. For more information on both leaving and returning to the university, see registrar.wisc.edu/student_veteran_services.htm. Specific directions about leaving and returning to the university are provided at: registrar.wisc.edu/call_up_information.htm.
Minimum Credit Requirement [ back to the index]
The Graduate School's minimum credit requirement for graduation can be satisfied only with graduate-level courses taken as a graduate student at UW-Madison. The only exception may be graduate-level course work taken as a CIC Traveling Scholar.
The minimum credit requirement is a degree requirement instituted by the graduate faculty to ensure that a graduate degree represents preparation beyond course requirements. The minimum credit requirement provides the opportunity for those who earn graduate degrees to spend sufficient time engaged in their discipline (that is, meeting with professors and peers; participating in research projects and colloquia; using laboratories, clinics, and/or libraries; and generally becoming an active contributor to a research discipline).
(may include Master's degree credits taken at UW-Madison)
(must be completed prior to achieving dissertator status; may include Master's degree credits taken at UW-Madison)
All courses taken as a graduate student that are numbered 300 and above in which a student receives a grade of A, AB, B, or S will count toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement. Courses with grades of BC or C count only if there are equal credits of AB and A respectively in non-research courses to offset the lower grades. Courses with grades of P ("in progress") fulfill the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement only if they are research courses. Courses taken for audit or pass/fail, under the 300 level, or in which a student receives grades of D or F do not count. Students must maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale).
Master's degree students who have been absent for 5 or more years lose all degree credits earned before their absence. This guideline does not apply to doctoral candidates.
Programs may decide to count previous graduate work from another institution toward fulfillment of program course requirements; however, this work will not appear on a UW-Madison transcript, and it does not count toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement.
Students should be aware that most programs require higher credit minimums than the Graduate School's minimum. Students should contact their program graduate coordinator for further information.
Minimum Enrollment [ back to the index]
Minnesota/Wisconsin Reciprocity [ back to the index]
Minnesota residents who are certified by the Minnesota Office of Higher
Education (MOHE) for the appropriate term/summer session to attend UW-Madison
under the Minnesota-Wisconsin Tuition Reciprocity Agreement will be assessed
the approved reciprocity tuition rate, plus the segregated fees assessed
for all UW-Madison students. Students under this program will be classified
as nonresidents of Wisconsin.
Students with a Research Assistantship (RA), that covers all instructional costs, will be billed as nonresidents, not Minnesota reciprocity rates. The end result to the student is the same, as students are only responsible for the segregated fees.
Students who are not certified for the program prior to the date fees are due must either pay nonresident rates and be refunded the difference in tuition upon certification by MOHE, or delay payment until certification is issued and include the $100.00 late payment fee due at that time.
It is the student's responsibility to inquire of MOHE about the suitability of reapplying, application procedures, and deadlines. Questions and application requests should be directed to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, 1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55108-5227, 651-642-0567 or 800-657-3866. Students may also obtain additional information at ohe.state.mn.us.
Minors [ back to the index]Breadth is an important component of doctoral training. Given there are multiple paths to breadth, the Graduate School leaves the choice of whether students achieve breadth through a minor or other means up to the specific graduate program.
Minor options are as follows:
Option A (external): Requires a minimum of 9 credits in a minor program (single disciplinary or multi-disciplinary). Fulfillment of this option requires the approval of the minor program.
Option B (distributed): Requires a minimum of 9 credits in one or more programs forming a coherent topic, and can include course work in the program. Fulfillment of this option requires the approval of the major program.
The Graduate School's minimum course requirements for the minor include:
An average GPA of 3.00 on all minor course work;
Course work must be graduate level (the equivalent of UW-Madison courses 300 level or above; no audits or pass/fail);
Maximum 3 credits of independent study (e.g., 699, 799, 899, 999);
Research and thesis cannot be used to satisfy the minor (e.g., 790, 890, 990);
No more than 5 credits of course work completed more than 5 years prior to admission to the Ph.D.; course work taken 10 years ago or more may not be used.
For the full text of the original memorandum announcing this policy change, go to: http://grad.wisc.edu/education/acadpolicy/phdminorchg.htm.
Misconduct, Academic [ back to the index]
Graduate students should be aware that the university holds graduate students to a high standard of academic integrity and believes that misconduct may warrant university discipline in addition to sanctions imposed by an instructor. Graduate students who have been found by their instructors to commit academic misconduct can expect that the Division of Student Life will consider whether to impose a further disciplinary sanction of university probation, suspension, or expulsion.
Chapter 14 of the University of Wisconsin Administrative Code defines academic misconduct as follows:
Academic misconduct is an act in which a student:
- seeks to claim credit for the work or efforts of another without authorization or citation;
- uses unauthorized materials or fabricated data in any academic exercise;
- forges or falsifies academic documents or records;
- intentionally impedes or damages the academic work of others;
- engages in conduct aimed at making false representation of a student's academic performance; or
- assists other students in any of these acts. UWS 14.03(1)
Examples of academic misconduct include but are not limited to:
- cutting and pasting text from the Web without quotation marks or proper citation;
- paraphrasing from the Web without crediting the source;
- using notes or a programmable calculator in an exam when such use is not allowed;
- using another person's ideas, words, or research and presenting it as one's own by not properly crediting the originator;
- stealing examinations or course materials;
- changing or creating data in a lab experiment;
- altering a transcript;
- signing another person's name to an attendance sheet;
- hiding a book knowing that another student needs it to prepare for an assignment;
- collaboration that is contrary to the stated rules of the course; or
- tampering with a lab experiment or computer program of another student.
The full text of the state statute governing academic misconduct, UWS 14, Student Academic Disciplinary Procedures, as well as the UW-campus procedures for implementing the provisions of UWS 14 and general information about academic misconduct, are available at students.wisc.edu/doso/acadintegrity.html or from the Division of Student Life, 75 Bascom Hall, (608) 263-5700.
Misconduct, Non-Academic [ back to the index]
Chapter 17 of the University of Wisconsin Administrative Code describes non-academic misconduct as follows:
The university may discipline a student in non-academic matters in the following situations:
- for conduct which constitutes a serious danger to the personal safety of a member of the university community or guest;
- for stalking or harassment;
- for conduct that seriously damages or destroys university property or attempts to damage or destroy university property, or the property of a member of the university community or guest;
- for conduct that obstructs or seriously impairs university-run or university-authorized activities, or that interferes with or impedes the ability of a member of the university community, or guest, to participate in university-run or university-authorized activities;
- for unauthorized possession of university property or property of another member of the university community or guest;
- for acts which violate the provisions of UWS 18, Conduct on University Lands;
- for knowingly making a false statement to any university employee or agent on a university-related matter, or for refusing to identify oneself to such employee or agent;
- for violating a standard of conduct, or other requirement or restriction imposed in connection with disciplinary action.
Examples of non-academic misconduct include but are not limited to:
- engaging in conduct that is a crime involving danger to property or persons, as defined in UWS 18.06(22)(d);
- attacking or otherwise physically abusing, threatening to physically injure, or physically intimidating a member of the university community or a guest;
- attacking or throwing rocks or other dangerous objects at law enforcement personnel, or inciting others to do so;
- selling or delivering a controlled substance, as defined in 161 Wis. Stats., or possessing a controlled substance with intent to sell or deliver;
- removing, tampering with, or otherwise rendering useless university equipment or property intended for use in preserving or protecting the safety of members of the university community, such as fire alarms, fire extinguisher, fire exit signs, first aid equipment, or emergency telephones; or obstructing fire escape routes;
- preventing or blocking physical entry to or exit from a university building, corridor, or room;
- engaging in shouted interruptions, whistling, or similar means of interfering with a classroom presentation or a university-sponsored speech or program;
- obstructing a university officer or employee engaged in the lawful performance of duties;
- obstructing or interfering with a student engaged in attending classes or participating in university-run or university-authorized activities;
- knowingly disrupting access to university computing resources or misusing university computing resources.
The full text of the state statute governing non-academic misconduct, UWS 17, Student Non-Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Procedures, as well as the UW campus procedures for implementing the provisions of UWS 17 and general information about non-academic misconduct, are available at students.wisc.edu/saja/misconduct/non-academic_misconduct.html or from the Division of Student Life, 75 Bascom Hall, (608) 263-5700.
Misconduct, Research [ back to the index]
Much of graduate education is carried out not in classrooms, but in laboratories and other research venues, often supported by federal or other external funding sources. Indeed, it is often difficult to distinguish between academic misconduct (see above) and cases of research misconduct. Graduate students are held to the same standards of responsible conduct of research as faculty and staff. The Graduate School works with the Division of Student Life as well as with federal and state agencies to monitor, investigate, determine sanctions, and train about the responsible conduct of research. For more information, contact the Associate Dean for Research Policy, 333 Bascom Hall, (608) 262-1044.
My UW-Madison [ back to the index]
MyUW, my.wisc.edu, provides students secure and easy-to-use access to personalized campus information and services. Students gain access to MyUW after they activate their unique NetID. Students will need their NetID and password to access MyUW. If they do not have a NetID, they must click on the ACTIVATE NETID button from the MyUW log on screen. Their password is the one used to check WiscMail email. Students who are unsure about their NetID and password should contact the DoIT Help Desk at 608-264-4357.
Through MyUW students search for and enroll in courses, view their current class schedule, make changes to enrollment, view and print unofficial grade reports, access student financial account information, confirm degree posting, and much more. It is important for students to maintain current contact information, including telephone and home mailing addres, via MyUW.
The Schedule of Classes is available each semester online at registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm and in the Student Center of MyUW.
Name/Address Changes [ back to the index]
Students can change their name with the university one of two ways: by mailing the form located at registrar.wisc.edu/documents/student_name_change.pdf to the Office of the Registrar, 333 East Campus Mall, OR by sending a letter to the Office of the Registrar with their old name, their new name, date of birth, ID number, date they started at the the university or when they left, and the reason for the change. If the reason for change is a reason other than marriage, students should photocopy some proof of the change with the NEW name on it. Students should sign the letter with the NEW name.
Students can change their address online at my.wisc.edu; or at the Registrar's Customer Services Office, 333 East Camups Mall, room 10101; or by calling (608) 262-3811.
International students must report immediately all legal name/address changes (including dependents) to International Student Services (ISS).
No Report (NR) Grades [ back to the index]
A No Report (NR) grade on a student's record indicates that the instructor for the course has not yet submitted a final grade for the student's work at the end of the grading period. This grade is not the same as an Incomplete (I), which indicates that the student's work was unfinished at the end of the term.
All grades for 790, 890, 990 that are unreported (previously assigned an NR) by the end of the grading period will be automatically assigned a P (Progress). If the instructor had intended a different grade (S, U, or I), s/he would need to use either the electronic grade change process or the paper grade change process in order to post the appropriate grade. All grades for 790, 890, 990 that are unreported by the end of the grading period will be automatically assigned a P, and the P grades will automatically revert to S grades upon assignment of the grade for the final semester of enrollment in the course.
Overloads [ back to the index]
Students are allowed to enroll for a maximum of 12 graduate-level credits (M.B.A. programs in Business allow up to 18; M.S.W. programs in Social Work allow up to 15). Graduate-level credits are those courses numbered 300 or above, taken for a grade (not including audits and pass/fail).
Dissertators are not eligible for overloads in the fall or spring terms. However, in the summer, a dissertator who is enrolled in the general 8-week session for 3 credits may request an overload for one or 2 additional credits in a short session and still retain dissertator status, if the course is related to dissertation research or professional training that is not offered in regular semesters. Dissertators must ask their advisor to request permission for such an overload from the Graduate School.
The enrollment system counts all credits in determining maximum credit loads. An overload request is required if a student wishes to exceed the maximum number of credits they are allowed as a graduate student. Even though pass/fail courses, audit courses, and 100- or 200-level courses are not considered graduate-level credits, they are counted in a total credit load. An overload request is also required if the number of credits exceeds the span of weeks in any short session during the summer (but not for a dissertator).
If a student wishes to enroll for more than the maximum credit load, they must submit a Credit Overload Request form, signed by their advisor, to the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433. The Graduate School will look closely at the rationale for the request, the student's course load, satisfactory progress, and assistantships. If the Graduate School approves the overload, the student will then be allowed to add the course.
Pass/Fail [ back to the index]
Pass/fail courses do not count for program or minor course credits, nor are they counted toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement or considered in the minimum or maximum credit load per term. For these reasons, very few graduate students choose pass/fail for graduate-level courses (300 and above). Seminars, independent study, and research may not be taken pass/fail. The pass/fail option is not to be confused with the S/U grading option.
A student requests to take a course as pass/fail via MyUW Student Center. They must first enroll for the course and then submit an online Course Change Request to change the course to pass/fail basis. After the student requests this change online via MyUW Student Center, it is reviewed and approved electronically by the Graduate School. Submission of a paper pass/fail form is not required.
The instructor does not know that a student is taking the course on a pass/fail basis and therefore reports a letter grade for the course. The Registrar records a grade of #S in place of the instructors' grades of A, AB, B, BC, or C; and a grade of #U in place of D or F grades. Neither the #S nor the #U are computed in the graduate grade-point average.
The enrollment system counts all credits in determining maximum credit loads. Even though pass/fail courses are not considered graduate-level credits, a Credit Overload Request, is required if a student's total credit load exceeds the maximum limit per term.
Patents [ back to the index]
A patent is an exclusive statutory right available to the inventor or inventors of new material. As inventors, students may have the right to seek patent protection for their invention (for example, for a product that results from the research documented in their dissertation).
If students have received support (for example, an appointment as a Research Assistant or Project Assistant) they may have obligations that affect their rights to seek patent protection for an invention. It is important to discuss patents with their advisor. Also, students should read the document titled, Intellectual Property Policies and Procedures for University Research, produced by the Graduate School, 333 Bascom Hall, (608) 262-1044.
Permanent Incomplete (PI) Grade [ back to the index]
If the work is no longer relevant, the instructor of a course is no longer at the university, or a change of program makes completion of the work unnecessary, students may be allowed to receive a Permanent Incomplete (PI) for the course. The instructor of the course or their advisor submits a grade change request, changing the grade from I to PI. The Office of the Registrar also converts any incomplete grade over 5 years old to PI. Students may graduate with PI's on their transcript.
Ph.D. Exit Survey [ back to the index]
Placement/Career Counseling [ back to the index]
Placement offices on campus provide students with career and job information, counseling, and related services. These offices help students organize a job search, identify prospective employers, write resumes, and learn interview techniques. Placement offices have reading materials and schedules of on-campus recruiting. In addition, many programs maintain listings of job openings in their areas. For information, students should contact their program office and the career services listed in the UW-Madison Faculty/Staff Directory, wisc.edu/directories.
Preliminary Examinations [ back to the index]
Students' eligibility to take the prelim examination(s) is determined by their program. The program notifies the Graduate School of a student's admission to candidacy on the preliminary warrant, which must be requested 3 weeks prior to the exam date. The number of examinations and their content vary from program to program. A student's program administers the examination(s).
The preliminary examination is a significant milestone in a doctoral student's academic career. It is given to assess knowledge of areas within the academic discipline. Passing of the preliminary area exam, obtaining approval of the Minor if the major program requires it, and having an approved dissertation title (or special field) culminate in admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.
Students have 5 years from the date of passing their preliminary examination to take their final oral examination and submit their dissertation. Failure to complete their degree within this 5-year period may result in their having to retake the preliminary examination and be re-admitted to candidacy.
Probation [ back to the index]
If students were admitted on probation and they satisfy the conditions outlined at the time of admission, probationary status will be removed automatically. Once their studies have begun, students are expected to make satisfactory progress toward their degree.
Students must be in good academic standing with the Graduate School, their program, and their advisor. The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who received grades of BC, C, D, F, or I in graduate-level courses (300 or above), or grades of U in research and thesis. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment, and the student may be suspended from graduate studies.
The Graduate School may also put students on probation for incompletes not cleared within one term. All incomplete grades must be resolved before a degree is granted.
Programs (or "Majors") [ back to the index]
Programs are officially approved courses of study and research leading to a Master's or Doctoral degree. They may be administered either within a disciplinary department, or across departments by an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary cluster of faculty. Some programs have official areas of concentration within them (called Options or Subplans) at the Master's and/or Doctoral levels. All of these designations appear on the student's transcript. Other programs have unofficial tracks, specializations, or concentrations. Contact the graduate coordinator of a program for more information. Students who would like to pursue an individual program different from approved programs should see Special Graduate Committee Degrees.
Progress (P) Grades [ back to the index]
The P is an abbreviation for "Progress," not an abbreviation for "Pass." It is a temporary grade. Grades of P (except for research and thesis within the program) must be changed before a degree or preliminary exam warrant can be issued.
If a P is assigned for research courses numbered 790, 890, and 990, the grade will remain until the faculty member assigns a grade of S or U. All previously assigned P grades in that instructor’s research course will revert to an S or U upon assignment of the S or U grade. Usually this is upon assignment of the final grade for the course in the semester of submitting the dissertation. (All grades for 790, 890, 990 that are unreported by the end of the grading period will be automatically assigned a P.)
Project or Program Assistant (PA) [ back to the index]
These titles designate graduate or professional students employed to assist with research, training, or other academic programs or projects. Contact the employing program directly for more information.
Publication of Dissertation [ back to the index]
Qualifying Examination [ back to the index]
Qualifying examination requirements differ for each program. Students should contact their program to learn about specific requirements.
Readmission to Graduate School (for previously enrolled graduate students) [ back to the index]
If a graduate student does not continuously enroll during a fall or spring semester, they are required to apply for readmission to the Graduate School. The readmission process accomplishes two goals: (1) assures the Graduate School that a student is in good standing with his/her academic program; and (2) activates his/her enrollment eligibility. There is no application fee if reapplication is made within five years of the last semester of enrollment. Additional information is available in the document, Readmission Procedures, grad.wisc.edu/educations/admissions/reentry.html.
To apply for readmission, graduate students should first contact their program and then the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 228 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A returning student who is completing another same level degree within five years must comply with double degree requirements, including the 25% overlap rule.
Reciprocity [ back to the index]
Records Access (Public Information) [ back to the index]
Students have the right to inspect and review most of their own education records maintained by UW-Madison, and in many cases decide whether a third person can obtain information. In addition, students have the right to challenge information in their records. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA, amended in 1995) may be obtained at the Registrar's Office, 333 East Campus Mall, (608) 262-3811. For more details, see registrar.wisc.edu/ferpa.
Refunds [ back to the index]
See the Schedule of Classes at registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm for the tuition refund schedule for students who withdraw or make adjustments in credit loads in a semester. Check each semester for the specific deadline dates for refunds and the refund schedule. If a student's tuition was paid by financial aid, any refunds are returned directly to those financial aid funds.
Religious Observances [ back to the index]
It is faculty policy that mandatory academic requirements should not be scheduled on days when a religious observance may cause substantial numbers of students to be absent from university functions.
A student's claim of religious conflict should be accepted at face value. A great variety of valid claims exist for religious groups, and there is no practical, dignified, and legal means to assess the validity of individual claims. State law mandates that any student with a conflict between an academic requirement and any religious observances must be given an alternative means of meeting the academic requirement. The law also stipulates that students be given means by which they can conveniently and confidently notify an instructor of the conflict.
A listing of religious holidays, though not exhaustive, can be found at interfaithcalendar.org, or can be obtained at the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty, 130 Bascom. For more information about the university's policy on religious observances go to secfac.wisc.edu/governance/ReligiousObservancesMemo.htm.
Repeating Courses [ back to the index]
Typically, graduate-level courses where content can change (such as special topics, seminars, independent studies, and research and thesis) can be repeated within the semester or on a semesterly basis. Repeated courses may earn course credit and satisfy the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement. Sometimes program authorization is necessary for enrollment. See the Schedule of Classes for instructions at registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm.
Students are entitled to repeat any didactic course if they or their program feel it is necessary. Both grades will be used in calculating the student's graduate grade-point average; however, the course will count only once toward the minimum credit requirement.
Research Assistant (RA) [ back to the index]
A Research Assistant must be a graduate student working toward a master's or Ph.D. degree. The work performed is primarily to further the education and training of the student.
The program will give consideration for an RA appointment based on information provided in the application for admission or, in some cases, in a specific program application form. Research Assistants will receive a letter of appointment or reappointment each year they hold their assistantship. If appointed students have not received such a letter, they should contact their payrolling office.
Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) [ back to the index]
21 N. Park Street, Suite 6401, 608-262-3822
This office promotes and facilitates research, education, and the outreach mission of the university by supporting and administering extramural-sponsored programs.
Research Regulatory Compliance [ back to the index]
If students' research involves human subjects (including data sets, surveys, human blood, or other body materials), live animals, recombinant DNA, infectious agents, or biological toxins, they should consult the information on the Graduate School website concerning compliance regulations, grad.wisc.edu/research/policyrp/rcr/index.html.
Residence for Tuition Purposes [ back to the index]
Wisconsin Statute 36.27(2) governs resident status for tuition purposes. To be eligible for in-state tuition, a student must be a bona fide resident of Wisconsin for at least the 12 months immediately prior to enrollment, or must qualify as a resident for tuition purposes under one of the provisions in the Statutes that waives the 12-month requirement. In determining resident status for tuition purposes, standards are different from those used for voting, paying taxes, etc.
If students are classified as nonresident for tuition purposes, they do not automatically become residents for tuition purposes after residing in Wisconsin for one or more years. In cases where it appears the students have entered and remained in Wisconsin principally for educational purposes, a presumption is made that they continue to reside outside the state. The presumption of nonresidence continues in effect until rebutted by clear and convincing evidence of bona fide residence.
Provisions of the statute under which a student may qualify as a resident for tuition purposes without waiting 12 months are:
- The student is a graduate of a Wisconsin high school and has a parent who has been a bona fide resident of Wisconsin for the 12 months preceding the beginning of any term of enrollment or whose last surviving parent was a bona fide resident of this state for the 12 months preceding death;
- The student, a spouse, or parent (of which they are claimed as a tax dependent), has moved to Wisconsin for a job transfer or for new employment that was accepted before moving and before the student applied to this university. The employment needs to continue full-time with the same employer, and the student needs to demonstrate an intent to establish and maintain their permanent home in Wisconsin;
- One of the student's parents is a bona fide resident of Wisconsin, and the student is a tax dependent of one of the parents.
For more information about residence for tuition purposes, and the full text of the applicable statute, see registrar.wisc.edu/residence.htm. Students with questions about residence for tuition purposes, or who believe they should be a resident and would like to appeal the nonresident tuition status, may contact the Office of the Registrar's Residence Counselors, 333 East Campus Mall, (608) 262-1355, email@example.com.
Returning Adults [ back to the index]
Adult Career and Special Student Services in the Division of Continuing Studies is an educational and vocational counseling service for adults who are considering returning to school and would like educational and career guidance. Individual counseling, testing, group workshops, and networking with other adult students are offered. Many services are available at no charge. Small grants covering resident tuition fees may be available to returning adult graduate students with financial need who have been out of school and plan to take three or fewer credits. Scholarships for single parent students are available. Deadline is March 1 for the following year.
Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Grades [ back to the index]
For all courses listed as research, the only permissible grades are Satisfactory (S), Unsatisfactory (U), and Progress (P). Though an Incomplete (I) grade may be assigned, a final grade must be submitted during the following term. If a P grade is assigned, it will remain until the instructor assigns a grade of S or U; all previously assigned P grades will revert to an S or U upon assignment of the final grade. These courses will not count in the student’s Grade Point Average (GPA).
Research courses are traditionally reserved for graduate students; however, other students (Law, Medical, Undergraduate, etc.) occasionally register for a research course. In these cases the student’s college can decide to have the course count in the GPA with an academic action to the Registrar’s Office.
If a course has been structured to offer the S/U grading option, a grade of S in that course would mean a grade of B or better. S/U courses are not computed into the grade-point average. They are, however, counted for program and minor course credit, toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement, and in considering the minimum or maximum credit load per term. The S/U grading option is not to be confused with the pass/fail option. Unsatisfactory grades do not count toward minimum graduation credit requirements. Programs and the Graduate School monitor students for unsatisfactory grades. Advisor holds may be placed for students with unsatisfactory grades.
The use of letter grades (A through F) is encouraged and recommended whenever information on performance permits. Courses designated as research require grading on the S/U basis. In certain seminars and advanced topics courses, where lack of examinations and other performance criteria makes the A-F scale inappropriate, use of the S/U option is permissible.
Satisfactory Progress [ back to the index]
Continuation in the Graduate School is at the discretion of a student's program, the Graduate School, and a student's faculty advisor.
The Graduate School sets minimum standards that all graduate students in the university must meet. Many departments and programs have additional requirements that exceed these Graduate School minimum requirements. The definition of satisfactory progress varies by program. The Graduate School Catalog, grad.wisc.edu/catalog, includes the Graduate School's minimum degree requirements and each program's minimum criteria for satisfactory progress.
The Graduate School requires that students maintain a minimum graduate GPA of 3.00 in all graduate-level work (300 or above, excluding research, audit, credit/no credit, and pass/fail courses) taken as a graduate student unless probationary admission conditions require higher grades. The Graduate School also considers Incomplete (I) grades to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the subsequent semester of enrollment; however, the instructor may impose an earlier deadline.
A student may be placed on probation or suspended from the Graduate School for low grades or for failing to resolve incompletes in a timely fashion. In special cases the Graduate School permits students who do not meet these minimum standards to continue on probation upon recommendation and support of their advisor.
Most programs require satisfactory progress to continue guaranteed funding support.
Schedule of Classes [ back to the index]
The Schedule of Classes (formerly Timetable) is available online at registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm, and students can access the Schedule of Classes via their MyUW Student Center. The Schedule of Classes can be viewed using Class Search, the real-time online listing of course sections offered each term. Students are responsible for complying with enrollment deadlines, available at the Registrar's Office webpage, registrar.wisc.edu.
Schools and Colleges [ back to the index]
See Appendix 1 for a list of schools and colleges within the university.
Second Degrees [ back to the index]
See Double Degrees.
Section Changes [ back to the index]
Always consult the Schedule of Classes, registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm, for deadlines and procedures for section changes. Section changes include: changes in Lectures, Discussions, Labs and Instructors' conference numbers for research or independent study courses for which students are already enrolled. See Course Changes for instructions on how to request a section change.
If a student's name does not appear on the appropriate instructor's grade roster at the end of the term, a Course Change Request to change sections and a letter of request from the instructor of the class must be submitted to the Graduate School, Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall. The instructor of the correct section must submit a Grade Change Form to assign a grade. The instructor of the incorrect section should submit no grade.
Segregated Fees [ back to the index]
UW-Madison students pay fees in addition to tuition. All students, even those with tuition remission, pay these fees. The only exception is that fellowships paid through the Graduate School (not including Vilas travel awards) have segregated fees waived in addition to tuition. Segregated fees are funds dedicated to supporting various student service programs and organizations. The student government on campus is responsible for the allocation of these funds. The Student Services Finance Committee (SSFC) of the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) submits budget recommendations to the ASM Student Council and the Chancellor as to how student fees should be spent.
Segregated fee information is provided by the Office of the Registrar at registrar.wisc.edu/tuition_&_fees.htm.
For information on how these funds are currently allocated, contact the ASM Student Services Finance Committee at 333 East Campus Mall, Room 4301, 608-890-0270, fax 608-265-5637, asm.wisc.edu/ssfc.html.
Senior-Graduate Status [ back to the index]
Senior-graduates are UW-Madison undergraduate seniors who are within 1-6 credits of completing the requirements for a bachelor's degree and enroll in the Graduate School simultaneously.
The student applies through the normal Graduate School application process (gradsch.wisc.edu/eapp/eapp.pl) and must meet minimum admission requirements of both the program and the Graduate School. In addition, the student must submit a senior-graduate form that verifies courses and credits needed to complete the bachelor's degree. The admitting program must recommend admission in full standing. Senior graduates may not be admitted on probation.
All senior-graduates pay graduate fees and are eligible for Teaching Assistantship or Project Assistantship appointments, including tuition remission. They are not eligible for fellowships or Research Assistantships.
All grade points earned as a senior-graduate are counted in the computation of the cumulative undergraduate Grade Point Average. The student's program is subject to the regulations and requirements of the Graduate School. Graduate credit will be awarded only if the requirements for the bachelor's degree are completed by the end of the semester of senior-graduate enrollment. Failure to earn the bachelor's degree within one semester will result in termination of senior-graduate status and loss of credits toward the graduate degree. The student will be granted graduate standing the semester following receipt of the bachelor's degree.
Application for senior-graduate status is made at time of application to Graduate School. For more information, contact the Graduate School's Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433.
Special Graduate Committee Degrees [ back to the index]
Special graduate committee degrees are one-of-a-kind degrees built around unique needs of individual students that cannot be satisfied by approved programs (e.g., by existing major program/minor combinations, joint degrees, distributed minors, etc.) and may permit individual degrees in new and emerging fields or combinations of disciplines. A higher degree of independence is required on the part of the student, since easily available guidance provided by programs is often more difficult to obtain, and there is not the usual collegial group of students in closely related research and course work.
The Master's and Doctoral special graduate committee guidelines are:
- Prospective students who may have an interest in a special graduate committee degree should apply to the degree program that is closest to their program interest.
- Upon receipt of an application on which a prospective student has expressed interest in a special graduate committee degree, the program will follow all relevant program admission requirements.
- Students may not be admitted directly to a special graduate committee degree program. They must be accepted for admission by an established department or program and be attending classes at UW-Madison before a proposal for a special graduate committee degree will be considered by the Graduate School.
- The department or program admitting the student must be prepared to see the student through an established degree program. No commitments are made to provide a special graduate committee degree until after the student is enrolled and the proposal for the special degree and the student's ability at the graduate level have been evaluated and approved.
- The student's advisor authors and submits the special graduate committee degree proposal
on behalf of the student as early in the student's program as possible.
Proposals submitted after a substantial portion of the program has been
completed will not be accepted. Doctoral proposals may be submitted by
the end of the first year of graduate work. Master's proposals may be
submitted after the equivalent of the first full-time semester of graduate-level
work. The proposal should consist of the following elements:
- The reasons the special graduate committee program is needed and an explanation of why the student's needs cannot be met within existing programs.
- The exact title of the proposed degree program (which should be brief and descriptive).
- The proposed course and seminar program of graduate work on this campus. Include the course title, program, course number, credits, grade, and semester taken/to be taken.
- Any tool requirements of the dissertation or thesis (language, etc.).
- The nature and scope of preliminary examinations for the Ph.D. degree, or the examination procedure for the Master's degree.
- The nature of the dissertation or thesis (general subject area).
- The names of the faculty members who, in addition to the advisor, are willing to share the responsibility of supervising the student's program. Including the advisor, the Doctoral degree requires 5 members (including 4 UW-Madison graduate faculty members), and the Master's degree requires 3 members (including 2 UW-Madison graduate faculty members). Approval signatures of the committee members are required on the proposals.
- The Graduate School will carefully review proposals to determine whether or not the program can be carried out within an established department or program, joint degrees, appropriate use of minors, or other available mechanisms. The suitability and degree of commitment of the committee for the proposed program will be examined.
- The chairperson of the committee (usually the advisor) should be a member of the program to which the student originally had been admitted. That program should remain the keeper of the student's records and should make all appropriate nominations for financial aid.
- The Graduate School is concerned about maintaining active participation by all members of special degree committees in the ongoing program of the student and asks the individual members of the committee to assume program responsibilities provided institutionally in a conventional program. Faculty members who are willing to serve on these committees should be prepared to participate fully in all aspects of the student's program from the beginning, especially where they must provide the necessary expertise in their particular areas of interest.
Special Student Status [ back to the index]
Students enrolled as special students (university special students) are considered non-degree candidates and pay fees at a lower rate than graduate students. No currently enrolled graduate degree candidate may enroll as a special student.
Before beginning a graduate program, an international student may choose to study full-time English as a special student on an F-1 visa granted through the ESL program or on a J-1 visa with the sponsor's approval. When the student begins a graduate program, the student's status will be changed from special to graduate student.
Graduate-level work done as a special student prior to enrolling in the Graduate School cannot be counted toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement and will not be included in the calculation of the graduate Grade Point Average. However, a program may wish to count these credits toward program course requirements or, in rare circumstances, appeal to the Graduate School to transfer credits to meet the minimum credit requirements for a graduate degree, provided the work was not done to prove admissibility to the Graduate School. If the appeal is approved, all courses completed during that semester will be transferred, and the most recent semester will be transferred first. For the credits transferred, the student will be charged a differential equal to the semester's graduate fees.
For more information about special student status, contact Adult Career and Special Student Services, Division of Continuing Studies, 21 North Park, 7th floor, (608) 263-6960, TTY (608) 263-2400, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.dcs.wisc.edu/info/univspec.htm.
Specialist Certificates [ back to the index]
Students can earn a Specialist Certificate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis or in Library and Information Studies. The certificate represents work beyond the master's level. In addition to program requirements, the Graduate School requires that the student must have a cumulative graduate Grade Point Average of 3.00 and a minimum of 24 UW-Madison graduate-level credits.
For additional information, contact the programs that offer the Specialist Certificate.
Student Advocacy and Judicial Affairs [ back to the index]
The Student Advocacy and Judicial Affairs Office is part of the Division of Student Life. In collaboration with University Health Services, University Police, University Housing, and the academic student services units, the Student Advocacy and Judicial Affairs (SAJA) team members provide direct services and advise a variety of student assistance and support programs, including the Student Crisis Loan Fund, the Greater University Tutorial Services (GUTS), the Private Residence Hall Liaison, and SPEAKUP (confidential harassment reporting system).
Direct services include, but are not limited to: general ombudsman support, conflict mediation, crisis management, resource referral, sexual assault victim advocacy, and administration of the academic and non-academic codes of student conduct. SAJA staff also serve as consultants for faculty/staff who have concerns about the students they teach or employ.
Student Crisis Loan Fund [ back to the index]
Student Life, Division of (formerly Offices of the Dean of Students) [ back to the index]
The mission of the Division of Student Life is to help all students succeed at UW-Madison by providing effective out-of-classroom programs, services, and learning opportunities; developing and influencing campus-wide policies which positively impact student lives; and fostering a more healthful, multicultural, and respectful campus community. In addition to the main administrative office in Bascom Hall, associated units include Associated Students of Madison, the Center for the First-Year Experience, the Center for Leadership and Involvement, International Student Services, LGBT Campus Center, McBurney Disability Resource Center, Multicultural Student Center, and Student Assistance and Judicial Affairs.
Some common reasons students contact the Division of Student Life:
- Feeling overwhelmed by course material or homework assignments;
- Searching for a place to go to feel supported and understood;
- Experiencing short-term financial difficulty;
- Looking for ways to become more involved on campus or meet new people;
- Hoping for some job-related experience or leadership development opportunities;
- Believing they have been the target of discriminatory harassment or unfair treatment on campus;
- Needing academic accommodations for a disability;
- Wanting to learn more about other cultures and expand their world view.
Students are encouraged to bring questions, concerns, and complaints in person (75 Bascom Hall), by phone (608-263-5700, TTY 608-263-2400), fax (608-265-5646), or email at email@example.com.
Student Organizations [ back to the index]
The Center for Leadership and Involvement (CfLI) is part of the Division of Student Life. University policy requires that all campus student organizations be registered with the Center for Leadership Involvement if they wish to use university facilities for publicity, meetings, or events; or wish to associate their organization with the name of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Study Abroad [ back to the index]
The university creates an international context for education by providing opportunities for UW-Madison students to study overseas. Because of the variety of programs, students should coordinate their study abroad program with their program, the Graduate School, and International Academic Programs.
Information about study abroad programs can be obtained through a student's program and through International Academic Programs, Division of International Studies and Programs, 250 Bascom Hall, (608) 265-6329, studyabroad.wisc.edu.
All graduate students traveling abroad are encouraged to acquire insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International. Additional information is available at bussvc.wisc.edu/risk_mgt/study_abroad.html.
Subplan [ back to the index]
Some programs have identified areas of concentration within their field, known as named options or subplans. These subplans appear on the transcript with degree conferral. The Graduate Faculty Executive Committee must approve official subplans. Many programs also have unofficial specializations or tracks that do not appear on the transcript.
Summer Enrollment [ back to the index]
Survey of Earned Doctorates [ back to the index]
The Graduate School participates in the National Research Council's Survey of Earned Doctorates. Completion of the survey is voluntary, but student participation is encouraged and appreciated. Directions for online submission of the survey will be contained in the documents students receive after the Graduate School has approved their final oral examination committee.
Swapping courses [ back to the index]
Taxes [ back to the index]
Wages paid to Teaching and Project/Program Assistants are taxable, because the work primarily benefits the university without being central to a student's graduate studies. Research Assistant stipends are taxable because there is a service component that benefits the university in addition to supporting a student's studies. Trainee and fellow stipends are also taxable; however, tuition, fees, and books may be deducted before students calculate their tax liability.
Teaching Assistant (TA) [ back to the index]
Many programs offer Teaching Assistantships. This title is appropriate for graduate students who have been assigned teaching responsibilities in an instructional program under the supervision of a faculty member of the academic staff. Contact the employing program directly for more information about the TA position.
See Enrollment Requirements, Maximum Levels of Appointments, Teaching Assistant (TA) Orientation and Training, Tuition Remission, International Students Maintaining Legal Status, Appendix 2 (Payroll Benefits).
Teaching Assistant (TA) Orientation and Training [ back to the index]
Many programs offer specialized Teaching Assistant (TA) training during orientation, the week before classes begin. Other programs offer teaching methods seminars for their own TAs. The deans' offices of the School of Business, School of Education, College of Engineering, and College of Letters and Science offer TA orientation sessions (typically during orientation week in August). Students should contact their program's graduate coordinator or payroll representative for more information, or call one of the deans' offices listed above. Letters and Science TAs should contact the L&S TA Training and Professional Development Office in South Hall, (608) 265-0603.
The International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Training Program, coordinated by the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program, helps non-native English speaking TAs (or potential TAs) improve their oral communication and classroom teaching skills. For more information about the ITA Training Program, visit http://www.english.wisc.edu/esl/ita-training-desc.html.
Thesis [ back to the index]
Some Master's degrees require a thesis to be deposited in the Memorial Library. The Graduate School produces materials that describe the preparation of a thesis. See A Guide to Preparing Your Master's Thesis.
Thesis Advisor [ back to the index]
Third-Party Deferrals [ back to the index]
The Bursar's Office will bill third parties for students with a valid third party deferral authorization on file with the Bursar's Office. It is the student's responsibility to verify that an authorization is on file and in effect for each term of enrollment. If the deferral is correctly reflected on the student's account invoice, the student may assume that it is in effect. Students ultimately are held responsible for payment of tuition and fees if the third party does not pay deferred fees. For further information, contact the Bursar's Office, 333 East Campus Mall, room 10501, 608-262-3612, bussvc.wisc.edu/bursar/thirdpsp.html.
Time Limits [ back to the index]
Graduate degrees are awarded, in part, for completion of current course work. Master's degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they had earned before their absence. Although their program may count the course work students did before their absence for meeting its requirements, the Graduate School does not count that work toward the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement.
A candidate for a Ph.D. degree who fails to take the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation within 5 years after passing the preliminary examination may be required to take another preliminary examination and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.
A student's program may appeal these time limits through a written request to the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433. The appeal should provide information demonstrating that the student has remained current in the field of study. This information may include a resume showing applicable work experience and/or official transcripts from other schools attended.
If students have been absent for five or more years, they must file a new Graduate School application for admission and submit it with a new application fee. For further information, see information about readmission, grad.wisc.edu/education/admissions/reentry.html.
Timetable [ back to the index]
See Schedule of Classes.
Traineeships [ back to the index]
Traineeships are ordinarily sponsored through an extramural training grant (usually NIH) and are designated as traineeships under the terms of the grant. This title is used exclusively for students who are supported by a traineeship while pursuing a particular course of study.
Transcripts [ back to the index]
Official transcripts may be requested online, by mail, or in person at 333 East Campus Mall, room 10101. Current students can order official transcripts through MyUW Student Center. More details on how to order an official transcript are available at ordertranscript.wisc.edu.
Students may also request a campus copy of transcripts of their student
record from MyUW Student Center. A campus copy student record
is not an official transcript but it does indicate all internal university
memoranda. Find more details on how to request a campus copy student record
Transfer of Graduate Work from Other Institutions [ back to the index]
A student's program may decide to use graduate work completed at another institution toward fulfillment of program or minor course requirements. This work will not appear on a UW-Madison transcript. The Graduate School's minimum credit requirement can be satisfied only with courses taken as a graduate student at UW-Madison. The only exception may be graduate-level course work taken as a CIC Traveling Scholar. Students should contact their program for more information.
Traveling Scholar Program [ back to the index]
The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC--the consortium of the Big Ten universities, the University of Chicago, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln) sponsors the Traveling Scholar Program as part of a continuing effort to increase cooperative use of its member institutions' resources. This program enables doctoral-level students at any CIC university to take advantage of educational opportunities (specialized courses, unique library collections, unusual laboratories) at any other CIC university without additional tuition expenses.
Credits earned by Traveling Scholars are transferred by the home university upon receipt of transcript from the host university. Courses and grades are posted directly on a student's UW-Madison transcript and, if graduate level, count for purposes of course requirements as well as the Graduate School's minimum credit requirement. Terms may not exceed two semesters or three quarters regardless of the number of courses taken.
Students should contact the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 608-262-2433 for an application or more information. For a list of eligible universities, see the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) website, cic.net.
Tuition and Fee Information [ back to the index]
Students go to their MyUW Student Center to view their tuition charges and payments; financial aid, loans and scholarships received; and refunds issued on their Tuition Account Summary, and to access links to set up an "Authorized Payer" and view, print, and pay eBills.
The tuition bill is provided as an eBill which is published to view, print, or pay on-line on the Tuition Account eBill/ePayment secure website. An email is sent to notify students and their Authorized Payers each time a new eBill is published. If students want their parents to have access to the website, students must first set them up as Authorized Payers. Detailed Authorized Payer information and FAQs are available at bussvc.wisc.edu/bursar/echeckfaq.html.
Tuition and fee charges must be paid by the due date indicated on the tuition and fee statement to avoid a $100 late fee. (Late fee is subject to change.) UW-Madison does not accept debit or credit cards for tuition payment. Detailed payment options and information are available at bussvc.wisc.edu/bursar/tuitpay.html. For tuition account questions, contact the Bursar’s office via email, firstname.lastname@example.org (include the student name/ID in the email), or by phone: 608-262-3611, 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., CST M-F. Bursar’s website offers a variety of information at www.bussvc.wisc.edu/bursar.
The date a course is dropped determines eligibility for a tuition cost adjustment when a student drops a course or withdraws from the university. For tuition and fee adjustment and assessment questions, contact the Office of the Registrar at 608-262-4031 (7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., CST M-F). Find class drop deadlines and cost adjustments plus other tuition and fees information at www.registrar.wisc.edu.
Tuition Remission [ back to the index]
Graduate students who have a Project Assistantship (PA), a Teaching Assistantship (TA), or a Research Assistantship (RA) of at least a 33.33% appointment for a Fall or Spring term are eligible to receive remission of full tuition. Fellowships or traineeships that are payrolled through the university and that carry stipends equivalent to at least a 33.33% Research Assistantship also qualify for remission of non-resident tuition.
Students should check with the payroll coordinator in their program to determine eligibility.
All graduate assistants are responsible for paying their segregated fees.
Tuition is remitted in summer sessions to graduate students in one of the following categories:
- Those continuing students who were granted remissions in the immediately-preceding Spring semester provided they held a teaching, research, or project assistantship (all tuition), or graduate fellowship (non-resident portion of tuition) and enroll in the summer session as graduate students and are assessed graduate fees and tuition;
- Those students who hold research, teaching, or project assistantship appointments, or fellowship appointments for the summer sessions, and who meet the criteria for remission established for the summer session.
Direct tuition remission questions to the Bursar’s Office, 333 East Campus Mall, Room 10501, 608-262-4518.
See Enrollment Requirements, Fellowships, Lecturers, Minnesota/Wisconsin Reciprocity, Project or Program Assistant (PA), Research Assistant (RA), Segregated Fees, Teaching Assistant (TA), Traineeships, Withdrawal, Appendix 2 (Payroll Benefits).
Tutorial Assistance [ back to the index]
Greater University Tutoring Service (GUTS) is a volunteer tutoring organization that provides free tutoring to all students attending the UW-Madison. Tutoring is available to all students who wish to improve their grades, study habits, or conversational English. For more information, contact GUTS, 333 East Campus Mall, room 4413, (608) 263-5666, email@example.com, guts.studentorg.wisc.edu.
Underloads [ back to the index]
During the fall and spring semesters, non-dissertators must enroll for a minimum of 2 credits of graduate-level work (courses numbered 300 or above, taken for a grade). Audit and pass/fail courses do not satisfy this enrollment requirement. Dissertators are required to enroll for 3 graduate-level credits directly related to their dissertation research.
University Health Services (UHS) [ back to the index]
Students who are currently enrolled as UW-Madison students, can use the services of University Health Services. Summer services are provided to some students for a reasonable fee. For more on eligibility and specific fees, visit the UHS website at uhs.wisc.edu. UHS provides information about care for spouses and children of students.
Hospitalization, emergency room visits, and medications are not included in UHS benefits. Insurance covering hospitalization and emergency services is recommended for all students and required for international students. The UHS Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) is an excellent option for many students. Contact the SHIP office at 608-265-5600.
Contact University Health Services (UHS) at 333 East Campus Mall, floors 5, 6, 7, and 8, 608-265-5600, uhs.wisc.edu. Email correspondence with UHS about medical matters is discouraged because confidentiality and a timely response cannot be guaranteed.
Variable Credit Courses [ back to the index]
Some didactic courses are offered to both undergraduate and graduate students. Typically undergraduate students enroll for a higher amount of credits than do graduate students. Courses of this nature are designated in the Schedule of Classes as variable credit courses. Students should consult the Schedule of Classes, registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm, to determine the appropriate credits when enrolling for a variable credit course.
Verification of Enrollment Status [ back to the index]
Veteran Students [ back to the index]
As part of the Office of the Registrar, Student Veteran Services (SVS) assists eligible student Veterans, Active Servicepersons, Dependents, Reservists, and National Guard Members with state and federal education benefit programs. Student Veteran Services is located at 333 East Campus Mall, 10301, (608) 263-3456. For more information, visit registrar.wisc.edu/student_veteran_services.htm. Specific directions about leaving and returning to the university are provided at: registrar.wisc.edu/call_up_information.htm.
Additional campus resources for veterans include:
Division of Student Life
Asst. Dean for Veterans
75 Bascom Hall
Student Veteran Organization
Vets for Vets
714 University Avenue
Visa Requirements [back to the index]
Warrants [ back to the index]
A warrant is a program's recommendation that a student be admitted to Ph.D. candidacy (a preliminary examination warrant) or be granted a degree (both Master's and Doctoral), and is the Graduate School's notification that a student has met the Graduate School's and program's requirements.
Withdrawal [ back to the index]
Withdrawal indicates that a student intends to stop attending classes for the current semester. Submission of a withdrawal request in MyUW Student Center is required between the first and last day of the semester, when a student wishes to drop all classes in which he or she is enrolled for the current semester. The electronic withdrawal process, being implemented starting in the fall 2012 semester, will not require submission of a signed paper form. Instead, students will submit withdrawal requests via MyUW Student Center, and the requests are then routed electronically to the Graduate School for review. Approval from the Graduate School, as well as from the Office of International Student Services for students on J–1 and F–1 visas, is required before a graduate student is formally withdrawn from the semester.
If students drop all courses before the first day of classes, they officially cancel their enrollment, owe no tuition or fees for that term, and have no semester entry on their transcript. In this case, it is not necessary for the student to submit a withdrawal request to the Graduate School. Students planning to withdraw from their academic program should contact their program directly.
Students are considered enrolled for a term if they have courses on their record on or after the first day of classes for that term regardless of whether they have paid tuition and fees. Failure to attend classes or leaving the university informally does not excuse a student from having to pay tuition and fees. If students withdraw after the transcript deadline, a notation to that effect and the date of withdrawal will appear on the transcript. Enrollment deadlines are posted by the Office of the Registrar, registrar.wisc.edu.
Failure to withdraw properly and promptly can be expensive. Before withdrawing, students should consult the Schedule of Classes, registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm, for specific deadlines and procedures. If a student received financial aid from the university, they should consult the Office of Student Financial Aid to determine repayment responsibilities. If students withdraw and are receiving remission of tuition, they are responsible for their entire tuition assessment.
Section Revised 8/29/12
Writing Center [ back to the index]
The Writing Center provides instruction in writing to graduate students at all levels and from all departments and disciplines, in the form of both individual conferences and short-term, noncredit classes. Each semester, hundreds of graduate students take advantage of the Writing Center.
In individual conferences, a Writing Center instructor serves as an "outside" reader for a student's writing, a reader who is critical but nonjudgmental. Graduate students often bring in course papers, seminar papers, proposals, master's theses, doctoral dissertations, or articles they are planning to submit for publication. The Writing Center instructor will focus on any aspect of a paper a student chooses or offer an unguided reaction, will identify issues that students might want to think about, and will suggest ways in which students may wish to revise.
Writing Center classes specifically geared to graduate students cover topics such as literature reviews, critical reviews, research posters, research proposals, conference papers, the dissertation, scholarly publication, APA documentation, and writing with PowerPoint. Many graduate students also attend classes on grammar and punctuation and resume writing.
See writing.wisc.edu for more detailed information on individual instruction and classes. In The Writer's Handbook section of the website, students will find many Writing Center handouts. Among the handouts that may be of particular interest to graduate students are Resources for Proposal Writers, Resources for Dissertators, Writing Annotated Bibliographies, and the various handouts in the section Citing References in Your Paper.
To make an appointment with a Writing Center instructor, call (608) 263-1992, or come in person to the Writing Center, 6171 Helen C. White Hall. Students can sign up for a class online, in person, or by phone.