Academic Policies and Procedures
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Office of Admissions and Academic Services
The Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services developed the Academic Policies and Procedures document (sometimes referred to as “Guidelines” or “Handbook”) to help answer questions about Graduate School academic and administrative policies and procedures. The document is only available online, it is continuously updated and is the official document of record for Graduate School policies and procedures; changes made to the document are also available online.
In situations where policies have changed during a student’s time of enrollment, the Graduate School and the academic program, together with the student, may elect to enforce requirements that are in the best interest of the student. Please refer to the document or contact Admissions and Academic Services with any questions regarding Graduate School procedures and policies. Academic Policies and Procedures reflects current policies of the Graduate School, the Office of the Registrar, the Office of the Bursar, the Office of International Students Services (ISS), and other university units.
The Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services is the Academic Dean’s Office for all graduate students. All student forms requiring the dean’s signature should be submitted to this office (for example, course change form, audit form, credit overload request form). This office also monitors satisfactory progress toward degree completion.
The topics in Academic Policies and Procedures are listed alphabetically. Entries are cross-referenced. Also included are tables (see the Appendices) to illustrate payroll benefits and other important information.
This publication addresses only academic issues. The Guide to Graduate Student Life, produced by the Graduate School’s Office of Professional Development and Communications, offers advice about the university and community from a students’ perspective, particularly for new graduate students.
Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW–Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.
The University of Wisconsin–Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background—people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.
Inquiries concerning this policy may be directed to the appropriate campus admitting or employing unit, to the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement, 150 Bascom Hall, 500 Lincoln Drive, 608-262-1304 or to the Office of Equity and Diversity, 179A Bascom Hall, 608-263-2378.
Students should consult the Office of the Registrar’s website for essential information and important deadlines. Courses may be added, dropped, or swapped through MyUW Student Center before and during the first 2 weeks of a semester (the first week in the general 8-week summer session).
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: http://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. International students holding graduate assistantships, fellowships, and traineeships must meet minimum enrollment requirements. For more information and questions, visit International Student Services at 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, 608-262-2044, email@example.com. 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 combined with an add action, 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 on the left column of the Office of Registrar website found at: https://registrar.wisc.edu/.
- 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.
For more information and questions, contact the Office of the Registrar. Find demos & tutorials on adding and swapping a class at: https://registrar.wisc.edu/demos.htm. For instructions on how to late add/drop a class, visit the Late Enrollment/Late Course Change/Late Drop section.
See Authorization for Courses, Course Changes, Credit Changes, Dean’s Approval, Enrollment Requirements, Late Enrollment/Late Course Change/Late Drop, Refunds, Tuition and Fee Information, Withdrawal.
Students must check with the intended program concerning admission requirements (for example, GRE scores or letters of reference) and eligibility. 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 dissertators want to add a program, typically a master’s program or a certificate program, they cannot hold dissertator fee status while pursuing a graduate degree or certificate in a field other than the doctoral program. Dissertators who add a program or a certificate program must enroll and pay fees as a regular graduate student.
International students who add/change 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!
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 program 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.
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 Appendix 2 (Payroll Benefits), Enrollment Requirements, Fellowships, Maximum Levels of Appointments, Project or Program Assistant (PA), Research Assistant (RA), Teaching Assistant (TA), Traineeships.
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 online 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.
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 students are not paying full-time fees, they 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 do not satisfy any credit, coursework, or degree requirements, nor do they count in fulfilling minimum or maximum credits required in each term. If students audit a course and do not attend or drop it, they 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.
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. Requests for late audits will not be considered. Specific deadline dates, including those for summer sessions, are posted prior to each semester by the Office of the Registrar.
The enrollment system counts all credits in determining maximum credit loads. An overload form is required if a student’s total credit load exceeds the maximum limit per term.
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: 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.
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/program staff benefits coordinator for details.
The Big Ten Academic Alliance (formerly CIC) sponsors many programs. The Big Ten Academic Alliance is comprised of:
University of Illinois
University of Iowa
University of Maryland
University of Michigan
Michigan State University
University of Minnesota
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Ohio State University
Pennsylvania State University
University of Wisconsin-Madison
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 through MyUW. On or after the first day of class, students can no longer cancel their enrollment and instead must submit a withdrawal request.
The university offers capstone certificates for students not currently enrolled in a UW-Madison graduate degree program. Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree or equivalent credential from an accredited college or university. The capstone certificate is designed to “cap off” undergraduate experience or to offer a focused professionally oriented experience. Capstone programs do not lead to the conferral of a graduate degree.
Dissertators may in special cases request a Certificate of Doctoral Candidacy in recognition of their completion of all requirements toward the doctoral degree 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 Status.
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, which 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 Office of the Registrar’s website: https://registrar.wisc.edu/enrollment_verification_acad_rec.htm.
Veterans Certification: Student Veterans who are eligible for Federal and State Educational Benefits should apply for certification of enrollment at the Veteran Services & Military Assistance Center (VSMAC), 333 East Campus Mall, 10301, 608-265-4628. Students receiving veterans’ benefits are required to promptly report any credit change or withdrawal from school to the Veteran Services & Military Assistance Center. Find more information at: http://veterans.wisc.edu
The Office of the Registrar provides Degree Completion Letters. If you have completed all degree requirements and deposited your thesis or dissertation and are waiting until the next degree conferral date to receive your degree, you may request and receive a letter indicating that all requirements have been completed. All grades from the semester in which you are depositing your dissertation (and all other outstanding grades) must be reported to the Graduate School before you can receive a completion letter.
Additionally, master’s and doctoral degrees do not appear on transcripts until 4 to 6 weeks after the end of a semester. Students may obtain a letter from the Registrar’s Office that verifies degree completion before a transcript posting after all grades are finalized and their dissertation (doctoral degree) or thesis (if required for the master’s degree) is approved and deposited. Find more information at: http://registrar.wisc.edu/degree_completion_letters.htm.
A student’s program must report changes in degree level to the Graduate School (for example, if students have completed their master’s degree and want 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 Named Option. For questions, please contact the Graduate School Degree Coordinator.
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 fill out the Apply to Graduate application in the MyUW Student Center to have their names printed in the commencement program.
For specific information about commencement, including deadline dates, ordering commencement attire, etc., see the Commencement website at: https://commencement.wisc.edu/information-for-graduates/.
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. A student’s program arranges a committee with appropriate expertise to afford the breadth and depth needed in degree examinations. In all cases, a student’s advisor chairs the committee. The responsibilities of individual committee members are determined by the program. The executive committee (or its equivalent) of a program/department is responsible for approving the composition of all graduate committees. The final warrant request which includes committee membership must be submitted to the Graduate School at least three weeks before the examination date. Master’s students with a thesis committee must follow the policies on committee membership requirements. Students should consult their advisor and their program’s student handbook for the specific function of degree committees in their program.
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 committees must have at least 5 members representing more than one graduate program, 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. MFA final 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 MFA 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 doctoral or master’s degree, students cannot receive more than one dissenting vote from their committee on the final degree warrant.
The Graduate School supports the principles of a compassionate tuition adjustment to accommodate students in the following circumstance:
- The students have experienced a traumatic event for which they have little or no control, and
- It appears that the event will impede/prevent the students from completing the semester.
The academic dean or the dean’s designee, will assess the meaning and effect of the event on the student and the request for tuition adjustment. The students faculty advisor and/or graduate program chair may request this on behalf of the student. Relevant documentation may be required.
See Dean’s Approval.
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 Office of Human Resources at 608-262-8389 for additional information.
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 credits (300 or above) directly related to their dissertation research (generally research and thesis and/or required seminars). In some cases, the 3 credits can be a combination of research and a seminar. 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.
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.
Graduate students are responsible for appropriate use of copyrighted materials in their thesis. Some material may be available for use without restriction while other material may require written permission from the copyright holder. Other material may be appropriately used without written permission under the “fair use” provisions of the copyright law. General guidance regarding use of copyrighted materials is available from ProQuest/ UMI at: http://media2.proquest.com/documents/copyright_dissthesis_ownership.pdf or from the UW-Madison Libraries website: http://library.wisc.edu/help/copyright/#copyright_basics.
Fair Use: General information regarding how to determine if your use of copyrighted materials constitutes fair use can be found at: http://media2.proquest.com/documents/copyright_dissthesis_ownership.pdf. Reviewing and completing a fair use check list may also assist you. See the fair use checklist at: http://copyright.columbia.edu/copyright/fair-use/fair-use-checklist/. Additionally, professional or disciplinary societies may have fair use statements to help negotiate disciplinary specialties.
Written Permission: If written permission is required, students are responsible for obtaining such permission and maintaining records of the written permission to use the copyrighted material in the thesis. Permission is usually requested by sending a letter of request to the copyright holder. Normally, the letter would be returned with an approval stamp or signature. Some copyright holders require a specific form of acknowledgment. A sample permission request letter can be found at: http://media2.proquest.com/documents/UMI_CopyrightGuide.pdf. Note that obtaining written permission can be a lengthy process. Plan ahead and budget ample time to obtain all required permissions.
Important instructions and deadlines are available at the Office of the Registrar’s website at http://www.registrar.wisc.edu, and the Enrollment Requirements section of this document contains information about minimum credits required.
Prior to deadlines, students may make course changes online via MyUW Student Center. See the Late Course Change section of the policy for changing courses after the deadlines.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 minimum enrollment requirements as well.
For more information and questions, contact the Office of the Registrar. Find demos & tutorials at: https://registrar.wisc.edu/demos.htm. For late course change instructions, visit the Late Enrollment/Late Course Change/Late Drop section.
See Add-Drop, Auditing Courses, Authorization for Courses, Credit Changes, Enrollment Requirements, Late Enrollment/Late Course Change/Late Drop, Pass/Fail, Refunds, Section Changes, Tuition and Fee Information.
The number assigned to a course gives an indication of the level of difficulty and indicates for whom the course is intended. Courses numbered under 300 (100-299) are undergraduate-level courses. Courses in the 300-699 range may be taken for credit by both undergraduate and graduate students; courses in the 300-499 range are generally considered intermediate level and courses in the 500-699 range are generally considered advanced level. Graduate students taking courses numbered 300-699 are expected to do graduate-level work, though they are enrolled in an undergraduate level course. The 300-699 range is not intended to include undergraduate-only, elementary level courses. Courses in the 700-999 range are open only to graduate students.
The official University documentation of “graduate level” coursework is identified with the graduate course attribute (G50%) in the University’s Course Guide and Class Search. More information regarding the course attribute can be found at: http://apir.wisc.edu/grad_attribute.htm
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 go to the Office of the Registrar’s website at http://registrar.wisc.edu.
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 300 or above for credit/no credit will count toward the Graduate School’s minimum graduate degree credit requirement and the minimum graduate residence credit requirement (including 300-level courses in English as a Second Language).
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 lists enrollment, fee payment, and course change deadlines. Find more information about the deadlines for achieving dissertator status or receiving a degree in any given semester at: http://grad.wisc.edu/currentstudents/degreedeadlines/.
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 for specific dates and requirements.
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 Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services.
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 all dissertators to 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 are 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.
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. Degrees are granted three times per year in May, August, and December. (e.g. the official graduation date for fall 2016 is December 24th, 2016; see academic calendar at http://www.secfac.wisc.edu/acadcal/)
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 through the dates listed below:
- Doctoral candidates: through the date of dissertation deposit or through the official graduation date of term
- Non-thesis master’s candidates: through the completion date stated on warrant or through the official graduation date of term;
- Thesis master’s candidates: through the date thesis is received by the Memorial Library or through the official graduation date of term.
Window Period Degrees: The “Window Period” is the time between the end of one degree period and the beginning of the next. Students must have been registered for the previous semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer). If all degree requirements are met by the end of the window period, a student’s degree will be granted for the following semester. Students will not have to register or pay fees for the next semester.
In order to remain on payroll, a student must be enrolled. If degree requirements are completed during the window period, the student is not enrolled and does not retain student status through the official graduation date for that term. Therefore, the student cannot remain on payroll through the degree conferral date for that term. Students receiving window period degrees may remain on payroll and retain student status only through the dates listed below:
- 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.
International students: contact ISS for guidance on the degree completion date and its impact on the visa status.
A computerized graduate degree summary is not prepared for graduate students (eg. DARS). Students’ programs, particularly their advisors, are responsible for ensuring timely fulfillment of Graduate School and program requirements. Students should consult their program’s satisfactory progress criteria in their program’s student handbook, or in the Graduate School Catalog.
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 completed Name Change Form submitted to 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 or diploma address (not a student’s mailing address) approximately 12 to 14 weeks after degree conferral. Students should update their home or diploma address via MyUW, prior to leaving campus, unless they are international students. International students must enter a diploma address via MyUW to receive the diploma. If a student wants the Office of the Registrar to use a different address, they should enter a diploma address at the MyUW portal.
Students with disabilities are encouraged to inform the faculty advisor and instructor of their need for disability-related accommodations in a timely manner. Implementation of reasonable accommodations is a shared faculty and student responsibility. 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 provides disability-related services and accommodations to undergraduate, graduate, professional, special and guest students. The Center works closely with students and faculty on the provision of reasonable accommodations to ensure access to the learning environment. The Center makes referrals to other campus offices or community resources for non-classroom accommodations such as housing, transportation, personal care attendants, etc. Students should contact the Center upon admission to begin the eligibility for services process. Early notice is essential in order to have services and accommodations in place prior to the start of the semester.
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), 179A Bascom Hall, 608-263-2378; or the Division of Student Life, 75 Bascom Hall, 608-263-5700.
A doctoral 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 and the other research participants must be identified.
Publication of the doctoral dissertation is required. The university uses ProQuest UMI ETD Administrator 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 processing the dissertation and publishing the abstract by ProQuest.
All doctoral dissertations are reviewed by the Graduate School’s Office of Admissions and Academic Services. Find more information at: http://grad.wisc.edu/currentstudents/degree/.
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’s Office of Admissions and Academic Services.
Dissertator is a unique fee status for students who have completed all requirements for a doctoral degree except for the dissertation. To be eligible for dissertator fee status, a student must:
- Pass the preliminary examination(s);
- Satisfy the doctoral minimum graduate residence 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 (progress grades in 990 research may remain);
- Earn at least a 3.0 cumulative graduate GPA;
- Return the signed and dated preliminary exam warrant to the Graduate School.
Dissertator status is effective at the start of the semester following completion of all dissertator requirements for the doctoral degree except for the dissertation. In order to initiate the change to dissertator status, the prelim warrant must be sent to the Graduate School in a timely fashion. Students can check on dissertator status by contacting the graduate program coordinator.
All dissertator requirements must be met before the first day of classes to be a dissertator for any given semester. If all dissertator requirements are completed before the first day of classes but the signed prelim warrant does not reach the Graduate School by that deadline, the student can still become a dissertator that semester. Submit the warrant to the Graduate School as soon as possible and enroll for at least 3 credits (usually 990 research) for that semester.
Removal of Dissertator Status: A dissertator who enrolls for more (or fewer) than 3 credits will be removed from dissertator status for the fall or spring term in which the enrollment is not exactly 3 credits. 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.
The removal of dissertator status may have the following consequences:
- Graduate assistant (TA/PA/RA) salary rates may have to be adjusted to the non-dissertator rate, or percent limitations
- Fees are assessed at the non-dissertator rate
- Full-time status may change to part-time, possibly affecting loan deferral, visa status, etc.
If a dissertator wants to pursue a graduate degree or certificate in another area, the dissertator fee status will be discontinued and regular graduate fees will be assessed, with possible consequences listed above. Find more information about the tuition and fees for a dissertator and non-dissertator at the Office of the Registrar: https://registrar.wisc.edu/tuition_&_fees.htm.
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.
The executive committee for each of the four academic divisions (Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Studies) advises about tenure appointments and other matters of personnel, educational policy, and selection of personnel to serve on various committees.
Double degrees are two same-level (master’s or doctoral) degrees from two separate graduate programs. Students completing a double degree earns two degrees (two programs), and receives two diplomas. Double degree candidates have two advisors and two separate committees, and they complete two theses (master’s) or dissertations (doctoral).
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. Students should inquire with each program prior to enrollment to see if additional policies exist that would restrict the ability to complete a double degree.
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 graduate residence, degree, and coursework credit requirements for each degree;
- Complete the specific degree requirements for each program, including minimum graduate degree, residence, and coursework (50%) credit requirements for each;
- Have no more than a 25% credit overlap between degrees, based on the lower credit requirements of the two programs;
- Have an advisor from each program and both advisors must be informed of each other.
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.
Doctoral students who add a master’s degree program outside the doctoral 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.
See Addition/Change of Program, Plan, or Named Option, Appendix 5 (Degrees at a Glance) Change of Degree Level, Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement, Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement, Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement, International Students Maintaining Legal Status.
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., DVM, D.Pharm., MPH). Students should inquire with each program prior to enrollment to see if additional policies exist that would restrict the ability to complete a dual degree.
To receive a dual degree students must:
- Be admitted to both programs;
- Complete the specific degree requirements for the Graduate School and the professional school;
- Fulfill the Graduate School’s minimum graduate residence, degree, and coursework (50%) credit requirements 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. Find more information about the tuition and fees at the Office of the Registrar: http://registrar.wisc.edu/tuition_&_fees.htm
See Addition/Change of Program, Plan, or Named Option, Appendix 5 (Degrees at a Glance), Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement, Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement, Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement.
Any student entering or readmitted to a graduate program must adhere to the requirements in the most current Academic Policies & Procedures. This includes all new incoming students, those students continuing from a master’s degree to a doctoral degree, add/change program students, degree completion fee students, and any readmitted students. A student who chooses to discontinue their degree program for a semester or more would return under the requirements in the most recent Academic Policies & Procedures.
Students enrolled prior to fall 2014 in a MFA, specialist certificate, or doctoral degree program have the option to complete their degree under the prior policy requirements if they maintain continuous enrollment.
A student who advances from the master’s level to the doctoral level fall 2014 or after is subject to the requirements in the most current Academic Policies & Procedures.
Appeals will be considered in exceptional cases. The request for appeal must be made on a student-by-student basis. The appeal should come from the students faculty advisor and/or program chair and be sent to the Graduate School Director of Academic Services. The appeal should include sufficient justification for the request and any supporting documentation.
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 University 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 University Special student to graduate student. 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 go to http://english.wisc.edu/esl/intensive-placement.htm, or contact the ESL office at 608-263-3780 for additional information.
Course enrollment is available through the Student Center at MyUW at 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 the Office of the Registrar’s website at http://www.registrar.wisc.edu.
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 are available at the Office of the Registrar’s website at: https://registrar.wisc.edu/enrollment_information.htm. The Office of the Registrar provides MyUW enrollment demos and tutorials at: http://www.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 the Office of the Registrar’s website at: http://www.registrar.wisc.edu.
Students should enroll early. Students can confirm their current enrollment through MyUW.
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.
ALL of the following credit requirements (except F-1 and J-1 visa requirements) must be satisfied by graded courses taken at 300 or above; courses numbered below 300, audit, and pass/fail do not satisfy enrollment requirements.
Full-time enrollment: The Graduate School considers full-time enrollment to be 8-15 graded credits taken at 300 or above, excluding pass/fail and audit, during the fall and spring semesters (8-18 for master’s programs in business: 2014-16 only, fall 2016 reverts to 8-15), 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 may include visa eligibility, fellowships, assistantships, financial aid, external funding agencies, and program satisfactory progress requirements.
Maximum enrollment: The Graduate School considers full-time enrollment to be 8-15 graded credits taken at 300 or above, excluding pass/fail and audit, during the fall and spring semesters (8-18 for master’s programs in business: 2014-16 only, fall 2016 reverts to 8-15), and 4-12 credits* during the summer term. Any exceptions to the maximum credit load permitted must be obtained via the Overload Request form.
Minimum enrollment: Non-dissertator minimum credit load is 2 credits* during the fall and spring semesters. 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 in any summer session*. 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 taken at 300 or above.
Underload: During the fall and spring semesters, non-dissertators must enroll for a minimum of 2 credits*. Audit and pass/fail courses do not satisfy this enrollment requirement. Dissertators are required to enroll for 3 graded credits taken at 300 or above and directly related to their dissertation research.
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 general 8-week summer session (DHH) 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.
Once dissertator status has been achieved, courses other than 990 must be directly related to the dissertation research and approved by the advisor. Dissertators must enroll during the semester or general 8-week summer session (DHH) in which they expect to earn a degree. Students must be enrolled during the semester when they defend the dissertation and when they deposit the dissertation. If defending and depositing in two different semesters, the student is required to be enrolled in both semesters. Students do not have to be dissertators during the semester or summer in which they expect to earn a doctoral degree, but they must be eligible for dissertator status before they complete the doctoral degree, and they must enroll in the semester in which they will graduate.
If a student enrolls before the dissertator status is approved, the enrollment system may indicate they are not eligible for that course. The enrollment system does not care if students are dissertators. If students had problems getting into a course, it is probably because permission has not been entered into the enrollment system. Most individualized study courses, such as research and thesis, require instructor’s permission and online authorization before enrollment is possible. If students have trouble with enrollment, they should contact the Office of the Registrar's help line, 608-262-0920.
If dissertator status is not processed by the segregated fee deadline, students pay regular non-dissertator graduate fees. The fee difference will be refunded for that semester when dissertator status is indicated in the system.
Assistantship appointees: It is against university policy to hold an assistantship without being appropriately enrolled. Assistantships include those at UW-Madison as well as any UW System institution, including UW-Extension.
RA (Research Assistant): RAs are required to carry a full load each semester (8 to 15 credits* including research or thesis credits for non-dissertators, 3 credits* for dissertators) and at least 2 credits* during the general 8-week summer session (DHH) (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 15 credits* during the fall and spring.
- The Graduate School has no enrollment requirement for the summer session for PAs and TAs, unless the student is receiving a summer degree, but individual programs may.
Fellows: Non-dissertator graduate students holding fellowships that are payrolled through the university must be enrolled full-time: 8 credits* during the fall and spring semester. Fellows who are non-dissertators with 12-month appointments must also enroll in 2 credits* during the general 8-week summer session (DHH). Those who are not payrolled as fellows over the summer are not required to be enrolled. Those who are payrolled as fellows during any part of the summer term must enroll in the general 8-week summer session (DHH). Fellows who are 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 general 8-week summer session (DHH).
Trainees: Trainees must carry a full load each fall and spring semester of 8 to 15 credits* including research or thesis credits for non-dissertators (3 credits* for dissertators), and at least 2 credits* during the general 8-week summer session (DHH) (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, email@example.com. Visit the ISS web page at:http://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.
International students-online learning credit limit: F-1 and J-1 student visa holders have restrictions regarding the number of online credits that can be taken during the semester as it relates to fulfilling the full-time enrollment requirement. There are also restrictions regarding online enrollment during the final term of study-especially when the final term for completion is in summer. For more information, see the Online Course Enrollment section of the International Student Services website: http://iss.wisc.edu/faculty/online-course-enrollment
Summer enrollment requirements: Students must be enrolled at UW-Madison if they are using university facilities, including faculty and staff time.
- Dissertators defending and/or depositing dissertation (completing their degree) in summer must enroll for 3 credits* in the general 8-week summer session (DHH).
- Dissertator RAs must enroll for 3 credits* in the general 8-week summer session (DHH).
- Dissertator fellows with 12-month appointments are required to enroll for at least 3 credits* in the general 8-week summer session (DHH).
- Dissertator trainees are required to enroll for at least 3 credits* in the general 8-week summer session (DHH).
- Master’s candidates, who expect to graduate in summer must enroll for at least 2 credits* in any session, short session or general 8-week summer session (DHH).
- Non-dissertators completing a summer doctoral degree must enroll for at least 2 credits* in the general 8-week summer session (DHH).
- Non-dissertator RAs must enroll for 2 credits* in the general 8-week summer session (DHH).
- 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 employing 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 summer session (DHH).
- Non-dissertator trainees are required to enroll for at least 2 credits* in the general 8-week summer session (DHH).
- International students who are completing a summer degree are required to enroll for at least 2 credits* in the general 8-week summer session (DHH).
- International students who are RAs in the summer are required to enroll for at least 2 credits* in the general 8-week summer session (DHH).
- 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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 courses taken at 300 or above; courses numbered below 300, audit, and pass/fail do not satisfy enrollment requirements.
|Categories||Minimum enrollment for full-time status: Fall or Spring||Minimum enrollment for full-time status: Summer (general 8-week DHH session)|
|Dissertator||Exactly 3 credits directly related to research||Not required unless receiving summer degree or if graduate assistant, trainee, or fellow, 3 cr. required.|
|RA, non-dissertator||8 cr.||2 cr.|
|TA/Lecturer (SA) 33%, non-dissertator||6 cr.||Not required unless receiving summer degree, 2 cr. minimum.|
|TA/Lecturer (SA) 50%, non-dissertator||4 cr.||Not required unless receiving summer degree, 2 cr. minimum.|
|PA 33%, non-dissertator||6 cr.||Not required unless receiving summer degree, 2 cr. minimum.|
|PA 50%, non-dissertator||4 cr.||Not required unless receiving summer degree, 2 cr. minimum.|
|Fellow, non-dissertator||8 cr.||2 cr. for 12-month appointments. Not required for 9-month appointments.|
|Trainee, non-dissertator||8 cr.||2 cr.|
|International student (F-1/J-1 visa), non-dissertator, if no other category in this list||8 cr.||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:||8 cr.||4 cr.|
* Credit requirements (except F-1 and J-1 visa requirements) must be satisfied by graded courses taken at 300 or above; courses numbered below 300, audit, and pass/fail do not satisfy enrollment requirements.
The Graduate School surveys all students graduating with a doctoral or master's degree. The survey collects information on academic experiences, advising, and future plans.
Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED): The SED is a federally-sponsored national survey of individuals receiving research degrees from all U.S. institutions and the results are used to assess characteristics and trends in doctoral education. The SED is to be completed by Ph.D. students, not DMA, DNP or Au.D. students.
Graduate School Doctoral Exit Survey (DES): The Graduate School surveys all students graduating with a doctoral degree. The DES collects additional information on academic experiences, e.g., advising and other academic support.
Master’s Degree Completion Survey: All students completing master’s degrees are asked to answer a brief online survey about their plans for employment or for additional education. Students will receive an email with a link to the survey at the time of the final warrant request.
The doctoral exit surveys must be completed before submitting your dissertation electronically. Each individual survey will provide a certificate of completion once you have submitted the survey. The individual certificates of completion should each be saved as PDF documents to be uploaded in the administrative documents section of the ProQuest/UMI ETD Administrator website.
Directions for completing the doctoral surveys are in the Graduate School’s guidelines for completing your degree at: https://grad.wisc.edu/currentstudents/doctoralguide/.
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 faculty advisor must submit a completed UW-Madison Tuition Waiver Request Form, 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 graduate residence, degree, or coursework credit requirements and will not appeal on the student's UW-Madison transcript. Students receiving tuition remission are typically not eligible for the tuition waiver.
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 (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 at http://www.secfac.wisc.edu/faculty-legislation.htm or from the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty, 133 Bascom Hall.
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 graduate residence, degree, and coursework (50%) credit requirements.
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 coordinator, advisor, and the Graduate School’s Office of Admissions and Academic Services as early as possible in their planning process.
Please visit the Graduate School’s webpage on family and parent resources for additional information.
Fellowships are monetary awards that students use to pursue graduate studies. In general, fellowships require no work obligations on the part of the recipient.
Campus Fellowships: Merit-based campus and departmental fellowships are sometimes awarded to UW-Madison graduate students by their graduate programs. To inquire about eligibility and application procedures, students must contact their graduate program.
External Fellowships: Many federal agencies, professional organizations, and private foundations provide fellowships for students pursuing graduate studies. Students are encouraged to look for and apply for external fellowships, and to understand the unique terms and conditions of each fellowship for which they apply. The Graduate School supports a number of federal/private fellowships through the provision of tuition support and health insurance. If students are awarded one of these fellowships, they should contact the Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources at: email@example.com.
International Fellowships: 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 for international research should be directed to the International Fellowships Office at 328 Ingraham Hall, 608-265-4753.
For further information on fellowships, visit the funding information website for current graduate students at: http://grad.wisc.edu/studentfunding/currentstudents.
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.
Doctoral 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 the student and the program. The graduate program coordinator must submit the final doctoral warrant request to the Graduate School at least three weeks before the final 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, and the warrant submitted during the final review appointment. For details on this process, go to http://grad.wisc.edu/currentstudents/degree/.
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.
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. Find more information at: https://www.students.wisc.edu/doso/short-term-loans/.
For loan deferral information and more information regarding financial aid for graduate students, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid, 333 East Campus Mall, room 9701, 608-262-3060, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The university offers several programs in flexible formats that provide the convenience of online learning, courses offered in evening/weekend schedules, and/or accelerated learning that is designed to allow students to earn their credential in a condensed time frame. For a list of flexible graduate degree and certificate programs, and more information on flexible program definitions, visit the Advance Your Career Portal at: https://advanceyourcareer.wisc.edu/all-degrees-and-certificates/
Grade changes originate with the instructor of the course. The instructor submits a grade change through the MyUW Faculty Center. Instructions are available at: https://registrar.wisc.edu/grading_faqs.htm. If the change cannot be completed via the online system, the instructor submits a paper Grade Change Form, and the program chair signs and submits it to the Graduate School.
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 coursework 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.
The Graduate School requires that students maintain a graduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) for all courses (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 do not affect the GPA. Research courses graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis do not impact GPA. However, 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) or Incomplete (I) grade does not impact the GPA, but in a graded course this is a temporary grade, indicating the instructor has not yet submitted a final grade.
See Appendix 3 (Grading System), Appendix 4 (Grade-Point Average Calculation), Auditing Courses, Credit/No Credit, No Report (NR) Grades, Pass/Fail, Permanent Incomplete (PI) Grade, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Grades.
Students access their grades via the Grades and Courses module in the Student Center on MyUW, or by requesting a UW student record on the Student Center page. Grade reports can be printed using the Print Grade Report module in the Student Center after all grading has been completed for the term.
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.
Students should check with individual professors about grading scales for specific courses.
International equivalencies may be available in the Wisconsin Directory of International Institutions at http://grad.wisc.edu/admin/gradcoordinators/iadmiss/.
For courses listed as research, the only permissible final 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.
To convert UW-Madison Law School numerical grades to the Graduate School’s grading scale, the Graduate School uses the following scale:
Graduate/professional certificates are available to all degree-seeking graduate and professional students (GRAD, LAW, MED, PHARM, VMED careers). Graduate/professional certificate programs 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.
The Graduate Faculty Executive Committee (GFEC) exercises the powers of the graduate faculty with respect to establishing, reviewing and modifying graduate degree programs, named options, doctoral minors, graduate/professional certificates and capstone certificates. The GFEC is also responsible for setting standards for admission and degree requirements and engaging in strategic planning and graduate education policy discussions.
GFEC consists of sixteen elected members of the graduate faculty, the dean, and not more than four associate deans appointed by the dean. Further information regarding GFEC can be found on the Faculty Policies and Procedures website: https://www.secfac.wisc.edu/FPP_ch_3.htm#3.07.
To receive a master’s degree, students contact their program coordinator at the beginning of the term in which they intend to graduate. The program coordinator 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 credits (graded courses taken at 300 or above; 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 at: http://grad.wisc.edu/currentstudents/mastersproc
Doctoral candidates’ major programs should request a final doctoral warrant at least 3 weeks before the anticipated date of their final dissertation defense. Doctoral candidates must be enrolled during the term in which they intend to defend or graduate. For more information go to https://grad.wisc.edu/currentstudents/degree/.
The Graduate Faculty Executive Committee selects a subcommittee of five faculty from among its elected members to serve, together with the dean, as the academic planning council of the Graduate School. One of the elected members shall be chosen from each faculty division and the fifth elected member shall be chosen at-large. The dean may invite associate deans or others to attend meetings of the academic planning council as advisors. The academic planning council advises the dean on policy and budgetary planning and presents faculty views and opinions to the dean. It also has the responsibility of assisting the graduate faculty in understanding budget and policy decisions and constraints.
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.). All graduate programs, 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 students)
75 Bascom Hall
Office for Equity and Diversity (for discrimination or harassment issues)
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 School of Medicine and Public Health (for graduate students, faculty, and staff in the SMPH)
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 decisions)
217 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1380
Graduate School Appeal Process
If a student believes that his/her grievance was not appropriately handled or resolved at the program/department or school/college level or through consultation with other resources listed above, the student may file an appeal with the Graduate School.
If the student wishes to file an official appeal of a grievance decision, s/he should consult with the Graduate School’s Director of Academic Services and send the following information to the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services in 217 Bascom Hall (email@example.com):
- A detailed written statement on the events that resulted in the grievance and any efforts to resolve the matter prior to the appeal;
- Copies of any relevant communications regarding the events that resulted in the grievance; and
- Any determinations or actions taken by the program/department/School/College or other resource office on campus regarding the events that resulted in the grievance.
Upon receipt of all of the above materials:
- The Director of Academic Services will forward the formal grievance to an appropriate Associate Dean of the Graduate School for review.
- The student will be notified in writing, within 5 business days after the materials arrive in the Graduate School, acknowledging 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 the 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 student’s 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 convene a meeting with the Graduate School Leadership Team to vote on whether to uphold or reverse the decision of the program/department/School/College on the student’s initial grievance. If the student wishes, s/he may present his/her case at this meeting and faculty and/or staff affiliated with the program whose decision is being appealed may also present their case at this meeting, if they wish. Neither the student nor the non-Graduate School faculty and staff may be present when the Graduate School Leadership Team deliberates. The Associate Dean will attend this meeting.
- The Associate Dean will notify the student, the advisor and/or program/department chair, in writing, of the decision, with a copy to the Graduate School’s Office of Admissions and Academic Services within 45 business days of the submission of the appeal by the student.
Graduate School Final Appeal Process
If a student is not satisfied with the initial appeal to the Graduate School Associate Dean, s/he may make a final appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School within 30 calendar days of date of the above written decision. This process will proceed as follows:
- The student should send a request for a final appeal to the Associate Dean, asking s/he reopen the case. No new information may be submitted at this time.
- The Associate Dean will forward the complete file to the Dean of the Graduate School within 10 business days after receipt of the request to reopen the case.
- The Dean of the Graduate School will bring the appeal to the Graduate School Academic Planning Council (GSAPC) to review the appeal. The GSAPC is a Graduate Faculty Executive Committee (GFEC) subcommittee of five faculty from among its elected members, one from each division and the fifth member at large.
- The Dean of the Graduate School will issue an official charge and an appropriate time frame (30 days within the fall and spring semester; appeals received in the summer may take up to 60 days) for completing a review.
- The GSAPC will review the student’s final appeal, including all materials previously submitted, and will determine if additional information and/or a meeting with the student and/or program/department is needed.
- The GSAPC will report its recommendation at the next appropriate GSAPC meeting. GSAPC meetings occur six times during the fall and spring semesters. The Dean of the Graduate School may call additional GSAPC meetings if review of an appeal is necessary during the summer semester. The full GSAPC, excluding the Dean of the Graduate School and the Associate Dean(s) of the Graduate School, will vote on the appeal and advise the Dean of the Graduate School of its recommendation. The Dean of the Graduate School will then consider the GSAPC recommendation and all other pertinent material provided as part of the appeal. The final decision will be conveyed in writing by the Dean of the Graduate School to the student and the program, with a copy to the Academic Services Coordinator, within 20 business days after the GSAPC meeting.
- No further appeals will be considered by the Graduate School.
UW-Madison prohibits sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. These offenses violate UW-Madison policies and are subject to disciplinary action. Sanctions can range from reprimand to expulsion from UW-Madison. In many cases, these offenses also violate Wisconsin criminal law and could lead to arrest and criminal prosecution.
Students who experience sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking have many options and services available to them on and off campus, including mental health counseling, victim advocacy and access to the criminal and campus disciplinary systems. For a list a confidential support and reporting options, please visit: http://www.uhs.wisc.edu/assault/sa-resources.shtml.
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 at: 75 Bascom Hall, email firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-263-5700 and ask to speak to the Dean on Call, or fill out a Bias Incident Reporting Form.
Faculty, staff, teaching assistants, and others who work directly with students at UW-Madison are required by law to report first-hand knowledge or disclosures of sexual assault to university officials for statistical purposes. In addition, disclosures made to certain university employees, such as academic advisors or university administrators, may be forwarded to the campus Title IX coordinator for a response. Find more information at: https://www.students.wisc.edu/doso/reporting-allegations-of-sexual-assault-datingdomestic-violence-and-stalking/
Graduate students are expected to complete an online training titled “Preventing Sexual Violence at UW-Madison” through Learn@UW; http://learnuw.wisc.edu/.
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, a degree completion letter, 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 at my.wisc.edu. Students should direct questions to the originator of the hold.
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 undergraduate honors students.
If students are unable to complete coursework 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 coursework 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 coursework and receive a final grade in a timely fashion.
All Incomplete grades must be resolved before dissertator status or a degree is granted.
Unresolved Incomplete grades lapse to a grade of Permanent Incomplete (PI) after five years.
UW-Madison recommends all graduate students and postdoctoral researchers utilize Individual Development Plans to set academic and career goals and facilitate conversations with their mentor(s). Beginning October 1, 2014, all graduate students and postdoctoral researchers supported by NIH funding are required to have an IDP. Other funding agencies may have additional requirements related to the IDP.
IDPs are written plans that give mentees ownership and structure to assess their skills, interests, and values, define clear and actionable goals, explore career options, and facilitate conversations with their mentor(s). IDP forms vary greatly, although many are structured around core competencies or learning outcomes. The onus for writing, maintaining, and implementing the plan is on the mentee, and conversations with and feedback from the mentor(s) are essential.
The Graduate School will identify individuals who must complete an IDP and will notify them of tools and resources available. The Graduate School will offer graduate students, postdocs, and PIs tools to track IDP progress. The IDP tracking tool will log activity related to the IDP, but the actual contents of the IDP will not be captured by the tracking tool. The contents of the IDP are private to the mentee, who chooses which parts of the IDP to share with his or her selected mentor(s). Find the IDP template for graduate students and postdoc mentees, guidelines and other supporting resources for mentors and mentees, resources for PIs and grants administrators, including the IDP tracking tool at: http://www.grad.wisc.edu/pd/idp.
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 benefits coordinator.
Students who are currently enrolled as UW-Madison students and have paid segregated fees can also use the services of University Health Services. University Health Services is the health clinic on campus, open to any current UW-Madison student (excluding guest students). 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.
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 $100 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 file an automatic waiver on his/her behalf.
Additional information regarding SHIP (including enrollment and waiver policies) is available at: http://www.uhs.wisc.edu/ship.
All graduate students traveling abroad for study or research are encouraged to acquire insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International. Additional information is available at: http://www.bussvc.wisc.edu/risk_mgt/international%20health%20insurance.html.
All international students studying in the United States 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 visa regulations regarding international students. Upon arrival at UW-Madison, all international students attend a mandatory orientation from International Student Services (ISS) that educates new international students regarding 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. 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, continue from a master’s to a doctoral degree or are planning to complete a degree in the current term; if they or their dependent have a change of formal name or address; or if 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.
Certain visa regulations may allow students to be employed part-time. Students holding an F or J visa are permitted to engage in no more than 20 hours of compensated employment per week during the academic year. TA and PA appointments are restricted to no more than 50% for international students. RA, Fellowship and Traineeship appointments are not considered to be compensated employment for VISA purposes. (Note that the total of all appointments is restricted to 75% per Graduate School policy. Some colleges, schools, programs, or programs may have lower limits.) Any off campus employment should only be undertaken after consultation with International Student Services (ISS).
See Addition/Change of Program, Plan, or Named Option, Enrollment Requirements, Leave of Absence, Maximum Levels of Appointments, Project or Program Assistant (PA), Research Assistant (RA), Teaching Assistant (TA).
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 doctoral degree. Such degrees are relatively rare. Students should inquire with each program prior to enrollment to see if additional policies exist that would restrict the ability to complete a joint degree.
To apply for a joint degree a student must submit a proposal for the degree to the Graduate School along with an Add/Change/Discontinue Program Form. A student must be admitted to the second program. An appropriate Associate Dean of the Graduate School reviews all such proposals.
Students must submit the proposal before they complete the coursework 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 doctoral programs that require a minor) or double degrees curriculum (for master’s programs).
- Coursework 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 doctoral degree 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 graduate residence, degree, and coursework (50%) credit requirements.
- Be recommended for the degree by the faculty co-chairs/advisors from each program and the program director from each program, approval signatures required.
Once a joint degree proposal has been reviewed and approved, any and all changes must be submitted to the Graduate School for further review.
For further details about joint degrees, contact the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services.
See Appendix 5 (Degrees at a Glance), Double Degrees, Dual Degrees, Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement, Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement, Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement, Special Graduate Committee Degrees.
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.
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.
It is a student’s responsibility to be aware of the deadlines for enrollment each term. All session deadlines are adhered to as detailed in the key deadlines or the deadlines at a glance located on the left column of the Office of Registrar website found at: https://registrar.wisc.edu/.
Late Initial Enrollment: It is against university policy to participate in classes or hold an RA/TA/PA, fellowship, or traineeship, without being enrolled. 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. Late initial enrollment cannot be completed in MyUW, a Course Change Form must be submitted along with written approval from the students faculty advisor and department chair is required. Refer to the chart below for detailed steps to late initial enrollment.
After deadlines have passed, late course changes (add a class, change credit, change section, drop a class): May be requested via the Course Change Request in MyUW. Course Change Request instructions are found at: https://registrar.wisc.edu/course_change_request.htm, and a demo of the online Course Change Request is available at: https://registrar.wisc.edu/demos.htm. For all changes, the Course Change Request must be printed from MyUW and signatures obtained along with written approval from the students faculty advisor is required. Refer to the chart below for detailed steps to late course changes.
Late Drop: The electronic Course Change Request process via MyUW Student Center is not accessible for late drops. Students must complete the Graduate School Course Change Form along with written approval from the students faculty advisor. Refer to the chart below for detailed steps to late drops.
|How To:||Student's Process:|
|Late Initial Enrollment:|
|After the 2nd week of class (fall/spring terms, different deadlines apply for summer sessions):||
|Late Course Change (Add/Change Credit/Change Section):|
|After the 9th week of classes (fall/spring terms, different deadlines apply for summer sessions):||
|After the 9th week of classes (fall/spring terms, different deadlines apply for summer sessions):||
For more information about late enrollment, late course change or late drop, contact the Graduate School Office of Admissions and Academic Services Office, 217 Bascom Hall.
Students should notify their graduate program 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 Readmission to Graduate School. Any student who does not enroll for a fall or spring term is considered to be a reentry and must pay the Graduate School online application fee. Any student granted readmission must adhere to the most current requirements as listed in the Graduate School Academic Policies & Procedures. Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Doctoral degree students who have been absent for ten or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; however that coursework will not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.
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.
Dissertators: A candidate for a doctoral 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 considering a leave of absence 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), Program Assistantships (PA), or Research Assistantships (RA) should consult with their program, their PI and/or advisor. Students with Fellowships or Traineeships should contact their funding source.
A lecturer provides formal classroom or laboratory instruction in an academic discipline. 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 Office of Human Resources, 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 http://www.bussvc.wisc.edu/bursar/remis2.html.
Non-dissertator students are allowed to enroll for a maximum of 15 credits. The enrollment system counts all credits in determining maximum credit loads. Even though pass/fail courses, audit courses, and 100- or 200-level courses are considered undergraduate level credits, they are counted in total credit load.
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.
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, or programs may set lower limits, but in general require prior specific approvals if the appointment or some combination of appointments exceeds 75%. Program/Project Assistants may be employed 100% during summer term, semester breaks, and spring vacation. International students should refer to the section on International Students Maintaining Legal Status for additional appointment restrictions.
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 equal to the 100% RA annual rate and will be revised each year. Find more about the concurrent appointment policy for fellows/trainees at: http://grad.wisc.edu/studentfunding/fellows
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 at: http://www.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 Dean of the Graduate School 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 at: http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/polproced/UPPP/1103.htm.
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 at: http://www.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 graded credits in courses numbered 300 or above; summer sessions, 4 graded credits in courses numbered 300 or above.
- Dissertators: Fall, spring, or summer, 3 graded credits numbered 300 or above.
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.)
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.
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 Veteran Services & Military Assistance Center, 333 East Campus Mall, room 10301, 608-265-4628. Further details regarding the UW-Madison policy for enrolled student called to active U.S. Military Services can be found at: http://veterans.wisc.edu/active-policy.htm.
The minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement states that at least 50% of credits applied toward the program’s graduate degree credit requirement must be courses designed for graduate work (this includes but is not limited to online, thesis/research, independent study, and practicum/internship credits). Courses taken as a University Special student are not allowed to count toward the 50% graduate coursework minimum unless taken at the 700 level or above.
For students taking coursework through the fall 2015 term, the official university record which identifies programs documented “graduate level” coursework is each program’s Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress chart in the 2014-2016 Graduate School catalog. The official University documentation of “graduate level” coursework is identified with the graduate course attribute (G50%) in the University’s Course Guide and Class Search. More information regarding the course attribute can be found at: http://apir.wisc.edu/grad_attribute.htm.
Students should be aware that some programs may require more rigorous credit minimums than the Graduate School’s minimum. Students should visit their program’s Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress chart and contact their graduate program coordinator for program specific degree requirements.
The Graduate School’s minimum graduate degree credit requirement is a degree requirement instituted by the Graduate Faculty Executive Committee to ensure that a graduate degree meets institution accreditation standards (this includes but is not limited to online, thesis/research, independent study, and practicum internships credits).
Graduate Degree Credit Minimums
Master’s Degree: 30 credits
M.F.A. /Specialist Certificate: 42 credits
(may include master’s degree credits taken at UW-Madison)
Doctoral Degree: 51 credits
(may include master’s degree credits taken at UW-Madison and credits take while a dissertator)
The doctoral degree minimum graduate degree credit requirement may be achieved with credits earned before or after dissertator status. The credits applied towards a master’s degree, a doctoral minor, or taken as a dissertator shall count towards the related doctoral graduate degree credit requirement.
Students should be aware that some programs may require more rigorous credit requirements than the Graduate School’s minimum requirements. Students should contact their graduate program coordinator for further information.
The Graduate School’s minimum graduate residence credit requirement for graduation can be satisfied only with courses numbered 300 and above taken as a graduate student at UW-Madison (this includes but is not limited to online, thesis/research, independent study, practicum/internship credits).
Graduate Residence Credit Minimums:
Master’s degree: 16 credits
MFA/Specialist certificate: 24 credits
(may include Master’s degree credits taken at UW-Madison)
Doctoral degree: 32 credits
(must be completed prior to achieving dissertator status; may include master’s degree credits taken at UW-Madison)
In rare circumstances, courses taken as a University Special student maybe allowed to count toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement. These credits generally are not allowed to count toward the 50% graduate coursework minimum.
Credits applied to the minimum graduate residence credit requirement must be earned while enrolled as a graduate student at UW-Madison and can also count toward the minimum graduate degree credit requirement.
Students should be aware that some programs may require more rigorous credit requirements than the Graduate School’s minimum requirements. Students should contact their graduate program coordinator for further information.
See Dissertator Status, Grading System, Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement, Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement, Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement, Pass/Fail, Prior Coursework, Progress (P) Grades, Time Limits, Traveling Scholar Program.
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 http://mn.gov/portal/education/higher-education/.
Breadth is a required component of doctoral training at UW-Madison. 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 coursework 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 coursework;
- Coursework must be graded courses numbered 300 or above; no audits or pass/fail;
- Coursework may not be double counted for major requirements;
- 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 coursework completed more than 5 years prior to admission to the doctoral program; coursework taken 10 years ago or more may not be used.
A student cannot earn a doctoral minor and a Graduate/Professional certificate of the same name. Credits earned towards the minor may count towards the minimum graduate residence requirement, minimum graduate degree requirement, and the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement.
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, University of Wisconsin System (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: https://www.students.wisc.edu/doso/academic-integrity/ or from the Division of Student Life, 75 Bascom Hall 608-263-5700.
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: http://students.wisc.edu/doso/nonacadmisconduct-statement.html or from the Division of Student Life, 75 Bascom Hall, 608-263-5700.
A named option is a formally documented sub-major within an academic major program. Named options appear on the transcript with degree conferral. The Graduate Faculty Executive Committee must approve official named options. Many programs may also have unofficial specializations, concentrations, or tracks; unlike named options these do not appear on the transcript. Find more information at: https://kb.wisc.edu/vesta/page.php?id=24548.
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). The P grades will automatically revert to S grades upon assignment of the grade for the final semester of enrollment in the course. If the instructors had intended a different grade (S, U, or I), they would need to use the electronic grade change process.
Students are allowed to enroll for a maximum of 15 credits during fall and spring. Summer maximum enrollment is 12 credits. Credits included 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 1-2 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. Faculty advisors can request an overload exception for summer from the Graduate School Degree Coordinator.
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. 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 courses do not satisfy any Graduate School credit, coursework, or degree requirements, nor do they fulfill minimum or maximum credits required each term. Tuition is still charged for pass/fail course. For these reasons, very few graduate students choose pass/fail for courses numbered 300 or 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. A Credit Overload Request is required if a student's total credit load exceeds the maximum limit per term.
See Dean's Approval, Enrollment Requirements, Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement, Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement, Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement, Overloads, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Grades.
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 with an explanation or reason, 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.
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 completing all the major course requirements culminate in admission to candidacy for the doctoral 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.
A student’s program may decide to accept coursework completed outside of the student’s graduate career at UW–Madison when those courses are rigorous and meet the expectations of a graduate work for the degree. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree or coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
Satisfying Requirements with Prior Graduate Coursework from Other Institutions
A student’s program may decide to accept graduate coursework completed at another institution (earned post-baccalaureate) toward fulfillment of minimum degree, minimum graduate coursework, and minor credit requirements. This work will not appear on a UW–Madison transcript nor count towards the graduate career GPA. The Graduate School’s minimum graduate residence credit requirement can be satisfied only with courses taken as a graduate student at UW–Madison. The only exception is graduate-level coursework taken as a Big Ten Academic Alliance Traveling Scholar.
Satisfying Requirements with Coursework from Undergraduate Career at UW–Madison
For well-prepared advanced students, a student’s program may decide to accept up to seven credits numbered 300 or above of required or elective courses from the undergraduate work completed at UW–Madison towards fulfillment of minimum degree and minor credit requirements. However, this work would not be allowed to count toward the 50% graduate coursework minimum unless taken at the 700 level or above. This work will not appear on the graduate career portion of UW–Madison transcript nor count towards the graduate career GPA. The Graduate School’s minimum graduate residence credit requirement can be satisfied only with courses taken as a graduate student at UW–Madison.
Transfer from University Special Student Career at UW–Madison
After admission to a graduate program, the student’s program may decide to accept up to fifteen University Special student credits as fulfillment of the minimum graduate residence, graduate degree, or minor credit requirements on occasion as an exception (on a case-by-case basis). In all these cases, the student would have to pay the difference in tuition for the terms in question. Those credits earned in a University Special student semester still appear in the transcript history as “University Special” student, but the Registrar’s Office will add a statement in the beginning of the transcript “All credits taken in [term] as a University Special student have been accepted by the Graduate School toward a degree program” after the student has paid the difference in tuition. UW–Madison coursework taken as a University Special student would not be allowed to count toward the 50% graduate coursework minimum unless taken at the 700 level or above. This work will not appear on the graduate career portion of the UW–Madison transcript nor count towards the graduate career GPA.
|**Prior Graduate Coursework from Other Institution(s)||** Coursework from Undergraduate Career at UW–Madison (up to 7 credits total)||**Transfer from University Special Student Career at UW–Madison (up to 15 credits total)|
|Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement||No||No||*Allowed up to 15 credits numbered 300 or above|
|Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement||*Allowed||*Allowed up to 7 credits numbered 300 or above|
|Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement||*Allowed||*Allowed up to 7 credits numbered 700 or above||*Allowed up to 15 credits numbered 700 or above|
*Fulfillment of requirements is allowed in these instances only if approved by the student’s graduate program.
** Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree or coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
Programs may decide to count previous graduate work from another institute toward fulfillment of degree credit requirements; however, this work will not appear on a UW–Madison transcript, and it does not count toward the Graduate School’s minimum graduate residence credit or graduate coursework (50%) requirements.
Prior coursework can be used toward the minor requirement in accordance with the Prior Coursework policy chart.
The credits used towards a master’s degree and the prior coursework used toward it may also be applied to a related doctoral degree. However, if the prior coursework credit maximums were already reached for the master’s degree (seven UW–Madison undergraduate credits and/or fifteen University Special student credits), then no more prior coursework credits are permissible for the doctoral degree.
Students should be aware that some programs may require more rigorous credit requirements than the Graduate School’s minimum requirements. Students should contact their graduate program coordinator for further information.
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 courses numbered 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 are officially approved courses of study and research leading to a master's or doctoral degree. They may be administered from 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 Named Options or Subplans) at the master's and/or doctoral levels. Both programs and named options appear on the student's transcript. Some programs have unofficial tracks, specializations, or concentrations but these are not listed on the transcript. Contact the program's graduate coordinator for more information.
Students who would like to pursue an individual program different from approved programs should see Special Graduate Committee Degrees.
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.)
These titles designate graduate or professional students employed to assist with research, training, or other academic programs or projects. Contact the employing department directly for more information.
If graduate students do not continuously enroll during a fall or spring semester, they are required to apply for readmission to the Graduate School through the online application. The readmission process accomplishes two goals: (1) assures the Graduate School that graduate students are in good standing with their academic program; and (2) activates their enrollment eligibility. To apply for readmission, graduate students should also contact their program for further details of the readmission process at the program level.
A returning student who is completing another same level degree within five years must comply with double degree requirements, including the 25% overlap rule.
Any student being readmitted to a graduate program on must adhere to the requirements in the most current Academic Policies & Procedures.
Visit the Office of the Registrar's Deadlines at a Glance or the key deadlines chart located on the left column of the Office of Registrar website found at: https://registrar.wisc.edu/ for the enrollment, deadline and tuition refund schedules 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.
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.
Find more information about the university's policy on religious observances at http://www.secfac.wisc.edu/academic-calendar.htm.
Typically, 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 semester basis. Repeated courses may earn course credit and satisfy the Graduate School's minimum graduate residence, degree, and coursework (50%) credit requirements. Sometimes program authorization is necessary for enrollment. See the Schedule of Classes for instructions at: http://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 Graduate School's minimum graduate residence, degree, and coursework (50%) credit requirements.
See Appendix 4 (Grade-Point Average Calculation), Failure, Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement, Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement, Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement, Satisfactory Progress.
A Research Assistant (RA) must be a graduate student working toward a master's or doctoral degree. Research Assistants are UW–Madison graduate students who are given stipends to support their own education and training. RAs should not be given work assignments unrelated to their own educational pursuits-graduate assistants with significant duties unrelated to their own course of study should be appointed as a PA rather than an RA.
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 semester or year they hold their assistantship. If appointed students have not received such a letter, they should contact their payrolling office.
Note that the RA appointment percentage is merely a mechanism for setting the stipend amount, and does not correlate to any particular requirement for hours of work. However, to account for the potential that RAs may occasionally perform duties that are not directly related to their course of student, the university has deemed an RA appointment to entail 5 hours of compensated employment per week. In no event may an RA be asked to perform more than 5 hours per week of work unrelated to their course of study, regardless of percentage of RA appointment. Find more information at: https://www.ohr.wisc.edu/polproced/UTG/StuAsstApptT.html.
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 non-residence 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.
Find more information about residence for tuition purposes, and the full text of the applicable statute at: http://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.
The various areas of responsible conduct of research and associated policies are described below. A comprehensive document regarding Research Policy & Compliance at the Graduate School can be found in the Research Checklist maintained by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Education at: https://kb.wisc.edu/gsadminkb/page.php?id=33364.
Animal Care and Use in Research
UW–Madison has federal compliance responsibilities that pertain to the use of live, vertebrate animals in research, teaching and outreach activities. This includes but is not limited to traditional basic and applied research models, instruction of students, and public events. Oversight and evaluation of the humane and ethical use of animals is performed by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs). The Research Animal Resource Center (RARC) provides support to the IACUCs and training to animal users necessary to provide the highest quality care and compliance for the university's research animals. Learn more about the rules and regulations governing the care and use of research animals, how to prepare and submit animal care and use protocols to IACUCs, and how to obtain veterinary and pathology services at https://www.rarc.wisc.edu/. Training and protocol approval are required before one can begin research projects involving animals.
Authors of a research publication are usually those who provide meaningful intellectual contribution to a project in one or more of the following ways: concept, design, supervision, resources, materials, data collection and processing, analysis or interpretation, literature search and writing. Many academic journals may list very specific requirements for authorship. All authors have rights and responsibilities thus any person listed as an author should be knowledgeable and aware of such. Unless the contributions of the co-authors are listed, each author takes full responsibility for the contents of the work. When asked to serve as a publication reviewer, students should treat this material as confidential. For further information see Authorship, Publication, and Peer Review at http://kb.wisc.edu/gsadminkb/page.php?id=33364 .
Conflict of Interest
The Conflict of Interest (COI) staff and committee reviews reports of outside activities and financial interests to comply with federal, state, and University regulations and policies. This faculty committee also works with faculty and staff to eliminate, minimize, or manage any actual or potential financial conflicts of interest identified by the reporting process. For further information see the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Research Policy and Compliance - Conflict of Interest and Outside Activities Reporting at http://research.wisc.edu/respolcomp/coioar/.
Human Research Protections
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 the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Research Policy & Compliance: Human Research Protection Program at http://research.wisc.edu/respolcomp/hrpp/.
Intellectual Property Rights
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. Forms for reporting inventions can be found online at http://WARF.org.
Misconduct of Research
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 and cases of research misconduct. Graduate students are held to the same standards of responsible conduct of research as faculty and staff. At UW–Madison, misconduct in scholarly research is defined as fabrication (making up data), falsification (changing or misreporting data), plagiarism (representing work of others as your own), or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scholarly community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research (Faculty Policy II-314). The Graduate School is responsible for investigating allegations of research misconduct. This is often done in consultation 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 Vice Chancellor for Research Policy, 333 Bascom Hall, 608-262-1044.
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) for the work leading to an invention, or used any other university funding, supplies, equipment, or university premises, in the work leading to an invention, 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 at http://kb.wisc.edu/gsadminkb/page.php?id=32996, produced by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.
Research Regulatory Compliance
If students' research involves human subjects (including data sets, surveys, human blood, or other body materials), live animals, recombinant DNA, infectious agents, stem cells, or biological toxins, they should consult the research ethics information at http://research.wisc.edu/respolcomp/resethics/.
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 at http://www.fpm.wisc.edu/biosafety.
The UW–Madison Chemical Safety Office, working in conjunction with the campus Chemical Safety Committee, establishes policies and procedures for the safe acquisition, use, storage and disposal of chemicals on campus.
The Chemical Safety Office also advises campus chemical users on best practices and helps the university community comply with federal, state, and local chemical and environmental safety laws. See the Office of Chemical Safety website at http://www.ehs.wisc.edu/chemsafety.htm for additional information.
The UW–Madison Office of Radiation Safety is a division of the Department of Environment, Health & Safety. They provide instruction for how to order materials, Laser Safety, radioactive waste disposal guidelines, removing radioactive waste from the lab, packing waste for pickup, and instructions for shipment of radioactive material. Radiation Safety provides a full training manual for radiation workers as well as dosimeter badges for lab workers. See the Office of Radiation Safety website at http://www.ehs.wisc.edu/radsafety.htm for additional information.
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 graduate 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 may however satisfy the Graduate School's minimum graduate residence, degree, and coursework (50%) credit requirements as well as the minor course credit 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 satisfy any Graduate School’s minimum 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.
See Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement, Incompletes, Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement, Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement, Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement, Pass/Fail, Probation, Progress (P) Grades.
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, https://grad.wisc.edu/catalog/index.htm, includes the Graduate School's minimum degree requirements and satisfactory progress chart, as well as each program's minimum degree requirements and satisfactory progress chart.
The Graduate School requires that students maintain a minimum graduate GPA of 3.00 in any course taken as a graduate student (excluding research, audit, credit/no credit, and pass/fail courses), 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.
The Schedule of Classes is available online at: http://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 Office of the Registrar's web page at http://registrar.wisc.edu.
Always consult the Schedule of Classes at https://registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes_students.htm for deadlines and procedures for section changes. Section changes include: changes in Lectures, Discussions, Labs and Instructors' course numbers for research or independent study courses for which students are already enrolled. See https://grad.wisc.edu/acadpolicy/#coursechanges 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 Office of Admissions and Academic Services. 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.
Most UW–Madison students are assessed segregated fees in addition to tuition. Students with tuition remissions are required to pay theese fees. 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: http://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.
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 coursework.
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 must be submitted by the end of the first year of graduate work. Master's proposals must be submitted after the equivalent of the first full-time semester of graduate 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 specific requirements of the dissertation or thesis (language, equipment, etc.).
- The nature and scope of preliminary examinations for the doctoral 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 proposal.
- 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.
Students can earn a Specialist Certificate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis or a Specialist Certificate in Library and Information Studies. The Specialist Certificate represents work beyond the master's level. In addition to program requirements, the Graduate School requires that the student must meet all Graduate School minimum degree and satisfactory progress requirements as listed in the Graduate School's Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress chart in the Graduate School Catalog. Find more information at: https://grad.wisc.edu/catalog/degreq_criteria.htm
For additional information, contact the programs that offer the Specialist Certificates.
See Enrollment Requirements, Graduate/Professional Certificates, Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement, Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement, Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement, Prior Coursework, Time Limits.
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 graduate program, the Graduate School, and International Academic Programs (IAP).
Students intending to study abroad through a UW-Madison approved study abroad program can learn more about their options through International Academic Programs, 106 Red Gym, 608-265-6329.
Graduate students who are interested in conducting research abroad can register for IAP’s UW Graduate Research, which allows students to stay continuously registered as UW-Madison students, receive research credit with their faculty advisor, international health insurance, and 24/7 emergency assistance through IAP. This is an individualized experience and is not tied to a specific study abroad program. Students will need to have a high degree of independence in arranging housing and logistics for themselves.
All graduate students traveling abroad are encouraged to acquire insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International. Additional information is available at: http://www.bussvc.wisc.edu/risk_mgt/international%20health%20insurance.html .
Payroll taxes are assessed in identical circumstances for stipends provided to RAs, PAs, and TAs (i.e., income taxes are withheld, but FICA tax is not as long as the student is enrolled in at least a half time course of study). Trainee and fellow stipends are also taxable; however, tuition, fees, and books may be deducted before students calculate their tax liability. Find more information at: https://www.ohr.wisc.edu/polproced/UTG/StuAsstApptT.html
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. For information about Federal Insurance Contributions (FICA) tax exemption, see https://www.wisconsin.edu/financial-administration/financial-administrative-policies-procedures/gapp-numeric-index/g18a-student-fica-exemptions/.
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 Appendix 2 (Payroll Benefits), Enrollment Requirements, International Students Maintaining Legal Status, Maximum Levels of Appointments, Teaching Assistant (TA) Orientation and Training, Tuition Remission.
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. Find more information about the ITA Training Program at: http://www.english.wisc.edu/esl/itatraining-main.htm.
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 https://grad.wisc.edu/currentstudents/mastersthesis.
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, http://bussvc.wisc.edu/bursar/thirdpsp.html.
Graduate degrees are awarded, in part, for completion of current coursework. Students who break enrollment from their graduate program may risk losing all credits earned prior to their absence.
Master’s degree: students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence.
Doctoral degree: students who have been absent for ten or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence.
Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; however that coursework will not count toward Graduate School credit requirements. Although the program may count the coursework students did before their absence towards the program requirements, the Graduate School does not count that work toward the Graduate School's minimum graduate residence, degree, and coursework (50%) credit requirements.
A candidate for a doctoral 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 Degree Coordinator. 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.
See Effective Dates, Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement, Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement, Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement, Preliminary Examinations, Readmission to Graduate School.
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.
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: http://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 at: http://registrar.wisc.edu/student_record.htm.
The Graduate School does not transfer credits. A student's program may decide to accept coursework completed outside of the students graduate career at UW–Madison when those courses are rigorous and meet the expectations of a graduate work for the degree. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree or coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy Graduate School minimum credit requirements. See the Satisfying Requirements with Prior Graduate Coursework from Other Institution(s) section of the Prior Coursework policy.
The Big Ten Academic Alliance 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 Big Ten Academic Alliance university to take advantage of educational opportunities (specialized courses, unique library collections, unusual laboratories) at any other Big Ten Academic Alliance 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 toward the Graduate School's minimum graduate residence, degree, and coursework credit requirements. Terms may not exceed two semesters or three quarters regardless of the number of courses taken.
Students should contact the Graduate School Degree Coordinator for an application or more information. Find a list of eligible universities or more information at: https://www.btaa.org/home.
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 web site, students must first set them up as Authorized Payers. Detailed Authorized Payer information and FAQs are available at http://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: http://bussvc.wisc.edu/bursar/tuitpay.html. For tuition account questions or more information, contact the Bursar's Office at: firstname.lastname@example.org (include the student name/ID in the email), or by phone: 608-262-3611.
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 Tuition Assessment Section 608-262-4031 or email@example.com. Find class drop deadlines, cost adjustments, tuition refund schedules plus other tuition and fees information at: http://www.registrar.wisc.edu.
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;
- 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 Appendix 2 (Payroll Benefits), Enrollment Requirements, Fellowships, Lecturers, Minnesota/Wisconsin Reciprocity, Project or Program Assistant (PA), Research Assistant (RA), Segregated Fees, Teaching Assistant (TA), Traineeships, Withdrawal.
Students enrolled as University Special students are considered non-degree candidates and pay tuition and fees at the designated special student rate. Students may not be simultaneously enrolled as a graduate student and as a University Special student.
Before beginning a graduate program, an international student may choose to study full-time English as a University 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 University Special student to graduate student.
A program may count University Special student credits toward program course requirements. In rare circumstances, the program may appeal to the Graduate School to apply University Special student credits towards the Graduate School's minimum graduate residence, degree, and coursework (50%) credit requirements, provided the work was not done to prove admissibility to the Graduate School. Graduate level work done as a University Special student prior to enrolling in the Graduate School will not be included in the calculation of the graduate Grade Point Average. See the full details of transferring credits from University Special student career at UW–Madison in the Prior Coursework section.
If a program verifies that a student needs the University Special student credits to meet the Graduate School's minimum graduate residence, degree, and coursework (50%) credit requirements in alignment with the Prior Coursework policy, the faculty advisor and graduate program chair should submit an appeal to the Graduate School Degree Coordinator during the student’s final semester. The appeal should indicate for which term(s) they are seeking conversion and detail the reasoning for such conversion. For those students applying credits that were not part of a capstone certificate program or a Visiting International Student Program (VISP) student, the University Special student term conversion on the transcript does not occur until the appeal has been approved by the Graduate School and payment of the difference in tuition is paid; costs are based on the whole term (not specific courses/credits). The payment cost is the difference between the University Special and graduate tuition rates for the historical term to be converted, not the current term.
See Prior Coursework.
Some didactic courses are offered to both undergraduate and graduate students. Typically undergraduate students enroll for a higher amount of total 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 at: http://registrar.wisc.edu/schedule_of_classes.htm, to determine the appropriate credits when enrolling for a variable credit course.
A warrant is a program's recommendation that a student be admitted to doctoral candidacy (a preliminary examination warrant) or be granted a degree (master's or doctoral), and is the Graduate School's notification that a student has met both the Graduate School and the program requirements. Warrants are requested electronically by the Graduate Program Coordinator and must be returned to the Graduate School with faculty signatures upon completion of the degree requirements.
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 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. For more information see Canceling Your Enrollment-Withdrawals on the Office of the Registrar's website at https://registrar.wisc.edu/canceling_your_enrollment_withdrawal_info.htm.
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 at http://registrar.wisc.edu.
Failure to withdraw properly and promptly can be expensive. Before withdrawing, students should consult the Schedule of Classes at http://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.