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Degrees, Minors, Certificates

The UW–Madison Graduate School confers the Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Accountancy, Master of Business Administration, Master of Music, Master of Engineering, Master of French Studies, Master of International Public Affairs, Master of Music, Master of Public Affairs, Master of Social Work, Master of Fine Arts, Doctor of Audiology, Doctor of Musical Arts, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Occupational Therapy, and Doctor of Philosophy. Additionally, several programs that do not award graduate degrees may offer doctoral minors, specialist certificates, graduate/professional certificates, or capstone certificates.

The master's degree is conferred only upon completion of a coherent and focused program of advanced study. 

The master of fine arts degree offers superior students advanced training and opportunities for creativity. The program is for the prospective professional artist and teacher in the fine arts at the college level and emphasizes creative work.

The doctor of philosophy, the doctor of nursing practice, the doctor of audiology, the doctor of occupational therapy, and the doctor of musical arts are the highest degrees conferred at UW–Madison. None are conferred solely as a result of any prescribed period of study, no matter how faithfully pursued. The Ph.D. degree is a research degree and is granted on evidence of general proficiency, distinctive attainment in a special field, and particularly on ability for independent investigation as demonstrated in a dissertation presenting original research or creative scholarship with a high degree of literary skill. The DMA degree is granted on evidence of a high degree of competence in performance, conducting, or composition. The DNP, OTD, and Au.D. degrees are clinical doctorates granted on evidence of clinical knowledge and expertise in their respective disciplinary areas.

The Ph.D., DNP, Au.D.,, OTD and DMA degree programs must be rationally unified, with courses that must contribute to an organized program of study and research. Courses must be selected from groups embracing one principal subject of concentration called the major (see Degrees), and if required, from one or more related fields called the doctoral minor. The major field is normally coextensive with the work of a single department or with one of the subjects under which certain programs have been formally arranged. A major may be permitted to extend beyond the above limits with the prior approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. The doctoral minor is designed to represent a coherent body of work, taken as a graduate student, and should not be simply an after-the-fact ratification of a number of courses taken outside the major department.

Graduate School minimum credits and other requirements necessary to earn these degrees are listed in the Graduate School Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress section; each program may set degree requirements and expectations more rigorous than the Graduate School.

Schools and Colleges

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Wisconsin School of Business
Division of Continuing Studies
School of Education
College of Engineering
Gaylord Nelson for Environmental Studies
Graduate School
School of Human Ecology
Law School
College of Letters & Science
School of Medicine and Public Health
School of Nursing
School of Pharmacy
School of Veterinary Medicine


Graduate degrees offered at UW–Madison. 


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African Languages and Literature—M.A., Ph.D.
Afro-American Studies—M.A.
Agricultural and Applied Economics—M.A., M.S., Ph.D.
Agronomy—M.S., Ph.D.
Animal Sciences—M.S., Ph.D.
Anthropology—M.A., M.S., Ph.D.
Art—M.A., MFA
Art Education—M.A.
Art History—M.A., Ph.D.
Astronomy—M.S., Ph.D.
Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences—M.S., Ph.D.

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Biochemistry—M.S., Ph.D.
Biological Systems Engineering—M.S., Ph.D.
Biomedical Data Science—M.S.
Biomedical Engineering—M.S., M.Eng., Ph.D.
Biophysics—M.S., Ph.D.
Botany—M.S., Ph.D.
Business: Accounting—M.Acc.
Business: Arts Administration—M.A., MBA
Business: Finance, Investment and Banking—MBA, M.S.
Business: General Management—MBA, M.S.
Business: Management and Human Resources—MBA, M.S.
Business: Marketing—MBA, M.S.
Business: Operations and Technology Management—MBA, M.S.
Business: Real Estate and Urban Land Economics—MBA, M.S.
Business: Risk Management and Insurance—MBA, M.S.
Business: Supply Chain Management—MBA, M.S.

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Cancer Biology—M.S., Ph.D.
Cartography and Geographic Information Systems—M.S.
Cellular and Molecular Biology—M.S., Ph.D.
Cellular and Molecular Pathology—M.S., Ph.D.
Chemical Engineering—M.S./M.Eng., Ph.D.
Chemistry—M.S., Ph.D.
Chinese—M.A., Ph.D.
Civil and Environmental Engineering—M.S., M.Eng., Ph.D.
Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies—M.A., Ph.D.
Clinical Investigation—M.S., Ph.D.
Clinical Nutrition—M.S.
Communication Arts—M.A., Ph.D.
Communication Sciences and Disorders—M.S., Ph.D.
Comparative Biomedical Sciences—M.S., Ph.D.
Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies—M.A., Ph.D.
Computer Sciences—M.S., Ph.D.
Counseling Psychology—Ph.D.
Creative Writing—MFA
Curriculum and Instruction—M.S., Ph.D.

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Dairy Science—M.S., Ph.D.

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Economics—M.S., Ph.D.
Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis—M.S.,Ph.D.
Educational Policy Studies—M.A., Ph.D.
Educational Psychology—M.S., Ph.D.
Electrical Engineering—M.S., M.Eng., Ph.D.
Endocrinology–Reproductive Physiology—M.S., Ph.D.
Engineering Mechanics—M.S./M.Eng., Ph.D.
English—M.A., Ph.D.
Entomology—M.S., Ph.D.
Environment and Resources—M.S., Ph.D.
Environmental Chemistry and Technology—M.S., Ph.D.
Environmental Conservation—M.S.
Epidemiology—M.S., Ph.D.

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Food Science—M.S., Ph.D.
Forestry—M.S., Ph.D.
French—M.A., Ph.D.
French Studies—MFS
Freshwater and Marine Sciences—M.S., Ph.D.

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Gender and Women's Studies—M.A.
Genetics—M.S., Ph.D.
Geography—M.S., Ph.D.
Geological Engineering—M.S., M.Eng., Ph.D.
Geoscience—M.S., Ph.D.
German—M.A., Ph.D.

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Hebrew and Semitic Studies—M.A., Ph.D.
History—M.A., Ph.D.
History of Science, Medicine and Technology—M.A., Ph.D.
Horticulture—M.S., Ph.D.
Human Ecology—MFA, M.S., Ph.D.

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Industrial Engineering—M.S., M.Eng., Ph.D.
Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies—M.A., Ph.D.
International Public Affairs—MIPA
Italian—M.A., Ph.D.

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Japanese—M.A., Ph.D.
Journalism and Mass Communication—M.A.

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Kinesiology—M.S., Ph.D.

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Landscape Architecture—M.A., M.S.
Languages and Cultures of Asia—M.A., Ph.D.
Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies—M.A.
Library and Information Studies—M.A., Ph.D.
Life Sciences Communication—M.S.
Linguistics—M.A., Ph.D.

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Manufacturing Systems Engineering—M.S., M.Eng.
Mass Communications—Ph.D.
Materials Science and Engineering—M.S., M.Eng., Ph.D.
Mathematics—M.A., Ph.D.
Mechanical Engineering—M.S., M.Eng., Ph.D.
Medical Microbiology and Immunology—M.S.
Medical Physics—M.S., Ph.D.
Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology—M.S., Ph.D.
Molecular and Environmental Toxicology—M.S., Ph.D.
Music—M.A., Ph.D.
Music: Education—M.M.
Music: Performance—M.M., DMA

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Neuroscience—M.S., Ph.D.
Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics—M.S., M.Eng., Ph.D.
Nursing—M.S., Ph.D.
Nursing Practice—DNP
Nutritional Sciences—M.S., Ph.D.

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Occupational Therapy—M.S., OTD

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Pharmaceutical Sciences—M.S., Ph.D.
Philosophy—M.A., Ph.D.
Physics—M.A., M.S., Ph.D.
Physiology—M.S., Ph.D.
Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics—M.S., Ph.D.
Plant Pathology—M.S., Ph.D.
Political Science—M.A., Ph.D.
Population Health—M.S., Ph.D.
Portuguese—M.A., Ph.D.
Psychology—M.A., M.S., Ph.D.
Public Affairs—MPA

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Rehabilitation Psychology—M.S., Ph.D.
Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies—M.A.

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Scandinavian Studies—M.A., Ph.D.
Second Language Acquisition—Ph.D.
Slavic Languages and Literatures—M.A., Ph.D.
Social and Administrative Sciences in Pharmacy—M.S., Ph.D.
Social Welfare—Ph.D.
Social Work—MSW
Sociology—M.S., Ph.D.
Soil Science—M.S., Ph.D.
Southeast Asian Studies—M.A.
Spanish—M.A., Ph.D.
Special Education—M.S., Ph.D.
Special Graduate Committee—M.A., MFA, M.S., Ph.D.
Statistics—M.S., Ph.D.

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Theatre and Drama—MFA

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Urban and Regional Planning—M.S., Ph.D.

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Water Resources Management—M.S.
Wildlife Ecology—M.S., Ph.D.

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Zoology—M.A., M.S., Ph.D.

Distance or Flexible Programs

The university offers several degree and capstone certificate programs that are fully or partially available at a distance or that are flexible to working schedules with evening and/or weekend courses. To learn more about the graduate-level degrees and certificates offered in flexible and online formats, visit the Wisconsin Advance Your Career portal.

Doctoral Minors

Breadth is an important and required component of doctoral training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Doctoral minor options are as follows:

  • Option A (external): Requires a minimum of 9 credits in a minor program (single disciplinary or multidisciplinary). Fulfillment of this option requires the approval of the minor program.
  • Option B (distributed): Requires a minimum of 9 credits in one or more programs forming a coherent topic, and can include course work in the program. Fulfillment of this option requires approval of the major program. See Minors in the Graduate School Academic Policies and Procedures for minimum course requirements for the minor.

Almost all available graduate programs offer an equivalent option A minor. See the official list of graduate degrees, above, to review individual catalog entries to confirm counterpart doctoral minor offerings within existing graduate programs. The following is a list of additional doctoral minors distinct from the existing list of graduate programs: 

African Studies
Air Resources Management
Business, Environment and Social Responsibility
Chican@ and Latin@ Studies
Culture, History and Environment
East Asian Studies
English Linguistics
Folklore Studies
Global Studies
History of Medicine
Human Development and Family Studies
International Education
Prevention and Intervention Science
Print Culture History
Qualitative Research Methodology in Education
Religious Studies
Science and Technology Studies
Transdisciplinary Study of Visual Cultures

Graduate/Professional Certificates

The university offers several programs of study that may not grant graduate degrees but coordinate teaching and research among scholars active in interrelated disciplines. Graduate/professional certificates are available to degree-seeking graduate and professional students (GRAD, LAW, MED, PHARM, VMED "careers"). There is no formal admission to graduate/professional certificate programs. Programs offering the following certificates monitor all course and satisfactory progress requirements.

African Studies
Business, Environment and Social Responsibility
Clinical and Community Outcomes Research
Consumer Health Advocacy
Culture, History and Environment
Energy Analysis and Policy
European Studies
Fundamentals of Clinical Research
Gender and Women's Studies
Global Health
Material Culture Studies
Nurse Educator
Patient Safety
Prevention and Intervention Science
Public Humanities
Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies
Southeast Asian Studies
Strategic Innovation: Technology, Organizations, and Society
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Transdisciplinary Study of Visual Cultures
Transportation Management and Policy

Specialist Certificates

The Specialist Certificate represents work beyond the master's level. For more information, contact the program.

Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (Specialist)
Library and Information Studies (Specialist)


Capstone Certificates

The university offers capstone certificates for students not currently enrolled in a UW–Madison degree program. Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree equivalent credential from an accredited college or university.  Students seek a capstone certificate to "cap off" their undergraduate training; or are professionals returning to school for specialized training in the area of the certificate. Capstone programs do not result in the conferral of a graduate degree.

Programs offering capstone certificates monitor all curricular and satisfactory progress requirements. Applicants are admitted as Special students through the Division of Continuing Studies. For more information see Capstone Certificates on Wisconsin Advance Your Career portal.

UW–Madison offers the following capstone certificate programs:

Actuarial Science
Bioinformatics—admissions suspended effective fall 2016
Clinical and Community Outcomes Research
Clinical Nurse Specialist—Adult/Gerontology
Clinical Nutrition
Clinical Nutrition—Dietetic Internship
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Computer Sciences for Professionals
Consumer Health Advocacy
Foundations of Professional Development
French Studies—admissions suspended effective summer 2016
Fundamentals of Clinical Research
Geodesign—admissions suspended effective summer 2016
Geographic Information Systems
Global Health
Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health
International Politics and Practice
Leadership for Population Health Improvement
Nurse Educator
Post-Graduate Psychiatric Nursing
Power Conversion and Control
User Experience Design

Other Professional Degrees

UW–Madison offers a number of post-baccalaureate professional degrees that are not administered by the Graduate School, but instead are solely supported by their home school. These degrees include:

Doctor of Juridical Science—SJD
Doctor of Law—J.D.
Doctor of Medicine—M.D.
Doctor of Physical Therapy—DPT
Doctor of Pharmacy—Pharm.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine—DVM
Master of Genetic Counseling—MGC
Master of Laws—LLM
Master of Laws–Legal Institutions—LLM
Master of Physician Assistant Studies—P.A.
Master of Public Health—MPH