All Graduate Students must utilize the Graduate Student Portal (MyGradPortal in MyUW) to add, change, or discontinue any major/named option, doctoral minor, or graduate/professional certificate.
Below is information on accessing and using the Graduate Student Portal
The Graduate Portal is an online resource for students and graduate coordinators. Students use the Portal to complete academic actions such as adding or changing their major, discovering professional development opportunities, and submitting payment for the completion of their doctoral degrees. Graduate Coordinators request degree warrants (master’s, preliminary exams, and doctoral) through the Portal. Students should spend time becoming familiar with the Portal and it’s features.
Accessing MyUW and the Graduate Student Portal:
- Go to wisc.edu and open your MyUW in the top red banner. Then click on MyUW Home.
- Enter your NetID login information.
- Click on the tile “Graduate Student Portal” If you do not see the tile, you can search for it in the top search bar and add it to your page.
Initiating a request in the Portal:
- Once in your Portal page, select the tile on the home page titled “Add/Change Programs.”
- In the “Enrolled Programs” section, you will have options to add a Graduate/Professional certificate, doctoral minor (PhD students only), or major. You also have the option to discontinue a program in which you are already enrolled.
Choosing an action button will display an associated window, which will show fields appropriate for the type of request.
Double, Joint, and Dual Degrees Comparison
- 2 degrees, 2 diplomas
- 2 graduate majors
- 2 advisors, 2 committees
- 2 theses or dissertations
- Minimum Graduate School requirements for each degree
- 2 prelims (PhD)
- 2 warrant requests, 2 warrants
- List of courses used for each major must be submitted to GS when requesting warrants.
- No more than 25% overlap (of the total credits for the program with lowest credit requirement).
- 1 degree, 1 diploma
- 2 graduate majors
- 2 advisors, 1 committee
- 1 thesis or dissertation
- Joint prelim, if both major programs agree, or 2 prelims (PhD)
- 1 warrant request, 1 warrant
- Must submit proposal to GS before beginning of second year. Need signatures of both advisors and both program directors, and Graduate School approval.
- One graduate degree and one professional degree (i.e. a degree from the School of Medicine and Public Health or the Law school).
Schools and Colleges, Graduate Degrees
University of Wisconsin–Madison Schools and Colleges
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Wisconsin School of Business
School of Education
College of Engineering
School of Human Ecology
College of Letters and Science
School of Medicine and Public Health
School of Nursing
Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
School of Pharmacy
School of Veterinary Medicine
Degrees Granted by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Graduate School
Master of Accountancy (MAcc)
Master of Arts (MA)
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Master of Engineering (MEng)
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Master of French Studies (MFS)
Master of International Public Affairs (MIPA)
Master of Music (MM)
Master of Public Affairs (MPA)
Master of Science (MS)
Master of Social Work (MSW)
Doctor of Audiology (AuD)
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
For a list of programs and degrees offered by each department, see UW–Madison Graduate Academic Programs. Also see the current Graduate Guide.
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. See Other Professional Degrees.
Transfer of Graduate Work from Other Institutions policy
Under the Prior Coursework policy, a student’s program may decide to accept graduate 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. Students should contact their program when inquiring about or attempting to transfer graduate work from other institutions. 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.
See Dean’s Approval, Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement, Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement, Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement, Prior Coursework
Specialist Certificates policy
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 Guide.
For additional information, contact the programs that offer the Specialist Certificates.
See Enrollment Requirements, Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement, Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement, Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement, Prior Coursework, Time Limits
Special Graduate Committee Degrees policy
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 4 members (including 3 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.
See Committees (Doctoral/Master’s)
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 doctoral minor (two options as described below), Graduate/Professional certificate, or other means up to the specific graduate program. The specific Breadth Requirement Policy, including information on certificates, is found here: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1200
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.
See Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement, Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement, Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement, Prior Coursework
Dual Degrees: Graduate and Professional Combination policy
A dual degree is two degrees, one of which is granted in a graduate program, and the other in a professional school (e.g., MD, JD, DVM, DPharm, MPH). Students must 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 on the Bursar’s Office Tuition and Fees webpage.
See Addition/Change of Program, Plan, or Named Option, Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement, Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement, Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement, Appendix 5 – Double, Joint, and Dual Degrees at a Glance
Double Degrees policy
Double degrees are two same-level (master’s or doctoral) degrees from two separate graduate programs. Students completing a double degree earn two degrees (two programs), and receive 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 must 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 before adding a second degree program.
See Addition/Change of Program, Plan, or Named Option, Change of Degree Level (Plan), International Students Maintaining Legal Status, Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement, Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement, Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement, Appendix 5 – Double, Joint, and Dual Degrees at a Glance
Capstone Certificates policy
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. Further information about capstone certificates can be found on the Professional Degrees & Certificates website.
See Graduate/Professional Certificates, Specialist Certificates