Academic Information (Graduate)

In addition to the graduate school academic requirements and policies, it is the prerogative of each graduate degree program to impose more stringent requirements. A graduate student is responsible for meeting all degree requirements in effect at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater during the term for which the student is admitted into the current degree program unless the student’s attendance at UW-Whitewater is interrupted by an absence of four or more consecutive academic sessions (including summers), in which case upon reentry, the student will be subject to the requirements in effect at that time.

General graduate school academic requirements and policies (contained in this section) may be changed by the actions of the Graduate Council. Each graduate student is responsible for adhering to all current graduate school policies. Students are apprised of updated graduate policies through the schedule of classes. Information about changes in general graduate school policies is also available at http://www.uww.edu/gradstudies/ or contact the School of Graduate Studies Office.

Degree Completion Time Limit

Students have seven years in which to complete their degree program. The seven years are measured from the beginning of the term for which they are admitted at UW-Whitewater.  In the case of students transferring courses into their UW-Whitewater degree program, the seven years begins in the term of the first course to be included in the degree. These include courses completed as a non-candidate for degree student or in a prior graduate program.

International students are afforded the same amount of time, however, they need to comply with visa requirements while they are residing in the United States. Specifically, for those on F-1 and  J-1 student visas, this means maintaining a full course load (generally nine credits) per academic semester.

Based upon good cause, students may request an extension of this time limit. Such requests should be made in writing, should include the reasons for which the request is being made, and should be directed to the student’s degree program coordinator. Requests for extensions not exceeding two additional years will be considered and acted upon by the faculty of the degree program or the degree program coordinator. Requests for extensions beyond two additional years will be considered, with the recommendation of the program coordinator, by the School of Graduate Studies. Requests for extensions beyond those additional two years will be considered only in cases of extreme and unavoidable hardship; such requests must also be acted upon by the Committee on Exceptions to Graduate Policy, and must carry the endorsement of the degree program coordinator. All student requests for extensions are reported by degree program coordinators to the Graduate Studies Office on the appropriate form.

Credit Restrictions

Undergraduate courses, including those taken to make up deficiencies in background or in supervised teaching, will not be counted toward the number of graduate units required for a degree. Undergraduate courses may not be used to satisfy master’s degree requirements, and graduate courses may not be used to satisfy undergraduate requirements at UW-Whitewater.

The minimum required overall grade point average for graduation will be 3.00. No course in the major or emphasis or any other required course in which a grade of below C (2.00) has been earned may be applied toward the completion of any degree. However, some programs may require higher standards.

During a semester, students may register for at most 15 units, while those on probation should not take more than 12 units. Graduate assistants must be registered for at least nine graduate units, but no more than 12 units each semester. During the 12-week summer session, students are limited to a total of 12 units. Courses taken on an audit basis are subject to the above limits.

A student may not carry more than three units of individual studies in a single term. Not more than four units in individual studies, not more than six units of special studies, and not more than a combined total of 9 units of individual studies, workshops, and special studies may be applied toward the completion of a degree. Departments retain the prerogative of allowing fewer than nine of these types of units to apply toward their respective graduate degrees.

Course Repeats

Graduate students are allowed to repeat at most two courses in their degree programs. Courses may be repeated only once. When a course is repeated, the original course and grade remain on the transcript; however, the last grade and units earned replace the originals and are the only ones used in computing the grade point average in the degree and emphasis. Students who have been dropped from a degree program may not use the course repeat process to gain readmission into that degree program.

Course Retakes

A course taken for undergraduate credit may not later be changed to graduate credit. Courses taken for undergraduate credit may not be retaken for graduate credit. Although, exceptions may be granted by the student’s degree program coordinator when the field of knowledge has changed to the degree that the course content has changed substantially from the first time the student took the course to the present. Graduate courses may not be retaken unless indicated otherwise in the Graduate Catalog.

Course Currency Policy

Graduate courses that have not been offered for the four calendar years immediately preceding the issuance of a new catalog are dropped from the list of approved courses. The term “offered” is defined as

  1. a course wherein there has been actual enrollment and wherein instruction has occurred (in cross-listed courses, enrollment in any version will meet this criterion for all versions) or
  2. a course which during the semester immediately preceding catalog issuance has been scheduled for registration.

Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Graduate Council.

Special Courses

These courses are available on a selected basis through most of the academic departments. The course descriptions are common to all departments. However, the prerequisites and the number of units permitted in certain programs may differ. Note the limitation of units for degree/programs identified in the Catalog.

690 Workshop
Group activity oriented presentations emphasizing “hands on” and participatory instructional techniques. Workshops have as their primary goal the imparting of either a specialized knowledge base regarding an instructional strategy or method or a specific skill. Presentations which are more broadly-based in content or intensive study and/or research procedures are not to be offered under a workshop number or title.

691 Travel Study
A planned and directed group excursion involving extensive academically-focused travel, usually conducted in a foreign country.

694 Seminar
Group Activity. An advanced course of study in a defined subject matter area emphasizing small groups in intense study with a faculty member.

696 Special Studies
Group activity. Not offered regularly in the curriculum but which is offered on topics selected on the basis of timeliness, need and interest, and generally in the format of regularly scheduled bulletin offerings.

790 Workshop
Group activity oriented presentations emphasizing “hands on” and participatory instructional techniques. Workshops have as their primary goal the imparting of either a specialized knowledge base regarding an instructional strategy or method or a specific skill. Presentations which are more broadly based in content or intensive study and/or research procedures are not to be offered under a workshop number or title.

793 Practicum
Individual activity. Provides planned practical experience in a prescribed area with an agency and under the supervision and cooperative direction of faculty and agency person.

794 Seminar
Group activity. An advanced course of study in a defined subject matter area emphasizing small groups in intense study with a faculty member.

796 Special Studies
Group activity. Not offered regularly in the curriculum but which is offered on topics selected on the basis of timeliness, need and interest, and generally in the format of regularly scheduled bulletin offerings.

798 Individual Studies
Individual activity focusing on areas of special interest for a variable number of credits under the sponsorship of an interested faculty member involving minimal external guidance.

799 Thesis Research
Guided investigation of an approved thesis topic. Students may receive credit for research activities planned in conjunction with their advisers and leading to the completion of a master’s degree.

Applying Coursework from a Previously Earned Graduate Degree toward Additional Graduate Degrees

Students desiring to earn an additional graduate degree can request up to 12 credits of graduate coursework from a previously earned graduate degree to be applied toward additional graduate degree requirements.  Individual programs may accept fewer credits. 

Graduate students are responsible for meeting the terms and conditions of the School of Graduate Studies and the individual program requirements. Unusual circumstances may give rise to request specific exceptions to policy, provide grounds for filing a grievance, or provide a basis for appealing a grade. Each scenario has its own procedure.

Exceptions to Graduate Policy

In cases where exception to graduate school policies or other regulations seems justified, a student should follow this procedure:

  1. Request for specific exception to graduate school policy is presented by the student in writing to the graduate program coordinator of his/her program. This request should include clearly stated reasons that may justify an exception and should be submitted to the program at least 30 days before the term for which the request would be effective.
  2. The graduate program (or academic department) will forward the student’s request and the program’s recommendation regarding the request to the School of Graduate Studies.
  3. The School of Graduate Studies will convene the Committee on Exceptions to Graduate Policy for consideration of the request. (The Committee is made up of one graduate faculty representative from each of the four colleges and one graduate student representative.) Students will be notified of the Committee’s decision within one week.
  4. Actions by the Committee on Exceptions to Graduate Policy are binding. Decisions may be appealed to the Provost, in writing, within thirty days of the student being notified of actions/decisions. However, the Provost isn’t authorized to overturn a decision made by the Committee. The Provost can only request the Committee reconsider the decision.

Requests for exceptions involving college or department policies, procedures, or other academic matters, including those that supersede graduate school policy, will be resolved by the appropriate unit within the college. Such appeals are initiated by students through their advisers. Since NCFD students are not assigned an adviser, they may appeal directly to the college or department where the problem occurred. In either case, appropriate appeal procedures will then be followed as established by the individual college or department within the college.

Grade Appeals

At the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater it is expected that instructors will evaluate students regularly and consistently by criteria and guidelines presented to students at the beginning of each grading period. If a student has reason to believe the grade is incorrect, the student may act on that by taking the following steps in chronological order. A complaint which is timely and filed under any other student complaint procedure and then referred for processing under these procedures, shall be considered to have met the deadline for filing as a grade appeal. The process for filing a grade appeal is the same at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and begins with an informal process, before moving to a formal process.

Informal Process

  1. Consult the instructor whose grade is being appealed. This consultation must take place within 7 calendar days of start of classes after the grading period in question.
  2. If the student/instructor conference is unsatisfactory or if the instructor is unwilling or unable to participate, within 7 calendar days the student may schedule a conference with the chair of the department in which the course was offered.
  3. After hearing the student's appeal, the chair will attempt to resolve the problem within 7 calendar days.
  4. If this resolution is unsatisfactory, the student may then, within 7 calendar days after receiving the chairperson's response, submit a written appeal to the department's Grade Appeals Committee through the chairperson. This will initiate the Formal Appeal Process.

Formal Process

  1. The appeal must be in writing and signed by the student.
  2. The Department Grade Appeals Committee will (i) convene to examine the appeal, the response and render its conclusion in writing to the chair, student and instructor, within 14 calendar days of receipt of the appeal. (ii) While the Grade Appeals Committee cannot require the instructor to change a student's grade, the Committee can recommend such a change to the instructor and to the Interim Associate Provost in the School of Graduate Studies.
  3. Should the student wish to appeal beyond the department, the student may submit the Committee findings and the basis for the further appeal to the Interim Associate Provost in the School of Graduate Studies, within 3 calendar days of presentation of Committee findings. The Interim Associate Provost will review the student's appeal and the findings of the Committee, and recommend appropriate action to the department and the instructor within 14 days of receipt of the appeal.
  4. If this action is unsatisfactory to the student, a final appeal may be made to the Provost who will determine whether a change in grade is to be made within 14 days of receipt of the appeal. The Provost is the only individual authorized to change a student grade without the instructor's permission. However, the Provost may change a grade only when the faculty department committee and the Interim Associate Provost support such a change.

Graduate student satisfaction with their educational experience remains a preeminent concern of the Office of Graduate Studies. Students who have questions, concerns or grievances about non-policy related issues are encouraged to contact the Office of Graduate Studies 262-472-1006