Requirements for Master's Degree




After being admitted to the program of one’s choice, candidates for the master’s degree must:

  1. Complete any preliminary course work and deficiencies.
  2. Complete all courses and other program requirements, including residence requirements prescribed for the degree desired in the respective school or college within a seven-year period from the date of initial enrollment.
  3. Earn at least one-half of the minimum number of credits required in your program in graduate-only level courses (non-slash courses.)
  4. Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
  5. Satisfy thesis, seminar paper, terminal/graduate projects, or comprehensive examination, where applicable. A thesis approved by the committee must be submitted to the director of university graduate studies for approval at least two weeks before commencement. Ordinarily, a seminar paper or project report does not have to be approved by the director of university graduate studies. However, if the seminar paper or project report is to be archived in Murphy Library, the student must follow the same rules as they apply to the thesis requiring approval from the director of university graduate studies. For semester guidelines, see
  6. File a completed application for graduation with the assistant to the dean of your college at least eight weeks prior to the end of the semester or summer session in which you intend to graduate.
  7. Pay the graduation fee and remove all other indebtedness to the university. (Payment of graduation fees does not imply readiness for graduation and does not take the place of applying for graduation.)
  8. Complete all requirements within 30 days after the official ending date of a term in order for a degree to be awarded for that term. (See [5] for separate deadline for written capstone experience.)

Time Limitation for Program/Degree Completion

All credits accepted toward a degree, including transfer credit, must have been earned within a seven-year period prior to the actual date of graduation. No time extensions beyond the seven years will be granted except for unusual health conditions, fulfillment of military obligations or such other extenuating circumstances as the Graduate Council may recognize. The seven-year period may include grades earned in no more than seven summer sessions and fourteen semesters from the date of initial enrollment. If additional time is needed for the completion of the master’s degree program in which you are currently enrolled, you must file a request for a time extension with the director of university graduate studies, 145 Graff Main Hall.

Second Master's Degree

A graduate of a UW-L master’s degree program may earn a second UW-L master’s degree by meeting the following conditions:

  1. Submit a new application for admission with the application fee.
  2. Become accepted into the degree program by the appropriate college and program.
  3. Complete program requirements. A maximum of nine semester credits of course requirements of the second UW-L master’s degree may be fulfilled by course work completed for a previous UW-L master’s degree. Individual programs may have a more restrictive policy on transferring credits from a previously earned master’s degree. Program directors and deans approve credits that apply from program to program.
  4. All general requirements for the master’s degree apply to the second master’s degree. Students must complete the terminal project for the second master’s degree required by the program. All requirements must be completed within seven years, including credits accepted from a previous master’s degree.

Students who received a master’s degree from another institution must meet the above requirements. The graduate transfer policy will be used to determine credit to be awarded for previous course work from another institution.

Conferring of Degree

Commencement Policy

Participation in commencement and hooding exercises signifies that course work and all other degree requirements have been satisfied. Students who have not completed all degree requirements, but have a compelling reason to participate in commencement exercises, may request permission to do so. Permission must be obtained from their college dean’s office and the director of university graduate studies at least two weeks prior to commencement. Commencement ceremonies occur each year in December and May.

Graduation Fee

Current graduation fees for graduate students are listed in the semester timetable book. Students are billed for the graduation fee upon completion of 20 credits toward the master’s degree. This is a one-time fee assessed regardless of whether or not a student chooses to attend the commencement ceremony. There is an additional charge for the keepsake cap and gown for those attending the ceremony.

Mailing Diplomas

Diplomas are mailed approximately six weeks after the ending date of the semester to the current legal address on the university computer system unless the Records and Registration Office has been notified differently in writing. All indebtedness to the university must be cleared before a diploma is released.

Commencement/Graduation Honors

Considering the high academic achievement of graduate students and the required 3.00 cumulative grade point average upon graduation, commencement and graduation honors are not calculated for graduate students. Honor cords are worn only by undergraduate students at commencement; and honors are not noted on the graduate permanent record. The semester dean’s list also is calculated for undergraduate students only.

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