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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.

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 3.00.

5.                  Satisfy thesis, seminar paper, terminal/ graduate projects, or comprehensive examination, where applicable. A thesis or seminar paper approved by the committee and dean must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval at least two weeks before commencement.

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 capstone experience.)



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 Graduate Studies,      124 Mitchell Hall.



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.

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.



During the first semester of graduate study, graduate students should consult resources for their respective master’s degree program regarding requirements for thesis, or other culminating graduate projects, including seminar papers and terminal projects. Students enrolled in the School of Education and school psychology program should consult the Guide for Preparation of Terminal Projects for Master’s Degree. Students in Health Education, Exercise and Sport Science, and Recreation graduate programs should consult the Guide for the Preparation of Theses, Seminar Papers, and Other Culminating Graduate Projects. These publications are available for purchase from the University Bookstore or on reserve in Murphy Library. Students in the graduate program in biology should consult the publication Graduate Student Guidelines: Department of Biology, Department of Microbiology, available from the graduate program director. Physical Therapy students should use the Graduate Project and Thesis Guide: Physical Therapy which is available in the department office.


An oral presentation open to all faculty and the public is required of all students completing theses and other culminating graduate projects. During the academic year, students must publish a notice of their oral presentation in the Campus Connection at least one week in advance.


The deadline for the final submission of all college-approved theses and other culminating graduate projects (including seminar papers and terminal projects) to the Office of Graduate Studies is two weeks before the graduation date of the fall and spring semesters and one week before the graduation date for the summer session; specific deadline dates are listed in the semester timetable book, published by the Office of Records and Registration. Graduate students should consult their published college or departmental guidelines regarding format and style of their final manuscripts and other college and departmental submission deadlines and requirements. Information about binding theses, seminar papers, and other culminating graduate projects is available from the Office of Graduate Studies, 124 Mitchell Hall. Two hard bound copies of all master’s theses are placed in the permanent collection of Murphy Library.


Students who have completed all degree requirements in an approved program of study, except the thesis, seminar paper or other approved capstone graduate project, must maintain continuous semester-to-semester enrollment in GRC 799 until the culminating experience is completed and has received final approval. (See Continuous Registration Policy below.)


All research involving human subjects must be approved by the Institutional Review Board in compliance with Federal regulations. (See below.)


Some graduate programs require a written comprehensive examination. Graduate programs offering comprehensive examinations have written guidelines available to students describing scheduling and evaluation procedures; these guidelines are available from the respective graduate program director. These written guidelines also specify procedures students should follow if they fail part or all of their comprehensive examination.



The Graduate Council has approved a continuous registration policy for students completing a thesis, seminar paper, or other culminating graduate projects. The purpose of this policy is to provide continued access to university faculty, facilities, and the library.


Once having completed all degree requirements in an approved program of study except the thesis, seminar paper or the other culminating graduate projects, students must maintain continuous semester-to-semester enrollment (excluding

summer session) by registering each semester for GRC 799 for zero credits and paying a special course fee of $100 until the thesis, seminar paper, or culminating project is completed and receives final university approval. (This policy pertains to students entering the university beginning in the summer of 1995.)



The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has an Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects to comply with federal regulations and to reflect the University’s commitment to its responsibility to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects involved in research. All research conducted at UW-L, or under the direction of faculty, staff, students, or agent of the University, must follow federal guidelines, whether or not the study is externally funded. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in the loss of federal funds for the entire institution, as well as the individual investigator.


The IRB must review all research that involves human subjects. The IRB is a university-wide committee composed of faculty and community representatives. Each academic department has a committee that reviews research protocols before submission to the university-level IRB. Students should contact their graduate program director or department chair to learn more about required department IRB review before  submission to the university-level IRB.


In order to assist student researchers and the IRB with the review process, the Office of Grants and Contracts provides staff assistance. All protocols for review of research involving human subjects are directed to the IRB from that office. A manual titled, “Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects: A Researcher’s Guide for Submission of Protocols” must be used for preparation of all IRB materials. For assistance with IRB matters or questions about research involving human subjects, contact the Office of Grants and Contracts (608)785-8488, or visit provost/grants/ irbguide.html. The Office of University Graduate Studies (608)785-8155, can also assist with IRB and human subjects research questions.



Graduate Student Achievement Awards— As many as four Graduate Student Achievement Awards (one each for the College of Liberal Studies, College of Science and Allied Health, College of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Teacher Education, and College of Business Administration) will be awarded annually and presented at the August graduation ceremony for graduate students. Criteria for the award include evidence of scholarly accomplishment beyond the completion of course work for the degree, including:  demonstration of excellence in completing thesis, seminar paper, or other culminating project, superior performance on comprehensive examinations, demonstration of excellence in academic or professional internship or practicum, involvement in research and other scholarly pursuits, and demonstration of leadership in the graduate program.


Outstanding Thesis Awards — May be awarded annually and presented at the August graduation ceremony for graduate students. One student may be selected from each of the three colleges offering a master’s degree with a thesis option (College of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Teacher Education, College of Liberal Studies, and College of Science and Allied Health). Criteria for the award are:  originality and importance of the thesis topic; quality of written expression; quality of research methods, including analysis of data and interpretation of results; and contribution to the discipline or professional field.



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 Graduate Studies at least two weeks prior to commencement.


The December commencement is a joint undergraduate and graduate ceremony; the May and August ceremonies are for master’s graduates only.


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 is also calculated for undergraduate students only.

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Last Modified: 10/29/00 9:02 AM Copyright 2000 by the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse and the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All Rights Reserved.