Frequently Asked Questions
Both prospective and current graduate students should feel free to ask either their departmental program directors or the university graduate director any questions that they might have, but below are responses to some of the more common questions.
If I apply for admission, will I also be considered for an assistantship?
Not automatically. While many graduate programs on campus do have assistantships, admission to a program and consideration for an assistantship are two distinct applications. Go directly to a Department's website to see whether it has assistantships and, if so, how and when to apply.
Do I need to take the GRE to apply to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse?
The application process at UWL is very program specific. In other words, each program has its own admission requirements. Some programs require the GRE exam (e.g., Physical Therapy); other programs do not. The Masters of Business Administration requires the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test). To know the exact requirements for application, you need to go the website of the exact program that you are considering?
I have applied for graduate assistantships at several schools, and the offers (or rejections) come at different times. If I receive an assistantship offer from UWL, how long do I have to decide whether to accept?
UWL abides by an informal agreement with many other schools that April 15 is the final day of acceptance. Any student who does not accept an assistantship offer by April 15 risks the chance of having the offer withdrawn, so the assistantship can be given to another student. Of course, if UWL is your first choice and you know that you will accept an assistantship, let your department know as soon as possible.
Does UW-La Crosse have graduate student housing?
We do not have on-campus graduate student housing. The Office of Residence Life does have a website to help students find apartments off campus.
If I am in good standing, may I drop out of masters program for a semester or two and then return to UWL?
Not necessarily. This is a department by department decision. Leaving in good standing does not mean that you automatically have a spot waiting for you. This is especially true if programs admit students as cohorts. To return to a program after taking time away, you do not have to go through the readmission process as if you are a new student, but you need the support of your department. Also be aware that the seven-year limit for a graduate degree continues even if you are not actively enrolled. If for example, you started a masters program Fall 2008, your seven-year clock expires Summer 2015 regardless of how you spent those seven years.
Do I need to register for GRC 799 in the summer?
If you have registered for all required coursework, but have not completed your thesis, graduate project, or comprehensive examination, you need to register for GRC 799 (continuous registration) for two consecutive terms. The terms can be summer, fall, or spring. Summer term is treated exactly the same as fall or spring - so if you need to register for two terms of GRC 799, summer might be one of them. GRC 799 is a bit complicated, so students concerned with GRC 799 should read the catalog content at GRC Secton of the Graduate Catalog. The cost of GRC 799 is the same as the cost of one in-state graduate credit.
How long does it take to get a masters degree?
There is no single answer to this question. It varies by program and by individual student. A few programs can take as little as one calendar year. Others take two or three years. Some students take longer because they are going part-time, because they take a break, or because their research takes a long time. Students have a maximum of seven years to complete a degree.
I started a masters degree at another school. May I transfer my credits to UWL?
This is a more complicated question than it may seem, so students should go the Transfer Policy in the UWL Graduate Catalog for a complete explanation. Generally students can transfer a maximum of nine credits from another institution.
If I submit my thesis to the Office of Graduate Studies before the end of finals, can I still graduate that semester?
No, complete your thesis and make your final defense well before the end of the semester. Submitting your thesis to the Office of Graduate Studies is not a formality. It first goes to the copy editor, who almost always finds errors in the formatting. Depending on how quickly a student gets his/her corrected thesis back to the copy editor AND how many times the manuscript goes back and forth between the student and the copy editor, this review may take quite a while. Only after the copy editor approves the manuscript does the Director of Graduate Studies review and sign off on the thesis.