Graduate Studies

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Most, but not all, graduate programs at UW-La Crosse require some kind of culminating experience of their students.  It might be a thesis or a graduate project or an internship/preceptorship or a comprehensive examination.  Each department has unique requirements for these culminating experiences, but there also are several university-wide standards.  Four important requirements that students need to know about are:

Thesis Guidelines

All theses follow the same basic format.  A student's thesis must be approved by the university's thesis copy editor before it receives final authorization by the director of graduate studies.  Click here for complete directions as to the proper format of the thesis.

Important Thesis Forms and Boiler Plates Part of formatting is proper cover page, proper signature page, etc.  Also final approval of a thesis requires various routing forms (e.g., thesis presentation notice, binding form). Thesis form boiler plate documents are available in Adobe PDF and Word.

Final Steps to Completing Thesis (e.g., binding)
Once a student has all necessary signatures on his or her signature page, there still remain a few small tasks to complete.  Please view the Final Tasks webpage for the comprehensive list.

*Some students who complete a graduate project also want to place their work in the library.  This is optional, but if students want their projects in the library, they  must follow the same university-wide guidelines as a thesis.

Compliance with Proper Research Procedures


Depending upon the kind of a research students undertake, they may have to follow certain procedures and/or take certain training BEFORE beginning their research.  The three most common are Human Subjects Research Procedures/IRB (for any research directly involving human subjects), Responsible Conduct of Research (for all students who receive a grant to conduct their research), and Institutional Animal Care and Use (for students working directly with animals).  The following sites will be useful for achieving compliance:

Human Subjects Research Procedures/IRB

Human Subject (IRB) Deadlines and Committee Meeting Dates

Responsible Conduct of Research

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

There also are other less common policies procedures that may impact certain studies.  For a complete list, go to the Research and Sponsored Programs Compliance and Policy website.

Thesis and Research Awards

There are a pair of research awards for which graduate students are eligible.  They are the Rosandich Graduate Thesis Award and the UWL Graduate Student Academic Achievement Award.

Nominations due in the Office of University Graduate Studies on the last Friday of February     The Graduate Council seeks nominations for its Rosandich Graduate Thesis Award. Graduate Students who have completed their thesis in the preceding calendar year are eligible to be nominated. Nominations should come from a faculty member familiar with the students' work; self nominations by the students are discouraged.  The award goes to the best graduate theses based upon the originality, impact, and written quality of the work as demonstrated in the thesis and the nomination letter.  Go to the Rosandich Graduate Thesis Award website for  more details.

Nominations due in College Dean’s Office on the last Friday in February                                     Five Graduate Student Academic Achievement Awards (two each for the College of Liberal Studies and the College of Science and Health, and one for the College of Business Administration) may be awarded annually. The award goes to students who demonstrate exceptional scholarly accomplishment.  Scholarly accomplishment for this award is broadly defined to include research, service, professional development, and/or leadership in the graduate program.  Go to the Graduate Student Academic Achievement Awards website for more details.

GRC Continuous Enrollment

GRC policy involves continuous registration.  This is required registration by graduate students who have signed up for all required courses in previous semesters, but haven’t completed their degree requirements.  This usually involves additional work still to be done on a thesis, graduate project, or comprehensive exam.  The complete explanation of the GRC policy is available in the GRC section of the Graduate Catalog