General Requirements for All On-Campus Master's Degrees

Academic Requirements

The following are the minimum requirements for all master's degrees offered on campus. Individual programs may have additional requirements. Requirements for online graduate programs are identified in Section II of this catalog.

Admission to Candidacy

Admission to candidacy is required of graduate students in the following degree seeking programs:

  1. Counseling Psychology
  2. Master of Science in Education

Before graduate students are admitted to candidacy, their graduate advisor must approve a program check to verify that the initial credits toward a master’s degree have been successfully completed. An approved program planning form is developed at this time to allow the student to complete a master’s degree. To be admitted to candidacy, the following must occur:

At this time, the student and advisor complete an approved program planning form.

Policy on Candidacy

Graduate students who have earned at least nine graduate credits must begin the candidacy process and must have a departmental candidacy decision no later than the end of the next semester or session. For example, if a student successfully completes nine graduate credits in the fall semester, that student must begin candidacy procedures and have the candidacy process completed no later than the end of the spring semester. Students who are not enrolled in the semester following the completion of nine graduate credits must comply with the candidacy process before re-enrolling.

Candidacy Process

The School of Graduate Studies sends an admission to candidacy form to the advisor. The completed and signed admission to candidacy form, along with the approved program planning form (signed by the advisor), must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies no later than 4:00 p.m. of the last day of the semester or session. The School of Graduate Studies notifies students that the admission of candidacy has been posted to their graduate record. The Graduate Council and the advisor are notified also.

Writing Requirement Options

Students must satisfy the writing requirement of their degree program as determined by individual programs subject to approval by the Graduate Council. Examples of experiences which may meet this requirement include: thesis, seminar paper, educational project, performance, and exhibition. Students should consult with individual program advisors for guidelines for meeting program requirements. All programs must follow a common set of procedures for approval and submission.

A more detailed discussion of three of these options follows.


The thesis may be an outgrowth of a research course (e.g. TEACHING 7000 Research Procedures) or may be developed independently within the program area. The thesis will report the results of original and independent student research on a given problem or topic, by systematic and impartial methods, and will demonstrate the student's ability to use techniques customarily employed in the particular field of investigation. Although a thesis for the master's degree may not always be expected to make a significant contribution to existing knowledge, it should be a scholarly document that is accurate, verifiable, objective, and impartial.

There is a website with useful links to guide the graduate student in grammar, style, evaluating web resources, and formats. (Thesis students will find the Texas A and M link useful for formatting procedures and other technical assistance.) The thesis advisor will provide guidance regarding the site. The site may be accessed through the University's Karrmann Library.

Checklist for Completion of the Master's Thesis

Seminar Paper or Educational Project

Unlike a thesis, the seminar paper or educational project need not be a report of original and independent research. It must demonstrate, however, the student's ability to survey a field of knowledge and assemble, organize, evaluate, interpret, and present evidence in a logical and intelligent manner. Although the seminar paper or educational project may originate from work done in connection with one of the student's graduate courses and be based upon a term paper or course project, it must be more comprehensive and complete in coverage and treatment.

There is a website with useful links to guide the graduate student in grammar, style, evaluating web resources, and formats. The seminar paper or educational project advisor will provide guidance regarding the site. The site may be accessed through the University's Karrmann Library.

Checklist for Completion of the Master's Seminar Paper/Educational Project

Proprietary Information in Theses and Seminar Papers

While the expectation is that each thesis or seminar paper will be published in entirety, it is occasionally necessary to include proprietary or other sensitive information that cannot be released to the general public. Upon approval by the program coordinator and graduate dean, publication may be delayed and/or sensitive material may be removed from the public document. Removal may take the form of placing material in an unpublished appendix, substituting sample data for actual data, and similar techniques. Sections may be redacted only if there is no practical alternative. All such changes must be clearly marked in the document.

When the work includes sensitive material, its nature and handling must be discussed in the project proposal. Significant changes will require resubmitting the proposal. Where thesis committee members are required to sign a nondisclosure agreement, the agreement must include a waiver for prior knowledge.

Graduate Paper Style and Format

The thesis, seminar paper or educational project should follow one of three adopted manuals:

Additional Credits

In lieu of writing a paper, some programs permit the student to take an additional six credits of course work. The student's advisor and the department must approve selection of this option.

Grade Point Average

Graduate students must maintain a 3.00 grade point average.


While each graduate program is free to determine the specific nature of its examinations, it is the expectation of the Graduate Council that examinations qualifying students for the award of a master's degree shall be of a comprehensive, integrative nature demonstrating mastery of the subject.

Each student in an on-campus master’s degree is required to successfully complete either a written comprehensive examination during the last semester of enrollment or an oral examination defending his or her thesis. The oral examination is held after the student’s completed thesis has been approved by the thesis committee. During the last semester, the student must complete a comprehensive examination form, which is available online at the School of Graduate Studies website The completed and approved form is due in the School of Graduate Studies Office by October 1st for fall semesters, March 1st for spring semesters, and by the end of the first week of a summer session. Graduate students may not take a comprehensive examination until they have been admitted to candidacy, are in full standing, and have finished all course requirements or are currently registered for course work that will complete the requirements.

Written Comprehensive Examinations

The written comprehensive examination must be taken during the last semester of course work needed for the degree. Students who wish to take the written comprehensive examination a semester early or a semester late must contact their advisors and obtain permission to do so. The advisor should forward the permission memo to the School of Graduate Studies stating when the comprehensive examination will be taken and the reason that the comprehensive examination will be taken early or late. The written comprehensive examination committee, which is approved by the advisor, shall prepare the examination questions.

Students must complete the written comprehensive examination form and receive approval from their advisor. The advisor will chair the comprehensive examination committee. If the advisor also provides comprehensive examination questions, only one additional faculty member will need to provide questions. If the advisor does not provide comprehensive examination questions, but only chairs the committee, the student will need two additional faculty members to provide comprehensive examination questions.

Students must contact faculty members before submitting their names to be sure they are willing to provide comprehensive examination questions. The advisors for those students in the Computer Science program will also set up the examination date and note it on the comprehensive examination form. Students in the Counseling Psychology and Master of Science in Education programs write their comprehensive examination on the same day in the presence of a proctor.

Once the comprehensive examination form is completed and approved by the advisor, it should be returned to the School of Graduate Studies. The original form will be kept in the School of Graduate Studies Office and a copy will be sent to the proctor (for Counseling Psychology and Master of Science in Education programs students only). It is the proctor's duty to notify the student when and where the examination will be held.

Evaluation of Written Comprehensive Examinations

Each faculty member who submitted questions will provide an evaluation of the student’s answers to the proctor/advisor. The proctor/ advisor shall collect the examination and forward the results and recommendations to the dean of the School of Graduate Studies or the director of the School of Education (for education programs) within one week following the examination date. In cases where the written performance is doubtful, the advisor may assemble the committee in an effort to decide upon the outcome of the comprehensive examination. Students will be notified of the results of their comprehensive examination either by the School of Education or the School of Graduate Studies Office.

Oral Examinations

Oral examinations are required of all students who choose the option of writing a thesis. In consultation with their thesis advisors, students shall arrange an examination date. The thesis committee shall conduct the oral examination, with the thesis advisor serving as chair.

Evaluation of Oral Examinations

The oral examination will be a defense of the student’s thesis. The thesis advisor will submit the committee’s evaluation, in writing, to the School of Graduate Studies. The dean of the School of Graduate Studies shall inform students of their performances.

Retaking Examinations

Students who are unsuccessful in their oral or written comprehensive may retake the examination after one semester. Students will not be allowed to take comprehensive examinations a third time without recommendations from their advisors, their major departments, and approval of the Graduate Council.

Applying Credits Earned in One Graduate Program Toward Another Graduate Degree

Credits from other University of Wisconsin-Platteville graduate degree programs may be applied to a second graduate degree at UWPlatteville upon the recommendation of the program faculty, up to a maximum of twelve credits. The total of credits from other University of Wisconsin-Platteville degree programs and credits transferred from other institutions cannot exceed twelve credits.

Withdrawal from the University

Withdrawal from the university refers to a complete withdrawal from the university, including withdrawal from all classes for the term. This procedure is not to be confused with dropping a single course or several courses (see the explanation for dropping courses).

Students may withdraw from the university through the published deadline (the eighth week of a fall or spring semester). A late withdrawal from the university may be requested through the last day of classes but prior to final exams.

Students considering withdrawal from the university are encouraged to consult with a staff member at Counseling Services. To be official, any withdrawal from the university must be cleared with the Registrar’s Office, Counseling Services, the student’s academic advisor, Student Housing Office, Financial Aid Office, Karrmann Library, Textbook Center and Cashier’s Office. All fees and assessments must be paid on all books returned to the library before an official clearance to withdraw can be given. Specific directions concerning complete withdrawal from the university may be obtained by contacting the Registrar’s Office.

If a student is prevented from a timely withdrawal from the university because of accident, injury, major physical or mental health problems, military duty or other extraordinary circumstances, an extraordinary withdrawal from the university may be permitted. Please consult with the university registrar regarding procedures and be prepared to provide documentation to justify the request.

Retention, Probation, and Dismissal

An overall 3.00 graduate grade point average is required to maintain full standing. If the overall grade point average drops below 3.00, the student is placed on probation. If after an additional twelve graduate credits, the student's grade point average remains below 3.00, the student will be dismissed.

Time Limitation

Graduate students are allowed seven years from the date of admission into a master’s program to complete degree requirements. Extensions will be granted for unusual health conditions, fulfillment of military obligations, or other extenuating circumstances. Students may petition for an extension, in writing, to their graduate advisor. The graduate advisor will then inform the School of Graduate Studies, in writing, of his or her recommendation. The dean of the School of Graduate Studies will make the final decision.

Discontinuation of Inactive Students

Graduate students who are inactive (non-registration) after three academic years (fall/spring/summer) will be discontinued from their graduate program. Students may reapply for admission to the same or another graduate program. However, credits earned previously at University of Wisconsin-Platteville may be applied to the student’s graduate program only upon the approval of the student’s advisor, the director/coordinator of the graduate program, and the dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

Student Discipline and Academic Misconduct

The Assistant Chancellor for Student Affairs handles matters involving students’ rights and responsibilities. The assistant chancellor’s responsibilities regarding discipline are two-fold: to ensure that students are treated fairly, and to see that students meet university policies and regulations. The assistant chancellor is guided in this effort by Chapters 14, 17, and 18 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code and by those regulations specific to the University of Wisconsin- Platteville. (See the University of Wisconsin-Platteville “Policies Governing Student Life” on-line at for details regarding student disciplinary procedures and the conduct expectations in chapters 14, 17, and 18.)

The university may discipline a student for academic dishonesty, including any of the following or similar examples of false representation of a student's performance:

For complete details, review the URL or request a printed version from the Office of Student Affairs.


The following items need attention before graduation.

The Last Semester

Students must be enrolled in the term in which they graduate at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville or they may be enrolled at another institution completing transfer work. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the School of Graduate Studies of his or her intent to graduate by completing and submitting a “File for Master’s” form with the School of Graduate Studies by the end of the 10th day of classes. The “File for Master’s” form is available online at

Graduate Paper

The completed thesis, seminar paper, or educational project should be electronically deposited with the School of Graduate Studies.

Graduation Fee

Before the end of the term in which the degree is to be granted, the student must pay the graduation fee ($25.00) as well as all outstanding debts to the university.


Students who complete the requirements for master’s degrees are invited to be present at the next spring or fall commencement program. At this commencement, degrees will be formally conferred.

Financial Aid

Educational loans and work-study are available to graduate students who are regular degree seeking students enrolled at least half-time (5 or more credits). Students enrolled as “special” are not eligible for financial aid. To be considered for the programs listed below, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Apply on-line at


Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan

This loan is not based on need. However, the student must complete the FAFSA. The student is responsible for the interest while in school. The maximum amount a graduate student is eligible to receive annually is $20,500.

Graduate PLUS Loan

Graduate students are eligible to borrow under the Graduate PLUS Loan program. Students can borrow up to their cost of attendance minus other financial aid received. Applicants are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They also must have applied for the annual loan maximum eligibility under the Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan. A credit check is required and repayment begins on the last disbursement of the loan. The interest rate is a fixed rate 8.5%.

Federal Work-Study Program

The work-study program allows eligible students to work on campus to earn money. Work-study jobs are posted in the Financial Aid Office and at

Advanced Opportunity Program (AOP) Grant

Students of color and economically disadvantaged students may apply for this grant to assist with payment of college costs. Applicant must be admitted to a degree program, be a Wisconsin resident, and be enrolled for at least five (5) credits from UW-Platteville. Students who are enrolled in online graduate programs are not eligible. To be considered, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be filed and an AOP Grant application which can be obtained at

Other Programs That Do Not Require a Financial Aid Application:

Veterans Benefits

Graduate students who are eligible for educational entitlement from the Veterans Administration or from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs should contact the certifying official in the Registrar's office, 101 Brigham Hall, 608.342.1321.

Graduate Assistantship

State-supported graduate assistantships are available in graduate programs offered on campus. Graduate assistantships are intended to provide financial assistance to students, professional growth for students, and professional assistance to the university. A full graduate assistantship requires a student to provide 20 hours of professional responsibilities per week while he or she is enrolled in a minimum of eight semester hours of course work. Full-time or part-time assistantships are available. A full graduate assistantship currently pays up to $7,775.00 per academic year. For out-of-state graduate assistants with full graduate assistantships, out-of-state tuition may be waived and the students will be required to pay resident tuition only. Selection will be based primarily upon overall undergraduate scholastic achievement and potential for future professional growth.

Complete the graduate assistantship application form and return the completed form to the School of Graduate Studies Office, 106 Brigham Hall. The graduate assistantship application form is available for printing from webpage files/G_Assistantship_Application_Revised.pdf Only students who have been admitted to a graduate program and are carrying eight credits or more are eligible for assistantships. Students enrolled as “special” are ineligible.

Please note that final appointment to a graduate assistantship is contingent on a criminal history background check. We need consent to conduct a criminal history background check. At the time of offering a graduate assistantship, the student will be requested to complete and return a consent form. A form will be provided at that time. The consent form may also be printed off from web page Failure to return the consent form by the date indicated will result in the assistantship being offered to another individual.

A completed application for graduate assistantship must be received in our office by April 1st of the academic year being applied for example: fall 2012 and spring 2013 comprise the academic year of 2012-2013.

Contact: School of Graduate Studies
106 Brigham Hall
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818-3099
Phone: 608.342.1322
Fax: 608.342.1389

NOTE: the School of Graduate Studies is housed inside the Registrar’s Office suite, 101 Brigham Hall.


An official transcript of a student’s educational record may be obtained by submitting a signed request to the Office of the Registrar. The following fees apply (subject to change):

Fax service includes rush processing of an unofficial transcript delivered to a designated fax number and an official copy of the facsimile sent in the mail. Official transcripts may not be faxed.

Only students may request their transcripts except as prescribed in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Further information, including a transcript request form, may be found on the Registrar website at: All outstanding financial obligations must be cleared before transcripts will be issued.