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Graduate Degree Requirements

Minimum Degree Credits to Graduate

The student must have earned a total of at least 30 semester credits of graduate-level work from institutions with accredited graduate programs. At least 21 of these credits must be earned from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh or from institutions having formal collaborative agreements with the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Check with the program or Graduate Studies Office for the minimum completion requirements for any degree, certificate or Graduate Achievement Program (GAP).

Second Master's Degree

Students who have an earned master's degree from any other regionally accredited institution may apply to a graduate program at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Some credits earned as part of the first master's degree program may be accepted toward the second master’s degree at UW Oshkosh. Such credits (nine (9) maximum) are governed by the Office of Graduate Studies transfer policies found in this Bulletin.

Applicants/students to a graduate program may petition before admission for acceptance of up to nine (9) credits earned, including credits that applied to another master's degree. The credits involved in the petition will be evaluated by the program coordinator and the Office of Graduate Studies during the admission process. The result of the credit evaluation will be communicated to the student by the Graduate Studies office.

Minimum Grade-Point Average

A cumulative graduate grade point average of at least a “B” (3.00) must be earned on all work that applies to the graduate degree or program.  A grade of F will not count as credits toward any degree or program.

Some programs do not allow grades less than “B” on required or degree/program courses. Check with the individual graduate program as some also have other academic requirements for degree, certificate or Graduate Achievement Program (GAP) completion.

Graduate-Only Courses

At least half of all graduate credits being applied to a master's degree must be graduate-only 700-level courses. Consult the individual degree program(s) for what constitutes half of the master’s degree credits.  Consult the Nursing program for the number of 800-level courses necessary for the awarding of a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP). 

Atypical Course Credit

A total of no more than six (6) credits earned in variable content courses and independent study courses may apply to a master's degree. Generally, graduate credits may not be earned by examination or by correspondence study. This policy is not intended to preclude the earning of credits by electronic or other distance education modes.

Admission to Candidacy

Students must be Admitted to Candidacy after having earned a minimum of nine (9) but no more than 21 degree credits (varies by program). Admission to Candidacy requires a student be in full standing, have completed all deficiencies and file an Application for Admission to Candidacy form (formal plan of study). Changes in the plan of study are made by filing a Candidacy Program Modification Form and receiving approval from the faculty advisor, and/or the graduate program coordinator and the Director of Graduate Services, (Office of Graduate Studies).

Culminating Experience/Research

Each student must successfully demonstrate proficiency to integrate the knowledge of the discipline. The nature of this experience is determined by the individual Colleges and graduate program departments subject to approval by the Graduate Council. Examples of experiences that may meet this requirement include: theses, oral or written comprehensive examinations, clinical papers, field projects, field reports, national exams and integrative courses. Programs may require more than one of the above experiences.

Note: All research that deals with human participants and/or animal subjects must have the approval of the University Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Protection of Human Participants and/or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before conducting the research. See policy statements below.

1. Use of Human Participants in Research

The University encourages and supports free investigation by faculty, academic staff and students into any general area of knowledge. The University's Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Protection of Human Participants has the legal responsibility to ensure that all research conducted at the University adequately protects the rights and welfare of human participants. The IRB must review all projects that involve human participants, including but not limited to extramural grant proposals, Faculty Development support requests, master's degree theses, field research, field reports, independent study courses and others.

All research involving human participants must have IRB approval. It is therefore the responsibility of each investigator to submit an application for IRB review before beginning the research, including the recruiting of participants. Although the IRB review process typically is completed within three to four weeks, it may take longer if the IRB needs to request additional information because the application is incomplete or unclear.

The IRB application packet, which contains the federal guidelines governing the use of human subjects, is available from the Office of Grants and Faculty Development (920) 424-1415 or on the web at http://tinyurl.com/cvoykbe

2. Care and Use of Animals in Research

The University encourages and supports free investigation by faculty, academic staff and students into any general area of knowledge. The University's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) assists investigators and classroom instructors to ensure all animals used for teaching, research or other activities at this University shall be carried out according to the principles stated in the current "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" (DHHS NIH) and the Animal Welfare Act (PL 89 544) and amendments, regardless of the species or source of funds used to conduct teaching, research and other activities. The IACUC reviews all projects and teaching protocols involving animals, including extramural grant proposals, Faculty Development support requests, master's degree theses, field research, field reports, independent study courses and others.

Each investigator must initiate the IACUC animal use protocol review process at the appropriate time to avoid delay. For questions, more information or the appropriate forms contact iacuc@uwosh.edu or the Office of Grants and Faculty Development.

Thesis

A thesis is formal written work and should follow the standards as established in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Graduate Thesis Format Policy and Style Manual, available on the Graduate Studies web site at http://www.uwosh.edu/gradstudies/current-students/current-students.

A student conducting a thesis selects a committee chair (UW Oshkosh faculty member) and two graduate faculty members (with appropriate terminal degrees) to guide, advise and ultimately approve the thesis. The student submits a research proposal to the thesis committee members describing what is proposed and how it will be accomplished. Research proposal forms are available on the Graduate Studies web site at http://www.uwosh.edu/gradstudies/resources/uw-oshkosh-graduate-school-forms#all-applicants-students. The thesis committee and graduate program coordinator review the proposal, assign the number of credits to be earned for the thesis (three (3) to six (6) credits) and approve with final signatures. Five copies are forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval. The thesis proposal should be submitted midterm prior to the term of graduation. Thesis registration is done either concurrently or separately from submitting the thesis research proposal. Check with the program or Graduate Studies office to determine the appropriate time to register for thesis credit.

Note to department chairs, graduate program coordinators and faculty: If anyone other than graduate faculty members are to be thesis committee members, please submit curricular vitae with the proposal.

At the appropriate time the degree candidate will defend the thesis in an open, public oral examination. The members of the thesis committee will conduct the examination.

Two copies (one paper, one digital (PDF)) of the completed thesis with an approved title page bearing the signatures of the members of the thesis committee, must be approved through the Office of Graduate Studies by the end of the 14th week of the semester in which the student intends to graduate (by the end of the 8th week of a summer session). The thesis committee is responsible for attesting to the quality, accuracy and content of the work.

A binding fee is charged at the time the student presents the thesis to the Graduate Studies office. Shipping, handling and mailing fees are also paid by the student. 

Clinical Paper

The College of Nursing graduate program requires a clinical paper, thesis or capstone. Procedures for preparation of these culminating experiences may be obtained from the Nursing graduate program coordinator.  Research approval forms are available from the program office or on the Graduate Studies web site at http://www.uwosh.edu/gradstudies/resources/uw-oshkosh-graduate-school-forms#nursing.  Proposals and due dates are similar to those of a thesis (see above). 

Field Project

A field project is a culminating research option in the MPA and MSW programs. Specific procedures for this type of experience are available from the appropriate program office. Research approval forms are available from the program office or on the Graduate Studies web site at www.uwosh.edu/gradstudies/resources/uw-oshkosh-graduate-school-forms#all-applicants-students. Proposals and due dates are similar to those of a thesis (see above).

Format Approval—Thesis, Clinical Paper And Field Project

Format approval is verification that the thesis/clinical paper/field project meets the Office of Graduate Studies requirement for style and form. The style and form instructions and manuals are on the Graduate Studies web site at: http://www.uwosh.edu/gradstudies/current-students/current-students.

The student must provide a complete draft of the thesis/clinical paper/field project to the Graduate Studies office for format approval. The deadline for submission of the complete draft is as follows:

1. Three weeks prior to the last day of the 14-week fall term for fall graduation.

2. Three weeks prior to the last day of the 14-week spring term for spring graduation.

3. Three weeks prior to the last day of the second four weeks of the summer term for summer graduation.

Assessment of Student Achievement

The Higher Learning Commission/North Central Association, which accredits institutions of higher learning in the Midwest, is requiring its institutions to assess student academic achievement for the purpose of program improvement. As a result, the graduate-degree-granting programs at UW Oshkosh have developed assessment plans that are integrated into a University assessment plan that has been approved by NCA. Implementation of assessment began in the 1995-1996 academic year.

Assessment includes the following features:

1. Student-learning outcome goals in the areas of a) knowledge or subject matter, b) competency or skill goals and c) affective goals.

2. Multiple instrument/measures, such as exams, portfolios, theses and surveys that are the sources of the data for determining student achievement of the goals (actual student-learning outcomes).

3. Evaluation criteria for comparing the actual and expected student-learning outcomes for the purpose of defining acceptable levels of achievement of the goals.

4. Feedback mechanisms for program improvement if student achievement of the goals is not at a level, that is acceptable to program faculty.

5. A multiyear timetable showing the sequence for implementation of assessment. The intention is that assessment becomes a permanent part of academic programs. Assessment will be dynamic and its features will evolve for many different reasons. However, its primary purpose of maintaining the efficacy of academic programs by monitoring student academic achievement will remain.

Graduation/Completion 

Application for Graduation/Completion

All students planning to graduate or complete a certificate or achievement program (GAP) must apply to do so. Information and the application is on the Web at www.uwosh.edu/gradstudies/resources/forms/application-to-graduation. A completed application is submitted to the Graduate Studies office. The application process must be completed no later than the end of the first week of a summer session or the end of the fourth week of a spring/fall semester in which the student intends to graduate/complete.  GAP and certificate recipients do not participate in commencement.

Graduation/Completion Check

A graduation/completion check will be done in the Graduate Studies office when all grades for the semester of intended graduation/completion have been submitted. Students whose records are incomplete (e.g., required courses still incomplete, official transcripts for transfer courses not on file, grades not recorded, missing research proposal forms, etc.) or who fail to meet degree requirements will be considered for graduation in a subsequent semester.  Applications moved to future semesters will be done so up to one year. After one year,  the graduation/completion application will be inactivated. Subsequent reactivation requires contacting the Graduate Studies office or resubmitting a graduation applicatin.

Transcript and Diploma Processing

Conferral review and posting of the degree/completion to the transcript may take six to eight weeks after the official end of the semester. The diploma/certificate will be mailed approximately four to six weeks after the official graduation date of the semester (end of the 8- or 17-week semester).

Time to Degree Completion Requirements

All academic requirements applying to a master’s degree, including work transferred, must be completed within a seven-year time period. The College of Nursing has a five-year limit including the DNP.  Graduate Achievement Programs (GAP) and Certificates have a four-year limit. The time begins with the beginning date of the term in which the first course toward the degree/certificate/GAP was taken. The term admitted to a program does not necessarily determine the beginning of the 4-, 5- or 7-year time limit. The degree/certificate/GAP period ends with the last day of the term in which the final requirement is completed to include transfer credits. Any request for an extension of time to complete a degree or program should be made to the graduate program coordinator and may require condition(s) or qualifying experience(s) to receive extension approval.  The Office of Graduate Studies is the final approval for any extension request.

Commencement

Commencement ceremonies are held at the end of the spring and fall, 14-week term of each semester. The student's official graduation date will be the final day of classes of the 17-week fall or spring semester or 8-week summer session in which he or she finishes the program requirements. Graduate students whose graduation date is at the end of the summer session (August) have two commencement ceremony options:

1. Participate the preceding May:  Applications for graduation are due by the end of the fourth week of the spring semester.  Note --- If the application is submitted by the the spring deadline the graduate's name will appear in both the spring and fall commencement program.

2. Participate the following December: Applications for graduation are due by the end of the first week of the summer session.

Certificate and GAP students do not participate in commencement.