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Graduate Studies Academic Policies

The Office of Graduate Studies policies have been designed and have evolved with the following intended goals: (1) facilitate orderly academic progress of graduate students; (2) meet expectations of accrediting agencies, other graduate schools and the Board of Regents; (3) provide a common standard; and (4) encourage development of quality programs.

Each graduate student has the responsibility of adhering to the Graduate Studies policies described herein as they affect him or her. Every effort will be made by Graduate Studies staff, program coordinators and staff and advisers to aid students while they attend graduate school.

Appeals Process

Any individual who wishes to appeal a non-academic decision regarding Office of Graduate Studies policy, should contact the Office of Graduate Studies for the most current appeals procedures.


Student Complaints Against Faculty and Academic Staff

Students who have complaints against faculty or academic staff have two procedures they may follow if the alleged misconduct is not judged serious enough to seek dismissal.


The two procedures are as follows:

1. A student who believes that the staff member has violated University rules, professional ethics or performed in a way warranting disciplinary procedures may start proceedings in a formal manner by preparing a written complaint to be submitted to the Chancellor or his designee.

2. A student with a complaint about classroom treatment, grades or other matters will normally wish to seek resolution of the matter informally as follows:

a. Meet with the staff member. Most complaints are resolved this way.

b. Should the complaint not be resolved by this meeting, the student next meets with the staff member’s graduate program coordinator or supervisor (department chairperson).

c. The staff member’s coordinator or supervisor will give the student written procedures covering complaints. The staff member’s coordinator or supervisor will determine the facts and try to mediate between staff member and student and resolve the complaint.

d. Should the coordinator’s or supervisor’s efforts be unsatisfactory to the student, the written procedures provide more formal steps. The student must prepare a written complaint for a grievance committee within a specified time period. Inaction by the student at this point indicates that the complaint has been dropped.

Should the student be unsure as to the choice of procedure between one or two above, it is advisable to discuss the matter with the Director of Graduate Services in the Graduate Studies office, Dempsey 337, (920) 424-1223, or staff in the Dean of Students office, (920) 424-3100.


Graduate Course Numbers

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh graduate course numbers use a combination alpha/numeric identifier. The alpha characters identify the department or program offering the course. The three-digit number is the catalog number and is assigned to courses according to the following key:


500 to 699 --- primarily graduate courses

700 to 799 --- open to graduate students only

800 to 899 --- open to doctoral graduate students only


Dual-Level Courses

Dual-level courses are open to undergraduate as well as graduate students. Programs offer dual-level courses for a variety of reasons that enhance student and program flexibility. Each program determines the specific requirements placed on the number of dual-level courses allowed to accumulate toward the master’s degree. Because dual-level courses must meet certain academic guidelines in order for the student to receive graduate credit, the student is encouraged to refer to each program description in this Bulletin as well as to contact the respective graduate program coordinator.

Dual-level courses are distinguished from undergraduate-only and graduate-only courses with slashed numbers. For example, ART 317/517 is a dual-level course in which an undergraduate student could receive undergraduate (ex. - 317) credit OR a graduate student could receive either graduate (ex. - 517) or undergraduate (ex. - 317) credit (but not both). In all cases, a student must specifically register using the graduate course number (ex. - 517) for the graduate credit to be identified on the academic transcript. For a student to receive graduate credit, the individual programs are held to standards that require the student’s experience to be qualitatively more challenging than the undergraduate student experience and lead the graduate student to a deeper and broader intellectual contact with topics and methods in their field. To earn graduate credit, the student must perform coursework that derives from expectations unique to graduate-level work.

Success in specific graduate courses and in a graduate program is partly dependent upon an on-going dialogue between the student, the instructor and the graduate program coordinator. Students are responsible for understanding course expectations and program requirements.

In the College of Education and Human Services, students must have prior permission of their program coordinator to include SRVC CRS courses in their degree plan.


The department/program codes for course numbers are assigned according to the following key:

NURS-ACC Accelerated Nursing Program
AFR ABRD Africa Study Abroad
AF AM ST African American Studies
ANTHRO Anthropology
ASTRONY Astronomy
A-V Audio-Visual
BIOLOGY Biology and Microbiology
CHEM Chemistry
COMM Communication
COMP SCI Computer Science
PRF CNSL Counseling - Professional
CNSLR ED Counselor Education
CRIM JUS Criminal Justice
ELEM ED Curriculum and Instruction
SEC ED Curriculum and Instruction
ECON Economics
ED FOUND Educational Foundations
ED LDRSP Educational Leadership
ENV STDS Environmental Studies
DFLL Foreign Language
FR ABRD France Study Abroad
GEOG Geography
GMB/GMBA Global Master Business/Administration
HLTH EDU Health Education
HUMAN SV Human Services
ED LDRSP Human Services and Professional
INTRCULT Intercultural Studies
INTRDSCP Interdisciplinary Studies
INTRNTL International Studies
JOURNAL Journalism
KINESLGY Kinesiology
LIB SCI Library Science
MATH Mathematics
MED TECH Medical Technology
MIL SCI Military Science
MPA Master of Public Administration
NURS-CNP Nursing Collaborative Program
PHIL Philosophy
PHY ED Physical Education
PHYS SCI Physical Science
PHYS/AST Physics/Astronomy
POLI SCI Political Science
PRTGUESE Portuguese
PRAC ART Practical Arts
PSYCH Psychology
PUB ADM Public Administration
MPA Public Administration
READING Reading Education
RELSTDS Religious Studies
SRVC CRS Service Courses
SOC JUST Social Justice
SOC WORK Social Work
SOC Sociology
SPEC ED Special Education
SRVC CRS Service Courses in Education
URB PLNG Urban Planning
URB/REG Urban & Regional Studies
WOM STDS Women’s Studies

Course descriptions are found in each department's section of the Bulletin. The course number (department/program alpha code plus catalog number) is followed by the number of course credits. If the course is offered for a variable number of credits a range of credits (e.g., 1-3) will be displayed. The next line is the course title and the following line(s) give a course description. After the description, notes or prerequisites for the course, if any, will be printed. Should the course be dual-level, the undergraduate and graduate catalog numbers will be listed (e.g., 317/517). If the course is offered only during a specific term, i.e., spring or fall, this will be indicated after the course description.


The numbers in parentheses (when they appear) indicate the division of time between lecture and laboratory. The first number indicates the number of lecture or problem hours (discussion group) and the second number indicates the number of laboratory hours. Example: in a science course listed (3+4), the numbers in parentheses indicate 3 lecture hours and 4 laboratory hours. If there is no breakdown listed, the course is lecture only.


Course Attendance

Policies for attendance and punctuality are under the control of each instructor. Generally speaking:

1. Students are expected to attend each scheduled class.

2. Instructors are expected to announce their attendance policy to each class.

3. Students may only attend courses/sections for which they are registered.


Religious Accommodation

It is the policy of the Board of Regents that students’ sincerely held religious beliefs shall be reasonably accommodated with respect to all examinations and other academic requirements. The Board of Regents adopts this charter in order to ensure that all institutions of the University of Wisconsin System have in place appropriate mechanisms for ensuring the reasonable accommodation of students’ sincerely held religious beliefs and for appeals related to these matters.


1. A student shall be permitted to make up an examination or other academic requirement at another time or by an alternative method, without any prejudicial effect, where:

a. There is a scheduling conflict between the students’ sincerely held religious beliefs and taking the examination or meeting the academic requirements; and

b. The student has notified the instructor, within the first three weeks of the beginning of classes (within the first week of summer session and short courses), of the specific days or dates on which he or she will request relief from an examination or academic requirement.

2. Instructors may schedule a make-up examination or other academic requirement before or after the regularly scheduled examination or other academic requirement.

3. Instructors shall accept, at face value, the sincerity of students’ religious beliefs.

4. Student notification of instructors and requests for relief under 1. above shall be kept confidential.

5. Complaints of failure to provide reasonable accommodation of a student’s sincerely held religious beliefs as required by this rule may be filed according to institutional complaint and grievance procedures. See above under “Student Complaints Against Faculty and Academic Staff” in this bulletin.


Academic Integrity

UW Oshkosh students are subject in their behavior to the Wisconsin Administrative Code, as well as specific disciplinary procedures duly adopted for the UW Oshkosh campus. Specific provisions are found in Chapters 14, 17, and 18 of the Code.

The UW Oshkosh provisions can be found following the UWS policy in each chapter.  The UW System disciplinary code and UW Oshkosh provisions are available to all students in the Dean of Students Office, Polk Library, Reeve Memorial Union Office, Oshkosh Student Association (OSA) Office, Residence Life Office, and in each residence hall. Any questions may be directed to the Dean of Students Office, Dempsey 125, which administers the University's student discipline code.


University E-Mail Policy

Using campus E-mail is considered the official method for communicating with University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students, because it delivers information in a convenient, timely, cost effective and environmentally aware manner. The University expects that e-mail communications through this assigned account will be received and read by students in a timely fashion. This policy establishes the University's expectation that faculty and other University staff may routinely communicate important information to students using the University's established e-mail system.

Students are responsible for the consequences of not reading in a timely fashion University-related communications sent to their official UW Oshkosh student e-mail account.

All students at UW Oshkosh are provided with an official UW Oshkosh student e-mail account. This account is the official address to which the University will send e-mail communications. This official e-mail address will be recorded in the University's electronic directories and records for that student.

Students are expected to check their UW Oshkosh official e-mail account on a frequent and consistent basis in order to remain informed of University-related communications. The University recommends checking e-mail at least twice per week. Not checking, improperly forwarding, mailbox full or incorrect personal account address errors are not acceptable reasons for missing official University communications via e-mail.

Since faculty and instructional academic staff determine how e-mail is used in their classes, they may require students to check their e-mail on a specific or more frequent basis. Faculty and instructional academic staff messages sent to class lists, including class lists for D2L courses, are also considered official communication.

In general, e-mail is not appropriate for transmitting sensitive or confidential information unless it is matched by an appropriate level of security or permission. All use of e-mail will be consistent with other University policies, including UW Oshkosh Acceptable Use of Computing Resources Policy (

All use of e-mail also will be consistent with local, state and federal law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Students may elect to redirect (auto forward) messages sent to their UW Oshkosh official student e-mail account to a non-University account. Students who redirect e-mail from their official account to a non-University account (such as Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.), however, do so at their own risk. Having e-mail lost as a result of redirection does not absolve a student from the responsibilities associated with communication sent to her or his official e-mail account. The University is not responsible for the handling of e-mail by outside vendors or unofficial servers.

The University provides a Web-based mail system, through which students from off campus can access their official UW Oshkosh e-mail account. Instructions for the use of Web mail are available at:


Repeated Courses

Graduate courses may be repeated, without additional credit if the following conditions have been met:

1. A grade of less than a “B” was obtained in the first and only other attempt.

2. Permission to repeat a course needs approval from the graduate program coordinator and the Office of Graduate Studies.

3. The student registers for the course as a "repeat.” Some courses may only be repeated one time.

Courses attempted for undergraduate credit may not be repeated by graduate students for graduate credit unless pre-approved by the graduate program coordinator within the program’s specified time frame. Dual-level courses may not be attempted under both the undergraduate and graduate numbers.


Credit (Course) Load Definitions

A graduate student is considered full time under the following conditions:

1. Students registered for nine (9) or more graduate credits in a semester, or five (5) or more credits in a summer session and who are not graduate assistants;

2. Graduate assistants registered for six (6) or more graduate credits in a semester or three (3) or more credits in a summer session;

3. Thesis students who have completed all degree requirements except for their thesis may be considered active in those thesis credits for one more semester beyond thesis registration without registering for other credits.  However, their adviser must verify the student is working on his or her thesis. This policy may not satisfy certain Financial Aid requirements and students may not be eligible for certain student services, e.g. use of the Health Center.

Part-time status applies to a graduate student with less than nine (9) credits in a spring or fall semester and less than five (5) credits in a summer session. A graduate student is considered half time with a semester registration of four and a half (4.5) or more credits or three (3) or more credits during a summer session.

The following are the maximum credits in which a graduate student (not a graduate assistant) admitted to an academic program may enroll for in a specified term:

Anything that exceeds these limits requires approval of the Director of Graduate Services, Office of Graduate Studies.

Special students, students on academic probation and students with incomplete (I) grades should not expect to carry maximum loads.


Transfer / Waiver of Courses

Transfer credit is course credit earned at another institution that is accepted in lieu of master's degree course requirements at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Credit earned prior to admission to a University of Wisconsin Oshkosh graduate program will be evaluated at the time of admission or upon request.

Students who have been admitted to a graduate program at UW Oshkosh and wish to take coursework at another institution should enroll as a guest student (if available) at that institution. They should secure prior approval from the UW Oshkosh graduate program coordinator for courses to be substituted in the UW Oshkosh graduate degree program.

The following are criteria for evaluating credits taken outside UW Oshkosh. Certain of these criteria may not apply when evaluating "distance education" courses:

1. Course instructor is a regular graduate faculty member or an instructor who has the qualifications comparable to regular graduate faculty and has the approval as an adjunct faculty member at the transfer institution.

2. Course is acceptable in a graduate degree program at the transfer institution.

3. Course syllabus is available with objectives, evaluation methods and bibliography.

4. Course has formal meeting times and complies with the normal rule of no more than one (1) course credit earned per week and 14 contact hours (60 minutes each) per semester credit.

5. Course is offered at a location close to a university (professional) library.

6. The academic program and/or institution is appropriately regionally accredited.

7. Seven-year time limit is applicable for all transfer courses that apply to a UW Oshkosh master's degree. Nursing has a five-year time limit.  The time limit is four years for certificates and achievement programs.

8. Independent study, seminars and workshops do not generally transfer.

Exceptions to the above criteria may be made based on the appropriate graduate program coordinator's recommendation and the approval of the Office of Graduate Studies.

No letter grade below “B” will be accepted in transfer.

No more than nine (9) semester hours will be accepted in transfer, except in established  collaborative/cooperative programs.

Official transcripts from the transfer institution(s) are required in the Graduate Studies Office prior to transfer credit evaluation.

Credits accepted in transfer are annotated on a student's academic record. Transfer grades are NOT recorded on the record and transfer grade values are NOT included in the computation of the UW Oshkosh graduate grade-point average.


Independent Study

All departments offering graduate degree programs have course listings for independent study. This form of study provides an opportunity for degree-seeking and post-master’s students to study, under faculty supervision, an area of interest which is not available in the curriculum. The following guidelines apply:

1. Registration for graduate independent study is open to students who are admitted to and in full standing in a degree, certificate or GAP program or who have earned a master's degree.  Graduate Special or Non-degree students without a master's degree are not eligible to enroll in independent study.

2. Each credit earned for independent study should represent the equivalent of at least 50 clock hours of work. The written proposal for independent study should be detailed and include well-developed study objectives, specific references and outcomes of academic work.

3. Registration for independent study must be accompanied by an independent study contract form and proposal. The contract form requires the signature of the instructor, the graduate program coordinator, college dean or designee (as appropriate) and the director of graduate services.

4. Only one independent study (three (3) credit maximum) contract during any term session per semester is permitted within a 17-week spring/fall semester (spring/fall interims included) or 8-week summer semester. This includes any 7-week, 14-week, 10-week or 4-week term session.

5. No more than six (6) credits of independent study and/or other "atypical" credits may apply to a degree.

6. Registration for independent study is subject to the same semester drop/add policies as all other courses.


Grade Designations for Courses

Grade-point averages are determined by dividing the number of grade-points earned in courses by the number of credits attempted in those courses. Point values are related to the various letter grades as follows:


Beginning Fall 2009

Letter GradeGrade-points per Credit
A 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
F 0.00


Before Fall 2009

Letter GradeGrade-points per Credit
A 4.00
AB 3.50
B 3.00
BC 2.50
C 2.00
F 0.00

Grades of C-, CD, D+, D and D- are not used with graduate courses. Several other grade designations are assigned to courses in special circumstances and as approved for courses as follows:


Pass (P)/Fail (F) Grades

Certain University of Wisconsin Oshkosh courses are offered on a Pass/Fail basis. (A pass at the graduate level is comparable to a B or better letter grade.)

Pass credits are recorded as credits earned. However, these credits are not considered as credits attempted in computing the semester and cumulative graduate grade-point averages.

Grades of Failure (F) in a Pass/Fail course are considered as credits attempted in computing the semester and cumulative grade-point averages.


Incomplete (I) Grade Designation

The designation of “Incomplete” is assigned when a student is unable to complete the coursework because of illness, injury, or other extenuating circumstances. "I" designations also may be assigned to students in project-centered courses in which instruction is highly individualized, or individually paced courses in which the material is extensively organized and students can progress at individual rates determined by their abilities. In the latter case, an "I" may be assigned only if at least two-thirds of the course objectives have been accomplished within the grading period and the student has maintained a consistent rate of progress in the course. Arrangements between the student and instructor will be made in writing on how the course work will be completed and by what criteria the “I” can be removed within the next 17-week semester.  Courses for which an “I” has been assigned are included as part of the semester credit load. Incomplete designations are not included in any grade-point computations prior to graduation.

Incomplete designations, when the instructor has not assigned an appropriate course letter grade by the last day of the following 17-week semester, will automatically lapse to an F. The Registrar's Office will alert both the student and the department chair of these impending grade lapses before they are made. Extensions of time may be arranged by submitting written requests first to the course instructor and graduate program coordinator, then to the Office of Graduate Studies The request for extension should state the reason why work is still incomplete, the expected date of completion and include the instructor's recommendation regarding the extension.

Incomplete grades affect a student’s eligibility for graduate assistantships, determination of academic standing and some financial assistance. Contact the Office of Graduate Studies for more information about eligibility affected by incomplete grades.


Auditing (AU ) Courses

A course being audited carries no degree credit and is not counted in the grade-point average. It is considered part of a student's semester credit load but NOT included in the calculation of progress credits for determining academic load status of full-time, half-time or part-time when reporting enrollment status to the National Student Clearinghouse. Students who audit courses are expected to attend class regularly, but need not take examinations or do coursework, which would require evaluation by the instructor. The signature of the instructor is required in order to register for an audit course. The student will receive a grade of “AU” on their grade report and transcript. The instructor may withdraw a student for non-attendance. Audit-only fees are assessed when a student’s enrollment for the semester is only in audit courses. Full-credit fees are assessed when audit credits are taken in conjunction with for-credit courses.  Full Special Course Fees will be assessed, if applicable. Students may change from audit to credit during the first five class days of a 14-week, 17-week, 8-week, or 7-week session, or during the first two class days of a 3-week or 4-week session. Students may change from credit to audit after these times during the official drop period of a session, provided they have obtained the instructor's signature on the add/drop card.

Audit courses may not satisfy credit requirements for “full-time” or “half-time” status for financial aid purposes, or for eligibility for certain student services.

Students changing from credit to audit after the first week of a term will be charged the full per credit fee for the course.


In Progress (IP)

The IP designation is noted for theses, field reports, field projects and clinical papers not completed in the term of registration. The IP designation is replaced by the P (Pass) designation by the Graduate Studies office upon completion and when the thesis or other culminating written work is submitted and approved. The IP designation is not used in any cumulative grade point average computation.


Academic Standing

Each student is regarded as having one of three academic standings: full, probationary or suspension. Some programs have more restrictive requirements and policies as pertains to determining academic standing. Please consult the program for its requirements.


Full Standing

A student is in full standing when:

 1. The student was admitted in full standing and maintains a cumulative graduate grade-point average of 3.00 or above.

2. The student was admitted on probation and achieves full standing by earning a 3.00 cumulative graduate grade-point average and completes nine (9) graded graduate credits since the term of admission.



A student is on probation when:

1.  The student has been admitted on probation, has completed less than one full term or has completed less than nine graded graduate credits.

2.  An admitted student who was in full standing at the beginning of a term and has a cumulative overall graduate grade-point average of less than 3.00 at the end of the term regardless of the number of credits attempted/earned.

There is no probation available to special, guest and non-degree students.



A student is on suspension when:

 1. The student was on probation at the beginning of a term and has a cumulative overall graduate grade-point average of less than 3.00 at the end of the nine-credit probationary period.

2. The student has been denied admission to candidacy and has completed 18 graduate credits normally acceptable in the degree program.

3. The student is classified as special, guest or non-degree and the cumulative graduate grade-point average is below 3.0.


Suspension Appeal

The Office of Graduate Studies will place an enrollment service indicator (stop) on the record of students who are placed on suspension. Students on suspension may have their record reviewed by their degree program and the Office of Graduate Studies after one full semester of suspension (not including summer session) and upon written appeal of the suspension. Students should initiate the written appeal and direct it to the appropriate graduate program coordinator. The program coordinator along with the program faculty or others will make a written recommendation to the Office of Graduate Studies regarding the request to appeal the suspension. If the program recommends granting the appeal, a written recommendation should contain a rationale for allowing the student to return to classes and any conditions a student must meet in future enrollment periods. The Director of Graduate Services will review the recommendation of the program  and its faculty and make the final decision about granting the appeal.  The Director will  communicate the decision to the student and the program.


Special, guest or non-degree students should appeal in writing directly to the Director of Graduate Services, Office of Graduate Studies, following the semester of suspension.