All University of Wisconsin–Madison graduate students must meet the minimum degree requirements of the Graduate School. Additional details, including academic policies, can be found in the Graduate Guide.
Each academic department within the Wisconsin School of Business has a separate set of course and degree requirements that exceed the Graduate School minimums. For more information, see the specific area of study.
Some general PhD requirements vary for students enrolled in the joint degree in finance and economics. Details will be provided by the student's advisor.
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PhD students are required to earn a minimum of 32 credits of coursework in the degree program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison prior to sitting for their preliminary examination and moving to dissertator status.
Students who have achieved dissertator status—after completing all major and minor coursework and passing the preliminary exam—register for three credits of dissertation research each semester. They are still considered full-time students.
Each student will have a unique degree plan with a major that is developed with an advisor.
All students must complete a minor program consisting of at least 10 credits. Coursework can be drawn from one department outside the Wisconsin School of Business (departmental minor) or from multiple departments—other than the major department—inside and outside the Wisconsin School of Business (distributed minor). Courses taken as part of the requirements for the major area of study may count toward fulfillment of the minor program.
Departmental requirements and standards for satisfactory progress vary. The Wisconsin School of Business expects students to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.2, with some departments having a higher requirement.
The UW–Madison Graduate School may impose probationary status on a student who falls below the 3.0 GPA level.
A student is able to sit for the preliminary exam when the following conditions are met:
Each department conducts preliminary exams in its own unique way. Information on specific requirements and expectations is available from the student's advisor.
Students usually teach one course in which they are the professor in charge. Teaching appointments are an integral part of the training for academic positions.
Successful completion of the preliminary examination in the format required by the major department entitles the student to be admitted to dissertator status.
The PhD degree is granted upon completion of a set of requirements of the UW–Madison Graduate School.
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