This requirement states that at least 50% of credits applied toward the program’s graduate degree credit requirement must be with courses designed for graduate work. This policy is one of the many ways in which our campus ensures the integrity of its degrees and the quality of the student experience.
Consistent with Graduate School policy, the graduate coursework can include UW–Madison courses (including but not limited to online, thesis/research, independent study, and practicum/internship credits) that satisfy one of the following guidelines:
A course attribute is used to provide programs and students alike a way to identify the courses eligible to meet this requirement (not only with courses in one’s unit but with any course on campus) and to facilitate the advising of enrolled students as well as degree audits at the time of graduation.
To develop and safeguard standards of graduate coursework, below is a checklist of criteria for the designation of a graduate course attribute. The checklist is minimal and not intended to be exhaustive. The diversity of programs and courses may necessitate judgments outside of listed criteria due to the unique standards of a specific discipline. However, course proposers are encouraged to offer explanations where their courses deviate from general criteria.
A strong emphasis on the literature of the discipline and/or active engagement with the latest research and scholarly activity of the discipline.
Graduate coursework content should generally build on knowledge or experience previously gained and is mindful of program admission prerequisites. The higher standards set for graduate students are generally reflective of the advanced level of instruction in a graduate course.
Graduate coursework instructors must possess an academic degree relevant to what they are teaching and at least one level above the level at which they teach, except in programs for terminal degrees or when equivalent experience is established.
Graduate coursework instructors teaching at the doctoral level must have a record of recognized scholarship, creative endeavor, or achievement in practice commensurate with doctoral expectations.
Graduate coursework numbered 300-699 may show evidence of meeting the above criteria by assessing graduate students through examinations, assignments, and the use of grading rubrics and the like which clearly establish a higher standard of performance for graduate students versus undergraduates for the same grade. The additional graduate student work will generally occur outside the common class time. These courses must also have at least one graduate learning outcome that is linked to this higher standard.
For courses numbered 300-699, grading graduate students using a narrower scale and/or requiring graduate students to produce lengthier assignments without requiring advanced synthesis or demonstration of knowledge, would not be considered adequate for assignment of the graduate course attribute.
A course that has the graduate course attribute must have requisites that would allow a graduate student to enroll without special permission. For example, the requisites cannot require undergraduate courses without adding a provision such as "or graduate/professional standing" as a graduate student's undergraduate work is not part of their UW–Madison student record.