UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
It's important for you to understand your responsibilities as a UW-River Falls graduate student. Please see the list below of graduate policies, procedures, and definitions that will be important to you during your graduate career at UW-River Falls. If you have concerns or additional questions, please contact the Graduate Studies Office.
Your Academic Program is the program of study that you have selected for your degree or certificate. You can find a list of the current graduate programs and additional information on the main Graduate Studies page.
The graduate program director will assign a graduate faculty member to be your academic adviser. Your adviser will assist you in finalizing your academic plan, selecting electives, and completing your program requirements. Your adviser will also help you prepare for the written and/or oral examinations as you near the end of your study program.
Appeal of Seven-Year Time Limit
If you are unable to complete your program of study within the seven-year time limit, you may appeal once for an extension. Acceptable reasons might include unusual health conditions, fulfillment of military obligations or similar extenuating circumstances.
To make an appeal, complete the form to appeal the seven-year time limit, available here.
The Director of Graduate Studies will review the request and notify the student and the adviser of the decision.
Applying for Graduation
You must apply for graduation through your eSIS account. Click here for instructions on how to apply for graduation in eSIS. See the Registrar's Commencement Information for deadlines, application fees and regalia information.
The unit of credit is the semester hour, which is given for the satisfactory completion of a subject pursued for one semester and having one class period or two laboratory periods per week.
Commencement and Enrollment Policies
Graduate students must be registered for at least one credit during the term when they participate in commencement, with the exception of the following:
During the final enrollment period of your graduate program leading to the master's degree, your program may require you to complete a written and/or oral comprehensive examination prepared and administered by a graduate committee (also see "Graduate Commitee," below). If you are uncertain about whether or not you must complete a comprehensive examination, be sure to contact your adviser.
The purposes of the examination include but are not limited to the following:
If you are unsuccessful in the comprehensive examination, you may, upon approval of both the Graduate Program Director and the UWRF Director of Graduate Studies, reschedule the examination after a delay of six months. If you receive an incomplete on the comprehensive examination, you must make up the deficiencies identified by the chair of the committee.
Credits Applied to Plan
The UWRF is committed to having courses that have content and rigor appropriate for graduate-level instruction. At least half of the credits required for graduate degrees must be earned from courses at the 700 level. No more than nine credits from courses at the 500 level may be applied towards graduate dregree requirements. Credits earned for a graduate program cannot be more than seven years old, unless subjected to a successful appeal (see "Appeal of Seven-Year Time Limit" above).
Excess Course-Load Requests
See Course Load Rules, above, to determine whether or not you will exceed the course load limits for a particular term. To request an exception, you will need to complete the Excess Course Load on this page, and obtain signatures from your adviser and the Director of Graduate Studies. In some cases a copy of your transcript may be required. It is your responsibility to submit the completed form to the Registrar's Office before the end of the first week of classes for the term that you are requesting an exception.
Good Academic Standing
Graduate students are in good academic standing if they maintain a cumulative resident grade point average of 3.00 or greater overall.
Grading disputes should first be discussed with your course instructor. If you are unable to resolve differences, you may appeal your grade by following the procedure described in the UWRF Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook, Section 9.2.20.
The following grades are used for graduate courses:
A = 4.000 grade points per credit
A- = 3.667 grade points per credit
B+ = 3.333 grade points per credit
B = 3.000 grade points per credit
B- = 2.667 grade points per credit
C+ = 2.333 grade points per credit
C = 2.000 grade points per credit
F = Unsatisfactory, 0.000 grade points per credit
S = Satisfactory
I = Incomplete (Given when students fail to complete a course through no fault of their own)
Pass/Fail (used in practicum courses)
SP = Satisfactory Progress (may be used in field-based work or research-oriented classes where the nature of the work involved requires more calendar time than is available during the term wherein the student is registered for the course)
A graduate committee, typically comprised of three graduate faculty members, will conduct a review of thesis, research paper, or capstone experiences, depending on the requirements of the student's degree plan. The committee consists of the committee chair, a member from the student's program, and a third committee member, who may be from an outside program. In some cases, individual programs will require a fourth committee member. The program director assigns the committee chair and the second committee member. Committee chairs either assign the third member or may contact the Office of Graduate Studies to obtain a third committee member. Requests for third committee members should be made as soon as possible, but no later than one semester prior to scheduling the examination. This is necessary to confirm the third committee member's participation, to allow time for the committee chair to communicate appropriate information regarding the student's project and timeline with the third committee member, and to allow the third committee member's schedule to be taken into consideration when scheduling the examination. Consult your adviser if you have questions about whether or not you need a committee and its composition.
Graduate Executive Council
This council is comprised of program directors for each of the university graduate programs, as well as individuals who support the delivery of graduate programs. The Council provides leadership in matters relating to graduate recruitment, retention, program planning and student services. More information is available here.
Ongoing Enrollment Policy
In order to provide resources and services to graduate students throughout their academic career, graduate students must be enrolled in a graduate-level course of at least one credit during each term (fall, spring or summer) in which the student requires access to these services, including the term in which the student intends to graduate.
For more information, consult the UWRF Administrative Policy Handbook, AP-01-213.
Graduate students will be placed on probation if they earn a cumulative grade point average less than 3.000 at UWRF.
Re-entry Requirements and Process
You will remain in active status up to two years after your last enrolled course. After two years, if you wish to take courses again at UWRF and you are in good academic standing, you may complete a submit theUW System application to be considered for re-entry. Students who wish to change their program of study or status from temporary student to pursue a degree or certificate will need to complete the full graduate admission process. See Apply Online.
Graduate students may repeat a course in which a grade of 'C-', 'D+', 'F', 'XF', 'U', or 'W' was earned. Graduate students may request to repeat course in which other grades were received only if there are extenuating circumstances. To request this exception, a Course Repeat Exception form must be completed and approved by the student's advisor, the chair of the department offering the course, and the Director of Graduate studies BEFORE the end of the first day of classes for that term. If the form is not completed and submitted to the Registrar's office by the end of the first day of classes for that term, the student will be automatically dropped from the roster.
Scheduling Comprehensive Examinations
Oral examinations are scheduled for two hours. To schedule your oral examination, coordinate the date, time and location with your assigned graduate committee members. After you have scheduled your examination, send an email with the names of the committee members, date, time, location, topic, and the name of your graduate program to the Graduate Studies Office at least two weeks before the examination date and no later than four weeks before the end of your final term.
Slash courses are numbered with both undergraduate and graduate numbers (300/500, 400/600.) Freshman and sophomores are not permitted in 300/500 and 400/600 courses. Juniors and seniors are permitted in 300/500 and 400/600 courses. No undergraduate students may enroll in 700-level courses under any circumstances. A sophomore may petition the Director of Graduate Studies for admission to a 300/500 course, but only under extraordinary circumstances, and with written support of the instructor and adviser.
Graduate students will be suspended if any of the following apply:
Temporary Graduate Student Status
This status is for persons who have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution who want to take graduate-level courses for professional development and who do not plan to obtain an graduate dgree or seek admission to a graduate and/or certificate/certification program. Please note that some graduate courses are not open to temporary graduate students.
If a student completes courses in this temporary status and then choses to apply to a graduate degree and/or certificate/certification program at UWRF a maximum of nine graduate credits from either the UWRF or another graduate institution can be applied toward the graduate degree program.
Theses and Research Papers
Because each member of a graduate committee must approve completed theses or research papers, you must inform all three members of the committee about the development of the topic, research progress, and results, as well as the writing of the research. Theses and research papers are defended in an oral examination. After your paper has been approved by your graduate committee, you will submit it for binding.
For theses, one copy must be bound including the cover page with the signatures of all committee members. To have a thesis bound a $30 per copy fee will need to be paid (i.e. $30 for the required copy plus $30 for each additional copy for personal use). Bring both the thesis and the cover page with the signatures of all committee members to the Graduate Studies Office in 104 North Hall. After the payment is made, the copies will be sent out for binding. One bound copy will be submitted to the UWRF Library academic depository and you will be notified when any additional bound copies are ready for pickup if purchased.
For research papers, a final copy of your paper, with a cover sheet signed by your adviser, and the original MINDS approval form (plus 1 copy of the form) must be submitted to the Graduate Office located in 104 North Hall.
It is your responsibility to check the manuscripts for proper pagination and deliver them to the Graduate Office. Acceptable margins are either one-inch margin on all sides or a wider margin on the left to accommodate the binding. The cover sheet for the thesis must be signed by your adviser and your Graduate Committee.
The final paper must adhere to guidelines for mandatory submission to the university's academic repository at MINDS@UW-River Falls. The checklist and submission form can be found at MINDS Submission Information.
If allowed by the graduate program you may be able to transfer as many as nine credits from other institutions or from within our university. Any exceptions need to be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies, upon recommendation from a program chair. If a student has credits earned at UWRF toward a prior graduate degree, they are treated as if they are transfer credits. In addition to meeting the requirement in 9.2.34 graduate credits must meet the following conditions:
Once an internal evaluation had been completed, accepted transfer credits and grades will be recorded on the students UWRF record as they appear on the transcript from the host institution or according to the MOU/articulation agreement or as provided by the transcript evaluation service. Transfer grades will not be used in calculating the cumulative GPA.
Undergraduate Student Enrollment in Graduate Courses
A UWRF junior, senior or post-baccalaureate student may enroll in graduate courses while completing an undergraduate degree under the following conditions:
Undergraduate students will be charged graduate tuition rates for graduate credits (as per UWRF Administrative Policy AP-02-106).