Program Plan


Requirements of the Program Plan

Descriptions of program plans are found in this Graduate Bulletin. These descriptions are regulated by the governance procedures of UW-Stout. The individual student’s program plan is initiated by the student, approved by the program director and the college dean, and submitted to the graduate office along with the Application for Degree Candidacy for final approval by the director, Office of Graduate Studies. The approved program plan must identify the year and term of the earliest credit that will be used to meet program requirements. The program plan is kept on file with the program director.

Master’s programs require a minimum of 30 credits. Education Specialist programs require a minimum of 36 credits. Individual programs and/or certification may specify additional credits. Check the program requirements listed elsewhere in this bulletin.

Students will be held to the approved program plan on file in the graduate office at the pregraduation checkout.

One-half of the minimum credits required for graduation must be in graduate only (700-800) courses.


Independent Study

Students may design special topic courses independent of the curriculum. This option is open during any enrollment or course-add period. Summer Session enrollments are closed at the end of the fifth week of the eight-week session. Students may initiate the process by obtaining an Application for Independent Study from the office of the college in which the independent study is to be offered. The student selects a topic and completes the form. After a topic has been identified and approved by the appropriate department chair, a member of that department is appointed study coordinator. The independent study coordinator provides counsel and aid to the student in achieving the approved desired learning objectives. Credits are awarded on the basis of expending a minimum of 48 hours of effort for each credit and on an evaluation of the extent to which the stated objectives were met. Existing courses are not offered as independent study topics. Registration may take place after the application for independent study form has been approved by the Graduate School.

Students should consult in advance with their program director to find out whether the proposed independent study may be used in the degree program.


Credit by Examination

Credit by examination is possible through “test-out” procedures developed by the various academic departments. Students must be enrolled during the test-out term and will be charged a test-out fee. A credit by examination form must be obtained from the UW-Stout college or school housing the course. This form includes Graduate School approval and must be completed in order for a “test-out” to be recorded.


Research Requirement

All programs require a research component which may or may not include a research paper or thesis. See the program descriptions for individual program requirements and options.


Transfer Credit

Graduate credit earned at another graduate school may be considered toward the fulfillment of program requirements provided that:

  • They meet the Seven-Year limit policy.

  • The institution is accredited at the graduate level.

  • The course is offered for graduate credit and is applicable to a graduate program at the offering institution.

  • It must appear as a graduate course on the student’s graduate transcript from the offering institution.

  • The grade received was “B” (3.0) or higher.

To be applied to program requirements, transfer credits must be approved by the program director using the Request to Transfer Credit form. The total of these is limited to one-third of the minimum required credits for graduation from the program. Said credits will be posted on the UW-Stout transcript when two copies of official transcripts and a Request to Transfer form are filed in the Graduate Office and are part of the program plan with the approved Application for Degree Candidacy. Only those credits to be used to meet program requirements will be transferred.

Credit may be transferred from those international institutions with which UW-Stout has entered into a formal transfer agreement. All other criteria listed here apply.


Load Limit

Graduate students may take a maximum of 16 credits per semester or 10 credits per 10-week Summer Session. Credits taken through Outreach Services, independent study, audit, internship, cooperative education or special topics are included in the maximum credit load. With the approval of the program director, a student may take a two-credit overload during a semester or a one-credit overload during the summer session. Credit Overload Permit cards are available from the program director or the Graduate Office. Any requests for loads greater than the permitted overloads will be referred to the Exceptions Committee. Exceptions forms are available from the program director or the Graduate Office.


Seven Year Limit

All course work, including transfer credits and research used to meet program requirements, must be completed within the seven-year period prior to graduation.