Program Progress

Degree Candidacy

The Application for Degree Candidacy initiates the process by which the Graduate School, in conjunction with the program director and the college dean, attests to the appropriateness of the program plan and the potential of the student to obtain the related academic and professional competencies. Candidacy must be approved before the Graduate Application for Degree is filed with the Graduate Office. At the time of filing, the following conditions must exist:

  • The student is on full academic standing.

  • The student and program director will verify that the “expected outcomes of the graduate residency experience” have been met by signing the Application for Degree Candidacy.

  • A program plan has been approved by the program director and college dean.

The Application for Degree Candidacy must be accompanied by the Approved Program Plan and an unofficial UW-Stout graduate transcript. If transfer credit is involved, the Request to Transfer Credit form and transcripts must be attached or on file in the Graduate Office. Degree candidacy requires the approval of the program director, the dean (or designate) of the college within which the program is housed, and the director, Office of Graduate Studies.

Meeting the Research Requirement

Individual programs have various options for meeting the research requirement, and the Graduate School has assembled a corresponding information packet.

The student initiates the process by which the research adviser is identified by filing the Appointment of Research Adviser/Chair and Committee form at the Graduate Office.

Research advisers must be members or associate members of the graduate faculty. A current listing may be obtained from the Graduate School or online.

The completed research report (including the abstract) must be submitted to the Graduate School on or before the last day of the term in which graduation is expected. This submission must include paper copy using the formats approved by the Graduate School and outlined in the current research packet.

All research advisers and graduate students must complete UW-Stout’s human subjects training online before submitting any protocols to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for review and approval. These changes are designed to bring UW-Stout into compliance with current federal regulations regarding research which involves human subjects.

Once the training has been completed, students must complete the IRB Review request form (available in the research packet or online). Submit the completed form, including required signatures and other required materials, to Research Services, 152 Vocational Rehabilitation Building.

The student’s request will be reviewed by an IRB member within ten working days. If there are any corrections or modifications, the student should resubmit the request and it will be reviewed by an IRB member within ten working days. The request would go through the full IRB only if the reviewer suggests it and they meet once a month. Once a student‘s request has been approved, they may begin data collection.


Candidates must file a Graduate Application for Degree/Commencement with the Graduate Office at the beginning of the term in which they expect to graduate. The Application for Degree Candidacy must have been approved prior to filing the Graduate Application for Degree/Commencement.

To file, the candidate must be on full academic standing and must meet all program requirements as specified in the Graduate Bulletin at the time that the program plan was approved by the program director. The Graduate School and the program director will certify that all requirements have been met. The diploma will be mailed to the student two to three months after the end of the term of graduation. Candidates that require certification of graduation earlier may request a transcript from the Registration and Records Office. A candidate will be recorded as “graduated” at the end of the term in which all program requirements were completed, including the filing of the research report in the graduate office, and its approval by the director, Office of Graduate Studies.

Candidates may request to participate in the graduation ceremony if all requirements have been met except the filing of the research report. This assumes that the candidate has enrolled for the required research course where applicable. The request is available as the Graduate Application for Degree/Commencement.

Non-Degree Seeking (Special) Student

While there is no numerical limit on the number of total credits that can be taken as a non-program special student, the number of such credits that can be applied to a degree program is limited to one-third of the minimum number of credits required for graduation in that program. Individual programs may set a lower limit for such credits, provided this lower limit has been approved through the official curriculum process.

Completion of courses, while enrolled as a non-program special student, does not guarantee admission into a specific degree program. If a non-program special student decides to enter a specific graduate program, the student must apply for admission into that program.