Regulations Governing Graduate Study

GRADUATE PROGRAM OF THE DEPARTMENTS OF SOCIOLOGY
      AND COMMUNITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIOLOGY

            University of Wisconsin-Madison

(Updated May 30, 2012)

PREFACE

This document replaces all previous statements of requirements. Students are responsible for fulfilling these requirements and those of the Graduate School. The Departments of Sociology and Community and Environmental Sociology conduct a combined graduate program, administered by the Sociology Department. These regulations apply to all graduate students in this combined program. Where these regulations refer to the "chair," this typically means the chair of the Sociology Department. "Faculty" refers to the faculty of Sociology and Community and Environmental Sociology. The Advanced Standing Committee (ASC) is assigned the task of interpreting and applying the regulations in specific cases. Any decision or action of the ASC may be appealed, either by a student or by a faculty member, to the departments by means of a letter to the chair. It is the responsibility of students to monitor their own compliance with these rules. Circulation of this document is regarded as sufficient notice of what is expected of graduate students in our departments.

ALPHABETICAL INDEX

ADMISSION (Part I, section A)

ADVANCED STANDING COMMITTEE (Part I, section J)

AVERAGE GRADE REQUIREMENT (Part I, section F)

DISSERTATION PROPOSAL & DISSERTATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE (Part III, section F)

DISSERTATOR STATUS (Part III, section E)

EXTENSION REQUESTS (Part I, section K)

FUNDING (Part I, section B)

"FULL TIME WORK" (Part I, section D)

GRADE APPEAL PROCEDURE (Part I, section G)

GRADUATE SCHOOL CREDIT REQUIREMENTS (Part I, section E)

LEAVES OF ABSENCE (Part I, section L)

MAJOR PROFESSOR (Part I, section C)

MASTER'S EXTENSIONS (Part I, section K.1)

MASTER'S THESIS AND COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION (Part II, section G)

MASTER'S DEGREE (Part II, section A)

MASTER'S DEGREE COURSE WORK (Part II, section F)

MASTER'S DEGREE WAIVER (Part II, section B)

MISCONDUCT (Part I, section M)

NON-THESIS MASTER'S OPTION (Part II, Section H)

PH.D. EXTENSIONS (Part I, section K.2)

PH.D. COURSE (Part III, section A)

PH.D. DEPARTMENTAL WRITTEN EXAMINATIONS (Part III, section C)

PH.D. FINAL ORAL EXAMINATION (Part III, section G)

PH.D. ORAL PRELIMINARY EXAM (Part III, section D)

PH.D. MINOR REQUIREMENT (Part III, section B)

PH.D. PRELIMINARY EXAM, CONVENTIONAL (Part III, Section C.1)

PH.D. PRELIMINARY EXAM, PAPER OPTION (Part III, Section C.2)

PREFACE

PROCEDURES SUMMARY ADDENDUM

REMOVAL OF INCOMPLETES (Part I, section H)

REQUIRED PROSEMINAR FOR NEW STUDENTS (Part II, section E)

REQUIRED COURSES (Part II, section I)

"SEMESTER" (Part I, section D)

SPECIALTY AREAS (Part I, section N)

SUMMARY: SATISFACTORY PROGRESS (Part IV)

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

A. ADMISSION

The Director of Graduate Studies serves as admissions officer for the departments, and as chair of the Committee on Admissions and Awards. All applicants for admission must comply with the basic requirements established by the University of Wisconsin Graduate School (see Catalog of the University of Wisconsin Graduate School) and with the additional requirements imposed by the departments. The departments follow a highly selective admissions policy. The following information must be submitted prior to announced deadlines: (1) an official application form; (2) statement of reasons for graduate study (3) a complete set of transcripts (ordinarily the undergraduate grade point average must be at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; (4) scores on the Graduate Record Examination verbal, quantitative, and writing tests. (GRE scores are required of all native speakers of English and other applicants who have studied at an English-speaking University or are residents of the U.S. at the time of application.); (5) three letters of recommendation from professors or supervisors acquainted with the student's previous work and potential for graduate training; (5) TOEFL scores for international applicants whose native language is not English; (6) a writing sample (for example, a research paper).

The Departments of Sociology and Community and Environmental Sociology do not require an undergraduate major in sociology for admission to the graduate program, but the Director of Graduate Studies may at the time of first registration specify deficiencies in statistics on the basis of the student's background. Deficiencies are to be removed in the first semester of graduate residence by passing Sociology 360, Statistics for Sociologists, with a grade of B or higher.

Students who enter the program with a master's degree in sociology or a related field are not automatically waived into the Ph.D. program, but they may petition to be advanced into the Ph.D.program without completing a master's degree in this department. See Section II. The Master's Degree and Master's Waiver.

B. FUNDING

Faculty who have funded research or training grants may appoint qualified graduate students to Research Assistantships, Traineeships, or Project Assistantships. Incoming students are considered for these appointments as well as continuing students. The departments also hire graduate students as Teaching Assistants. Some A.B.D. students (dissertators) may be hired as lecturers. The department chair's office announces late in each semester the opportunity to apply for teaching assistantships and lectureships for the following semester and provides application forms. Students also are encouraged to seek outside fellowships and other sources of support. A few outstanding admitted students are nominated for University Fellowships for their first year of study. Other departments on campus sometimes notify our departments of available graduate assistantships and other jobs, and these are announced to our students via email.

Beginning in 2011-12, the department guarantees funding to all incoming students for the first 5 continuous years in the program. This funding may take the form of Teaching Assistantships, Research or Project Assistantships, Traineeships, or Fellowships. These guarantees are contingent on satisfactory progress through the program, which includes timely completion of master's degree and PhD requirements (section II.C), average grade requirement (section I.F), removal of incompletes (section I.H), required courses (section I.I), and adherence to all other rules of the program and University. A student who has lost his or her guarantee through failure to make satisfactory progress may appeal to the Advanced Standing Committee (section I.J). For international students, guarantees are contingent on passing the SPEAK test. First-year students are required to apply for external fellowships as part of the first-year Professional Seminar (Prosem). Receipt of an external fellowship does not extend the departmental guarantee beyond the student's 5th year in the program.

C. MAJOR PROFESSOR

The Director of Graduate Studies serves as the initial faculty advisor for entering graduate students and conducts a proseminar which all students must take during their first semester. The new students may ask the Director of Graduate Studies or the Graduate Advisor (Academic Staff person) for assistance in planning their first semester courses. At some time during their first semester or first year students should arrange for another faculty member to serve as major professor and advisor on the student's research. At any subsequent time the student may change major professors, with a signature of approval from the new major professor (advisor) on a Change of Advisor form. It is the student's responsibility to keep her or his advisor informed and to consult regularly with him or her on research plans, course selection, and other academic issues. Approval of a student's plans and progress by his or her major professor does not exempt a student from meeting departmental requirements. If there is any question concerning the applicability of any rule to the student's particular situation, he or she should discuss the matter with his or her major professor and, if appropriate, communicate with the Advanced Standing Committee.

D. DEFINITION OF "FULL TIME WORK" AND "SEMESTER"

Full-time for a graduate student is 8-12 credits in the Fall and Spring semesters. Certain types of funding required a specified minimum number of credits per semester. Research Assistantships, Traineeships, and University Fellowships, as well as some outside fellowships, require registration for at least 8 credits. If a fellowship, research assistantship, or traineeship is for a calendar year (rather than just a Fall and Spring semester academic year), the student must register for 2 credits in the 8-week summer session. Teaching Assistants and Project Assistants may register for 6 credits and be considered full time. Project Assistants who have an appointment in the summer are not required to register for the summer if they were registered in the previous spring semester. The department sets semester limits (fall and spring semesters) by when students are expected to have completed certain requirements. Summers are not included in the total semester count in terms of meeting requirements.

E. GRADUATE SCHOOL CREDIT REQUIREMENTS

For the master's degree, a minimum of 16 UW-Madison graduate-level credits is required by the Graduate School. (Note: The department requires 24 credits in Sociology and/or Community and Environmental Sociology for the master's degree--see II F. Course Work for the Master's Degree.

For the doctoral degree, the Graduate School requires a minimum of 32 UW-Madison graduate-level credits. This is a cumulative total, including the 16 credits required for the master's degree. See III The Ph.D. The department does not have a credit requirement for the Ph.D.

F. AVERAGE GRADE REQUIREMENT

The grading system in Sociology and Community and Environmental Sociology courses at the graduate level is A (4.0), AB (3.5), B (3.0), BC (2.5), C (2.0), D (1.0), F, S, U. A grade of S (satisfactory) is the passing grade in some seminars, thesis, and reading courses; it carries no weight in calculating GPAs. A grade of C, D, or F is a failure. A grade of P for a graduate student does not mean "pass," as it does for an undergraduate. It means "progress" and functions the same as an Incomplete. The only final grade for 990 Thesis credits is an S, so that is the appropriate grade a faculty member should give each semester that a student is enrolled in 990. (There is a history from many years ago of grades of P changing automatically to a letter grade when a final letter grade was given, but that is no longer the case. The final grade can only be an S, and the faculty member who gives grades of P has to go back and change each one of them to a grade of S when the student is finished with the master's thesis or dissertation.) The graduate school requires an overall GPA of 3.0 in graduate coursework. The department requires an overall GPA of 3.25 in graduate coursework (after the first semester, when 3.0 is allowed).

If a student's GPA falls below these requirements, the student's total record is reviewed by the Advanced Standing Committee (ASC)--the committee that reviews lack of progress and responds to special requests from students. If the ASC decides to recommend that the student be placed on Probation or Not in Good Standing (and not permitted to register), the student and his or her major professor are so informed and may appeal this decision. Any student whose grade average falls below 3.25 should immediately discuss the situation with his or her advisor and may submit in writing to the ASC any relevant information before the ASC initiates a review of the student's case. The departmental cumulative grade point average of a continuing student is one of the criteria considered by the department in funding decisions; see I: B. FUNDING.

G. GRADE APPEAL PROCEDURE

A student has the right to appeal a grade if s/he believes it was based on criteria other than performance in the course. Grounds may include, but are not limited to, procedural errors, bias based on legally protected category membership, or personal malice. The student should first appeal to the faculty member who was responsible for the grade being assigned. If the student is not satisfied, there is a formal appeal process outlined below. The appeal should be directed to the chair of the department, in writing, describing the nature of the complaint and the requested remedy.


The chair may, at his/her discretion, investigate the appeal personally or delegate the investigation to other members of the faculty. The investigator will read the appeal, interview the student, interview the faculty member, and examine the academic work involved in the complaint, before reaching a decision. Such decision shall be for a change of grade only in cases where there is reasonable basis for concluding that the original grade was based in part on error and/or bias. Differences between the investigator and the instructor in subjective judgment about quality of coursework are not grounds for grade changes. The investigator will communicate his/her decision to the faculty member; if the faculty member disagrees with the decision, s/he may appeal the decision to the faculty. Following any such appeal, or in the absence of an appeal, the investigator will then write a letter to the complainant outlining the decision and the reasoning behind it and send a copy to the faculty member and to the chair.

A graduate student may appeal a departmental decision to the dean of the graduate school, in writing.

H. REMOVAL OF INCOMPLETES

A student who does not complete the work required in a course or seminar and who receives a grade of I (incomplete) must, according to Graduate School regulations, complete the course requirements and remove the incomplete from his or her record before he or she is eligible to receive a degree. Students also should note that Graduate School expects grades of incomplete to be removed by the end of the next full semester.

The departmental rule requires that incompletes be removed within the next two registered semesters. Summer session is a "registered semester" for the purposes of this guideline. Failure to complete the work within two registered semesters may result in a letter from the ASC to the student and to the professor in whose course the incomplete was received. The professor may be encouraged to submit a change of grade from Incomplete to Fail.

I. REQUIRED COURSES

Any student intending to pursue the Ph.D. degree must have passed the Ph.D. statistics (Sociology 361 and 362) and theory (773) requirements by the end of the fourth semester in residence. The Ph.D. methods requirement, 750, must be completed by the end of the sixth semester.

The student may petition the ASC for a waiver of any required course. The basis for such a waiver shall be evidence of previous work of the same level and content to be determined by the ASC in consultation with the staff member currently responsible for the course concerned. A requirement which is completed by waiver carries no credit toward the graduate school's credit requirements nor toward the department's 24 credit requirement for the master's degree.

If a student receives a failing grade (C or lower) in a required or deficiency course, his or her total record is reviewed by the ASC. If its recommendation is that the student not be allowed to continue in the Graduate School, the student and his or her major advisor are so informed and given the opportunity to appeal to the ASC before the recommendation is transmitted to the Graduate School. If the committee decides to permit continuation, the student must repeat the course again within the next two regular semesters. The grade attained in the second attempt, if passing, shall be recorded, and the student's departmental GPA recomputed after substituting the new grade for the original failing grade. (This can only be done on the department record, not on the UW record.) A second failure leads to a recommendation that the student not be allowed to continue.

J. THE ADVANCED STANDING COMMITTEE

The Advanced Standing Committee (ASC) administers the regulations established by the faculty. It monitors students' progress and imposes sanctions when progress is not satisfactory. Faculty and faculty committees determine whether the quality of a student's work is satisfactory, while the ASC determines whether the student is satisfying the requirements in a timely fashion. Students who are falling behind are first warned, then put on probation, and then dropped from the program if they cannot complete the requirements. Within boundaries set by the faculty, the ASC is authorized to take account of individual circumstances and problems, and to grant extensions of deadlines and waivers of requirements.

The final authority for all graduate regulations is the full faculty. Any student may appeal any matter pertaining to his or her program to the full faculty, by writing a letter to the department chair. The faculty will consider the appeal in a meeting.

ASC procedures are designed to encourage a student to work closely with an advisor and other faculty, who will be aware of the student's work and personal circumstances. A student petitioning for a deadline extension or requirement waiver must obtain an endorsement from his or her advisor, or a substitute faculty member. Advisors may petition the ASC on behalf of their advisees. The ASC may ask the advisor for further information beyond that written on the petition.

Students may ask the Director of Graduate Studies or other faculty members to advise them, to speak to the ASC on their behalf, or to endorse their requests. Students may consult with the chair of the ASC or with the graduate advisor about ASC procedures and standards, but the ASC cannot substitute for an advising relationship.

Requests for extensions or waivers and appeals of past ASC actions are submitted in writing to the ASC through the graduate advisor; a copy of the written petition or appeal and the official written response of the ASC are placed in the student's file. The ASC normally makes its decisions on the basis of the information it has received with the petition and the information available in the student's academic file. Students or their advisors may appeal to the ASC for reconsideration of any action taken by the committee. Such an appeal should present additional information or should challenge the ASC's interpretation or application of standards or procedures. Students who appeal the ASC's actions have the right to request that their written appeal be supplemented by a hearing before the ASC. Whenever a student appears before the ASC or consults a committee member, the student may ask his or her advisor, the Director of Graduate Studies, another member of the faculty, or another student in the department to be present. If an appeal is denied by the ASC, the student or his or her advisor may present an oral or written appeal to a meeting of the faculty, whose decision shall be final.

K. EXTENSION REQUESTS

1. MASTER'S EXTENSIONS

Students remain in good standing if they have completed the MS degree by the end of the summer after their 2nd year in the program. Students who have not completed the MS degree on schedule may request extensions as indicated below using the form provided by the department.

For students entering in 2011-12 or later: Requests for a one-year extension (allowing completion of the MS degree by the end of the summer after their 3rd year) can be made to the Advanced Standing Committee. The ASC is authorized to approve these requests upon written justification from the student and their advisor. Requests for additional extensions (beyond the summer of the 3rd year) must be approved by the full joint faculty.

For students entering before 2011-2012: The ASC is authorized to grant one-semester extensions of time for completion of the master's degree. Students should describe the reasons for the request, progress made on the thesis, and a proposed timetable for completion. The major professor must sign the form and write comments on the soundness of the request. Provided the student is in good standing otherwise, the ASC will routinely approve the first semester extension request and will approve second semester requests that are justified by the major professor. The ASC will review carefully the entire record of students requesting an extension into their seventh or later semester. The ASC normally does not grant extensions based on depth, length, or type of work that is required for the preparation of the master's thesis or any other academic endeavor. If the ASC rejects the request, the student may appeal to the full faculty. Failing to complete the master's degree within seven semesters normally leads to the student being placed on probation. Students who have not completed a master's degree by the end of their eighth semester of enrollment are normally dropped from the program.

2. PH.D. EXTENSIONS

A student who continues for the Ph.D. may request an extension beyond the 6th semester or 8th semester limit for becoming a dissertator by completing a form provided by the department. The student must describe the reasons for the request and provide a proposed timetable for completing all Ph.D. requirements. The major professor must sign the request form and write comments endorsing the request. The request should be made as soon as the need for an extension becomes apparent. The ASC may request additional documentation as needed, and the full ASC will review the student's record and make a decision. If the ASC rejects the request, the student may appeal to the full faculty. Students who are more than two semesters late in completing their Ph.D. requirements are at risk of being placed on probation, and students who are more than four semesters late in completing their Ph.D. requirements are normally dropped from the program. For students entering in the fall of 2011 and later, extensions to completion of the PhD requirements must be approved or the student risks losing their good standing and thus their funding guarantee as well.

L. LEAVES OF ABSENCE

Requests to take a leave of absence or to go on part-time status should be made to the Academic Standing Committee with a supplemental letter of justification directly provided from the student's major advisor or the director of graduate studies. An additional petition to stop the five-year funding clock may be made to ASC at the same time with justification provided from the major advisor or DGS. An approved leave of absence or part-time status for only one semester or year will generally be deemed to merit a stopped clock, but a formal request to the ASC for approval must be made. The default is that the funding clock will continue to run. For approval of leaves or reduced effort for more than one year, the petition should advance strong justifications, and in most cases a stopped clock for two years or a leave/reduced effort for more than two years will not be approved.

M. MISCONDUCT

Students may be disciplined or dismissed from the graduate program for academic misconduct (http://students.wisc.edu/saja/pdf/UWS14.pdf) or non-academic misconduct (http://students.wisc.edu/saja/pdf/UWS17-procedure.pdf), regardless of their academic standing in the program. Student conduct rules are found in three chapters of the University of Wisconsin System Administrative Code which apply statewide to all UW campuses and students. These are commonly referred to as UWS 14 (academic conduct), UWS 17(nonacademic conduct), and UWS 18 (conduct on university lands). Copies of these rules and campus disciplinary procedures are available from the Dean of Students office. Academic Misconduct includes, but is not limited to, receiving unauthorized assistance on any academic examination or assignment, submitting another's work as one's own or quoting or paraphrasing the work of another without full citation to the original author's work, and falsifying data or research results or reporting deceptive information about the conduct or results of a research project. All incidents of suspected academic misconduct are initially investigated by the faculty member involved or other appropriate officer of the university. If the person making this initial investigation believes academic misconduct has occurred s/he suggests an appropriate penalty but is also required to forward information about the offense to the Dean of Students' Office for further action. For graduate students, dismissal from graduate school is assumed to be an appropriate response for a first offense. Students should consult with faculty should they have any questions about whether a particular behavior would constitute misconduct. Non-academic Misconduct refers to any other violation of university rules, and includes but is not limited to any actions which threaten, demean or harass university employees or students; any willful or negligent actions which damage university property or the property of university employees or students; and any actions which disrupt classes, research, or other normal functions of the university. Serious violations will be referred immediately to the Dean of Students' office for disciplinary action. Minor violations will result in a warning; repetition of the behavior after a warning will lead to a referral to the Dean of Students' office for disciplinary action.

N. SPECIALTY AREAS

1. FUNCTIONS

The faculty have organized the graduate program into "specialty areas" in which they have committed themselves to certain responsibilities, including regularly reviewing the progress of affiliated graduate students. Each of these specialty areas has been formally approved as such by vote of the faculty. (Note: There are additional faculty and student "interest areas" and preliminary exam areas that have not been voted in as "specialty areas.") The following is the current list of specialty areas.

SPECIALTY AREAS
  • Class Analysis and Historical Change
  • Demography/Ecology
  • Deviance, Law, and Social Control
  • Economic Sociology
  • Environmental Sociology
  • Methods and Statistics
  • Political Sociology
  • Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Community and Environmental Sociology
  • Social Psychology and Micro Sociology
  • Social Stratification
  • Sociology of Agriculture and Food Systems
  • Sociology of Economic Change and Development
  • Sociology of Gender
  • Sociology of Medicine

The faculty of specialty areas meet periodically to review curriculum and to review the progress of affiliated students. Many specialty areas offer "training seminars" and other events.

Prior to the specialty area review, each student reports on academic progress to date and plans for the forthcoming academic year, on a form provided by the department. A student may discuss the report and plan with the major professor prior to the meeting of the specialty area faculty. A copy of the current report and plan is included in the student's academic file. If a student's major professor is not a member of at least one specialty area reviewing the student, the professor will be invited to participate in the review.

The Specialty Area faculty is not responsible for enforcement of the Department's rules and deadlines. Monitoring compliance with these rules remains the responsibility of the student, the student's major professor, and the ASC. As a part of its review of a student's academic performance, the Specialty Area faculty should consider the student's progress with respect to these deadlines, as well as the overall quality of the student's academic work.

Following the review, the coordinator of the specialty area and/or the student's major professor should provide the student with feedback on the specialty area faculty's evaluation of his/her progress.

2. STUDENT MEMBERSHIP IN SPECIALTY AREAS

Once each academic year [on a form provided by the department] graduate students will be asked to:

a. indicate their faculty advisor; b. select specialty area(s) with which they wish to affiliate; and c. indicate in which specialty area(s) they wish to be reviewed. A student may change his/her specialty area affiliation and/or review area at any time by submitting an amended form. A student may affiliate with one or more specialty areas and may elect to be reviewed by one or more specialty areas. Each student must affiliate with, and be reviewed by, at least one specialty area.

Students may participate in the open activities (e.g., seminars, brownbags) of specialty areas with which they are not affiliated.

3. ESTABLISHMENT OF SPECIALITY AREA PROGRAMS

Specialty areas are created by a vote of the faculty. Consideration of the establishment of a specialty area may be initiated by any four faculty members petitioning the departmental faculty. Proposals for the establishment of new training seminars will continue to be considered by the Curriculum Committee.

II. THE MASTER'S DEGREE AND MASTER'S WAIVER

A. MASTER'S DEGREE

The faculty of the Departments of Sociology and Community and Environmental Sociology believe that the master's thesis is one of the best indicators of a student's capacity to do independent research. At the master's oral, the faculty determine whether the student is adequately prepared to advance to doctoral-level research.

The size and scope of a master's thesis is generally comparable to a journal article. An adequate master's thesis poses a problem or question, locates it within past empirical and theoretical scholarship, provides data or evidence relevant to the problem or question, and discusses the significance of the data for the research question and the larger literature within which it is embedded. Master's theses involve some sort of research (broadly construed) but do not necessarily have to involve primary data collection. The master's research may be quantitative or qualitative, and it may involve a reanalysis of existing data or secondary sources. Purely theoretical master's theses can be acceptable when they involve creative original theoretical work.

The master's thesis requirement is NEVER waived for students who do not have master's degrees. Completing the master's thesis and passing the master's oral, after completing master's course and credit requirements, is the means whereby a student is passed into the PhD portion of the program.

B. MASTER'S DEGREE WAIVER

Students who enter the program with a master's degree in sociology or a related field are not automatically waived into the PhD program, but they may petition to be advanced into the PhD program without completing a master's degree in this department. There are two types of waiver petitions:

(1) A primary master's waiver is granted if a faculty committee judges that the student's prior preparation and master's thesis or paper meets the standards for advancement into the PhD program in content and quality. Primary master's waivers must be requested during the student's first year of enrollment in the sociology program. Students may apply only once for a primary master's waiver. To request a primary master's waiver, the student fills out the waiver petition form and submits the master's thesis or paper(s) for review. The chair of the ASC appoints a three-person committee to review the submitted work. Submitted theses and papers must be in English. The English requirement may be waived if three faculty members certify that they are competent and willing to read the submitted work in the language in which it is written.

(2) A secondary master's waiver may be granted on the basis of additional work supplementing the master's thesis or papers. Students whose theses are not in English may submit for review a paper written in English that is based on the thesis research. Students whose theses or papers are rejected in a primary waiver review may submit revised papers or additional papers that remove the deficiencies identified by the faculty in the primary review. [Any student preparing for a secondary master's waiver should work closely with an advisor who can help the student ensure the quality and acceptability of the presented materials.] To request a secondary master's waiver, the student fills out a waiver petition form and submits the papers to be reviewed to a faculty committee. The faculty committee will review the papers and conduct a master's-level oral examination to determine whether the student may be advanced into the PhD program. If the result of this review and examination is negative, the student will be required to complete a master's degree within the sociology program. Students may apply only once for a secondary master's waiver, and such a waiver must be obtained within the first two years of the student's enrollment in the sociology program. [NOTE: It is possible under this provision to write an entirely new thesis-like paper for submission. In this case, the student may choose to complete the formalities of receiving a second master's degree or to receive a secondary waiver. Individual circumstances will determine which choice is preferable for the student.]

C. TIME ALLOWANCES

If a primary master's waiver is granted, the student is admitted directly into the PhD program and will have six semesters to complete the PhD requirements and become ABD. Students who are not granted primary master's waivers will have four semesters to obtain a master's degree or a secondary master's waiver and a total of eight semesters to complete their PhD requirements and become ABD.

D. SPECIAL EXEMPTIONS

The Graduate Admissions Committee is empowered to grant master's waivers to unusually well qualified students entering with master's degrees in sociology or related fields. In these cases, the student will be considered to have met the master's thesis requirement as long as the degree is actually completed by the end of the student's first semester of enrollment in our program. If the degree has not been completed by the beginning of the second semester of enrollment, the exemption is not valid, and the student must obtain a waiver or a new master's degree through the usual procedures.

E. REQUIRED PROSEMINAR FOR NEW STUDENTS

All entering students in the graduate program are required to take a 1-credit proseminar as a breadth requirement (Sociology 700: Introductory Proseminar for Graduate Students). The proseminar meets once a week for two hours, under the direction of the Director of Graduate Studies. The seminar introduces various specialty areas within the department and the discipline through lectures by different faculty members.

F. COURSE WORK FOR THE MASTER'S DEGREE

For Students Entering or Re-Entering the Program in Fall 2014 or Later

and

Students Entering Prior to Fall 2014 and Completing the Degree in Fall 2016 or Later:

Total credits required: 30 credits of graduate work in Sociology or Community & Environmental Sociology at UW-Madison.

  • These 30 credits must include the four required courses listed below plus at least 9 credits from courses and seminars restricted to graduate students (typically these courses are numbered 700-984), and
  • The 30 credits may include no more than 9 credits numbered 985 and above (i.e., brown bags, independent reading courses, and thesis credits).

Required courses:

  • Soc 700: Introductory Proseminar for Graduate Students
  • Soc 361: Statistics for Sociologists II (also required for the Ph.D.)
  • One graduate-level methods course from the following list:
    • Soc 735: Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis
    • Soc 750: Research Methods in Sociology (also required for the Ph.D.)
    • Soc 751: Survey Methods for Social Research
    • Soc 753: Comparative and Historical Methods in Sociology
    • Soc 754: Qualitative Research Methods in Sociology
    • Soc 756: Advanced Demographic Methods
  • Soc 773: Intermediate Classical Theory (also required for the Ph.D.)

Note: Sociology 360, which some students may need to take as a remedial course, counts toward the 30 credits.

Time limit: Students have six semesters plus a summer to complete requirements for the Master's degree.

For Students Entering the Program in Fall 2011-Fall 2013 and Completing the Degree by Summer 2016:

Total credits required: 24 credits of graduate work in Sociology or Community & Environmental Sociology at UW-Madison.

  • These 24 credits must include the four required courses listed below plus at least 6 credits from courses and seminars restricted to graduate students (typically these courses are numbered 700-984), and
  • The 24 credits may include no more than 6 credits numbered 985 and above (i.e., brown bags, independent reading courses, and thesis credits).

Required courses:

  • Soc 700: Introductory Proseminar for Graduate Students
  • Soc 361: Statistics for Sociologists II (also required for the Ph.D.)
  • One graduate-level methods course from the following list:
    • Soc 735: Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis
    • Soc 750: Research Methods in Sociology (also required for the Ph.D.)
    • Soc 751: Survey Methods for Social Research
    • Soc 753: Comparative and Historical Methods in Sociology
    • Soc 754: Qualitative Research Methods in Sociology
    • Soc 756: Advanced Demographic Methods
  • Soc 773: Intermediate Classical Theory (also required for the Ph.D.)

Note: Sociology 360, which some students may need to take as a remedial course, does not count toward the 24 credits.

Time limit: Students have four semesters plus a summer to complete requirements for the Master's degree.

For Students Entering the Program in Fall 2010 or Earlier and Completing the Degree by Summer 2016:

Total credits required: 24 credits of graduate work in Sociology or Community & Environmental Sociology at UW-Madison.

  • These 24 credits must include the three required courses listed below plus at least 6 credits from courses and seminars restricted to graduate students (typically these courses are numbered 700-984), and
  • The 24 credits may include no more than 6 credits numbered 985 and above (i.e., brown bags, independent reading courses, and thesis credits).

Required courses:

  • Soc 361: Statistics for Sociologists II (also required for the Ph.D.)
  • Soc 750: Research Methods in Sociology (also required for the Ph.D.), or Soc 357: Methods of Sociological Inquiry, or undergraduate equivalent course completed at prior institution
  • Soc 773: Intermediate Classical Theory (also required for the Ph.D.), or Soc 475: Classical Sociological Theory, or undergraduate equivalent course completed at prior institution

Note: Sociology 360, which some students may need to take as a remedial course, does not count toward the 24 credits.

Time limit: Students have four semesters plus a summer to complete requirements for the Master's degree.

For all Students:

See Section I.K., above, for information on requesting an extension of the deadline for completing Master's requirements.

A student is admitted to the Ph.D. program by the Master's Oral Examination Committee. Students must complete all Master's requirements, including depositing the thesis in Memorial Library, before taking written preliminary examinations.

G. MASTER'S THESIS AND COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION

The department recommends to the Graduate School that a master's degree be awarded after the student has:

1. Completed all master's degree course and credit requirements.

2. Completed a thesis which is acceptable to the major professor.

3. Passed a Master's Comprehensive Oral Examination.

The master's comprehensive oral examination committee also decides whether the student will be permitted to continue for the Ph.D.

1. THESIS

The student must write a thesis under the supervision of his or her major professor. The master's thesis shall be professionally written and demonstrate the student's sociological research skills. Most theses are between 35 and 75 pages long. The content and style should be similar to that of articles published in sociological journals. At some stage in the formulation and execution of the research for the master's thesis, the major professor and the student may wish to seek advice from two additional faculty members who are prospective members of the master's comprehensive examination committee. Although only the advisor gives formal approval of the thesis, the other members of the master's oral committee also must agree that the thesis is of sufficient quality to warrant the award of the master's degree; the master's oral committee may require revisions of the thesis. After the master's oral, the final version of the thesis must be approved and signed by the major professor before it is submitted for deposit in Memorial Library.

2. MASTER'S COMPREHENSIVE ORAL EXAM

(Also see the summary for "The Master's Oral Exam" in addendum)

After the major professor determines that an acceptable version of the thesis has been completed, the student shall schedule a Master's Comprehensive Oral Exam. Only faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Departments of Sociology and Community and Environmental Sociology may serve on the master's comprehensive examination committee. Ordinarily, the major professor is the committee chair. The master's comprehensive examination should be scheduled for a date at least two weeks after copies of the approved thesis have been given to members of the examination committee. The Graduate School office will honor the department's request for a warrant if the student's record is clear of grades of incomplete and the student's program indicates that graduate school credit requirements will be satisfied by completing the work of the semester. Warrants are semester-specific.

The master's comprehensive examination is an oral examination of approximately two hours duration. Questions may cover general sociology, graduate work to date, and the thesis. The examination committee must make two decisions. The first decision is whether to award the master's degree. The second is whether the student should be permitted to continue in the Ph.D. program.

If the student passes the oral examination and the committee finds the thesis to be acceptable as written or with minor revisions, the committee signs the warrant and the warrant is returned to the Graduate School. After the warrant is signed, the final version of the thesis is signed by the advisor and is deposited with Memorial Library, and the master's degree is awarded.

If the student fails the master's oral, either because the committee has found the thesis to be unacceptable or because the student's oral examination was deemed not to be of passing quality, the student may petition to re-take the master's oral not more than twelve months after the examination. One petition to retake the examination will be granted if the student has a valid extension for completing the master's degree, i.e. has not been dropped from good standing for failure to complete the master's degree in a timely fashion or other reasons. Students who fail the master's oral twice are dropped from the program.

If the student passes the master's comprehensive oral, the master's oral committee then considers whether the student will be permitted to continue in the Ph.D. program. The entire record of the student to date is taken into account in making this second decision. This decision is communicated by the chair of the examination committee to the student verbally on the day of the exam and to the department by the advisor's completion of the master's oral report form. Students who are dropped from good standing for failing the master's oral twice or who are not recommended for continuation in the Ph.D. program may appeal to the faculty for reconsideration. See I F 2.

H. NON-THESIS MASTER'S OPTION

Students in our graduate program who do not intend to proceed to the Ph.D. may choose to complete the requirements for a non-thesis Master of Science degree instead. The requirements for the non-thesis Master's include a minimum of 24 credits in Sociology or Community and Environmental Sociology, including the proseminar and courses in statistics, research methods, and theory. Some students need to complete a background course in statistics (Soc 360) to be prepared for the required courses in those areas. Soc 360 does not count toward the 24 required credits.

Required courses are the following:

  • Sociology 700: Introductory Proseminar for Graduate Students
  • 361: Statistics for Sociologists II
  • An approved graduate level methods course
    • 750. Research Methods in Sociology
    • 751. Survey Methods for Social Research
    • 753. Comparative and Historical Methods in Sociology
    • 754. Qualitative Research Methods in Sociology
    • 756. Advanced Demographic Methods
  • Sociology 773: Intermediate Social Theory
  • At least two 3-credit courses limited to graduate students only (courses numbered 700 and above, excluding trainee or research seminars)

The required 24 credits may include up to 6 credits of any combination of Sociology 990: Thesis, Sociology 999: Reading and Research, and training or research seminars.

A comprehensive oral exam is conducted by a three-member committee comprised of Sociology or Community and Environmental Sociology faculty and headed by the student's major professor. Students who receive a non-thesis Master's degree are not eligible for admission to the doctoral program in our department.

III. THE PH.D.

(Requirements include four specific courses, four seminars, written and oral preliminary exams, a minor in one or more other departments, a dissertation proposal hearing, dissertation, and final Ph.D. oral examination.)

A. PH.D. COURSE PROGRAM

Required courses for the Ph.D. are Theory (773), Statistics (36l and 362), Research Methods (750), and four seminars in sociology taught by faculty from the UW-Madison departments of Sociology or Community and Environmental Sociology. In general, training research courses (e.g., 985, 986, 987, 988, 989, 991, and 995) do not count toward the four seminar requirement. Students may request that one such course count for the requirement if the faculty member in charge of the course recommends it and the request is approved by the Advanced Standing Committee. Approval will be based upon certification by the faculty member that the work being presented is equivalent to that normally expected in a regular seminar. Other courses and seminars should be chosen in pursuit of the student's special interests and in consultation with his/her major professor.

There is no departmental foreign language requirement. However, a student's chosen dissertation topic, course of study, or source of funding may require a specific language proficiency.

B. PH.D. MINOR REQUIREMENT

The Graduate School requires that every student complete courses from one or more fields related to his/her principal subject of concentration. Plans for the minor should be formulated by the student early in his/her career, in consultation with his/her major professor and appropriate faculty in the minor field. The student may choose between two options for the minor.

1. Minor Option A is the traditional program. Supplementary to his/her major study, a candidate is required to offer a minor field consisting of a minimum of 9 graduate credits in a single department. The student should inquire at the office of the minor department for information on procedures and for certification of completion. Sociology and Community and Environmental Sociology are a single graduate program; the minor field must be in another department. A copy of the certification of completion of Minor Option A (A Minor Agreement Form) must be supplied to the Sociology and Community and Environmental Sociology Graduate Program office, for the student's academic file.

2. Minor Option B is a program of study in two or more departments (other than Sociology and Community and Environmental Sociology). To meet the requirements of this option, a student must complete a minimum of 9 graduate credits (with a B grade average) in two or more departments outside his/her major in related courses selected for their relevance to his/her particular area of concentration. There may be one (but no more than one) course crosslisted with our departments, but no courses taught by Sociology or Community and Environmental Sociology professors, in an Option B minor. The student must have formal approval on a Ph.D. Minor Agreement Form from his/her major professor and the Ph.D. minor advisor, both for his/her request to choose Option B and for the content of the program he/she proposes.

C. PH.D. DEPARTMENTAL WRITTEN EXAMINATIONS

(Also see the summary "Written Preliminary Exams" in the addendum)

The preliminary examination system consists of two departmental written examinations and an oral preliminary examination. This section describes the written examinations.

Preparation

In order to provide clarity and transparency to students preparing to take any preliminary exam, members of the standing prelim area committees will give students either:

  • (a) a list of topics students should study, or
  • (b) approval of student-generated reading and/or topic lists for the exam

at least three months in advance of the exam test date, either

  • (i) at annual standing prelim area committee meetings,
  • (ii) through individual meetings with all the students taking the exam, and/or
  • (iii) by providing a written rubric posted online or sent via e-mail.

Eligibility

In most cases, students are expected to complete all Master's requirements before taking preliminary exams. However, occasionally a student wishes to take a prelim before completing the Master's thesis. In this case, the student must obtain a statement from his or her advisor confirming that it is in the student's best interest to take the exam prior to defending and depositing the thesis, as doing so will facilitate progress toward both the Master's and Ph.D. degrees. Given advisor approval, the student may take one prelim exam prior to completing the remaining Master's requirements. However, the second prelim must be taken after defending and depositing the thesis. Should a student wish to take a second prelim before completing the thesis, he/she must have a compelling reason for the request (e.g., the thesis is essentially complete, but the defense must be postponed due to lack of faculty availability). In this case, the student must have approval from both the advisor and the Advanced Standing Committee.

Exam Options

There are two options for completing the departmental requirements for written examinations: (1) two conventional written examinations; and (2) one conventional written examination and one paper option.

1. CONVENTIONAL WRITTEN EXAMINATIONS

a. During the two weeks preceding the fall and spring semesters of each year, a set of six-hour written examinations will be offered to students studying for the Ph.D. A student must pass at least one six-hour Ph.D. written examination from Group I below and a second six-hour Ph.D. written examination from either Group I or Group II.

GROUP I EXAMINATIONS
  • Comparative-Historical Sociology (formerly "Social Organization")
  • Demography and Ecology
  • Economic Change and Development
  • Economic Sociology
  • Gender
  • Organizational and Occupational Analysis
  • Political Sociology
  • Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Social Psychology and Micro Sociology
  • Social Stratification
GROUP II EXAMINATIONS
  • AgroFood Systems*
  • Class Analysis and Historical Change
  • Communities and Urban Sociology
  • Culture*
  • Crime, Deviance, and Social Control
  • Education
  • Environmental Sociology*
  • Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis
  • Family
  • General Social Theory
  • Law and Society
  • Medical Sociology
  • Methods and Statistics
  • Religion
  • Science and Technology

* Special rules govern the administration and evaluation of exams in these areas. Please see Section 3 below.

b. Each six-hour examination shall be designed to require two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon, and students may take up to three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon; it is expected that students will take up to one hour in each period to consider the questions and outline their answers. Students whose native language is not English shall be given an extra thirty minutes in the morning and thirty minutes in the afternoon for writing their exams. The examination will be administered on the Madison campus under monitored conditions. "Take-home" examinations will not be permitted. Books, articles, notes, and other aids to memory will not be permitted during the examination. The examination questions will not be circulated prior to the examination period. It is the policy of the Department of Sociology and the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology to allow international students to use a dictionary that translates their native language into English as an aid while writing their preliminary examinations. Any student who wishes to do this must give the dictionary they intend to use to the graduate advisor at least three days before the scheduled time of the examination, in order that s/he may determine that there is nothing written in it (except their name and address). S/he will return the dictionary to the student at the time of the examination.

c. The chair appoints, at his/her discretion, a committee of three, four, or five members of the faculty for each field to prepare the examination and grade the papers. [To allow time for appointment of committees and preparation of exams, there is a mid-semester preliminary exam signup period.] The papers are graded with the student's name removed. Grades are "pass with distinction," "pass," or "fail." Departmental written examinations are evaluated according to standards of "generalized professional knowledge" rather than standards of "specialized professional knowledge."

d. Timely Reporting of Results

(1) Prelim committees should issue results to students taking the prelim no more than two weeks after the prelim date, except by prior arrangement with the graduate coordinator. If applicable, the modified date will be communicated to students prior to their taking of the exam.

(2) The chair of the committee will provide written or oral feedback to any student who fails the exam.  This feedback will be provided within two weeks of notification of the exam results and will specify the reasons for the failure. 

(3) Prelim committees which fail to comply with either of the above shall be reported to the department chair for discussion at the next scheduled joint faculty meeting.

e. A student must be admitted to the departmental Ph.D. program in order to take preliminary exams. This means that the student must have completed the master's requirements. After completing the master's requirements, a student may take his or her written examinations in any semester, providing the time limit specified in paragraph f. is not violated.

f. Students must pass their departmental written examinations before the end of their eighth semester of residence at the university, or the end of their sixth if they receive a primary master's waiver. If a student is on leave but returns to take a preliminary exam, one semester will be added to his/her total semesters to completion. See Section I. K. above regarding requests for an extension of time to complete requirements.

g. Failure. A student who fails an examination may retake the examination in the same field in succeeding semesters, providing the time limit specified in paragraph f. is not violated. A student who fails an examination may shift to another field only after successful petition to the ASC.

h. At the discretion of the chair, the written departmental examinations may be given off the campus provided they are given at the same time as the regular on-campus examinations and they are administered by a responsible official. The chair should permit examinations off-campus only in clearly extraordinary situations.

2. EXAMINATION AND PAPER OPTION

a. A student must pass one Ph.D. written examination from Group I. In place of the second written examination, the student may submit two papers in one of the areas listed in Group II, provided that the area chosen is different from the one chosen for the Group I examination.

b. Papers must represent substantially independent work, as in the case of the master's thesis and the Ph.D. dissertation. Papers representing collaborative work among students will not be accepted except in highly unusual circumstances, and only then when a strong justification is made. Papers representing collaborative work between a student and a faculty member will not be accepted.

c. A master's thesis or a revised version of a master's thesis is not eligible for submission. Seminar papers, course papers, and other papers prepared by the student may be submitted.

d. Papers must be submitted to the graduate advisor by 4 p.m. on the day of the written prelims are given. A student may not submit more papers at a given submission date than would be required to complete the paper option. Both papers must be submitted and approved the same semester.

e. Evaluation

(1) All papers will be evaluated by the appropriate faculty area examination committee, who will determine whether the quality and scope indicate that the student has mastered the preliminary exam area with enough depth and breadth to merit a pass.

(2) The committee will make a decision to accept or reject the papers.

(3) Rejected papers may be resubmitted at a subsequent regular submission date if they have undergone substantial revision. If a student's papers are rejected twice, the student will be required to take the written examination in that area.

f. The same rules governing time limits for the completion of the written examination also apply to papers under the paper option.

3. ALTERNATE FORMS OF EXAMINATION IN THE AGROFOOD SYSTEMS AND ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIOLOGY AREAS

a. Prelim exams in these two topic areas shall be administered via a take-home exam.  Students will have 48 hours to complete the exam.

b. Within two weeks of completing the prelim exam, the students who have taken the exam will be advised of their pass/fail status.  The Standing Committees will schedule a meeting with each student who has taken the exam.  At this meeting, the faculty will review their comments on the student's responses. The results of this meeting will be communicated in writing to the Sociology Department.

ALTERNATE FORM OF EXAMINATION IN THE CULTURE AREA

The sociology of culture preliminary examination combines three elements assessing the depth and breadth of a student's command of the field of the sociology of culture:

1) To demonstrate depth, the student prepares for the committee a professional quality paper following the format of a standard journal article, making a substantiated argument in the field of the sociology of culture in the range of 8,000 to 12,000 words, including notes and references. (The Master's thesis will not be accepted as the paper demonstrating depth.)

2a) To demonstrate breadth, the student prepares a "field statement" of no more than 1000 words that situates the student's intellectual perspective or agenda in the wider field(s) of the sociology of culture.

2b) To further demonstrate breadth, the student takes a one-hour oral examination based on this field statement, administered by three members of the sociology of culture prelim committee.

The paper and the field statement are due together at one of the normal dates of departmental preliminary examinations. The oral examination will take place in the first few weeks of the following semester, and will be conducted only if the paper is passed by the committee. A student must pass both the paper and the oral exam to pass the prelim; the field statement in itself, however, is not graded.

D. PH.D. ORAL PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION

After all requirements for the Ph.D. but the dissertation have been completed, the student and major professor will meet for an oral preliminary exam that shall consist of a discussion of the student's plans for a dissertation. The date of this meeting will be entered on the graduate school prelim warrant as the student's "date of preliminary exam."

E. DISSERTATOR STATUS

(Also see "Dissertator Status and The Continuous Registration Requirement" summary in the addendum)

Admission to "dissertator" (A.B.D.) status for the Ph.D. occurs after the candidate has obtained his/her Master's degree or equivalent and been admitted to the Ph.D. program, completed all course requirements, passed the departmental written and oral examinations, obtained approval for and completed the minor courses, and satisfied the graduate school minimum 32-credit requirement to be a dissertator (cumulative, including master's credits). See Page 3. Dissertators are required to register each fall and spring semester for 3 credits of 900-990:Thesis with their major professor, unless their major professor gives them permission to take some other graduate level seminar or research seminar.

F. DISSERTATION PROPOSAL AND DISSERTATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE

(Also see "The Dissertation Advisory Committee and the Dissertation Proposal Hearing" summary in the addendum)

1. The doctorate is a research degree never conferred solely as a result of study and successful course work. It requires the ability to conduct an independent investigation as demonstrated in the preparation and presentation of a dissertation involving original research and creative scholarship. In consultation with his/her advisor, the student should work out a dissertation proposal specifying in some detail the nature of the problem, topic or hypothesis; the type and sources of information to be gathered and all the methods for gathering it; and the likely outcome or significance of the proposed research. In the course of developing a proposal it may be appropriate to choose a new major professor.

2. A "dissertation advisory committee" which includes the major professor and at least two other faculty members should be formed when the dissertation proposal is ready for presentation and before substantial work has been done on the dissertation. The committee's first responsibility is to meet with the student and approve, contingently approve, disapprove, or suggest revisions to the proposal. Results of this initial and subsequent conferences between the student and the dissertation advisory committee are communicated by a form from the major professor to the department chair, with a copy of the dissertation proposal attached to the form. When the proposal is approved, the student has a research plan "contract" with the department. A copy of the form is kept in the student's academic file.

3. Once a dissertation proposal has been approved by the advisory committee, the major professor has the bulk of the responsibility for assisting the student in his/her further research and writing. The other two members of the advisory committee continue to be available for consultation with the student and should be kept informed of his/her progress.

4. After the Ph.D. Final Oral Exam, the completed dissertation is approved by the student's committee. (The dissertation also must be approved by the Graduate School for mechanical form and execution. It is submitted to the Graduate School.)

G. PH.D. FINAL ORAL EXAMINATION

(Also see "The Final Ph.D. Oral Exam" summary in the addendum)

1. The Graduate School requires that a Ph.D. final examination committee must have at least five current graduate faculty members and that at least one of these must be from an outside department. The committee must have appropriate expertise to afford the breadth and depth sought in degree examinations. The major professor, the department chair, and the dean of the graduate school all must approve the committee, on a Ph.D. Final Oral Committee Approval Form. A final copy of the dissertation must be submitted to the committee members at least two weeks prior to the final oral exam.

2. The final oral examination covers the dissertation and the general field of the major and minor studies. At its discretion the examining committee may regard the preliminary examinations and certification in the minor as final for certain aspects of these fields. The results of the examination (pass or fail) are recorded on the warrant provided by the Graduate School.

3. The candidate may not take the final oral examination until all other requirements for the degree have been satisfied. The student's record must be cleared of "incomplete" grades. If the student fails to take the final oral exam within five years of becoming a dissertator, s/he may be required to retake prelims and be admitted to candidacy again.

IV. SUMMARY: SATISFACTORY PROGRESS

A. The status of a student in our Departments can be one of three:

1. Good standing (progressing according to standards; any funding guarantee remains in place).

2. Probation (not progressing according to standards but permitted to enroll; loss of funding guarantee).

3. Not in Good Standing (not progressing according to standards; not permitted to enroll).

B. The criteria according to which students will be allocated into these statuses are:

1. Attainment of a minimum GPA of 3.25 (3.00 in the first semester) and minimum grades (BC or better) in required courses). Failure to satisfy this requirement will result in the student being placed on probation. The following values are assigned to letter grades, and each grade is weighted by the number of credits in the course:

Letter Grade Value
A 4
AB 3.5
B 3
BC 2.5
C 2
D 1
F 0

2. Incompletes must be removed within the next two registered semesters, by department rules. (The Graduate School will send a warning if Incompletes are not cleared within one semester.) Registration in Summer Session is a "registered semester" for the purposes of this guideline.

3. Completion of the Master's degree prior to the beginning of the 5th semester unless an extension has been approved by the ASC or full faculty (summer sessions do not count as a semester for the purposes of this guideline). Failure to satisfy this requirement may result in probation and/or loss of funding guarantee.

4. Completion of the following required courses for the Ph.D. prior to the beginning of the 5th semester: Soc. 361, 362, and 773. Completion of Soc. 750 by the end of the 6th semester. Failure to satisfy this requirement may result in probation and/or loss of funding guarantee.

5. Completion of four seminars in sociology:

(a) Students who receive a primary master's degree waiver: by the end of the 6th semester.

(b) Students who earn a master's degree as part of their program or receive a secondary master's degree waiver: by the end of the 8th semester.

Failure to satisfy this requirement may result in probation and/or loss of funding guarantee.

6. Completion of Ph.D. Departmental Written Examinations and Ph.D. Oral Preliminary Examination.

(a) Students who receive a primary Master's degree waiver: by the end of the 6th semester.

(b) Students who earn a master's degree as part of their program or receive a secondary master's degree waiver: by the end of the 8th semester.

Failure to satisfy this requirement may result in probation.

C. A student who has been or is subject to being placed on probation or loss of funding guarantee, together with his or her advisor, may appeal to the ASC to remain in good progress by providing evidence of extenuating circumstances leading to failure to meet requirements. A student may not remain more than one semester on probation without passing to good progress. If the student fails to remove the conditions defining probation within one semester, he or she will be designated "not in good standing" and dropped from the program. If there are extenuating circumstances, students (with their advisors) may appeal to be permitted to continue on probation by writing a petition to the ASC.

PROCEDURES SUMMARY

(An Addendum to the Regulations)

The Master's Oral Exam

After a student has successfully completed all master's requirements, including the thesis, it is time for the master's comprehensive oral exam. At least three weeks before an exam, the student must notify the department graduate advisor of the approximate date of the exam and the names of the three committee members (faculty advisor/major professor and two other faculty members from Sociology or Community and Environmental Sociology at UW-Madison). Provided all departmental master's requirements have been met, the graduate program coordinator will request a master's warrant from the graduate school. The student and major professor will arrange a specific time and date for the oral exam, the department graduate advisor will arrange for a room, and the student will prepare an announcement with a thesis abstract, have the abstract okayed by the major professor, and then email the announcement to the department graduate advisor. At the time of the exam, the committee decides whether the student has passed the exam and whether the student may proceed toward the Ph.D. The major professor must sign approval of the thesis, after any required revisions have been made. The approval page is prepared by the student, on the same kind of paper required for the thesis. It includes, inside required margins and on the lower right portion of the page, the word Approved, with a signature and date line underneath it. Type the major professor's name (and beneath that the words "Major Professor") and "Date" beneath the line. After the exam, and after the thesis is approval by the major professor, the student takes the thesis to the Binding Department, Memorial Library, Room B137.

Written Preliminary Exams

Graduate students must pass two preliminary exams. To prepare for an exam, students should obtain from the standing prelim area committee, at least three months before the exam test date, either a list of topics to study or approval of a student-generated reading and/or topic list. Typically, students must be admitted to the departmental Ph.D. program in order to take preliminary exams. This means they must have completed all Master's requirements before taking preliminary exams. Occasionally, however, a student wishes to take a prelim before completing the Master's thesis. In this case, the student confers with his/her advisor to determine whether taking the first prelim will foster progress toward both the Master's and the Ph.D. If the advisor agrees, he/she sends a statement verifying this to the graduate program advisor; the student is then permitted to sign up for a prelim. If a student wishes to take the second prelim prior to defending and depositing the thesis, he/she must have a compelling reason for doing so and must have approval from both the advisor and the Advanced Standing Committee. Written preliminary exams are offered twice a year, in August and in January, approximately two weeks before the first day of classes. The graduate program advisor offers a signup period during the previous semester. At the end of the signup period, the department chair is notified of the areas for which committees need to be appointed. A date for the exams is set and announced. On prelim day students come to an announced meeting place at 8:50 in the morning and are given their morning exams. A proctor supervises. Morning exams are picked up at 12:00 or 12:30 (for those whose native language isn't English). Afternoon exams start at 1:00 or 1:30 and run to 4:00 or 5:00.

Dissertator Status and The Continuous Registration Requirement

The Graduate School will authorize dissertator status for the next semester after the department has certified (on the warrant for the oral preliminary examination) that all requirements but the dissertation have been met. The oral prelim follows successful completion of two written prelims It consists of a meeting with the major professor to discuss plans for the dissertation proposal. The student must complete a departmental Petition to Become a Dissertator in order to start the process. This should be done early in the semester before the student expects to become a dissertator (even when a second written prelim needs to be passed at the end of the semester). An approved minor agreement must be on file and the minor courses completed. Once a student becomes a dissertator, the university's Continuous Registration Requirement goes into effect. Under that rule, the student must register for three credits for each Fall and Spring semester until the Ph.D. requirements are met--including the Final Ph.D. Oral Examination and the deposit of the dissertation in Memorial Library. If a dissertator registers during a summer session, the minimum number of credits is 3 (rather than the 2-credit minimum for other graduate students).

The Dissertation Advisory Committee and the Dissertation Proposal Hearing

The student, with the assistance of her/his major professor, prepares a dissertation proposal. A Dissertation Advisory Committee should be formed when the proposal is ready for presentation. The committee includes the major professor and at least two other faculty from the Sociology or Community and Environmental Sociology departments at UW-Madison. The committee meets with the student and approves, contingently approves, disapproves, or suggests revisions to the proposal. Results of the initial and subsequent conferences between the student and the dissertation advisory committee are communicated by the major professor to the department chair via a form, with a copy of the approved dissertation proposal attached to the form. A copy of the form should go to the graduate program advisor for the student's academic file. When the proposal is approved, the student has a research plan "contract" with the department.

The Final Ph.D. Oral Exam

The student (assisted as necessary by the major professor) must ask individual faculty members to serve on the 5-member committee and must coordinate a specific time and date. The graduate advisor will reserve a room and announce the exam, including in the announcement an abstract with title prepared by the student and approved by the major professor. At least three weeks before the proposed date of the exam, the student should meet with or email the graduate advisor to provide the names of the committee members, the proposed title of the dissertation, and the proposed date of the exam. The graduate advisor will prepare a Ph.D. Final Oral Committee Approval Form and send it to the Graduate School. The Graduate School will send the department a warrant for the exam, and a packet of materials for the student's use in preparing the dissertation for deposit in Memorial Library. The student will need to prepare a committee page to be signed by the committee at the time they sign the warrant. After the exam, the major professor will return the warrant and committee page to the graduate advisor, either signed or unsigned and to be held pending revisions. The student will need to make an appointment with the Graduate School Ph.D. office to deposit the dissertation, along with the warrant, committee page, and other completed documents from the packet.