Rev. August 2010
These are the general coursework guidelines for all psychology graduate students. The clinical, CCN, developmental, and IGM concentrations each add additional requirements and should be consulted as well for students in these area groups.
Content Course Requirement
- Average grade of B or better and no grade lower than a BC in seven Content courses.
- Five of the seven Content courses must be taken within Psychology.
- Content courses are numbered 600 or higher and do not include Methodology courses, "Proseminars”, or professional development courses.
- Eight week Content courses (e.g., 740/741 in Clinical, 733 in CCN) count as half courses. Two half courses are equivalent to one Content course.
- Outside of the department, fifteen week, two credit courses count as a full Content course; eight week, two credit courses count as a half Content course
- As the Timetable is prepared each semester, Area Groups will verify that there is a minimum of one Content course per area group per semester.
- By end of Year 1: Complete at least two Content courses.
- By end of Year 3: Complete Content course requirement.
- Psychology 610 is required and students must earn a grade of B or better in this course. This course is typically offered each Fall.
- Psychology 710 is required and students must earn a grade of B or better in this course. This course is typically offered each Spring.
- A third Methodology course is required and students must earn a grade of BC or better in this course. A list of approved Methodology courses is provided here. Other Methodology courses may be substituted with approval from the student’s Area Group and the Graduate Committee.
- The average grade for all three Methodology courses must be B or better.
- By end of Year 1: Complete at least one Methodology course.
- By end of Year 3: Complete Methodology requirement.
- Students must register for and attend a Proseminar meeting each academic year semester (Fall/Spring) during their first three years. Students are encouraged to continue to register for and attend a proseminar in later years while in residence.
Research (990) Credits
- After registering for all content, methodology, proseminar, and other elective courses, a student who does not have dissertator status may fill their schedule with 990 credits. For reference, the Graduate School considers full time enrollment as 8-12 graduate level credits (no audit or pass/fail) during the academic year. Graduate level courses are defined as 300 level and above by the Graduate School.
- All dissertators must enroll in 990 credits. Further, dissertators register for 3 credits, no more and no less. These credits must be comprised of only 990 credits, unless one is enrolling in a proseminar or a course that is directly related to dissertation research or clinical practica (e.g., 805).
- Maximum credit enrollment for summer terms is 12 credits per summer term (effective Summer 2010).
- Students holding an academic year (i.e., Fall/Spring semesters) TA, PA, or RA appointment or a UW Fellowship do not need to enroll in summer.
- Students with a RA summer appointment must enroll in at least two graduate level credits in summer.
- Emotion Trainees, Language Trainees, and fellows (NRSA, NSF) that are being paid during the summer months must enroll in at least two graduate level credits in summer.
- Dissertators must be enrolled in three credits during the summer if they are expecting to successfully defend their dissertation and graduate during the summer session
- Students holding spring TA, PA, or RA appointments are eligible for summer tuition remission, if necessary
Professional Development Requirement
- All graduate students are required to take the online training modules on Human Subjects Protection and on Responsible Conduct of Research. Students who use animals are also required to complete the Animal User Online Certification. Proseminar courses regularly include sessions devoted to research ethics. Students are also required to complete a workshop on writing or grant writing. A variety of opportunities are available on campus, including full courses on grant writing. Graduate students have the option of fulfilling this requirement during their 1st or 2nd year. Students should email the Graduate Coordinator (
) to document when they complete the workshop on writing or grant writing.
- Graduate students are strongly encouraged to obtain some teaching experience (e.g., TA, etc.) while they are in residence at UW. Teaching experience is an important part of training in professional development, especially for students going into careers which involve teaching.
Ph. D. Minor
- A Ph. D. Minor must be approved by your major professor and area group chair at the time of certification for preliminary examination. Two options are available:
- Option 1 requires a minimum of nine credits in a single department/major field of study other than the student's major department. Selection of this option requires approval from the minor department.
- Option 2 requires a minimum of nine credits in one or more departments and can include coursework in the major department. Within Psychology, courses that count toward the minor requirement must be taken outside the student's major area group. However, Content courses from other area groups that are used to meet the Content course requirement also may be counted to fulfill the minor requirement. Methodology courses beyond the three required also may count to fulfill this requirement. Most of our graduate students satisfy the minor requirement with Option 2.
Minimum Credit Requirements
The Graduate School requires a minimum of 16 credits taken (above 300 level) while enrolled in UW-Madison to obtain an MS degree. For a PhD degree, the Graduate School requires a minimum of 32 credits taken (above 300 level) while enrolled in UW-Madison. The Psychology Department currently does not have any additional requirements for these minimums, as long as the required coursework outlined above is completed.