Academic Catalog

Academic Policies and Procedures

Graduate Academic Policies

Class Hour and Credit Definitions (AP1127)

A class hour is defined as 50 minutes. The following definitions refer to the number of class hours during a semester that is approximately 15 weeks long or an equivalent amount of time for terms of longer or shorter duration.

One on-campus class credit is defined as: 1 class hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction per week and a minimum of 2 class hours of out-of-class student work each week.

One online learning or hybrid class credit is defined as: an equivalent amount of instruction and student work leading to equivalent learning outcomes, as required for an on-campus class as defined above.

One laboratory credit is defined as: a minimum of 2 class hours of work each week in a laboratory under the supervision of a lab supervisor/instructor and an expectation of 1 class hour of additional out-of-class student work each week.

One studio credit hour is defined as: a minimum of 2 class hours of studio work each week under the direct supervision of an instructor and a minimum of 2 class hours of individual studio work each week.

One ensemble music credit is defined as: a minimum of 1 class hour of supervised rehearsal each week and a minimum of 2 class hours of individual student work each week.

One internship or practicum credit is defined as: at least 45 hours of supervised work in a field placement each semester.

One individualized study credit (e.g. thesis, independent and applied music) is defined as: a minimum of 3 class hours of direct instruction and/or individual work each week.

Course Repeat Policy (AP1114 G)

Graduate students may repeat only courses for which they earned a grade of C or lower. The grade earned in the repeated course replaces the initial grade and is used to calculate the student's cumulative GPA. The previous grade remains on the official graduate student transcript, but does not calculate into the graduate student's cumulative GPA. Graduate students may only repeat courses at UW-Superior.

Credit by Examination

Graduate credit will not be awarded through the mechanism of credit by examination. Any student desiring to have completed graduate coursework entered on the official transcript shall be required to officially enroll in the course, complete all graduate course requirements and have a grade officially recorded by the graduate faculty member of record.

Credit Load and Enrollment Status

See Status Definitions for Financial Aid and enrollment credit load purposes.

The minimum full-time credit load for a graduate student is nine credits per semester. The maximum load for a graduate student is 15 credits per semester. The maximum load includes Center for Continuing Education classes. Graduate students may enroll for a maximum of 12 credits during the summer term.

Credit for Prior Learning (AP1501G)

Graduate Credit for prior learning through portfolio assessment is an available option at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. A learning portfolio is a formal written document that identifies the knowledge and skill acquired through non-formal learning and provides evidence to support a request for credit. Credit for prior learning is not granted for the experience itself, but for the verifiable learning outcomes which grew out of the experience. This credit can be granted for demonstrated learning that results from life experiences (e.g. employment, volunteer work, community service, travel, military service). The student's learning must relate to the learning outcomes in a particular academic program at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. The learning which occurred as a result of these experiences must be validated in accordance with this policy to ensure it is equivalent to that acquired at the graduate level in terms of quality and outcomes.

To qualify for graduate credit for prior learning:

  1. The student must be enrolled as a graduate student in good standing at UW-Superior
  2. Learning to be gained through experiences as credit for prior learning cannot be more than 7 years old
  3. No more than 9 graduate credits can be awarded for prior learning
  4. No more than 9 combined graduate credits of prior learning and transfer credits may be applied to a graduate degree

Credit for Prior Learning through Portfolio Assessment. UW-Superior grants credit based on prior learning experience when these criteria are satisfied:

  1. The portfolio process requires presentation of evidence supporting a claim that, through extensive work and life experience, the student has mastered learning outcomes equivalent to those for a particular course.
  2. Verification and documentation of what was learned must be presented. If evidence to verify and document the learning experience is not presented there is no basis for judgement and evaluation.
  3. What was learned must be communicated to the appropriate faculty member(s). If what was learned from the experience cannot be communicated, then no evaluation is possible. A documented portfolio is prepared by students and evaluated by the faculty. Credit awarded through this process can be used to fulfill graduation requirements.
  4. Portfolio credits usually do not transfer to another institution. It is at the discretion of the institution to which you are transferring as to whether or not they accept portfolio credits.
  5. Evaluation will be on a "P" (pass) or "F" (fail) basis.
  6. If you plan on seeking State licensure upon completion of your degree it is your responsibility to ensure the appropriate State licensing board will accept credits with a Pass/Fail grade.
  7. Fees include an administrative fee plus a per credit fee for credits assessed. Assessment fees are paid upon submission of the portfolio for assessment. The department examining the portfolio is designated those fees.
  8. The university accepts credit awarded for prior learning through portfolio assessment by other regionally accredited colleges and universities, through the same process used to award transfer credit.
  9. For more information on assessment guidelines, assessment forms and sample portfolios, click here.

Degree Completion within a Ten-Year Limit

All credits used in meeting the requirements of a graduate degree or certification in professional education must be earned within a period of not more than 10 consecutive years, commencing with the enrollment date in courses applicable to the degree (or certification program), rather than the completion date of applicable courses.

Degree Posting

Degree posting is the mechanism for officially adding that a given degree has been completed to the student's official transcript. Degrees will not be posted to transcripts with Incomplete (I) or In-Progress (IP) grades listed on the transcript. Ultimately, it is the student's responsibility to ensure all I and IP grades have been replaced with regular grades prior to applying for a degree.

Final Examination

The graduate programs may require students to complete a written and/or oral final examination.

Grading System

No grade below C earns graduate credit. A 3.00/4.00 grade point average is required for graduation.

Graduate Courses Numbers

Only courses numbered 500 and above may be accepted as graduate courses. Requirements are established by the course instructor and approved by the Graduate Council

Incomplete Grade (AP1113 G)

A grade of Incomplete (I) may be assigned by an instructor when a student has completed at least two-thirds of the class assignments, but has been prevented by emergency circumstances from completing the course. There should be, in the judgment of the instructor, a reasonable probability that the student can complete the course successfully without again attending regular class sessions or needing extensive instructor supervision within one calendar year.

Instructors who assign an I grade must submit a change of grade form (requesting the I be replaced by a regular grade A-F or P) within one calendar year. If a grade change is not submitted by the instructor who assigned the incomplete grade within one year from the term in which the I grade was assigned, the Registrar's Office will lapse the Incomplete grade to a Failing (F) grade (per university policy).

In Progress Grade (AP1113 G)

A grade of In-Progress (IP) may be assigned by an instructor in specially designated courses where the expectation is that students cannot finish the course within one calendar year.

There should be, in the judgment of the instructor, a reasonable probability that the student can complete the course successfully within two calendar years following the term in which the IP was assigned without attending regular class sessions or needing extensive instructor supervision (per university policy). Courses meeting this requirement are student teaching, internships, capstones, thesis or exit projects. Only specific courses on file with the Registrar's Office can be assigned IP grades. Refer to AP1107 for list of courses.

Instructors who assign an IP grade must submit a change of grade form (requesting the IP be replaced by a regular grade A-F or P) within two calendar years of the date the IP grade was assigned. If a grade change form is not submitted by the end of two calendar years, by the instructor who assigned the IP grade (per university policy), the Registrar's Office will lapse the IP grade to a Failing (F) grade.

Reentry of Inactive Graduate Students

Students who have not enrolled in graduate coursework within a calendar year are considered inactive. Inactive students must update and reactivate their files by completing a Graduate Reentry form before they will be eligible to register for graduate courses. Forms are available at and the Graduate Studies Office.


Dates for advanced registration are published. Students should meet with their advisor before registration.

Residency Requirement for Earning a Graduate Degree (AP1116 G)

A minimum of half or 50 percent of the required credits including the last nine (9) credits of each graduate program must be earned through UW-Superior.

Responsible Conduct of Research (AP1201)

Use of IRB to Protect Human Subjects

UW-Superior meets current federal regulations by expecting that all students and faculty doing research will receive training in responsible conduct of research (complete policy found in AP1201, Responsible Conduct of Research).

All research dealing with human subjects must secure approval from the UW-Superior Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects.

Second Master's Degree

Additional master's degrees are permissible but each such degree requires 30 to 60 semester credits (per the catalog requirements) beyond the credits earned for the previous master's degree(s). Courses taken as part of a prior master's degree may not count toward the credit requirement for a subsequent master's degree. Students who have completed a master's degree program at UW-Superior who wish to re-enter for a second master's degree may use a Re-Entry form available as indicated above.

Senior Students Enrolling in Graduate Courses

Second-semester UW-Superior seniors, with approval of the Graduate Council, may take a maximum of six graduate semester credits in courses numbered 500-699 during their final semester, subject to certain provisions. The graduate credits must be beyond those required for the baccalaureate degree, and cannot count toward the baccalaureate degree. Permission to enroll for the graduate credits requires approval of the Graduate Council, obtained by means of a petition during the prior semester. Seniors seeking this privilege must meet the grade point average required for unconditional admission to Graduate Studies. Undergraduate academic fees will be charged for these six graduate credits. After completion of an undergraduate degree, these graduate credits will be entered on the student's graduate transcripts. The student will have to pay the differential between undergraduate and graduate fees for the process to be completed.

Thesis, Seminar Paper or Project

All master's degree candidates are required to complete a thesis, seminar paper or culminating project as prescribed by the graduate program and approved by the faculty advisor. Evidence of completion of this requirement must be verified by the advisor as indicated on the student's Plan of Study. The thesis, paper or project must be submitted electronically to the student's advisor. The thesis will be submitted to the UW-Superior Library. Individual programs may require additional copies of the final thesis, paper or project.

Transfer Credit (AP1115 G)

Admitted Graduate student may transfer up to 9 credits, appropriate for the degree/major enrolled in, from other institutions regionally accredited to offer graduate programs.

No credit below a grade of B will transfer. No credit will be allowed for graduate work completed more than ten years before the expected degree date, or work used to complete another degree.

Graduate students who wish to transfer credit from another accredited institution must:

  1. Have an official transcript sent to the Graduate Studies Office.
  2. Complete a Transfer Credit Request form (Please contact the Graduate Studies Office to obtain this form.).
  3. Each course transferred must have approval of the graduate student's faculty advisor and department.

Each course accepted as transfer will be recorded on the student's official graduate transcript by Graduate Studies.

Exceptions to Graduate Studies Policies

Exceptions to established Graduate Studies policies may be requested by submitting a petition to the Graduate Council. Petitions are student initiated and brought forward to the Graduate Council through the student's advisor. (Please contact the Graduate Studies Office to obtain this form.)