Forestry Handbook Contents

Please use the links below to jump to specific sections of the Forestry handbook page.

Anyone with questions regarding the Forestry graduate degree requirements should contact contact the Student Services Coordinator, Sara Rodock (email or 608-262-9926).

The Graduate School is the administrative unit overseeing 170 graduate programs of study at UW-Madison. Applicants and students must satisfy the requirements of both the Graduate School and the Forest and Wildlife Ecology Department for admission, progress, and completion of degrees. For information regarding the Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures please visit the websites below:

Forms

Listed below are links to some forms that Forestry Graduate Students may need.

MS Requirements

Enrollment

The department requires all funded students to be enrolled full time. For MS students this means at least 8 credits in the fall and spring term and at least 2 credits in the summer term. Students funded by another department should check with the payroll and benefits coordinator of that department to learn their requirements for enrollment. Unfunded students should follow the Graduate School’s rules on enrollment.

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Degree Requirements

Effective Fall 2014 the Graduate School has set new minimum requirements for students beginning in Fall 2014 which include a minimum of 30 credits to receive an MS degree.  The Forest & Wildlife Ecology department is working on updating the program requirements and updated information will be posted soon.

Even though the Forestry MS prescribes no specific graduate coursework due to the diversity of research areas available and students select appropriate graduate-level coursework in consultation with their advisor and a graduate advisory committee, there are still some minimum requirements that need to be met by all Forestry MS students. These requirements include

  • Completion of 16 graduate-level credits which
    • must be numbered 300 and above
    • are graded (no pass/fail or audited courses count)
    • can include seminar credits and any Forest and Wildlife Ecology 990 Research and Thesis credits
  • At least 1 credit from a professional development seminar, in consultation with their committee, students should select at least one course that would develop skills applicable to life after graduate school (examples include teaching, communication, proposal development, presentation skills, mentoring)
  • At least 1 credit from a graduate-level seminar, in consultation with their committee, students should select at least one course in which participants discuss, critique or apply topics in the literature
  • Maintenance of a 3.0 GPA (minimum)
  • Preparation, defense and public presentation of a thesis

All Forestry MS students are required to submit their MS course certification form to the Student Services Coordinator (Sara Rodock). It is recommended that students complete the form by the end of their second semester and it is required that the form be completed before a student can request their graduation warrant. The form can and should be completed before the student has finished your course work. Students are allowed to make changes to their proposed course work.

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Finishing the MS

Early in the semester in which a student intends to graduate they need to submit the online warrant request form. By filling out this form students will be giving the Student Services Coordinator, Sara Rodock, the information neccesary for their warrant to be requested from the Graduate School.  By requesting the warrant the student will trigger a check of their record by both the department and the Graduate School. The online warrant request form should be filled out four weeks in advance of the defense.  For a listing of the Graduate School’s requirements for completing the MS degree go to their Completing Your Degree page.

The Forest and Wildlife Ecology department follows the Graduate School’s guidelines for thesis formatting. For information on the Graduate School’s thesis formatting requirement please visit the Guide to Preparing Your Master's Thesis website. Please note that all theses deposited at Memorial Library are required to have an advisor approval page that is signed by the advisor. Students can either follow the directions on the Guide to Preparing Your Master's Thesis website or use the department’s template.

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PhD Requirements

Enrollment

The department requires all funded students to be enrolled full time. For MS students this means at least 8 credits in the fall and spring term and at least 2 credits in the summer term. Students funded by another department should check with the payroll and benefits coordinator of that department to learn their requirements for enrollment. Unfunded students should follow the Graduate School’s rules on enrollment.

Dissertators must always enroll for 3 credits during the fall and spring terms (and summer if funded over the summer term).

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Degree Requirements

Effective Fall 2014 the Graduate School has set new minimum requirements for students beginning in Fall 2014 which include a minimum of 51 credits to receive an PhD degree.  The Forest & Wildlife Ecology department is working on updating the program requirements and updated information will be posted soon.

Even though the Forestry PhD prescribes no specific graduate coursework due to the diversity of research areas available and students select appropriate graduate-level coursework in consultation with their advisor and a graduate advisory committee, there are still some minimum requirements that need to be met by all Forestry PhD students. These requirements include

  • Completion of 32 graduate-level credits which
    • must be numbered 300 and above
    • are graded (no pass/fail or audited courses count)
    • can include seminar credits and any Forest and Wildlife Ecology 990 Research and Thesis credits
    • must be completed before dissertator status can be granted
  • Completion of a 9 credit minor (for more information on minors please see the Graduate School’s Minors information)
  • At least 1 credit from a professional development seminar, in consultation with their committee, students should select at least one course that would develop skills applicable to life after graduate school (examples include teaching, communication, proposal development, presentation skills, mentoring)
  • At least 1 credit from a graduate-level seminar, in consultation with their committee, students should select at least one course in which participants discuss, critique or apply topics in the literature
  • Maintenance of a 3.0 GPA (minimum)
  • Passing the preliminary exam
  • Preparation, defense and public presentation of a dissertation based on original research

All Forestry PhD students are required to submit their PhD course and minor certification form to the Student Services Coordinator (Sara Rodock). It is recommended that students complete the form by the end of their second year and it is required that the form be completed before a student can request their preliminary exam warrant. The form can and should be completed before the student has finished your course work. Students are allowed to make changes to their proposed course work.

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Preliminary Exam and Dissertator Status

Early in the semester in which a student intends to take their preliminary exam they need to submit the online warrant request form. By filling out this form students will be giving the Student Services Coordinator, Sara Rodock, the information neccesary for their warrant to be requested from the Graduate School.  By requesting the warrant the student will trigger a check of their record by both the department and the Graduate School. The online warrant request form should be filled out four weeks in advance of the exam.

Once a student has passed their preliminary exam and all of their committee members have signed the preliminary warrant they should return the warrant to Sara Rodock for final processing so that they can become a dissertator.

Students who have passed their preliminary exam are called dissertators. There are very specific rules for being a dissertator, it is very important that students follow all of the rules: if a student fails to follow these rules, they may lose their dissertator status. A full listing of the dissertator rules can be found on the Graduate' School policy page. The three most important rules of being a dissertator are:

  • Dissertators must maintain continuous registration by enrolling for 3 credits every fall and spring (and summer if funded) until they graduate, otherwise they will be assessed a degree completion fee.
  • Dissertators should not enroll in any courses expect research credits or a required departmental seminar unless they have an extenuating circumstance (students should check with the Student Services Coordinator if they think they have an extenuating circumstance).
  • Dissertators have five years from the date that they pass prelims to defend and deposit their dissertation. If a dissertator does not meet this requirement they may be required to pass their prelim exam again before they will be allowed to graduate with their PhD degree.

Anyone with questions about dissertator status requirements should contact the Student Services Coordinator ASAP.

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Finishing the PhD

Early in the semester in which a student intends to graduate they need to submit the online warrant request form. By filling out this form students will be giving the Student Services Coordinator, Sara Rodock, the information neccesary for their warrant to be requested from the Graduate School.  By requesting the warrant the student will trigger a check of their record by both the department and the Graduate School. The online warrant request form should be filled out four weeks in advance of the defense.  For more information on the Graduate School's rules for defending, depositing and formatting your dissertation please visit their Completing Your Degree page.

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Last updated July 30, 2014

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