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CALS Graduation Policy

Whether or not they have completed their certificates or an additional L&S-based major, students who complete all of their CALS degree requirements will be graduated when they have met the requirements for that degree. Except in extreme extenuating circumstances (political unrest resulting in the cancellation of a program to which a student was previously admitted, for example), students may not extend their time to graduation merely to complete a certificate or additional major.


CALS students are graduated with a bachelor’s degree when they have met all the university, college, degree program, and major requirements; have earned 120 credits; and have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher on all courses carried for a grade at UW-Madison. In other words, students who complete all of their CALS degree requirements (regardless of whether they have completed their certificates or an additional L&S major) will be graduated.


CALS is not auditing a student’s certificate or additional L&S major, so if the student has completed his or her CALS degree requirements, the student has earned a degree and is required to graduate. Certificates and additional L&S majors are only awarded if the student has completed all of the certificate or L&S major degree requirements upon completion of their CALS degree requirements. Students are expected to plan their coursework, study abroad program, experiential learning, research, internships, etc., carefully in order to align with this policy.

Appeal Process for Extenuating Circumstance

Failure to adequately plan coursework, failure to make time for or be accepted into a study abroad or experiential learning program, or late admission to a certificate or additional major is not typically considered an extenuating circumstance. In rare situations, an extenuating circumstance may result from circumstances outside of the student’s control. For example, if a student’s study abroad program was cancelled due to political unrest, terrorism, natural disaster, etc., and the next option to study abroad will occur in a term after the student has completed all CALS degree requirements, the student has the option of submitting an appeal to request permission to postpone their graduation until the term of the study abroad program if the study abroad program is necessary to complete a certificate or additional L&S major requirement. If you feel that you have an extenuating circumstance...
  • First talk with your advisor and/or a Dean on Call in 116 Ag Hall for council on whether your situation was caused by significant circumstances outside of your control. (Note: courses not offered in the terms you assume they will be does not necessarily warrant an appeal because course offerings are not a guarantee and subject to change.)

  • To submit an appeal to the Scholastic Policies and Actions Committee (SPAC), complete the SPAC request form, including a personal statement explaining the reason for your appeal to postpone your graduation term. In your statement, please explain the circumstances outside of your control (e.g., reason for disruption of previous study abroad plans) that prevented your ability to complete your certificate or L&S major requirements prior to completion of your CALS degree requirements.

  • Submission of an appeal does NOT guarantee approval.

  • If a student's appeal is denied, the student will be required to graduate upon completion of CALS degree requirements and the certificate or additional L&S major will not be granted.

Keywords:study abroad, graduation, degree completion, appeal, certificate, additional major, L&S major   Doc ID:58878
Owner:Sue R.Group:CALS Academic Affairs
Created:2015-12-11 10:52 CSTUpdated:2018-02-07 11:10 CST
Sites:CALS Academic Affairs
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