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Policy on Exceptions for Specialized Accreditation to Allow Undergraduate Credits Towards a Graduate Degree

A series of Graduate School policies were approved by the Graduate Faculty Executive Committee (GFEC) on October 11, 2013 and the University Academic Planning Council (UAPC) on October 24, 2013. Although prompted by the Higher Learning Commission’s (HLC) institutional accreditation criteria, the GFEC Subcommittee charged with developing these policies took to opportunity to take a comprehensive review of policies associated with credit minimums, residency, and use of prior course work towards a graduate degree. Please refer to the following link for complete details on these policies.

In the Prior Course Work policy, programs may decide to accept coursework completed outside of the student’s graduate career at UW-Madison when those courses are rigorous and meet the expectations of graduate work for the degree.  When considering the undergraduate category of prior course work, the GFEC restricted the seven credits of undergraduate work to UW-Madison courses because of the challenges associated with assessing the rigor of courses taught at other institutions.  

Accredited programs may propose an exception to this policy to allow seven credits of undergraduate credits from non UW-Madison institutions to count toward a graduate degree based on specialized accreditation.  This proposal was presented and approved by the GFEC on June 6, 2014.  The approved exception process is as follows:

An exception to allow up to seven credits from an undergraduate degree earned at a non UW-Madison institution to count toward a UW-Madison graduate degree can be requested on a program-by-program basis when the following two conditions are met:

1) students have received their undergraduate degree in the same discipline as they
are pursuing graduate work, and 
2) the undergraduate degree has been granted from a program which is accredited by the same accrediting body as the UW-Madison program.

Should a program decide to request an exception to this policy, it must provide the Graduate School with information requested on the undergraduate credit exception form to be eligible for consideration. Please note submission of an exception request does not provide assurance of its approval.

If your program believes it meets these criteria, you may make a request for this exception by completing the steps as outlined in the attached form.  A request may be made at any time, but please note that the earliest date for implementation is the term AFTER Graduate School approval.  Please direct any questions to Emily Reynolds at

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Keywords:Exception Specialized Accreditation to Allow Undergraduate Credits Towards a Graduate Degree GFEC policy   Doc ID:41787
Owner:Emily R.Group:Graduate School
Created:2014-07-11 12:36 CSTUpdated:2020-10-19 08:49 CST
Sites:Graduate School
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