GSTS - Getting Access to the Graduate Student Tracking System

This documents how different users can access the Graduate Student Tracking System (GSTS), any necessary training, and where to find informational resources.


The Graduate Student Tracking System (GSTS) is an academic advising tool that provides information about the curricular requirements to earn a graduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and allows for monitoring of graduate student's progress towards degree completion.  This degree progress tool exists in the academic advisement module of the Student Information System (SIS), and the set-up for all graduate programs on campus was completed in December 2022.  It is meant to provide:

  • Clarity around the complex academic requirements to earn a graduate degree, including access to real-time degree progress reports.
  • Access to view and track academic progress with respect to minimum credit requirements and progress milestones such as qualifying exams and dissertator status.
  • Efficient, accurate, and transparent advising for graduate students, faculty, and staff, administered centrally, rather than through various paperwork and processes maintained by units across campus.

Through GSTS, each graduate student is provided an individual GSTS Advisement Report which shows the curricular requirements for the degree(s) they are pursuing or have earned as well as the names of any Doctoral Minors or Graduate/Professional Certificates that the student has declared or completed (note that the specific curricular requirements for Doctoral Minors and Graduate/Professional Certificates are currently NOT included).  Programs then have the option to document any approved adjustments or deviations from the standard curriculum on an individual student basis using the GSTS Exceptions Tool.

Some important things to remember when using GSTS are:

  • The GSTS Advisement Reports do not automatically track any allowed overlap in curriculum between double degrees, dual degrees, or joint degree.
  • Due to significant changes in policy for graduate degree requirements in Fall 2014, students who began their program prior to that time will not have a GSTS Advisement Report. 
  • The system is intended to support current advising practices. It is not intended to be intrusive nor to replace the key role played by academic and research advisors in the student life cycle and each graduate program has the option to choose how they want to integrate the system into their operations.

How to Access GSTS:


Graduate students automatically have access to view their own GSTS Advisement Reports through their Student Center.  The steps on how students can access their GSTS Advisement Report, and information to help them use and understand the reports can be found on the Graduate School website.

Graduate Program Coordinators/Managers or Other Program Staff:

Staff must complete the required GSTS Canvas Training (linked below) and request security access to GSTS before they have access to use the system.  Once security has been granted, however, staff will have access to run GSTS Advisement Reports for any student and use the GSTS Exceptions Tool.

Graduate Student Tracking System (GSTS) Reports and Exceptions Tool Canvas Training

Additionally, after completing the Reports and Exceptions Tool Canvas course staff have the option to complete and additional Canvas training (linked below) to gain access to use Program Milestones.

Graduate Student Tracking System (GSTS) Program Milestones Canvas Training

Faculty Advisors:

Faculty who are assigned in the Student Information System (SIS) as an advisor to a graduate student will have automatic access to view the GSTS Advisement Reports for the graduate students they are assigned to advise. Information about how faculty can access the GSTS Advisement Reports for their advisees can be found here.

Faculty also have the option to go through the training and security request process described above to get the advanced access of being able to look at GSTS Advisement Reports for any student, using the GSTS Exceptions Tool, and using Program Milestones.  For most faculty this additional access will not be necessary but in some cases such as for the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Department Chair the additional access may be useful.

Where to Find Information about GSTS:

Outside of the Canvas training courses linked above all of the information about how GSTS, GSTS Advisement Reports, the GSTS Exceptions Tool, and Program Milestones work and can be utilized can be found in the Graduate School's KnowledgeBase.

KeywordsGSTS, Graduate Student Tracking System, Security, Training, Access,   Doc ID124323
OwnerLorena K.GroupGraduate School
Created2023-02-24 09:25 CDTUpdated2023-05-08 14:31 CDT
SitesGraduate School
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