Students who enter the CSCR named option without a master’s degree will earn a Master of Science degree in Human Ecology before progressing to the PhD. Master’s degrees require a minimum of 30 graduate credits, of which at least 16 credits must have been taken as a graduate student at UW–Madison. In addition, students must complete an empirical master’s thesis under the supervision of their master’s degree committee. Possibilities for master’s theses include traditional social scientific studies, action research studies, program evaluations, and analyses of secondary data. Details can be determined in consultation with the degree committee, but all theses must involve an analysis of data of some kind, in addition to conceptual work. The final outcomes from a master’s thesis include a written report and a formal defense. Students are also encouraged to present their findings to the relevant stakeholder audiences, and more broadly within the School of Human Ecology.
Students entering the CSCR PhD program with a master’s degree that was not earned through the completion of an empirical thesis or dissertation (e.g., professional degrees) must complete an empirical paper or scholarly portfolio (i.e. empirical experience requirement) before advancing to doctoral candidacy. This document should provide evidence that the student has taken leadership in the design, implementation (including data analysis), synthesis and reporting of a study (see attached review criteria).
Capstone papers may be submitted in fulfillment of this requirement, but are typically deficient in meeting the criteria for an empirical paper. Fulfilling the requirements for the empirical paper does not result in the awarding of a master’s degree. Students who have completed a thesis or dissertation prior to admission must provide a copy of that document before the end of the first semester in the CSCR PhD program.
Students faced with various life circumstances or for a variety of other reasons may wish to complete the Master of Science degree in Human Ecology instead of the PhD degree. This is especially true for students who have completed most of their coursework and may not wish to further their doctoral studies. The CSCS department, in general, will support these students and facilitate their completion of the program requirements for a SoHE MS degree.
Students who wish to opt out of the CSCR PhD Program in favor of a SoHE MS degree, must make their plans known to their major advisor and the SoHE Graduate Program Coordinator by completing the add/change major form through the Graduate School.