CSCR Prior Coursework, Substitutions, and Waivers

The Graduate School requires a minimum of 32 pre-dissertator graduate credits be taken as a graduate student at UW-Madison for PhD students. This means that a student could apply up to 19 credits of previous graduate-level work to satisfy requirements in the CSCR curriculum. We encourage students to consider building their skill set and theoretical perspectives through coursework whenever it is feasible. Course substitutions or waivers may be approved under unique circumstances, but should never be assumed by students or faculty when developing a course plan.


Course Substitution (definition)

Any UW campus course that is requested as a substitution for a required course in the CSCR curriculum because the required course is not offered in the current semester. This definition applies to students who are making “progress” toward a CSCR degree and provides credit for the course being substituted.


Course Waiver (definition)

Any course from a student’s prior coursework that is being requested as a replacement to a CSCR required course such that a specific course requirement could be waived. A waiver does not grant credit for a course.


Prior Coursework (definition)

Any UW or non-UW course from a students’ previous program of study that is being requested as a course substitution in the CSCR PhD program. Course credit may be granted if it is taken at the graduate level and at least 80% of the course’s content aligns with the course being transferred.



Any student requesting a course substitution or waiver must complete a Course Substitution/Waiver Request Form and provide a copy of the course’s syllabus at least one semester in advance of the requested substitution/waiver. Students should provide this information to the advisor and course instructor. Any course substitutions or waivers must be approved, in writing, by the student’s advisor and the instructor of the course for which a substitution is requested. If the student’s advisor and course instructor are the same person or has left the institution, then the CSCS Graduate Program Committee will review the student’s request. Final approval of a student’s courses rests with the student’s prelim committee. Students should not assume that courses can be waived or substituted without written approval.


School of Human Ecology Graduate Programs Handbook Copyright © 2022 by Michelle Holland. All Rights Reserved.

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