University of Wisconsin–Madison

Information for Current Graduate Students

Have questions about the program? Or how to finish? This and subsequent pages include a variety of information for/about being a current graduate student in the MS-Geography, MS-Cartography/GIS (Thesis Option), and PhD-Geography programs in the Department of Geography. Please review the Department of Geography Graduate Student Handbook for more detailed program information. In addition, you can find information about current UW Graduate School academic and administrative policies and procedures on the Graduate School Academic Policies and Procedures website (

If you are a current student in the Online Master’s in GIS & Web Map Programming, Accelerated (Non-Thesis) Master’s in Cartography & GIS, Online GIS Fundamentals Capstone Certificate, or Online Advanced GIS Capstone Certificate, please visit the GIS Professional Program website for information specific to these programs.

Graduate Studies Committee

The Graduate Studies Committee deals with graduate admissions, recruitment and awards, graduate budget, and graduate affairs (advising, TA policies and grievances, strategic issues). The GSC is typically comprised of 5 faculty members (one from each subarea and the chair), 2 graduate students (chosen by the graduate student community), and the Graduate Program Director. The Committee roster for 2020-2021 is:

  • Keith Woodward (Human Geography), Chair
  • Christian Andresen (Physical Geography & Earth System Science)
  • Asli Gocmen (People/Environment)
  • Sarah Moore (Human Geography)
  • Rob Roth (Cart/GIS)
  • Marguerite Roulet, Graduate Program Director
  • Graduate Student tbd
  • Graduate Student tbd

All incoming students are required to complete the breadth requirements specific to their graduate program. Students who have not taken courses in all or some of these areas prior to applying for the program may still be admitted but will be expected to complete any missing coursework during their residence here. Upon admission, students are notified of any missing breadth coursework. If you have additional breadth coursework to complete, please talk with your advisor to draw up a plan to meet these requirements. Typically, seminars should not be used to fulfill the breadth requirements.

Consult with your thesis advisor to draw up a plan to meet the requirements for the degree. The plan can be changed over time. However, it has been shown that students with a plan tend to finish their requirements much earlier. You are encouraged to follow the normal progress timeline to insure that you complete your degree in a timely fashion.

The Geography Department adheres to the Graduate School policies concerning thesis committee requirements. Please see the Geography Department Graduate Student Handbook for more detailed information about Geography Department requirements.

This policy provides guidelines regarding Satisfactory Progress through the graduate programs in the Department of Geography. If you have any questions about these criteria, please contact your faculty advisor or the Graduate Program Director.