Graduate PhD Minor

Graduate students in other PhD programs at UW–Madison who plan to minor in computer sciences should consult Eric Bach, faculty CS graduate minor advisor, early in their graduate program to ensure acceptance into the minor program.

Before the meeting, the student should plan which courses to use for satisfying the requirements. Print and fill out the planning form as much as possible, and bring it to the meeting. The student and the faculty CS graduate minor advisor will complete the form, which the student then needs to file with the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Graduate Minor Requirements

The student must receive 9 credits in computer sciences courses to satisfy the following requirements:

  • All credits counted are for courses numbered 400 or above, excluding CS 400.
  • At least 3 of the credits counted are for a course that involves a significant amount of programming in a structured language, such as C, C++, or Java. All courses that transitively depend on CS 400 meet this requirement.
  • At least 3 of the credits should focus on an area of Computer Science not closely related to the student’s major, as deemed by a member of the Graduate Advising Committee.
  • At least 3 of the credits counted are for a course numbered 700 or above that is not an individual instruction course (courses with the middle digit 9), was taught by a full-time core faculty member in Computer Sciences, and received a grade of at least a B.
  • At most 3 credits counted are for individual instruction courses (courses with the middle digit 9).
  • No credits counted are for thesis courses (courses with last two digits 90).
  • All credits counted have received a satisfactory grade.
  • The GPA of the credits counted is at least 3.00.
  • All credits counted are taken as a graduate student.
  • No more than 5 credits counted are for coursework completed more than 5 years prior to admission to the PhD program are counted; no credits counted are for coursework taken 10 years ago or more are counted.


Once the minor program is completed, the student should pick up a copy of the planning form from the Graduate Program Coordinator, and bring it to a GAC member, along with the Minor Agreement Form (if any) from the major program as well as the warrant from the Graduate School (obtained through the major program). After verification that the student has satisfied the requirements for a minor in Computer Sciences, the GAC member will sign all forms. The student then refiles the planning form with the Graduate Program Coordinator, and the other forms with the major program.