Graduate Programs

HPHD Graduate Handbook

This handbook is intended to guide your time in the Health Promotion & Human Development (HPHD) Graduate Program and your academic plan of study. Here you will find information clearly outlining the requirements of the graduate programs as well as practical information including "how to" navigate on campus. It is not intended to replace the UWSP Course Catalog, which details the official requirements of the university for completion of the master's degree.
  1. General Information
    1. Parking on Campus
    2. Directions to UWSP
    3. Registering for classes
    4. Adding or Dropping a course
    5. PointCard
    6. Textbook Information
    7. Library Resources
    8. D2L
  2. Student Requirements
  3. Student Forms
  4. Financial Information
  5. Culminating Experience
  6. Graduation Deadlines

Applicants accepted into the program will be classified as:

  • full status (meets all admission criteria including an undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 or above, based on a 4 point scale) or
  • probationary status (does not meet all admission criteria, undergraduate GPA of below 2.75).

Full status may be gained by students with probationary admission status by completing nine consecutive credits of graduate work toward the degree with a GPA of 3.0.

Upon admission to the School of Health Promotion and Human Development Graduate Program, students will schedule an appointment with the Grad Program Assistant who will assist them with initial enrollment and discuss policies and procedures. During this advising session graduate students will be assigned a faculty member who will serve as their permanent advisor. 

Should there be any undergraduate deficiencies, students will need to enroll in the courses required as prerequisites for the program. Students should consult with the appropriate faculty members in regard to deficiencies.



Listed below are some helpful hints and links. If you have further questions or concerns please see your adviser.

Parking on Campus
  • Meters are enforced from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday- Friday. (Note: Meters are closed from 2 a.m.- 6 a.m. There is no overnight parking.)
  • The metered lots are free on Saturday and Sundays.
  • Lots that require permits are open from 7 p.m.- 2 a.m. Monday thru Friday and on Saturday and Sundays to those without permits (except lots A, E, H and R. Lots A, E and R, except metered spots, have open parking from 5:00 p.m.- 2:00 a.m.).
  • There is street parking available on the West side of Isadore past the bike shop. Watch for no parking zones. Some slots are metered along the street near the Debot Dining hall.
  • There is also street parking on the West side of Reserve St. near the baseball field and tennis courts.
  • There are metered lots- F, which is right across from the CPS Building, and X- which will cost about $6.00 a day to park, except Saturdays and Sundays.
  • The following link has the campus map with parking lots labeled:
  • For many graduate students, the courses they register for have scheduled meeting times at which parking meters and many lots are open, so purchasing a parking pass is not cost effective. However, students may purchase parking permits and be assigned a designated lot to park in. For more information regarding purchasing a permit, visit the Parking Services Web page at:

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Directions to the UWSP Campus:

The address of the College of Professional Studies Building is:

1901 Fourth Avenue Stevens Point, WI 54481.

From North of Stevens Point:
  • Take I-39 South to exit #161- Hwy 51/Division Street.
  • Go South on Division St. approximately 7 blocks to 4th Ave.
  • Turn left (East) on 4th Ave. approximately 1.5 blocks.
  • The College of Professional Studies Building is on the right (South) side of the street.
From South of Stevens Point:
  • Take I-39 North to exit #159 Stanley Street.
  • Turn left (West) on Stanley Street.
  • Follow Stanley St. until it ends at a 3 way stop/yield right turn sign. Turn right. (The street heading left –south– is Fremont. The street heading right will curve left (west) and is 4th Ave.)
  • Go through the 3 way stop.
  • The College of Professional Studies Building is on the left (South) side of the street.

The following link will connect you to a campus map. The College of Professional Studies Building (a.k.a. CPS) is #11.


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Registering for classes

PLEASE NOTE: Each time you register as a graduate student you will need to first meet with your adviser for approval.

  • Use the web to find your appointment time to register Go to enter your campus login and password and select the appropriate term. However you may also pickup printed copies of the timetable and web registration instructions in the Registration and Records Office.
  • Meet with your adviser Meet with your adviser to discuss your program of study and make sure that you are on track with the courses that you have committed to. If changes need to be made to the original program of study be sure they are updated on your forms on file. After you have met with your adviser, your adviser will authorize you to register. Your adviser's authorization must be granted before you can register on the web.
    • Initial advising will take place with the graduate program assistant.
    • Prior to completion of nine hours of graduate work, the student will select a School of Health Promotion and Human Development graduate faculty member to serve as advisor.
    • Students choosing to complete a thesis or project as a culminating experience will consult with their advisor to select two additional graduate faculty members who will comprise a three member thesis/project committee.
  • Complete the registration form, available online: (Choose either Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word format by clicking on the appropriate corresponding words.)
    • Be sure to sign both the registration information portion AND the credit agreement portion.
  • $100 tuition deposit is required in order to register. This can be paid one of the following ways:
    • Pay your deposit online via credit card (not Visa) or by electronic check. If you have previously taken courses at UWSP, you may be able to make your registration deposit using your UWSP ID and Credit Card. Here s how:
      • Go to:
      • Select the appropriate enrollment status ("Not Enrolled")
      • Enter your UWSP Student ID number
      • Select the semester for which you are making a deposit
      • Select your payment method
      • Enter your Bank or Credit Card Info and click "Authorize Payment"
      • Then send your registration to the address in section b below.
    • Mail check or money order for $100 (payable to UWSP) with your registration form.
  • Submit your registration form to:
    • CPS-Continuing Education
      College of Professional Studies, RM 100
      UW -Stevens Point
      Stevens Point, WI 54481

All students who are currently enrolled in on campus courses are eligible to register on the web during the registration periods.


Be sure to consult with your advisor prior to registering for courses. 

  • Use MyPoint to find your appointment time (the time registration opens up for you).
  • Enter your campus login and password and select the appropriate term. You can  check the online timetable for a list of courses offered by term.
  • Pay your registration deposit.
    • A $100.00 registration deposit is required for each term and is due BEFORE you can register for classes. If you have not yet made your deposit, you may:
      • Pay your deposit in person at the UWSP Bursar's Office, Room 007, SSB OR
      • Pay online via credit card (not Visa) or by electronic check.
      • Send your payment to: UWSP Bursar's Office, 2100 Main St, Stevens Point WI 54481
  • Obtain all special registration authorizations
    • Are any of your courses identified in the timetable as PERMISSION REQUIRED? ( a PR appears in front of courses and sections when permission is required.) You must obtain the approval of your advisor, the program manager or the chair of the department to register for all such courses and sections.
    • Are you auditing, signing up for a credit overload or enrolling in an independent study course? If so, you must obtain the proper approval.
  • Register on the web at or after your appointed time.
    • To register for courses run through the CPS Continuing Education office, you must do so through the Continuing Education Website. (Not through your MyPoint.) Courses with a section number of 79 or with a 79 in it, such as HCR 700 s. 79, HPW 690 s. 791, are CPS Continuing Education Courses. Go to the following link for the CPS Continuing Education website: (Note: You can register for regular section courses, i.e. Section 1, 2, 3, etc, through your MyPoint account.)
      • Click on "Registration" on the left hand column. Then click on "How to Register."
      • Click on "Online Registration."
      • Type in the information required.
      • You will have to verify your e-mail address and mailing address before registration. Follow the instructions.
      • Once the information is verified, you should be able to register by choosing the semester for which you want to register, then choosing the curriculum and course number.
  • If you need assistance, do not hesitate to call the CPS Continuing Education Office- 715.346.4782.

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Adding or dropping a course

The official drop-add day begins the first day of the semester. You can drop and add courses on the web or in person with a paper authorization form. There is a schedule for adding and dropping courses in the timetable.


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PointCard: Student ID Cards

Following your admittance into the program you need to obtain a Student ID Card. You will need to go to the Point Card Office located in the Dreyfus University Center. You will need to bring a photo ID with you. They will take your picture and have your ID to you in about 10 minutes.


Point Card Office
1015 Reserve St, Room 206
Phone: 715.346.2012


During the academic term, Monday through Friday, they are open 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
In the summer the office is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and closed on Fridays.


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Textbook Information
  • Print out your listing of textbooks
    • This can be found on your myPoint site under the Textbooks/Course Materials section
  • Go to the Bookstore in the Dreyfus University Center
    • You will need to bring your student ID with you.
  • Determine which books are needed
    • There are two different types of books that you may need, rental and purchase. Graduate students do not pay rental fees in their tuition. Graduate level texts are for purchase only. If you are enrolled in an undergraduate class or an undergraduate/graduate course textbooks may be in the rental section and a rental fee may be collected during checkout.

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Other possibilities include borrowing books from fellow students who have previously taken the course, sharing the cost with another student, or attempting to purchase from online retailers.

Library Resources

In addition to the resources available at the Learning Resource Center students have access to materials specific to their major in the Health Promotion and Human Development library located in CPS room 222.


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D2L is the online portal for UWSP courses.  Through it teachers can accept documents electronically, post assignments, readings, and other information.  The following link can help with questions about using D2L:


For further questions and tutorials contact the Learning Resource Center  018 Learning Resource Center (LRC/Library building).


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The following are academic requirements for thesis and non-thesis graduate programs:

  • Prior to completing nine graduate credit hours, the student and advisor will plan the student s program of study and record it on the "Program of Study" form.
  • All changes to the program of study form must be approved by the advisor and the graduate coordinator before it is accepted. For details on the work required for each program, refer to the program description and course curriculum.
  • The student is admitted to candidacy at the time the Program of Study form is signed by the graduate coordinator.
  • Transfer credits from other institutions may or may not be accepted to satisfy the requirements of the degree program. The decision to accept the credits will be made by the student s advisor in conjunction with the Graduate Coordinator. Specific considerations include:
    • A maximum of nine transfer credits will be accepted to satisfy degree requirements.
    • Credits earned must be from an accredited graduate institution.
    • Transfer credits must appear as a graduate courses on the student s transcript from the previous institution.
    • For transfer credits, no grade lower than a "B" is acceptable. No "Pass" or "Satisfactory" grades will count towards the total required credits.
Choosing your Graduate Committee

Your graduate committee will consist of at least three graduate faculty members including your graduate adviser. Careful consideration in your choice of who will form your graduate committee is important because they will have a say in whether or not you graduate. It is usually a good idea to ask someone from outside your major discipline area to serve on your committee. A non-graduate faculty member who possesses expertise particularly relevant to your field of study may be appointed as a special extra member. 

Your graduate adviser and/or the graduate committee are responsible for supervising your Program of Study and should:

  • Guide you in an appropriate selection of courses and experience to ensure that you are aware of all relevant material necessary for a complete understanding of your chosen field of study. This not only includes concentration of coursework in your major area of interest but also selecting courses to bridge the gaps you may have in your previous educational experiences. This may require you to take some undergraduate courses to make up for your deficiencies.
  • Determine whether you have accumulated and demonstrated sufficient ability to engage in the analytic process of problem solving. A graduate degree entails more than just taking additional courses within a major. You will be expected to synthesize the new knowledge you have gained in your graduate courses and apply this knowledge to solve contemporary problems.
  • Make certain that your thesis is consistent with the degree, confronts the interdisciplinary relationships of your subject area and focuses on problem solving methodology.
Academic Status during Candidacy

All students are expected to maintain at least a B average (3.00 GPA) to remain in the graduate program. Students admitted in full status who fail to maintain this average will be placed on probation. Failure to raise the overall average to B or better during the next nine credits will result in dismissal from the program.

  • Any graduate student may appeal a decision regarding admission or retention in a program by submitting a letter requesting reconsideration to the Graduate Council through the executive graduate committee.
  • A grade of incomplete must be removed before the end of the next full semester in which the student is registered; if not, it automatically becomes a failure. A grade of GP is used to distinguish thesis or projects which are in progress.
  • For the purpose of raising the grade point average ratio, a student may take six credits beyond the 30 credit minimum requirement for the degree.

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Program of Study
  • This form constitutes a contract between the student and the graduate committee for the duration of the graduation program. It must be completed by the student and the graduate adviser, and submitted to the Graduate Coordinator prior to reaching 9 credits.
  • Any changes made to the proposed coursework or research topic must be approved and updated on the Program of Study.

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For graduate financial information please refer to the Bursar's office at  There you can find current tuition and fee rates as well as other financial information.

Out of state tuition waivers and reciprocity

All students that are granted at least a one-third assistantship for the academic year qualify for out-of-state fee remission contingent upon the availability of funds. The waiver is submitted as soon as you are accepted into the graduate program. If your waiver does not appear on your tuition bill please contact Lisa Ebert in the HPHD office. Minnesota students need to apply for reciprocity. This is done by contacting Admissions.

Health Benefit Information

For more information on health benefits please contact Julie Hayes at 715-346-4677.

Graduate Assistantships

Qualified students may apply for graduate assistantships that are awarded on a competitive basis. Any student accepted into the program is eligible to apply for an assistantship. In addition to the stipend received by graduate students, non-resident graduate students receiving at least a half-time assistantship are eligible for waiver of non-resident fees.


Additional financial aid opportunities are available to graduate students through scholarships, research grants and student loans. Notices of HPHD graduate scholarships are available in February of each year.

Student Research Fund

The UWSP Student Research Fund grants money to graduate students to help defray research expenses encountered during Masters research. Funding amounts with a maximum of $500 per grant. You may be eligible for this funding if your degree program requires research or if you choose a research option in your program. Your graduate advisor must certify that the research project is required for graduation, you are making satisfactory progress toward your degree and the funds are necessary for you to complete the research. 

The Student Research Fund also provides "Travel to Present Research Results" grants. Travel expenses up to $300 may be funded. 

Application forms and further information can be obtained from the Grant Support Services Office, Room 204 Old Main building.


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Comprehensive Exam

Students must receive passing grades on all comprehensive exam questions to graduate.

What is the comprehensive exam?

It is a summative evaluation of a graduate student s knowledge. Students are required to demonstrate critical thinking skills by applying, integrating and synthesizing information related to all areas of study. Students will have one hour to respond to each question. Each exam question is written by faculty member of your choice in one of three content areas. Candidates select the three courses they would like to be tested in (two form core subjects and one from your elective courses). Comprehensive exam questions can be query or case-based, both of which require you to synthesize a broad range of knowledge. Case study questions present a contextualized, real-life problem or clinical situation. Query questions do not relate to a specific real or fictional situation, but may ask you to take a position on a topic and justify your ideas with appropriate theory, principles, and practices, based upon knowledge gained from course content.

How do I go about preparing for the comprehensive exam?

It is recommended that preparation for a comprehensive exam be ongoing during your graduate program with increased preparation during the entire semester preceding the exam. Create a time line or break down of your study strategy. 

Form a study group with fellow students. Break up the work load by having members study, lead a discussion, and ask questions about, particular aspects of the area.

Create practice questions. Based upon your review and studying, create a master list of possible questions. Practice answering random questions under simulated test conditions. See suggestion below about planning a writing strategy. Practice your writing strategy.

Organize your materials. Re-read class notes, supplement as needed, coordinate handouts and articles that complement areas covered in your class notes. Practice writing and saying information in your own words to assess your ability to explain information clearly and professionally.

Write main points of articles that you read. This forces you to think critically as you read and provides material to study later.

Ask questions. As you progress through your classes this semester, ask your professors for explanation or clarification of information.

Use the exam as an opportunity to comprehensively review your studies. Organize your course materials and references to serve you in your future professional work.

What happens the day of the exam?

Plagiarism or academic dishonesty of any sort will result in the immediate dismissal of the student from the exam room and a failing grade on the comprehensive exam.

What strategies will help me to write an effective response to questions?

Take time to read each question carefully. Be sure that you answer each part of the question. No matter how brilliantly you think you have answered a question, if it does not address what was asked, it does not count.

Plan out a writing strategy. Take a few minutes of preparation time before you begin answering a question and save a few minutes for proofreading at the end. Jot down any thoughts or ideas that you have in response to the question. Outlining is recommended. A few minutes of prewriting will give you direction and focus and may calm your apprehension. A few minutes of prewriting may also improve the clarity and flow of your answers. Structure the response to help the readers. Structure rigidly and blatantly. State the thesis of your response up front. Help the reader to see what you are trying to accomplish with each part of your response (e.g., defining, contrasting, giving reasons, etc). When you start writing, a quick introduction with a few sentences that directly answer the question posed is an effective way to get started. Avoid a lengthy introduction and get to the meat of the question. Be explicit in using transition words and phrases that let the reader easily follow your train of thought. Get your ideas on paper without getting overly hung-up on wording. Save time to read through and edit your answer for focus, wording, and clarity of meaning. 

Proofread for meaning and mechanics. Look for garbled meaning, misspelled words and punctuations errors. Although the readers will focus on the content and quality of your answer, mechanical mistakes can be a distraction from the message you are trying to convey.

How are the exams scored?

Exams will be coded such that the readers will not know the identity of the student. Only after the scores have been decided will the identity be revealed.

Grading of each question will be done on a pass/fail basis and determined by the reader for each question.

Criteria that the faculty may use to evaluate responses includes: 1) extent to which the response actually addresses the question, 2) accuracy and thoroughness of response, 3) ability to integrate and synthesize information, 4) organization and coherence of written expression, 5) conciseness and clarity of written expression.

A passing grade must be earned for each question to pass the examination and graduate.

How do I find out about my results? What if I do not pass all four questions?

Graduation is contingent upon passing all three questions.

Students will have an opportunity to write an answer to a different question for each question failed.

Thesis Option Parts of the Thesis

The thesis generally is organized like a technical paper published in a scientific journal. If published results are anticipated, the thesis should be prepared according to the instructions to authors given in the technical journal of choice. Unpublished support material should be listed in the thesis appendix.

General Outline of the Thesis

The thesis is divided into three main parts. The preliminaries, the text and the reference materials in the following order:

  • The Preliminaries
    • Title page
    • Committee signature page
    • Abstract
    • Table of contents, with page numbers
    • List of tables
    • List of figures
  • The Text
    • Introduction (includes justification and objectives)
      • Main body, with larger and minor divisions indicated by headings
      • Methods
      • Results
      • Discussion (may be combined with results)
  • References
    • Literature cited
    • Appendices
Project Option

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Whether or not participation in graduate ceremonies is intended, all candidates are required to apply for graduation and pay a fee in order to receive a diploma. Application for graduate forms may be obtained through the Office of Registration and Records, 101 Student Services Center.

The deadline for the application is the end of the third week of the academic semester or the end of the first week of the summer session in which graduation is anticipated. If a candidate applies for graduation and is then unable to meet requirements in the given term, the candidate is required to re-apply for graduation, however the fee will be paid only once.

While it is possible to apply for graduation and receive a diploma dated August, there is no formal graduation ceremony in August. Candidates graduating in August may apply to participate in either the May or December ceremony.

All credits accepted toward a degree, including transfer credits, must be earned within a seven year period. The time period starts with the beginning of the term in which the first course approved for your program of study was taken. For example: You are accepted into a UWSP graduate program in Fall 2011. Part of your approved plan of study for your master s degree includes a course taken in Spring 2010. Thus your seven-year time period to complete the degree starts with the beginning of the Spring 2010 semester NOT the semester in which you were accepted into your graduate program.

Graduate Records

Student files will be kept by the Records and Registration office and are available by request through their services.

The university has several policies and procedures pertaining to student grievances depending upon the nature of the concern. General complaint and grievance policies can be found in Chapter 4, Section 7-13 of the University Handbook located in Public Folders on the Microsoft Outlook (e-mail) program. Concerns about sexual harassment, discrimination, and consensual relations can be found in Chapter 4, Section 15. Grievance policies for grades can be found in Chapter 7, Section 5. Students may pursue all grievances with the Chair of the School. All academic concerns may be directed to the Coordinator of Graduate Programs. Clinical education concerns may be directed to the Clinic Director. Every effort will be made at the department level to resolve the complaint or concern.

Students with Disabilities

In accordance with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point policy, if a student has a documented disability and requires accommodations to obtain equal access in a class or in clinical practicum, the student should contact the Disability Services office at (715) 346-3365 to verify their eligibility for accommodations.

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