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Prevention Science

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Frequently Asked Questions about the Graduate Program in Prevention Science

What is the Prevention Science Program?

The Prevention Science Program is an interdisciplinary program formally recognized by the Graduate School at the University of Wisconsin— Madison. The program has two purposes: (1) the systematic study of efforts to reduce the incidence of maladaptive behavior, and (2) promoting adaptive behavior in populations across the life course through the design and evaluation of science and theory based interventions.

Who makes up the Prevention Science Program committee?

Committee members:

  • Craig A. Albers, PhD (Educational Psychology/School Psychology) at caalbers@wisc.edu (262-4586)
  • Katherine Magnuson , PhD (Social Work) at kmagnuson@wisc.edu (263-4812)
  • Susan Riesch , RN, DNS, FAAN (Chair), (Nursing) at skriesch@ wisc.edu (263-5169)
  • Stephen Small , PhD (Human Development & Family Studies) at sasmall@wisc.edu (263-5688)

What does the program offer?

The program offers a minor and a Graduate Certificate in Prevention Science. The program does not offer its own courses; all courses recognized for the minor and certificate programs are offered by existing UW— Madison departments. Students complete a course of study approved by the Prevention Science Steering Committee to earn the minor and/or certificate.

Does the program have distinct emphases?

Yes. The program has four distinct areas of concentration: (1) Interventions in Social Services, Health, and Education, (2) Social Policy, (3) Family and Community Studies, and (4) Methodology.

Why should I complete a minor or certificate in Prevention Science?

You should complete a minor or certificate if your goals and interests are congruent with the program goals, and if you want to communicate your expertise and interests to others (e.g., employers, licensing boards). Currently, there are no agencies that require the minor or certificate for licensure or employment, but the formal designation conferred by the program may help you demonstrate your expertise to others.

What’s the difference between a minor and a certificate?

A minor is required of all UW—Madison PhD students; the certificate may be earned by any UW— Madison graduate student, and is optional.

What are the general requirements for the minor?

The plan of study must be approved by the steering committee, and must contain at least 10 credits. The minor program requires students to complete the following: (1) the 3-credit  introductory seminar Prevention Science (880) (3 credits); (2) a practicum experience; (3) the 1 credit Prevention Science Capstone seminar (881), and (4) other coursework approved for the Prevention Science Program.

What are the general requirements for the certificate?

All of the minor requirements plus 6 additional graduate credits consistent with one of the four concentrations for a minimum of 16 graduate credits are required for the certificate. The steering committee must approve the plan of study.

What courses could I use to meet minor and/or certificate requirements?

A list of approved courses is provided on the program website www.preventionscience.wisc.edu. However, students may propose other courses not on the approved list as part of the minor.

Can I count courses required for my major for the minor?

No. The Graduate School does not allow the same course to be counted toward your major course of study and your minor. So, even if the program recognizes a course required for your major as an “approved” course for the minor, you may not count that course towards both your major and minor requirements. You must count it as either fulfilling a major or a minor requirement.

Can I count courses required for my major for the certificate?

Yes. There is no similar credit restriction for graduate certificates. Courses taken to complete a major or a minor requirement may also be counted toward the certificate.

Why would I complete the formal minor rather than an “Option B” minor?

Students may select courses that approximate or even duplicate the Prevention Science minor, and apply for an Option B minor. However, the Graduate School will not allow students to call their Option B minor “Prevention Science,” because that title is reserved exclusively for program-approved minors. Nor will students receive the Prevention Science certificate or the Prevention Science designation on their transcript.  Students completing an Option B minor may also lack the structure, support, and interdisciplinary experiences offered by the program.

Are there any issues unique to my department relevant to the minor?

There may be. Different departments may have additional requirements to complete the minor. Therefore, you should check with your advisor and others in your department to be sure you meet departmental requirements.

How can I apply or get more information?

You may obtain an application form, and more information, from the program web site www.preventionscience.wisc.edu or by contacting M. Gale Barber, MS, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing, Academic Affairs Office, 600 Highland Ave CSC K6, Madison, WI 53792, Phone: 608-263-5231. E-mail: mgbarber@education.wisc.edu.

If you have trouble accessing this page, please contact Craig A. Albers 608-262-4586 (v/TDD)