UW-Madison - Department of Counseling Psychology - Preliminary Examination Dates

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Main Office

Department of
Counseling Psychology

School of Education
335 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
MadisonWI  53706-1326

Tel: 608/262-4807
Fax: 608/265-3347

Email: counpsych@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form

Preliminary Examinations

The doctoral preliminary examination includes three components, all of which include both written and oral presentations.  The clinical case study is an in-depth reflection on a single counseling case, and serves as an exemplar of clinical competencies in the role of counselor.  The supervision case study is an in-depth reflection on a relationship with one supervisee, and serves as an exemplar of clinical competencies in the role of supervisor.  The dissertation proposal includes a literature review and method section for a proposed dissertation project, and serves as an exemplar of academic and scientific proficiency.

The Doctoral Training Committee has created a rubric for scheduling administrations of the clinical case study and the supervision case study (Preliminary Examination Parts 1 and 2).

Both Preliminary Exams will typically be administered on Monday (clinical) and Tuesday (supervision) of final exams week during the spring and fall semester, unless changed by faculty vote. The following is the exam schedule through Spring 2021.


Semester Clinical Prelim Exam Supervision Prelim Exam

Spring Commencement /
Fall Graduation Date

Spring 2017

Monday, May 8

Tuesday, May 9

Friday, May 12

Fall 2017

Monday, Dec 18

Tuesday, Dec 19

Sunday, Dec 17

Spring 2018

Monday, May 7

Tuesday, May 8

Friday, May 11

Fall 2018

Monday, Dec 17

Tuesday, Dec 18

Sunday, Dec 16

Spring 2019

Monday, May 6

Tuesday, May 7

Friday, May 10

Fall 2019

Monday, Dec 16

Tuesday, Dec 17

Sunday, Dec 15

Spring 2020 Monday, May 4 Tuesday, May 5 Friday, May 8
Fall 2020 Monday, Dec 14 Tuesday, Dec 15 Sunday, Dec 13
Spring 2021 Monday, May 3 ​Tuesday, May 4 ​Friday, May 7


Dissertation proposal meetings are scheduled on an individual basis.  At least 4 weeks before your planned proposal date, contact the department's Academic Services Coordinator (ASC), and complete the Dissertation Proposal Defense Request Form.  This form requires your advisor's signature, certifying his or her approval of your proposal document.  This form provides the ASC with the information needed to obtain your Preliminary Warrant from the Graduate School.  In addition, it provides a list of committee members and possible proposal dates, which the ASC will use to coordinate your proposal meeting.

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