UW Graduate School

IPhD Degree Requirements

Program of Study  |  Supervisory/Reading Committees  |  Annual Review  |  Exams and Dissertation  |  Additional Policies  |  Requirements Checklist

Program of Study

IPhD students must satisfy all Graduate School requirements in addition to individual program requirements as described in the student’s plan of study.

A brief synopsis of Graduate School requirements is listed below. Please refer to the Graduate School website for complete details.

  1. Completion of a program of study and research as planned by the graduate program coordinator in the student’s major department or college and the Supervisory Committee. At least 18 credits of course work at the 500 level and above must be completed prior to scheduling the General Examination.
  2. Presentation of 90 credits, 60 of which must be taken at the University of Washington. With the approval of the degree-granting unit, an appropriate Master’s degree from an accredited institution may substitute for 30 credits of enrollment.
  3. Numerical grades must be received in at least 18 quarter credits of course work taken at the UW prior to scheduling the General Examination. The Graduate School accepts numerical grades in department-approved 400-level courses accepted as part of the major and in 500-level courses. This excludes 499 credits. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 is required for a graduate degree at the University.
  4. Creditable passage of the General Examination. Registration as a graduate student is required the quarter the exam is taken and candidacy is conferred.
  5. Preparation of and acceptance by the Dean of the Graduate School of a dissertation that is a significant contribution to knowledge and clearly indicates training in research. Credit for the dissertation ordinarily should be at least one-third of the total credit. The Candidate must register for a minimum of 27 credits of dissertation over a period of at least three quarters. At least one quarter must come after the student passes the General Examination. With the exception of summer quarter, students are limited to a maximum of 10 credits per quarter of dissertation (800).
  6. Creditable passage of a Final Examination, which is usually devoted to the defense of the dissertation and the field with which it is concerned. The General and Final Examinations cannot be scheduled during the same quarter. Registration as a graduate student is required the quarter the exam is taken and the degree is conferred.
  7. Completion of all work for the doctoral degree within ten years. This includes quarters spent On-Leave or out of status as well as applicable work from the Master’s degree from the UW or a Master’s degree from another institution, if applied toward one year of resident study.
  8. Registration maintained as a full- or part-time graduate student at the University for the quarter in which the degree is conferred (see detailed information under Final Quarter Registration).
  9. A student must satisfy the requirements that are in force at the time the degree is to be awarded.

Supervisory and Reading Committees

After an IPhD application is approved, the Dean of the Graduate School will appoint the student’s Supervisory Committee, which ordinarily includes the faculty members whom the student proposed in the IPhD application plus an additional member of the Graduate Faculty who serves as a Graduate School Representative (GSR). The Supervisory Committee functions as it would for any doctoral program, supervising the student’s progress, signing forms ordinarily transmitted by the sponsoring academic unit, and taking responsibility for conducting an annual review of the student’s progress, and submitting a report to the IPhD Group for the annual spring review. IPhD students must meet all program requirements as stipulated in the IPhD proposed program of study and must satisfy the Graduate School doctoral requirements.

A student’s Supervisory Committee must include the following faculty members:

  • At least three, but usually not more than five, Graduate Faculty members who represent the applicant’s fields of interest. Two graduate faculty members must be from two different departments/units that offer a Ph.D.
  • A Supervisory Chair or Co-Chair who is a Graduate Faculty member and is from a University unit that offers a Ph.D.
  • An additional faculty member who is a member of the Graduate Faculty who will serve as a Graduate School Representative (GSR), selected together by the student and the chair (after the student is admitted to the IPhD program).

A faculty member may chair only one IPhD Supervisory Committee at a time and be a member of no more than two IPhD committees. The student should work with the IPhD Program Coordinator to officially establish the Supervisory Committee in autumn quarter of the first year. For additional information regarding Supervisory Committees, refer to the Graduate School Memorandum #13.

If there is need to change the committee membership, the interdisciplinary nature of the IPhD Supervisory Committee must remain intact; thus, committee changes should be infrequent. If a committee change must occur, the student must obtain approval from the Supervisory Committee Chair and email that approval to the program director (and cc-the program coordinator at IPhD@uw.edu). Each faculty member concerned must confirm via email his or her consent to the change.

After the student successfully completes the General Exam and receives candidacy, the student must form a Reading Committee. The student should contact the program coordinator (IPhD@uw.edu) to set up this committee. For additional information regarding Supervisory/Reading Committees, refer to the Graduate School Memorandum #13.

Supervisory Committee Meetings and Report. Within the first quarter of study (typically autumn quarter), an IPhD student must convene a Supervisory Committee meeting to review and refine the individual program proposal. At this time, the IPhD “Supervisory Committee Meeting Report” form must be (1) completed), (2) signed by the student and the committee, and (3) submitted to the IPhD Program’s Coordinator.

Download the Meeting Report form

This report serves as a guide for the Graduate School to determine whether a student is satisfying the individual program requirements and ensure the start of a quality Ph.D. degree. The report will be placed in the student’s file and reviewed by the IPhD Program Coordinator before the student’s General Exam.

If any requirements listed on this report are not be completed, a “Departmental Contingency” will be placed on the warrant for the General Exam and candidacy will not be granted until the contingency has been met.

Annual Review

A subcommittee of the Interdisciplinary IPhD Group (the faculty oversight committee for the IPhD program) will meet each spring and review the progress of all students in the IPhD program. Submission deadlines vary each year and sufficient notice of the due dates are given to students and faculty.

In this meeting, the IPhD Group reviews two documents:

  1. The IPhD Progress Report written and submitted by the student’s Supervisory Committee chair. Supervisory Chairs and students are strongly encouraged to meet and discuss the content of these reports. These reports are usually written and discussed in the Spring Quarter. Additionally, students are responsible for convening an annual committee meeting with their supervisory chair to discuss their progress and academic goals for the following year—these meetings usually occur in Autumn Quarter.
  2. A 2 – 4 page, single-spaced paper written by the student describing his or her progress and research during the past academic year. This paper should include a brief abstract of the work, a description of progress made on the research during the current academic year, information regarding any seminars attended, papers published, awards/honors received, and current and planned funding. The student should complete this paper and submit it to the IPhD Program’s Coordinator for review by the IPhD Group’s Review Committee. This report is due in Spring Quarter.

The IPhD program director will communicate the results of this annual review to the student.

Exams (Generals and Final) and Dissertation

A student must successfully complete General and Final Exams in order to receive a Ph.D. The format of the General Exam is determined by the Supervisory Committee and should be agreed upon by the committee at least four months before the exam. After the committee and student agrees on a date and time, the student should submit a Request for General Examination. If written exams are included, the student should submit copies of the completed exams to the IPhD Program’s Coordinator for the student’s file. Once the student has successfully completed the General Exam and the warrant has been submitted to the IPhD Program office for entry into the Graduate School system, the student becomes a Candidate and usually devotes the remainder of study towards research and writing of the dissertation.

After the Reading committee has read a complete draft of the dissertation and the entire Supervisory Committee agrees the student is prepared to defend the dissertation, the student should schedule the Final Exam and submit a Request for Final Examination. Upon successful completion of the Final Exam and submission of the final version of dissertation, the degree is conferred.

For complete instructions regarding General and Final Exams refer to the Graduate School website.

Additional Policies

Registering for 600 and 800 Level Credits. When registering for 600 level (independent study) and 800 level (dissertation) credits, an IPhD student must register for IPhD 600 and IPhD 800 credits. Faculty codes are assigned by the IPhD Program Coordinator; the quarterly Schedule Line Numbers (SLN) are located in the UW Time Schedule.

  • The number of 600 level credits is determined by the student’s approved course of study. If additional 600 level credits are needed, the student should request approval from the Supervisory Committee Chair that states the purpose and indicates the Chair’s approval for the additional credit The approval confirmation should be submitted to the IPhD Program’s Coordinator for the student’s file. During the quarter in which the student takes the General Exam, the student may register for IPhD 600.
  • A minimum of 27 credits at the 800 level is required by the Graduate School. Upon passing of the General Exam, these credits can be converted to IPhD 800. Please contact the IPhD Program coordinator to have this conversion implemented.

On Leave Status. An IPhD student may request up to one academic year (3 quarters) of on-leave status. The student must request leave from the Supervisory Committee Chair and IPhD Program Director and then file a Request for On-Leave Status. Under extenuating circumstances and with the approval of the Supervisory Committee Chair and the Director of the IPhD Program, additional leave may be allowed. To maintain graduate student status, a student must be enrolled or officially on leave from the time of first enrollment in the graduate school until completion of all requirements for the graduate degree. (For summer quarter on leave enrollment is automatic for all graduate students who were either registered or on-leave during the prior spring quarter.) For further information see on-leave status.

Funding. The IPhD Program is supported by the Graduate School with very limited resources and funds. Students are required to report their source of funding to the IPhD Program’s Coordinator annually in their spring progress report or, if a change of funding occurs, at any time during the academic year.

Low Scholarship and Unsatisfactory Progress. An IPhD student must satisfactorily meet all Graduate School and IPhD Program requirements as stated in Graduate School Memoranda and the IPhD program webpages. A student’s progress is reported in the annual progress report completed by the Supervisory Committee chair and reviewed by the IPhD Review Committee. If the IPhD Review Committee is not satisfied with a student’s progress, it will recommend probationary action to the IPhD Program Director.

General Information. An IPhD student is responsible for keeping all personal data current with the IPhD Program’s Coordinator. Additionally, address and telephone number changes should always be updated in the MyUW and ESS (if the student has a payroll appointment).

Requirements Checklist

Use this checklist below to assess your progress.

Beginning the Program

  • Officially establish a Supervisory Committee with the Graduate School in Autumn Quarter of the student’s first year in the program.
  • Convene a Supervisory Committee meeting and submit the IPhD Supervisory Committee Meeting Report (working with the Chair of the Supervisory Committee).

Annual Requirements

  • Report changes in funding to the IPhD Program’s Coordinator. (Any time a funding change occurs)
  • Convene a Supervisory Committee meeting. (Autumn or Winter Quarter)
  • Submit the IPhD Progress Report (must be submitted by the Supervisory Committee Chair). (Spring Quarter)
  • Submit a paper describing progress and research from the past academic year (see more complete description above). (Spring Quarter)

Preparing for the General Exam and Candidacy

  • Complete individual program requirements as approved in the individual course of study and the IPhD Supervisory Committee Meeting Report.
  • Submit written exams, if applicable, to the IPhD Program’s Coordinator.
  • Schedule the General Exam and submit a Request for General Examination.
  • Schedule the Final Exam and submit a Request for Final Examination.
  • Return the signed warrant to the IPhD Program’s Coordinator (sometimes the Supervisory Committee Chair submits the warrant to the IPhD Program’s Coordinator).

Preparing for the Final Defense and Doctorate

  • Officially establish Reading Committee with the Graduate School.
  • Schedule the Final Exam and submit a Request for Final Examination.
  • Return the signed warrant to the IPhD Program’s Coordinator.
  • Submit the final dissertation to the Graduate School.