Memo 16: Unsatisfactory Performance and Progress
Continuation or Termination of Students in the Graduate School
Admission to the Graduate School allows students to continue graduate study and research at the University of Washington only as long as they maintain satisfactory performance and progress toward completion of their graduate degree program. The definition of satisfactory performance and progress toward completion of the degree program may differ among degree offering units; therefore, it is imperative that each graduate unit have these requirements in writing and distribute them to each graduate student. The following information should be included:
- General expectations for graduate student performance within the academic unit, including, but not limited to, required coursework and length of time allowed for completion of various phases of the program.
- The identification of persons in departments, colleges, schools, and groups who are responsible for both the evaluation of graduate student progress and for informing students about the fulfillment of these requirements, and when such evaluations are to be made.
- Criteria by which performance and progress are to be evaluated, including areas which may or may not be negotiated.
- Under what circumstances the graduate unit will recommend to the Dean of the Graduate School the alteration of a student’s standing–i.e., conditions that warrant probation and final probation (see Recommended Guidelines), and length of time the academic unit will tolerate unsatisfactory performance and progress.
- Procedures for appealing evaluations recommended to the Graduate School by the graduate program.
Review of students who maintain a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) is at the discretion of the graduate program but is expected to be undertaken at least annually. Students whose cumulative or quarterly GPA falls below a 3.0 must be reviewed quarterly and be provided with a written explanation of performance expectations and a timetable for correction of deficiencies. Doctoral program students are to be reviewed by their doctoral Supervisory Committee, or by a committee of graduate faculty in the unit appointed or elected for this purpose in consultation with the student’s Supervisory Committee. Pre-doctoral or master’s students are to be reviewed by supervisory committees, if such committees have been appointed, or by the graduate faculty members who have been designated to oversee such students’ programs. See Graduate School Memorandum No. 13, Supervisory Committees for Graduate Students, for an explanation of the role and responsibilities of supervisory committees.
In evaluating the student’s performance and progress, all of the following should be reviewed:
- Performance in the fulfillment of degree program requirements.
- Maintenance of a minimum GPA of 3.0 cumulatively and for every quarter of coursework. Cumulative and quarterly GPA’s are computed on courses taken while the student is enrolled in the UW Graduate School. Computation is based only on courses numbered 400-599; courses graded I, S/NS, and CR/NC are excluded, as are the 600-800 series.
- Performance during informal coursework and seminars.
- Research capability, progress, and performance.
A determination of satisfactory performance and progress may be made upon review of the factors indicated above and consideration of the student’s progress relative to other students (part-time/full-time) in the program or to an individually negotiated schedule. Full or partial withdrawal from a quarter may be considered as failure to maintain satisfactory progress and a student may be dropped as a result if he or she was on final probation for the previous quarter.
When review of a student’s performance and progress result in a determination that it has been unsatisfactory, the name of the student and recommendation for action–i.e. probation, final probation, or drop–must be transmitted by the Graduate Program Coordinator or the head of the graduate program to the Dean of the Graduate School by the appropriate deadline dates. All recommendations of unsatisfactory performance and progress must be accompanied by a well-documented statement of the circumstances involved and evidence that the action requested is supported by the majority of the graduate faculty, delegated representatives, or supervisory committee involved. Students must receive written notification of this action which includes information regarding the necessary steps the student must take to maintain good standing in their graduate student status.
Drop recommendations must be sent to the Graduate School by the fifth day of class; probation and final probation recommendations must be sent to the Graduate School by the tenth day of class. Students who are on official leave or are not registered cannot be recommended for probation, final probation, or drop.
Below are guidelines to determine recommended action for unsatisfactory performance and progress. Recommendations for probation, final probation, and drop will be reviewed by the Dean of the Graduate School. Probation and final probation recommendations are noted on a student’s unofficial transcript. In addition to notification from their graduate program, students will receive final probation and drop status letters from the Dean of the Graduate School.
Recommendations do not persist and must be reported to the Graduate School every quarter. No action will appear on the transcript for any subsequent quarter unless a new recommendation is made to the Dean of the Graduate School.
Recommended for those students whose cumulative GPA is above 3.0 but whose most recent quarter’s work is below 3.0, if the review has determined that this condition is not cause for immediate concern.
This status is initiated and documented by the graduate program, but is not reported to the Graduate School and does not appear on the student’s transcript. The graduate program is expected to notify each student in writing and place any documentation in the student’s file.
- Recommended for students whose cumulative GPA has dropped slightly below 3.0–i.e. 2.99-2.95.
- Recommended for students who have failed to meet expectations for performance and progress as determined by the graduate program.
A graduate program may recommend numerous quarters of probation for a student, but the Graduate School recommends no more than three consecutive quarters (each quarter must be recommended separately). All students must be informed of the graduate program’s policy regarding the length of probationary periods.
- Recommended for students who have not corrected the deficiency which caused the warn action within the time limit specified by the graduate program.
- Recommended for students who depart suddenly and substantially from scholarly achievement as defined by the graduate program. (A previous warn recommendation is not necessary.)
After at least one quarter of probation, a graduate program may recommend final probation. Final probation may only be recommended for one quarter, though the Graduate School will consider one additional quarter in extenuating circumstances. A graduate program must recommend one quarter of final probation before recommending a student be dropped from the program. Exceptions to this policy will be considered by the Graduate School in extenuating circumstances.
- Recommended for students who have not corrected the condition(s) that caused the probation recommendation within the time limit specified by the graduate program.
- Recommended for students who may have corrected previous probation conditions but failed additional performance requirements and did not progress toward completion of the graduate program.
A graduate program may recommend a student be dropped from their program after one quarter of final probation. Exceptions to this policy will be considered by the Graduate School only in extenuating circumstances. If the Graduate School accepts a drop recommendation, the Registrar is notified by the Graduate School and the student is immediately removed from the graduate program.
- This is the final action to be recommended for students who have not corrected the condition(s) that caused the final probation recommendation within the time limit specified by the graduate program.
Students may appeal these recommendations directly to the Chair or Director of the graduate program. Appeals beyond this point must follow the process outlined in Graduate School Memorandum No. 33, Academic Grievance Procedure.
Revised: March 2010