UW Graduate School

Memo 42: Sequential Combined Undergraduate/Graduate (CUG) Degrees

Graduate programs may create a sequential combined undergraduate/graduate (CUG) degree program according to the following guidelines. The program must submit a proposal to the Office of Academic Affairs and Planning in the Graduate School for each degree combination.

The intent of a CUG program is to allow exceptional University of Washington undergraduate students a seamless transition from undergraduate education into graduate education at the University of Washington. The CUG allows students to identify and plan their graduate course of study during their junior year as an undergraduate, in consultation with their program advisor(s). In addition, CUG programs may allow a defined amount of graduate-level coursework that was completed as an undergraduate to count toward the graduate degree, as detailed below.


The CUG program is responsible for creating a CUG program admissions process. Admission will occur no earlier than when a student has junior standing. The specific timeline and CUG admissions criteria will be outlined by the specific program the student is applying to, and application to the CUG program will be open to all students meeting the published CUG program admissions criteria. The qualifications for admission to the CUG program must assure that students have the appropriate background to successfully complete the program. The student is responsible for applying to the Graduate School and meeting the minimum Graduate School admissions requirements before being allowed to enroll as a graduate student.

Students will not be registered simultaneously as both an undergraduate and a graduate student. Until the undergraduate degree is awarded, students are considered undergraduates with regard to all policy and tuition considerations. Undergraduate degree and credit requirements must be fully satisfied, at which point the bachelor’s degree will be awarded and the student will officially enter the graduate program. The program will create clear set of minimum requirements for CUG continuation.

The graduate program may design different admissions criteria to the graduate program for CUG students, for example waiving the GRE requirement. No more than one year may elapse between undergraduate degree completion and enrolling in the graduate program. The program may set a shorter limit.

Credit Applied toward the Graduate Degree

The graduate program will define a policy regarding the amount and type of previously approved, 400-level and 500-level coursework taken as an undergraduate that can be applied toward the graduate degree, with a maximum of 12 credits allowed. These credits must be taken as an undergraduate student, but after admission to the CUG program, and must fulfill the specified graduate degree requirements. Courses numbered 600 (Independent Study or Research), 601 (Internship), or 700 (Master’s Thesis) may not be taken before the student is registered as a graduate student. Up to 6 credit hours of approved 400-level and 500-level coursework that was counted towards the undergraduate degree but not applied towards the major may be included in the 12 credits applied towards the graduate degree.

Time Limits

Students must comply with the regular time limits for completion of their graduate degree, beginning from their time of entry to the Graduate School (6 years for a master’s program; 10 years for a doctoral program).

Graduate Student Appointments

Students may be appointed as an Academic Student Employee (ASE) in a graduate student service appointment as soon as they are enrolled as graduate students. They may hold an undergraduate ASE appointment until that time.


Upon the student’s acceptance to the CUG program, the unit is responsible for providing coordinated advising and for creating clear documentation about the plan of study. Both student and advisor must sign off on a written plan, to be included in the student’s record (kept on file by the program).

Issued: March 2008; Revised: January 2015