UW Graduate School

Guidelines for Suspending Admissions to a Graduate Program

Overview

Academic units wishing to formally suspend admissions to a graduate program (graduate degree or graduate certificate) or program option within an existing graduate program must adhere to the guidelines below and the policy in Graduate School Memo 48. In all cases, a request for suspending admissions must explain the reasons for the suspension, when it will take effect, and its anticipated length. The request must also include the outcome of any faculty votes. If approved by the Graduate School, formal suspension of admissions results in the Graduate School inactivating the application to the program so students can no longer apply. Note that program termination requires following the Guidelines for Terminating a Graduate Program or Program Option.  

When considering suspending admissions, please take into account that programs must adhere to programmatic commitments made to students, and any significant changes to a program after offers are made may be a liability to the program or the University. 

For questions and email submission of documents, or if you anticipate your program will consider this step for the next admission cycle contact the Office of Academic Affairs and Planning at progprop@uw.edu.

Suspending Admissions

When the graduate faculty of the academic unit offering a graduate program vote to suspend admissions to the graduate program or program option, the following steps are required:  

  1. Faculty in the unit vote to approve suspending admissions to the graduate program(s) or program option(s). 
  2. The unit communicates with the college/school dean or chancellor and follows any process required by the college/school or campus. 
  3. The unit head sends a memo to the Graduate School, with copy to the dean or chancellor, outlining the items noted below. In order to allow adequate time for implementation, the memo must be submitted well in advance of the application deadline for the quarter in which admissions will be suspended. Recommended submission is four months prior to the application deadline. The memo must include:  
    • Background and rationale for suspending admissions to the graduate program (see Memo 48). Include specific degree or certificate program transcript title(s) and code(s) affected. 
    • Confirmation of process (faculty approval at unit/college/school/campus level). 
    • How this will impact current students in the program. 
    • How this will impact faculty and staff involved in the program. 
    • Timeline for implementation. 
    • Timeline for reinstating admissions to the program(s). 

The Graduate School will respond in writing to a request for suspension of admissions. Generally, formal suspension of student admissions is allowed for two years of admission cycles without initiating program termination. 

Reopening Admissions

To reopen admissions to a graduate program that has formally suspended admissions, the unit should adhere to the following guidelines. 

  1. Faculty in the unit approve reopening admissions to the graduate degree, degree option, or graduate certificate program(s). 
  2. The unit communicates with the college/school dean or chancellor and follows any process required by the college/school or campus. 
  3. The unit head sends a memo to the Graduate School, with copy to the dean or chancellor, outlining the items noted below. In order to allow adequate time for implementation, it is recommended that the memo be submitted at least four months prior to the application deadline for the quarter in which admissions will be reinstated.  
    • Background and rationale for reopening admissions to the graduate program.  Include specific degree or certificate program code(s) affected. 
    • If any significant changes are made to the program, the unit must propose them through the standard approval processes prior to reopening admissions. 
    • Confirmation of process (approval at unit/college/school level). 
    • How this will impact faculty and staff involved in the program. 
    • Timeline for implementation. 
    • Timeline for reinstating admissions to the program(s).