UW Graduate School

Memo 48: Suspension of Admissions

The Graduate School approves suspension of admissions for graduate degree programs, graduate certificates, and graduate degree options that offer direct admissions. Policies for suspension of admissions are contained in this memo; process details are available at Guidelines for Suspending Admissions

Suspension of admissions may be used to address short-term or long-term program needs. Any suspension must be designed to fully accommodate the curriculum, advising, and support for currently enrolled and admitted students. Programs offering regular admission every other year do not need to suspend admissions for non-admission years. 

In all cases, suspension of admissions must be limited in duration and must not be used as a substitute for formal program termination. 

Duration of Suspension of Admissions  

  1. Admissions may be suspended for one or two years to allow for planning and to ensure long-term success of the program. Examples of reasons to suspend admissions include the following (not an exhaustive list): 
    1. over-enrollment or under-enrollment 
    2. curricular re-design 
    3. temporary financial pressures 
    4. faculty hiring/staffing issues 
    5. re-assessment of the purpose and goals of the program
    6. long-term structural issues. 
  1. Programs not intending to reopen admissions should proceed with program termination in coordination with their dean’s office or chancellor’s office. 

Mechanisms for Suspension of Admissions 

In most cases, suspension of admissions is initiated when the graduate faculty of the academic unit offering the graduate program vote to suspend admissions to a graduate program or program option. After vote of the faculty, the unit must communicate outcomes with the college/school dean or chancellor and must follow any process required by the college/school or campus. 

In exceptional cases, one of the following mechanisms may be used to suspend admissions to a graduate program or program option. Examples of appropriate use of these two mechanisms are: the fundamental violation of a program’s obligations to its students; the inability of a program to maintain essential institutional standards; a loss of program accreditation; or a critical lack of alignment between the delivery of a program and its approved academic structure. These apply only to a temporary suspension of admissions. Any consideration of permanent program termination must adhere to the Guidelines for Terminating a Graduate Program or Program Option

  1. The dean or chancellor of the school, college, or campus where a program is located may petition the Dean of the Graduate School to suspend admissions to a graduate program or program option. The Dean of the Graduate School will consider this request in consultation with the Graduate School Council. Program suspension in this case requires a supporting quorum majority vote of the Graduate School Council. 
  1. The Dean of the Graduate School may suspend admissions to a graduate program or program option after consultation with the college/school dean or chancellor and following a supporting quorum majority vote by the Graduate School Council. 

Timeline 

A suspension of admissions should be initiated far enough in advance for the Graduate School and other administrative units to take action early in the application cycle. This includes opportunity for review and approval of the request by the Graduate School, including possible consultation with the Graduate School Council, and ample time for implementation. Admissions will not be suspended after students have been admitted to the program. 

Once approved, the graduate program is responsible for placing a notice of suspended admissions on its website and in any other program materials. Towards the end of the suspension, the program must notify the Graduate School of its intent to reopen admissions and describe changes that have been implemented to allow for sustained delivery of a quality graduate program. If the program is not ready to open admissions, the program should initiate program termination. 

Implemented: May 2022