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Additional Information on Policy 1.4 & Stacked Degree FAQ

This page contains additional information on each requirement from Policy 1.4, as well as general FAQs on stacked degrees.

Additional Information on Policy 1.4

All graduate certificates must follow the policies outlined in Policy 1.2.” 

There is no distinction between a graduate certificate used as part of a stacked degree and a graduate certificate intended to be earned independently by a graduate student pursuing another degree or a student enrolled only in the certificate program. 

As such, the review and approval process is the same for all graduate certificates.

“There are no restrictions on credit sharing between a graduate certificate and a graduate degree program.” 

All requirements from a graduate certificate may be applied towards a stacked degree (applies to coursework as well as other components of the certificate). 

“Students who are admitted to the University of Washington through a graduate certificate are matriculated graduate students and must meet the admission standards described in Policy 3.1.” 

Since graduate certificate students are enrolled graduate students, academic units have full responsibility for providing the support and opportunities they provide all of their graduate students. It is critical that all students have access to appropriate staff and faculty advising, facilities and events, and any other opportunities provided to graduate students. 

“Stacked degrees and the graduate certificates they are comprised of will appear as credentials on the student transcript.” 

Once a student earns a graduate certificate, this will appear on the student transcript. It is the responsibility of the program to request conferral of the graduate certificate in a timely manner. This applies whether or not the student intends to pursue a graduate degree that contains the graduate certificate as a component of the degree. 

Once the student completes all graduate degree requirements, this is processed the same way as any other degree program. 

“A stacked graduate degree program must include a capstone or culminating experience.” 

Although Graduate School policy allows some applied professional master’s programs to be coursework only, all stacked degrees require a final culminating or integrated experience as described in Policy 1.1

“The title of a stacked graduate degree must clearly reflect the academic focus of the degree program.” 

The nomenclature of a degree title follows the principles articulated in Policy 1.3

“Stacked degrees and the graduate certificates they are comprised of must have clear academic oversight by the graduate faculty of the proposing unit, as well as clear administrative support. This must be articulated as part of the program proposal process.” 

Stacked degrees and the graduate certificates included in them adhere to the same expectations as any other degree program in terms of oversight and administrative support. The academic unit must assure specific guidance and advising resources for students enrolled in certificates that may be stacked towards a degree. 

Stacked Degree Frequently Asked Questions

No, stacked degrees will be approved as “bundles” of certificates with a culminating experience, like any other graduate credential, to ensure a coherent and rigorous program of study. 

Yes, this will allow units to test prospective student interest gradually and will have the added advantage of not burdening faculty with the task of envisioning and proposing a full degree program at once. Stacked degrees can also be proposed all at one time, that is, a proposal with both the degree and the component certificates.


Stacked degrees can be master’s degrees or practice doctorates, but not the Ph.D.

Stacked degrees will be just like other graduate degrees which can either be tuition-based or fee-based.

Components of a stacked degree must be approved graduate certificates as described in Policy 1.2. These graduate certificates consist of transcripted graduate coursework, and the graduate certificate appears as a credential on the student transcript. Students pursuing a stacked degree or a graduate certificate must be matriculated graduate students and thus must apply to a graduate program and meet Policy 3.1 admissions requirements.

UWC2 Professional and Continuing Education may offer non-credit certificates for the general public which do not go through the same approval process as University of Washington degrees and graduate certificates, and which do not appear on the student transcript. An academic unit intending to “convert” an existing UW Continuum College certificate to a graduate certificate must propose it as a new graduate certificate program following the graduate certificate proposal guidelines.

Prospective international students may be eligible for F-1 visas for approved graduate certificates. The Graduate School’s Office of Academic Affairs will work with International Student Services (UW Seattle and UW Bothell), International Student and Scholar Services (UW Tacoma), and faculty who want to develop graduate certificates available to F-1 visa holders.

F-1 status students in graduate certificate programs must maintain full-time enrollment of ten credits or more. F-1 status students are not eligible for all remote graduate certificates or stacked degrees. The program of study must have an in-person component.

In order to be eligible for F-1 students to apply for post-completion optional practical training (OPT) after completion of certificate programs, students must have maintained full time enrollment for three consecutive quarters and have not been granted post-completion OPT at a higher or the same level of education.

Stackable graduate certificates may be eligible for financial aid if the certificate leads to “gainful employment” and certain other requirements, and is approved by the U.S. Department of Education. The UW Office of Student Financial Aid is exploring federal rules governing certificates and assessing the resources necessary to manage aid for them. Faculty who want to develop graduate certificates eligible for financial aid should work with the Graduate School’s Office of Academic Affairs who will be partnering with the Office of Student Financial Aid as we develop procedures and policies for this new type of curriculum.

As stated in Policy 1.4, continuous enrollment is not required. A stacked degree follows the time limits described in Policy 1.1 for all degree programs (six years for a master’s degree; ten years for a PhD). Exceptions to these time limits can be made at the academic unit level.

Units offering stacked degrees may determine that shorter time limits are needed and describe this information in the program proposal. 

Stacked degrees and their component graduate certificates must be under the oversight of one dean (for Seattle campus) or chancellor (Bothell and Tacoma campuses). For stacked degrees featuring graduate certificates from multiple units under one dean, the degree program code and official oversight will be housed at the school/college/campus level rather than in one unit.

If a Committee Member is Missing

A quorum of four members from the supervisory committee including the Chair, Graduate School Representative (GSR), and two additional general members must be present at a General and Final Exam (see Graduate School Policy 4.2 for details). In the event that a member of the committee should unexpectedly not attend an exam, the following procedures should be followed.

  1. If the Chair or a Co-Chair is not present, wait 15 minutes (or longer if appropriate) then adjourn the exam and reschedule to a later time/date.
  2. If the GSR is not present, wait 15 minutes then notify your department’s GPA. The student’s department may ask a member of the graduate faculty outside its department and the Chair’s department to serve as a replacement. The GPA must ensure that the proposed candidate is eligible to serve as a GSR. Once the replacement GSR is present, the exam may proceed. Before conveying the exam outcome, the GPA must update the student’s GSR in MyGrad Program.
  3. If a general member is not present and the quorum (as stated above) is not intact, the exam should be adjourned and rescheduled to a later time/date, OR, the exam may adjourn momentarily until another field-specific faculty member can be found as a replacement.
  4. If a general member is not present but the quorum (as stated above) is intact, the exam may proceed.

In all cases, an attempt must be made to contact the absent member before taking any action.

Concurrent Degree Graduation Review

When students who are enrolled in more than one degree program apply to graduate, they are asked to complete a manual degree audit because the MyGradProgram/MyPlan degree audit will not function on concurrent student records. Graduate Program Advisors are welcome to assist students with the below steps.

Instructions for graduating concurrent students:

1. Review the applicable Graduation Checklist as you prepare to graduate.
2. Submit your graduation request for one or both degrees via MyGrad by the quarterly deadline.
3. Access your most recent unofficial transcript.

  • Login to MyUW >> UW Resources >> Academic Resources >> Grades & Transcripts >> Unofficial Transcript.
  • Save or Print this transcript.

4. Highlight courses on your transcript for each degree/candidacy/certificate with a different color.

  • Write a color key on the transcript.
  • Use a third color for your approved shared courses (if applicable).
  • To review “shared” credit guidelines, refer to Policy 1.5 for concurrent Masters & PhD policies; refer to Policy 1.2 for Graduate Certificate programs. If you need assistance determining your shared credits, please contact your Graduate Program Advisor(s).
  • Examples of Concurrent Audits

5. Scan and save your highlighted transcript as a PDF.

  • You may also take a photo of the transcript to save as an image file (.jpg, .gif, etc.).

6. Open the UW Concurrent Form, selecting “new” to access the form. (Note: you must log in with your UW Net ID.)

  • Complete the form, and click “attach file” to upload your highlighted transcript.
  • Click “save” to submit the form.

7. Please complete the Concurrent Form no later than the last day of your graduation quarter, so your graduation can be processed more quickly. However, form submissions will still be reviewed after this date.


Please contact the Graduate Enrollment Management Services office if you have questions. Congratulations on your accomplishment!


Request Reinstatement | Reinstatement Eligibility | Instructions for Requesting Reinstatement | Information for Graduate Programs

A matriculated student previously registered in the Graduate School who has failed to maintain graduate student status (on-leave status or registration) but who wishes to resume studies in their previous graduate program must submit a reinstatement request to the Graduate School.

Students approved for reinstatement must:

  • Choose the quarter of reinstatement (students can submit a reinstatement request for the current academic quarter or the next academic quarter)
  • Pay a $250 Reinstatement Fee to process their reinstatement.
  • Register for the requested Reinstatement Quarter and maintain registration throughout the entire quarter to return to active student status.

For complete details regarding the on-leave, continuous enrollment and reinstatement policies, refer to Graduate School Policy 3.5.


Reinstatement Eligibility

  • Must be an inactive matriculated graduate student wishing to return to their previous degree program. Non-matriculated, undergraduate, or active graduate students are not eligible for reinstatement.
  • Must have been registered for at least one quarter of graduate study at the UW.
  • Must have approval from the graduate program to reinstate.
  • Must satisfy any additional graduate program policies pertaining to reinstatement.
  • International students must have confirmation from the International Student Services office that an I-20 can be issued in time to meet registration deadlines.
  • Original admission date was less than six years ago (for master’s students) or 10 years ago (for Ph.D. students). The Graduate School normally allows six years to complete requirements for a master’s degree and ten years for a doctoral degree. Periods spent On-Leave or out of status are included. Note: Programs may approve and process an exception to extend time limit if they are satisfied with the student’s academic progress towards their degree; a petition to the Graduate School is no longer required.

Student who do not meet these requirements are not eligible for reinstatement without a petition from their graduate program. Ineligible students should instead submit a new application for admission after consulting with their graduate program. Please note that students who meet reinstatement requirements but instead submit a new application for admission will have their application fee refunded and be assessed the $250 Reinstatement Fee.

Instructions for Requesting Reinstatement

  1. Consult with the graduate program advisor prior to initiating the reinstatement request to determine eligibility and any internal departmental requirements. International students on F-1 or J-1 student visas should also consult with the International Student Services office to verify ability to initiate the visa process in time to meet registration deadlines.
  2. With the graduate program, choose the quarter of reinstatement. Students may choose the current academic quarter or the next academic quarter.
  3. Complete and submit the online Request for Reinstatement via MyGrad Program.* Student will receive a confirmation email that the request has been submitted.
  4. Requests will be reviewed by the graduate program and, if approved, the student will receive a confirmation email that the department has approved the request.
  5. Return to MyGrad Program to pay the $250 Reinstatement Fee via MasterCard or Visa credit card. Student will receive a confirmation email that payment has been received. Reinstatements are processed on weekdays (excluding UW holidays).
  6. The $250 Reinstatement Fee must be paid no later than 11:59:59 p.m. PST on the last day of instruction to be reinstated for the requested academic quarter.
  7. The Graduate School will process reinstatement for the requested academic quarter. Students will receive a confirmation email that their reinstatement has been processed and their registration status for that quarter is “active.”
  8. Register for the quarter of reinstatement in order to maintain active status.
  9. Update all student contact information in MyUW Student Directory.

*A valid UW NetID and password are required to log into MyGrad Program. To access your UW NetID and password, please contact UW IT or visit

Information for Graduate Programs

Graduate programs are highly encouraged to develop official internal review procedures and policies to evaluate reinstatement. Reinstatement requests may be submitted and approved for any academic quarter, and candidates for reinstatement should be evaluated independently of new applicants for admission. The Reinstatement Fee for approved reinstatement requests must be paid by the student no later than the last day instruction for the reinstatement quarter, and may not be paid by the graduate program.

All current Graduate School policies apply to reinstated students at the time of reinstatement, including time-to-degree policies. The Graduate School normally allows six years to complete requirements for a master’s degree and ten years for a doctoral degree. Periods spent On-Leave or out of status are included in this time frame. However, extending a student’s time-to-degree (time limit) is at the department’s discretion, if they are satisfied the student is making good progress towards their degree. Departments may process an exception on the student’s degree audit.

Additionally, a student eligible for reinstatement may instead submit a new application for admission if they will not be applying existing credits from their previous UW coursework towards the degree.

Students eligible for reinstatement who instead submit a new application for admission without prior departmental approval and notification to the Graduate School will have their application fee refunded and instead charged the $250 Reinstatement Fee.

Revised January 11, 2023

Graduate School Representative (GSR) Eligibility

In order to serve as a Graduate School Representative (GSR), the proposed candidate:

  1. Must be a Graduate Faculty member with an endorsement to chair (check Graduate Faculty Locator).
  2. Must be clear of any conflicts of interest (see below).  The GSR is responsible for ensuring that no such conflicts of interest, or appearance of conflicts of interest, exist, and must attest to this upon request.
Primary Appt. Joint Appt. Affiliate Appt. Adjunct Appt.
Proposed GSR has appt in student’s/committee chair’s dept No No No Yes
Proposed GSR does not have appt in student’s/committee chair’s dept Yes Yes Yes Yes
Proposed GSR has conflict of interest* No No No No

Yes = eligible to serve
No = not eligible to serve

  • Budgetary relationships, personal relationships, or research and/or publication relationships between the GSR and either the student or the committee chair are examples of possible conflicts of interest.

Policy 5.2: Conditions of Appointment for TAs who are not Native Speakers of English

As stated in Section 3 of Executive Order 28 and Policy 5.1, the University expects that newly appointed Teaching Assistants (TAs) receive appropriate training, supervision and support. Graduate students who are not native speakers of English as indicated in the applicant profile may be appointed as TAs with teaching duties if the student fulfills the three requirements below.

Teaching duties are defined as direct interactions with students for instructional issues. Examples include: holding office hours; reviewing test or paper scores with students; working with students one-to-one in study centers, such as writing, mathematics, chemistry, etc.; tutoring; conducting labs; leading discussions; helping students solve problem sets; commenting on studio work; lecturingm.

5.2.1     Requirements

The following requirements must be satisfied before receiving the graduate appointment with teaching duties.

1. Meet the English language proficiency (ELP) requirement as stated in Policy 3.2.

2. Meet the additional spoken English language proficiency requirement in one of the five following ways:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States, or hold a bachelor’s degree from an institution in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom, where English is the medium of instruction. While enrolled at the degree-granting school, the student must be in residence on campus. (Note: A master’s degree does not satisfy this requirement).
  • Hold a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Juris Doctor (JD) from a regionally accredited institution located in the United States where English is the medium of instruction.
  • Demonstrate spoken English proficiency with a test score on file at the University of Washington of at least:
    • 26 on the speaking section of the TOEFL-iBT
    • 7.0 on the speaking section of the IELTS
  • Pass a one-time appeal interview. If a student has one of the scores below on file with the University of Washington, a graduate program can submit an online request for a one-time appeal interview.
    • 23-25 on the speaking section of the TOEFL-iBT.
    • 6.0-6.5 on the speaking section of the IELTS.
    • Note: students who have not satisfied the recommended English proficiency requirements as stated in Policy 3.2 are not eligible for an appeal interview.
    • An appeal candidate must receive an overall score of 34 (out of a possible 45) points to pass and be immediately eligible to assume TA responsibilities without taking ENGL 105.
  • Pass English 105. This course is designed specifically for International Teaching Assistants (ITAs) and is offered by UW’s Academic English Program (AEP). While a student is completing English language proficiency requirements, that student can be assigned teaching duties that do not include direct interaction with students. Such duties can include, but are not limited to, grading, setting up labs, preparing instructional materials, running equipment in classrooms.

3. TAs who are not native speakers of English as indicated in the applicant profile and do not hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States are required to participate in additional TA-specific training from the Center for Teaching & Learning prior to the TA appointment. See the Center for Teaching and Learning’s Teaching@UW: Strategies for TAs for details.

5.2.2     Exceptions

An academic unit teaching modern spoken languages may apply to the Graduate School for a program-level waiver to #2 under Policy 5.2.1 that may be used for specific graduate students enrolled in a doctoral program when the following two conditions are met:

  • the teaching assistant’s teaching duties are conducted exclusively in a non-English target language of the academic unit
  • the teaching assistant is a native speaker of the language of the assigned courses. Requirements #1 and #3 of the general policy must still be met.

Policy 5.2 revised: December 2021

Policy 5.2.1, section 3 revised: February 2023

Policy 5.2 and 5.2.1 revised: August 2023

Policy 5.2.1 revised February 2024

Policy 5.1: Departmental Responsibilities Regarding Instruction by TAs

Ensuring the quality of instruction offered by UW Teaching Assistants is not solely the responsibility of individual TAs, but also involves responsibilities and activities at the levels of the department, the school or college, the Graduate School, and the university.

This policy describes and delineates the minimum responsibilities that the Graduate School expects of departments for supporting and assessing instruction by TAs during the first two quarters of teaching, and makes explicit the methods by which TAs and the TA’s students can provide input to these processes.

5.1.1     Departmental Procedures

  • Training and supervision: In keeping with Executive Order 28, all TAs are to receive appropriate training and close faculty supervision while performing TA duties.
  • For TAs assigned to labs, studios, study centers, quiz sections, and those who teach their own courses, supervision is to include at least one observation by supervising faculty as early as possible during each of the TA’s first two quarters of teaching at UW. The purpose of this observation is to confirm that TAs are teaching content competently, to provide guidance regarding content, presentation, and student involvement, and to assess TAs’ needs for further training or assistance. Criteria for teaching competence and procedures for observations are to be determined by each department.
  • If the observer concludes that the TA is not meeting departmental criteria for teaching competence, then supervising faculty will work with the TA to determine a specific, written plan for addressing the TA’s teaching difficulties. To the extent that funding permits, possible options include:
    • Increase training, observation, and/or supervision by a faculty member or experienced TA mentor.
    • Employ a more experienced teacher to team teach with the TA.
    • In exceptional cases where other responses cannot adequately address the issues that have been identified, re-assign the TA to another role. Acquire a more experienced teacher to fill the role from which the TA was removed, and provide additional training to prepare the TA for re-assignment during subsequent quarters.

Supervising faculty should follow up on the specific plan during that quarter, and at the end of the quarter, should confirm the extent to which the plan was followed and what results were achieved.

5.1.2     Informing TAs of Departmental Procedures

  • Criteria for teaching competence and procedures for observations are to be determined by each department and are to be communicated to the TA prior to the observation, at the beginning of the quarter. Departments are also to specify procedures by which TAs can give input to the observation process, and if they choose, appeal the outcomes of any decisions based on observations.
  • Reports to TAs in the TA’s first two quarters of teaching: By the end of the fourth week of the following quarter, departments will provide the TA with a report summarizing the TA’s performance of TA duties. Departments are to use departmental forms for these reports.

5.1.3     Informing Students How to Communicate Concerns about TAs

  • In all classes in which TAs are assigned teaching duties, departments are to make explicit to students a policy regarding student responsibilities and specific procedures to follow if they are having trouble working with or understanding the TAs.
  • Teaching duties are defined as interactions with students over instructional issues. Examples of teaching duties include holding office hours, reviewing tests or paper scores/evaluations with students, answering questions in special centers such as those focused on assistance with writing, math, chemistry, etc., tutoring, conducting labs, leading discussions, assisting students to solve problem sets, commenting on studio work, or lecturing.
  • Departments should also specify the methods by which the policy will be communicated to students (for example, announced by the professor, included on the syllabus, posted in the department and on the web, etc.). The following example illustrates one way a department might choose to communicate with students, bearing in mind the importance of encouraging students to approach the TA first:
    • If you have any concerns about the class or your TA, please see the TA about these concerns as soon as possible. If you are not comfortable talking with the TA or not satisfied with the response that you receive, you may contact (immediate supervisor) in (room number) (building), or at (phone or e-mail).
    • If you are still not satisfied with the response that you receive, you may contact (department chair) in (room number) (building) or at (phone or e-mail.) .
    • For your reference, these procedures are posted on the (name of department) Bulletin Board, next to the Departmental Office in (room number) (building).
  • It is up to departments to determine to what extent departmental communication to students addresses only instruction by TAs, instruction by both TAs and faculty, or broader issues in addition to instruction.

Policy 5.1 revised: January 2000; November 2010; December 2022

Policy 4.4: Interdisciplinary Committees and Degree-Offering Groups

Certain fields of knowledge or inquiry may be of interest to members of the graduate faculty associated with two or more academic units across different schools, colleges, or campuses. To facilitate collaboration, the Dean of the Graduate School may establish two types of faculty organizations under the Graduate School’s administrative structure: non-degree-offering interdisciplinary committees or degree-offering interdisciplinary groups.

Deans of colleges or schools other than the Graduate School may support interdisciplinary activities within those units according to local policies and established faculty governance. Policy 4.4 applies exclusively to interdisciplinary committee and degree-offering groups within the Graduate School.

The Dean of the Graduate School appoints Graduate School interdisciplinary committees and Graduate School interdisciplinary groups at the request of a group of graduate faculty. Interdisciplinary committees and groups may be established when the interests of participating faculty cannot easily be represented by a single chair, dean, or chancellor, and when a single college, school, or campus cannot provide the administrative structure required to support related educational activities. Interdisciplinary committee and group membership is limited to members of the graduate faculty. These faculty serve as committee or group members, nominate a chair who is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School, and identify additional members. Faculty members active in these committees and groups retain primary association and faculty appointment in the home academic unit.

Graduate School interdisciplinary committees do not offer graduate degrees or certificates, while Graduate School interdisciplinary groups serve as qualified academic units that have been authorized to offer a graduate degree and/or graduate certificate. The Graduate School serves as the college-level administrative location for any resulting academic programs.

4.4.1     Interdisciplinary Committees

Graduate faculty members from more than one school, college, or campus who wish to establish an interdisciplinary committee concerned substantially with research or graduate education may ask to be designated as a Graduate School interdisciplinary committee.

  • Among the purposes of such committees may be to formalize coordination across institutional boundaries of research projects, proposal submissions, graduate student recruitment, consulting, seminars, or graduate curricula.
  • An interdisciplinary committee does not offer its own graduate degree, certificate, coursework, or independent curriculum; graduate students associated with such a committee must be enrolled in and meet all requirements of an authorized degree program.
  • Interdisciplinary committees may initiate development of a new graduate degree or graduate certificate program.     Establishing an Interdisciplinary Committee

A request to establish an interdisciplinary committee is made by letter from participating graduate faculty to the Dean of the Graduate School.

  • The letter should describe the purpose of the committee and list the proposed members along with faculty ranks and units of primary appointment.
  • The letter should also identify the committee chair or co-chairs who will serve for the duration of the committee’s activities or until the committee formally elects another chair.
  • The committee chair leads the committee and reports to the Dean of the Graduate School regarding committee activities.

Committees are initially appointed for up to three years, coinciding with the academic calendar.

The Graduate School normally does not offer financial support for committee activities.     Committee Administration

  • At the end of the appointment period, the committee chair must inform the Graduate School as to whether reappointment of the committee is desired.
  • Changes to either committee membership or the committee chair are by the following process: (1) nomination by a committee member or chair; (2) quorum majority vote endorsing the new chair or committee member (in person, electronic, or paper); (3) submission of vote results from the committee chair to the Dean of the Graduate School via the Office of Academic Affairs and Planning; and (4) confirmation from the Graduate School.
  • Members are removed from the committee when: (1) the faculty member resigns from the committee; (2) the faculty member’s graduate faculty appointment ends; (3) the defined appointment term on the committee ends; or (4) the committee members vote to remove the member according to the voting process described above.

4.4.2     Interdisciplinary Groups

If faculty wish to create an interdisciplinary graduate degree or certificate program under the Graduate School Dean’s Office, the first step is formation of an interdisciplinary committee. Following approval of the interdisciplinary committee, its faculty may propose a graduate degree or certificate program following the same process as a new degree or certificate proposal from any department, school, college, or campus.

If the Board of Regents grants authority to offer the new degree, the interdisciplinary committee is designated as a qualified degree-offering interdisciplinary “group” and is administered through the Graduate School. The chair of the interdisciplinary committee becomes chair of the newly formed interdisciplinary group on an interim basis. The chair’s appointment must be re-confirmed by vote of the faculty group according to the procedures below and be submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School for formal appointment.     Authority of the Interdisciplinary Group

A Graduate School interdisciplinary group functions as the degree-offering academic unit authorized to offer a graduate curriculum and to supervise graduate students associated with its graduate degree program.

  • The interdisciplinary group recommends admission to and graduation from its degree program.
  • It may administer an operating budget and space when these are available from cooperating schools and colleges; normally the Graduate School does not allocate such funds or facilities.
  • A group may administer research grants and contracts associated with the graduate program.
  • A group does not maintain primary appointments of its faculty; these are held in departments, schools, colleges, or campuses.     Interdisciplinary Group Membership

  • Members of an interdisciplinary group must be members of the University graduate faculty (see Policy 4.1).
  • Changes to group membership, group chair, or academic program director are by the following process: (1) nomination by a group member or group chair; (2) quorum majority vote by the faculty group regarding endorsement of the new member, chair, or director (in person, electronic, or paper); (3) submission of vote results from the group chair to the Dean of the Graduate School via the Office of Academic Affairs and Planning; and (4) confirmation by the Graduate School of new group members or formal appointment by the Dean of the Graduate School for a new chair or director.
  • Members are removed from the group when: (1) the faculty member resigns from the group; (2) the faculty member’s graduate faculty appointment ends; (3) the defined appointment term on the group ends; or (4) the group votes to remove the member according to the voting process described above.     Interdisciplinary Group Chair

The interdisciplinary group chair reports to the Dean of the Graduate School in the same manner that the chair of a department reports to the dean of a departmentalized school or college with regard to the academic program offered by the interdisciplinary group (Executive Order I.4). The chair is selected by the interdisciplinary faculty group as described under

  • The chair has the additional responsibility of furnishing information regarding program details and coordinating support for the program with other chairs, directors, and deans who are directly concerned with the operation of the program.
  • The interdisciplinary group chair is responsible for monitoring the program’s budget and resources in coordination with program staff and the Graduate School.
  • The interdisciplinary group chair normally serves as the academic program director and Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC). In some cases, the role of the interdisciplinary group chair may be separate from the role of the academic program director. When these roles are distinct, either the chair or the program director may serve as the GPC. The academic program director must be a member of the graduate faculty and a member of the interdisciplinary group.     Group Administration

An interdisciplinary group may be continued indefinitely in the Graduate School, subject to periodic review by the Graduate School in the same manner as all graduate degree programs and at least once every ten years, or the degree program may be moved to another degree-offering unit following the appropriate university-level process. If the degree program is moved to another academic unit, the graduate faculty of that unit will have oversight of the degree program and the Graduate School interdisciplinary group will be dissolved.

Policy 4.4 revised: December, 1985; Updated: June 2010, October 2014; Revised: September 2017

Policy 4.3: The Graduate Program Coordinator and the Graduate Program Advisor

Each academic unit offering a graduate program must designate at least one Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) and one Graduate Program Advisor (GPA). GPCs and GPAs are knowledgeable of UW Graduate School policies and internal unit and program-related policies and procedures. In general, GPC and GPA responsibilities include but are not limited to communicating and facilitating Graduate School policies for prospective and current graduate students, faculty, and staff, and serving as an intermediary between the student, graduate program, and the Graduate School.

4.3.1     The Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC)

The Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) is appointed from the Graduate Faculty and must hold the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Teaching Professor, or Associate Teaching Professor. Eligibility includes faculty in Research appointments and faculty in Without Tenure (WOT) appointments. The GPC serves as an official representative of an academic unit which offers a graduate degree program or graduate certificate program. One or more alternate GPCs may serve as deputy. An academic unit may define additional qualifications for the GPC beyond the Graduate School minimum requirements.

Individual units are responsible for assigning specific roles and responsibilities to the GPC. At minimum, the GPC role must encompass the oversight responsibility described under “Graduate Program Coordinator and Graduate Program Advisor Roles and Responsibilities” below.

The Chair/Director of each unit submits to the Graduate School the name(s) of graduate faculty member(s) recommended to serve as GPC and alternate GPC(s). Appointment to these positions is made by the Dean of the Graduate School.

4.3.2     The Graduate Program Advisor (GPA)

The Graduate Program Advisor (GPA) role is normally appointed to staff. The GPC may also serve as the GPA at the discretion of the academic unit. The GPA serves as an official liaison between the academic unit and the Graduate School. A unit may have one or more Graduate Program Advisors.

Individual units are responsible for assigning specific roles and responsibilities to the GPA. The GPA must participate in training provided by Graduate Enrollment Management Services regarding relevant Graduate School policies and procedures in order to support graduate education in the academic unit. Recommended practices for the GPA are available on the Graduate School website.

The Chairperson/Director or GPC of each academic unit appoints the GPA(s) and submits the GPA name(s) to the Graduate School.

4.3.3     Graduate Program Coordinator and Graduate Program Advisor Roles and Responsibilities

At minimum, GPC responsibilities include acting on behalf of the Graduate Faculty to assure appropriate oversight and implementation of the items below. The GPA works in coordination with the GPC who may delegate specific duties to the GPA, other graduate faculty, or other members of the academic unit.

  • To advise, counsel and assist graduate students, or to arrange and verify that this service is rendered by another member of the Graduate Faculty or program staff, as appropriate. To ensure that special attention is given to newly admitted students and others with particular needs.
  • In accordance with Policy 3.1, to act for the unit in admitting students into Graduate School, i.e.,:
    • to receive documentation for graduate student admission applications;
    • to review applications with the faculty in the unit; and
    • to submit to the Dean of the Graduate School the recommendations of the unit respecting admissions of new students.
  • As soon as practicable to transmit to the Dean of the Graduate School the names of those to serve as Chairperson and Members of the Supervisory Committee for the student. (See Policy 4.2)
  • To acquire and maintain familiarity with policies and procedures of the Graduate School.
  • To serve as the liaison between the academic unit and the Graduate School in other appropriate ways.

Policy 4.3 revised: November 2020

Policy 4.3.2 revised April 2024