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Policy 3.6: Graduate Registration Waiver

A student must maintain registration as a full-time or part-time graduate student for the quarter the degree or certificate is conferred. However, certain eligible students may be allowed to graduate the following quarter without being required to register by paying the Graduate Registration Waiver Fee.

3.6.1     Eligibility

The student must have been registered for the previous quarter and meet one of the two following criteria:

  • A thesis or dissertation student has completed all Graduate School and graduate program degree requirements (courses, examinations, etc.), the thesis or dissertation has been approved for submission by the student’s committee, and the student needs additional time for formatting the document.
  • A non-thesis master’s student has completed all Graduate School and graduate program degree requirements (courses, examinations, etc.), but missed the master’s degree request deadline.

3.6.2     Process Requirements

  • The thesis or dissertation must be submitted in the UW ETD Administrator Site no later than 14 calendar days following the last day of the quarter in which all degree requirements were met.
  • Thesis master’s students must submit a new master’s degree request within the first week (5 weekdays) of the quarter in which the student will graduate.
  • Non-thesis master’s students must submit a new master’s degree request by the last day of instruction for the quarter in which the student will graduate
  • All students must pay the Graduate Registration Waiver Fee by the last day of instruction for the quarter in which the student will graduate.

3.6.3     Exclusions

The following do not meet eligibility requirements for the Graduate Registration Waiver

  • Students with unfinished capstone or culminating project requirements with the exception of the thesis or dissertation formatting
  • Students with Incomplete coursework
  • Students who were on leave the previous quarter
  • Thesis or dissertation students requiring content revisions to the document

3.6.4     International Students

F-1 and J-1 students who are planning to remain in the U.S. after completing degree requirements must notify International Student Services (ISS) of the student’s new expected degree conferral date and that the student is using the Graduate Registration Waiver. ISS may need to update I-20 or DS-2019 documents to reflect the completion of degree requirements.


Policy 3.6 created: December 2022

Policy 3.5: On-Leave Policy to Maintain Graduate Student Status

To maintain graduate status, a student must be enrolled on a full-time, part-time, or official on-leave basis from the time of first enrollment in the Graduate School until completion of all requirements for the graduate degree. (Summer quarter on-leave enrollment is automatic for all graduate students who were either registered or officially on-leave during the prior spring quarter.) Failure to maintain either continuous enrollment or on-leave status constitutes evidence that the student has resigned from the Graduate School.

A student who has registered for a quarter may not submit a petition for on-leave status for that specific quarter unless the student officially withdraws from all courses before the first day of that quarter. Students who have been registered for even one day of a quarter are deemed to have status for the quarter and will be eligible to register for classes or apply for on-leave for the following quarter (spring enables registration for summer or autumn); the student’s email account will be active for the quarter, but library privileges will not be maintained once courses are dropped.

If a student who is in on-leave status registers in any other status, i.e. Non-Matriculated or Graduate Non-Matriculated, it will terminate the student’s official on-leave status for that quarter, even if the student subsequently drops those courses.

3.5.1     On-Leave Eligibility

To be eligible for on-leave status, a student must meet all of the following:

  • Be in good academic standing unless on an official probation status as described in Graduate School Policy 3.7.
  • Be registered or on leave as a graduate student at the University of Washington the quarter immediately prior to going on leave
  • Not be registered the first day of the quarter the student goes on leave.
  • Satisfy any graduate program policies pertaining to going/remaining on-leave
  • Eligible international students will be required to consult with International Student Services regarding the student’s immigration status prior to final approval
  • Request leave on a quarterly basis and pay a non-refundable, quarterly fee

3.5.2     Access to University Resources While on Leave

On-leave students are entitled to the following:

  • use of the University libraries
  • access to student email accounts
  • use of the Hall Health Primary Care Center on a pay-for-service basis
  • pay for use of the IMA

On-leave students are not entitled to the following:

  • extensive faculty and staff counsel
  • examinations of any type (except for language competency)
  • thesis/dissertation filing
  • appointments as Academic Student Employees
  • University housing
  • student insurance
  • any form of financial assistance

3.5.3     Reinstatement to the Graduate School if On-Leave Status was Not Secured and Registration Not Maintained

Students previously registered in the Graduate School who have failed to maintain graduate student status but wish to resume studies within the same degree program must file a request for reinstatement to the Graduate School. Requests will first be reviewed and approved by the department. Once the department has approved the request and the Graduate School has confirmed students’ eligibility for reinstatement, students will be notified to pay a non-refundable reinstatement fee before registering for the requested quarter of reinstatement.

3.5.4     Time to Degree and Limits for On-Leave Status

See Graduate School Policy 1.1 for limitations on time to degree and relationship to on-leave status.


Policy 3.5 revised: November 2021; December 2022

Policy 3.4: Visiting Graduate Student Status

Visiting Graduate Student status allows certain students to take University of Washington coursework without being admitted to a University of Washington graduate degree program.

All applications for Visiting Graduate Student status are processed by the Graduate School’s Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS) office. All documentation submitted by the applicant must be in English or official translations into English accompanied by the original foreign language document.

If a student with Visiting Graduate Student status later applies for admission to the Graduate School in order to pursue a graduate degree, the student must formally apply and submit complete credentials as outlined in Policy 3.1.

3.4.1     Enrollment for Visiting Graduate Student Status

There are two pathways to enroll with Visiting Graduate Student status, described below.

3.4.1.1     Enrollment by Graduate Students in Good Standing at Another Institution

Graduate students who are actively pursuing a graduate degree (Master’s, Ph.D., Ed.D., etc.) at another college or university may be hosted by the University of Washington as visiting graduate students. Visiting Graduate Student status allows these students to take graduate courses at the University of Washington without pursuing a University of Washington graduate degree. Visiting graduate student status does not confer priority for later admission to a graduate program. The length of enrollment is determined by the number of quarters approved by the home institution and the University of Washington graduate program that hosts the visiting graduate applicant. Visiting graduate students may hold this status in only one graduate program at a time and may not hold any other student status while enrolled as a visiting graduate student.

Admissions criteria for visiting graduate student applicants in good standing at another institution:

  • The student must have been admitted to a recognized domestic or international graduate school, be in good standing, and actively pursuing a graduate degree at that institution.
  • The student must be approved by a University of Washington graduate degree granting department/program and the University of Washington Graduate School.
  • Students who are non-native English speakers must meet Graduate School Policy 3.2.

3.4.1.2     Enrollment by Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTA)

Fulbright FLTA (Foreign Language Teaching Assistants) may also be hosted by UW departments in Visiting Graduate Student status at the University of Washington. Visiting Graduate Student status allows these students to take graduate courses at the University of Washington without pursuing a University of Washington graduate degree. It is the department’s and the FLTA student’s responsibility to ensure the student meets enrollment requirements of the FLTA program.

Admissions criteria for Fulbright FLTA applicants:

  • There are no University of Washington Graduate School admissions criteria for native speakers of English who have been accepted into the FLTA program.
  • Students who are non-native English speakers must meet Graduate School policy on English Language Proficiency Requirements and Conditions of Appointment for TAs who are not Native Speakers of English.

3.4.2     Performance Expectations

In order to continue in Visiting Graduate Student status, students must maintain the standard minimum Graduate School cumulative grade point average of 3.0.


Policy 3.4 created: March 2022

Policy 3.3: Enrollment of Graduate Non-Matriculated Students

Under the conditions given below, departments, schools, or colleges may choose to offer enrollment in their graduate courses to Graduate Non-matriculated (GNM) students. In this context, a Graduate Non-matriculated student is a post-baccalaureate student who wishes access to a limited number of graduate courses, but who has not been admitted by the Graduate School to a degree program. These Graduate Non-matriculated students must not be enrolled in any courses where they would displace admitted degree-seeking graduate students. This status is not appropriate for international students on F-1 visas.

Applicants for GNM status must meet Graduate School minimum admission requirements and must be evaluated for acceptance by the academic unit according to the typical criteria for admitting students to the unit’s graduate programs.

Tuition and fees charged GNM students for graduate level courses cannot be less and may be more than those charged to graduate students.

Acceptance as a GNM student confers no guarantee or priority for later admission to a graduate degree program.

3.3.1     Admissions

Applications for the GNM program are processed by the Graduate School’s Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS) office. Applicants who present at least a 3.0 grade point average in the applicant’s last 90 quarter (60 semester) hours, along with other applicable credentials, may be admissible as Graduate Non-matriculated (GNM) students. Non-native English speakers must also meet the English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement as outlined in Policy 3.2.

3.3.2     Enrollment

No department is required to open its courses to GNM enrollment; participating departments have the authority to create and monitor standard enrollment limits for all admitted GNM students. GNM students must obtain approval from course instructors before enrolling in graduate level courses. Registration for most Seattle Campus GNM students is handled by UW Continuum College Registration Services; however, students taking advantage of the university employee or state employee tuition benefit register in the same manner as matriculated UW students. GNM students at the UW Bothell and UW Tacoma campuses will receive registration materials and instructions from the appropriate departmental office.

3.3.3     Credit

A student who is later admitted to the Graduate School may apply a maximum of 12 applicable GNM credits (or any combination of GNM and up to six approved transfer credits totaling twelve credits) towards a graduate degree. Six- and ten-year limits for master’s and doctoral degrees commence at the point of enrollment in the first GNM course which is later applied for credit toward degree requirements.

3.3.4     GNM Students at UW Bothell and UW Tacoma

GNM status as the UW Bothell and UW Tacoma campuses is not funded on a self-sustaining basis. Tuition and fees are comparable to those charged to graduate students.

3.3.5     Performance Expectations

In order to continue in the GNM program, students must maintain the standard minimum Graduate School cumulative grade point average of 3.0.


Policy 3.3 revised: November 2021; December 2022

Policy 3.3.1 revised: August 2023

Policy 3.2: Graduate School English Language Proficiency Requirements

English language proficiency (ELP) is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Therefore, every applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. Each prospective graduate student indicates on the graduate application whether or not the student is a native speaker of English.

Students who will receive a Teaching Assistantship will also be required to satisfy additional requirements described in Policy 5.2: Conditions of Appointment for TAs who are not Native Speakers of English.

3.2.1     Demonstration of Proficiency

Proficiency can be demonstrated in one of the following ways. A graduate program may set additional standards or qualifications in any of these categories. Students must confirm specific requirements with the admitting program.

  • A bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution located in the United States and where English is the medium of instruction.
  • A bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree from an institution in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom and where English is the medium of instruction. While enrolled at the degree-granting school, the student must be in residence on campus.
  • Official documentation from the applicant’s undergraduate degree-granting institution (if the institution is in a country other than those listed in #2 above) verifying that all instruction is in English. A minimum of three years of enrollment at the undergraduate institution is required. Documentation must be presented to the Graduate School; credential service reports are not acceptable. Acceptable documentation must be one of the following:
    • Official or attested letter from the undergraduate college, university Registrar, or Controller of Examinations office.
    • Official transcripts, attested mark sheets or degree statements, are also accepted if English is stated as the medium of instruction.
  • Official English Language Test Score (sent electronically to the University of Washington via testing center). Note: Graduate programs may require a higher minimum scores for admission than the scores listed below.
  TOEFL iBT TOEFL MyBest Duolingo Academic IELTS
Minimum Required Score
(ELP Not Satisfied) – effective through Autumn Quarter 2024 admissions
80 80 105 6.5
Minimum Required Score
(ELP Not Satisfied) – effective starting Winter 2025 admissions
80 80 110 6.5
Recommended Score
(ELP Satisfied) – effective through Autumn Quarter 2024 admissions
92 or higher 92 or higher 120 or higher 7.0 or higher
Recommended Score
(ELP Satisfied) – effective starting Winter 2025 admissions
92 or higher 92 or higher 125 or higher 7.0 or higher

3.2.2     Submission of Test Scores

  • The Graduate School also accepts the TOEFL paper-delivered test, which is available only to students in areas without internet testing access. Contact Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS) for special instructions if you have taken this test.
  • Applicants using TOEFL test scores must submit official scores electronically via ETS, using the University of Washington’s institution code 4854.  An offer of admission cannot be extended prior to the receipt of official scores.
  • Applicants using Academic IELTS test scores must submit official scores electronically via the IELTS system (E-TRF), using the University of Washington’s organization ID 365. An offer of admission cannot be extended prior to the receipt of official scores.
  • Applicants using Duolingo test scores must submit official scores via Duolingo to the University of Washington Graduate Admissions (Bothell, Seattle, Tacoma). An offer of admission cannot be extended prior to the receipt of official scores.
  • An applicant who does not meet the minimum required score will not be considered admissible by the Graduate School. The Graduate School does not offer conditional admissions to students who have not yet met the minimum English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement.

3.2.3     Meeting English Language Proficiency (ELP) Requirements

  • An applicant who has attained the recommended score has satisfied the Graduate School’s ELP requirement.
  • An admitted applicant below the recommended score will be required to satisfactorily complete 1 to 3 UW Academic English Program (AEP) courses to fulfill the ELP requirement. Students are expected to register for any required AEP classes beginning the student’s first quarter.
  • Admitted applicants who are required to take ENGL 102 and ENGL 104 may choose to fulfill this requirement before the start of the student’s graduate program by successfully completing the Graduate Preparation Program through the International & English Language Programs. Students enrolled in the Graduate Preparation Program pay additional fees.
  • Test scores are valid for two years and must be valid on the date the application is submitted or on the date the program requests a deferral petition.
  • Graduate students whose native language is not English and who wish to be appointed as teaching assistants (TAs) must meet the conditions for appointment specified in Graduate School Policy 5.2.

Policy 3.2 revised: November 2021; March 2022; April 2022; November 2022; December 2022; August 2023 (removal of temporary policy statement)

Policy 3.2.3 revised: February 2023

Policy 3.1: Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate study at the University of Washington provides opportunities for study leading to master’s, educational specialist, and doctoral degrees. The Graduate School is responsible for determining the minimum requirements for admission. These admissions requirements are based on the Washington Student Achievement Council Admissions Standards Policy. Departments may have additional or more stringent requirements. The basic objective of the admission policy of the Graduate School is to admit those students deemed best able to contribute to and benefit from the educational programs and opportunities offered at the University.

Enrollment in a specific graduate degree program is limited to the number of students for whom faculty, staff, and facilities can provide high quality graduate instruction and research guidance. Each graduate student must be admitted into a specific graduate program; the Graduate School does not permit general graduate enrollment.

3.1.1     Qualifications

A prospective graduate student must have one of the following:

  • A baccalaureate degree from a nationally recognized postsecondary institution with institutional accreditation from the following approved accreditation agencies or equivalent for international institutions: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) or WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) college or university. The prospective student must have at least a 3.0 grade-point-average on a 4 point scale (or equivalent measures of performance if a graduate of an institution with no grading system) for those credits earned at the institution awarding the bachelor’s degree OR at least a 3.0 grade-point-average (on a 4 point scale) for the last 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits.

Note: Students may have earned credits used towards a bachelor’s degree from multiple institutions. The 3.0 grade point average (GPA) requirement only requires that the cumulative GPA be reviewed from the degree granting institution. If a student’s cumulative GPA from the degree granting institution is lower than a 3.0 and the student has credits earned from multiple institutions, the student’s GPA may automatically be recalculated to include additional transcripts. If this recalculation results in a 3.0, the student has met the minimum GPA requirement. If this recalculation does not result in a 3.0, programs can petition the Graduate School for the student to be admitted using Alternate Standards.

  • One of the following: a master’s degree, a graduate doctoral degree, or any of the following professional doctoral degrees: Doctor of Dentistry (D.D.S.), Doctor of Law (J.D.), Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.). The degree must be from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S. or its equivalent from a foreign institution, and the prospective student must have at least a 3.0 grade-point-average (on a 4 point scale) calculated from the total cumulative credits.
  • An applied baccalaureate degree earned at a Washington community or technical community college. Applied baccalaureate degrees are evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the graduate degree program or department for admissions. The prospective student must have either: at least a 3.0 grade-point-average (on a 4 point scale) calculated from the total cumulative credits; or at least a 3.0 grade-point-average (on a 4 point scale) for the last 90 graded quarter credits.

Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Therefore, every applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency. No exceptions for this English proficiency requirement will be granted. See Policy 3.2.

The Graduate School does not require Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for admission; however, graduate programs may require GRE scores or any other tests related to the applicant’s field for use in the admission review process.

3.1.2     Alternate Standards

3.1.2.1     Alternates to Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirements

Programs can petition the Graduate School to admit students who do not meet the minimum grade point average (GPA) requirements under alternate admission standards. Programs petitioning under alternate admissions standards must collect, review and provide to the Graduate School evidence that the student meets a minimum two of the following requirements:

  • Satisfactory scores on the GRE, GMAT, or other approved test.
  • An analytical essay written by the student which demonstrates critical thinking skills.
  • A statement of intent written by the student demonstrating a level of knowledge and intellectual maturity appropriate to the proposed field of graduate study.
  • Evidence of successful graduate coursework in the intended field of study or in a closely related field.
  • Evidence of professional success in a field relevant to the proposed area of study.
  • An admissions interview either in-person or via phone or web.

Note: An analytical essay typically is focused on a student’s academic pursuits and interest, while a statement of intent includes information about a student’s personal journey.

3.1.2.2     Alternates to an Earned Bachelor’s Degree

Programs can petition the Graduate School to admit students who do not have a bachelor’s degree from a nationally recognized postsecondary institution with institutional accreditation, but who have significant professional experience. Programs petitioning under alternate admissions standards must collect, review, and provide to the Graduate School evidence that the student meets the following requirements:

  1. Evidence of professional success in a field relevant to the proposed area of study

And

  1. A minimum of two of the following:
    • A transcript showing 100 level course work or higher with the achievement of a 3.0 grade point average for at least 90 quarter hours or 60 semester hours.
    • Evidence of successful graduate coursework in the intended field of study or in a closely related field.
    • Satisfactory scores on the GRE, GMAT, or other approved test.
    • An analytical essay written by the student which demonstrates critical thinking skills.
    • A statement of intent written by the student demonstrating a level of knowledge and intellectual maturity appropriate to the proposed field of graduate study.
    • An admissions interview either in-person or via phone or web.

3.1.2.3     Alternate Standards for Doctoral Students Accompanying New Faculty

The Graduate School supports new University of Washington (UW) faculty members by allowing accompanying doctoral students who have begun doctoral work at another institution to be admitted through a special process, described below.

General Policies

Qualified doctoral students accompanying a new University of Washington (UW) faculty hire may be admitted to a UW research-based doctoral program under the following provisions. 

  • The graduate student has begun a doctoral program at the faculty member’s previous institution and has an established advising and research relationship with the new faculty hire.
  • The graduate faculty of the UW program recommend the student as qualified for the UW doctoral program using the program’s standard admissions criteria. This includes endorsement of previously completed coursework that may be applied towards the UW degree, as well as confirmation that the student’s program of study while at UW will be substantial enough to warrant the granting of the UW degree.
  • In most circumstances, the student will complete the General Exam at UW.
  • As part of a holistic assessment of the student’s qualifications and academic background, the program determines the content and milestones (e.g., coursework, General Exam) that must be completed at UW.
  • The following Graduate School doctoral degree minimum requirements may be waived or reduced based on the student’s coursework at the prior institution:
    • 18 credits of coursework applied towards degree requirements must be 500-level and above
    • 18 credits of coursework applied towards degree requirements must be numerically graded credits at the 400- and 500-level
    • Total credits required for the doctoral degree may be reduced.

Application Process

Doctoral students accompanying a new faculty hire are admitted through a special application process. After program faculty have approved admitting the student, the program submits a short narrative proposal and accompanying documents to the Graduate School. All admissions quarters prior to Autumn 2024 are submitted via email to the Graduate School Office of Academic Affairs (gsacad@uw.edu). All admissions quarters Autumn 2024 and beyond are submitted through the Doctoral Student Accompanying Faculty Hire Petition in Slate. The submission should include the following information:

  • An overview of the student’s progress towards the doctoral degree at the prior institution and at what stage the student will enter the UW doctoral program. Include information on how the student’s remaining work at the University of Washington will constitute a meaningful curricular experience reflective of a UW degree.
  • A completion plan for the student, including coursework, exams, and other milestones towards the degree.
  • A description of the UW degree requirements that will be waived (coursework, dissertation credits, or other requirements such as graded credits or 500 level credits) and the rationale for waiving the requirements based on work from the prior institution.
  • Confirmation that the graduate faculty of the academic unit have approved admitting the student under these special provisions.
  • A copy of the student’s current transcript.

Upon approval of the proposal by the Office of Academic Affairs, the student can be admitted, and the exceptions outlined in the proposal will be noted in the student’s record for use at the time of graduation from UW.

3.1.3     Admission Procedure

Application for admission is made simultaneously to the Graduate School and to the graduate program. Each department or other unit authorized to offer a graduate degree program maintains a Graduate Admissions Committee that must include at least three graduate faculty members. This Committee is responsible for the fair and complete evaluation of applicants and is expected to maintain files and to be able to demonstrate that full and fair consideration has been given to each applicant. Students meeting the Graduate School admissions requirements are admitted into programs of study by the Graduate Admissions Committee in the department offering the program. It is the responsibility of each department to ensure that students have met the Graduate School admissions requirements prior to offering admissions. Each department shall inform the Graduate School regarding students granted admissions and students denied admissions.

The Graduate School and each Graduate Admission Committee shall be guided by the following:

  • Priority for admission of applicants into a graduate degree program is based upon the applicant’s apparent ability, as determined by the University, to complete the program with a high level of achievement.
  • No practice may discriminate against an individual because of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam era veteran.
  • Sustained efforts shall be made to recruit qualified applicants who are members of groups that are underrepresented in certain disciplines.
  • All applicants to a degree-offering unit shall be processed through the same set of procedures to assure that all applicants are evaluated on the applicant’s individual merits.
  • Tests and criteria for admission should relate to the actual requirements of the graduate program. Reasonable accommodation for testing conditions may be made to compensate for relevant disabilities.
  • Additional factors may be used in developing a pool of qualified applicants for admission to the Graduate School. Weights given these and other factors may vary among graduate degree programs. No factor will confer admission on an academically unqualified applicant. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Grades earned, especially for subjects in or closely related to the field of the applicant’s proposed graduate work.
    • Scores on the Graduate Record Examination Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Tests, on the GRE Advanced Test, on other tests related to the applicant’s field, and on other aptitude tests which may be required.
    • Personal interviews of the applicant by the Department Admissions Committee.
    • The career objectives of the applicant and the extent to which the graduate degree program may be expected to prepare the applicant for those objectives.
    • Written and oral recommendations from persons who are qualified to evaluate the applicant’s academic record and promise.
    • The applicant’s degree objective, i.e. Master’s degree, Doctoral degree, or a Master’s followed by a Doctoral degree.
    • Activities or accomplishments; educational goals; prior employment experience; living experiences, such as growing up in a disadvantaged or unusual environment; special talents.
    • Academic accomplishments in light of the applicant’s life experiences and special circumstances. These experiences and circumstances may include, but are not limited to disabilities; low family income; first generation to attend college; need to work during college; disadvantaged social or educational environment; difficult personal and family situation or circumstances; and refugee status or veteran status.

3.1.4 Enrollment Confirmation on Behalf of a Student

Programs can petition the Graduate School to confirm enrollment on behalf of a student without paying the ECD (enrollment confirmation deposit). This petition cannot be requested for applicants planning to attend on an F1 or J1 visa.

For those whose petition has been approved, an ECD will not be applied toward their tuition and fees assessed for the quarter in which they have been admitted. The student is responsible for all tuition and fees (See the Office of the University Registrar for more information about an ECD).

3.1.4.1 Criteria

A prospective student and department must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The student participated in a pipeline program used by the department to recruit students.
  • The student meets the Graduate School’s published criteria for an application fee waiver.
  • The program has extended an offer of admission to the student and informed the Graduate School that the student has been granted admission (see Policy 3.1.3).
  • The petition request is submitted by the day prior to the start of the admit term.

If a student does not meet the Graduate School’s criteria for an application fee waiver, or if the student has not participated in a pipeline program, the department may petition to proceed with enrollment confirmation on behalf of the student. Programs petitioning on behalf of a student must create and publish an equitable departmental policy on their decision-making regarding eligibility for the petition and provide it within the petition as an attachment.

 3.1.4.2 Veterans Benefits

U.S. military veterans, service members, or their dependents using a VA benefit may be eligible. Admitted students must contact the Veterans Education Benefits Office (veteran@uw.edu) for guidance.  


Policy 3.1 revised: August 2011, March 2019; March 2022; April 2022

Policy 3.1.2.3 revised: February 2023

Policy 3.1.1 revised: July 2023

Policy 3.1.4 added: November 2023

Policy 3.1.4.1 revised February 2024

Policy 2.2: Graduate Courses in Non-Degree-Offering Units

Graduate courses normally should be offered only under the sponsorship of academic departments or other units which are authorized to grant graduate degrees. However, in certain cases faculty members of an academic unit not authorized to offer a graduate degree or graduate certificate program may be granted permission to offer courses numbered 500 to 599 and create a new course prefix, if required.

Courses proposed under this provision should not be intended as part of a graduate degree program being developed by the sponsoring unit. Such courses should be offered under the approved prefixes of existing graduate degree programs until the new degree has been established by the Board of Regents. Procedures for authorization of new graduate degrees are described in Policy 1.7.

2.2.1 Review and Approval Process

Graduate courses to be offered by non-graduate-program-offering units must follow the regular UW course and course prefix approval process. This includes curricular review by the appropriate school, college, or campus and final approval by the UW Curriculum Committee. The Graduate School will review and endorse proposed courses and prefixes as part of the course approval workflow. The course proposers must indicate all affected units and the Graduate School in the “Potentially Affected Departments, Schools, or Colleges” section of the course proposal. These units will be asked to review and acknowledge the course proposal.

In requesting approval of courses under this policy the unit must provide a written statement, included with the course application materials, showing that each course meets the following criteria:

  • The academic and budgetary impact of the course has been assessed and approved by the leadership of the academic unit and the school/college/campus.
  • Instructors should be members of the graduate faculty or meet equivalent standards for scholarship and teaching experience. Provide a list of expected instructors and academic titles, including indication of graduate faculty status.
  • Classes should have majority graduate or postdoctoral (as opposed to professional or undergraduate) enrollment. Provide an estimate of the total enrollment for each.
  • The course should have clear interdisciplinary value in the following ways. Provide an explanation of the following criteria:
  1. It should extend and integrate knowledge from more than one discipline to the extent that it is not appropriately offered by a graduate-degree-offering unit.
  2. Its enrollment is drawn from more than one graduate-degree-offering unit.

Policy 2.2 created: March, 1987. Revised: April, 2007; February 2020

Policy 2.1: Graduate Course Numbers, Titles, and Audience

Graduate courses numbered in the 500s through 800s are intended for and ordinarily restricted to either students enrolled in the Graduate School or graduate non-matriculated students who meet the requirements of Policy 3.3.

Graduate courses should be presented at a level that assumes enrolled students bring to the class a background at least equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in the field or a related interdisciplinary field. Graduate courses must not be used to correct deficiencies in the student’s undergraduate work; courses normally expected to be part of undergraduate preparation for graduate study must be identified by undergraduate course numbers.

Some courses at the 300 and 400 levels are open to graduate students; see Policy 1.1 for using these courses for graduate degree requirements. 

2.1.1     Course Numbers and Titles

In order to maintain as much breadth as possible in the course offerings of a graduate unit, graduate level courses normally will carry the prefix designation of the academic unit authorized to offer the graduate program, e.g., English, Drama, Education, etc. However, in certain fields identification of specializations in graduate courses may be necessary or desirable. To propose special designation, the faculty in that unit may transmit to the Dean of the School or College the request to identify the field of specialization in the prefix. Special designation, if approved by the Dean of the College and the Registrar, may be established.

The following standardized course numbers and course titles have been established for graduate courses in all disciplines numbered 600, 601, 700, 800. Courses numbered 801 may have alternate course titles. Descriptions for all courses below are at the discretion of the proposing unit.

  • 600 – Independent Study or Research: Used for individual readings or study, including independent study in preparation for doctoral examinations, research, etc. Prerequisite: permission of Supervisory Committee Chair, Graduate Program Coordinator, or Graduate Program Coordinator’s designee.
  • 601 – Internship: Used for Internships. Prerequisite: permission of Supervisory Committee Chair, Graduate Program Coordinator, or Graduate Program Coordinator’s designee.
  • 700 – Master’s Thesis: Used for research for the master’s thesis, including research preparatory and/or related thereto. Limited to graduate students who have not yet completed the master’s degree in the student’s program of enrollment at the University of Washington. Prerequisite: permission of Supervisory Committee Chair, Graduate Program Coordinator, or Graduate Program Coordinator’s designee.
  • 800 – Doctoral Dissertation: Used for research for the doctoral dissertation, including research preparatory and/or related thereto. Limited to those who have completed the master’s degree or the equivalent and have been admitted into a doctoral degree program, or candidate-level graduate students. Pre-master students initiating doctoral dissertation research should register for 600. Prerequisite: permission of Supervisory Committee Chair, Graduate Program Coordinator, or Graduate Program Coordinator’s designee.
  • 801 – Practice Doctorate Project/Capstone: Used for the culminating project/capstone experience for practice doctorate degree programs (see Policy 1.1.5). Course title may vary to reflect the specific nature of the project/capstone (e.g., project, practicum, portfolio, applied dissertation, clinical work, etc.).

2.1.2     Course Delivery Location

Graduate courses are offered on campus except for courses where all of the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The course is equivalent in quality to courses offered in residence at the University, as judged by consideration of course content, assignments, examinations, performance expected from students, grading practices, assignment of graduate faculty, etc.
  • It is designed for and presented mainly to students who have been admitted to and are enrolled in the Graduate School of the University of Washington or who have been enrolled by units as graduate non-matriculated students.

2.1.3     Course Enrollment

Under certain conditions, qualified graduate non-matriculated students may be enrolled in graduate courses and earn credit later applicable towards a graduate degree. These conditions are outlined in Policy 3.3.

Postbaccalaureate students, undergraduate students, and non-matriculated students who do not meet Graduate School admission requirements may enroll in 500-level courses provided that permission has been obtained in advance from the faculty member who will teach the class, and from the unit Chair/Director or designated representative. Permission should be granted only when the student appears to be exceptionally well prepared for entrance into the course so that the tempo and quality of the graduate instruction is not adversely affected. Such students should not constitute more than 20% of the total number enrolled in the class.


Policy 2.1 revised: August 2021; December 2022

Policy 1.9: 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 Policy 1.9; 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.

1.9.1     Duration of Suspension of Admissions

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):

  • over-enrollment or under-enrollment
  • curricular re-design
  • temporary financial pressures
  • faculty hiring/staffing issues
  • re-assessment of the purpose and goals of the program
  • long-term structural issues

Programs not intending to reopen admissions should proceed with program termination in coordination with their dean’s office or chancellor’s office.

1.9.2     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

  • 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.
  • 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.

1.9.3     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. 


Policy 1.9 created: May 2022 

Policy 1.8: Periodic Review of Existing Degree Programs

University of Washington Executive Order 20.4 mandates the review of all degree-offering academic units on a regular basis, including the undergraduate and graduate degree programs they offer.

Although academic program review is the joint responsibility of the Dean of the Graduate School and the Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the University has designated the Graduate School’s Office of Academic Affairs and Planning for overseeing and facilitating the academic program review process.

New degree programs initially are authorized by the Board of Regents with provisional status and should be reviewed at least once every five years until they are given continuing status.


Policy 1.8 created: February, 1985. Revised: June 2010; January 2017; October 2022