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Reinstatement

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.

REQUEST FOR REINSTATEMENT

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 https://uwnetid.washington.edu/newid/

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 On-Leave Status

Graduate students are required to maintain graduate status during their program of study. Failure to maintain this status requires reinstatement to the University of Washington. Students who desire to take a quarter or quarters off without going through the reinstatement process must apply for on-leave status for each quarter they do not register. For complete details regarding the on-leave policy, refer to Policy 3.5.

LOG IN TO MYGRAD TO REQUEST ON-LEAVE STATUS

On-leave Eligibility

  • Must be a graduate student in good standing.
  • Must have been registered or on-leave the previous quarter.
  • Must satisfy any graduate program policies pertaining to going/remaining on-leave.
  • Must have registered for at least one quarter of graduate study at UW and have approval from their graduate program.
  • Must request this leave on a quarterly basis.
  • Students on F-1 & J-1 visas should review International Student Services’ webpages on Time Off to ensure they understand the enrollment requirements and exceptions related to their visas.
  • Pre-registered students must officially withdraw via MyUW or the Registration office prior to the first day of the quarter. Registered students are not eligible for on-leave status.

Students on leave are entitled to:

  • return as a graduate student to the graduate program
  • use University libraries
  • maintain access to the UW email account
  • use Hall Health Primary Care Center on a pay-for-service basis
  • use the IMA with additional fee (UW Seattle campus students only)

Students on leave are not entitled to:

  • faculty and staff counsel/resources (very limited counsel/resources are permitted)
  • examinations of any type (except for language competency)
  • thesis/dissertation filing
  • University housing
  • student insurance
  • financial assistance

Procedure for Requesting Leave

Beginning September 28, 2011, students requesting on-leave status must submit an online Request for On-Leave Status via MyGrad Program. Students do not request leave for Summer Quarter. (Summer quarter On-Leave enrollment is automatic for all graduate students who were either registered or officially On-Leave during the prior Spring Quarter.)

  • Deadlines: Each quarter, students can submit the request as early as two weeks prior to the first day of instruction and must submit payment of the non-refundable fee no later than 5:00 p.m. PST on the last day of the quarter (students planning to request loan deferment, see section below).
  • The following students may request up to three consecutive quarters of leave at one time: Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) students, military personnel with deployment orders, UW Fulbright grantees, and Bonderman Travel grantees.
  • Payment: all students pay for on-leave, with the exception of military personnel on deployment orders (deploying students must still log onto MyGrad to “Pay” after receiving the departmental approval email, but they will be exempted from payment at the last step).

Students Requesting Loan Deferment

  • Students who are officially on-leave for reasons related to their educational study (internship, Peace Corps, dissertation research, etc.) are expected to communicate with their lenders if they will come out of their grace period due to lack of enrollment.
  • Students should plan to complete the on-leave process by submitting payment of the fee no later than 5:00 p.m. PST by the 2nd Friday of the quarter.
  • Students who are officially on-leave by the 2nd Friday of the quarter will have their on-leave status reported to the National Student Clearinghouse.
  • Additional information can be found at Enrollment Verification and Degree Certification.

Note: The Required Off-Site Education Approval (R.O.S.E.) process has been discontinued as of Summer Quarter 2017.

Domestic Students

  • Complete and submit the online Request for On-Leave Status via MyGrad Program. Student will receive a confirmation email that the request has been submitted.
  • Request will be reviewed and approved by the departmental Graduate Program Coordinator (faculty advisor). Upon approval, students will receive a confirmation email that the department has approved the request.
  • Return to MyGrad Program to pay the $25.00 non-refundable quarterly On-Leave fee via MasterCard or Visa credit card. Students will receive a confirmation email that their quarterly leave has been processed and their registration status for that quarter is “On-Leave.”
  • Print confirmation of on-leave verification to be presented for access to the UW libraries and IMA.

International Students

  • Students on F-1 & J-1 visas should review International Student Services’ webpages on Time Off to ensure they understand the enrollment requirements and exceptions related to their visas.
  • Complete and submit the online Request for On-Leave Status via MyGrad Program.
  • Request will be reviewed and approved by the departmental Graduate Program Coordinator (faculty advisor). Upon approval, students will receive a confirmation email that the department has approved the request.
  • Return to MyGrad Program to pay the $25.00 non-refundable quarterly On-Leave fee via MasterCard or Visa credit card. Students will receive a confirmation email that their quarterly leave has been processed and their registration status for that quarter is “On-Leave.”
  • Print confirmation of on-leave verification to be presented for access to the UW libraries and IMA.

Reinstatement to the Graduate School

Students previously registered in the Graduate School who have failed to maintain graduate student status (on-leave status was not secured or registration was not maintained) 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.

For questions regarding on-leave status, please contact the Graduate Program Advisor within your graduate program and/or Graduate Enrollment Management Services at uwgrad@u.washington.edu or 206.685.2630.


Revised January 23, 2023

Policy 3.10: Graduate Student Classifications

The following classifications are assigned to graduate students and postdoctoral appointees on the basis of advancement toward or completion of graduate degrees:

  • Premaster: A Premaster has been admitted to the Graduate School, but has not yet completed a master’s degree or the equivalent.
  • Post-Master: A Post-master has completed the master’s degree or equivalent, but has not yet had a doctoral Supervisory Committee appointed.
  • Precandidate: A Precandidate has had a doctoral Supervisory Committee appointed, which signifies admission into a doctoral program, but has not yet completed the Graduate School General Examinations.
  • Candidacy: A student in candidacy status has completed the General Examination, but has not yet completed the dissertation and final examination.
  • Postdoctoral: A Postdoctoral appointee has completed a doctoral degree and is engaged in research or scholarly work in residence at the University, but is neither an enrolled student nor a member of the faculty.

When a student is first admitted to the Graduate School, the student is placed in the appropriate classification which recognizes the highest academic degree which the admitted student holds in the field of the proposed graduate work at the University of Washington. When a graduate student officially completes the master’s degree, or has a doctoral Supervisory Committee appointed, or completes the General Examination, the classification is changed accordingly.

Every quarter each graduate program advisor reviews the graduate student list and informs the Graduate School of any changes needed.


Policy 3.10 revised: November 1977; July 2015

Policy 3.7: Academic Performance and Progress

This section articulates policies for the academic performance and progress of graduate students, including guidance on appropriate process for cases where student academic performance does not meet program expectations.

3.7.1     Communicating Performance and Progress Requirements

A student admitted to the Graduate School may continue graduate study and research at the University of Washington as long as the student maintains satisfactory performance and progress toward completion of the student’s graduate degree. The definition of satisfactory academic and professional performance and progress may differ among graduate programs. Each graduate program is required to document and distribute performance and progress requirements to each of its graduate faculty and graduate students upon student enrollment. Documentation shall include the following information:

  • General expectations for graduate student performance and progress within the program that includes, but is not limited to, required coursework, research, scholarship, professional behavior relevant to the program, fieldwork, practicum requirements, and length of time allowed for completion of various phases of the program.
  • Performance and progress measures including:
    • key academic and professional milestones, as defined by the program.
    • expected timelines
    • evaluation of progress and milestones by faculty
  • Performance issues that would lead to warn, probationary, or drop status, as outlined below.
  • Consequences of not meeting a milestone or expectations, including process and timing for managing repeated attempts at a milestone if graduate program policy permits.
  • Procedures for appealing program decisions.

3.7.2     Reviewing Performance and Progress

Faculty should assess student progress using a variety of professional behavior and academic metrics to determine if a student has completed sufficient work at reasonable performance levels. It is acceptable to compare a student’s performance and progress relative to that of other students in the program or to individually negotiated schedules if consistently used. The following elements may be considered when evaluating a student’s performances and progress:

  • Performance and progress in the fulfillment of degree program requirements as outlined in the graduate program’s documentation distributed to students upon enrollment.
  • Maintenance of a minimum cumulative and quarterly 3.0 grade point average (GPA) while the student is enrolled in the UW Graduate School. A program may petition the Graduate School to consider exceptions to the 3.0 GPA minimum requirement for graduation if the student demonstrates steady and consistent progress.

Program faculty, the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC), Graduate Program Advisor (GPA), or an advisory/supervisory committee designated by the graduate program, are responsible for regular reviews of student performance. At doctoral candidate level, the doctoral supervisory committee reviews student progress and does so, in consultation with the GPC as needed.

  • The graduate program faculty should review a student’s performance and progress at least annually.
  • The GPC and GPA should provide ongoing advising of students.
  • For accelerated or shorter term graduate programs that are six quarters or fewer, student performance and progress should be reviewed quarterly. Unsatisfactory performance may require mid-quarter reviews and interventions.
  • Students not meeting milestones, including those whose cumulative or quarterly grade point average (GPA) falls below a 3.0, should be reviewed quarterly.
  • Students not meeting milestones should be provided with a written explanation of performance expectations, clear descriptions of performance benchmarks and outcomes that would demonstrate improvements, and a timetable for demonstrating progress or achievement of these benchmarks.
  • For students in the research or fieldwork phase of a graduate program, program faculty should review student progress at least annually, with greater frequency as determined by program expectations and student performance.

3.7.3     Unsatisfactory Performance and Progress

The following three status levels are used to indicate unsatisfactory performance, to communicate clear expectations to the student, and consequences should those expectations not be met in the time indicated. The goal of each step is to establish clear expectations and outline a path to return to satisfactory progress.

  • Warn: This is an early status for a student who has failed to meet expectations for performance or progress. Warnings are optional in the probation process and are managed internally by the program with a goal of resolving problems before escalating to probation. The program may issue multiple warning letters to the student and the Graduate School is not notified. The Graduate School recommends that programs use the warning status prior to a probation status.
  • Probation: This status is used for a student who has failed to resolve problems with student performance or progress that the program has previously documented and communicated to the student. Programs send a probation recommendation to the student with a copy to the Graduate School no later than the 10th business day of the probation quarter. The Graduate School does a post review of probation letters sent to students by the department.  At least one quarter of probation must be issued prior to final probation. Two additional quarters of probation may be issued at the program’s discretion and the Graduate School must receive documents supporting a probation recommendation each quarter. All probation letters must cite:
    • the reason for the probation
    • steps the student must take to remove the probation
    • the consequences the student will face if steps were not taken to remove the probation
  • Final Probation: This status is used for a student who has failed to resolve the documented problems in the student’s probation status as submitted to the Graduate School. Programs send a final probation recommendation to the student with a copy to the Graduate School no later than the 10th business day of the final probation quarter. The Graduate School will review the final probation letter and, if accepted, the Graduate School will send an additional letter from the Dean of the Graduate School to the student informing the student of final probation status. The graduate program must issue one quarter of final probation prior to a drop from the program, except in clearly documented situations as discussed below. A program may request an additional quarter of final probation in extenuating circumstances. The Graduate School must receive documents supporting this recommendation and will send letters to the student informing the student of final probation status. All final probation letters must cite:
    • the reason for the final probation
    • steps the student must take to remove the final probation
    • the consequences the student will face if steps were not taken to remove the final probation

A graduate program may recommend a student be placed on probation status while the student is on leave. The program may not change a student’s probationary status while the student remains on leave. The student must apply for leave status each quarter which is then approved by the department (see Policy 3.5).

Additional considerations as described in the graduate program policy provided to students may result in an immediate recommendation to drop a student without progressing through Probation and Final Probation. The most common examples of this are unsatisfactory performance in the following:

  • Qualifying or Preliminary Examinations: As defined in a graduate program policy.
  • Doctoral General Exam or Final Exam performance: if graduate faculty determine the student did not pass the general or final exam, the graduate faculty may indicate on the committee signature form that the student is recommended to be dropped from the program. See Policy 1.1 for general exam and final exam requirements.
  • Fieldwork or professional performance: As defined in a graduate program policy.

To request a change to student status, the GPC must send a letter to the Graduate School with supporting documentation. A status change is recorded in the student record but does not appear on the student transcript.

A student in a probation status who is not on an approved On-Leave status may submit a request
for reinstatement. If reinstated, the department will determine if the student will be reinstated
with the probation status in place when the student left the university based on the program’s
internal academic performance and progress policy. See Policy 3.5 for leave policy to maintain graduate student status.

3.7.4     Drop

Drop is an official action that terminates a student’s enrollment from a graduate program because either the student has failed to resolve documented problems in the student’s final probation status, or the student has one of the performance issues as outlined above. Graduate programs should submit drop recommendations to the Graduate School prior to the start of the quarter but no later than the fifth business day of the drop quarter. The Graduate School approves the drop, and drop status will appear on the student’s official transcript. Drop letters are sent to the student from the department and from the Dean of the Graduate School. When dropped, a student is not eligible to complete the program or return later to complete the degree. A student dropped from one graduate program may apply to and enroll in a different graduate program if accepted.

3.7.5     Appeals

Appeals must follow the process outlined in Policy 3.8 for the Academic Grievance Procedure.


Policy 3.7 revised: October 2021

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 1.6: Sequential Combined Undergraduate/Graduate (CUG) Degrees

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

View the guidelines for proposals →

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

1.6.1     Admissions

The CUG program is responsible for creating a CUG program admissions process. Admission will occur no earlier than when a student has junior standing. The admission processes for students applying to the CUG while still in their undergraduate course of study is managed by the CUG program and does not include a Graduate School application until students are ready to transition into the graduate program. The specific timeline and CUG admissions criteria will be outlined by the specific program the student is applying to, and application to the CUG program will be open to all students meeting the published CUG program admissions criteria. The qualifications for admission to the CUG program must assure that students have the appropriate background to successfully complete the program. The student is responsible for applying to the Graduate School and meeting the minimum Graduate School admissions requirements before being allowed to enroll as a graduate student.

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

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

1.6.2     Credit Applied toward the Graduate Degree

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

1.6.3     Time Limits

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

1.6.4     Graduate Student Appointments

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

1.6.5     Advising

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


Policy 1.6 created March 2008. Revised: January 2015; October 2021

Policy 1.6.1 revised February 2024

Policy 1.5: Concurrent Degree Programs

Concurrent programs are defined as a pair of programs that may be pursued at the UW by a post baccalaureate student resulting in completion of the requirements for either two graduate degrees or a graduate and a professional degree as defined in Executive Order VII. Rather than sequentially completing first one degree and then the other, the student’s time and the University’s resources may be conserved by arrangements that permit the student to proceed in a coordinated way toward completion of the degree programs. Graduate School policy allows for both formal and informal concurrent degree programs, as described below. A student may also pursue other options to combine study in two or more fields.

Concurrent enrollment in two or more degree programs may have significant impact on student tuition and fees. See Student Fiscal Services for more information on tuition and fees when students are concurrently enrolled.

1.5.1     Formal Concurrent Degree Programs

Graduate School policy defines a formal concurrent degree program as a curriculum established by two participating academic units resulting in completion of two graduate degrees or a graduate and a professional degree. Formal concurrent degree programs must be reviewed and approved by the Graduate School, and students in formal concurrent degree programs are designated by unique program codes.

There are two types of formal concurrent degree programs: Graduate/Graduate Concurrent Degrees and Graduate/Professional Concurrent Degrees.

1.5.1.1     Graduate/Graduate Concurrent Degrees

The Graduate School allows formal concurrent degree programs which lead to the awarding of two graduate degrees. The Graduate Program Coordinators in the two programs involved are the primary representatives and are responsible for providing information and assistance to students engaged in concurrent programs.

1.5.1.1.1      Admission

An applicant who is not currently a student at the University of Washington must submit an application and fee for each program. Both programs must offer admission before admission into the concurrent degree program is granted.

Students who are currently enrolled must submit an application and fee for the second program, indicating on the application that the intent is to complete both degrees rather than to transfer to the second program.

1.5.1.1.2      Registration

After initial registration, a student must maintain continuous enrollment by (1) registering as a full-time or part-time student each quarter or (2) applying for on-leave status.

1.5.1.1.3      Requirements

To earn two master’s degrees in a formal concurrent degree program, a student must complete the equivalent of two Graduate School minimum degree requirements of 36 credits each for a minimum total of 72 credits. If one or both of the participating programs require more than the minimum of 36 credits, those additional credits may be “shared” and applied to both degrees. Further, a maximum of 12 credits from one master’s program, earned beyond the 36 credit minimum, may be applied in the second master’s program towards the Graduate School minimum of 36 credits required. In this case, the minimum number of additional credits for the second degree, with the 12 approved credits, is 24. In all cases the total minimum required credits remains 72. For formal concurrent degree programs, both programs must approve the shared credits counting toward both degrees. A formal concurrent degree program may allow a shared thesis as described within the formal concurrent degree proposal. The proposing programs should follow the best practices guidelines developed by the Graduate School Council (Concurrent Degrees Shared Thesis Best Practices) and articulate these in the proposal sent to the Graduate School.

For formal Ph.D./master’s degree concurrent programs, up to 12 credits earned toward a Ph.D. degree may be counted toward a master’s degree in another program with the approval of both degree offering units.

It is the responsibility of the student to submit a written list of courses which apply toward each respective degree at the time the student files an application for the master’s degree or schedules the general examination. This list must be approved by both programs.

1.5.1.2     Graduate/Professional Concurrent Degrees

The Graduate School allows formal concurrent degree programs which lead to the awarding of a professional degree and a graduate degree. The professional degrees referred to in this section are those defined in Executive Order VII: the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.); Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S); Juris Doctor (J.D.); and Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.).

The Graduate Program Coordinators are the primary representatives of the professional schools and the graduate-degree offering units. The Graduate Program Coordinator is responsible for providing information and assistance to the student engaged in a concurrent program. Another source of information may be the Graduate Enrollment Management Services Division of the Graduate School.

1.5.1.2.1      Admission

An applicant who is not currently a student at the University must apply for admission to both the professional school and the Graduate School.

A student currently in a professional program at the University of Washington must submit a Graduate School Application and fee.

A current graduate student must submit an application and fee for the professional program as required by that program.

1.5.1.2.2      Registration

After initial registration, a student must maintain continuous enrollment by (1) registering as a full-time or part-time student each quarter or (2) by applying for on-leave status.

1.5.1.2.3      Requirements

All graduate program and Graduate School minimum requirements must be met by appropriate graduate courses. It is the responsibility of the student to submit a written list of courses which apply toward the graduate degree at the time the student applies for the graduate degree. This list must be approved by both programs.

1.5.2     Informal Concurrent Degree Programs

Students may pursue two degrees from different departments simultaneously in an informal concurrent degree program. These programs have not been approved as formal concurrent programs and do not have unique program codes, but students have flexibility to ‘share’ coursework, given the approval of both programs.

1.5.2.1     Admission

Current graduate students wishing to pursue an informal concurrent degree program must go to the Graduate School online application and submit an application and fee for the second program.

1.5.2.2     Registration

After initial registration, a student must maintain continuous enrollment by registering as a full-time or part-time student each quarter, OR applying for on-leave status.

1.5.2.3     Requirements for students first enrolling prior to Autumn Quarter 2023 and maintaining continuous enrollment

To earn two master’s degrees, a student must fulfill Graduate School degree requirements for each degree for a minimum of 72 credits. If one or both of the individual programs require more than the minimum of 36 credits, those additional credits may be ‘shared’ and applied to both degrees. However, the total number of credits must be at least 72 and both programs must approve the shared credits counting toward both degrees. Theses and thesis credits may not be shared.

With the approval of both degree-offering units, up to 12 credits earned toward a PhD degree may be counted toward a master’s degree in another program.

It is the responsibility of the student to submit a written list of courses which apply toward each respective degree at the time the student files an application for the master’s degree or schedules the general examination. This list must be approved by both programs.

1.5.2.4     Requirements for students first enrolling Autumn Quarter 2023 or later

To earn two master’s degrees, a student must fulfill the existing degree requirements for each degree. If one or both of the individual programs require more than 36 credits, up to 12 of the credits beyond 36 may be ‘shared’ and applied to both sets of degree requirements. The total number of credits must be at least 72 and both programs must approve the shared credits counting toward both degrees. Theses and thesis credits may not be shared.

With the approval of both degree-offering units, up to 12 credits earned toward a PhD degree may be counted toward a master’s degree in another program.

It is the responsibility of the student to submit a written list of courses which apply toward each respective degree at the time the student files an application for the master’s degree or schedules the general examination. This list must be approved by both programs.


Policy 1.5 revised: June 1996; April 2022; January 2023

Policy 1.5.1.1 revised January 2023

Policy 1.5.1.2 revised January 2023

Policy 1.2: Graduate Certificates

A graduate certificate program is a linked series of credit bearing graduate courses that constitutes a coherent body of study and culminates in a capstone or equivalent unifying experience. Graduate certificates are intended to enhance the education of matriculated graduate or professional students beyond their regular course of study, or to provide students access to graduate education as a standalone credential or as a stacked credential that can lead to a graduate degree. Graduate certificates are not open to undergraduate students. See Policy 1.4 for policies on stackable graduate certificates and the stacked graduate degree program.

Completed graduate certificates are recorded on the student’s UW transcript. Note, however, that matriculated graduate and graduate non-matriculated (GNM) students may also pursue approved UW certificates that are not recorded on the UW transcript, for example certificates offered by UW Continuum College. These non-transcripted certificates are distinct from graduate certificates and are not under purview of the Graduate School.

1.2.1     Requirements

Requirements for the certificate must include a minimum of 15 credits, nine of which must be earned in courses numbered 500 and above, and nine of which must be from graded courses. The curriculum must constitute a coherent body of study that culminates in a capstone or equivalent unifying experience.

Graduate certificate requirements normally consist primarily of graduate-level coursework at the 500 level. Courses at the 300 level and 400 level may be part of a student’s course of study and applied toward graduate certificate requirements when acceptable to the student’s graduate program and the Graduate School.

A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 is required for courses applied to a graduate certificate, and a minimum of 2.7 is required in each course that is counted toward a graduate certificate.  Courses at the 300 level are not included in the calculation of grade-point average (GPA).

There are no restrictions on credit sharing between a graduate certificate and a graduate degree program. This is intended to support the structure of stacked degrees (Policy 1.4). For graduate certificates that are not part of a stacked degree, credit sharing is not intended as a mechanism for students enrolled in a graduate degree program to incidentally receive a certificate in addition to the earned degree as part of their regular course of study towards the degree. Thus, a student may earn a graduate certificate that shares coursework with a non-stacked graduate degree only when the student completes a distinct graduate certificate capstone or equivalent unifying experience. Units are responsible for ensuring that each credential earned is representative of a distinct body of academic work.

No credit sharing is allowed between multiple graduate certificates.

1.2.2     Review and Approval of Graduate Certificate Programs

The review of graduate certificate program proposals is similar to that of new graduate program proposals and is coordinated by the Office of Academic Affairs in the Graduate School. This process includes review by Academic Affairs and by the Graduate School Council. The approval of proposed graduate certificates resides with the Board of Regents. For details, see the Graduate School’s Graduate Certificate proposal page. In a proposal for a new graduate certificate, program faculty must clearly define and describe the program’s governance, budget, curriculum, admission standards, admission process, and minimum completion standards.

Similar to new graduate degree programs, new graduate certificate programs are initially authorized by the Board of Regents with provisional status. Such programs are to be reviewed at least every five years until the programs are granted continuing status. Continuing programs are reviewed at least every ten years.


Policy 1.2 created: March 2008. Revised: June 2012, July 2022

Policy 1.2.1 revised November 2023

Policy 1.1: Graduate Degree Requirements

Policy 1.1 describes general policies on minimum degree requirements and allowable credits for graduate degrees. Degree requirements for specific graduate programs are managed by that program and may be in excess of the minimum requirements described here.

A graduate degree program consists of a coherent body of study beyond the baccalaureate degree that includes a meaningful progression of coursework and, for most programs, includes a final culminating experience or an integrated experience across the curriculum. Examples of culminating experiences include a thesis, dissertation or other creative work, capstone project, comprehensive examination, or supervised field experience. Integrated learning experiences connect concepts and experiences across the curriculum to form a meaningful whole. If included as part of the degree requirements, a program may offer multiple culminating experience options, provided that the overall level of achievement for the degree remains the same. See Policies 1.1.2, 1.1.3, 1.1.4, and 1.1.5 for requirements specific to each degree type.

The Graduate School defines minimum degree requirements for all University of Washington graduate programs. Individual graduate programs may have degree requirements that exceed the Graduate School minimum requirements.

The Graduate Faculty with oversight of a graduate program have primary responsibility for assuring that students recommended for graduation have satisfactorily fulfilled the degree requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.

A student must satisfy the requirements for the degree that are in force at the time the degree is to be awarded. Exceptions may be made for programs that have undergone changes to degree requirements.

1.1.1     Requirements Applying to All Graduate Degree Programs

  • Credits applied towards graduate degree requirements must include University of Washington coursework of (1) at least 18 credits at the 500 level and above; and (2) at least 18 numerically graded credits of 400- and 500-level coursework, excluding 499 and transfer credit.
  • For CR/NC courses, submission of a CR grade indicates that the student has met course expectations at a level such that the course may be applied towards graduate degree requirements.
  • For S/NS courses, an S grade indicates that the student has met course expectations at a level such that the course may be applied towards graduate degree requirements. A graduate program may restrict S courses from counting towards program requirements.
  • Graduate degree requirements normally consist primarily of graduate-level coursework at the 500 level. Courses at the 300 level and 400 level may be part of a student’s course of study and applied toward graduate degree requirements when acceptable to the student’s graduate program and the Graduate School. Coursework at the 300 level may not be applied towards the minimum 18 graded credits and may not be applied towards more than one-third of total degree requirements, except as previously approved by the Graduate School.
  • A student must be registered for credit the quarter in which any required exam or presentation occurs. A student must maintain registration as a full-time or part-time graduate student for the quarter the degree or certificate is conferred.
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 is required to earn a graduate degree, and a minimum of 2.7 is required in each course that is counted toward graduate degree requirements.  Courses at the 300 level are not included in the calculation of grade-point average (GPA).
  • With the approval of a student’s graduate program and the Graduate School, up to 6 credits of 400-level or 500-level coursework, taken as a senior while an undergraduate at the University of Washington, may be applied towards graduate degree requirements.
  • With the approval of a student’s graduate program, a restricted amount of Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) credit may be applied towards degree requirements, as described in Policy 3.3.
  • Credit taken while enrolled as a non-matriculated (NM) student or while matriculated as a post-baccalaureate student at the University of Washington may not be applied towards graduate degree requirements. Credit by independent study or advanced credit examination is not transferable.

1.1.2     The Master’s Degree

In addition to the requirements listed under Policy 1.1.1 that apply to all graduate degree programs:

  • Master’s degree requirements must include a minimum of 36 credits. A master’s program may require more than this minimum.
  • A student must complete all work for the master’s degree within six years from the time of first enrollment. Periods spent on leave or out of status are included in these limits. Exceptions to time to degree will be made at the program level.
  • A master’s program generally should require a final culminating or integrated experience, with the exception of applied professional programs where a coursework-only program can be thoroughly justified in the program proposal (e.g., a coursework-only program is the standard in the field).

1.1.2.1     Coursework that may be applied towards master’s degree requirements

A maximum of 6 quarter credits of graduate-level coursework taken at another recognized academic institution may be transferred and apply to UW master’s degree requirements, when acceptable to the graduate program and the Graduate School.

No more than 12 credits derived from any combination of GNM credits and transfer credits may be applied towards the total degree requirements. Transfer credits may not be applied towards the thesis or culminating experience requirement.

1.1.2.2     Thesis Programs

The master’s thesis provides evidence of the graduate student’s ability to carry out independent investigation and to present the results in clear and systemic form.

The thesis must be written in the English language. If there are circumstances that warrant a dissertation in another language, the program may petition the Graduate School.

A thesis program must include a minimum of 9 thesis credits (700).

Thesis credits (700) will not apply to requirements for a non-thesis master’s degree.

See Policy 4.2.1 for any thesis that will include human or animal subjects.

1.1.2.3     Final Examination

If a master’s program requires a final examination, it may be either oral or written. A majority of the supervisory committee must approve for satisfactory completion, and all members of the supervisory committee must certify examination results. If the examination is not satisfactory, the committee may recommend to the Dean of the Graduate School that the student be allowed to take another examination after a period of further study.

1.1.3     The Educational Specialist Degree

In addition to the requirements listed under Policy 1.1.1 that apply to all graduate degree programs:

  • Educational specialist degree requirements must include a minimum of 54 credits. An educational specialist program may require more than this minimum.
  • Degree requirements must include at least 6 credits of capstone experience (course number 750).
  • A student must complete all work for the educational specialist degree within six years from the time of first enrollment. Periods spent on leave or out of status are included in these limits. Exceptions to time to degree will be made at the program level.

1.1.3.1     Coursework that may be applied towards educational specialist degree requirements

A maximum of 6 quarter credits of graduate-level coursework taken at another recognized academic institution may be transferred and apply to UW degree requirements, when acceptable to the graduate program and the Graduate School.

No more than 12 credits derived from any combination of GNM credits and transfer credits may be applied towards the total degree requirements. Transfer credits may not be applied towards the capstone experience requirement.

1.1.4     The Doctoral Degree other than Practice Doctorates

In addition to the requirements listed under Policy 1.1.1 that apply to all graduate degree programs, the following requirements apply to all doctoral degrees other than practice doctorates. For practice doctorate requirements, see Policy 1.1.5. For the composition and responsibility of the doctoral supervisory committee, see Policy 4.2.

  • Doctoral degree requirements must include a minimum of 90 credits beyond the baccalaureate. A doctoral degree program may require more than this minimum.
  • Doctoral programs require a culminating experience, with PhD programs requiring original research reflected in the dissertation.
  • All work applied to the doctoral degree must be completed within ten years, including credits counted from a master’s degree at UW. Periods spent on leave or out of status are included in these limits. Exceptions to time to degree will be made at the program level.

1.1.4.1     General Examination

The student must successfully pass a general examination.

Prior to the General Examination:

  • At least 18 credits of coursework at the 500 level and above must be completed prior to scheduling the general examination.
  • At least 18 graded credits of 400- and 500-level coursework, excluding 499, must be completed prior to scheduling the general examination.
  • At least 60 credits must be completed before taking the general exam. Some of these credits may be taken the same quarter of the exam.
  • All members of the supervisory committee must approve that the student’s background of study and preparation is sufficient to schedule the General Examination.

The General Examination:

  • Registration as a graduate student is required the quarter that the General Examination is taken.
  • At least four members of the committee (including the Chair(s), GSR, and one additional Graduate Faculty member) must be physically or virtually present at the General Examination.
  • If the General Examination is satisfactory, the supervisory committee members who participate at the examination sign the committee signature form.
  • If an examination is unsatisfactory, a supervisory committee may recommend that the Dean of the Graduate School permit up to a maximum of two additional reexaminations after a period of additional study.
  • Any members of a supervisory committee who do not agree with the majority opinion are encouraged to submit a minority report to the Dean of the Graduate School.

1.1.4.2     Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to Candidacy indicates successful completion of the general examination and all other requirements for the doctoral degree except satisfactory completion of the dissertation and the final examination. This is recognized for the Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Musical Arts, and Doctor of Education degrees that are not practice doctorates. See also Scholastic Regulations Chapter 114.7.

1.1.4.3     Dissertation

Requirements must include preparation of and acceptance by the Dean of the Graduate School of a dissertation that is a significant contribution to knowledge and clearly indicates training in research.

The dissertation must be written in the English language. If there are circumstances that warrant a dissertation in another language, the program may petition the Graduate School.

The student must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 27 credits of dissertation (800) over a period of at least three quarters, with at least one quarter occurring after the general examination.

With the exception of summer quarter, students are limited to a maximum of 10 credits per quarter of dissertation (800).

See Policy 4.2.3 for any dissertation that will include human or animal subjects.

1.1.4.4     Final Examination

The student must pass a final examination usually devoted to the dissertation and the field with which it is concerned.

  • When the reading committee has read a draft of the entire dissertation and the members of the doctoral supervisory committee agree that the Candidate is prepared to take the Final Examination, all members of the doctoral supervisory committee must give the student approval to schedule the Final Examination.
  • The General Examination and Final Examination cannot occur during the same quarter.
  • At least four members of the committee (including the Chair(s), GSR, and one additional Graduate Faculty member) must be physically or virtually present at the Final Examination.
  • At the Final Examination the dissertation is evaluated and, if a majority of the supervisory committee members in attendance agree that the evaluation is positive, the recommendation is made to the Dean of the Graduate School (via the committee signature form) that the degree be awarded.
  • If members of the doctoral supervisory committee do not agree with the majority recommendation concerning the examination, the minority report portion of the committee signature form must be used.

1.1.4.5     Coursework that may be applied towards doctoral degree requirements

With the approval of the graduate program and the Graduate School, a master’s degree in a relevant field of study from an accredited institution may substitute for up to 30 of the required 90 credits. No other transfer credits are allowed for doctoral programs. Transfer credits may not be applied towards the dissertation or culminating experience requirement.

With the approval of the graduate program, any number of credits applied to a UW master’s degree in the same program may be counted towards doctoral degree requirements. These credits may not be applied towards the dissertation or culminating experience requirement.

In addition to the other credits indicated in this section, up to 12 GNM credits may be applied towards doctoral degree requirements as indicated in Policy 1.1.1 and Policy 3.3.3.

1.1.5     The Practice Doctoral Degree

A practice doctorate is intended as preparation for professional practice at the frontiers of existing knowledge (see Policy 1.7.2). A practice doctorate involves extensive coursework and a culminating project/capstone that is in lieu of a traditional PhD dissertation. The nature of this project/capstone may be specific to each program (e.g., project, practicum, portfolio, applied dissertation, clinical work, etc.). The project/capstone is not filed with the Graduate School.

In addition to the requirements listed under Policy 1.1.1 that apply to all graduate degree programs, the following requirements apply to all practice doctorates. For the composition and responsibility of the practice doctoral supervisory committee, see Policy 4.2.

  • Practice doctoral degree requirements must include a minimum of 90 credits beyond the baccalaureate.
  • The practice doctorate requires successful completion of 12 credits of project or capstone credit (801 Practice Doctorate Project/Capstone).

It is the responsibility of the program to establish appropriate milestones towards the degree. Two milestones are formally recognized by the Graduate School:

  • admission to the program
  • approval of the final project/capstone (through the committee signature form)

There is no formally recognized candidacy status for practice doctoral students. Requiring a general exam or other milestones is at the discretion of the program and is not reported to the Graduate School.

After the practice doctoral supervisory committee has evaluated the final project/capstone, if a majority of the supervisory committee members agree that the evaluation is positive, the recommendation is made to the Dean of The Graduate School (via the committee signature form) that the degree be awarded. If members of the practice doctoral supervisory committee do not agree with the majority recommendation, the minority report portion of the committee signature form must be used.

1.1.5.1     Coursework that may be applied towards practice doctoral degree requirements

With the approval of the graduate program and the Graduate School, a Ph.D. or a master’s degree in a relevant field of study from an accredited institution may substitute for up to 30 of the required 90 credits.

With the approval of the graduate program, any number of credits applied to a UW master’s degree in the same program may be counted towards doctoral degree requirements.

A maximum of 10 quarter credits of graduate-level coursework taken at another recognized academic institution may be transferred and apply to UW practice doctorate degree requirements, when acceptable to the graduate program and the Graduate School.

No more than 12 credits derived from any combination of GNM credits and transfer credits may be applied towards the total degree requirements.

No more than 30 credits derived from any combination of GNM, transfer, and substituted credits may be applied towards the total degree requirements.

No GNM, transfer, or substituted credits may be applied towards the capstone requirement.

When a Ph.D. and practice doctorate are earned concurrently, departments may petition the Graduate School to count 30 specified credits toward the total minimum credit count of each degree, for a total minimum of 150 credits. Core credits for either degree, as (defined as part of the core curriculum by the graduate program) may not be included in these 30 credits applied to both degrees, and this option may not be used on top of previously waived credits for either degree. It is the responsibility of each unit to assure that the credits applied toward its degree are relevant to that degree. The student must meet Graduate School minimum requirements (18 credits 500 level and above, 18 numerically graded 400/500 level credits) for each degree.


Policy 1.1 revised: October 2021; October 2022; November 2022

Policy 1.1.2.2 and 1.1.4.3 revised March 2023

Policy 1.1.4, 1.1.4.1, and 1.1.4.4 revised March 2023

Policy 1.1.1 revised April 2023

Policy 1.1.1 revised July 2023

Policy 1.1.5 revised October 2023

Policy 1.1.1 revised November 2023

Policy 1.1.4.5 revised March 2024

Policy 1.1.2.2 revised March 2024