Graduate Student Policies

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The following section contains detailed information concerning policies and procedures relating to graduate students and graduate studies. Students should verify all information with the program advisor of the individual academic program or appropriate staff.

For more information on the UW Graduate School and graduate student policies, please visit the Graduate School website at

Time to Completion

The Graduate School normally allows six years to complete requirements for a master’s degree. Periods spent on leave or out of status are included.

Graduate Courses

Graduate courses are intended for—and ordinarily restricted to—either students enrolled in the Graduate School or graduate nonmatriculated students and are given numbers from 500 to 800.

Some courses at the 300 and 400 levels are open to both graduates and upper-division undergraduates. Such courses, when acceptable to the supervisory committee and the specific academic program, may be part of the graduate program. The Graduate School accepts credit in approved 300-level courses for the minor or supporting fields only. Courses at the 300 level are not included in the calculation of grade point average (GPA) and will not apply toward the minimum Graduate School requirement of 18 graded credits for the master’s degree. Approved 400-level courses are accepted as part of the major as well as minor or supporting fields. Courses numbered 490 and titled Special Topics and Special Projects normally are not applicable to a graduate degree program if addressed primarily to introductory content and undergraduate students. Undergraduate research (499) is not accepted as part of the graduate program. Graduate School Memorandum No. 36 offers additional information on graduate courses. With the exception of summer, students are limited to a maximum 10 credits per quarter of any combination of courses numbered 600, 700 or 800.