Visit our Course Enrollment page for more information.
- Follow @sias_uwt
- School of IAS email list for all School of IAS students
- Division of Culture, Art and Communication Students:
- Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs students
- Sciences and Mathematics Students:
- Social, Behavioral and Human Sciences students:
- Social and Historical Studies students:
Student Travel, Training and Event Funds
Funds are available to help send students to conferences, to bring in trainings/educational sessions and to travel to present your research. To learn more visit the UW Undergraduate Research Conference Travel Award page and the UW Tacoma Student Engagement & Student Transitions Funding Resources page.
The following graduation requirements apply to all degree-seeking SIAS students:
- Completion of all admission deficiencies
- A minimum cumulative UW GPA of 2.0
- A minimum of 180 quarter credits or 225 quarter credits for a double degree
- 45 of the last 60 quarter credits taken in residence and matriculated status at UW Tacoma
- Completion of:
- All major or concentration requirements
- 45 quarter credits of upper division classes (300 and 400-level)
- 5 quarter credits of English composition with a grade of 2.0 or higher
- 5 quarter credits of Quantitative/Symbolic Reasoning (QSR)
- 10 quarter credits of Writing (W)
- 20 quarter credits of Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA)
- 20 quarter credits of Individuals and Society (I&S)
- 20 quarter credits of Natural World (NW)
- Minor requirements (optional)
- Completion of Graduation Application
NOTE: You can apply for graduation as soon as you have 135 credits and are within one year of graduating. You must apply for graduation no later than the first two weeks of your final quarter. Most students apply earlier than their last quarter for two reasons:
- to take advantage of the two quarter "graduating senior priority" (GSP) during registration and
- knowing exactly what classes must be taken to complete the degree.
All students who graduated in the previous summer, autumn and winter are eligible to participate, as well as those students who are going to finish their degrees in spring and the coming summer. If you expect to be a summer graduate, you have a choice which ceremony you would like to participate in, but you can only "walk" once.
Information about the ceremony and what you need to do to prepare for it can be found on the UW Tacoma Commencement page. Only students who have applied to graduate by the second week of the spring quarter are eligible to participate in commencement.
The difference between graduation and commencement:
- Graduation is that moment which occurs when an individual audit of your particular record is finished, and you are entered in the computer as having graduated in the month you finished the requirements. Once your degree has been granted, within a few days to a few weeks after grades are submitted, your name is included in a batch to be printed on a diploma, and it takes six (6) weeks to a few months for you to receive it in the mail.
- Commencement is a formal ceremony. We work with the best available information we have to construct an accurate and meaningful event; however, it is not the official moment of degree granting. You do not receive your actual diploma during the ceremony.
Quarterly Dean's List
The Quarterly Dean's List includes the names of matriculated students who have attained a quarterly GPA of 3.50 for at least 12 graded credits. Notation of high scholarship is made on the student's permanent academic record. More information about the Quarterly Dean's List is available on the Student Guide.
Graduating with Honors
- Baccalaureate honors (cum laude, summa cum laude, and magna cum laude) are awarded only to the recipients of a first baccalaureate degree. These honors are earned by those students who have completed no fewer than 90 residence credits at this institution. At least 60 of the 90 credits must have been on a graded basis. The University's Honors Committee determines annually the grade-point requirement for each baccalaureate honor. In recent years, approximately 10 percent of the students have been awarded baccalaureate honors. Credits earned by extension courses are not counted toward honors eligibility. For further information on honors thresholds, check with your SIAS advisor. Students with baccalaureate honors wear golden cords at commencement.
- Faculty honors are awarded to those students who have met the GPA criteria for baccalaureate honors (cum laude or higher), but who have fewer than 90 credits in residence at UW Tacoma. Students with faculty honors wear purple cords at commencement.
School of IAS Honors Thesis/Project
- have earned a 3.7 cumulative GPA at the time of application and at the time of graduation;
- submit a formal application to the School of IAS office;
- meet all program and major requirements; and
- write a graded senior honors thesis (10 credits, typically over 2 quarters - research in the first and writing in the second). Students must register for the Honors Thesis/Project using this Independent Study Form.
All work on an honors thesis/project must be arranged between the student and a full-time faculty member. When all requirements have been completed, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Honors will appear on the student's transcript. No honors cord is linked to School of IAS honors.
Honorary Societies at UW Tacoma
- UW Tacoma is the home of the Alpha Theta Gamma chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society. Students eligible for Phi Alpha Theta must have completed five (5) college-level history courses (including those taken at other institutions) in which they earned a GPA of 3.1 or better, and carry a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0. For more information, contact the Phi Alpha Theta faculty advisor, William Burghart.
- Golden Key National Honor Society on the Seattle campus welcomes Tacoma students. The criteria for joining Golden Key is the completion of 35 credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.58. Membership is by invitation only, with invites sent out in Winter quarter to eligible UW Tacoma students.
Manage your time and study effectively
In the School of IAS, much of your education will not occur in the classroom but instead in the researching and writing of papers required by your courses. It is where you will develop your own ideas and interpretations, and where you will practice organizing your thoughts into logical, persuasive arguments. Writing can be difficult for one simple reason: when you are writing, real learning is taking place. Don't avoid it. Practice it, work at it. If you need help getting started, the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) is the place to go. They can provide resources for organizing your thoughts, how to conduct research, and proofreading.
Consider independent study options
Finish your incomplete courses
If you choose this option, be aware that the deadline often approaches quickly and the resulting grade of "0.0" is automatically posted to your record, with a resulting drop in your GPA. If you think you might need an extension beyond the one quarter allowed, check with your faculty sponsor.
Start thinking about your career and your goals. Your SIAS advisor, faculty advisor, and the staff in the Career Development & Education office are all here to help.
Be realistic about your limits
Address personal and health problems immediately. One of the worst mistakes students make is to deny that they are overloaded or unable to cope. You may need to lighten your load by dropping a class; you may decide to leave school for a quarter; or you may have a frank talk with your instructor about alternatives. If a personal problem is keeping you from concentrating on your studies, discuss the situation with a counselor and work out a solution. No one can make these decisions for you.
The university has policies restricting class drops after the second week of the quarter. You are permitted only one class drop per year after the second week through the seventh week of the quarter, unless you can document true "hardship" (usually a medical reason). You must finish the quarter with all your courses once the annual drop is used. This can mean a grade of "0.0" appears on your transcript if you stop attending class. This can have a devastating effect on your GPA.
When contemplating putting too much on your plate, ask yourself, "What's the point?" Are you really trying to just get a degree at any cost, or do you want to take the time to savor the experience and come out with a degree and a GPA you can be proud of? A meaningful degree bolsters your confidence that you can take on challenges and meet your other responsibilities in an organized way.
Students receiving financial aid should remember that any changes in their status from full-time to part-time (under 12 credits) need to be discussed with a Financial Aid advisor. They are willing to help you understand the system and get you back on your feet.
At UW Tacoma, our goal is to help you get a meaningful education, not just a degree. Although one quarter may be an acceptable amount of time to feel a lot of pressure from work, home, and school, two years is not. Be realistic in your planning and allow for some free time. It will take a little longer to complete your degree, but the experience will be worth it.
Cheating and Plagiarism
Students at the University of Washington are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic conduct. Most UW students conduct themselves with integrity and are disturbed when they observe others cheating. The information on these pages should help you avoid unintentional misconduct and clarify the consequences of cheating.
Cheating harms the university community in many ways. Honest students are frustrated by the unfairness of cheating that goes undetected and therefore unpunished. Students who cheat skew the grading curve in a class, resulting in lower grades for students who worked hard and did their own work.
Cheaters also cheat themselves of a real education. They rob themselves not only of general knowledge but also of the experience of learning how to learn, the very experience that makes a bachelor's degree so valuable to employers. The reputation of the university and the worth of a UW degree suffer if employers find graduates lacking the abilities their degrees should guarantee.
Finally, most professions have codes of ethics, standards to which you will be expected to adhere when you are working. At the university, you practice the integrity you must demonstrate later. For all of these reasons, academic misconduct is considered a serious offense at the UW.
What is academic misconduct?
- Using another writer's words without proper citation. If you use another writer's words, you must place quotation marks around the quoted material and include a footnote or other indication of the source of the quotation.
- Using another writer's ideas without proper citation. When you use another author's ideas, you must indicate with footnotes or other means where this information can be found. Your instructors want to know which ideas and judgments are yours and which you arrived at by consulting other sources. Even if you arrived at the same judgment on your own, you need to acknowledge that the writer you consulted also came up with the idea.
- Citing your source but reproducing the exact words of a printed source without quotation marks. This makes it appear that you have paraphrased rather than borrowed the author's exact words.
- Borrowing the structure of another author's phrases or sentences without crediting the author from whom it came. This kind of plagiarism usually occurs out of laziness: it is easier to replicate another writer's style than to think about what you have read and then put it in your own words. The following example is from A Writer's Reference by Diana Hacker (New York, 1989, p. 171).
- Original: If the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for linguists, it was also startling news for animal behaviorists.
- Unacceptable borrowing of words: An ape who knew sign language unsettled linguists and startled animal behaviorists.
- Unacceptable borrowing of sentence structure: If the presence of a sign language- using chimp was disturbing for scientists studying language, it was also surprising to scientists studying animal behavior.
- Acceptable paraphrase: When they learned of an ape's ability to use sign language, both linguists and animal behaviorists were taken by surprise.
- Borrowing all or part of another student's paper or using someone else's outline to write your own paper.
- Using a paper writing "service" on the web or elsewhere, or having a friend write the paper for you. Regardless of whether you pay a stranger or have a friend do it, it is a breach of academic honesty to hand in work that is not your own or to use parts of another student's paper.
You may think that citing another author's work will lower your grade. In some unusual cases, this may be true, if your instructor has indicated that you must write your paper without reading additional material. However as you progress in your studies, you will be expected to show that you are familiar with important work in your field and can use this work to further your own thinking. Your professors write this kind of paper all the time. The key to avoiding plagiarism is that you show clearly where your own thinking ends and someone else's begins.
Group projects require the careful division of responsibility and careful coordination to control the quality of the final product. Collective work quickly degenerates when some students see it as a way to get through an assignment with the least amount of effort. Group work calls for a different kind of effort, not less of it. Students make a mistake when they think of the finished product (presentation or paper) as the outcome of the group. When group projects are assigned, the instructor is usually interested in your mastery of group process as well as the subject. Ask the instructor to clarify individual responsibilities and suggest a method of proceeding. In summary, when a professor says, "Go ahead and work together," don't assume that anything goes. Professors often don't state the limits of collaboration explicitly. It is your responsibility to avoid crossing the line that turns collaboration into cheating. If you are not sure, ask.
What happens in a case of suspected misconduct?
If the allegation of academic misconduct is found to be true, the student will receive one of the following punishments, listed in order of increasing severity.
- Disciplinary Warning: verbal or written notification that the student has not met the university's standards of conduct, and that a repeated offense will result in more serious disciplinary action.
- Reprimand: a written statement censuring a student for violating the university's regulations, and stating that another offense will result in more serious action.
- Restitution: the requirement that the student compensates the university or other persons for damages, injuries or losses.
- Disciplinary Probation: an action that places conditions on the student's continued attendance at the university, including the statement that further violation of university policies will likely result in dismissal. The Hearing Body fixes the term and conditions of academic probation.
- Suspension or Dismissal: a written statement notifying a student that his or her attendance at the university has been terminated for violating university policy. The statement includes the term of the dismissal and conditions for re-admittance if any.
All actions are reported to the Vice President for Student Affairs in Seattle. A student may, by written request to the V.P. for Student Affairs (usually at the time of graduation), requesting that the disciplinary record be expunged.
NOTE: Review the Student Conduct Code (WAC 478-121) for complete details on the student judicial system.
Although the prospect of dismissal may seem the most serious consequence of dishonesty, there are others. If you apply to a medical, law or other professional school, you may be required to provide a statement from a UW official attesting to your good conduct. Furthermore, the process of being brought up on charges of dishonesty, of having one's character and integrity questioned, is invariably a deeply embarrassing and troubling experience for a student, and a very painful memory.
The temptation to cheat can be eliminated by learning good time and stress management skills and sound study habits, by making good use of the academic support resources at the university and by engaging in educational planning with the help of academic counselors. Certain common patterns in student behavior increase the temptation to cheat: falling behind in coursework or leaving large projects until the last minute; working too many hours to keep up with courses; taking too many difficult courses at once; encountering emotional or health problems that distract from studies and interfere with concentration. Get in the habit of planning your education. Academic counselors can help you determine your educational goals, plan your classes, keep your quarterly load manageable and find a reasonable balance between work and school. Advising sessions are confidential and the privacy of your student record is guaranteed by federal law.
You will be expected to live up to the university's standard of academic honesty no matter what temptations you face. The good news is that this standard is not hard to maintain. It only requires that you clarify assignments and procedures with your instructors, study diligently and seek help when you need it.
- The University of Washington Tacoma catalog contains the university academic policies. You may find information on grading in Section 5: Academic and University Policies of the UW Tacoma catalog.
To request changes or updates to this page, please use our Web Edit Request Form.