University Graduation Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree
In order to graduate with a bachelor's degree, a student must meet minimum general educational and basic skills requirements, in addition to completing the requirements of their academic program. General Education requirements will be outlined within this section. Additional requirements for specific degree requirements are found online on the degree program's webpages, or within the general catalog in the academic program's section.
The student must present a minimum cumulative 2.00 GPA for all coursework taken in residence at the University of Washington Tacoma. The graduation grade point average is computed when the student has completed all work for the degree and includes only credits earned while in residence at the university. (Residence credits are UW credits earned through the campus granting the degree).
Total Credits Required to Graduate
A minimum of 180 college credits must be completed (with more required in some programs) and include academic credits in the following areas:
15 credits in Writing to include 5 credits of English Composition (C) with a minimum 2.0 grade and 10 credits of Writing-Intensive (W) courses.
5 credits of Quantitative/Symbolic Reasoning (QSR) coursework.
A minimum of 3 credits in Diversity (DIV) coursework: designated courses study diversity in the United States with focus on the sociocultural, political and economic diversity of human experience and help students develop an understanding of the complexities of living in increasingly diverse and interconnected societies. For students admitted as of Autumn 2014.
40 additional credits in Areas of Knowledge (AoK) to include a minimum of 10 credits in each of three areas of study: Natural World (NW), Individuals and Society (I&S), and Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA).
World Language Requirement
Students who have not completed their world language requirement at the time of admission are required to complete college-level study through the 102 level in a single World Language (or two years in high school) either through sequential years in high school or through the second-quarter level of college coursework prior to applying for graduation.
Final Year Residency Requirement
Students are required to complete 45 of their final 60 credits as matriculated students in residence at UW Tacoma, which means that no more than a maximum of 15 of the final 60 credits may be non-resident credit. If a student takes more than 15 of the final 60 credits out of residence, the extra credits need not be counted against the limit of 15 if credits from the courses are not needed in any way to meet degree requirements. Some degree programs may have stricter residency requirements, please check with your advisor. Fully online degree programs are exempt from this requirement.
The following are considered non-resident credit:
Cross-campus courses taken at UW Seattle & UW Bothell
Credit from external sources (AP/IB credit, transfer coursework, by exam, Armed Forces Training School, etc.)
Petitioning to seek an exception to the residency requirement: The student needs to submit a graduation petition two quarters in advance to their academic advisor. Petitions requesting approval of 16-25 non-resident credits will be reviewed by the department awarding the degree. Petitions requesting more than 25 credits will be reviewed by the Academic Policy & Curriculum Committee. The student will be notified by mail and UW email of the decision by the Office of the Registrar.
A student would not need to submit a petition if some of the transferable credits earned at another school are considered elective credits and would not used towards fulfilling any degree requirements. For example, if a student has completed 185 credits, of which the last 20 credits were taken at another college or university, and at least 5 of those 20 credits include elective credits, the 5 credits would not be used towards meeting any degree requirements and the student would not need to fill out a petition.
Graduating with Honors
Students may be eligible to receive Baccalaureate honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, cum laude) or Faculty honors. More information about eligibility and requirements for each designation may be found on the Honors Requirements webpage.
Graduating Under Earlier Catalogs
With School or Program approval, a student may choose to graduate under the current catalog or the catalog in effect at the time he or she entered the program from which he or she is to graduate. University policy on use of earlier graduation requirements provides that if fewer than ten years have elapsed since a student's admission into the major program, she or he may choose to graduate under the requirements in effect at the time of admission, or under any subsequent requirements. If more than ten years have elapsed since admission to the major, the major program has the option of requiring the student to complete the current major requirements.
Exceptions to the rule regarding majors may be granted at the discretion of the department. If major requirements other than the current ones are being used, a note to that effect must be made on the degree application.
Waiver of Degree Requirements
To request a waiver of program/major requirements a student must submit a petition to their academic program. Students should confer with their advisor before completing the petition. Review is done by the academic program faculty committee or director/dean, as procedures specific to each academic program dictate.
If the student is requesting to waive a university requirement, the petition will be submitted to their academic advisor for review by the Faculty Assembly's Academic Policy and Curriculum Committee. Once a determination has been made the student is contacted.
To ensure a determination is made in time for graduation, petitions should be submitted at least two quarters before the student's graduation date to allow time for committee review and student registration.
The decision of the Academic Policy and Curriculum committee is final. An exception from a university graduation requirement becomes void at the end of two calendar years from the date the exemption was granted if all degree requirements have not been completed by that date.
Graduation Requirements for a Master's Degree
It is the responsibility of each graduate degree candidate to meet the following Graduate School minimum requirements (plus any additional requirements that may be specified by the program in which the master’s degree is being earned; see item 7). For questions, please contact the Graduate School.
Under a thesis program, a minimum of 36 quarter credits (27 course credits and a minimum of nine credits of thesis) must be presented. Under a non-thesis program, a minimum of 36 quarter credits of course work is required.
At least 18 of the minimum 36 quarter credits for the master’s degree must be for work numbered 500 and above. (In a thesis program, nine of the 18 must be course credits and nine may be for Master’s Thesis .)
Numerical grades must be received in at least 18 quarter credits of course work taken at the University of Washington Tacoma. The Graduate School accepts numerical grades in approved 400-level courses accepted as part of the major and in all 500-level courses. The student must earn a minimum grade of 2.7 in each class in order for it to be counted. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for a graduate degree at the university.
The minimum residency requirement for matriculated graduate students is 30 credits. Full-time students achieve this by taking 10 credits per quarter and part-time students achieve this by adding credits from multiple quarters. A full quarter of residence is granted for any quarter in which at least 10 credits in approved courses, research, thesis, or internship are satisfactorily completed. Excess credits beyond 10 credits per quarter may not be added together to satisfy the residency requirement.
In a thesis degree program, a thesis, approved by the supervisory committee, must be submitted to the Graduate School. A student must register for a minimum of nine credits of thesis (700). With the exception of summer, students are limited to a maximum of nine credits per quarter of thesis (700).
A final master’s examination, either oral or written, as determined by the student’s supervisory committee, must be passed if it is a program requirement.
Any additional requirements imposed by the graduate program advisor in the student’s major department or by the student’s supervisory committee must be satisfied. A master’s degree student usually takes some work outside the major department. The graduate program coordinator in the major department or the student’s supervisory committee determines the requirements for the minor or supporting courses.
The graduate student must apply for the master’s degree within the first seven weeks of the quarter in which he or she expects the degree to be conferred. See Graduate Degree Application Process.
The graduate student must maintain registration as a full- or part-time student at the university for the quarter in which the degree is conferred. A student who does not complete all degree requirements by the last day of the quarter must be registered for the following quarter.
All work for the master’s degree must be completed within six years. This includes quarters spent on leave or out of status and applicable work transferred from other institutions.
A student must satisfy the requirements for the degree that are in force at the time the degree is to be awarded.