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Undergraduate Policies and Procedures

Removal of a High School Subject Deficiency


CONTENTS       Admission with a deficiency
Enforcing deficiency removal
Minimum acceptable grades
    Minimum grades
    Pass-fail
Postbaccalaureate students
Foreign language
    Removal of a foreign language deficiency
    Native speakers
    American Sign Language
    Learning disabilities
Mathematics
    Students admitted to the UW in autumn 1984 or later
    Students admitted before autumn 1984
English
    Removal of an English deficiency
    Native speakers of another language
Fine arts
    Removal of a fine-arts deficiency
    Overlap with general education requirements
Natural sciences
Social sciences

Admission with a deficiency

    A student has an admission deficiency if s/he was admitted to the University even though s/he was lacking one or more of the high school units normally required for admission (see below). Except for special admissions such as student athletes, students are rarely admitted with a deficiency in math, foreign language, social studies, or English, and only after petitioning the Faculty Council on Academic Standards Subcommittee on Admissions and Graduation.

Students admitted with a deficiency are sent a letter stating the nature of the deficiency. Admission deficiencies are posted on the adviser worksheet (unofficial transcript) and appear on the SRF306 screen. Most mathematics and foreign-language deficiencies have been entered since the early 1970s, but other deficiencies have been entered only from spring 1990 on. An adviser uncertain about whether a particular student has an admission deficiency should call the Office of Admissions.

  
  

Enforcing deficiency removal

    Students are expected to remove deficiencies within one calendar year of admission to the University. Students admitted with deficiencies will have such deficiencies posted to their permanent records upon admission, will not be allowed to graduate until the deficiencies are removed, and may have their registration cancelled if they do not remove deficiencies within the time allowed. A student who is unable to remove an admission deficiency within one year should immediately contact the Office of Admissions to discuss his/her options.

For students admitted to the University of Washington from autumn 1977 on, the requirement that they must remove deficiencies prior to graduation is enforced at the University level. Any request for waiver of this requirement, including a waiver of the requirement of a 2.0 grade in certain mathematics courses, must be considered first by the appropriate college graduation committee and then by the Faculty Council on Academic Standards Subcommittee on Admissions and Graduation. For students admitted before autumn 1977, the enforcement of deficiency removal is the responsibility of the individual schools and colleges.

The ultimate authority for approval of courses to remove deficiencies is the Office of Admissions.

  
  

Minimum acceptable grades

   

Minimum grades

For all deficiencies other than math, any passing grade, including a 0.7, D-, S, CR, or P is acceptable. In a math course taken to remove a deficiency, the minimum acceptable grade is 2.0 or C (not C-); this includes MATH 098, 102, 103, 104, or 107. Any passing grade in MATH 111, 120, or a more advanced course will remove a math deficiency.

Pass-fail

Courses taken at UW to remove an admission deficiency (including math) may be taken Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory (S/NS). Math courses taken on a non-graded system at other schools may be used to remove a deficiency if the minimum "pass" grade is C or 2.0, as it is at UW. (In some cases if the minimum "pass" grade was not 2.0, the instructor may be able to provide the Admissions Office with a statement that the student's grade would have been C or above.) For courses taken at schools such as The Evergreen State College, which do not assign grades, the Office of Admissions will make an individual determination on the basis of the written transcript.

There are restrictions on courses taken S/NS at the UW toward basic skills, Areas of Knowledge, and major requirements.

  
  

Postbaccalaureate students

    Students who already have a bachelor's degree are admitted without regard to completion of high-school subject areas, and are not required to make up deficiencies.
  
  

Foreign language

    A student is deficient in foreign language if s/he lacks the University admission requirement of two units (years) of one foreign language from high school. Occasionally freshmen and/or transfer students with a foreign language deficiency are accepted to the University by special petition and consideration of the Faculty Council on Academic Standards Subcommittee on Admissions and Graduation. According to University policy, these students are responsible for removing the high school deficiency, as soon as possible upon matriculation, by successful completion of courses through the second quarter of a foreign language.

Removal of a foreign language deficiency

Completion of any foreign language instruction course at the second-quarter level or higher, with any passing grade, will remove a foreign language admission deficiency. Courses taken to remove a foreign-language deficiency may be taken Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory (S/NS).

Placement by the UW into the third quarter of a foreign language will also remove a foreign language admission deficiency. Since UW placement tests are normally available only to admitted students, special arrangements must be made with the Office of Admissions if an applicant wishes to meet the foreign language admission requirement with a placement test. If the UW is not able to provide testing in the student's language, testing at another college may be acceptable. If it is not possible to arrange a test acceptable to the UW's Office of Admissions, the student must remove the deficiency with coursework.

Native speakers

Students whose native language is not English and who were educated in a language other than English through at least the seventh grade are not considered deficient, even if they present no high school courses in a language other than English. (Note that this has no bearing on whether the student must submit TOEFL or MLT scores or take ESL courses, which are determined by different criteria.)

American Sign Language

American Sign Language may be used to remove a foreign language deficiency.

Learning disabilities

Applicants with learning disabilities or other disabilities that prevent them from learning foreign languages may petition for admission with a foreign language deficiency. If admitted with a foreign language deficiency based on a verifiable learning disability, a student can petition the Subcommittee on Admissions and Graduation requesting that they be allowed to remove the deficiency with approved foreign culture courses. Such students should contact Disability Resources for Students Office for further information. See also The Foreign Language Requirement: Students with Documented Disabilities.
  
  

Mathematics

   

Students admitted to the UW in autumn 1984 or later

A student is deficient in math if s/he lacks the University admission requirement of three units of high school college-preparatory mathematics. Students admitted to the University with a mathematics deficiency are responsible for removing that deficiency as soon as possible upon matriculation by successful completion of one of the following:

  1. MATH 098 (Intermediate Algebra) or equivalent with a grade of C (2.0) or higher
  2. Trigonometry with a grade of C (2.0) or higher (previously MATH 104; not currently available at the UW)
  3. MATH 102 (Algebra) or MATH 103 (Introduction to Elementary Functions) with a grade of C (2.0) or higher
  4. MATH 107 (Mathematics: A Practical Art) or equivalent with a grade of C (2.0) or higher (not currently offered)
  5. Other UW or transfer MATH-prefix courses which build on MATH 098. (Math 170, for example, cannot be used.) Any passing grade, including 0.7, is acceptable.
  6. The equivalents of one high school year of geometry and two high school years of algebra (preferably with trigonometry) taken at a community college.

Note that in the first four options the student must complete the course with a grade of at least a C (2.0). At UW, the course may be taken S/NS; elsewhere, the course may be taken on a non-graded basis (e.g., pass/fail) only if a "pass" requires at least a 2.0, as it does at UW. Only approved MATH-prefix courses remove a deficiency. PHIL 120 (logic), STAT-prefix, and computer courses do not.

Placement tests may not be used to remove a math deficiency. Coursework is required.

Students admitted before autumn 1984

Any student admitted to the UW before autumn 1984 is deficient in math if s/he lacks the old University admission requirement of two units of college-preparatory mathematics from high school (unless s/he has a WPCT Math Achievement score of 50 or above, an SAT Math score of 480 (510 recentered) or above, or an ACT Math score of 23 or above). This type of math deficiency can be removed by successful completion (a grade of at least 0.7 or D-) of one of the following: MATH 100; MATH 098 or trigonometry; any math course of three or more credits for which the UW will grant MATH-prefix credit; the equivalents of algebra and geometry taken at a community college or through extension courses; or retesting and receiving an SAT Math score of 480 (510 recentered) or above or an ACT Math score of 23 or above. The Washington Pre-College Test is no longer offered. Courses with a prefix other than MATH do not remove the deficiency.
  
  

English

    A student is deficient in English if s/he lacks the University admission requirement of four high school units (years) of English and other language arts. (For students admitted before summer quarter 1992, the requirement was three years rather than four.) Students admitted to the University with an English deficiency are responsible for removing that deficiency as soon as possible upon matriculation.

Removal of an English deficiency

An English deficiency is removed by successful completion of one five-credit course in English (composition or literature) for each unit of deficiency. One of the four years may be satisfied by a college course in speech, drama as literature, journalistic writing, business English, ESL, or engineering/technical writing. A four-quarter-credit transfer course is sufficient to remove a unit of deficiency, but a three-quarter-credit course is not. ENGL 109-110 (formerly ENGL 104-105) removes two units of deficiency.

Native speakers of another language

Prospective students who attended high school in non-English-speaking countries should be referred to the Office of Admissions if they have questions about the use of their native language and/or more than one unit of ESL toward the English admission requirement.
  
  

Fine arts

    A student admitted in summer 1992 or later is deficient in fine arts if s/he lacks the University admission requirement of one-half year or one trimester of study in fine, visual, or performing arts in high school. (For students admitted before summer quarter 1992, there was no fine arts admission requirement.) Acceptable high school courses include art appreciation, band, ceramics, choir, dance, dramatic performance and production, drawing, fiber arts, graphic arts, metal design, music appreciation, music theory, orchestra, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Courses generally not acceptable include architecture, calligraphy, color guard, creative writing, drafting, fashion design, interior design, sewing, and woodworking.

Removal of a fine-arts deficiency

On the college level, the high-school deficiency can be removed by two quarter-credits or more chosen from any of the following subjects: art, art history, cinema/filmmaking (not cinema as literature), dance, music (not audio engineering), photography, or drama (not drama as literature). With the exceptions noted in the previous sentence, all courses in these subjects that appear on the VLPA list may be used to remove a fine arts deficiency.

Courses in architecture are generally not acceptable, except for those in architectural history. A course transferred as "UW X" might remove the deficiency if, for example, it is a cinema studies course in filmmaking. An adviser unsure of whether a certain course may remove the deficiency should contact an adviser in Undergraduate Advising or the Office of Admissions.

Overlap with general education requirements

Originally, in 1992, courses taken to remove a fine-arts deficiency were not to be counted toward general education requirements. That policy has been changed retroactively to make it consistent with the general policy that all deficiency-removal courses may be used for graduation requirements, as appropriate.
  
  

Natural sciences

    Effective summer quarter 1992, the natural science admission requirement was raised from one high-school unit (year) to two, including specifically one unit of the basic principles of biology, chemistry, or physics, with laboratory experience.

Each unit of deficiency may be removed by passing an appropriate four- or five-credit course. The laboratory science portion of the requirement must be satisfied by a science course with a lab, but if taking the course in college, the student is not limited to biological science, chemistry, or physics. The other half of the requirement may be satisfied by a course in astronomy, atmospheric science, biological structure, biology (including botany and zoology), chemistry, environmental science (but not social-science environmental studies), genetics, geology (earth and space sciences), oceanography, physical anthropology, physical geography, physics, or an introductory course in physical science.

  
  

Social sciences

    Each unit of deficiency in social science may be removed by passing an appropriate four- or five-credit course. Effective summer quarter 1992, the social-science requirement was raised from two high-school units (years) to three. College courses in the social sciences-e.g., anthropology, economics, ethnic studies, history, philosophy, political science, sociology-will count toward the social-science admission requirement.