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Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate, each student must complete university, college, and major requirements. To apply to graduate, a student meets with his/her academic adviser, who prepares a graduation application using a DARS Graduation Audit (GDARS). In cases where a GDARS is not possible, an Application for Degree Form (UoW1890) may be used. 

Each department has internal procedures for petitioning to waive departmental graduation requirements. In the College of Arts and Sciences, petitions to waive college- or university-level graduation requirements are initiated by the departmental adviser and submitted on a Graduation Petition form to the Arts and Sciences Graduation Committee.

Removal of admission deficiencies

Any admission deficiencies must be removed before a student may earn a bachelor’s degree.

English language

No student who is subject to English Language (English as a Second Language) requirements may graduate without satisfying them.

Total credits required to graduate

A minimum of 180 college credits (more in some programs) must be completed.

Transfer credits

Beginning in winter 2005, the rules for transferring credits into the UW changed. Previously, students could use a maximum of 90 credits from a 2-year school toward their UW degree. Starting in winter 2005, the rule was redefined in terms of “lower division” and “upper division” credits rather than “2-year” and “4-year” schools. The change was made to comply with legislation requiring state schools to treat lower division credit equally whether it came from 2-year or 4-year schools.

The new rule with regard to transfer credit is this: Students may use a maximum of 90 lower division transfer credits, whether from 2-year or 4-year schools, toward the 180 credits required for graduation. However, after a student has been admitted to a University major, additional credits may be allowed when:

1. the student requests the credit transfer
2. the credit transfer advances the student toward an academic degree, and
3. the transfer is approved by the student’s academic unit.

No more than 135 credits (lower division + upper division) may be accepted in transfer for a bachelor’s degree.

Requesting additional lower-division transfer credit: If the additional credit is approved at the time the student applies to graduate, it is noted on the GDARS in the appropriate section.

If a student already has a graduation application on file, submit the approval via an online form.

Approval for additional credit may not be submitted unless the student is applying or has applied to graduate.

Residence credit

The student must present at least 45 UW residence credits taken as a matriculated student. For a definition of residence credit, see below.

Final 60-credit residence

The University-wide residence requirement states that 45 of the final 60 credits must be taken “in residence” while the student is a matriculated student. Transfer credit, courses from a UW campus other than the one granting the degree, advanced placement credit, and Online Learning courses do not count as residence credit. Evening Degree Program courses, and other credit UW Extension courses other than online learning, do count as residence credit.

Petitioning additional out-of-residence credit: All students are allowed up to 15 out-of-residence credits in their final 60 credits. A student may petition the college granting the degree up to 10 additional credits out-of-residence. Students who want to take more than 25 credits out-of-residence in the final 60 must submit a graduation petition that is first reviewed by the college and then sent on to the University-level committee for a decision.

Minimum GPA

The student must present a minimum 2.00 GPA for courses taken in residence, including UW Extension credits that are counted as residence credit. Grades for transfer courses or for “extension” courses as defined on page 46 are not included. DL prefix online learning courses are included.

University general education requirements

Since 1985 (1987 for transfer students) all UW students have been required to complete University-level basic skills and breadth requirements. In all cases, these are met or exceeded by the graduation requirements of each UW school or college. Since 1994, the University requirements have been:

  • one 5-credit English composition course, plus 7 additional credits of English composition and/or writing-intensive (W) courses
  • one course from the University quantitative/ symbolic reasoning (Q/SR) list
  • 40 credits of Areas of Knowledge courses, with no fewer than 10 credits in each Area

Each undergraduate must satisfy the general education requirements of his/her college.

Postbaccalaureate students must complete the breadth requirement (Areas of Knowledge) but are exempt from skills requirements.

Graduating under earlier catalogs

Any student may graduate under the graduation requirements in effect at the time of graduation. The University policy on use of earlier graduation requirements also 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 program 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.

Eligibility for earlier requirements

The College of Arts and Sciences allows students admitted to the University at any time before autumn 1969 to use the general education requirements (in toto, including proficiency/basic skills requirements) in effect at the time of their admission, or they may use any subsequent requirements. In almost all cases, the student will choose to use the current Areas of Knowledge requirement and the pre-1985 15-credit proficiency requirement (i.e., the same requirements as all other students who began college before autumn 1985).

Students whose first enrollment in an institution of higher learning was before autumn 1985 may use the 15-credit white/green-list proficiency requirement instead of the current English composition, foreign language, additional writing, and quantitative/ symbolic reasoning requirements, without regard to time elapsed. 

Major

An approved major, consisting of a prescribed pattern of at least 50 credits in one department or a group of related departments, must be completed.

Double majors and double degrees: Unless one of the departments itself sets a limit, students completing a double major or two degrees may take advantage of any overlap between the prescribed sets of courses in the two programs. The requirements for two degrees are the same as for a double major, except that the former requires at least 225 credits and the latter (in most departments) only 180.

Major GPA: The GPA in the major must be at least 2.00 (GPAs above 2.00 are required by many programs and departments.)

In calculating the major GPA, the department has some flexibility in determining what grades to include. The most liberal policy is to calculate the GPA using any combination of the minimum number of credits that would satisfy all categories of the major requirements, and exclude additional courses or grades (including 0.0 grades, whether or not the student has a later passing grade in the same course). A department may establish a general policy of including all courses and/or grades. It may also consider petitions from students for variance from such a policy. If the student’s GPA in the major department and in required courses from other departments is below 2.0 but the student has been granted a variance from policy, please make the appropriate DARS exception (or notation on the Application for Degree Form, if used).

DARS

The Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) produces a computer report of a student’s progress toward degree completion in a specified major or toward the completion of minor requirements.

Advisers can generate DARS audits from the Student Database with SRF390 or from the DARS tab on EARS. Students can generate a DARS audit online from MyUW.

Applying to Graduate

Application for graduation is made through the departmental adviser, and consists of a DARS graduation audit (GDARS) signed by the student and adviser. Call the Graduation and Academic Records Office (206-543-1803) or your liaison adviser at Undergraduate Advising if you have questions. If you have not received DARS training, email dars@u.washington.edu to arrange a training session.

The first section of the GDARS includes places for the adviser to add remarks, indicate multiple degrees, list minors and minor requirements, indicate the quarter of graduation, indicate permission for the use of more than 90 lower division transfer credits, and sign the form. The rest of the GDARS lists the student’s courses under each college and department requirement. The first section of a sample GDARS is on the next two pages.

If using a GDARS is not feasible (such as in the case of a major that is not encoded in DARS, or a student is graduating under very old requirements) advisers may use an Application for Degree form. The form is available at:
depts.washington.edu/registra/forms/UoW1890.pdf

As you complete the form, the credits will calculate automatically. Here are a few additional instructions for its use:

  • Do not include current quarter in Credits Earned to Date. Check the credit total on the transcript against a DARS report, since the transcript may include courses that must be deducted. If there are deductions listed that you do not understand, email ugradoff@u.washington.edu
  • Do not round up ½ credits in the credits earned and credits for degree. You can and should round up ½ credits in general education and major requirements. For example, a 4½ credit history course counts as 5 credits toward Areas of Knowledge, but as only 4½ credits toward the 180.
  • Do not be any more specific than needed in listing remaining credits. If a student needs three credits of VLPA, list “VLPA----3,” rather than “ENGL 225----5.” This avoids any confusion if the student should take a different course to meet the requirement.
  • If the student needs W-course credits, and they will overlap with other required coursework, don’t include them in the total of credits remaining. List the required number of W credits in parentheses.
Postbaccalaureate Students

The DARS Postbaccalaureate graduation application includes only those requirements relevant to a postbaccalaureate degree. The audit does not monitor the 45-credit residence requirement, or the 2.0 minimum postbaccalaureate gpa requirement. A notice to this effect is included in the report. Because Admissions does not transfer credits for postbaccalaureate students, advisers must make DARS exceptions to apply credits from the previous degree. Please contact DARS at dars@u.washington.edu or visit the DARS site for assistance.

Minors

The GDARS must list any minors the student plans to complete. (Be aware that students are limited to a maximum of three minors, and minors are not available to postbaccalaureate students.) If there are remaining minor requirements, note them in the Remaining Required Minor Credits/Courses section. If not, note that all requirements have been met. Attach a minor audit to the GDARS. See complete instructions on the DARS website at:
depts.washington.edu/dars

If a student declared a minor but it is not included on the degree application, the Graduation and Academic Records Office will drop the minor. If a minor is listed on the degree application, the student must complete the minor or drop it to graduate.

Remarks

Please make comments in the Adviser’s Remarks section about anything that might be confusing, such as pending graduation petitions, pending online learning or transfer credit, or foreign study plans.

Current student address

Remind students to keep their contact information current on MyUW. The Graduation and Academic Records Office emails students with concerns about their degree requirements, and with notices about diploma mailings.

Honors Program

Currently, students who expect to graduate “With College Honors” must meet the honors program requirements instead of the Areas of Knowledge requirement, and must have their GDARS certified by the Honors Office, 211 Mary Gates Hall. Beginning some time during the 2007-08 academic year, Honors requirements will begin being tracked via the DARS report.

Double majors and double degrees

A double major (one degree with two majors, 180 or more credits) requires two GDARS (one from each major department). Be sure to indicate on the GDARS that a double major is being completed. Both majors must award the student the same degree (e.g., B.A. in both majors, B.S. in both majors, etc.). Normally, both majors must be in the same college. Oceanography majors have a special dispensation to complete double majors with College of Arts and Sciences programs. Community, Environment, and Planning is an intercollege program, so a double major with either Arts and Sciences or Architecture and Urban Planning programs is allowed.

A double degree (two degrees, two majors, 225 or more credits) requires two GDARS (one from each program). Be sure to indicate on the GDARS that a double degree is being completed.

Note that the 15-credit limit on the major department toward Area of Knowledge applies to only one major. The student may choose which major counts toward Areas of Knowledge with no limit. This is true of double majors in Arts and Sciences, and double degrees in which one degree is in Arts and Sciences.

If a student applies for two degrees or two majors, but fails to complete all of the requirements for one of them, graduation cannot occur. The student must either drop the incomplete major or degree, or postpone graduation.

General Education Requirements form

Even if an adviser submits the UoW1890 Application for Degree form in place of a GDARS for major requirements, s/he should also submit a DARS audit—even if the major portion is incorrect—in order to demonstrate the completion of General Education Requirements. Alternatively (although Graduation and Academic Records prefers a DARS audit), an adviser could submit the General Education Requirements form, available from Undergraduate Advising, on which s/he lists the courses the student has completed toward each general education requirement.

Diplomas

Diplomas are mailed to the address selected by the student on MyUW three to four months following graduation. The diploma lists the student’s name, degree, and any applicable honors. Majors, minors, and concentrations/tracks are not listed on UW diplomas.

Diplomas are issued with the student’s record name. It must include the student’s legal first and last name. To indicate hyphens, spaces, lower/upper case letters, accents, or other special characters, students may submit the Diploma Name Request Form [UoW1993] by the last day of the quarter s/he plans to graduate:
depts.washington.edu/registra/forms/UoW1993.pdf

Graduates may order additional diplomas, using the Diploma Replacement Form. The diploma replacement fee is $20.00:
depts.washington.edu/registra/forms/UoW2046.pdf

If a student has holds on his or her record, the diploma will not be sent until all holds have been cleared.

Keeping a record of the degree application

Note in the student’s file the date the application is sent to the Graduation and Academic Records Office, and keep a copy of the application in the student’s file.

If any problems are discovered, an email will be sent to the student by the Graduation and Academic Records Office, with a copy to the adviser.

Submitting the forms

Arts and Sciences degree applications go directly to the Graduation and Academic Records Office. In all other schools and colleges, the applications should receive the signature of the appropriate dean before being submitted to the Graduation and Academic Records Office.

Deadlines: Students should apply for graduation a quarter or two before they want to graduate, to allow time to dispose of problems that may arise when the adviser fills out the graduation application and does a final check of requirements.

The Graduation and Academic Records Office, 264 Schmitz, will accept applications through the end of the third week of the quarter the student plans to graduate. Applications are not accepted more than three quarters in advance of the intended graduation quarter.

Graduating Senior Registration Priority (GSP): Students who want Graduating Senior Registration Priority (GSP) must submit the degree application at least two working days before the GSP registration day. See the chapter on Registration for more information.

Postponing graduation

To postpone a student’s graduation date, notify the Graduation and Academic Records Office by the end of finals week of the quarter in which the student was scheduled to graduate. The application may be postponed to another quarter, or it may be placed in inactive status for up to one year. After one year, the graduation application will be destroyed and the student must reapply to graduate.

Either the student or the adviser may postpone graduation. (If the student has completed more than 210 credits, only the adviser may postpone graduation.)

If the student does not complete all requirements listed in the application, the student will not graduate. The Graduation and Academic Records Office will either place the application in inactive status, or move it to the next quarter. The student and adviser both receive notification.

Changing a graduation application after submission

Email the Graduation and Academic Records Office (ugradoff@u.washington.edu) to record any changes to a graduation application. Enter any necessary exceptions into DARS and notify GARS.

Petitioning Graduation Requirements

A student may petition for waiver or substitution of a graduation requirement if s/he feels there is a reasonable case. The Arts and Sciences Graduation Committee meets to consider petitions once a month year round. In other schools and colleges the procedures for handling graduation petitions vary; contact the college administrator to find out more.

Petitioning departmental requirements

Any petition having to do with requirements solely within the major department is handled by that department. The student should see his/her adviser and follow the procedure used by the department. Approved waivers must be entered as DARS exceptions. If the exception is entered after the GDARS is filed, notify the Graduation and Academic Records Office of the waiver at ugradoff@u.washington.edu.

Petitioning Arts and Sciences requirements

Petitions for waiver of one credit of an Area of Knowledge or of the additional writing (W-course) requirement are not necessary. Departmental advisers in the College of Arts and Sciences have the authority to waive one credit in one Area of Knowledge category, provided that the student’s total requirement of 75 credits in the Areas of Knowledge is fulfilled. Departmental advisers may also waive one credit of the ten required in additional writing (W courses). Notify GARS of any waivers by email to ugradoff@u.washington.edu and enter the DARS exception.

Using the same procedure, advisers may also waive one credit of the English composition requirement for students transferring a 4-credit composition course from Western Washington University. For all other students, waiver of one credit of English composition requires a graduation petition, but will normally be approved.

Some 4-credit courses at Washington state community colleges have been approved for Q/SR. Four-credit courses will normally be approved, three-credit courses never.

Petitioning variable-topic courses for AoK: Any academic adviser may assign these to an Area of Knowledge, after discussing the topics covered with the student. The adviser enters a DARS exception or sends a request to dars@u.washington.edu

Petitioning independent study courses for AoK: A student who wishes to count an independent-study course (usually 498 or 499) toward Areas of Knowledge should petition the College of Arts and Sciences graduation committee, describing in as much detail as possible the scholarship (i.e., creative practice, original research contribution, etc.) involved: what they will be doing, what they will be reading, who will be supervising them, what will be produced, and how they think it meets the spirit of the Area in question. Faculty input is required. If at all possible, this petition should be done before the quarter begins so the student can respond to feedback from the committee.

Although independent study courses are rarely approved for AoK, this process gives students every chance to get their request heard in time to make changes if necessary.

Petitioning internship credits for AoK: The College of Arts and Sciences graduation committee has determined that internship credit is not eligible for AoK designations. Internships, by their very nature, do not meet the spirit of the AoK requirement. If the experience contains significant research or independent study, the student should consider registering for the research or independent study credits instead.

Petitioning other UW courses for AoK: In general, the College of Arts and Sciences graduation committee will not approve petitions requesting assignment of a different AoK to an existing UW course. These courses have already gone through college and university curriculum committee review and been approved—sometimes after impassioned discussion—with their current AoK designations (or lack thereof). Unless something has changed about the course—in which case it should be reviewed again by the curriculum committees—it is not consistent to allow different AoK than originally assigned. Further, it is unfair to the many students who have taken the course for an individual student who has become aware of the petition process to be allowed a different AoK designation.

If the department feels that the course should have new AoK designations, it should use the course change form to submit the change to the appropriate curriculum committee.

Of course, for individual students who have already taken the course this is not a very satisfactory solution. There are a few situations in which the A&S graduation committee is willing to review graduation petitions from individual students requesting assignment of AoK:

  • The course is currently in the curriculum change review process, is likely to be approved, and the changes had/have already been made to the course at the time the student took the course.
  • The student's experience in a course was significantly different from other students' experience (e.g., additional paper, special project, etc.) such that a different AoK designation seems appropriate.
  • The course was taught in a significantly different way that quarter (e.g., different class materials and assignments, different focus, etc.) such that a different AoK designation seems appropriate. However, if this is a permanent change, the curriculum change process above should be followed instead.
  • Other special situations falling outside those described above may be also submitted to the A&S graduation committee for consideration.

Any petition submitted using one of these reasons must include a corroborating statement from the appropriate faculty or staff.

The DARS reference site for advisers includes reference charts to aid you in processing exceptions to University requirements, Arts and Sciences General Education requirements, and specific program requirements. If you have questions, call 6-3483 or email dars@u.washington.edu

Filing a petition: A student wishing to petition for waiver of an Arts and Sciences requirement should fill out a University Graduation Petition form with his/her departmental adviser (premajors see an adviser at Undergraduate Advising, 171 Mary Gates Hall). The adviser then sends the form and a copy of the DARS report to the Graduation Committee secretary at Undergraduate Advising.

Jurisdiction of the Arts and Sciences Graduation Committee includes the following areas:

  • Requests to waive a portion of the general education requirements. These requests are usually denied unless there is documented adviser error. (One-credit waivers of AoK or “W” courses do not have to be petitioned)
  • Requests to use a course for basic skills or breadth that is not on the list. These requests may be more successful than asking for an outright waiver, depending on the course to be substituted and substantiation of the claim that it meets the intent of “general education” in the area involved. See above for guidelines for substituting courses for the Areas of Knowledge.
  • Requests to count up to 10 credits more than the 15 allowed out-of-residence in the student’s final 60 credits. As long as the student has completed at least 45 total UW residence credits, such petitions are likely to be granted as long as they are supported by the department.
  • Requests to have credits taken as a nonmatriculated student apply to the required minimum of 45 credits as a matriculated student. Since autumn 2002 these petitions have been considered at the University level, after the petition has been reviewed by the college.
  • Requests to waive the requirement of 90 credits taken outside the student’s major department. Requests of more than one or two credits are not likely to be granted unless adviser error is involved.
Petitioning University requirements

If a student is petitioning for a waiver of a University requirement, s/he must first petition the college committee (if in Arts and Sciences) for its recommendation, following the procedure below. The petition will then be forwarded to the Faculty Council on Academic Standard’s Subcommittee on Admission and Graduation for final action. The Admissions and Graduation subcommittee decides on the following cases:

  • Graduation with fewer than 180 credits. Invariably denied, except for posthumous degrees.
  • Graduation with fewer than 45 UW credits. Invariably denied.
  • Graduation with fewer than 45 matriculated credits or fewer than 45 residence credits. May be granted, depending on circumstances, as long as the student has 45 UW credits of some sort.
  • Graduation with less than a 2.00 cumulative GPA for all UW residence credits. Invariably denied.
  • Requests to count a course with an S grade taken autumn 1985 or later toward a graduation requirement. The request is almost certain to be denied. At the time of graduation the Registrar’s Office, however, will allow an S or NS grade to be converted to the numerical grade earned for the course if the student would not be able to graduate otherwise.
  • Determining a student’s eligibility to graduate under the requirements of a former catalog. (See “Graduating under earlier catalogs,” above.) Likely to be approved if the student was very close to graduation under the earlier catalog.
  • Requests to be exempt from removing an admission deficiency. Usually denied.
Preparing a graduation petition

Advisers should make recommendations and comments after the student has filled out the petition; don’t sign a “blank check.” Advisers’ comments can be a critical factor in the Committee’s final decision. The Committee is interested not in whether the adviser agrees or disagrees with the general rule or requirement being petitioned, but in the specific circumstances surrounding a case that may lead the adviser to recommend approval or denial. If the student pleads adviser error, the circumstances must be thoroughly documented.

When a student is requesting waiver of any basic skills or breadth credits, include on the petition or on a separate page a list of the courses being counted toward the area in question. (If the old 15-credit proficiency requirement is fulfilled by high school background, mention that too, since the Graduation Committee doesn’t have any record of the high school background.)

Send with the dated petition any other documents from the student’s file that might be of interest to the Committee.

Petition resolution

Arts and Sciences Requirements: After a decision regarding the petition has been made, the Arts and Sciences Graduation Committee will notify the adviser. The petition will be sent to GARS, who will enter any necessary transcript notations and DARS exceptions.

University Requirements: After a decision regarding the petition has been made, GARS will send a copy of the petition (with decision indicated) to the Arts and Sciences Graduation committee, who will notify the adviser. GARS will enter any necessary transcript notations and DARS exceptions.

Removal of a High School Subject 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

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

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.

Matriculation Requirement

A matriculated student is one who has been admitted to a UW school or college, as a premajor or declared major. To be granted an undergraduate degree, a student must complete at least 45 UW credits as a matriculated student.

After a student has been admitted to the UW, types of UW credit which count toward this matriculation requirement include "regular" credit courses listed in the quarterly time schedule, credits taken at another UW campus, credit courses offered by UW Extension, and all UW distance learning. 

Nonmatriculated students

Nonmatriculated students are those allowed to take UW courses even though they have not been admitted to a UW school or college. Most nonmatriculated students fall into one of the following categories:

  • Students attending the UW in summer quarter only
  • UW staff
  • Non-UW students taking credit courses offered by UW Extension (except C-prefix distance learning)
  • Non-UW students taking "regular" UW courses on a space-available basis via UW Extension

Nonmatriculated students are given UW student numbers, their UW coursework is recorded on a UW transcript, and the grades are included in a UW GPA. The student's status in each quarter is posted as nonmatriculated-6 (instead of junior-3, senior-4, etc.) If the student later matriculates at the UW, the student's UW credit total and UW GPA will include the courses taken as a nonmatriculated student.

Applying nonmatriculated credits toward a degree

Nonmatriculated students are, in theory, not working toward a degree. A student who has earned at least 45 UW credits as a matriculated student may count any UW credits completed previously as a nonmatriculated student toward a degree. No petition is required.

Students who complete fewer than 45 credits after matriculating

A student who has completed fewer than 45 UW credits after matriculation but does have, in addition, UW credits taken as a nonmatriculated student, may petition the University to count these credits toward the degree and graduate with fewer than 45 credits completed as a matriculated student.

Students with fewer than 45 UW credits

Petitions to graduate with fewer than 45 UW credits, including credits taken both as a nonmatriculated and a matriculated student, are almost never granted. Such petitions should be submitted to the college awarding the degree, which will review the petition and then submit it to the Faculty Council on Academic Standards' Committee on Admission and Graduation.

Double majors and double degrees

The minimum number of UW credits taken as a matriculated student that must be presented toward the 180 credits required for a double major is the same as for a single major, 45 credits. The minimum number of UW credits taken as a matriculated student that must be presented toward the 225 credits required for two simultaneous UW degrees is 90 credits: 45 credits for the first degree, and 45 additional credits for the second degree. The minimum number of UW credits taken as a matriculated student that must be presented toward the 270 credits required for three simultaneous UW degrees is 135 credits.

Postbaccalaureate students

To earn a second bachelor's degree a student must complete, after matriculation, 45 UW credits.

Students whose prior degree was earned at the UW

If the student's first degree was earned at the UW, the student must complete 45 additional UW credits as a matriculated student to earn a second degree. The student is allowed to count toward the matriculation requirement of the second degree any "excess" credits from the first degree-any credits over the minimum number required for the first degree, usually 180.

Petitions

The petition procedure for postbaccalaureate students with fewer than 45 UW credits completed after matriculation is the same as for undergraduates. See above.

Residence-Credit Requirement

Forty-five of the final 60 credits of a student's degree program must be UW residence credits. Or, to put it another way, a maximum of 15 of the student's final 60 credits may be nonresidence credit. An individual student may be allowed up to another 10 nonresidence credits in the final 60 credits by the college granting the degree, as long as the student presents at least 45 total UW residence credits.

Residence credit

Residence credit has nothing to do with whether or not the student is a resident of Washington state. Residence credits are UW credits earned at the campus granting the degree.

Residence credit includes:

  • Day and evening courses from the quarterly time schedule at the student's home UW campus, including fieldwork and individual-study courses that don't require that the student be on campus, but not including C-prefix or DL-prefix distance learning courses.
  • Evening Degree Program courses
  • Credit courses offered by UW Extension taken by students in good academic standing, except C-prefix and DL-prefix distance learning courses (see below)
  • Foreign study credit earned through UW-sponsored International Programs and Exchanges that are recorded on the transcript as UW credit

The following are not considered residence credit:

  • Transfer courses
  • Certain UW courses:
    • Distance-learning courses, including both UW C-prefix and DL-prefix courses
    • Any UW courses taken by students on drop status
    • Bothell- or Tacoma-campus credits, for students matriculated at the Seattle campus, and vice-versa. Only credits earned at the campus granting the degree are considered residence credits.
  • AP and International Baccalaureate credit
  • Advanced placement credit
  • Credit by examination
  • College in the High School, including courses sponsored by UW Extension
  • Armed Forces Training School credit
  • Foreign study credit that appears on the student's transcript as transfer credit

Types of UW nonresidence credit

Not all UW courses count as residence credit, even when taken by a matriculated UW student.

Courses taken at another UW campus

Credits from all three UW campuses -- Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma -- are recorded on the UW transcript and included in the student's UW GPA. Only credits earned at the campus granting the degree count as residence credit.

For example, a student who transfers to UW's Seattle campus with 90 community college credits and completes 60 UW-Seattle credits, then transfers to UW's Bothell campus, must complete at least 45 credits at UW-Bothell to earn a bachelor's degree there.

The campus at which a student is matriculated is indicated on the UW transcript. Students matriculated at one UW campus may enroll in courses at another UW campus on a space-available basis in autumn, winter, and spring quarters, and without restriction in summer quarters. When a student enrolls in courses from more than one campus in a quarter -- so that not all the student's credits that quarter count toward the 45 credits required as a matriculated student -- it may not be readily apparent from the student's transcript. Each campus has unique department abbreviations, however, which at Bothell and Tacoma usually (but not always) start with B or T.

UW distance learning courses

Starting in 2002, UW's C-prefix distance learning courses were reviewed, revised, and returned as DL-prefix courses. By mid-2005, C-prefix courses were no longer offered.

C-prefix distance learning courses count as extension credit and the grades are not included in the student's UW GPA. DL-prefix courses are recorded in the body of the student's unofficial transcript as "DL-", but the leading "DL-" is not displayed on the official transcript. The grades are included in the student's UW GPA. Neither C nor DL courses count as residence credit.

A maximum of 90 DL credits may count toward a UW bachelor's degree. A maximum of 90 extension credits, including C distance learning, may count toward a UW bachelor's degree.

Extension credit

Extension credit, as the term is used in the administrative guidelines in the University Handbook, includes all credits that are not UW residence credits, transfer credits, DL-prefix credits, or credits completed at another UW campus.

Extension credit includes C-prefix distance learning, AP and International Baccalaureate credit, advanced placement credit, credit by exam, College in the High School, Armed Forces Training School credit, and UW courses taken by students on drop status.

Extension credits are recorded on the student's transcript in an extension-credit section and on SRF320. Any grades are posted but are not included in the student's UW GPA.

Extension credit limit

Students may count a maximum of 90 extension credits toward a bachelor's degree. Of those 90 credits, a maximum of 45 may be extension credits transferred from other colleges. A maximum of 30 credits of Armed Forces Training School is allowed, and these 30 credits are included in the 45 credits of transfer extension credit allowed.

Courses taken through UW Extension are not considered "extension credit"

A confusing point is that extension credit as defined by the University Handbook does not include what is often called extension credit at UW-namely the credit courses offered by UW Extension (a division of UW Educational Outreach) and usually designated by section letters TA, TB, etc. These courses are recorded on the transcripts of matriculated students in good academic standing as residence credit and are indistinguishable from other UW courses. They are not extension credit.

Final 60 credits

A student working toward a first or subsequent bachelor's degree must complete 45 of his/her final 60 credits of coursework as residence credit offered by the UW campus granting the degree. In other words, a student may include a maximum of 15 nonresidence credits in his/her final 60 credits. Up to 10 additional nonresidence credits may be approved for an individual student by the dean of the college or school awarding the degree, as long as the student completes at least 45 total UW residence credits.

Definition of the final 60 credits

A student's final 60 credits is interpreted as the last 60 credits that precede the student's graduation, rather than credits 121 through 180 of a 180-credit bachelor's-degree program. For example, if a student graduates in a 180-credit degree program with 190 credits, credits 131 through 190 will be considered the final 60 credits.

Credits are counted by complete quarters, counting back from graduation. For this reason, a student's final "60 credits" will seldom total exactly 60 credits. For example, counting quarter-by-quarter back from graduation, a student might have 17 + 18 + 13 + 15 = 63 credits. It is important to note that it is not sufficient that the student have at least 45 residence credits in these final 63 credits; the student must also have no more than 15 out-of-residence credits. In this example, the student might wish to complete the entire 17-credit quarter out of residence. The student would still have 18 + 13 + 15 = 46 residence credits in the final 63, but would have more than 15 credits out-of-residence. A petition would be required.

Distance learning courses

C-prefix distance learning courses are counted in the student's credit total in the quarter when the course is completed, not in the quarter when the student began the course.

Most C-prefix distance learning credits are actually completed mid-quarter, however, and may be added in as if they fall between quarters. For example, consider the following final four quarters:

   Autumn 2001   15 UW residence credits plus 5 C-prefix distance-learning credits completed 11/2001
   Winter 200215 UW residence credits
   Spring 200215 UW residence credits
   Summer 200215 credits out-of-residence

Because the distance-learning credits were completed before the end of autumn quarter 2001, they don't have to be included in autumn quarter or in the student's final 60 credits, and no petition is required.

DL-prefix distance learning courses, on the other hand, are always posted on the student's transcript in the quarter in which the student registers for the course. DL courses are offered either on-calendar, having the same start and end dates as the regular quarter; or off-calendar. Off-calendar courses are posted on the student's transcript in the quarter in which the student enrolls in the course, regardless of the completion date. (If a student registers for an off-calendar DL course between quarters, it is posted in the next quarter.) When calculating the student's final 60 credits, DL courses must be included in the credit total for the quarter in which they are posted.

Degrees requiring fewer than 60 UW credits

A student who transfers in a large number of credits may be able to finish a bachelor's degree with fewer than 60 UW credits. As long as at least 45 UW residence credits are completed, the student is allowed up to 15 nonresidence credits.

   130   transfer credits
   45   UW residence credits
   12   nonresident credits (transfer, extension, DL)
   187   credits total

For example, a student may transfer to the UW with 130 credits. As long as the student completes 45 UW residence credits, the student is allowed up to include up to 15 nonresident credits in his/her final quarters.

Previous "senior-year" residence requirement

The current residence requirement replaces the earlier senior-year or final-year residence requirement, which required students to complete 35 of their final 45 credits in residence. Students graduating in December 2002 or later must follow the 45/60-credit requirement described here.

Degree programs allowing fewer residence credits

A UW school or college may, with proper approval, offer a degree program in which the required courses are primarily offered through distance learning. Such a degree may require fewer than 45 UW residence credits, and/or exceed the 90-credit DL-prefix course limit. At this writing, no such programs have yet been proposed.

Petitions

A student is allowed 15 of the final 60 credits out-of-residence with no petition required. A student who wants up to 25 of the final 60 credits out-of-residence must submit a graduation petition to the college awarding the degree. All colleges require that the student present at least 45 total UW residence credits.

A petition is more likely to be approved if the student has a large number of UW residence credits, and if the bulk of the student's coursework in the major has been completed at the UW. A petition is also more likely to be approved if it involves courses that are not available at the UW.

Petitioning more than 25 credits out-of-residence

A student who wants more than 25 of the final 60 credits out-of-residence must submit a graduation petition to the college awarding the degree. The college will review the petition, make a recommendation of "approve," "no recommendation," or "deny," and then submit it to the university-level Faculty Council on Academic Standards' Committee on Admission and Graduation for a final decision.

Excess credits

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 they are not needed in any way for degree requirements. For example, if a student has 185 credits, of which the last 20 were taken at another university, and those 20 include at least 5 credits of free electives, the student need not petition. (It is not the UW's intention to penalize students for taking extra coursework.) In such a case, the adviser should include an explanatory note on the degree application.

Note, however, that out-of-residence credits used to satisfy degree requirements count toward the 15-credit limitation even if the credits will not count toward the 180 credits required for graduation. For example, a student who has already transferred 90 community college credits cannot count any additional community college credits toward the 180 credits required for graduation (at least not without permission; see Lower Division Transfer Credit); but if such a student completes more than 15 additional community college credits in her final year that apply toward degree requirements, she is in violation of the final 60-credit residence requirement.

Double majors and double degrees

The residence requirement for students completing two or more majors in one degree is the same as for students completing one major.

Double degrees

A student completing two simultaneous degrees must present 90 UW residence credits (45 + 45). A student completing three simultaneous degrees must present 135 UW residence credits (45 + 45 + 45).

In the case of two or more simultaneous degrees, the student is allowed 15 nonresidence credits in the final 60 credits preceding the award of the multiple degree. The student is not allowed 15 credits out-of-residence for each degree.

Postbaccalaureate students

The residence requirement for postbaccalaureate student is the same as that for first-degree students. To earn a second bachelor's degree, 45 of the final 60 credits of the degree program must be UW residence credits; up to 15 nonresidence credits are allowed in the final 60 credits. An additional 10 nonresidence credits in the final 60 credits are possible by petition. In all cases, the student must complete at least 45 total UW residence credits.

Students whose prior degree was earned at the UW

If the student's first degree was earned at the UW, the student must complete 45 additional UW residence credits to earn a second degree. The student is allowed to count toward the residence requirement of the second degree any "excess" credits from the first degree-any credits over the minimum number required for the first degree, usually 180.

Graduating Senior Registration Priority

The purpose of Graduating Senior Registration Priority (GSP) is to give seniors approaching graduation first opportunity to register for any courses needed to complete their degree requirements.

GSP is granted to qualifying students for their final two quarters at the UW. GSP students are eligible to register on the first day of Registration Period I, before other seniors and postbaccalaureates, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen.

Eligibility

A student is eligible for Graduating Senior Registration Priority if:

  1. The student is a senior or postbaccalaureate who has been admitted to the major in which s/he plans to graduate AND the student is within two quarters of graduating (not counting summer; see below).
  2. The student has prepared and filed a graduation application with his/her departmental adviser.

The student's registration priority date posted in MyUW will be the GSP date if the student is eligible.

Deadlines

The GSP deadline for degree applications is two working days before the GSP registration day. For example, if the GSP day is a Thursday, degree applications are due at the Graduation and Academic Records office by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Restrictions

A student is eligible for GSP in his/her last two quarters, counting back from the graduation date on the degree application. When a GSP student registers for a course any day before his/her regular senior or postbaccalaureate priority day, the student uses one of the two GSP quarters. When the two GSP quarters have been used, the student permanently reverts to regular senior or postbaccalaureate registration priority.

Postponing graduation

A student who postpones his/her graduation date will not be granted extra quarters of GSP. However, a student may "save" either or both of the two quarters of GSP not already used and use GSP in a later quarter.

A student who postpones graduation to pursue a second major is not granted additional GSP for the second major. If, however, a student graduates and is readmitted as a postbaccalaureate student, the student will be eligible for GSP for the final two quarters of the second degree.

GSP and registration restrictions

Graduating Senior Registration Priority does not override registration restrictions listed in the Time Schedule. For example, if a course is restricted to sociology majors only and a student is not a sociology major, the computer will not allow the student to register even if s/he has Graduating Senior Registration Priority. GSP does not override entry code requirements. GSP does not allow a student to register for more than 19 credits, the limit in Registration Periods I and II.

Summer quarter

If a student eligible for GSP registration registers for summer during the GSP period, summer will not be counted as one of that student's two GSP quarters. A student who has already used up his two quarters of GSP will not, however, be eligible for a third quarter of GSP registration for summer.

"Checking off" GSP quarters

Students and advisers are often confused about when summer is a "free" GSP quarter and when it isn't. The easiest way to understand the restrictions is to think of each student as having, in the computer, two GSP quarters after her name and a checkbox by each GSP quarter. Once the student has used GSP for two quarters (autumn, winter, and/or spring), both GSP quarters are checked off and the student is no longer eligible for GSP in any quarter. If a student hasn't already used both her GSP quarters, however, she is allowed to register on the GSP day for summer and no GSP quarter is checked off. This is what is meant by summer being a free GSP quarter: if the student is eligible for GSP she can register on the summer GSP day, and it doesn't count as one of her two quarters of GSP.

Including summer quarter in the final two quarters

Summer is also a "free" quarter when determining which quarters are the student's final two quarters. For example, a student who plans to graduate at the end of summer quarter is eligible for GSP for winter and spring registration, even though they are not the student's final two quarters-because summer quarter is "free." Note, however, that if this student registers during the GSP periods for winter and spring, s/he will not be eligible to register during the GSP period for summer (because her two GSP quarters have already been checked off).

Likewise, a student who plans to graduate at the end of winter quarter is eligible for GSP in the preceding summer quarter: she is eligible for GSP for summer, autumn, and winter registration. If she uses GSP for summer registration a GSP quarter is not checked off, and she is still eligible for GSP in both autumn and winter registration.

Effective Date for Graduation Requirements

The following revision of Volume IV, Chapter 14, Section 2 of the University Handbook was approved April 8, 1994, as an administrative clarification to reflect the current policy of the University:

E. Effective date for graduation requirements:

  • If fewer than ten years have elapsed since a student's admission into her or his major program, she or he may choose to graduate under the major-program requirements in effect at the time of admission, or under any subsequent requirements. The choice shall be subject to approval of the student's departmental chairperson and dean, according to the procedures established in Section 23-48 of the Faculty Code.
  • If a student wishes to obtain a degree after a lapse of more than ten years from the date of admission to the major program, she or he must meet the requirements in effect at the time of graduation unless permission to use earlier requirements is granted, either as a general policy or expressly for the individual student, by the academic unit (department, school, or college) whose requirements are in question.
  • These provisions do not apply to the requirements for teaching certificates, which are prescribed by the College of Education at the time the certificate is to be granted. [S-B 60, March 1953; S-B 79, May 1958; both with Presidential approval; AI, May 1993]

In other words, in most cases a student may graduate under the major requirements in effect when the student declared the major. If more than 10 years have passed since the student declared the major, the student usually must meet the current requirements of the major. Permission to use department requirements that are more than ten years old can be granted at the department level, without petition to the College, and the year of the requirements being used should be noted in the "Remarks" section of the graduation application.

University policy on general education requirements

University general education and basic skills requirements, established with an effective date of autumn 1994, are guidelines that must be (and are) met by the current requirements of all colleges of the University. A student has the right to follow current requirements or any set of requirements instituted since the student was admitted to a college, so long as no more than ten years have elapsed.

The general education requirements for students who began their college careers before autumn 1985, when the first University-wide requirements were established, are determined by each college.

Arts and Sciences policy on general education requirements

The current policy of the College of Arts and Sciences regarding general education requirements is as follows:

  • Students admitted to the University at any time before autumn 1969 may use the general-education requirements (including proficiency requirements) in effect at the time of their admission, or they may use any subsequent requirements. In almost all cases, the student will choose to use the current Areas of Knowledge requirement and the pre-1985 15-credit proficiency requirement.
  • All students admitted to the University in autumn 1969 or later use the current 75-credit Areas of Knowledge requirement structure and course designations to complete their breadth (distribution) requirement (and may include up to 15 credits with their major-department prefix). Students who were formerly on the "white-list" or "green-list" requirements may count courses from their former list if taken before autumn 1994.
  • Students whose first enrollment in college was before autumn 1985 may use the 15-credit white/green-list proficiency requirement instead of the current English composition, foreign language, additional writing, and quantitative/symbolic reasoning requirements, without regard to time elapsed. 

Diploma and transcript notations

If a student has petitioned to be allowed to graduate under an older catalog, the diploma includes the line, "Degree awarded based upon [year] requirements" and the following comment is posted on the transcript: "Student allowed to graduate under [year] requirements."

Graduation Information Available from the Student Database & EARS

SRF335—UW Degrees

There is one SRF335 screen for each degree earned at the UW, with the earliest degree shown first. Advisers find this screen useful because it indicates the status of a student’s degree application.

“Applied” means that the application has been received. “2-Incomplete” means the application has been taken off the graduation list and is being held (for a year) until reactivated by the student or the department. 3 means the student still has two quarters of Graduating Senior Priority for registration; 4 means s/he has used one up; 5 means s/he has used them both. “9-Granted” means that the degree has been granted.

SRF370—Exception Summary

Advisers can use this screen to enter CS and RU DARS exceptions. It is also available on the DARS tab in EARS.

SRF340—UW Certificates

The SRF340 screen lists certificates that the student has earned at the UW, such as a Certificate of International Studies in Business.

SRF390—DARSRS and GDARSRS

Advisers can request a DARS audit or a GDARS graduation report for a student using this screen. Both a detailed audit (D) and a summary audit (S), which lists only whether or not requirements are completed, are available options. This is also available on the DARS tab in EARS.

Graduation Information Available Online

DARS audits

myuw.washington.edu
Students can request a DARS audit, in MyUW under Personal Services.

Student Guide

www.washington.edu/students/reg/grad.html
The Graduation site (under Moving On in the Student Guide) includes some information for students about applying to graduate and the Commencement ceremony.

Academic Calendar

www.washington.edu/students/reg/calendar.html
The Academic Calendar includes the deadlines for degree applications for upcoming quarters.

University requirements

www.washington.edu/students/gencat/
front/Requirements_BA.html
Under Graduation Requirements in the Student Guide is the site University Requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree, which includes credit and GPA requirements and the residence requirement.

For More Information

Contact the Graduation and Academic Records Office at 206-543-1803 ugradoff@u.washington.edu or the Undergraduate Advising Secretary, Arts and Sciences Graduation Committee at 206-543-2550.