Graduate Programs

Policies & Procedures for LL.M., M.J. and Ph.D. Students

Students in the Graduate Programs must satisfy both UW Graduate School and UW School of Law Graduate Programs requirements.

Students are required to review and understand their Graduate Program’s curriculum and requirements. In addition, students are required to review and understand the Graduate School’s policies and procedures including Memorandum #16 entitled “Unsatisfactory Performance and Progress” (hereinafter – “Memo 16”).

Master’s Degree Requirements

A student must satisfy the requirements for the degree that are in force at the time the degree is to be awarded.

  1. Total credits required for the degree program must be completed:
    1. All courses numbered 400-799 that are numerically graded 2.7 and above or have a grade of Satisfactory or Credit (‘S’ or ‘CR’) count towards the total credits. 499 courses are not counted in the total credits.
    2. Courses graded less than 2.7 do not count towards the total credits.
    3. At least 18 credits must be in courses numbered 500 and above.
    4. 18 credits must be numerically graded in department-approved 400-level courses accepted as part of the major and in 500-level courses. This excludes 499 and transfer credits.
    5. No more than 12 UW Graduate Non-matriculated credits can be applied to the total credits.
    6. No more than 12 credits derived from any combination of UW Graduate Non-matriculated credits and transfer credits can be applied to the total credits.
    7. If a student repeats a non-repeatable class, only one set of credits will count towards the total credits.
  2. A minimum cumulative GPA (grade point average) of 3.00 is required for a graduate degree at UW.
  3. The Master’s Degree Request must be filed according to posted quarterly dates and deadlines.
  4. All degree requirements must be completed within six years
    1. The timeframe/clock begins on the first day of the quarter that the Graduate student uses a course to satisfy degree requirements when he/she is coded as either a Graduate Non-matriculated student (department code with class 6) or as a Graduate student (department code with class 8) in the department to which he/she is admitted.
    2. UW Graduate Non-matriculated credits used towards the total credits are counted in the six years.
    3. Quarters spent On-Leave and out of status are counted in the six years.
  5. Students must maintain registration through the end of the quarter in which the degree is conferred or, if eligible, pay the Graduate Registration Waiver Fee.

Ph.D. Program Requirements

In order to qualify for the doctoral degree, it is the responsibility of the student to meet the following Graduate School requirements:

  1. Completion of a program of study and research as planned by the Ph.D. Program Administrators. At least 18 credits of course work at the 500 level and above must be completed prior to scheduling the General Exam.
  2. Presentation of 90 credits, 60 of which must be taken at the University of Washington. With the approval of the degree granting unit, an appropriate master’s degree from an accredited institution may substitute for 30 credits of enrollment.
  3. Numerical grades must be received in at least 18 quarter credits of course work taken at the UW prior to scheduling the General Examination. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for a graduate degree at UW.
  4. Creditable passage of the General Examination. Registration as a graduate student is required the quarter the exam is taken and candidacy is conferred.
  5. Preparation of and acceptance by the Dean of the Graduate School of a dissertation that is a significant contribution to knowledge and clearly indicates training in research. Credit for the dissertation ordinarily should be at least one-third of the total credit. The Candidate must register for a minimum of 27 credits of dissertation over a period of at least three quarters. Students are limited to a maximum of 10 credits per quarter of dissertation (800 level).
  6. Creditable passage of a Final Examination, which is usually devoted to the defense of the dissertation and the field with which it is concerned. The General and Final Examinations cannot be scheduled during the same quarter. Registration as a graduate student is required the quarter the exam is taken and the degree is conferred.
  7. Completion of all work for the doctoral degree within ten years. This includes quarters spent On-Leave or out of status.
  1. Registration maintained as a full or part-time graduate student at the University for the quarter in which the degree is conferred.
  2. A student must satisfy the requirements that are in force at the time the degree is to be awarded.

Satisfactory Performance and Progress

Admission to the Graduate School allows students to continue graduate study and research at the University of Washington only as long as they maintain satisfactory performance and progress toward completion of their graduate degree program.

The Graduate Program Faculty and Administrators are available to assist all students in maintaining satisfactory academic performance in the School. Students are reviewed quarterly by the Program Faculty and Administrators, and students who fail to meet the requirements for satisfactory academic performance and/or progress will be notified in writing by the Graduate Program Administrators or representative of the Faculty.

  1. In the University of Washington School of Law Graduate Programs, maintaining satisfactory performance and progress means students must:
    1. Abide by the University of Washington School of Law Honor Code and the University of Washington Students Conduct Code.
    2. Maintain a minimum cumulative AND quarterly 3.0 GPA while the student is enrolled in the UW Graduate Program.
    3. Maintain satisfactory performance and progress in the fulfillment of degree program requirements
    4. Complete all the required courses.
    5. Complete all numerically-graded courses with a minimum of 2.7 or higher.
  2. The Ph.D. Program in Law requires that all first year doctoral students file progress reports on their academic progress on a quarterly basis in the first year of the Ph.D. Program. All second year and above doctoral students are required to submit a progress report on their academic progress on an annual basis. The faculty supervisors should review the progress report and provide an evaluation of the student’s yearly progress. The report must be signed by both the student and his or her faculty supervisor and submitted to the Ph.D. Program administrator.
  3. In situations where a student is not making satisfactory progress, as set forth above, the below recommendations will be made (beginning with Warning or Probation) to the Graduate School. In all cases, a letter from the Program Faculty will outline the circumstances leading to the recommendation and actions necessary to correct the deficiency. A copy of the letter will also be placed in the student’s file. The Program Faculty and Administrators will work with students to create academic plans intended to support students in rectifying performance and progress issues and supporting their continuation in good standing.

Warning. This is an early status for a student who has failed to meet expectations for performance or progress. Warnings are optional in the probation process and are managed internally by the Program with a goal of resolving problems before escalating to probation. The Program may issue multiple warning letters to the student and the Graduate School is not notified. The Graduate Programs use the warning status prior to placing a student on probation status.

Probation. This status is used for a student who has failed to resolve problems with their performance or progress that the program has previously documented and communicated to the student. Programs will send a probation recommendation to the student with a copy to the Graduate School no later than the 10th business day of the probation quarter. All probation letters must cite:

  1. the reason for the probation,
  2. steps the student must take to remove the probation, and
  3. the consequences the student will face if steps were not taken to remove the probation.

The Graduate School will review the probation letter drafted by the program and, if accepted, place a probation notice on the student’s record. At least one quarter of probation must be issued by the Graduate School at the request of the program prior to final probation. Two additional quarters of probation may be issued at the program’s discretion and the Graduate School must receive documents supporting a probation recommendation each quarter.

Final Probation. This status is used for a student who has failed to resolve the documented problems in their probation status as submitted to the Graduate School. Programs send a final probation recommendation to the student with a copy to the Graduate School no later than the 10th business day of the final probation quarter. All final probation letters must cite:

  1. the reason for the final probation,
  2. steps the student must take to remove the final probation, and
  3. the consequences the student will face if steps were not taken to remove the final probation.

The Graduate School will review the final probation letter and, if accepted, place a final probation notice on the student’s record. The Graduate School will send a letter to the student informing them of their status. The graduate program must issue one quarter of final probation prior to a drop from the program, except in clearly documented situations as discussed below. A program may request an additional quarter of final probation in extenuating circumstances. The Graduate School must receive documents supporting this recommendation and will send letters to the students informing them of their status.

A graduate program may recommend a student be placed on probation status while the student is on leave. The program may not change a student’s probationary status while the student remains on leave. The student must apply for leave status each quarter which is then approved by the department (see Graduate School Memo 9).

Drop is an official action that terminates a student’s enrollment from a graduate program because the student has failed to resolve documented problems in their final probation status. Graduate programs should submit drop recommendations to the Graduate School prior to the start of the quarter but no later than the fifth business day of the drop quarter. If the Graduate School approves the drop, drop status will appear on the student’s official transcript. When dropped, a student is not eligible to complete the program or return later to complete the degree.

  1. Students may appeal these recommendations directly to the Graduate School. Appeals must follow the process outlined in Graduate School Memorandum No. 33 Graduate School Memorandum No. 33, Academic Grievance Procedure.
  2. A student who has failed a required course must repeat the course. Because of the sequential nature of some Graduate Programs’ curricula, students in these programs who fail one or more courses in a given quarter may not be eligible to enroll in a subsequent quarter, until the failed courses can be retaken and passed. Please note that most required courses are only offered once a year.
  3. Academic probation may affect immigration status. A student who has been placed on probation is strongly encouraged to speak with an International Student Services adviser (ISS adviser) to discuss visa requirements and travel implications while on probation.

Connect with us:

© Copyright 2020, All Rights Reserved University of Washington School of Law

4293 Memorial Way Northeast, Seattle, WA 98195