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Doctoral Degree Policies

Doctoral Degree Requirements

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

  1. Completion of a program of study and research as planned by the graduate program coordinator in the student's major department or college and the Supervisory Committee. At least 18 credits of course work at the 500 level and above must be completed prior to scheduling the General Examination.
  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. The Graduate School accepts numerical grades in approved 400-level courses accepted as part of the major, and in all 500-level courses. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 is required for a graduate degree at the University.
  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. At least one quarter must come after the student passes the General Examination. With the exception of summer quarter, students are limited to a maximum of 10 credits per quarter of dissertation (800).
  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 as well as applicable work from the master's degree from the UW or a master's degree from another institution, if applied toward one year of resident study.
  8. Registration maintained as a full- or part-time graduate student at the University for the quarter in which the degree is conferred (see detailed information under Final Quarter Registration).
  9. A student must satisfy the requirements that are in force at the time the degree is to be awarded.