Academic Progress Policy

Academic Progress Policy

Students within the Division of Computing & Software Systems (CSS) Graduate Programs are eligible to continue study and research as an enrolled student in their corresponding program as long as they maintain satisfactory performance and progress toward completion of their graduate degree program.

The following guidelines stipulate the conditions for satisfactory and academic progress, and the corresponding steps to be taken if academic progress guidelines are not being met. For support through this process or information regarding appeals, please refer to the CSS Graduate Advisor or the Director of Graduate Academic Services.

Minimum guidelines for Satisfactory Academic Progress

Graduate students enrolled at the University of Washington are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress towards their degree. CSS graduate students must meet the following minimum requirement for satisfactory academic progress:

  • a minimum 2.7 GPA in each graded course used toward requirements
  • maintaining both a cumulative and quarterly GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • completing the degree program of study within six years of first enrolling in any degree requirements
  • when enrolled in project/thesis credits: earning an “N” grade each quarter the project/thesis work is continuing satisfactorily to another quarter

For additional information, see Graduate School Policy 3.7.

The following steps outline the process in which a student fails to meet any/all of the above guidelines:

Stage 1: Lack of Satisfactory Academic Progress Warning

The intention of the Academic Progress Warning is to formally notify a student that they are failing to meet established minimum progress guidelines, and set forth clear expectations on how to remove themselves from program warning status. Students will receive an official warning from the CSS Associate Chair of Graduate Studies that they are in violation of the Academic Progress Policy. All official warnings will include clear instructions of expectations for academic progress, and outline the expected steps they will need to take to correct all deficiencies.

For students failing to follow required steps as outlined in the ‘Project/Thesis Process’ AND failing to achieve satisfactory academic progress in their project/thesis in a quarter they are enrolled project/thesis credits, such warnings will be issued no later than the fifth week of that quarter, and will include the following notations from their Supervisory Committee Chair:

  • specific tasks the students must complete by the end of that quarter. Failing to complete them on time may result in an “NC” grade for that quarter.
  • goals the students must achieve in the future quarter(s). Students will meet with the CSS Graduate Advisor at least once in the following quarter to discuss academic progress towards these goals. Students will also be required to work with their Supervisory Committee Chair to revise their project/thesis proposal in accordance with these specific goals. Revisions could include substantial updates to the timeline, a breakdown of expected weekly progress/milestones for each planned quarter enrolled in project/thesis credits, a communication plan, changes to committee membership, etc. Final approval of revised plans must be reviewed by the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies.

Stage 2: Formal Warning to the Graduate School and Probation

If the student fails to complete satisfactory progress towards the goals indicated in the Academic Progress Warning letter, the student will be moved to Formal Warning status with the University of Washington Graduate School. Formal Warning will include a notification of Academic Probation on the students formal transcript for the specific quarter probation status occurred. Formal Warning status will occur early (no later than tenth day) in the following quarter, and be effective for that quarter.

Formal Warning status could be triggered if any of the following occurs:

  • a student continues to earn individual course grade(s) below a 2.7
  • a student continues to have a cumulative or quarterly GPA of less than 3.0 for three consecutive quarters
  • a student receives an “NC” grade on their project or thesis work for one quarter

In the case of Formal Warning, the student will receive a letter from the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies (and their Supervisory Committee Chair when appropriate) detailing the reasons for the Formal Warning, and the expected steps necessary to meet satisfactory progress. Failure to meet these steps will trigger Final Probation (see next step of Academic Progress Policy).

Students who receive Formal Warning must meet with both the CSS Graduate Advisor as well as the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies once each quarter to discuss academic progress until the deficiencies are rectified. Students who receive a Formal Warning may also be placed on a probationary status of no less than one quarter, and no more than three quarters. The duration of probation will be decided by the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies, and when applicable, in consultation with the students Supervisory Committee Chair.

Stage 3: Final Probation

Students who have failed to resolve the issues documented in their Formal Warning and Probation status letter will be placed on Final Probation by the CSS Division and Graduate School. Final Probation gives the student one final quarter in probation status to resolve the documented issues. All final probation letters will give a reason for the final probation, the steps the student must take to remove the final probation, and the consequences the student will face if steps were not taken to remove the final probation.

Stage 4: Drop

Drop is an official action that terminates a student’s enrollment from their graduate program because either the student has failed to resolve documented problems in their final probation status, or the student has one of the performance issues as outlined above. If the student fails to improve performance and make satisfactory progress in the manner earlier documented, a student may be dropped from the program. A drop recommendation is the final action in unsatisfactory progress. Once it has been made effective, the graduate advisor will disband the supervisory committee, if applicable.


Appeals must follow the process outlined in Policy 3.8 Academic Grievance Procedure.