Policies and Procedures

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 IAS Graduate Office, IAS faculty and Cultural Studies Program Director are available to assist all students in maintaining satisfactory academic performance in the School. Students who fail to meet the requirements for satisfactory academic performance and/or progress will be notified in writing by the IAS Graduate Office. 

Graduate School Memorandum 16: Unsatisfactory Performance and Progress outlines the general conditions by which students maintain good standing, with satisfactory performance and progress to degree, and those that fall short of that standard, and require action on the part of the program, school, and student.

Requirements for Satisfactory Performance and Progress

In order to remain in good standing in the Cultural Studies program and the University of Washington Graduate School, students must meet the following requirements, consistent with Memo 16:

  • Maintain a quarterly and cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.
  • Earn a grade of 2.7 or higher in each core course. Please note core courses must be taken sequence.
  • Earn a grade of 2.7 or higher in any elective course used to satisfy requirements for the degree.
  • Maintain graduate status via enrollment in the graduate school or approved on-leave status, as outlined in Graduate Memo 9: On Leave Policy to Maintain Graduate Student Status
  • Meet benchmarks for developing and completing the Degree Portfolio and the Capstone Project, as outlined in Portfolio Guidelines and Capstone Guidelines.  This includes the portfolio's first-year review and approval by the Portfolio Advisor, and progression through the pre-proposal and proposal stages, as well as the completion stages of capstone project development. 

The IAS Graduate Office reviews the grades and approvals of IAS graduate students on a quarterly basis, and will consult with the Cultural Studies Graduate Program Director on cases that do not meet these guidelines, or in which grades are missing or incomplete without a plan for their completion.  Cultural Studies faculty and advisors may also make the Graduate Office or Program Director aware of concerns about students' academic performance. 

Memo 16 also outlines a sequence of recommended program actions for students whose academic performance or progress does not meet program or Graduate School standards.  These actions include academic warning, academic probation, final probation, and in rare cases, a drop from the program.  At each stage, these actions are intended to communicate the performance issue that occasions the action, what corrective action is needed on the student's part to meet performance and progress guidelines to satisfaction, and the potential consequences of not correcting the performance issue.  The Cultural Studies Program Director and the IAS Graduate Office 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. 

Note on Repeating Courses

If a student fails to earn a grade of at least 2.7 in a course listed as a degree requirement, the student will be required to repeat the course and earn a passing grade and may be required to do so before continuing on to subsequent required courses. Graduate students may also, of their own accord, choose to repeat any course. However, graduate courses in IAS are offered only once each academic year. Consequently, students who repeat courses will likely delay their graduation. When a course is repeated, both the first and second grades will be included in the cumulative GPA, but the number of credits earned in the course will apply toward the degree requirements only once.