Academic Progress

See the Graduate School and University Academic Policies sections of the University Catalog and the Registrar’s Office website for complete information on academic policies. Highlights are included here for convenience.

Scholarship Standards

Graduate students are required to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in courses included in the program of study. Students must also make satisfactory progress in the graduate program to which they have been admitted, as determined by the academic department.

A maximum of 10 credits of C grades (C+, C, C-) can be counted toward completion of a graduate program. Courses in which a D+ or lower is earned may not be applied towards completion of a graduate program. The accumulation of more than 10 credits of C+ or lower grades (including U and Z) may result in the student being withdrawn from the Graduate School.

Pass/No Pass (P/N) grades are not applicable towards a graduate degree. S grades are applicable.

Incomplete (K) grades may be assigned according to university policy, unless the graduate student is subject to the conditions of provisional admission. After one year, outstanding K grades lapse to Z, which is computed as a failing grade in the GPA. Thesis and certain research courses are assigned K grades until the thesis or research is completed; these K grades will not lapse to Z.

Course Repeats

Graduate students may repeat a course in order to earn an acceptable grade. However, the repeat policy is different than the policy for undergraduates and the original grade will not be replaced. All original and repeated courses will be averaged into the cumulative GPA.

Time Limits

Students have five years from the time of initial registration to complete a graduate degree program. Occasionally, extenuating circumstances may justify a short extension to this five year limit. To request an extension:

  • Meet with your advisor to discuss plans and receive approval
  • Draft a detailed timeline for degree completion
  • Write a letter of request that explains the need for an extension
  • Email your timeline, request, and note of approval from advisor to gradschool@wwu.edu

Students who reach the five year time limit and do not have an approved extension will be withdrawn from the Graduate School.