Graduate Student Guide
The following is information on Master's and Doctoral program requirements. It is also available in pdf format.
Satisfactory Progress in the Program
The Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) advises students about courses, supervisory committees, examination schedules, and all other graduate program requirements. All incoming students have the option to meet with the GPC for assistance in planning their schedules. In addition, graduate students are encouraged to meet with the GPC if they are having problems in the program or need information about degree requirements. The GPC approves all, Course Substitution Request Forms, and On-Leave Petitions,
The Graduate Program Assistant (GPA) is primarily available for non-academic advising. The GPA monitors graduate student progress in the program and maintains the academic files. The GPA is available to help students understand and adhere to the deadlines and degree requirements of the department and the Graduate School . Students should contact the GPA when they are ready to establish supervisory committees, register for independent study courses (597, 598, 600, 800), or schedule exams for advancement within the program.
The achievement of a minimum level of competence in political research methods is required of all graduate students in political science. The methodology curriculum is as follows:
Demonstration of competence in a foreign language is not required for either the Master of Arts or the Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science. Every MA or PhD supervisory committee, however, has the authority to decide, in consultation with the student, that a specific degree of competence in one or more foreign languages is a prerequisite for that student to receive the degree in question. The student cannot take the PhD comprehensive examinations until the language requirement specified by the committee has been met. Language courses are not counted toward satisfaction of credit requirements for degree purposes.
The department's fields are configured within the following structure:
I. General Fields
Minority and Race Politics
Public Policy Processes
III. Constructed Fields (PhD level only)
One field from a unit in the University outside the Political Science Department OR one field of study designed by the student. Note that all constructed fields, whether drawn from an existing unit outside the department or designed by students, must be approved by a designated field supervisor. Evidence must be submitted that
1) a sufficient body of literature exists on the subject matter to constitute the equivalent of a field for doctoral study;
2) outlines the intellectual goals the student seeks to accomplish through the constructed field;
3) outlines a sequence of coursework consistent with those goals.
The department requires the writing of an Essay of Distinction , competency in two (2) fields as demonstrated by completion of designated field requirements, and completion of the three-course methodology sequence for the Master's Degree. One of the two fields must be chosen from the list of general fields ; the second field may be chosen from the general fields or from the list of specialized fields . If you choose a specialized field as your second field, you are required to take a core course in a second general field . The Master's Essay of Distinction is normally a polished seminar paper that is defended at your Master's Exam.
The Master's Committee should be established early in your graduate career . You are required to establish your committee chair OR an Interim Advisor by the end of your 3 rd quarter (the end of your first academic year). You also are required to choose two fields of study for the M.A. requirements. You will submit the Notification of Adviser Form to the GPA by the date announced at the beginning of spring quarter.
Master's Supervisory Committee. It is the student's responsibility to obtain the consent of faculty to serve as committee members, and (in consultation with them) to develop a written program of courses within each field. The Master's Committee shall consist of three members, two of whom must come from the department. Two members of the committee shall represent the fields as specified above. The Chair of the committee and one other committee member must be graduate faculty. The third committee member should be chosen by the student in consultation with the Graduate Program Coordinator and/or the Committee Chair.
A minimum of 46 credit hours , taken while in full graduate standing, is required for the Master's degree. Courses taken prior to being admitted to the MA program or while in non-matriculated status cannot be counted. At least 18 of these credits must be taken at the 500 level, and at least 18 credits must be numerically graded. It is departmental policy that 600 courses (Independent Study) used to satisfy MA course requirements must be pre-approved by the Faculty Supervisor.
A student may be allowed to transfer the equivalent of a maximum of 6 credits of graduate level course work taken while a registered student at another accredited graduate school. These credits may not have been used to satisfy requirements for another degree. The student must submit a petition to the Dean of the Graduate School along with a written recommendation from the Graduate Program Coordinator and an official transcript indicating completion of coursework. Transfer credit should be discussed with the Graduate Program Coordinator when you enter the department. Credit received as a nonmatriculated student or a postbaccalaureate student cannot be transferred to a graduate program. Transfer credit will not appear on a student's UW transcript.
The department has the discretion to allow a student to apply coursework from another graduate program toward departmental degree requirements. The student should discuss this possibility with the Graduate Program Coordinator and their field supervisors when designing their program of study, presenting the supervisors with a copy of the syllabus for the course(s) in question and a copy of their transcript showing that the work was completed. If the field supervisor will approve the outside coursework, the student should fill out a Field Requirement Substitution Form for each course (available from the Graduate Program Assistant), and obtain the signature of the supervisor. The signed form will then be placed in the student's file.
Students are required to complete a Master's Essay of Distinction prior to scheduling the Master's examination. The Master's Essay of Distinction may be a seminar paper that is further refined. The Master's Essay of Distinction should be article-length (approximately 30-40 pages), professionally documented, and as close as possible to publishable standards. The intent of this requirement is to provide the committee with a basis for assessing the student's capacity to do original and self-directed research and to write up the results of that research in a literate and informative fashion, as will be required for the dissertation.
Students preparing for the Master's Examination are eligible to enroll in POL S 598. This is a contract course; forms are available from the Graduate Program Assistant and must be signed by the Faculty Supervisor. Although POLS 598 is not required, students are encouraged to use this course as a means to facilitate producing a first-rate Master's Essay of Distinction by rewriting, polishing and expanding upon a promising paper written for a seminar. Graduate students are eligible to enroll in POL S 598 for a total of 5 credits, one quarter only, and receive a decimal grade. The course can be completed only by submission of an article-length (30-40 pages) paper approved and evaluated by the faculty supervisor.
The Master's Essay of Distinction must be formally evaluated ( Faculty Evaluation of the Master's Essay of Distinction form prepared by the Graduate Program Assistant) by the faculty supervisor at the time that the student requests to schedule the Master's Examination and may be used by the faculty as a basis for evaluation during the Master's Examination. Please notify the GPA no later than two weeks prior to the expected exam date . A signed evaluation form will be kept in the student's file and will be available for the student to review. The student will also submit a copy of the completed Essay of Distinction for inclusion in the file.
Graduate students must apply with the Graduate School to take the Master's Examination during the quarter in which they wish to have their degree conferred. Application is via the Graduate School's web site at http://www.grad.washington.edu/mygrad/student.htmStudents must then submit a signed Program Review Sheet to the GPA at least two weeks prior to the MA Exam . The GPA will review and check for fulfilled course requirements and check for approval by the Graduate Program Coordinator. Students who have completed all departmental requirements will be go ahead and schedule the exam with their MA Committee. The student must schedule a room for the exam, notify the GPA of the essay title, and the date, time and location of the exam, and send reminders to the committee prior to the exam date .
The purpose of the Master's Examination is to aid in determining whether the student has succeeded in demonstrating to the committee that s/he is capable of conducting original research and conveying that research in a literate and informative manner. Students should display adequate substantive knowledge in their fields of coursework, and demonstrate a capacity to synthesize, interpret, and apply such knowledge to new problems. Students will defend the Master's Essay before their Master's Committee. The committee shall decide, by majority vote, whether to recommend awarding the Master's degree, and whether to recommend (a) admission to the doctoral program, or (b) termination of the student's continuation in the department. In the former case, the committee may attach specific requirements or conditions to the student's continuance, or it may simply encourage the student to go on, and discuss the next stage in the student's academic career. In the latter case, the student shall not be permitted to register for courses in the department any future quarter. At the close of the exam, the committee shall notify the student of the result. As soon as practical, the committee shall file with the Graduate Program Office an evaluation of the student's examination, and if applicable, reasons why continuation in the program was not recommended. This form will be kept in the student's file in the Graduate Program Office.
Complete Core courses in two (2) general fields.
Complete coursework requirements in two (2) fields (see Summary of Field Requirements )
Complete Methods Requirement (500-501 and either 502 or 503).
Complete 46 credits (18 must be completed at the 500-level and above, and 18 must be numerically graded at the 400 or 500-levels) and three quarters of full time residency (10 credits per quarter/ 400 or above).
Cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 or better
No more than 2 incompletes on your transcript; no incompletes may remain in the methodology or field course requirements at the time the exam is scheduled.
______ Establish three-member Master's supervisory committee.
_______Complete and submit to the Graduate Program Assistant Notification of Master's Supervisory Committee Appointments form at least two weeks prior to scheduled exam.
______You must be registered the quarter you plan to take the exam. The contract course Pol S 598, Independent Writing (1-5 credits, graded), is an option during your exam quarter. Forms are available from the Graduate Program Assistant.
______Submit the signed form, Program Requirements Worksheet for Master's Degree to the Graduate office at least two weeks before MA exam.
______Apply (on-line) to the Graduate School for the exam warrant. Deadlines and information and application are found at this website: http://www.grad.washington.edu/mygrad/student.htm
_____ Submit your completed essay to your chair and request to schedule your final examination. Distribute the final draft to all members of your committee. Schedule the exam with all committee members and reserve a room at the front office in Gowen 101.
______Email the Graduate Program Assistant the following information: the title of your paper, the date, time and location of your exam (at least two weeks in advance of your exam).
MA Committee members do not necessarily or automatically continue as members of the student's doctoral Supervisory Committee. Within two (2) quarters of successfully completing the Master's Examination, students shall constitute the doctoral Supervisory Committee.
The doctoral program requires that a student gain competence in three fields. The student must complete coursework for three fields along with the methodology requirement before sitting for the comprehensive examination . The comprehensive exam involves taking a written exam in each of the three fields presented for the degree followed by an oral examination by the Supervisory Committee. Within two quarters of successfully completing the comprehensive exam, the student shall write and orally defend the dissertation prospectus before the full doctoral Supervisory Committee (including the GSR); this constitutes the General Examination that determines advancement to candidacy. Following the General Examination, the PH.C. student focuses on researching and writing the dissertation. Once the student's committee has read and accepted a full draft of the dissertation, a request for final examination is submitted to the Graduate School and a final exam is scheduled for the defense of the dissertation.
A student who received an MA from this department at some point in the past but did not proceed on to the PhD program must re-apply to the department as well as to the Graduate School for admission to the doctoral program. (This applies only to students who received a recommendation of continued study toward the PhD at the Master's Examination.) The student's application must be accompanied by a written recommendation from a member of the department's faculty who agrees to serve as the Chair of the student's doctoral Supervisory Committee. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the prospective Chair. The Admissions Committee, in consultation with the prospective Chair, will act upon the application.
The Graduate School requires a doctoral student to complete a minimum of three academic years of graduate resident study, two of which must be at the UW. Courses must include dissertation credit (27 credits of POL S 800) At least one quarter of dissertation credit must be taken after advancement to candidacy. (Refer to the UW on-line General Catalog: http://www.grad.washington.edu/stsv/quickref.htm)
Each student pursuing the PhD is required to attain competence in three fields . A written exam is given for each of the three fields presented. An oral examination follows completion of the written exams . The three fields offered for the PhD are selected from among three sets of field divisions. Students must select a minimum of one general field ; the two additional fields may be chosen from among the remaining general fields, the list of specialized fields, or a field constructed by the student. Students may have a maximum of one constructed field and must take a minimum of two general field core courses (See “Field Structures” section).
Students normally take at least 20 credits of coursework in Political Science or related departments to satisfy requirements for each of the three fields. The exact requirements are a function of the field supervisor's decisions and the expectations of the student's doctoral Supervisory Committee . See http://www.polisci.washington.edu/Graduate/Graduate_Requirements/gradrequirement.html for a list of course requirements for each field. Normally, fields may not require more than 20 credit hours of coursework, (exceptions are allowed for necessary language or methodological coursework). Students are required to complete the core course for each of the general and any required course for each specialized field offered for the comprehensive exams.
All PhD students are required to have completed the full methodology sequence or its equivalent. Refer to the “Research Methods” section of this document on page 1.
Comprehensive examinations for general fields and specialized fields are supervised by faculty members within the Political Science Department as well as those holding adjunct appointments in political science. Comprehensive exams for constructed fields may be supervised by faculty members outside the Political Science Department, with the approval of the Chair of the doctoral Supervisory Committee and the Graduate Program Coordinator. Each member of the committee shall represent one of the fields. The committee shall consist of three members and fulfill these requirements:
The student in consultation with the Graduate Program Coordinator and/or doctoral Supervisory Committee Chair should choose committee members. This should be done no later than the 2 nd quarter after completion of the Master's Degree. It is the student's responsibility to obtain the consent of the faculty to serve as committee members and (in consultation with them) to develop a written program of courses representing each field. See the Graduate Program Assistant for forms related to establishing the doctoral Supervisory Committee and Exam Reading Fields.
Statement of Exam Responsibilities
Within two quarters of passing the MA exam, the student should establish his/her doctoral Supervisory Committee and meet with his/her faculty field examiners to discuss the content of the written exams for the comprehensive examination . These meetings will include a) discussion of general expectations for exam preparation and performance, and b) provision of Field Reading Lists . At the conclusion of these meetings, the student and faculty examiners will sign a statement, the Written Exam Reading Lists Agreement , indicating their shared understanding regarding the reading lists. This agreement and a copy of the reading lists will be given to the Graduate Program Assistant to be placed in the student's academic file. Subsequent alterations or additions to the reading lists by faculty are allowed, but they should be limited in number and specified well in advance ( no later than one quarter prior to the written exam ).
Scheduling the Comprehensive Examination
The department expects graduate students to sit for their comprehensive exams by the end of the tenth (10th) quarter in residence (beginning of the 4th year). Delaying the comprehensive examination beyond that time may be construed as lack of satisfactory progress by the department for financial aid and other purposes. Prior to scheduling the comprehensive examination , all graduate students must request that the Graduate Program Coordinator review the student's record to ensure that all department and Graduate School requirements have been fulfilled. The review request is made through the Graduate Program Assistant , no less than four (4) weeks prior to the first written exam. Though a student can have up to three incompletes on his or her transcript at the time of exams, all I and X grades in the courses necessary to fulfill requirements must be changed to permanent grades. The student is responsible for coordinating the dates and times of the written exams and oral examination with his/her doctoral Supervisory Committee and submitting the dates and times in writing to the Graduate Program Assistant. The exam schedule and the individual Written Exam Format Agreement forms are due to the Program Assistant at least two weeks prior to the first exam.
Written Exam Format
It is the student's responsibility to schedule meetings with each of his/her field examiners to discuss the written exam format. At this time, the student and field examiners will be asked to sign the Written Exam Format Agreement which specifies the following format variables: location of exam, permitted reference material, exam medium, minimum/maximum page length, number of exam questions and other issues relevant to the exam. Written exams shall last no longer than nine (9) hours over a one day period (approximately 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or 9:00a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ) There shall be no extra time allowed for “cleaning up” exams. An oral examination covering the written exams, as well as any other topics relevant to the examination fields shall be scheduled no later than eight (8) weeks from the date of the first written exam and normally within the same academic quarter. The student is responsible for scheduling the oral exam with his/her field examiners at the time the written exams are scheduled.
Grading the Comprehensive Examination
The decision to pass or fail a student depends upon his/her performance in both the written and oral examinations. Each of the three fields will be graded (distinction, pass or fail) by the field supervisor, and the exam (including the oral component) will be assigned an overall grade (distinction, pass, fail) by the entire committee; an overall grade of distinction will require the unanimous approval of the committee. At the close of the exam, the committee shall notify the student of the result. In the event that the student fails in one or more of the three field exams, the committee shall decide whether or not the student will be allowed to take the examination(s) again, and when they will be given. As soon as practical, the committee shall file with the Graduate Program Office an evaluation of the student's written and oral performance for the comprehensive examination . This form will be kept in the student's file in the Graduate Program Office.
Written Exams in International Relations
Written or Field exams in International Relations are given in a different format (check with your field supervisor to learn if they participate). IR exams are offered every autumn and spring quarter. If scheduling problems occur the student's IR supervisor will exercise discretion to address the problem.
A student's IR field supervisor organizes the exam (if two or more students with different faculty examiners are scheduled to take the exam, the IR field supervisors will coordinate the organization of the exam). IR faculty submit draft questions and cooperatively write the exams.
The IR exam contains three sections: World Politics/International Organization, International Security, and International Political Economy. Each section is 33% of the passing grade. There is a choice within each subsection (minimum of two questions). The exam is open book and open notes.
Participating IR faculty will read and discuss each exam. The student's IR supervisor determines whether the student has passed the exam.
Past exams can be viewed at: https://faculty.washington.edu/mercer/index.html
Written Exams in Comparative Politics
Exams will be administered twice a year – autumn and spring quarters – on dates chosen by the Comparative Field Coordinator (CPC) in consultation with members of the field. An exception to take the exam in winter will be permitted only under extraordinary circumstances.
Exams will consist of a series of questions that have been submitted to the CPC by members of the Comparative Field (the number of questions has yet to be determined).
Exams will be read by a committee of three individuals, one of which is the student's Comparative Politics Supervisor. The faculty supervisor will be the representative during the oral exam. Participating CP faculty will read and discuss each exam. The student's chosen supervisor determines whether the student has passed the exam.
Establishing the Doctoral Supervisory Committee and Graduate Student Representative Prior to the General Examination
The Graduate Program Assistant will send the names of the doctoral Supervisory Committee members to the Dean of the Graduate School . The department recommends that the doctoral Supervisory Committee be established within two (2) quarters of completing requirements for the MA. The Graduate School certifies that the faculty named to the student's supervisory committee are Graduate Faculty. Students are officially admitted to the doctoral program by the Graduate School only after they have officially established their doctoral Supervisory Committee.
Graduate School Representative (GSR)
GSRs are selected by the student in consultation with the committee chair and/or the Graduate Program Coordinator. All endorsed Graduate Faculty, with the exception of affiliates, are eligible to serve as GSRs. GSR assignments are unlimited with the exception that faculty are limited to no more than four concurrent appointments within a specific department.
The GSR is a voting member on a doctoral committee whose responsibilities are to:
hold an Endorsement to Chair a doctoral supervisory committee;
represent the broad concerns of the University with respect to high standards of scholarly performance;
provide, for The Graduate School, a non-specialist's view of the quality of the student's work, ensuring that the student's mastery of the subject matter is broad and comprehensive;
assure that all procedures are carried out fairly and according to the guidelines of The Graduate School;
present no conflict of interest with the departments of either the student or the supervisory committee chair (dissertation advisor). Such conflicts could include budgetary relationships, primary or joint appointments in common with primary or adjunct appointments. Shared adjunct appointments are permissible;
participate in conducting both the General and Final examinations;
provide a report to The Graduate School immediately following the examinations (this form is sent to the GSR one week prior to the examination along with an explanation of examination responsibilities).
To ensure that your chosen GSR is a member of the Graduate Faculty and does not hold an appointment that would be considered a conflict of interest with your chair, check the faculty name in the Graduate School faculty locator at this address: http://www.grad.washington.edu/gradfac/
General Examination (Dissertation Prospectus Defense)
Successful completion of both the comprehensive examination and defense of the dissertation prospectus constitute advancement to candidacy (Ph.C.) for the doctoral student.
Dissertation Prospectus Writing (POLS 800)
Following the comprehensive examination , students are allowed up to two (2) quarters to write their dissertation prospectus (summer quarter excluded.) During this time students may register for up to 10 credits per quarter (for a maximum of 20 credits prior to advancement to candidacy) of POL S 800 . In reviewing the student's dissertation prospectus , the doctoral Supervisory Committee assesses the feasibility of the proposed research, its theoretical and methodological soundness, and attempts to anticipate problems the student may encounter in completing the research. Students may need to prepare several drafts of their prospectus before their faculty supervisor approves it.
Scheduling the General Examination
Once the supervising faculty has approved the prospectus, it must be defended before the full doctoral Supervisory Committee, including the Graduate School Representative (GSR ) (within two academic quarters of the comprehensive examination ). At this time the student must apply on-line for the Warrant for the General Examination from the Graduate School 's web site . Students are responsible for scheduling the defense with their committee members. The student can not apply on-line until all committee members agree to the date, time, and place of the exam. It is recommended that students seek the agreement of the GSR after discussing an exam date with the student's committee Chair . Students are expected to provide a copy of their prospectus to all members of their committee prior to the defense. The GSR should receive an examination format description and any general materials, i.e., an outline of the research presentation. At the conclusion of a successful defense, the full committee will indicate acceptance of the prospectus and recommendation for advancement to candidacy . In cases where the prospectus is not accepted and advancement is not recommended, students will be informed of the reasons and if appropriate given provisions for re-writing the prospectus and re-scheduling the defense.
The Doctoral Dissertation/Final Examination
Course Credit (POLS 800)
The doctoral Supervisory Committee Chair normally takes responsibility for the reasonable progress of the dissertation, although other members of the Committee can, at any time, participate in its preparation. Candidates will register for POL S 800 until s/he successfully defends the dissertation. A candidate must have a minimum of 27 credits of 800-dissertation writing prior to scheduling the Final Examination .
The dissertation should demonstrate original research and reflect mastery of research techniques as well as selection of an important problem/topic for investigation. The Graduate School publishes an on-line guide, Style and Policy Manual for Theses and Dissertations . Students will need title and signature pages reviewed prior to final submission . These pages should be emailed to the Graduate Education Services and a student can expect a response within five business days.
Prior to scheduling a Final Examination, you must designate a reading committee consisting of at least three voting members of a supervisory committee. It is the responsibility of a reading committee to (a) ensure that the dissertation is a significant contribution to knowledge and is an acceptable piece of scholarly writing; (b) determine the appropriateness of a candidate's dissertation as a basis for issuing a warrant for a Final Examination; (c) approve a candidate's dissertation and; (d) sign two original Signature Pages that are placed within a dissertation after all revisions are completed. The GPA must submit the names of your Reading Committee to the Graduate School prior to your application for the exam warrant.
When the doctoral Supervisory Committee agrees that the student should schedule the final examination, the student must coordinate the date, time and place with all committee members. Then the student applies for the Warrant for the Final Exam on-line at the Graduate School 's web site. If the candidate has met all other requirements, the Graduate School issues a warrant authorizing the Final Examination. Following a successful defense of the dissertation, the Supervisory Committee signs the Final Examination warrant. The signed warrant must be submitted to the Graduate Program Assistant and conveyed to the Graduate School by the end of the quarter in which the Final Examination took place. If the Final Examination is unsatisfactory, the Committee may recommend that the Dean of the Graduate School permit a second examination after a period of additional preparation. Students must be registered the quarter they take their Final Examination .
Submitting the DissertationThe doctoral candidate has sixty (60) days after the Final Examination in which to submit the dissertation to the Graduate School . Registration as a graduate student or payment of the Graduate School Registration Waiver Fee is required the quarter the dissertation is submitted and the degree conferred. If a student elects to pay the fee they have less time to submit the completed dissertation. See http://www.grad.washington.edu/area/regwaiver.html for information about the Graduate School policy.
Prior to Final Examination/PhD:
______ Complete a minimum of 27 credits of POLS 800 dissertation writing (minimum established by the Graduate School ). You must be registered the quarter you defend.
______ Establish Reading Committee.
______ Submit a final draft of the dissertation to your committee within five (5) weeks of expected defense date.
______ Apply on line for the Request for Final Examination form to the Graduate School at least 3 weeks prior to the final defense date.
______ Sit for the defense and at its successful conclusion submit the signed warrant to the Graduate Program Assistant by the end of the quarter in which the Final Examination took place.
Duration of graduate programs
The University requires all work for the PhD to be completed within ten years . Most students complete the MA in two years and the PhD within five to seven years from the date of entrance. The department expects every student to make “satisfactory progress” toward a degree; if in the judgment of the Graduate Program Coordinator and the Chair of the student's committee, the student is not making adequate progress, disciplinary action may be recommended. Every student should have a clear understanding with his/her committee chair regarding the dates s/he intends to complete the various degree requirements.
Satisfactory Progress Deadlines
The following deadlines should be met as evidence of satisfactory progress in the program.
1. By the end of your 3 rd quarter (end of your first academic year):
Establish your Chair or Interim Advisor and choose two fields of study for the M.A. Submit the Notification of Advisor Appointment form to the GPA by the date announced in the beginning of spring quarter. You are strongly encouraged but not required to establish your Master's Supervisory Committee.
2. By the end of your 6 th quarter (excluding summer): Complete the Masters requirements and defend your MA Essay of Distinction.
3. By the end of two quarters following completion of the M.A.: Establish your three fields of study and the three-member supervisory committee who will serve as your examiners in these fields.
4. By the end of nine quarters in residence, or third year: Complete the course requirements for three fields and establish the reading lists for three fields. Submit the “The Written Exam Reading Lists Agreement” and “The Program Worksheet for PhD Requirements” to the Graduate Program Assistant.
5. By the end of your tenth quarter or beginning of your fourth year:
Complete your Comprehensive (written) exams in three fields and your Oral exam.
6. By the end of two quarters following the Comprehensive Exams: Complete and defend the dissertation prospectus. This is the General Examination that determines advancement to candidacy.
7. It is generally expected that the dissertation will be completed and successfully defended within two years of advancing to candidacy (Ph.C.) .
Grade Point Average
Students must maintain a 3.0 graduate GPA to remain in graduate standing. When a student's graduate GPA falls below this minimum, the Graduate School will send the department a “low scholarship” notice. It is then up to the Graduate Program Coordinator to decide whether the department will recommend disciplinary action. It is departmental policy that students must receive at least a 2.7 in all courses satisfying the requirements of their degree program.
Two incompletes shall be permitted at the time of the MA examination and three incompletes at the time of the PhD examination. However, the MA and Ph.C. examinations cannot be scheduled until all I and X grades in the courses necessary to fulfill degree requirements are changed to permanent grades.
Disciplinary Action - Reference Graduate School Memorandum #16.
Disciplinary action may include any or all of the following: departmental warning, Graduate School warning, probation, final probation, dismissal. The Graduate Program Coordinator in consultation with the Chair of the student's supervisory committee issues warnings and probationary actions. Final probation and dismissal are recommended by the student's committee and implemented by the Department's Graduate Program Coordinator.
Students will be warned if
1. their cumulative graduate GPA falls below 3.0 and/or
2. they are not making satisfactory progress in fulfilling the departmental degree program requirements as outlined in this guide.
If the deficiencies which caused the warn action are not corrected during the quarter following the warning, then probation may be recommended. Probationary status length is usually no more than two academic quarters. Final probation is recommended if the deficiencies are not corrected during the probation period. Final probation status length is one academic quarter. If the student fails to correct the deficiencies, then a drop recommendation is made. Students on probation or final probation status must concentrate on their own studies and are ineligible for any departmental financial aid.
Students may appeal the decisions of their supervisory committee, or the Graduate Program Coordinator. If the student remains dissatisfied, s/he may appeal the change of status decision directly to the Chair of the Political Science Department. Appeals beyond this point must follow the process laid out in Graduate School Memorandum No. 33, Academic Grievance Procedures.
The department takes the issue of plagiarism very seriously. Suspected cases of plagiarism should be reported to the Graduate Program Coordinator and a student's committee chair.
Students in the graduate program are expected to adhere to the university's guidelines for student conduct, including its policies on plagiarism. These can be found on the university's webpage at: http://www.washington.edu/students/handbook/conduct.html . The procedures for handling cases of plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct are contained in the University Handbook, Volume 4, Part 9, Chapter 1 and in WAC Chapter 478-120.
Plagiarism is an important educational issue and eliminating it is critical to the integrity of graduate education.
Graduate courses are numbered 500 through 800. Approved 400-level courses are accepted as part of graduate coursework in major as well as supporting fields. Graduate students must be registered full-time (10) credits each quarter (except summer) if they have a Graduate Student Appointment (GSA) as a TA, RA or Student Adviser. Students are encouraged to meet with the Graduate Coordinator or their supervisory committee chair prior to each academic year to determine a course of study for that year, and to monitor progress in the program.
Students not in residence (not registered for one or more quarters, excluding summer) must apply for on-leave status from the University or they will be processed by the Registration Office as having resigned from the university. The Graduate Program Coordinator shall approve the student's request for on-leave status. Approval of on-leave status will not normally be given to students who are beyond the time limit set for completion of the MA or PhD, are not making satisfactory progress, or are not in good standing in the program . Students with on-leave status who wish to re-enroll must e-mail the Graduate Program Assistant, and register before the deadline specified for the particular quarter for which the student seeks to register. The on-leave petition is available electronically on the Graduate School web site. The quarter deadlines are found in the academic calendar available from the Registrar's web site.
Continuous Enrollment Status
In order to be eligible to register, a student must maintain continuous graduate student enrollment status; this is accomplished by being enrolled for regular academic quarters or officially on-leave for any regular academic quarter. All graduate students are automatically placed on-leave in the summer if they were registered spring quarter. Failure to register or go on-leave officially the following quarter will constitute evidence that you have resigned from the Graduate School . If you do not maintain continuous enrollment status, you will have to re-apply to the Graduate School and pay application fees and in some cases late-registration fees.
See the Travel section in Office Policies and Procedures.
Recommendations for continued funding are made by the Graduate Financial Aid Committee to the Department Chair. Applications are called for typically in mid April, and consistent with the ASE agreement, final award notices are normally provided by 1 June. Eligibility for continued funding is determined by the number of years that one has been in the program. Students who are offered funding upon admissions are funded for up to five years from the quarter that they first enroll in the program.
The committee considers the following criteria when evaluating applications:
1) Academic performance, as indicated by satisfactory progress toward the degree (see the Graduate Handbook for guidelines) and satisfactory academic performance in the Department (for which key concerns are incompletes and GPA);
2) For students who have had TA appointments, evaluations of performance, with an emphasis on recent appointments. Evaluations are based on the Student Evaluation of Instruction summaries provided by the Office of Educational Assessment and written instructor evaluations.
The relevant principles are:
1) Appointments and re-appointments are primarily based upon academic and TA-related performance in the graduate program at the University of Washington.
2) If a student has sufficient remaining quarters “guaranteed”, re-appointment as a TA for the same number of quarters as awarded in previous years can be expected if a student demonstrates satisfactory progress toward the degree, maintains good academic standing, and performs satisfactorily as a TA.
3) Students who have held departmental fellowships or research assistantships but no teaching assistantships are considered for appointment to teaching assistantships under the re-appointment policy.
4) According to departmental policy, all doctoral students must have at least one quarter of teaching experience, or its equivalent, before the dissertation defense and degree completion.
5) In keeping with university policy, all TA awards are subject to the availability of sufficient resources.
TA Awards and Alternates
There are two types of awards:
1) An offer of placement as a TA or other instructional support role for one to three quarters (known as guaranteed quarters), or
2) Placement on an alternate list for one to three quarters of TA eligibility. As resources become available, the department offers TA employment to students on this list. Financial support for students on the alternate list is therefore determined by the number of TA positions that are available, the fit of teaching positions with teaching profiles of students, and by a student's performance in previous assignment.
In addition to appointment as a TA, acceptance of guaranteed or alternate quarters constitutes a willingness to serve in other instructional support roles. Declination of an instructional support role constitutes declination of a TA position for the quarter(s) in question. These alternatives include, but are not limited to:
1) Serving as the Lead-TA, subject to eligibility for full funding.
2) Serving as an instructor for a writing-link course;
3) Serving as the service learning TA;
4) Offering an independent course (for advanced students only);
5) Serving as an undergraduate advisor.
The department must request resident and non-resident tuition waivers for all students receiving departmental funding. Because the WA State Legislature restricts the number of non-resident tuition waivers available to the university, students who are eligible for Washington residence but do not apply for resident status in a timely manner are jeopardizing their chances of receiving future non-resident tuition waivers. It is therefore especially important that you obtain state resident status if you are eligible [For more information visit the WA state residency website: http://www.washington.edu/students/reg/residency.html . For residence reclassification forms contact the Residence Classification Office, 209 Schmitz Hall, 543-4188].
Policies Regarding Extensions of Eligibility for Aid and “Double Dipping”
The Financial Aid Committee will normally grant an extension of eligibility if breaks in TA service during the time of eligibility are directly related to the completion of one's graduate program. Student-initiated and externally-funded research is typically viewed as a favorable basis for extending eligibility, especially if the leave is for dissertation research involving field work prior to the end of the 5-year eligibility period. Research assistantships, FLAS, NSF, or other training grants are not normally a basis for extending eligibility, as they are aimed at basic skill acquisition and carry the added incentive of freeing up time from teaching duties. Extensions are for a maximum of one academic year and may be granted for a partial academic year. The committee considers eligibility extensions on a case-by-case basis during what would normally be a student's last year of eligibility.
If you plan to seek an extension of eligibility, attach a letter to your TA application explaining the nature of your leave of absence and grounds for extension.
The department strongly discourages student acceptance of teaching assistantships while also accepting external research or training grants.