Undergraduate Academic Advising Council Recommendations on Academic
Progress of UW-Seattle Undergraduates
The Undergraduate Academic Advising Council was charged by the Subcommittee of Academic
Programs of the Faculty Council on Academic Standards (SCAP) to revisit a policy suggestion made by
SCAP regarding academic progress of undergraduates.
These recommendations attempt to balance the University’s limited educational resources against the
desire to provide high quality educational experiences to students. Excessive accumulation of credits does
not serve the institutional goals granting timely degrees to current students or providing access for
prospective students. The current satisfactory progress policy as outlined in the UW Handbook Volume
4, Part III, Chapter 20 reads:
Students admitted to the University to pursue baccalaureate degrees are expected to make satisfactory
progress toward the attainment of that degree, and are expected to enter a major and graduate after a
reasonable number of credits.
A. By the time undergraduate students have completed 105 credits, they either must be accepted in
their major or have their pre-major status extended temporarily by an adviser.
B. Students shall graduate with their first baccalaureate by the time they have completed 30 credits
beyond the credits required for the first degree or concurrent degrees. Departmental advisers may
grant extensions beyond the 30 credit limit.
C. Postbaccalaureate students are expected to be preparing for admission into a degree program,
seeking an additional bachelor's degree, or working toward a certificate. Students admitted as
"postbaccalaureate-undeclared" must declare a major by the time they have earned 30 credits
beyond their last degree, and once a degree objective has been declared, must make progress
toward that degree as evidenced by the courses they have completed satisfactorily. College
advisers may grant extensions beyond the 30 credit limit.
D. Students who do not declare a major by the time they have earned 105 credits, or who have
exceeded the graduation credit limits, or who have not been accepted in a major as fifth- year or
postbaccalaureate students, will have a "hold" placed against registration, beginning the following
E. The Committee on Admissions and Academic Standards may terminate a student's enrollment
if the student demonstrates lack of academic progress as evidenced by repeated course(s) or
University withdrawals and cancellations. The student may be reinstated with the approval of the
student's college and the Committee. EOP students may be reinstated in consultation with the
Office of Minority Affairs.
However, the Seattle campus lacks campus-wide guidelines governing time to degree with respect to
double majors, double degrees, and minors. Many departments and advisers consequently feel that they
have no grounds for disallowing a student to declare a second major or switch majors very late, even
when it will entail excessive credits for degree completion. Some departments try to enforce credit
restrictions, only to be foiled when the student adds a second major in another department.
The UAAC makes the following recommendations regarding procedural changes
1. Item D in the current policy authorizes a hold to be placed after a student has completed 30 credits
beyond the credits required for the first degree. The hold is currently placed when a student has earned
210 credits and does not have a graduation application on file for the current quarter. If the goal of the
satisfactory progress requirement is to have students graduate by the time they earn 210 credits, a hold
placed at this point is too late to impact the student’s planning. Therefore we recommend that the hold
be placed at 180 credits, provided that colleges or individual departments, with the dean’s approval,
are able place holds later if their degree requires in excess of 180 credits.
2. In order to declare a double major, a student must prepare an academic plan that demonstrates
requirements for both majors will be completed by the time the student has earned 180 credits. The
plan must be approved by academic advisers in both departments. In the circumstance that both
departments do not approve the plan, or if the plan will require in excess of 210 credits, the request
will be forwarded to the dean or dean's designee for further consideration.
3. In order to declare a double degree, a student must prepare an academic plan that demonstrates
requirements for both degrees will be completed by the time the student has earned 225 credits. The
plan must be approved by dean or dean's designee for the college/s awarding the degrees. If the plan
requires in excess of 240 credits, the request will be forwarded to the dean or dean’s designee for
4. Students wanting to change degree programs after having earned 135 credits may be required by the
targeted department to submit a plan that demonstrates requirements of the new degree will be
completed by the time the student has earned 210 credits. If the plan will require in excess of 210
credits, the student may be denied admission even if other admission criteria have been satisfied. A
decision to deny a student admission to a degree program under these circumstances may be appealed
by the student to the dean or dean’s designee.
5. Minors are currently open for students to declare at any time without adviser approval. Adding a
minor late in a student’s program and/or the need to complete minor requirements is sometimes used
by students to justify extending the number of credits they earn prior to graduation. Therefore, it is
recommended that the following restrictions be added to the process of declaring a minor: If a student
is already in a major, the adviser for that major (or both advisers in the case of a double major or
double degree) must provide approval to add the minor. The request to add a minor may be denied if
the minor will require the student to exceed 180 credits.
6. We recommend that a “satisfactory progress credit total” be created that is used exclusively for
warnings and registration holds. A significant number of students enter the University with a high
number of AP and IB credits that may or may not contribute to individual degree plans. Thus, AP and
IB should not count toward the “satisfactory progress credit total.”
7. We recommend that individual departments pursue creation of specific satisfactory progress policies
to facilitate timely degree completion and allow appropriate access for students seeking degrees.