AP 303-22: Graduate Students

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Academics & Research – Academics & Instruction

Academic Policy 303-22 Authority: University President
Effective: June 30, 2023 Proponent: Academic Senate

Summary:  This policy prescribes requirements and standards for graduate students of Eastern Washington University.

History: This policy was recommended for approval by the Academic Senate on May 1, 2023, and approved by the University President on June 30, 2023. This policy supersedes the previous policy dated May 25, 2022.


All applicants for graduate admission, enrollment, and/or attendance at Eastern Washington University must meet minimum education and character requirements.
1-1. Education
Graduate degree specializations must be built upon adequate undergraduate preparation. A baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited college or university is required for admission to a graduate program and/or enrollment in any graduate level classes at Eastern. Accredited refers to regional accreditation in the United States or equivalent process in other countries. Exceptions for certain senior students are provided under section 2-4. International applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Applied baccalaureate (BAS) degrees from two-year and four-year colleges and universities, authorized to offer such degrees, are considered acceptable for admission to the Graduate School. However, specific programs may:
a. Choose not to accept applied baccalaureate degree applicants; or
b. Require prerequisite coursework as a condition of admission.
1-2. Character
All applicants must demonstrate sufficient maturity and discipline as are considered necessary for attending and participating in a collegiate environment. The appropriate Vice Provost or designee shall make final determinations as to whether an applicant meets these requirements. To meet character eligibility requirements, each applicant must:
a. display competence to profit from the curricular offerings of the university; and,
b. Demonstrate sufficient maturity such that his or her presence or conduct will not create a disruptive atmosphere within the university.
c. Demonstrate the ability to comply with the requirements of the Student Conduct Code.
Applicants/students who exhibit a pattern of behavior or conduct that is contrary to EWU’s Student Conduct Code may be denied admission, enrollment, and/or attendance.
1-3. Graduate Programs Office
The Graduate Programs Office oversees all policies and procedures for graduate education and is the clearinghouse for admissions, candidacy, degree completion and academic appeals.


2-1. General
The Graduate Programs Office coordinates admission for all graduate student applicants. General admission requirements are provided in this policy; however, individual programs may establish individual requirements. The Graduate Programs Office is the final authority for information related to graduate admission and graduate programs.
2-2. Admission Requirements
Admission to a graduate program requires the following:
a. Evidence of scholarly ability as indicated by a minimum grade point average of 3.0 from the degree bearing transcript used for admissions. Applicants may request an additional calculated GPA based on the most recently completed 90 quarter credits or 60 semester credits. Applicants with earned graduate or professional degrees from appropriately accredited institutions are judged, by their academic accomplishments, to show evidence of student preparedness generally equivalent to these minimum admission standards.
b. A cumulative minimum GPA of 3.0 in all post- baccalaureate course work, if any.
c. English language proficiency (see §2-5).
d. Recommendation of admission by the appropriate graduate program.
e. Approval by the appropriate Vice Provost or designee.
f. If required by the program, acceptable scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), or other standard test.
2-3. Scholarly Ability Exceptions
a. 10% Exception Admission: Up to 10% of the qualified applicants for admission to graduate study may be admitted as exceptions to the requirements listed in §2.2. A degree-offering unit may take into account the following factors as alternative admission criteria for recommendation of admission as a 10% exception:
(1) An applicant’s performance in proceeding through an undergraduate degree program:
⦁ An applicant’s demonstrated improvement, over time, of his or her grade point average, even though the calculated average might remain below 3.0
⦁ An applicant’s satisfactory completion of upper division courses that provide necessary background for graduate study in the discipline.
(2) Interview(s) of the applicant by the departmental admission committee:
⦁ An applicant’s demonstration of qualities such as maturity, motivation and commitment to graduate study
⦁ An applicant’s description of additional qualifications for programs which seek to attract students with professional experience as well as academic credentials.
(3) Written and oral recommendations from persons who are qualified to evaluate the applicant’s academic record, relevant experience or academic potential.
(4) A portfolio of the applicant’s work which demonstrates productivity and expertise relevant to the discipline.
(5) Scores on relevant standardized tests.
b. Weights given to the various factors under section 2-3a as justifications for recommending 10% exception admission may vary among academic units.
c. Special Clienteles: Upon approval of the Student Achievement Council, programs serving special clienteles may be exempted from the GPA requirement defined in section 2-2a. Alternative and demanding admission standards will be established for the exempted programs.
d. Professional Experience: Applicants with at least 10 years of increasingly responsible professional experience in a field directly related to the graduate program to which they seek admission may be considered for regular admission to Graduate Programs. These applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university and must meet the following requirements:
(1) Submit transcripts showing a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in the last 90 quarter or 60 semester graded credits of postsecondary academic course work; or submit satisfactory scores on the GRE, GMAT or other approved test.
(2) Submit to the academic unit offering the program an essay demonstrating critical thinking skills; or submit a statement of intent demonstrating a level of knowledge and intellectual maturity appropriate to the proposed field of graduate study; or submit to the academic unit offering the program evidence of professional success in a field relevant to the proposed area of study.
e. Applicants for admission under the professional experience provision must work closely with the program advisor or director to ensure that all required materials are received and reviewed. Any recommendation for admission under this provision must come from the academic department or program to the Graduate Programs Office. Additional details related to this program may be provided in the Annual Catalog.
2-4. Undergraduate Enrollment / Admissions
a. Undergraduate students with senior standing may enroll in 500-level graduate courses subject to the following provisions:
(1) A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25
(2) Permission of the chair or designee of the department offering the course
(3) Permission of the appropriate Vice Provost or designee
b. Applying Credits to a Graduate Program: Graduate courses taken as an undergraduate may be applied to a graduate degree program at Eastern subject to the following provisions:
(1) Such courses cannot be applied to the student’s undergraduate education.
(2) Prior permission of the appropriate Vice Provost or designee.
(3) Applying such courses to a graduate program is subject to all other graduate regulations, including a limitation of 12 credits which may be applied toward a degree program before admission to the program.
(4) Courses similarly taken for “graduate credit” at other institutions may also be applied to graduate degree programs at Eastern, subject to all other graduate regulations.
c. Admission to Graduate Program: Undergraduate students may not be formally admitted into a graduate program until they finish their undergraduate degree. Permanent exceptions to this policy, for example to allow 3+2 programs in which a student is simultaneously finishing an undergraduate degree and doing graduate work, may be requested by graduate programs through request to the Graduate Affairs Council (GAC); the list of eligible programs is maintained by Graduate Programs Office. All of the usual requirements of the graduate program apply. Only courses completed before baccalaureate degree completion that have been previously designated as for ‘graduate credit’ may be applied to a graduate degree program.
2-5. English Language Proficiency
Students, whose first language is not English or who did not graduate with a bachelors, masters, or equivalent degree from an accredited institution where English was the language of instruction, are required to submit English language test scores. All applicants must meet all other admission requirements in addition to the English language proficiency (ELP) requirement in order to be admitted.
a. The ELP requirement may be satisfied by submitting an official score report showing any of the following English language test scores.





Minimum Score 550 80 59 6.0
Recommended score 580 92 63 7.0


1. An applicant who does not meet the minimum score will not be considered admissible by the Graduate Programs Office.
2. The Graduate Programs Office does not offer conditional admissions.
3. An applicant who has attained the recommended score has satisfied the Graduate Programs Offices’ ELP requirement.
4. An admitted applicant below the recommended score will be required to enroll in and successfully complete EWU’s Academic English Program (AEP).
5. Individual Graduate programs may require a higher minimum English language test score for admission than listed above with the approval of the Global Programs Academic Committee and the Graduate Affairs Council.
2-6. Graduate Certificate Programs
The prerequisites and general criteria of eligibility for admission to any graduate certificate program include:
a. An earned baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from a regionally accredited college or university. International applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
b. Minimum grade point average, minimum TOEFL scores, standardized test scores as set by each program; whether or not certificate courses may be counted towards a related master’s degree program and other similar criteria as part of the application.
c. Graduate students who are currently enrolled in a graduate program of study leading to a degree, and who wish to pursue a simultaneous graduate certificate within Graduate Studies must inform the program coordinator of the certificate program in question and the Graduate Programs Office.
d. An application for Graduate Studies is required. Students who are currently enrolled in Graduate Studies and who wish to pursue approved graduate certificate programs must apply for admission to such programs before one-half of the required credits are completed. The appropriate Vice Provost or designee, upon request by the certificate program coordinator, may grant exceptions to this policy. Certificate-seeking graduate students who are not currently enrolled in a master’s program will be admitted into a separate classification, as “Certificate Graduate” students, as defined by the Graduate Affairs Council. The Graduate Programs Office will note successful completion of a certificate program on the student’s transcript upon completion.
e. A maximum of 40% of the credit hours towards any certificate program may be accepted as transfer credit per the approval of the certificate program director.
f. Students pursuing a graduate certificate will be required to meet the same academic requirements as those defined for degree-seeking students.
A Certificate Graduate student may enroll on either a part-time or a full-time basis, as determined by the certificate program coordinator. Students enrolled on a full-time basis will have access to many of the same campus services as other full-time graduate students.
They also may be considered for merit-based financial aid by the department or program, as well as for need-based financial aid by the Financial Aid Office pursuant to Federal regulations, but at a reduced priority compared to degree-seeking students.
2-7. Registration
Requirements for class registration may vary between classes and between students.
2-8. Non-matriculated Students
Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution may apply for non-degree (non-matriculated) graduate enrollment. The following restrictions apply:
a. Enrollment is restricted to 500 level courses, or below, subject to both program and instructor approval. Enrollment also is subject to any course or program pre-requisite requirements.
b. Non-degree students are eligible to enroll for up to one year (renewable), and are not eligible for financial aid.
c. Non-degree seeking graduate students pay graduate tuition.
d. Non-degree status is not available for anyone holding an F-1 visa status nor will non-degree applicants be issued an I-20 by the EWU Graduate Programs Office.
Non-degree graduate status is intended for students who do not wish to pursue a graduate degree, or a graduate certificate, and is not to be used for probationary status for those seeking admission to graduate study. However, students may apply at any time for an advanced degree by following the graduate admissions requirements.
The restriction on 12 pre-admission credits and the six-year time-limit to complete a degree apply to any credits earned before admission to a graduate degree program.
Enrollment as a non-degree-seeking student does not guarantee admission to graduate studies. Anyone seeking undergraduate non-degree enrollment must apply separately through the Undergraduate Admissions Office.


3-1. Program Requirements
Each graduate program at the University has specific requirements related to curriculum, course levels, credits, exams, thesis and similar items. Many of these program requirements are outlined in the annual Catalog. Additional and/or revised program requirements may be found in program handbooks, or through EagleNET, Records and Registration, or the university website. The graduate catalog, however, should be considered the definitive source of specific program requirements.
3-2. Exceptions
Students may request exceptions to program requirements through the academic department chair, the graduate program director, the Academic Appeals Board, or the appropriate Vice Provost or designee– depending on the nature of the exception requested.
a. The Academic Appeals Board will consider graduate student requests for exceptions related to previous graduate credit (see section 3-3).
b. The appropriate Vice Provost or designee will consider student appeals of graduate policies and procedures (also see section 1-3).
c. All appeals of academic requirements must be brought first to the department chair or program director.
3-3. Transfer Credits
a. Students may include in a graduate degree program, from any regionally accredited college or university, a maximum of 12 quarter or nine semester department- or program-approved pre- admission credits not used toward an undergraduate degree.
b. Exceptions to this policy can be made by the Academic Appeals Board in rare and special circumstances. Request for exceptions must be made in writing by the student and the program advisor to the Academic Appeals Board. However, in no case may credit be granted for experiential learning which occurred before the student’s matriculation into the graduate degree program.
(1) To request a reconsideration of a denial, an interview with the Academic Appeals Board must be scheduled at which the student and program advisor appear together to present their case.
(2) Permanent exceptions which have previously been granted by the Graduate Affairs Council include:
(a) With program approval, Master of Social Work degree students completing their first year of graduate study elsewhere may be admitted directly into the second year of the two-year MSW program with the stipulation they complete at least 50% of the required total program credit requirements at Eastern Washington University.
(b) Students admitted to the Master of Education degree program in French (Nice program only) may apply 15 pre-admission quarter credits toward the required 48 quarter credits.
(c) With program approval, Master of Arts in International Business and Economics degree students at the University of Applied Sciences Schmalkalden (FhS) in Schmalkalden, Germany will transfer into Eastern Washington University (EWU) 24 quarter credits from this MA program into the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at EWU. These students will complete 24 quarter credits at EWU to complete the requirements for the EWU MBA degree.
(d) With program approval, students in the Ed.S. in School Psychology Re- specialization Program may transfer into Eastern Washington University (EWU) up to 50% of the total program credits required at Eastern Washington University. These credits are exempt from meeting the 6-year time-limit described in section 4-3.
c. Graduate credit may be granted for internships, field experiences and clinical practices that are an integral part of the graduate degree program. Credit may not be granted for experiential learning which occurred before the student’s matriculation into the graduate degree program. Unless the graduate student’s faculty advisor structures the current learning experience and monitors and assesses the learning and its outcomes, no graduate credit is granted for current learning experiences external to the student’s formal graduate program.
3-4. Minimum Credit Requirements
The minimum credits needed to complete a graduate degree are as follows:

Educational Specialist 90 qtr cr
Master of Science 48 qtr cr
Master of Education 49 qtr cr
Master of Business Administration 44 qtr cr
Master of Arts 48 qtr cr
Master of Public Administration 60 qtr cr
Masters of Professional Accounting 36 qtr cr
Master of Fine Arts 72 qtr cr
Master of Urban & Regional Planning 72 qtr cr
Master of Social Work 90 qtr cr
Master of Social Work – Advanced Standing 51 qtr cr
Master of Occupational Therapy 81 sem cr
Master of Occupational Therapy – Advanced Standing 46 sem cr
Doctor of Physical Therapy 108 sem cr


Newly proposed graduate programs (certificates or Masters) at EWU must have credit loads commensurate with comparable graduate degree programs in the discipline at other institutions.
3-5. Multiple Master’s Degrees
Students who have earned one master’s degree may be awarded another master’s degree when they have completed the requirements for the second degree as set forth in the Graduate Catalog. Students must meet all of the requirements of the second master’s degree including course work, tests, thesis, foreign language, experience, age of credits, departmental recommendations, and other requirements as specified. Students may apply a maximum of 12 department/program credits from one master’s degree or degree program to a second or additional master’s degree.
3-6. Dual Master’s Degrees
Students who enroll in the Master of Public Administration degree program may choose the dual degree option with any one of three other programs: the Master of Business Administration, Master of Urban and Regional Planning or Master of Social Work. Upon the completion of specified requirements for each of the degree programs, the student will be granted two master’s degrees.
3-7. 3+2 and 4+1 Undergraduate/Graduate Programs
A 3+2 or 4+1 program allows undergraduate students to be recommended for admission and to begin coursework for a graduate program before completing their final year of their undergraduate degree. The sum total of credits of undergraduate and graduate credits for such a program must not be fewer than combined state requirement for a bachelor’s and master’s degree (under WAC 250-61-050). Such programs must have credit loads commensurate with comparable graduate degree programs in the discipline at other institutions. Students are not admitted to the graduate program until they have completed the minimum state requirement for a bachelor’s degree and the degree has been awarded. Graduate level coursework used toward the bachelor’s degree cannot be counted toward the graduate degree.
All 3+2 programs must be approved by GAC CPAC and request an exception to Academic Policy 303-22, 2-4c.
3-8. Appeals to Academic Program Requirements
Student appeals to academic requirements under this chapter must be addressed to the Graduate Programs Office. The written appeal should be initiated by the student and supported by the appropriate graduate program advisor or director. The appeal document must contain adequate justification which demonstrates that the student possesses sufficient outstanding qualities to balance identified weaknesses.


4-1. Academic Standards & Probation
a. Graduate students must maintain a cumulative
3.0 GPA in all courses completed since admission to graduate studies at EWU.
b. Students who fall below a cumulative 3.0 GPA will be placed on probation.
c. The Graduate Programs Office shall provide written notification of placement on probationary status to both the student and the student’s graduate program director if the student does not meet the requirements of this section. Programs may also place a student on probation for not meeting the program’s academic requirements and are responsible for providing the student with written notification of their probation in such cases.
d. The student has the right to appeal to the department program advisor on any action taken with respect to this probationary process.
e. One quarter is allowed to restore the cumulative GPA to the minimum 3.0.
f. Faculty of the department offering the degree, with the approval of the Graduate Programs Office, may extend the probationary period by one quarter, when warranted by special circumstances.
g. Students on probation may not be advanced to candidacy or schedule their comprehensive exams.
h. Students unable to restore their cumulative GPA to 3.0 or above in the additional quarter of probation shall be dismissed from the program.
i. Individual departments/programs may have requirements that are more restrictive. Such requirements supersede those stated here.
j. Students who have been academically dismissed from a graduate program for failure to meet the 3.0 cumulative GPA requirement may reapply for admission. In addition to the application for readmission to the Graduate Programs Office and meeting all admission requirements specified by the program, applicants who have been dismissed must also submit a written petition to the program stating their readiness to pursue the degree and addressing the circumstances that led to dismissal. Applicants who are then readmitted will be allowed to register for one quarter only. At the end of the initial quarter, continuation is contingent upon recommendation from the program and the approval of the appropriate Vice Provost or designee. Students who have been readmitted will have up to two quarters to return to good academic standing with a cumulative graduate GPA of at least 3.0. Extensions of probationary status may be approved on the written recommendation of the program and with the approval of the appropriate Vice Provost or designee. Students who are not recommended for continuation are not eligible for one year to reapply for admission to graduate study. [§ 6.5 verbatim]. Re-application does not guarantee re-admission.
4-2. Program Dismissals
Individual departments/programs may have their own academic and behavioral standards for students in their respective programs. If a student fails to meet those standards, the student may be dismissed from the program in accordance with the terms of the handbook for such program. The department will provide the student with written notice of the deficiencies and the basis for removing them from the program.
If a student disagrees with a department or program’s decision to dismiss them from the program, the student may file a written appeal within 21 calendar days of issuance of the department/program’s decision. The appeal shall be filed with the Graduate Programs Office. Appeals will be reviewed by the appeal authority as defined in the program handbook. The appeal authority will review the information submitted by the student and the information the department considered when making the decision to dismiss the student. After reviewing all of the materials, the appeal authority will issue a written decision with rationale. This decision will be communicated to the student and the department. There is no further right to appeal.
4-3. Coursework Requirements
a. Program requirements shall not be satisfied with any course credit in which a grade below C is earned. Only two courses in a student’s degree program may be below a grade of B-. Courses with a grade lower than a B- may be repeated. Only the higher grade will count toward the cumulative GPA. Individual departments/programs may have requirements that are more restrictive; such requirements would supersede those stated here.
b. Students are expected to successfully complete courses for which they register. The record of any student with more than two no-credit (NC) grades in their program will be reviewed by the program advisor with possible termination of the program as a consequence.
c. Pass/No Credit grades are utilized only in designated graduate level courses. The P/NC grade is mandatory for all students enrolled in courses so designated by departments. Students may count P/NC graded courses in their graduate degree work, but they must complete at least 75% of the quarter credits required for the program as graded work. Upper division courses (300-400) with P/NC grades cannot be included as part of a graduate degree program.
d. At least 75% of the total credits for a graduate degree must be at the 500 level or above. No 300- level courses may be included in a graduate degree program without prior approval of the appropriate Vice Provost or designee. No more than one 300- level course (a maximum of five quarter credits) shall be included in any graduate degree program. Two types of 300-level courses will be considered for approval: (a.) support courses from outside of the major discipline, or (b.) support courses not available through Eastern Washington University. In either case, such exceptions must be justified, in writing, by the degree program director to the appropriate Vice Provost or designee. Doubtful cases may be referred to the Graduate Affairs Council by the appropriate Vice Provost or designee. (see appendix A for Interdisciplinary Studies program)
e. Three-fourths of the minimum credits required for the specific degree program must be earned in approved courses offered by EWU. The remaining credits may consist of approved credits from other accredited institutions.
f. No more than one-half of the minimum number of credits required for the degree may be counted toward the graduate degree program before the total program is planned and the Application for Degree Candidacy form submitted (also see chapter 5).
g. Distance-delivered courses numbered 400 or above and offered by accredited institutions as graded courses and part of a graduate program of study may be included in a graduate degree program at the discretion of the program/department.
h. No more than one 597 workshop course may be included in a graduate degree program, for a maximum of three credits.
4-4. Program Time Limits
a. Time limit: All academic requirements, including course work, thesis and final examinations, must be completed within a six-year time period. The six- year period is based on academic terms.
The start term for the six-year period is the EWU academic term corresponding to the completion date of the earliest course being included as part of the degree program. If the student completed the first course between EWU academic terms, the next term will be considered the start term (e.g. for a first course completed in late August, the start term would be fall). The student’s admission status at the time the first course was taken is irrelevant in determining the start term. A student’s start term may be a Summer Term.
The end term is the corresponding term six years after the start term (e.g., for a start term of fall 2004, the end term is fall 2010).
a. Readmission
Admitted students who fail to complete the degree within the six-year period will be dropped from the program. Dropped students must apply for readmission to the degree program with evaluation of all credits taken to date and must pay the application fee.
The six-year time period applies equally to readmitted students; courses falling outside the six- year time relative to a readmitted student’s new intended end term are expired and may not be counted toward the degree.
4-5. Degree Progress
Graduate students are expected to make efficient progress toward their degree. Those with attempted credits on their record at or above 150% of the minimum number of credits required for their program will be prevented from registering until they have met with their academic advisor and established a revised plan for program completion, specifying a new graduation term. This plan must be submitted with the written support of the student’s academic advisor and approved by the appropriate Vice Provost or designee in order for the student to register.
4-6. Degree Completion, Minimum Enrollment, and Use of University Resources
During the six-year period allowed for degree completion, students who are using University resources (e.g., faculty consultation, laboratories, some library resources, scheduling and completing final oral examinations and so on) must register for a minimum of two (2) credits. If summer is the final term, the student must register for a minimum of one (1) credit.
In the term of the final oral examination, students must be enrolled for a minimum of two (2) credits.
4-7. Research Requirement
Proof of competence in research is required of all graduate degree candidates.


5-1. Candidacy
The program specified on the candidacy form constitutes the graduation requirements for the student.
Advancement to graduate degree candidacy requires the following:
a. Admission to a graduate program.
b. Completion of at least 15 credits of graded graduate course work, at least 10 of which must be at the 500 level, but no more than 50% of the course work required for the degree.
c. Maintenance of at least a 3.0 cumulative post- baccalaureate GPA.
d. Submission of the Application for Degree Candidacy form to the Graduate Programs Office, specifying a graduate degree study program approved by the major department. This program, at the student’s option, may be based on either current requirements or those in effect at the time of admission. The form must be submitted before the student has completed one-half of the minimum credits unless program requirements allow submission after the mid-point of the student’s program. All applications for graduate degree candidacy must be submitted no later than the first Friday of the term before anticipated graduation unless special permission is granted by the appropriate Vice Provost or designee.
If any changes to the list of courses identified on the candidacy form occur after advancement to candidacy, students must submit a Candidacy Contract Change form to the Graduate Programs Office that has been signed by their advisor(s).
e. Successful field experience as required by specific degree programs.
f. Approval of the appropriate Vice Provost or designee.
g. No application for degree candidacy that includes courses in a proposed substantive program revision will be approved until the Graduate Affairs Council has reviewed and approved the substantive program revision. Substantive here means a change in any core requirements, changes affecting an entire cohort or group of students or changes to more than 20% of the minimum credits for the degree program.
5-2. Graduate Degree Committee
As part of the candidacy process, a graduate degree committee is appointed. The primary responsibilities of graduate committees are:
a. Counsel candidates in their study program;
b. Direct and supervise candidates’ research;
c. Direct candidates in preparing for the comprehensive examination; and
d. Arrange, conduct and appraise the comprehensive examination.
If the chair or internal member of a graduate degree committee is changed after a student has been advanced to candidacy, the individual initiating the request for change must submit a Change of Graduate Committee form to the Graduate Programs Office, including a brief explanation of the rationale for the change and bearing the signatures of (1) the student, (2) the original chair and/or internal member of the graduate degree committee, (3) the replacement chair and/or internal member of the graduate degree committee, (4) the department’s graduate program director and (5) the department chair. If any person whose approval is required objects to the proposed change(s) and refuses to sign, he or she must explain the rationale for the objection in a memo to the appropriate Vice Provost or designee, who is responsible for making the final decision.


Each program is expected to organize comprehensive evaluations that demonstrate mastery and best reflect the discipline. Each program must have written policies and procedures describing the requirements, approved in advance by the Graduate Affairs Council and the appropriate Vice Provost or designee and published in the catalog. Approved plans and/or changes to those plans may become effective in the term after approval.
If comparable graduate programs in the discipline do not require a specific comprehensive evaluation, the program may request the omission of this requirement from specific degree programs. At the time of program proposal, said programs must demonstrate that the overall educational evaluation achieves mastery in the absence of a comprehensive evaluation.
Every comprehensive evaluation will be evaluated by a graduate degree committee, with the only exception being a state or national licensure exam or similar standardized professional assessment. Regardless of the evaluation, the committee will be chaired by a graduate faculty member from the student’s academic specialization. The second member is typically from the same unit and the third member is the Graduate Affairs Council Representative (university employee approved by GAC) and must be from outside the unit (see Chapter 10).
Acceptable options for the comprehensive evaluation may include one or more of the following: an oral examination, a written examination, a thesis defense, a portfolio defense, a research report defense, graduate capstone or project completion course, state or national licensure exam completion or similar standardized professional assessment, or poster presentation and defense. Other evaluations may be approved if demonstrated to be comparable to comprehensive evaluation in the discipline. All comprehensive evaluations must be approved by the Graduate Affairs Council. Comprehensive evaluations are typically conducted in a face-to-face setting. Exceptions must be approved by the appropriate Vice Provost or designee. Except in the case of a written examination, national or state licensure exam completion or similar standardized professional assessment, all comprehensive evaluations are open to the public and must be announced to the student’s academic unit(s) at least one week before the exam and must occur during the final term of the student’s program. Only the members of the graduate degree committee decide the outcome of the evaluation.
Comprehensive evaluations must be completed by the dates designated in the University calendar.
If a terminal document is part of a student’s graduate program, that requirement must be completed before the comprehensive evaluation. The Terminal Research Approval form must be completed for all comprehensive evaluations and must be received by the Graduate Programs Office before the candidate may schedule a final comprehensive evaluation.
For programs with a terminal document (i.e. thesis, research report, portfolio, poster, etc.) the Terminal Research Approval form must be signed by the student’s committee chair and internal member to indicate that the terminal document has progressed to the point that it can easily be completed within 10 working days or the end of the term, whichever comes first.
A comprehensive evaluation cannot be scheduled for students with an incomplete (X) grade in any course in their degree program, current course work excepted. Student and faculty signatures on the Terminal Research Approval Form indicate their confirmation that there are no X grades.
It is the candidate’s responsibility to schedule the comprehensive evaluation at a time agreeable to committee members and to notify the Graduate Programs Office at least ten working days before the examination date.
The Graduate Programs Office and/or the graduate program director of the relevant department notifies all participants of the time and place of the examination.
The length and rigor of the evaluation should be comparable to those exams in other programs in the same discipline. The time for an oral examination should not exceed two hours, and in-person written exams should not last more than six hours. Further examination, if required, and deadlines are determined by the committee.
The outcome of all comprehensive evaluations must be communicated in writing by the committee chair to the student, the graduate program director of the department(s) involved and the Graduate Programs Office. This is required regardless of the format of the comprehensive evaluation.
Guidelines for retaking comprehensive evaluations:
a. Students may not schedule a second comprehensive evaluation in the same term in which they failed the first scheduled evaluation.
b. Students must get approval from the major department chair or designees prior to scheduling a second comprehensive evaluation.
c. If the student fails to complete satisfactorily the second evaluation, no additional attempts will be permitted, subject to appeal to the appropriate Vice Provost or designee.


7-1. Research Quality
The quality of the research in a terminal document is the joint responsibility of the candidate and the candidate’s committee.
7-2. Formats & Style Requirements
a. Academic units offering a graduate degree program will identify any terminal document required for degree completion.
Written appeals of this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the appropriate Vice Provost or designee.
b. The expectations and standards for terminal documents must be defined by each academic unit
and be made publicly available.
c. Candidates for the interdisciplinary degree may use the expectations and standards designated by their major field of study or submit a statement outlining the expectations and standards for their terminal document with their interdisciplinary degree proposal.
7-3. Submission of Thesis
a. Approval to submit the thesis must be obtained by the graduate committee; approval is indicated by the signatures of the graduate committee members on the coversheet of the thesis.
b. A digital copy of the thesis must be submitted for the university files and follow the guidelines set forth by the Graduate Programs Office. Candidates must submit the required digital copy to the Graduate Programs Office within 10 working days after successfully defending the thesis or by the last day of the term, whichever comes first.
c. The Graduate Programs Office will forward a digital copy of the thesis to the EWU Library. The Library copy is the official university record of the thesis.
(1) Academic units may require additional printed copies to be submitted to the library and/or department.
(2) Requirements for additional printed copies must be included in the program description.
(3) Candidates are responsible for any fees associated with binding the thesis for inclusion in the library, archive or department.


Graduate students who are advanced to degree candidacy and who have completed an application to graduate for the current academic year, or the summer term immediately following June commencement, will be included in the June commencement announcement and invited to be recognized in the ceremony.


9-1. General Provisions
Graduate service appointments are offered by an academic or administrative unit on a competitive basis to students of outstanding promise pursuing their first graduate degree from EWU. Terms of these awards vary but usually include a waiver of tuition and a stipend. These appointments are intended to support students toward degree completion in a timely manner. Graduate service appointments are offered for at most one academic year at a time and will normally not be offered to any student for more than a total of two academic years or the equivalent number of terms.
Students who resign or withdraw from a graduate service appointment must submit a written resignation or withdrawal notice to their immediate supervisor. Repayment of all or part of the award may be required for failing to provide timely notification of resignation or withdrawal.
9-2. Appointment
Graduate assistantships are awarded by an instructional or administrative unit (through the unit dean and the appropriate Vice Provost or designee) to students of outstanding promise who are given, under faculty direction, work experiences that engage them in instruction or are in support of scholarly/creative activities. The terms of the award and recommendation of recipients are made by the department or program which supports the award.
9-3. Eligibility
a. Candidates must be admitted to or be admissible to a graduate program.
b. Candidates must have received a bachelor’s degree before the beginning of the graduate service appointment.
9-4. Duties
The department/program will provide quality work experiences that further the professional development of the graduate student (not work involving the student’s own research or clerical work). Graduate assistants can be given, under faculty direction, principal responsibility for instruction of the equivalent of one four- or five- quarter credit hour lower division course each term of their appointment. Other assignment possibilities include leading classroom discussion groups and teaching laboratory sections. Graduate assistants given principal responsibility for instruction must receive instruction in teaching. Graduate assistant positions must be directly related to a student’s graduate studies.
9-5. Work / Course Loads
a. To qualify for a tuition waiver, a graduate assistant must work an average of 20 hours a week. Additional information about graduate assistant hours is contained in EWU Policy 407-01 (Temporary Employees).
b. Work and study loads are to be arranged to allow normal progress toward completion of the graduate degree.
c. Graduate assistants are expected to carry course loads of at least 8 credits per term.
GSA students making appropriate progress toward on-time degree completion may take an appropriate number of credits in any term – in keeping with program requirements, candidacy plan of study and advisor recommendation – and have their tuition waiver prorated accordingly for part-time enrollment.
9-6. Other Terms of Appointment
All other terms of GSA appointment, such as background checks, reporting hours, sick leave, discipline, and termination are contained in EWU Policy 407-01 (Temporary Employment).
9-7. Termination
a. Graduate Service Appointees may be terminated for adequate cause.
b. Adequate cause for termination of a graduate service appointment includes failing to meet the academic probation policy or failing to satisfactorily perform duties.
c. A person terminated for adequate cause may be required to repay all or part of the award he/she has received.
9-8. Record Keeping
Graduate service appointees must have on record in the Graduate Programs Office a signed copy of the award letter accepting the terms of the appointment/award.


Graduate Degree Committees consist of three voting members including the Graduate Affairs Council Representative.
a. The Graduate Affairs Council Representative (GACR) should be familiar with examination procedures as described in the Graduate Catalog and the Graduate Affairs Council Policies.
b. The GACR represents the Graduate Affairs Council (GAC) and the Faculty in maintaining the tradition of the “open examination.” The product (the candidate, along with thesis, research report or special area knowledge) is on display for all to see. The GACR’s presence on the committee insures that various departments can see what other departments are doing to the mutual benefit of all.
c. The GACR is a full member of the Graduate Degree Committee. As such, the GACR needs to receive the terminal research document two weeks before the comprehensive examination and needs to be included when the time and date for the comprehensive examination is set. The GACR may delay scheduling of the comprehensive examination if not given two-week notice.
d. In those instances, when the GACR finds that he/she is unable to keep the commitment to a scheduled final comprehensive examination, we ask that the person assist in identifying a replacement.
e. If the research conducted by the graduate candidate appears to involve human or animal subjects, it is the responsibility of the GACR to verify that the candidate has obtained Institution Review Board approval of the research protocol. If unable to verify, the GACR is to inform the chair of the candidate’s committee.
f. The GACR acts in behalf of the GAC to assure that the examination is conducted seriously and fairly. It is the responsibility of the GACR to report irregularities or concerns about the examination to the appropriate Vice Provost or designee.
g. In case there is strong disagreement between the other two members on whether the student passes or fails the examination, or on what should be done for further evaluation, the GACR shall work to resolve the issue. A decision about passing or failing the examination can be delayed until agreement can be reached. Reports of serious conflicts within committees should be conveyed to the appropriate Vice Provost or designee, who can usually cite precedents and provide assistance.


Interdisciplinary study programs, using existing offerings from qualified departments, may be arranged with the guidance and approval of the Appropriate Vice Provost or designee and the student’s interdisciplinary graduate committee.
The student’s interdisciplinary graduate committee will consist of two or three graduate faculty members representing the disciplines with at least 15 credits in the program and will be chaired by a graduate faculty member from one of the fields represented who has the appropriate background to advise the student on the proposed interdisciplinary research.
The Interdisciplinary Program Review Committee (IPRC) will review each interdisciplinary study program proposal and will recommend that the Appropriate Vice Provost or designee approve or reject the proposal. Rejected proposals may be appealed to the Appropriate Vice Provost or designee.
The assignment of Master of Arts or Master of Science to the interdisciplinary degree will follow the major field’s (most credits) degree type designation.
Students applying for admission to a Master of Arts or Master of Science interdisciplinary degree program must follow the procedures for general admission to Graduate Studies. In addition, admission to an interdisciplinary graduate degree program requires an approved program proposal with signatures of the faculty who have agreed to serve as advisors. The proposal form can be found at the Graduate Programs Office website, www.ewu.edu/grad.
Program Requirements
a. Minimum of 50 quarter credits
b. No more than 12 credits at the 400 level
c. No more than 12 credits of directed or independent study (499 or 599)
d. Minimum of 20 credits in the major field and minimum of 15 credits in at least one minor field
e. Submission of the proposal to the Appropriate Vice Provost or designee, listing the courses in the program of study and signed for approval by the department chair in the major field and each minor field (or graduate program director for fields not located within a single department)
f. Inclusion in the proposal of a statement written by the student explaining how the proposed combination of courses comprises an interdisciplinary degree program and is not simply a combination of courses from multiple disciplines
g. Inclusion within the program of a project (variable credit) that integrates the various disciplines represented
h. Inclusion of a research component
i. An oral comprehensive examination
The Interdisciplinary Program Review Committee (IPRC)
The IPRC, as a committee to the Graduate Affairs Council, will review interdisciplinary program proposals to ensure the general academic rigor of the proposed program of study and will determine whether the proposal meets all of the program requirements listed above.
The membership of the IPRC shall consist of three graduate faculty members appointed by the Graduate Affairs Council. At least one of the three Committee members must be a member of the Graduate Affairs Council.
The IPRC shall:
a) Review interdisciplinary program proposals distributed by the Graduate Programs Office;
b) Request and review any additional information or materials from the student or the student’s interdisciplinary faculty committee members that is deemed necessary for assessing the academic rigor of the proposed program of study;
c) Notify, in writing, the student, the student’s interdisciplinary faculty committee members, the Graduate Programs Office, the appropriate Vice Provost or designee, and the Graduate Affairs Council of all Committee decisions regarding interdisciplinary program proposals; and
d) Make a recommendation of rejection or approval to the appropriate Vice Provost or designee.