Office of the University Registrar

Academic Satisfactory Progress

If you are pursuing a baccalaureate degree, you are expected to make satisfactory progress toward the attainment of that degree and are expected to enter a major and graduate after completion of a reasonable number of credits and quarters. The satisfactory progress policy looks at your total credits, but when counting quarters, only regular academic-year quarters – autumn, winter, and spring – are considered. The courses and credits you take during summer quarters count towards your degree requirements and are included in your credit total. Summer quarters are not added to your satisfactory progress quarter total and, thus, do not count against the number of quarters you may complete before the satisfactory progress credit limit is enforced.

NOTE: Individual departments may have additional satisfactory progress requirements. For Financial Aid satisfactory progress information see Satisfactory Progress.

The 105-credit rule

Undergraduates must declare a major by the time they have completed five (5) academic-year quarters and earned 105 credits or a hold will be placed on their registration until they either declare a major, or meet with an adviser and receive a pre-major extension. The hold is placed on the student record when five (5) or more academic-year quarters and 105 or more credits have been completed. Transfer students who are admitted to the University with 105 or more credits are expected to declare a major before their second quarter at the UW, or obtain an extension from an adviser.

You will be granted a pre-major extension if your adviser decides that you are pursuing a reasonable goal, and have a good chance of gaining admission to your intended major. The extension will be granted for the number of quarters it should take you to complete the admission requirements of your major.

If your adviser feels that your choice of major is unrealistic, he or she will deny your request for an extension. You will not be allowed to register for subsequent quarters until you can present a reasonable degree plan. Since the intent of the rule is not to drop you from the University but to encourage you to meet with an adviser and plan for an attainable goal, if you need time to consider your options you will usually be given one or two quarters to do so, and then may be allowed additional time if necessary to meet the admission requirements of your new major.

You will receive a warning letter from the University as you approach five (5) academic-year quarters and 105 credits, if you have not yet declared a major. If you complete five (5) academic-year quarters and 105 credits and are still a pre-major, the registration system will not let you register for the next quarter. To avoid registration delays, meet with the appropriate adviser at least one quarter before you complete five (5) academic-year quarters and 105 credits.

The 210-credit rule

The University’s satisfactory progress policy requires students to complete their undergraduate degree programs within 30 credits beyond the minimum required for the degree. Because most degrees require 180 credits, students generally must complete their programs by the time they earn 210 credits. The timing for enforcement of this policy is as follows:

  • For a student who first matriculates at the University on a freshman application the satisfactory progress policy is enforced after a student has completed 12 academic-year quarters, not including summer quarters, at the University.
  • For a student who first matriculates at UW on a transfer application, the satisfactory progress policy is enforced after the student has completed
    • Twelve (12) quarters at the University if the student enters with less than one year of college work (less than 45 credits transferred from another institution).
    • Nine (9) quarters at the University if the student enters the University with more than one year of college work and less than two years (more than 44 and less than 90 credits transferred from another institution).
    • Six (6) quarters at the University if the student enters UWS with two or more years of college work (90 or more credits transferred from another institution).

Undergraduates who have completed over 210 credits will be notified by email the third week of the quarter that a block is being placed on their registration due to lack of satisfactory progress. Students ineligible to graduate will be permitted to register for succeeding quarters only if they receive approval from their department and college after filing a graduation plan.

Students receiving satisfactory progress registration blocks should immediately contact their departmental academic adviser to file a graduation application or to initiate a satisfactory progress appeal.

Postbaccalaureate students

Postbaccalaureate students are expected to be either preparing for admission into a degree program, seeking an additional baccalaureate degree, or working toward a certificate. If you are admitted as “postbaccalaureate undeclared,” you must declare a major by the time you have earned 30 credits beyond your last degree. Once a degree objective has been declared, you must make progress toward that degree as evidenced by courses satisfactorily completed. College advisers may grant extensions beyond the 30-credit limit.

Excessive course repeats and/or drops

The Committee on Admissions and Academic Standards may terminate your enrollment if you have demonstrated lack of academic progress as evidenced by excessive course repeats, course drops, or University withdrawals and cancellations. You may be reinstated with the approval of your college and the Committee. EOP students may be reinstated in consultation with the Office of Minority Affairs.