Students may waive at most one of the Breadth and CSE++ Courses required to pass Quals. However, even with a waiver, they must complete at least 3 UW CSE Breadth Courses to pass Quals. One additional waiver may be applied towards post-quals coursework, for a total of up to two course waivers.

To obtain these waivers, students must submit a petition during their first year in the program. A petition to waive a course requires that the student has previously completed that course or a comparable course at the graduate level. Note that the prior course need not be equivalent in content to one of the courses listed above but rather in substance: a student who has done excellent work in an intellectually rigorous graduate course on a computer science topic that we happen not to teach may be granted a course waiver.  The course must be passed with a grade of 3.4 or equivalent. Ungraded courses are not accepted.

As stated above, at most one of these waivers may be applied towards fulfilling the Breadth coursework requirements. However, even with a waiver, students must take at least 3 UW CSE graduate courses from the Breadth Course list in order to pass Quals and at least 4 from that list in total. (If a student is granted two waivers, the second may be applied towards fulfilling the remaining coursework requirements.)

The Allen School will not consider waivers for non-CSE graduate courses, except in rare circumstances.

These petitions will be considered by the Quals Committee, a committee appointed by the Allen School Director. The outcome of the petition process will be decided based on information the committee collects on the prior course and a student’s performance in it. The Quals Committee may ask appropriate instructors for assistance in this decision. If appropriate, the Quals Committee may recommend a course substitution rather than outright waiver. All petition decisions go into a student’s file for reference at the Qualifying Evaluation.