During the second week of each quarter the Graduate Advising Team hosts information sessions on each program milestone. Slides and recordings (when available) are posted here:
Qualifying Evaluation General Examination Final Exam & Dissertation
Spring 2021 Recording
Spring 2021 Recording
Spring 2021 Recording
The University of Washington & the Paul G. Allen School is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, and activities. For currently enrolled UW students, accommodation requests related to a disability should be made through myDRS at least 10 days ahead of a scheduled talk. Accommodation requests on behalf of other guests should be sent to Graduate Program Adviser Joe Eckert (jeckert1) at least 10 days ahead of the scheduled talk.
COVID-19 Update: To support precautionary health measures such as social distancing, all graduate student milestone presentations should be held virtually. Students should refer to the Allen School quarterly milestone email announcements and the UW Graduate School's instructions for video conferencing in doctoral examinations for more information around logistics. General and Final Exam signatures will be gathered over email by the graduate advising team after the exam.

Ph.D. Milestone Procedures

This section is to serve as an overview of administrative tasks Ph.D. students need to complete to successfully pass through the program milestones. Each milestone has its own website detailing the how and whys of the process, and there is a webpage with full detailed explanation of the pathway to a Ph.D. at the Allen School.

  • As of Summer 2020, Ph.D. students using the newer course requirements must have all their quals courses completed before they can undergo Faculty evaluation. If you are interested in giving your quals talk in the quarters prior to your Faculty evaluation, that is an option available to you with advisor approval.

    Your advisor is tasked with guiding you through the quals process. Please reach out to them and/or the graduate advising team with your questions.

  • ▢ Review the Qualifying Evaluation page for full details on the policies and procedures.
  • ▢ You and your advisor need to have established your secondary advisor for your quals committee by the start of the term (usually CSE faculty members, but external folks are OK for the secondary member).
  • ▢ The faculty quals meeting is the Thursday before Finals week every quarter. By the second week of the term, use this form to be added to the agenda . You cannot pass the qualifying evaluation without being on the meeting agenda.
  • ▢ Scheduling your talk:
    1. Three (3) weeks prior to your talk date, submit your talk details to the Program Coordinator so it can be put on the calendar, and your talk can be recorded in your student file.
    2. Best practice: Two (2) weeks prior to your talk date, submit your qualifying project report (10-page document) to your quals committee advisors.
  • During the faculty quals meeting the faculty will review all students on the agenda. Students typically receive the decisions via email on the following Friday.
  • ▢ Submit your 10-page Quals report to the correct entry on your MyCSE. Now begins your General Exam study period.
  • ▢ Review the General Examination page for full details on the policies and procedures.
  • Establish your supervisory committee. Notify grad-advising@cs of the committee member names, and a team member will submit them to the Graduate School. You will receive a confirmation email.
  • ▢ Receive the charge from your advisor, and ensure a copy has been sent to each committee member. Also, have your advisor send a copy to grad-advising@cs. Your exam must be scheduled within 8 weeks of the receipt of the charge. See "thesis proposal style" charge template for an example of what a charge may look like.
  • ▢ Schedule the exam via MyGrad Program. Put the virtual meeting link in the location field. The talk details will be posted here on the graduate program calendar.
  • ▢ Enter your exam title and abstract on your MyCSE page before exam notices go out two (2) weeks before your exam. Announcement emails will not be updated with your title and abstract after they go out.
  • ▢ Two (2) weeks prior to your exam date, deliver your exam document (20-pages), via email, to your supervisory committee.
  • ▢ Once you pass your exam, please upload your 20-page document to your MyCSE exam entry under the "Student" upload prompt. You will receive a promotion when your exam is processed.
  • ▢ Review the Dissertation & Defense page for full details on the policies and procedures.
  • ▢ The Supervisory Committee from your General Exam stays active for your Final Exam, unless you request changes from the Program Coordinator. Your committee should be finalized two months before your exam date.
  • Establish your Reading Committee by contacting the Program Coordinator with a list of name. You will need to submit the name, email, and organization of any members outside the UW.
  • ▢ When your Reading Committee agrees you are ready to defend your thesis, schedule your exam via MyGrad Program.
  • ▢ Enter your exam title and abstract on your MyCSE page before exam notices go out two (2) weeks before your exam. Announcement emails will not be updated with your title and abstract after they go out.
  • Review the Graduate School checklist for Doctoral Students.
  • ▢ Submit your dissertation and SED Certificate of Completion via the UW ETD Administrator Site by the last day of the quarter at 11:59 p.m..
  • ▢ Noooo, don't leave! But if you have to, here is a handy checklist of things to do before you go.


COVID-19 Zoom Link Note: UW IT recommends adding a meeting passcode to your examination to prevent "Zoom bombings" and other cyberattacks. That said, the Allen School Grad Advising team has not experienced these attacks since COVID-19 started, so it may not be an issue. If you choose to include a meeting passcode for your talk, then please be sure to include the Zoom link with the meeting code attached to the end. Or, you can include at the bottom of your abstract using MyCSE. Zoom links should be submitted for every milestone schedule request.


Exam Warrants

As of April 20th, 2020 the Paul G. Allen School has switched to eSignatures on all exam warrants. Signers are not required to have a DocuSign account. DocuSign is compatible with assistive technology.

On Monday of each week, the Advising Program Coordinator will send out an email to each committee member via DocuSign requesting their signature. Once the student has completed their exam, each committee member will need to open the email they received, click/tap the “Review Document” button that leads to the DocuSign website to view the form, and then commence with signing.

The Program Coordinator will use the emails provided by MyGrad Program. Once all the signatures are received the student’s exam result will be reported to The Graduate School. UW IT offers DocuSign essential training courses for signers.


Student 'Catering' of Exams

It has been common practice in some programs for students to bring food and/or drinks to meetings with faculty (e.g. during annual committee meetings, general exam defenses, thesis/dissertation defenses). It is often an implicit expectation rather than an explicit requirement.  However, the differential in power between the student and their faculty mentors means that this “voluntary” practice is actually far from voluntary.

The Allen School, in consultation with the UW Graduate School, the Graduate and Professional Student Senate and the endorsement of the Faculty Senate, now prohibits this practice for formal milestone presentations such as qualifying project presentations, general exam, and final exams. The Allen School is deeply committed to educating the next generation of scholars, innovators, and difference-makers.  Allowing students to focus on their studies facilitates that aim. We will continue to allow students to choose to bring snacks for other students to informal meetings such as a practice job talk for a conference paper.